Another month has passed and the energy, excitement and buzz about all things entrepreneurial continues. Hundreds of participants at start-ups, hack-a-thons or simply gatherings to hear stories and tips from those that have survived and those that have not.
Every week I speak to, mentor or teach those that are thinking about or practicing entrepreneurship and have observed two groups forming. Maybe these groups have always been there, however they are more clearly seen as the smoke, noise and activity has begun to settle.
Time to choose a group.
Group 1 : Networkers, talkers, contact collectors, takers.
Group 2 : Networkers, listeners, contact sharers, givers.
The first group always fractures, quickly dissolves and then like a phoenix rises under a new name and attracts this same group again. There is again tremendous energy and noise, regrettably nothing eventuates, dividends are not delivered. I often wonder what could be achieved if the energy spent of by this group could be directed into something deliverable. Social or economic dividends are not delivered as the realisation suddenly dawns that entrepreneurship is very hard to do and requires entrepreneurs to be both emotionally and physically strong and also, to know how to play.
The second group not surprisingly, does a few things differently to the first group. The group seems to stay together for a long time. Why? Entrepreneurship takes a long time. Unfortunately many interested participants who join the first group think that a blank canvas, 60 seconds, and pots of cash are all that is required.
I do wish this nonsense would stop.
Apart from the considerable effort to assemble all the necessary elements and then go to market effectively, there are three other elements that are considered and invested in by the second group. They invest in education, mentoring and supporting each other. Some argue (still) that entrepreneurship cannot be taught. Well, I don’t know what the last 43 years of research would say about that. The second element is the change of mindset, the detachment from the idea/opportunity and ultimately being able to see the entire game, or as I call it, the big picture. In addition, a change of behaviour. This change is the ability of the emerging/practicing entrepreneur to communicate persuasively (so many have yet to be taught this skill set), present a logical narrative and reduce the real AND perceived risk for those listening. The third is the ability to deliver. So many do not know how to deliver and the majority have not been taught this either.
So should someone pursue entrepreneurship as a vocation?
Yes, it is a vocation. It is not a job or hobby.
I have been fortunate to work with many who have been successful and thousands who have not and that is fine. Please be serious about entrepreneurship, invest your time, skills and emotion 100%, always ask for help and try to join group two.