Are you an entrepreneur?
It’s surprising that many business executives who fit the entrepreneurial profile don’t see themselves in this category. Maybe it’s because the common perception of an entrepreneur is one who initiates a great idea that becomes a passion or cause and then manifests into a great organization or business.
But what if you are all of that, except you didn’t actually start the business? You have the passion, drive and vision to push a business forward-yet you may not be the “founder.”
Does that mean you’re not an entrepreneur? That may depend on your definition of entrepreneur.
Wikipedia offers several definitions. One says an entrepreneur is a “person who started a new business where there was none before.”
That’s a classic definition, but does it tell the whole story?
Another definition says: “Entrepreneurs take initiative, accept risk of failure and have an internal locus of control.”
I think both are accurate, yet the latter speaks more to the entrepreneurial mindset rather than a specific role. In essence it says you could have started a business or not-either way, you fit the profile of an entrepreneur.
Let’s face it: Some people were born entrepreneurs stopping at nothing to pursue their passion to innovate and build extraordinary businesses. Fear of failure doesn’t stop them. They know what they want, and they go for it.
Failure to them is just another step of achieving success. And usually success to them is success in excess. They want to make it BIG and make a huge impact in the world-even if it’s just a small sliver of their world. Whether a big fish in a small pond or big fish in a big pond, BIG is their goal.
I’m an entrepreneur and have started several businesses, but I don’t completely fit that mold. In fact many entrepreneurs don’t. We may choose to venture into uncharted waters but are not necessarily looking to make the Fortune 500.
We can be found in our offices or at Starbucks with our laptops, iPads and smartphones. We’re passionate people, but don’t need to flaunt it. Many are humble, yet we’re all driven to make it on our own, with no safety net-only the assurance that our days, weeks and months belong to us. Our destiny is in our own hands.
If any of this sounds familiar, you may be among this special group of business pioneers with entrepreneurship in your blood. It’s worth celebrating, because small business is the engine that runs our economy.
You may or may not have started a business, but you’re an integral part of leading a business.
Are you in touch with the entrepreneur in you? Don’t be afraid to own it…you’re an entrepreneur and it’s in your blood!
By Randall Taussig
11710 Plaza America Drive, Suite 2000 Reston, VA 20190