What is an entrepreneur? “One who organizes, manages and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise”, as explained by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. But the definition never said too much. That is why, in this article, we will try to approach what it means to be an entrepreneur, the hows, whens and whys of an entrepreneur’s life.
Educated business people, computer programmers, writers or just pure talented people who, somehow, rose from nowhere to the tip of the pyramid and laid the foundation of something that touches the life of millions of people, are now what we call entrepreneurs. Most of them are famous, their lives are in the spotlight, their eccentricities discussed by the whole planet, just like movie stars. Silicon Valley steals a little bit of Hollywood’s flashing lights nowadays.
But, let’s forget all the bells and whistles and go back to the core of the problem. What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?
- Steep high and lows: Much like a roller-coaster, only that while on a roller-coaster, you know that after a low, a high will come and so on, until the race is over and you’ll get out alive. In entrepreneurship, the adrenaline is a thousand times bigger – you never know what might happen next. You celebrate your highs and hope your lows won’t last too long. You need an insurmountable level of enthusiasm to embrace your failures and keep going.
- Doing what you love: “Do what you love and you won’t work a day in your life”, said a wise man, some many centuries ago. It hasn’t really changed ever since. So, the answer to the “why” might be right here: “Because I love it.” Entrepreneurship offers the freedom to build what you like, to do what you love with your time. But doing what you love takes courage, sacrifice, not listening to the naysayers, networking, acting and, most importantly, a desire to do something nobody else has done and leave your footprints on the world. And this brings us to the next thing…
- The desire to build something and make a change: When we’re kids, we’re taught that we have to make a change in the world, leave it a little better than we’ve found it. Building the next big thing in technology or science that could make life better for millions of people is a dream many young people dream today. Most importantly, it is preached in the media, also, educating thousand of young minds to think of what they will build in the near future.
- Moments and…moments: Yes, moments of vulnerability, doubt, anxiety, fear; moments of feeling “not good enough”, moments of uncertainty, moments of not knowing who to trust, decisions that have to be made quickly. An entrepreneur must go through levels of adrenaline not even dreamed of by a bungee jumper. The fun part is that there is no way around this. You either go with them or just give up. These moments polish a man, make him shine, make him look greater and greater with each passing day. Moreover, the life of an entrepreneur is made of moments. Business people are the ones who know better the value of the moment, the perfect moment to invest, the perfect moment to withdraw, the perfect moment to launch a product on the market- these moments… An entrepreneur has to know them, or just trust his gut instinct.
- Stress: This comes as something normal, you might say. It is present in our daily lives, it eats most of us alive and we have to learn to live with it. An entrepreneur should be ten times more resilient to stress than all the others. Stress should be an entrepreneur’s second nature and also a weapon. Knowing how to manage it and, sometimes, inflict it on other people, in decent doses, can be useful, raise the productivity and, hence, the business.
- Risks: This goes without saying. Risk is an entrepreneur’s second nature. You don’t have to be a good poker player to be an entrepreneur, you just have to appreciate the value of risk, its importance and its perils. Risk can be a very enticing drug, a monster or just your friend. You can crave it, fear it or befriend it. The business world embraces it.
Constant competition: Have you ever watched the 1972 Olympic 800m Final? No? Youtube! Now! This is some of the best motivational competition examples in the world. Competition means never giving up, means staying in the fight because you love the fight, competing because you just got the bug of competition. Entrepreneurs, most often, have this bug, love competition and thrive on it. No matter if they are in the front or at the back, the competition makes their heart pump more and more blood. The business world and the free market live off competition. Without it, where would we be now?