What is Entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship. It is the foundation of America, it captures the spirit of business, the never say die mentality, that unrelenting drive that moves us forward as a nation. That is, until you have to define it. What exactly is Entrepreneurship? How do you teach it? I have my business degree with a concentration in it; many people claim to be in the exclusive club of entrepreneurs. So what is it? What does it mean?
If you close your eyes and picture the entrepreneur, I would imagine that many of you picture a wide-eyed small business owner working 100 hours per week or the wild west gunslinger that is recklessly tossing elevator pitches to Angel investors, Venture Capitalists, Bankers or anyone else that will give 15 seconds. While this may be the case at times, I am proposing a different definition of the word.
I submit to you that to be an entrepreneur means that you are willing to take calculated risks in order to take advantage of a market opportunity. I believe that that you can be a corporate entrepreneur as equally as owning your own business. This is a very different picture than described in the previous paragraph. Entrepreneurship, to me, means that you are using a scientific approach to gauge the market (more on this in my next article) and developing a strategy to pursue the market opportunity; it is then that the relentlessness starts.
Entrepreneurship then becomes the crossroads where opportunity and preparation meets execution. This is why I believe that an entrepreneur or entrepreneurship can absolutely fit within a corporate model. We see this repetitively within the transactional processing industry. As our world evolves and we improvise, adapt, and overcome; we objectively gauge the market, develop a strategy and move into the opportunity with relentless pursuit. We can build a culture of serial corporate entrepreneurship and do so in a smart and effective way.
That is entrepreneurship.