Geri Stengel

 
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What is entrepreneurship?

Risk-taking. Passionate. Problem-solver. 

Investor. Innovator. Business person. 

Juggler. Hard worker. Idea person.

Sales person. Leader. Financial Planner.  

what is entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurialThat's a lot of hats to wear!

Yet every entrepreneur wears them all – and more – at one time or another.

The most common answer to the question "What is entrepreneurship?" boils down to someone who starts a venture and assumes its financial risk in the hope of making a profit.

That's a bit simplistic. It leaves out the fact that entrepreneurship includes solving the day-to-day problems, keeping the books, managing staff, helping customers, caring deeply, and working overtime for many, many months. Entrepreneurship isn't just bright ideas, rounding up money, and being daring.

Entrepreneurship requires the stamina to slog through tough times, long hours, and mundane tasks, from mopping the floor to checking the electric bill. That's the side of entrepreneurship that isn't often highlighted.

The glorious thrill of the entrepreneurial ride – challenge, risks, victory – are often emphasized, and truth be told, they do fuel the engine! But success as an entrepreneur requires a kind of split personality. On the one hand, the entrepreneur is risk-taking, thrill-seeking and innovative. On the other, s/he is an organized planner who can deal with the mundane.

That means left-brained thinking as well as right-brain innovation and conceptualization.

Add to that the ability to hire the right people, lead, instill passion in employees and loyalty in customers, and build and maintain relations with investors. Now you've answered the "what is entrepreneurship" question with "a person with great people skills.

What is an entrepreneur? An innovative, people person with good business skills, passion about a project, with the ability to unplug the toilet, write ad copy, and keep the books.

Is that even possible?

Not really.

What is entrepreneurship? An innovative, passionate, flexible team of team of hard-working people pursuing a common vision.

Yup! That's my answer. Entrepreneurship is such a challenge that it is best done by a team – it could be a husband and wife or roommates or friends – that includes and respects a range of skills. The members of the team may change depending on the stage of the enterprise but successful entrepreneurs are seldom, if ever, one-man shows.

Behind every successful entrepreneur is a network.

What is entrepreneurship? I'd like to hear your answers to the question.