People are quick to label someone entrepreneurial or even non-entrepreneurial. It’s a loaded word and is flung around all the time by tech bloggers and journos in Silicon Valley and New York. The word is associated with building something from the ground up, following your passion, seed money via credit card debt, venture capital, and making commitments to investors and employees. The thinking goes that if you’ve haven’t done all of the above, well then you just aren’t an entrepreneur. I disagree.
I’ve met successful entrepreneurs along the way who’ve had nothing to do with venture debt, angel funding and even passion.
How about a tour guide in Agra that makes sure the experience includes an “unscheduled” pit stop at a friends/business partner’s Persian carpet business while on route from the Taj Mahal to Agra Fort? (This is Agra’s version of paid placement).
Or a Salvadorian surf guide/taxi driver/B&B owner who rents you the board, drives you to a “secret surf spot” and even paddles out with you just to make sure you are sitting in the right place?
What about a woodworker in South Africa sitting out in the blazing sun on the side of the road selling wooden carvings of the “Big Five”? He’ll also try to up sell you on the warthog from the Lion King and throw in one of those African themed chess sets while discussing whether he’s still willing to accept euros.
Or the artist who leaves the day job and opens a bookstore that’s curated and marketed to a niche audience?
Being entrepreneurial is universal. It’s about having the courage and grit to grow something (oh and it doesn’t have to be from scratch either), putting your name behind a product or a service, and hopefully making a bit of coin at the same time. Maybe you’re passionate about what you do or maybe you just got to make a living. Either way it’s entrepreneurial.