What makes Entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship is the art of reaching out to the maximum of one’s capability every day and then doing a little more the next day. People who master this art transform themselves, transform industries and transform the world. Think of any entrepreneur you admire and to name a few: Dhirubhai Ambani (Petrol Pump attendant to Oil refinery Owner), Bill Gates (Student to the leader of the PC Revolution), Steve Jobs (Hippie to Disrupter of 3 industries), Sunil Mittal (Bicycle crankshaft manufacturer to mobile revolution leader) and so many more. Each one of them ended up being a dramatically different person than the one they started out as. What made this transformation happen? What makes entrepreneurs?
I think the answer lies in the will of each of these entrepreneurs. It is well understood that entrepreneurs are persistent in chasing their dreams and do not take no for an answer. But if we go a level deeper then I think we will find that their persistence comes from a will to excel, a will to challenge themselves, a will to face reality and to dream at the same time. In this, the entrepreneurs see themselves as shaper of the environment around them rather than being at its mercy.
Entrepreneurs understand, more than anyone else, where they are weak and where their businesses face challenges. They are questioned every day by colleagues, investors, customers, friends and family on their dreams. Ordinary people buckle under the pressure and declare that it is difficult. They feel that life is unfair. They fail at entrepreneurship.
Great entrepreneurs, on the other hand, acknowledge all of these challenges and questions as real and then ask themselves what can I do? Where they lack knowledge, they understand that it is up to them to get experts. Where they lack experience, they understand that it is up to them to get mentors and partners. Where they lack resources, they understand that it is up to them to get partners with resources.
Great entrepreneurs ask themselves how can I do better than what I did yesterday? They measure their output as honestly as they measure their businesses. (Most have a bad measure of themselves but that is another topic). Before they create growth in their business, they create growth in themselves. Their transformation lies in their taking responsibility for their transformation.
As Viktor Frakl put it in “Man’s search for meaning”:
“What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life - daily and hourly.”
Such a fundamental shift in attitude is what gives power to great entrepreneurs. This becomes their relentless will to move forward.