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15 Entrepreneurs Reveal What Entrepreneurship Means to Them

Being an entrepreneur is a source of pride. It also evidences an individual with a huge amount of discipline and focus to be able to build a business a lot of times from just an idea. It is the ambition of an entrepreneur that built the most profitable and successful companies. The only issue is that the word entrepreneurship can often vary from person to person.

#1 – Big Dreams

Photo Credit : Robert Edell

Photo Credit : Robert Edell

Entrepreneurship means big dreams coupled with unwavering drive. Too often do you hear someone say “I’ve got the best idea in the world”, yet for one reason or another, they never make it past the ideation stage. To me, an entrepreneur not only has the ability to dream big and conjure disruptive concepts, but also has the passion and persistence to do everything humanly possible to bring their idea to life. The real entrepreneurs are those who are able to push through years of sleepless nights and never ending adversity to get the job done, regardless of the circumstances.

Thanks to Robert Edell, Servy

#2 – Personal Gratification

Photo Credit : Edward Sturm

Photo Credit : Edward Sturm

If anybody tells that you that being an entrepreneur is less work than being in corporate America, they are lying. I’ve spent a good deal of time working in corporate America, and the past four years being an entrepreneur, and I can say that entrepreneurship is way more work. However, being an entrepreneur has been the most personally gratifying experience of my life. When you’re in corporate America, you work for your boss, and rarely do you have personal investment in the work you do. When you work for yourself, you choose what you’re passionate about, you choose what’s best for you, and every day is an adventure to see what you can accomplish. You answer to yourself. I work probably ~98 hours a week (14 hours/day), but I don’t consider it work, I consider it fun. Being an entrepreneur- life feels like a video game in which I gain new skills, gain access to new areas or tools or people, and see how far I can grow myself and my company.

Thanks to Edward Sturm

#3 – Embracing Freedom

Photo Credit : Janice Celeste

Photo Credit : Janice Celeste

I would define entrepreneurship as the ability to pursue your passion and produce income while embracing freedom. You’re free to work harder than you’ve ever done before while at the same time you’re free to travel at will. It’s like a roller coaster thrill ride with your hands in the air, including the ups and downs, with a few upset stomachs here and there.

Thanks to Janice Celeste, Encore Entrepreneur Institute

#4 – Risk and Challenges

Being an entrepreneur means that you put the risk and challenges of business pursuits on your own shoulders in order to take advantage of the opportunities you see in the world. Although business owners may reap big rewards, the risks and challenges exist from day one, and the financial rewards are tenuous and not immediate. The immediate payoff is the satisfaction of scratching the entrepreneurial itch. Although never fully satisfied, entrepreneurs are driven by an urge to create, to control their own destiny and to test their scrappiness and ability in the face of an ambiguous world. You can’t do it alone, but it is up to you to find the people that complement your skills and make your contributions more valuable than they would be alone.

Thanks to Owen Larkin, SnowPak

#5 – Gambling on Yourself

Photo Credit: Eric Leopardi

Photo Credit : Eric Leopardi

To me, entrepreneurship is gambling on yourself. It’s choosing the tougher  beginning, in the hopes of creating an exceptional ending. I can’t count  the number of times during our start-up phase I asked myself, “why would I  CHOOSE to put myself through this”?. The struggles were countless and  sleepless nights were the norm, but I kept reminding myself that I believed  in my processes. You only have so many hours in your lifetime, and you will  spend them investing in someones business – whether privately or publicly  held. To me, it makes far more sense to invest my most precious resource –  time – into my processes, and my future. If I truly believe in them, then I should act on my beliefs. It’s a serious gut check that forces you to analyze your ideas and processes very critically. All of a sudden, when you choose to take action and begin investing your time and resources into your own venture, everything has far more details than you once thought. You want to be sure. Absolutely, positively, sure that what you’ve developed will bring value to your consumers, and that you’re prepared to believe in – and support – yourself when no one else does. In effect, you’re choosing to beat the odds, no matter how hard the battle might be.

Thanks to Eric Leopardi, The Micc Group

#6 – On My Terms

Photo Credit : Nellie Akalp

Photo Credit : Nellie Akalp

Entrepreneurship means living my life and running my business on my own terms! My husband and business partner and I work together to create a business we know will thrive and that we are passionate about – not what other people tell us to do! Any mistakes made are ours; we own up to them and fix the issue. The ups and the downs are all on us – and I wouldn’t have it any other way

Thanks to Nellie Akalp, CorpNet

#7 – A Courageous Move

Photo Credit : Pauline Harris

Photo Credit : Pauline Harris

In the film, “The King and I”, when Anna first uses the term “etcetera,” the King is fascinated. She explains to him that it means “and all the rest”, and he soon begins adding “etcetera, etcetera, etcetera” to the end of all his sentences. For many Entrepreneurs, the concept of marketing and public relations falls into the “etcetera, etcetera, etcetera” category. An organization may have a marketing director who coordinates the development of firm brochures, follows up on leads, and prepares proposals, but who is doing the promotion of the firm? It falls into that “all the rest” category of etc., etc., etc. Entrepreneurship is a courageous move in one’s professional life. I began as a receptionist for an architectural firm out of high school and when I left 9 years later was the Director of Marketing. This opportunity lead me to starting my own firm called SPIN 22 years ago focused in the building industry – working with architects, interior designers, contractors, engineers and manufacturers of building products on their marketing and PR initiatives. SPIN is an acronym for the services we provide – *S*trategy, *P*R, *I*mage, and *N*ew Business Development. Entrepreneurship has allowed me to explore exciting solutions to our clients marketing and PR desires – providing “all the rest” when it comes to their marketing and PR initiatives.

