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My Entrepreneur

For some reason I have always had a problem w/ the word “entrepreneur.” It became one of these cool catchy words flowing freely from people’s mouths during undergrad, just like consulting and investment banking. The same people who have no idea what the word means to them personally or what it is like to be an entrepreneur, consultant, or i-banker. All they see is the money and glamor. Yes, they have heard about the 100+ hour work weeks, etc but really, how bad can it be right? That is until you’re actually there and burn out in 2 years.

Listen to the beginning of this podcast from HBR for a definition of entrepreneurship that I agree with a lot more. I had previous settle on a loose definition for myself that entrepreneurs are people who engage in enterprising activities. So why do I still feel that me, running a family business, not really an entrepreneur. I’m paraphrasing here, but entrepreneurs should be someone that’s moving the world forward, creating jobs, real value creation. Yes, a landscape business owner provides value, but is he really benefiting the world in a significant way?

I was also happy to hear the discussion on the entrepreneur DNA around the 12:00 mark.  People talk about entrepreneurship DNA as if there’s something genetic or inherently different about these amazing people like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.  It bugs me to no end when someone makes the claim “a natural born” entrepreneur, or leader, or anything else really.  I like how they talk about it as a more general background, a more social environment if you will.  Which means that someone can learn to be an entrepreneur, a leader, and anything else you want to be.  There are different staging and preparations that go into building an entrepreneur, which is really cool b/c it happens to echo what I write in my MBA essays.

Does that mean genetics don’t matter? Of course not.  For me it just play a smaller factor.  I do believe each person have certain genetic disposition for a certain position, but the work you put in after birth matters more.  Imagine how many people had the genetic markups to be the next Michael Jordan, but they didn’t have the drive to succeed like MJ and only ended up riding the bench.

A friend of mine and me were talking about what Tim Ferriss had to say about getting an MBA.  TF had said to invest all the money you’re gonna end up spending on an MBA, the tuition, traveling, GMAT prep course and test registration fees, and use that to start a business and you’ll learn more than you would in an MBA program.  It’s debatable.  I do believe the experience in a multinational company and the MBA education would pay as the “staging” the podcast mentions.  While it’s fun to do it on your own and figure it out, meanwhile the big boys have been at it for much longer than you have and perfected the industry’s best practices, what better way to learn than to actually join them?

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