Imagine how helpful if would be if we could easily extract the formula for entrepreneurial wizardry from a business school course book, a scintillating TED talk, an excel spreadsheet or a Times bestselling “how to” manual? Indeed it would, except that any search for ready-made ABCs of entrepreneurial acumen would lead to unfulfilling dead ends and mounds of futility. There is no entrepreneurial cheat sheet “out there.
On the contrary, the “answers” are all “in here,” nestled and thriving within the soul and spirit of the entrepreneur. Therein lies the essential beauty of the entrepreneurial-driven enterprise; it is self-defining and reflects the individual makeup of the entrepreneur. At its most raw and pristine, entrepreneurialism is the expression of personal passion, like that found on any artist canvas.
This is not to say that business plans and investment capital do not matter, that talented and candid colleagues are not important, that boards of directors must not be heeded or that market forces can be dismissed as mere distractions or someone else’s challenge.
It is to say that an entrepreneur does not think in terms of formulae, business plans, product margins, cash flow or any indicia of the well-run business. The entrepreneur thinks thru the mind’s eye and sees things not as they are in current circumstances, but what they can become beyond discernible horizons. The artistry of entrepreneurs redefines the world with foresight born of imagination.
More than anything, entrepreneurs operate from deeply planted core personal beliefs. They believe passionately in their business mission, their vision and, vitally, themselves and their ability to birth, inspire and create. These core beliefs fuel their strategic engine, inspire colleagues to great heights and persuade boards and venture capitalists to get behind them.
Entrepreneurs design businesses to give life to the values they covet and the images they foresee for the brands they seek to create. They act without fear of failure and are comfortable with uncertainty. They understand, what many can’t bare, that failure is a necessary ingredient for success, and that their resolve to push the envelope containing their dream puts more than a business at risk; it puts them at risk, a dice-roll they are prepared to embrace. And, perhaps most intriguing of all, they have an abiding faith in acting based on their instincts.
Sure, entrepreneurs can get lucky. But luck for an entrepreneur is mere pretext for taking decisive action. Some say the real genius in entrepreneurial success is not only recognizing new-found opportunity but, more importantly, taking committed action to realize on the gift. As I like to say: “When the opportunity-bus arrives, take that front seat!”
What do failure and mistakes mean to you?