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Three Ways You Can Become More Entrepreneurial Now

… regardless of resources currently controlled. start_lamp.jpg

I’m a firm believer that becoming more entrepreneurial is a key to gaining both spiritual and financial satisfaction. With that in mind, I’m working, slowly but steadily, on a new course called Entrepreneurship for Everyone.

Entrepreneurship for Everyone‘s premise is that most people will never start a new enterprise, but that everyone can benefit from becoming more entrepreneurial.

What exactly does “more entrepreneurial” mean? First, a basic definition:

en·tre·pre·neur
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Old French, from entreprendre to undertake 
Date:
1852
: One who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise

Entrepreneurship has also been defined as “the relentless pursuit of opportunity, regardless of resources currently controlled.” Being entrepreneurial, then, simply means continuously pursuing opportunity. Damn the torpedoes!

How? Here are three specific ways to get started now.

Question Dominant Logic
Dominant logic is MBA-speak for a simple idea: Most corporations have one main way of making money. That question_mark.jpgsingle, often unquestioned mindset tends to govern how they operate. But questioning the dominant mindset is useful at work and home alike. Here’s a modest example: My wife needed a stand for a new 500-watt photography lamp, but products designed for the task cost $150. After dawdling over another pricey purchase, I suddenly realized a perfectly serviceable holder could be easily made by simply sawing off the screw-and-flange tip of a $15 microphone stand. We win when we avoid letting someone else define a solution (or maybe even the problem).

Convert Weaknesses into Strengths
The president of a Japanese egg hatchery grew dismayed when newly adopted methods produced non-uniform yolk colors and textures in a market whose customers are famous as sticklers for consistency and undeviating high quality. But instead of considering non-uniformity a weakness, the company experimented with the different yolks and discovered that each was ideal for certain kinds of egg dishes. Now, sales are soaring as it offers “eggs perfect for omelettes” and “eggs perfect for scrambling.” The takeaway? Embracing your imperfections can be a powerful strategy.

Break Your Habits
J.D. Roth was a compulsive spender who at 35 was burdened with tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt. He recognized his problem and started reading up on personal finance, then systematically broke those bad habits and started documenting his experiences on a blog entitled Get Rich Slowly. Guess what? He’s now debt-free and making a handsome living as a writer. J.D. realized that old habits chain us to the status quo, so breaking them — and forging new ones — is essential to advancing toward goals.

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Yes, entrepreneurial thinking is for everyone, not just those who launch new enterprises. In future posts, I’ll share more thoughts from Entrepreneurship for Everyone, including how thinking more entrepreneurially can boost spirits as much as salary …

You may also enjoy these entrepreneurship-related essays:

Entrepreneurship: A Primer

Three Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My Own Business

In Praise of Salaried Employment

Know Your Gift

2 Comments to Three Ways You Can Become More Entrepreneurial Now

On May 16, 2009, jim commented:

I think it’s crucial to embrace your own creativity. In your examples, rather than throw money at the problem, the entrepreneurs flexed their creative muscles and arrived at a great solution.

On May 18, 2009, by Tim commented:

You got that right, Jim. The flipside is learning to figure out when it is time to throw money at something. That was a hard lesson for me as a penny-pinching business owner…

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