“When the Mayflower hit the beach, somebody had to jump off first.” - Burton Klein
Entrepreneurs are special kinds of business owners. They understand that you can’t examine every option, limit every threat or analize and eliminate every risk. In other words, they don’t wait until everything is “perfect”.
Some have defined an entrepreneur as someone who can look at products and services that are available (even commonplace ones) and see things that others fail to see: Opportunities to create new value.
But what are some of the things that entrepreneurs generally have in common? They love what they do.
It isn’t just the love for what they do. It’s a passion. An enthusiasm that can’t be stopped by fear of failure. In fact, most entrepreneurs thrive on what most people consider failure. Why you ask? Simply because they realize that they have taken a step forward, sometimes even realizing a bigger opportunity than they started with.
Think about it: Christopher Columbus set out to discover a new trade route to India. In reality, he missed by about half the globe. But given his discovery and what has become of it, would you still call him a failure?
Take another example, Thomas Edison. When he was creating the light bulb, he experienced ten thousand (Yes, you read that right, 10,000!) failures before he finally got it right. One of his friends quipped at him for failing that many times. His response? “I didn’t fail 10,000 times, I successfully eliminated ten thousand combinations of materials that didn’t work.”
In fact, here are some quotes about entrepreneurs and their enthusiasm:
“I have found entusiasm for work to be the most priceless ingrediernt in any recipe for success” - Samuel Goldwyn
“If you don’t have enthusiasm, you don’t have anything.” - Kemmons Williams, Sr. (Founder: Holiday Inns)
“The great accomplishments of men have resulted from the transmission of ideas and enthusiasm” - Thomas J. Watson (Founder: IBM)
If you are thinking about starting a business but are afraid you might fail, just understand that bumps in the road are an important part of starting a business. Here are a few little facts that might help you understand a little better:
- Thomas Edison was thrown out of school in his early grades. His teachers decided he could not do the work.
- Harry S. Truman tried to be a haberdasher. He went bankrupt in 1921.
- Bob Dylan was booed off stage at his high school talent show. He is now a rock legend.
- W. Clement Stone dropped out of high school and went on to become a powerful insurance company executive and founded Success magazine.