“Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.”-Dorothy Height
There are millions of people around the world who calls themselves entrepreneurs. There are others who have been identified by others to possess entrepreneurial qualities. And yet there are entrepreneurs who are just great at what they do and have influenced the world globally. Some great CEO’s have taken businesses from bankruptcy and turned things around to create high growth businesses. Would you say they are even entrepreneurs?
A quick Google search (Wikipedia definition) will tell you that the word entrepreneur is a loanword from the French verb “entreprende”, and was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon as the person who pays a certain price for a product to resell it at an uncertain price, thereby making decisions about obtaining and using the resources while consequently admitting the risk of enterprise.
I like Howard Stevenson’s definition of entrepreneurship. He says it is “the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.” The pursuit of opportunity can lead to failure, but that does not mean the entrepreneur has failed. He or she has just found one option that does not work. If the pursuit continues, success could follow.
What do history’s greatest entrepreneurs have in common?
Great entrepreneurs revolutionise their business sectors, create new opportunities, change the way we think and live, make great impact globally. The list could be endless.
Biz Stone, Co-founder, Twitter once said “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” Trying over a period of time if you don’t give up will result in your success on day, and your pursuit can change the world and the way we live. The persistence and the willingness to succeed cannot be overemphasised.
Some qualities of great entrepreneurs
# Great entrepreneurs haveguts. Guts is quitting Harvard, like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg did. Guts is quitting a lucrative job on Wall Street, like Jeff Bezos did. And guts is selling everything you own to raise money for your new venture, like Tony Hsieh did.
# They are passionate about what they do and cut out any negativity and not let it stop them.
# They have charisma and can persuade most people to go their way on things.
# They have at a point felt that literally NOTHING is impossible…
# They personally risk everything they have on a business idea or venture.
# They have an inherent belief within themselves that they can do whatever better than anyone else.
# They contribute to the greater good of the masses.
# Willingness to learn and grow. Even the biggest experts are still learning everyday..
# They are not afraid to fail and are willing to give 110% to succeed..
# Sometimes stubborn, spread too thin to be optimally efficient, and extremely difficult to manage.
Quotes from some great entrepreneurs of our time.
1. “Ideas are a commodity. Execution of them is not.” – Michael Dell, founder, Dell
2. “The way to get started is quit talking and start doing.” – Walt Disney, co-founder, Disney
3. “Always deliver more than expected.” – Larry Page, co-founder, Google
4. “Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.” – Jack Dorsey, co-founder, Twitter
5. “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple
6. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.” – Richard Branson, founder, Virgin
7. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs, Co-founder, Apple
In your opinion, who is a great entrepreneur? At what point can you say an entrepreneur has achieved greatness?