Entrepreneurship: What and Why?

Last week we had our first SUCCESS Community information session. The concept of “entrepreneur” was discussed at length. It’s not the first time I’ve been involved in such a discussion nor will it be the last. In fact, I’ve written about it several times as well. It comes up because we use the word “entrepreneur” frequently, yet, not all of our members and clients really qualify as an entrepreneur in the strictest sense of the word.

The Encarta dictionary says that an entrepreneur is a “risk-taking businessperson; somebody who initiates or finances new commercial enterprises”. Ohhhhh-kayyyyy. entrepreneurship-what-and-why-imageI believe that this definition raises more questions than it answers but I REALLY don’t want to get into that now. Here’s why: we’re fighting a battle. A battle that’s been raging for years.A battle that no one has figured out how to win—yet. This battle is between success and failure, thriving and surviving, stress and happiness, unmitigated joy and terminal distress. Every day that we, as business owners, go to work in order to serve our customers, we wage this war. The failure rates of early stage small businesses are close to 80% or greater. Why would anyone in their right mind take that risk?

The answer for many is that we simply don’t have a choice. Some of us don’t fit in the corporate box. Many have been laid off and after months or years of looking, can’t find a job and take the route of creating one. Others were born to this life. It’s who we are and what we were meant to do and be. However you arrived at the title of “entrepreneur, business owner, self-employed, contractor, etc”, I simply don’t care. The fact is that you’re making your way, and supporting your family, without a regular pay check that you earn as an employee.

Here’s what I’m concerned about: that you approach your-self employment from an entrepreneurial mindset rather than an employee mindset; that you hone your entrepreneurial skills and master your entrepreneurial strengths. In this sense we’re using “entrepreneurial” as an adjective to describe mindset, skill set and strengths and the definition goes WAY beyond further characterizing “risk-taking, businessperson, initiating, investing, new, commercial and enterprises”.

This post is the first in a series of blog posts about entrepreneurial-ism. I hope you’ll read along, and more importantly, comment. Share your stories of entrepreneurial mindset as it applies to your work, the raising of your family, career transition, the choices you make, etc. What skills have you developed or need to work on? What strengths do you have and how do you leverage them? This is an important discussion-let’s discuss!!! Are you game?

Say YES!!

To YOUR success,
Peg Stookey, Founder
The Legacy Center for Entrepreneurial Development