Aug 02 2015
Do Not Make Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship can be taught. And those who are entrepreneurs can be made more productive. But the truth is that those not born with entrepreneurial instincts and attitudes can only learn what the tools and ingredients are –and maybe even how to use some of them– yet never become entrepreneurs.
Not everyone, after all, can consistently look at problems and count them as opportunities. Thomas Edison saw his 10,000 attempts to invent the lightbulb as 9,999 ways to learn from, that led him to the last.
Just as tools and ingredients do not bake cakes, neither do they make entrepreneurs. What happens to the cake if you put the egg in at the wrong time? What happens to a well-informed entrepreneurship student who’s afraid to take reasonable risks?
Can risk-taking be taught? Maybe. But when the moment of truth arrives, will a top student who fully understands reasonable risk-taking, but lacks entrepreneurial instincts, actually take the risk she or he needs to take to achieve success?
Entrepreneurial instincts practically dictate resistance toward and distrust for authority figures. Does this preclude meaningful instruction? Who can teach entrepreneurship except an entrepreneur?
And how many entrepreneurs are driven by the entrepreneurial-essential fire-in-the-belly desire to put themselves in the middle of a complex politically-stratified organization that relies on academic authority channels to exist, when they themselves could instead be developing the next great medical treatment or mobile app, or self-tying shoelace?
Entrepreneurs are driven by making their ideas work, not by others’ ideas, not by money, not by organizational achievement. Though there undoubtedly must be some exception somewhere, my lifetime of entrepreneurial pursuits and independent coaching (to instill entrepreneurial values in organizations), has yet to uncover even one.
An entrepreneur is an entrepreneur is an entrepreneur. [That’s sort of like: “if it quacks like a duck . . .”] Learning as much as one possibly can about entrepreneurial-thinking-and-doing will, without doubt, strengthen one’s business and career odds for success — on a campus, in a corporation, or in small businesses run by entrepreneur-savvy people. And, yes, even in government captivity.
- Don’t expect such efforts to crank out legions of entrepreneurs
- Many succeed beyond their dreams without even an inkling of entrepreneurial values
- Almost every business and career can benefit by infusions of entrepreneurial energy and style
Like teaching those few-and-far-between truly brilliant musicians that they have what it takes, entrepreneurship teaching and training efforts can provide much-needed wakeup calls! Programs grounded in entrepreneurial traits, characteristics, behaviors, and action-orientation do indeed succeed. They raise consciousness for students and corporate executives who have what it takes, but who never quite cultivated the awareness levels needed to put it all together for themselves.
Deliverables include: increased innovation, productivity (less wasted time, energy, resources and money), and sales; increased customer and market awareness and responsiveness; sharper and quicker decision making; accelerated market testing; rapidly expanded networking and referral bases; enhanced communication skills; and a stronger across-the-board sense of teamwork, self-fulfillment, and self-motivation.
The ultimate entrepreneurship determinant is REALITY
. . . existing as much of the time as possible in the
“here-and-now” present moment.
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Open Minds Open Doors
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