What Is Entrepreneurship?

February 10, 2017By

Burning AppleIt turns out that the term entrepreneur kind of originated in France.

It was used to describe someone that possessed the qualities of leadership, initiative and innovation.

That’s a simple way to think about it and I think it works really well.

The one word that stands out the most to be is initiative.

The power to act is powerful in life.

It’s easy to get trapped in a state of not doing something. Not doing something is safe. Many people stay in their comfort zones in life.

And that’s fine.

But being able to act is important for life. You don’t need to be right all the time. In fact, most entrepreneurs will tell you that they’ve suffered many failures and setbacks.

What seems to set them apart from others, though, is the ability to continue to act.

Opportunity

Life is full of opportunity.

I think it’s really a mindset.

If you follow the news it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling down on the state of the world. Negative news sells. Its’ easy to wallow in despair.

But one constant over human history has been progress.

There is something in human nature that’s entrepreneurial. Some people are able to have the mindset that the world is full of opportunity.

It seems that many times opportunity begins with frustration or even with dislike. Something frustrates you and you get to a point where you want to find a solution.

Kids are really good at it.

Have you ever seen a kid struggle to reach for a toy?

Eventually they reach the point where they crawl to it. Success!

The kid could have sat there and cried. But what good would that do? Eventually they see the opportunity and they figure out a solution.

The world is full of opportunity and it’s really the first step to what entrepreneurship is – it’s about accepting the mindset that the world is about opportunity no matter what the state of affairs.

Initiative

Now we get back to the idea of initiative.

Think of that baby that’s struggling to reach the toy. Sitting there and crying would not be taking initiative.

But babies are wired to act. They’re wired to try something even without the promise of success.

Consider the act of learning to walk.

Babies literally fall down when they learn to walk. It hurts physically. It’s frustrating because they’re trying to do something new, but they fail over and over again.

Even when they do it once they often stumble many more times.

Entrepreneurs are a lot like those babies. They fail. Certainly they don’t want to fail. They don’t enjoy. I don’t know that we want to chase failure in anyway.

Failure is just part of nature. It’s part of doing something new.

You have to push through.

Doing something new is scary.

People don’t like to do new things. Maybe it’s in our evolution. Doing new things in the cave days probably resulted in some bad outcomes.

But somewhere in our makeup there is also the push for progress. Entrepreneurs have a drive to act and it often results in progress for themselves and for others.

Perseverance

We just touched on this aspect of entrepreneurship.

That baby that’s learning to walk is certainly an example of perseverance. If they didn’t keep trying they would never learn how to walk.

It’s a curiosity to many why some businesspeople succeed while others fail. Certainly there is luck and skill involved, but perhaps even more important is simply the idea of perseverance.

Successful people are often the ones that take the first step. They act. And they’re often the ones that persevere.

There are always bumps in the road. When that’s too much some will go back to their safe place.

Others push on until they figure it out. There is no Plan B.

Innovation

The idea of innovation is to make changes to something that exists as a way to improve upon it.

It could also mean creating something entirely new like a product, process or something.

This certainly fits with entrepreneurship.

You’ll see new businesses come out that kind of copy what others do. But it’s pretty hard to find an exact carbon copy of a business or product.

One thing with aspiring entrepreneurs is that they do try to create something entirely new.

But that’s not really necessary most of the time. You can take something that exists and look for ways to make it better.

Sometimes you might make a big jump with something. Other times a simple change might make for huge improvements.

Leadership

This concept was interesting to me in the context of entrepreneurship.

Leaders can be people that don’t start businesses or that don’t invent things.

A leader could be a parent. Parents often literally take the hand of their children and lead them to something like a walk through the park.

A leader could be a coach leading players through the process of learning to play a game and learning how to play together as a team and learning to win and lose with dignity.

In the sense of entrepreneurship, being a leader would be having an idea for something and leading others on the journey to doing something new.

It’s not easy to take a new path. Failure will likely be ahead. Not everyone can do that by themselves.

But with a leader it’s easier. It’s more comforting.

So I guess an important aspect of entrepreneurship is leadership; taking others forward toward progress.

Conclusion

Entrepreneurism is an important element of human nature. Entrepreneurs help to bring progress to humankind.

I think we all have an element of entrepreneurism in us.

Even though it’s scary to think about doing something new we all have a certain curiosity about life. We all have struggles and frustrations. And it’s in our nature to want to alleviate those. We look for solutions. We look for ways to make improvements to existing things and we look for brand new things.

Entrepreneurship is something to embrace in yourself.

What are you doing today to make progress in your life?