What does it mean and what does it take to be an entrepreneur? What is entrepreneurial “spirit”?
An entrepreneur is someone who sets up a business or businesses and takes on risk in pursuit of profit. Profit is the most important part of the business, but I will come to that later.
Business, by definition, is the activity of making money from producing and selling goods and/or services. This means that if you’re a speculator or trader, you’re not an entrepreneur. If you’re working on your own and you don’t employ people, you’re also not an entrepreneur.
It’s a stretch to say an Instagram model, for example, is in business if they’ve done nothing more than become “Insta famous”. Unless of course, they have a business behind the fabulous photos of their perky derriere, like the Kardashians do. They do a great job of using their influence to promote their businesses. Smart, right?
If you’re paid by swimwear or lingerie brands to pose in their product due to your extreme attractiveness, good for you! I’m not a hater, but you’re not an entrepreneur! Now if you own those brands and use your influence to market them, not only are you an entrepreneur, you’re also extremely clever. See the difference?
As I said earlier, being in business, being an entrepreneur means producing something, either goods or services and selling them. You make the “invisible, visible”, fashioning something from your imagination and manifesting it for the world to see and appraise, based upon its merits.
As an entrepreneur you add to the economy, you provide products or services that are either desired or needed and you employ people to support you on that journey. You become the leader of your tribe no matter how humble that may be, to begin with.
If you have the desire to be an entrepreneur, understand that you need to have the commitment to start and run a business. The key to running a business successfully is to make a profit and as the leader of your business, this is your duty. It feels good to give back, and I've met many entrepreneurs who have this as their goal, but they need to be focusing on profit to take care of themselves first, their team and their business! Despite how much social engineering you do, you cannot extract the business or the requirement to be profitable out of entrepreneurship. Without profit there is no growth, there are no jobs, there are no pay rises and there is no innovation.
As important as marketing is to a business, being an entrepreneur entails much more than just being a promoter. While you can build a community around you as Gary Vaynerchuk has done incredibly well, at some point you have to monetise. You’re in business to make a profit and you have to be able to pull the trigger on that. Timing is everything!
The spirit of entrepreneurship isn’t locked
in a business school or in the boardroom.
It lives in the hearts and minds of those brave enough to walk a treacherous road, filled with unexpected detours, roadblocks, dead ends, sleepless nights, plans that don't work out, funding that doesn't come through and the ever-present risk of bankruptcy.
The true spirit of entrepreneurship is indefatigable optimism and innovation despite the rejection and criticism you will undoubtedly receive, sometimes from the people you care about most.
Nothing worthwhile in this life was
ever achieved by a reasonable person.
So be unreasonable, be unrelenting, because you won’t see the results from the work you do now for 5-10 years, so familiarise yourself with what commitment truly looks like. Entrepreneurship is a lifetime commitment and not a part-time flirtation. You have to go all-in.
Despite the risks, I can promise you that it’s well worth it. It would be far worse to have had the dream and to have never made the commitment to follow it.
Have you got entrepreneurial spirit? Join me as we learn more about entrepreneurship and the journey many people have gone through to attain this life, in our new show KCTV.
Each week I’ll be spending time with both newly minted and experienced entrepreneurs discussing how to navigate risk, grow their business, get their money right and invest the rest in property to provide the financial resilience to navigate any storm.
If you're an entrepreneur - how have the aspects of profit, commitment and the need to monetise impacted your journey? Interested to hear your thoughts.