An Entrepreneur’s Attempt to Define Entrepreneurship
In the spirit of Babson’s “Define a word, Redefine the World” campaign to change the global perception of entrepreneurship, I am going to give my own attempt at defining it based on my experience to date with my startup Terravia.
First, a little background about Terravia. Terravia aims to provide a creative booking platform that includes the option of theme based trips for users to enrich their travel experiences. Once the user reaches a destination, Terravia offers an in-trip service that directs users through local guides and itineraries, with the goal of allowing them to experience the local culture and lifestyle. All of this is supported by a collaborative community that allows users to interact, learn from one another, and log all aspects of their travels. Terravia is currently being built and is expected to launch for beta testing by the end of this upcoming summer.
Merriam-Webster defines an entrepreneur as one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise. It is extremely hard to define entrepreneurship in a single sentence. It is more than just starting a business; it is a lifestyle and a way of thinking. It is an ideology that encourages innovation of literally everything. Throughout Babson’s campaign I have heard many definitions that I am going to sum up as, “ Entrepreneurship is creating something new and innovative by observing the market that exists, identifying a gap or a niche, and forming a product or service that fills that gap or niche,” but in my opinion that definition does not encompass the essence of being an entrepreneur. That definition merely relays one course of action that an entrepreneur could take. Entrepreneurship also takes smaller forms, such as coming up with a new system of doing something within an already existing company. Entrepreneurship is more than starting a business; it is a set of values and way of living.
I find it interesting that the Merriam-Webster definition focuses in on only the risks of entrepreneurship, rather than the immense opportunities. Yes, entrepreneurship is risky. It requires a huge leap of faith and an even bigger commitment. Entrepreneurs have a big picture vision, yet live day to day trying to meet the goals and deadlines they set themselves. Entrepreneurship takes a huge amount of self-control and motivation. You are your own boss, so the only person that can motivate you to do work is yourself. It helps when you are part of a team, as you can feed off your teammates’ motivation. Entrepreneurship takes resilience. The Terravia team has had our fair share of setbacks and rough days. We have run into numerous obstacles, but the next day we have always managed to pick ourselves back up and solve whatever the problem is. These obstacles and setbacks are not necessarily a bad thing. Our idea has morphed and evolved countless times into something bigger and better then we initially imagined. Criticism is always welcome to an entrepreneur, because it is an opportunity to learn and grow. Entrepreneurship requires constant creativity. You need a way to distinguish yourself from competitors. You need a way to be the only provider of what you have. An entrepreneur should never stop questioning their business concept and looking for ways to improve it. Because of this, Entrepreneurship takes a unique mixture of flexibility and dedication. You cannot be wedded to a single idea, because that idea might breed an even better opportunity. At the same time, you have to be extremely dedicated to your idea. Finding the right mixture of flexibility and dedication is hard, but rewarding when ideas evolve and become better concepts.
So, here it is, my one-liner of what entrepreneurship is. Entrepreneurship is an ideology that taps into the creative power of gifted individuals and empowers them to take action that creates opportunities, solutions, jobs, and an overall world progression.
For more definitions or to share your own, visit the define.babson.edu website.