Business Life Skills

What is an Entrepreneur and Can We Turn it Off?

What exactly is an entrepreneur and is it possible to turn the switch off?  I’ll answer the second question first: No.  You can’t.  You might drop the ball for a long time but you’ll die unsatisfied if you forever stop action towards building something.  Now that we got that out of the way, what is an entrepreneur?

My friend sent me this article today and I had to chuckle a bit.  It seemed in many ways to paint a perfect picture of me, but a few points jumped out where I stood strongly against them.  I’ll only highlight the points that I have comments on or disagree with:

4. You marvel at successful business owners. Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are just a few of your heroes.

Although their bags of money are impressive, it would be hard to write a list of men I would like to be less than these folks with the exception perhaps of Branson.  Zuckerberg is responsible for the greatest invasion of privacy ever, Jobs was a demonically inspired and a harsh man to people who built his empire and Gates is – well – boring like the government.  Yawn me to death.  I’m sure they all started as entrepreneurs but they seemed to all end real bad.  Hopefully Branson will be exception.

18. You like calling the shots. You like the sound of being a director.

No. I don’t.  The last thing in the world I would want to be is a director.  I want to be a builder and an encourager of talent – somehow.

19. You set goals for yourself. Big or small, goals fill your life.

No. I don’t. And that’s also why I haven’t succeeded yet.

23. You plan everything down to the little details. Plans are a prerequisite for any activity.

Not even close to who I am.  I hate plans. See #19 above.  But systems?  I love systems.  Systems help me not have to plan as much.

29. You’re hyper competitive. You can’t even play a board game without flipping that switch.

Nope. I’m not.  However, I love to build stuff.  I feel that if you build stuff and learn how to build well, like houses, people will buy the product and like working with you.

32. You negotiate whatever you can. Flea markets and salaries are just the beginning.

Nope. I don’t negotiate anything.  If someone wants to write out a contract where they take 80% of my company and I am excited about building it, I’d probably sign it on the spot.  That’s also why I insist on working with logical people.

36. You avoid things that waste your time. You’re immune to mobile games and idle social-media time.

I have to give a big ‘amen’ to this one.  Like a loud ‘amen’.  Freakin’ hate crap that sucks my will to live – like TV.

38. You make rational decisions, not emotional ones. For the most part, you trust your logic over your emotions

No. Not me.

43. You’re crazy about new technology. You’re addicted to learning how new technologies can improve your life.

There it is! woot!

44. You read the news every day. It’s an ingrained habit.
I only read the Good News of the Bible every day.  Worldly news I let others filter and then tell me if I happen to talk to them.

All in all, this is an amazing summary blog about what an entrepreneur is.

To expand slightly, for me, it’s the most incredible thought to think that perhaps I, a grain of sand on a beach, might be able to impact the entire beach if just the right opportunity comes at the right time, and I take the right action with everything I’ve got, with the right people.

It is on this hope that I keep fighting and never give up.

Business Life Skills

The Secular and Spiritual Need for a Team

This topic has been on my heart a lot and seems to pop up all the time in entrepreneurial discussions and spiritual discussions.

In business, it seems there are people who want to start up a company but want to do everything themselves.  They want full ownership of the company and want to make sure that all gains for their hard work go right back into their own coffers.  It makes sense considering we are all selfish and greedy little creatures with serious control issues by nature.

At church I’ve noticed that people seem to think they can overcome evil by themselves or ‘God is big enough to help me overcome this problem’.  They don’t reach out to their brothers or sisters for help on personal issues.

Yet in both cases, full victory is never achieved and I think in both contexts if one were to look deeply at the results one would agree.

Oh sure, there are individuals who seem to be able to do monstrous tasks and start highly successful businesses by themselves, and even seem to maintain a great relationship with God, but rest assured that a) they have not reached as far as they could have gone with a team and b) they are not the norm.  I am the norm.  And you are the norm.  Otherwise you wouldn’t have stumbled across this article and read this far.

Good news.  God made Eve.

This act proves that one human was not enough and there is a need for each other.  In this case, for companionship and perhaps exciting acts of marital intimacy.   After all, the Bible says this:

“Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? – Ecclesiastes 4:11″

We need each other. We ain’t going to make it through this short and cruel life alone and real joy of it all is the comradery we experience through the battle whether it be with your family, friends, sports team, church, business, or otherwise.

I think it’s exciting to meet people who have such strength in areas where I’m completely useless.  One such example would be financial analysis.  I just can’t stand it.  And I can’t do it well.  And those two factors are related.  And I miss important details that screw it all up.  But I know at least two guys who not only know how to do it well, but they enjoy it – God only knows why.

Now, on a practical level, like the Bible verse above proves, there is a multiplication factor, or a ‘leveraged return on investment’ if you will, on the time and energy spent if we have a team.  So, it actually makes solid logical sense to choose teamwork over solo work, even with all the ‘extra headaches’ it causes.  Check out this little article I found on the topic which summarizes it well.

And so I have made it my goal that no matter what I start, whether it be my own start up company, a church, or whatever, I want to do it with a team.

No team, no go.


10 Entrepreneurial Mistakes to Avoid

I just wanted to re-post this article as a reference for myself.  I’m in the middle of dusting myself off from a business mishap and learning about law, but at some point I won’t be able to avoid another startup or business. It’s in my blood.  Sometimes I (and definitely my wife) wish it wasn’t…

This article is loaded with the key points of business failure as well as lots of links to other related reading.

So, whenever the ‘next thing’ hits me, I will be able to come back here, do a quick re-read, and make sure I’m on the right path.