Someone once told me that being an Entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, and perhaps it wasn’t for me either. In my younger years serving as the VP of a major bank I was always fascinated by Entrepreneurship and the idea of creating something from nothing. As a matter of fact, I was very intrapreneurial as well within the boundaries of the company I worked at by always creating new processes, and coming up with innovative products to reach even more clients. At the time, you could say that I had a different definition of Entrepreneurship.
I always believed that Entrepreneurship was about building something, or perhaps even creating value. After all, every single Entrepreneur that is accredited speaks of those very same components every time. Reality is that those two characteristics are certainly a piece of what makes and Entrepreneur successful but they are not the definition of what entrepreneurship is. I used to think that being in business for yourself, not having a boss was the way Entrepreneurs were born, and yet I was wrong once again as I later discovered that business in itself is once more only a component of Entrepreneurship rather than its definition. I had the pleasure in my life of gaining a significant amount of experience in corporate america, small business ownership and Entrepreneurship allowing me to see a very distinct separation of the three.
The idea of Entrepreneurship extends far beyond just solving a problem, it involves the facilitation of change. While many people today call themselves Entrepreneurs because they have profitable businesses or have had success in solving problems, I do not call them such. I define an Entrepreneur as someone who has not only created change, but also facilitated its acceptance. Think about the idea of solving a problem no one cares about, or creating a solution no one knows about then ask yourself “ what was the point?”
The goal of a business is to create a profit, while the role of an Entrepreneur is to successfully facilitate change, regardless that it’s in the way others live or do business. By understanding the difference, one can determine if indeed Entrepreneurship is for them or not.
If your goal in your project is to make a profit, then what you should be considering is the idea of small business ownership, the opportunity to remove limitations from any job, and instead create the rules around the idea of selling a product or service to people. There are entrepreneurial components in owning a business such as creating value or serving others but the ultimate goal is different. I myself own two small businesses (one of which grossed $42M last year in revenue) yet hardly considered myself an Entrepreneur as a result. My goal was clearly to make an impact on my industry and become rich as a result.
If your goal on the other hand is the facilitation of change, then perhaps Entrepreneurship is for you and should be a path you pursue.
Understand that Entrepreneurship isn’t something you chose to do, it is something that chooses you. Lets use the feeling of love as an example. You don’t chose whom you fall in love with, because love is an emotion not a logical act. If you pre determine and push yourself to fall in love, you give yourself many false reasons why you a may think you are in love, only to find yourself disappointed over and over again. When you look for something, you pre determine what its limitation and context is, such as loving someone can be viewed by one person as long walks on the beach, rock climbing together and perhaps having 5 children running around the house. The problem becomes that your definition of love now has been determined despite the fact that these activities have no correlation on a feeling you may or may not get, but as a result will prevent you from allowing other symbols of love to be identified as such. In other words, you close your mind to it based on the idea that it doesn’t fit your criteria of what love is. The same can be concluded with Entrepreneurship as it is not something you can force as your motives can then be questioned. If you do not know where to facilitate change, why would you force it if your motives are not solely to make a monetary gain?
The key is to pay attention to your day to day experiences allowing you to stay open to the idea of solving problems, as well as creating simplified solutions for yourself and others around you. Once you identify a problem worth tackling on, consider that the real world of entrepreneurship isn’t just about going all in, or giving up. It is about allowing the goal to become the priority meaning that it may actually make sense to not give up your job or small business to dive in. Instead, actual balance both so that you, the driver of the change you wish to seek, can survive long enough to see these changes to life. If you are considering if Entrepreneurship is indeed for you, start with being honest with your motives and understand if indeed you are interested in small business ownership of Entrepreneurship, one can certainly lead to the other but your chances of success are much greater when honest about the goal at hand.