So You Want To Be An Entrepreneur Part 2 – Do You Have The Spirit
A number of readers reached out after thinking about my last missive, So You Want To Be An Entrepreneur. They shared their stories and thoughts and asked me for a few more of my ideas on this subject. And so…
Something I heard Steve Jobs say in an interview I saw years ago has stayed with me as a guiding principle of entrepreneurial success. Jobs was asked about the market research he did before developing the iPhone. His response was an incredulous look accompanied by his declaration that he didn’t do any market research at all. So how would people know if they wanted something they couldn’t conceive of? He just knew it was going to be an exceptional product and as soon as people saw it they would rush out and buy it as fast as they could.
The principle? Absolute belief in the value of your idea and that others will want it. Coupled with intense focus and all-encompassing willingness to do whatever it takes to bring the idea to fruition. In spite of all the obstacles, the nay-sayers, the setbacks, and the shortage of funds.
True entrepreneurs don’t go around looking for advice about how to be an entrepreneur. They are driven to go off and be entrepreneurial, to create something. They don’t need validation that they have what it takes, they are absolutely convinced that they do. They’re not worried about whether people will find what they’re doing useful, they are certain they will.
And if misfortune strikes and their efforts go down in flames…they put out the fire and come up with something else they just have to create.
So when executives start telling me they’re looking for an entrepreneurial opportunity I immediately know they’re missing something. Can they find a small company to buy and run? Sure. Is this entrepreneurial? Generally not. It’s management.
Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur these days. But few actually go off and devote themselves to creating something out of nothing but an idea. Most people I encounter from the business world really just want a job working at the company the entrepreneur started. After the entrepreneur has done all the initial work. Which is fine. Know what’s best for you. Recognize what your skills are. Success comes in many forms and everyone fits in somewhere.
Many have the entrepreneurial interest but few have the spirit.