What Makes a Real Entrepreneur?


Recently I ran across a blog entry by The Educated Entrepreneur called “Are You a Failure?” It really caught my attention, so I wanted to share it with you. Here is a sample from the article.

Many of us live day by day without taking any risks, without looking for better circumstances, or without thinking for more than a few seconds on how we can find solutions for bettering our lives. Once our thinking gets to the seemingly uncomfortable zone of choice, we experience our own loud inner voice saying “Wait it might be hard!” or “It’s going to be difficult”, or “What will others think?” or “Will I be laughed at?”, or “Will I fail” or even worse “That’s not my job”, and consequently we decide to remain in our safe harbor of comfort, safety, complacency, and satisfaction. How many of us are guilty of this?

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Truly, spa owners are faced daily with difficult choices and challenges, often asking themselves the same questions the blog author mentions every time a new opportunity or challenge comes along. Some decide that they are ready to take action and make new choices despite their hesitations. But others decide to maintain the status quo and even their extreme dissatisfaction with the way things are (perhaps pricing or compensation plans that aren’t working, a product line that isn’t moving or even a staff member that is wreaking havoc on your business)just to avoid the pain of change.

Why? Because they’re afraid the new challenges that come with change could be even more difficult than what they are already facing. They might resist moving ahead – even if they are miserable with the way things are now – to avoid taking on the scary unknown. As we say here in the South, sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. I can totally relate.

Then today I read the following quote by Henry Kravis …”A real entrepreneur is somebody who has no safety net underneath them.” And although I don’t completely agree with that statement, I think I understand it and can relate it to the other article somewhat.

To me what Kravis is saying is that to be in business for yourself is to be totally dependent on yourself and your own inner resources to keep things in your business moving forward. Yes it is true that you need a variety of tools, people, opportunities and clients to make any venture successful, but  I think what he is saying is that you have to be able to see and recognize all of those things in your midst and know how to utilize each and every one of them.

I also think he means that a “real entrepreneur” is someone who goes out on a limb taking real risks being fully aware that if he or she slips, the fall could be pretty painful. As a result that person is very incented to be resourceful, inventive and persistent in reaching goals they have set for themselves and the business. And they are willing to risk the possibilities of failure, disappointment or hard work (and accept the possibly glory) that may come from those daring changes.

To me the question here is what happens to the real entrepreneur if there is a fall? With no safety net, what does the business owner do if they do indeed plummet to the earth? Must they instead possess qualities like persistence, resiliency, flexibility, or perhaps just an ability to pick up the pieces and move on when they do crash? I think so.

In times like the ones we are facing right now, it is clear that almost every business owner out there including spa owners – as well as the people they employ – must think about these issues and determine their feelings about their own possible success and failures, about how they will deal with a fall or a set-back in their business and life. Many must make decisions and changes in their businesses that are scary and potentially difficult as well and be ready to handle everything that comes as a result.

I have spent a lot of time exploring these same ideas in the recent weeks, wondering what the future will hold and how my two companies will get through it all. I’ve examined my various roles, responsibilities, obligations and priorities to determine what courses of action I will take if events turn one way or another. It won’t all be pretty, I’m pretty sure

But I have come to the realization that no matter what happens with the economy, my employees or my businesses; I will come out just fine. I know I can always depend on myself and my own inner strength, gifts, talents and resources. And while I am a part of what is going on in my life and career but I am not in control of or responsible for everything that is going on. Most importantly, although I have a role in the insanity I’ve had to face in recent months, I am not insaneJ No matter what challenges you are facing in your life or business, the same is true for you

If I can leave you with one word of wisdom it is simply that we are all products of our successes and failures – as well as the lessons we’ve learned along the way. But we are not our successes or failures. To me being a real entrepreneur means embracing that fact and allowing it to give one the freedom and desire to keep moving forward, taking chances and trying to fly.

Felicia Brown, LMBT