Why I am reflecting on entrepreneurship today?
It’s easy to find ourselves reflecting on entrepreneurship these days. It seems to be in trend. Everybody wants to be one and everyone seems to see themselves as one. I am wondering whether it is the sense of freedom that seems to come with portraited on social media.
This morning I woke up immersed in the luscious nature of BC. I rejoiced myself thinking… this is the fruit of my 35 years as an entrepreneur. Now, I can finally enjoy my financial freedom and the time to do what I want. I stopped myself. Does it mean I didn’t enjoy those 35 years while building my entrepreneurial career? Well, nothing is black or white. I did enjoy and at the same time, I could feel the pressure of the responsibilities and obligations during those long years of hustling. Reflecting on entrepreneurship took me to research some of the definitions available.
Definitions of entrepreneurship
The activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit. The more modern entrepreneurship definition is also about transforming the world by solving big problems. Like creating an innovative product that challenges the status quo of how we live our lives on a daily basis. Actually, the word translates to “the one who undertakes” in French
What the entrepreneurship definition doesn’t tell you is that entrepreneurship is also what people have to endure in order to take their career and dreams into their hands and lead it in the direction they want. It’s NOT ONLY about building a life on your own terms. No bosses. No restricting schedules. And no one holding you back. Entrepreneurs take the first step into making the world a better place – for everyone in it, including themselves, taking all the risks and responsibilities behind the scenes without bragging or complaining. Entrepreneurs are in my eyes, some of the world’s most powerful transformers. These interesting creatures have the capacity to imagine the world differently because they see possibilities and solutions where the average person only sees annoyances and problems.
More definitions of entrepreneurship
I believe that there are as many definitions of entrepreneurship as are entrepreneurs in the world. Here are a few I heard quite often:
- “Many are excited to become an entrepreneur but get discouraged when reality hits. Entrepreneurship means staying committed to your goals beyond your feelings of excitement. Stay the course and keep your ‘why’ in mind.”
- “Entrepreneurship means being the one that is willing to take a leap, work hard enough to sacrifice everything else around you, all in the name of solving problems because no one else is capable or possesses the desire.”
- “Being an entrepreneur means diving headlong into a [likely very risky] venture of your own making, working hard, long hours, often alone, to carve out a path to success and never, ever giving up.”
- “Entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted. I can honestly say starting a company has been challenging. The battles you face on your entrepreneurial journey can last years with no repose. Creating a successful business requires massive amounts of action, perseverance, and conviction. If you understand this and choose to proceed, you’ll find the experience rich in rewards.”
Reflecting deeper on entrepreneurship
There is a lot of discussions around if entrepreneurship is nature or nurture. I strongly believe everything starts with self-discovery. I often ask young entrepreneurs the question – “Do you know your skills and talents?” Right away I can see their face changing from I-want-to-make-money to what-does-that-have-to-do-with-entrepreneurship kind of face. There are some traits and characteristics I would love to share with you I noticed in myself and fellow entrepreneurs throughout the years.
- Thrive when taking risks. It doesn’t mean a lack of fear. To do it in spite of fear because curiosity is stronger than fear.
- Start with a vision. Starting with the end result in mind is powerful and nothing is ever strong enough to stop the pursuit of that vision. Clarity and readiness are key components to overcome obstacles along the way.
- Develop a thick skin. Being a leader is not an easy road. It feels lonely when it is time to make decisions. Often times it is impossible to please everyone at stake. In consequence, entrepreneurs are criticized, judged and sometimes are hard to understand.
- Take full responsibility. It’s true that entrepreneurs bear all the risks and enjoy all the rewards. It’s only fair to acknowledge they take full responsibility for all decisions along the journey regardless of their outcome. They literally pay the price!
- Sleep little. I believe the passion doesn’t allow these individuals to waste a minute of their time. They keep moving forward towards their vision and won’t risk missing the changes happening around them.
- Agile making changes. There is no attachment to the processes neither to the outcomes. Changes are considered necessary moves
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