Saturday, April 12, 2008

Curious about Entrepreneurs: What Makes Them and Us Special? Are You One?

Entrepreneurs are risk takers, willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise. They willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.” - Victor Kiam, American businessman

The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” - Peter Drucker, American businessman

In many instances lately I have read about entrepreneurs and the rise in numbers, especially on the Internet. When I have taught my “How to Discover Your Core Passion” continuing education class, I have found that the majority of those who enroll are hoping to start their own business. But, I wonder how many will take action, and how many, if they go ahead and take action, will happily succeed. One reads of so many small, new businesses that don’t last. Is it because the business idea is not a winner? Or does the owner give up too soon? Or, possibly they do not have the qualities of an entrepreneur.

Let’s see what our experts have to say about that:
  • Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.” - Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian writer
  • Going into business for yourself, becoming an entrepreneur, is the modern-day equivalent of pioneering on the old frontier.” - Paula Nelson, American writer
  • I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn't really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going.” - Richard Branson, British businessman
  • Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.” - Ronald Reagan, American President

It is interesting that Michael Gerber wrote,Most entrepreneurs are merely technicians with an entrepreneurial seizure. Most entrepreneurs fail because you are working IN your business rather than ON your business.” Now, he has a new book called “Awakening the Entrepreneur Within.” I have ordered it, and will let you know more once I read it.

Other quotations with a twist:

  • My son is now an 'entrepreneur.' That's what you're called when you don't have a job.” - Ted Turner, American businessman
  • When I finished school, I took my entire life savings - $5,000 - and invested it in a business. I was young. I was inexperienced. But I was an entrepreneur, and I was proud. And in six weeks, I was broke.” - Mark Warner, American politician
  • Their idea was that competition would bring out the best in the entrepreneur and that the customer would benefit from that competition.” - Barbara Castle, British politician

I find the following two statements quite interesting and thoughts to which I can relate:

There is a lot of interest in the arts, music, theatre, filmmaking, engineering, architecture and software design. I think we have now transitioned the modern-day version of the entrepreneur into the creative economy.” - John Baldacci, American politician

The link between my experience as an entrepreneur and that of a politician is all in one word: freedom.” - Silvio Berlusconi, Italian statesman

Let me know what you think. Are you an entrepreneur?