Think Like an Entrepreneur!
by Gary Ryan Blair
There was a time when being the biggest, most experienced corporate kid on the block guaranteed success and dominance. However, in the new economy, organizations and individuals that lack the commitment and capacity for leveraging size and experience strategically will see these attributes as vices instead of virtues.
The new economy will require an entrepreneurial mindset. Competition will come from anywhere at anytime. Technology will empower smaller, nimbler competitors dramatically. The days of sitting back, waiting, and depending on corporate size and reputation to attract business are effectively over.
To be clear-the relationship between size and entrepreneurial behavior doesn't have to be an inverse one. People like Bill Gates have already demonstrated convincingly that huge companies like Microsoft can be as proactive and aggressive as the most entrepreneurial start-up. In fact, entrepreneurial behavior can no longer be the exclusive preserve of just the young start-up. Everybody has to get in on the act.
Entrepreneurship is a bit like dieting: Everybody's in favor of it in principle, but only a few have the intestinal fortitude to do what it takes to reap the rewards. In my view, the major source of the problem is cultural and is rooted in our fear of failure.
The new economy calls for a far more entrepreneurial corporate culture, one where experimentation, risk taking, and even failure are not only tolerated, but also actually celebrated. After all, the only real alternative to experimentation and risk is decay and decline. The essence of risk is the possibility of failure.
Honor your errors. To advance requires a new frame. But the process of going outside the conventional method is indistinguishable from error. Evolution can be thought of as systematic error management. Scratch a successful entrepreneur and what you'll find is someone who failed a time or two or... get the idea?
The emerging rigors of the new economy leave us little choice. We must experiment, and experimentation carries with it the near certainty of at least occasional failure. In a truly entrepreneurial culture, failure tends to be regarded as a learning opportunity, a necessary pre-condition to eventual success. The status quo is simply not a viable option any longer. You can stand still if you like, but your competition certainly won't.
One other critical point about entrepreneurs, they are above all men and women of action! Entrepreneurs instinctively understand the importance of real-world experimentation, trial and error, and speed. Experimentation, feedback, failure, learning, adjustment, action-that's what successful entrepreneurship is all about.
Entrepreneurship, like innovation, is a profoundly relative concept. At its core, it implies a willingness to risk challenging conventional wisdom and prevailing approaches.
A company may employ you, but you work for yourself! Two defining qualities of an entrepreneur are an appetite for risk and a strong bias towards action.
For many years, business conditions operated strongly against the entrepreneur. Size, stability, and industry experience were the only commodities recognized as having value in the business world; without them you could forget about making an impact. That's changing.
The business landscape of the new economy will be more hospitable to the entrepreneur than any we've seen before. The volatility and unpredictability of global competition have completely devalued most existing corporate currencies and virtues.
What good is size if your organization is too slow and muscle bound to capitalize on new, fast-moving opportunities? What use is lengthy industry experience if your most ferocious competitor is likely to come at you from out of an entirely different sector? What's the point of conducting exhaustive market surveys if the market changes so fast they're obsolete before you've analyzed them?
Under these kinds of conditions, what counts is the willingness and ability to take risks, get real-life feedback and react quickly. In short, the ability to be entrepreneurial.
As a genuine entrepreneur, either inside an organization or independent of one, you should prove to be ideally adapted to the evolving imperatives of the new economy competitive environment. Emboldened by its competitive dynamics and liberated by new technologies, entrepreneurs will build not only bridges to the new economy but castles on the other shore!
Gary Ryan Blair
Written by Gary Ryan Blair - The GoalsGuy is your online goal setting and personal leadership coach. Check-out My Personal Strategic Plan and learn how to achieve more in the next year than most people do in a lifetime. See why best selling author Brian Tracy said, "This is the most remarkable, simple, and practical guide for ANYONE who wants to create the ideal life!" Click Here!
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