We have discussed in previous posts how the opportunity for business entrepreneurship has broadened tremendously in recent decades as advancing technology has enabled digital transformation on an unprecedented scale. Your next door neighbor may have an idea for the next market-changing wizzy-whig, and is on the internet searching for off-the shelf, market-proven, components, and someone to put them together in a new way, someone else to package them, and a shipping or fulfillment company to collect monies and handle customer delivery. Entrepreneurship has never been easier, and it is more important than ever before.
Social entrepreneurship is perhaps the fastest growing segment today. It is distinguished by the potential to drive social change. We define “social entrepreneur” as a person who uses business to solve social issues. We’ve previously postulated that the ideas for new approaches to accomplishing everyday tasks are changing entire cultures and societies. These social changes are not likely to dwindle or slow, as we consumers are always open to new ideas that can better our lives and lifestyles. This force in the marketplace has become so important that ,for the first time, Forbes has compiled a list of the world’s Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs.
The spotlight on entrepreneurs has never shone brighter than it does today, thanks to the reality shows turning business experts into household names. Entrepreneurs are front and center on reality television everywhere. So, exactly what is an entrepreneur? Dictionary.com gives this definition: “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.” I think this definition better suits today’s innovative environment than the traditional one, which dates back decades. Business entrepreneur, Social entrepreneur; they both face the same risks, and tackle them with indefatigable initiative. Even though one might argue that the internet coupled with ability to outsource globally have made it much easier for each of us to be entrepreneurial, there still remains the financial risk, and that stops most of us from wanting to step onto that playing field.
Lewis Howes, writing for Entrepreneur, discusses his personal list of the five pillars of leadership he believes entrepreneurs must possess. He states that these pillars are fundamental and unforgettable for success. (The parenthetical notes below are mine.)
|1. Responsibility: If it is to be it’s up to me. (Wasn’t it U.S. President Harry S. Truman who said, “The Buck Stops Here?”)
2. Possibility: 100 percent is possible 100 percent of the time. (Maintain the mindset of being unstoppable.)
3. Integrity: My vision and my commitments dictate my ways of being and my actions. (Rise above the petty details.)
4. Urgency: I live as if my life and the lives of others depend on it. (They DO!)
5. Risk: Learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable. The only way you become an entrepreneur is to take a risk.
Lance Vaughn, CabForward℠ founder, writing for Austin Phoenix, stated, “An entrepreneur’s job doesn’t end once she has developed an understanding of today’s playing field. The landscape constantly shifts, and thus entrepreneurs must be optimistically persistent; we must recover and learn from failure; we must continue to analyze the short-term playing field and make necessary adjustments while continuously assessing the long-term.”
So, are you ready to give entrepreneurship a whirl? The technology has arrived to let you innovate something that will loose life-changing disruption on an industry, or perhaps, even a culture. That’s what TIDE is all about. Here are some great sites to help understand what’s involved in being your own boss, and how to prepare: Entrepreneur, Inc, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Small Business Administration. And, don’t forget to look in your own community for assistance programs for startups. They are becoming much more common, and some communities even foster accelerators and incubators. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce for information on programs that may be available to you. And then, of course, you want the right digital transformation agency to become your strategic technology partner. Give us a shout. We can help!
Additional reading in this series of posts on TIDE:
|Waves of Disruption
Technology and Its Role in TIDE
Innovation and its Role in TIDE
Disruption and Its Role in TIDE
Navigating the TIDE Continuum