Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

What is Entrepreneurship?

What is entrepreneurship to you?

Before you read any further, jot down three things that best describe your idea of the subject – we’ll use these again later.

Does it mean starting your own business, being your own boss, or making the world a better place?  Do you have a great idea for a killer new product or service?  Are your nights often spent daydreaming about what COULD be?  Regardless of your own story or goals, building your own entrepreneurial spirit can be one of the most rewarding and fruitful paths you’ll ever take.  And for many, this path is the ONLY path.

By dictionary definition, an entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.”  So, let’s simplify:

An entrepreneur is a person who manages initiative and risk.

For most, the risks are terrifying.  Many simply appreciate the simplicities of the norm.  They are perfectly OK with being led or managed.  They are more open to accepting their place in the community of others who spend their lives working for someone else’s idea.  Many are worried about their financial or family responsibilities, and feel like they can’t (even if they want to) drop everything to start something new.

So, assuming you’re OK with leading your own charge into the battlefield of industry, you (like MANY others) may not have the drive to make it happen. Starting your own company is a TON of work – will require many late nights and early mornings – and will test your limits every day.

So, by definition, entrepreneurs are those who are willing to accept the risks and put in the extra effort. Right? Wrong.

Being an entrepreneur is SO much more than being someone who can deal with risk and keep themselves motivated.  You need to be creative, pioneering, driven, dynamic, and, above all PASSIONATE about your cause.  You must BELIEVE that your effort is worth the while… and that YOU have the ability to make a difference.

Look at 100 entrepreneurs from any industry, and you’ll see these traits.  Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, John Rockafeller, Sam Walton (Wal-Mart), Ray Croc (McDonald’s), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs (Apple Computers), Arthur Blank (Home Depot), Jeff Bezos (… we could spend hours listing thousands of individuals, but the result would be the same.  The best entrepreneurs in history had ideas, had vision, and had the power to create value.

You can too.

Ultimately the field of entrepreneurship is one of the most intensive and rewarding in the world of business, and if you have the passion to make it real, than your ideas WILL make a difference.

  • At the beginning, I asked you to write down three things that represented what it was to be an entrepreneur.  Though it’s possible that the list has changed or grown, please record your notes in the comments field as a living extension to this article.