It's important to understand that from my point of view, the entrepreneur is
not a "person" but a part of everyone's personality. The entrepreneur is our
visionary, the creator in each of us. We're born with that quality and it defines
our lives as we respond to what we see, hear, feel, and experience. It is
developed, nurtured, and given space to flourish or is squelched, thwarted, without
air or stimulation, and dies. Look at anyone around you and you will recognize
whether or not the entrepreneur is alive and well within them. The way they live
their lives will demonstrate it.
The entrepreneur in us sees opportunities everywhere we look, but many people see only problems everywhere they look. The entrepreneur in us is more concerned with discriminating between opportunities than he or she is with failing to see the opportunities. Thus the entrepreneur must develop the necessary skills to choose the right opportunities to pursue. Few people understand that.
We're all born with the entrepreneurial spirit. The Old and the New Testament
tell us "Man is born in the image of God." I believe this means that we are born
to create. That is the role of the entrepreneur within us...to create. Everyone
is born with that drive, desire, passion, and interest.
Most business owners have not fully developed or nurtured the entrepreneur within
themselves. Work, or what I call "doing it, doing it, doing it," consumes
them. There is no time or energy to be creative, nor the understanding that being
creative is being alive, fully alive. Few business owners are fully alive; they're too
busy working for a living.
An entrepreneurial seizure is the moment the entrepreneur decides it would be
a great idea to start his or her own business. It's when one believes that knowing
how to do the work of a business is all one needs to understand in order to start
and grow a business. So the accountant starts an accounting practice; the mechanic
starts an auto repair business; the cook opens up a restaurant. They go to work,
accounting, fixing cars, or cooking meals, none of which is the true work of
the entrepreneur. In doing so, the person who starts his or her own business
is lost in the teeming confusion created by demands he or she never anticipated...the
demands of organization, the demands of cash flow, the demands of people -- employees,
customers, suppliers, banks, family -- and so forth and so on. They are simply
not prepared for the demands that are going to be made on them. The longer they're
in business, the worse it gets. There is no vision; there is only being a slave
to work and staying alive. The seizure is long gone, the entrepreneurial vision
a vague memory.
The entrepreneur is not really interested in doing the work; he is interested
in creating the way the company operates. In that regard, the entrepreneur is
an inventor. He or she loves to invent, but does not love to manufacture or sell
or distribute what he or she invents. You will not find entrepreneurs on the
production line. You will find them in their office, their room, in their research
center, in their mind, dreaming about the product, or building a sample of the
product, or drawing a picture of the product on the back of a napkin. Entrepreneurs
are dreaming, scheming, imagining, playing.... not doing it, doing it, doing
it. Without that fire, that light, that spirit of inventing the future, everyone
turns to work. The entrepreneur goes to work ON the business, not IN the business.
The technician goes to work IN the business, not ON the business. The entrepreneur
invents a business that is more successful than any other business. The technician
invents a job and then continues to work for a living in the job he or she created.
The difference is the difference of scale. The entrepreneur builds an enterprise;
the technician builds a job.
The ability to carry out the vision is as essential as the vision itself. Without
vision, daring, and a creative eye, the business becomes a slave to the bureaucrat.
The bureaucrat kills vision, enthusiasm, and opportunity, and shapes the organization
to fit his or her limited view of the world. The bureaucrat is interested in
planning without vision, exercising maximum control over people whom the bureaucrat
doesn't trust. The entrepreneur is an anathema to the bureaucrat. Creativity,
innovation, and change are terrifying to the bureaucrat. On the other hand, the
organization of a vision, the planning of growth, and the systems through which the entrepreneurial vision is manifested in operating the company are critical if the vision is going to become a reality. It's the balance between the two that is key. First the
vision, then the organization.
It takes study, practice, continuous education and experience for the entrepreneur to create a world class company. While entrepreneurs seem to be born with the qualities and traits that mark them, there has, in fact, been an enormous amount of trial and error in their lives. Trial and error is good and necessary, but it is essential to study and practice, following a logical curriculum, to develop the requisite skills. That is what we developed at our company, EMyth. Our EMyth Program delivers the curriculum, training, coaching, and the processes necessary to fuel, develop, and perfect the entrepreneurial mindset in people who wish to build and grow entrepreneurial companies.