I’ve been drawn into a very interesting discussion on a LinkedIn Group.
One commentator drew on the four qualities of an entrepreneur -Dreamer, Thinker, Storyteller, Leader!
Sure thing! you get those dreams that keep you awake at night, and then you get busy trying to do something about it, and you dream during the day.
You think about the future, and try to organise the present, so that you can take your enterprise and team along with you.
To do that, you gotta tell the story over and over again! with just the right pitch and note for all your important stakeholders- your family, even if you think you don’t have one!, your investors, your customers, your team, stay the course with you.
And then you got to lead. Lead the way, show the path, be motivational, be visionary! You’ve seen Steve Jobs,
Richard Branson, , John Chambers, not to forget, Barack Obama , before he won the elections!
But, you gotta also be Consistent, and Trustworthy. Yup! those things stand out for miles when the going gets rough. Are you reliable? and are your beliefs rooted in stuff which go beyond the numbers and graphs, and fancy slides you show the world.
And then again, all it takes is- Survival, my friend, sheer survival skills!
And I would add every child is an entrepreneur if not taught otherwise.
To add-on and expand this point of view:
1. Getting strategic partners: think of parents, if the child can’t connect and keep together a set of parents whatever be their work or life issues, the child’s survival is at stake in every environment.Now think about VC’s, investors and angels performing similar roles for the entrepreneur.
2. Finding the market: This every child knows. She who screams loudest is heard. Same rules apply in the market. You want attention, you have to find a way to go out and get it. But find the balance between screaming too loud and getting a slap instead of the lollypop! Dot-com entrepreneurs forgot that lesson, and we all know the results. I have a sneaky suspicion that the investment bankers and insurers are playing the game, with the current financial meltdown, and are about to get labelled as cry-babies just when they are about to collect those big bailout pay-offs and head off to the beaches.
3. The idea silly: Yup! have heard about the BIG idea many, many times, but the basic rules apply again. To go and get that shiny red ball, from off the table- the epitome of satisfaction at that age, you have to crawl, sit up, stand and stretch and maybe even take a few falls and steps. Who says entrepreneurs can’t execute, they can, and do everything required to get to that idea of satisfaction. Now go back and start crawling towards that Porsche 911 or the ecologically friendly choice, that you as an entrepreneur would like to make- but crawl, fall, and walk, you must!
4. The Team: This is REALLY the big one! and again, loads to learn from children and the playing fields. Didn’t someone say something about the playing fields of Eton, forming the base for the British Empire a few centuries back? Before you plan to succeed as an entrepreneur, make sure you plan to play around with your core team. Collaborate, compete and make the play.
It’s really Child’s Play! it’s just our complex conformity based learning system that keeps the entrepreneur from emerging! Go do it! and have fun doing it!
BTW, entrepreneurship is not about making money- you can earn big bucks in jobs, it’s not about setting up a franchisee from home, and/or offering solo services, that’s being self-employed.
Entrepreneurship, is about creating value for more people than your self. Providing a product or service, which changes or creates customer value, providing meaningful jobs, for creating the product or service, and providing returns to your investors, and that includes your family, friends, and critics, who stick by you through sick and sin, and most importantly, YOU!
But then, for a true entrepreneur, survival of the dream is the Biggest Reward!