It seems like the word ‘entrepreneur’ gets used A LOT these days. Granted, most of the information we seek out is geared towards business owners so my media input might be slightly skewed. Perhaps I hear it so much because of the business podcasts we listen to (thank you Tim Ferriss for that addiction), or because Facebook knows I’m a sucker for those Inc. Magazine articles. Traveling all over the country to learn from amazing business people on the iCONIC Tour has also been a factor. But these are all people who seem to be born with a hunger, who have failed a million times over, risked everything to build something, and have come out on top because of a rare and innate drive, not because they simply wanted to be an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur these days seems to be the popular thing for people to want to do. However, how many people actually do it? There is even a college major now in entrepreneurship. How is that even a thing?
One of the greatest examples of a born-entrepreneur is the son of one of my best friends, who at age 5 started his own landscaping business. It started with raking leaves for the neighbors, then mowing lawns, and shoveling snow in the winter. His profits went back into his “business” and he bought a tractor and more equipment the following year. He did not buy legos and video games, he bought a snowblower instead! Last winter, with not much snow on the ground and lawns dormant in the cold New England weather, he ventured into the maple syrup business. This kid was born to start a business, and not just any business; anything that he sees the world needs and that will allow for him to thrive. That is being an entrepreneur. It’s like their brains are wired for it and they will stop at nothing, put it all on the line, be flexible and change directions if needed, to be successful.
I am not an entrepreneur. While I always had goals of leadership; Captain of the cheerleading squad surely set the path 😉 I wanted to run a business eventually, however I never once had the fire in my belly to start my own business. I never even had my own lemonade stand as a kid. I did, however, work my ass off at every job I had, from waitressing at “Donut World” in high school, to being on the sidelines as an Athletic Trainer. I had amazing mentors every step of the way who I learned everything I possibly could from in my quest to eventually manage, lead, and grow a team and a business.
Every business needs the entrepreneur, the visionary, the one who will never give up, who has the dream that won’t die. Every business also needs people who want to help the vision become a reality, who are grounded and calculated and are strong leaders and operators. Simon Sinek talked about the “Why” and the “How”, and one is not more important than the other. For a business to be truly successful there has to be both.
It seems like there are some people who are naturally inclined to start a business; they have that spark that makes them want to create something from scratch, while others no matter how driven, how focused they are on being great, do not have that desire to start a business and it’s OK! At AXIS, Scott and I are lucky to have both. He is the epitome of an entrepreneur. He always had that fire, that passion, that drive to start something great, and would never let anyone tell him he couldn’t do something. We compliment each other with our different strengths and abilities, and we always know our “Why” and we know “How” we’re going to make it happen.
If you’re born to be an entrepreneur, and will stop at nothing to build your own business, then you should go all in, and do what you know will be successful. For the rest of us (and most of us), kick ass at whatever endeavor you are involved in and know that every business needs you, as much as it needs the entrepreneur.