Inside the Mind of the Entrepreneur
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Who is an entrepreneur?
I am an entrepreneur. Let me take you on a tour inside my mind. Lately, there have been a lot of researches into what are the qualities of an entrepreneur. They come with clichés like perseverance, risk taking capacity and leadership skills. Indeed, these qualities are necessary for the making of an entrepreneur but none of them are sufficient. So what is that one thing that is common between all
To answer this, let’s take a brief journey through the annals of history. Around 60,000 years ago, I was taking the first steps outside the African savannah, foraying into uncharted territory for food and safety. More recently, from the industrial to the information revolution, I was building technologies that changed the way we travel, communicate and gather knowledge. In a short span of time I have made the transition from a hunter-gatherer lost in the wild jungles of Africa, fighting hard for daily survival, to the modern day sophisticated man living in big cities, ordering groceries from the couch.
How did this happen?
It is because of this spirit which compels me to say “I do not accept status quo”. I keep pushing my boundaries and in turn the frontiers of humanity. I see opportunities where there are none.
At times I doubt myself and also fear failure but that doesn’t deter me from keep trying. I fall only to rise again. I use my creative potential to forge new paths. I create new ideas, new enterprises and new revolutions. I invent, innovate and improvise. I have faith in my abilities. I recognize the role played by luck but I try not to leave anything in its hands. I become uncomfortable in my comfort zone.
What separates Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg from other entrepreneurs?
It is one thing to create a venture and earn profit from it and quite another thing to kick-start a revolution which has consequences beyond the immediate industry, geography or time.
What is ‘entrepreneurial spirit’?
The qualities of an entrepreneur mentioned in the first answer are nothing but the manifestations of the
‘entrepreneurial spirit’ in different situations. For example, an entrepreneur, when faced with financial crunch becomes resourceful, when faced with unfavourable circumstances which he cannot control develops perseverance and learns from his past mistakes to take better decisions in the future.
I need not necessarily be running a business to channelize my entrepreneurial spirit. I could be Christopher Columbus, venturing into the unknown and vast seas to explore new land.
I could be Mahatma Gandhi, shaking the foundations of the mighty British Empire with nonviolence. The ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ can take different channels to express itself. Running a business or venture is one of the most recognized forms today. It takes a great deal of courage and effort to begin, run and sustain an enterprise. The spirit in its most vibrant form is at display here as it requires a host of skills and character to manage an enterprise successfully.
The entrepreneurial spirit has been the key driver of change in the past and would continue to shape the future. The nature of its manifestation may change. In the wake of pressing problems faced by the world, such as, poverty, hunger, environmental degradation, poor healthcare services and war atrocities, the entrepreneurs would have to yet again push their limits and come up with solutions to these problems so that the world can be a better place to live.