You Can’t Study to Be an Entrepreneur
“If you want to be an entrepreneur, it’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle. It defines you.” – Niklas Zennstrom, Co-founder, Skype
There has been misconceptions about entrepreneurship which has resulted in many Universities adopting entrepreneurship as a course. It’s really appalling to see educated people waste a lot of resources trying to teach what cannot be taught.
You cannot teach anyone to be an entrepreneur. It’s either in them or not. The desire for wealth has driven many to jettison what they are gifted for to become entrepreneur. They had gone to school and studied entrepreneurship and have a certificate to show for it. To them being certified as an entrepreneur means they can succeed in the world of entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is not a job description or a career one studies, it’s who a person becomes. I have never seen anyone who went to school to study who they are. You grow into being an entrepreneur and not study to be one. I think the problem we are having is really our definition of who are an entrepreneur is.
An entrepreneur is someone who leverages a business organization and takes risks to create and deliver value in order to make life better and easy for people. Notice the key words are leverage a business, create and deliver value and make life better and easy for people. You can teach people how to build a business, create and deliver value, and how to make life better and easy for people but you cannot teach them how to be who they are.
If we agree that you can teach people to be entrepreneurs, then it means everyone can be an entrepreneur but its not so. If everyone is an entrepreneur, then who will be the employees who will work with the entrepreneur to bring his dream to pass?
Many have believed this misconception and took a plunge into the entrepreneurial waters and have drowned. Does it mean only entrepreneurs can start a business? Yes, only entrepreneurs can leverage a business to take risk to create and deliver value for people. The keyword is leverage.
Others can start a business and run it to make money, but an entrepreneur’s key target is to make life better and easy for people. The money is never the focus, the people are.
For an entrepreneur, to love the people that he or she leverages in a business is to help the people with their needs.
While the goal of starting a business to most people is to make money, to the entrepreneur, the goal of an entrepreneur is to meet the needs of people. Money is just a by-product but never the goal. Sir Richard Branson said, “being an entrepreneur means to have an insatiable thirst for learning, evolving and creating.There is simply no one end goal.”
To teach someone to be an entrepreneur is to teach them how to take risk. This word defines what an entrepreneur is. People who love to be comfortable don’t have what it takes to be entrepreneurs.
Starting a business doesn’t make you an entrepreneur, but taking risks in order to create and add value to people makes you one.
As Reid Hoffman, Entrepreneur, VC, puts it “An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.” If you cannot teach people to take risk, then you cannot teach them to be entrepreneurs but you can teach them to start and grow a business.
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CEO, MegaGrowth Solutions