Thanks to Pauline Harris, SPIN LLC

#8 – Enriching Lives

Photo Credit : David Bitton

Photo Credit : David Bitton

Entrepreneurship is a word with a lot meaning. The word personifies the promise of the American dream that no matter where you were born or your current social class, anyone with a good idea and determination can build a successful business. This isn’t even about making tons of money. It’s about creating a positive impact that enriches people’s lives for the better.

Thanks to David Bitton, PracticePanther

#9 – Creating Solutions

Photo Credit : Heather Cox

Photo Credit : Heather Cox

What I love about entrepreneurship is finding pain or discomfort and alleviating that by creating solutions. Our best accomplishments have involved serving others in a way that promotes win/win situations, allowing our clients to shine in their respective fields. Having a good time and enjoying what you do is also crucial. As a result, difficulties and challenges are out-shadowed by accomplishments and growth.

Thanks to Heather Cox, Certify my Company

#10 – From the Group Up

Photo Credit : Matthew Brosious

Photo Credit : Matthew Brosious

Entrepreneurship is creating a business from the ground up, starting with an idea. The entrepreneur isn’t just an idea maker, though. He must also be a risk taker, a marketer, an organizer, and a communicator. The entrepreneur comes up with the idea then finds a way to make it profitable. The execution of turning an idea into profit is what significantly separates an entrepreneur from a leader. Entrepreneurs are not afraid of taking risks or exploring new ideas that are outside the conventional box. This unconventional thinking allows the entrepreneur to find value in places others would not. It also often makes it so they’re not always the strongest leaders. Using innovation as a guide, entrepreneurs should recognize their weaknesses and surround themselves with a team that will balance out any deficiencies. I may have founded FreightCenter, but I owe a large part of its success to the team that has helped me turn my idea into the $40+ million third-party logistics provider it is today.

Thanks to Matthew Brosious, FreightCenter, Inc.

#11 – Control Your Destiny

Ultimately, entrepreneurship means you are a problem solver. It means you want to control your own destiny, even if that path might lead to failure….even multiple failures. As they say, entrepreneurs prefer to work 80 hours a week for themselves so they don’t have to work 40 hours a week for someone else. Entrepreneurship means taking risks, not knowing outcomes but appreciating and loving the rollercoaster ride along the way. Being an entrepreneur means accepting that you’ll never sleep as well as any of your employees.

Thanks to Adam G. Dailey, BeerMarketing

#12 – Internal Drive

Photo Credit: Susan Trivers

Photo Credit: Susan Trivers

I define entrepreneurship as the combination of expressing internal drives and meeting outsiders’ needs in ways that generate a living for the entrepreneur. For me, entrepreneurship means that I have the freedom to pursue the marriage of different strands of ideas and possibilities into unique and highly valuable offerings for my clients and customers. The most frequent compliment from my clients is “I never would have thought of that!” It means I can look forward, take positive lessons from failures and disappointments and greet each day with enthusiasm and optimism.

Thanks to Susan Trivers

#13 – Like Breathing

Photo Credit : Rodney Fife

Photo Credit : Rodney Fife

Being an entrepreneur is like breathing. The ability to create, innovate and explore allows me to wake up every morning with energy and excitement. I especially love that there are no limitations on how high or high far you can reach. I am grateful for the ability to create your dream team. I tend to surround myself with people smarter and better than me. One of the big pluses about being an entrepreneur is there is no more “Blue Mondays.”

Thanks to Rodney Fife, Ironrod Media 

#14 – A Journey

Photo Credit : Elyse McNabb

Photo Credit : Elyse McNabb

To me being an entrepreneur meant dreaming of a product, creating it and selling it. I thought that the journey to accomplish those three simple steps would be easy, but I was wrong. This journey of entrepreneurship has stretched me, grown me and taught me more than I ever could have imagined and I’m sure that there are still a lifetime of lessons left to be learned as I continue down this path. Entrepreneur means to me a lifetime of learning and growing to create the best product and customer experience I can provide.

Thanks to Elyse McNabb, Nourish With Style

 #15 – Eternal Dreamer

Photo Credit: Frank Lanzkron-Tamarazo

Photo Credit: Frank Lanzkron-Tamarazo

There are various definitions of entrepreneurship that can coexist peacefully. One definition is that the life of an entrepreneur is similar to being in a completely darkened room. Occasionally, a shade will pop up that adds a few rays of sunlight into the room, when that shade closes, another one briefly pops open. It is the constant networking, developing of the vision, and the eternal problem solving of the entrepreneur that causes the light to flow into the room. Another definition of what the life of entrepreneurship is that an entrepreneur is someone who is a serial problem solver. Whereas most people look at what’s in front of them, the entrepreneur climbs a tree as high as possible and looks at the long-term solution of the problem. An entrepreneur looks at an ordinary object and envisions the extraordinary. Entrepreneurship is the eternal dreamer who dreams within a dream.

Thanks to Frank Lanzkron-Tamarazo, Chazzano Coffee Roasters

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