Posted by Pierre de la Fortune on September 28, 2015 @ 12:01 a.m.
Written by THE INVESTOR
For those of us who were geeks before most people had heard of the word Ė let alone before it became a bit cool Ė it was all rather surreal.
Donít get me wrong Ė I was adding to the eulogies, too. Steve Jobs has inspired me since I first encountered the Apple story back in the early 1980s, when I was reading books like The Hackerís Handbook and programming my dadís clunky PC to simulate a Pentagon computer. It began a love/hate relationship with technology that continues to this day.
Steve Jobs was the inspiration behind my attempts at entrepreneurship, too. If it werenít for Jobs, Branson, and a handful of others, Iíd never have considered that business could be as revolutionary as art or rock and roll.
Most people saddened by the death of Jobs donít think about business like that, of course. They simply buy the products and feel a kinship, in defiance of Douglas Couplandís prescient warning that: ďshopping is not creatingĒ.
The genius of Jobsí Apple was that he made consumption feel like creating.
Once only a small band of Apple aficionados felt this way when they used Apple products, but now half the world does.
Hence the adulation and grief people expressed at the passing of a fairly ruthless businessman whom theyíve never met, and maybe never even thought that much about.
The characteristics of entrepreneurs
One positive side to Steve Jobsí death is that many more people will hear his inspirational messages. Perhaps a few will then go on to become entrepreneurs.
My favourite of his quotes comes from his now widely cited speech to graduating Stanford University students in 2005:
Remembering that Iíll be dead soon is the most important tool Iíve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything ≠Ė all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure Ė these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Yet while many will be inspired to Ďgo it aloneí by Jobsí bold words and the driven way he lived his life, others may be less likely to try, because Jobsí C.V. reinforces a narrow view of what an entrepreneur should be.
People who might be very credible in business could look at Jobsí showmanship and his manic obsession with quality and secrecy and think: ďNah, thatís not for meĒ.
But that would be very wrong.
The reality is there is more than one way to skin a cat Ė and thereís more than one way to skin a hundred cats a week to turn a profit.
Thereís no Ďone size fits allí entrepreneur. Steve Jobs was no pile-them-high box shifter, Richard Branson is no mild millionaire next door, and Warren Buffett is definitely no gruff Duncan Bannatyne.
And thatís worth stressing because the popular mediaís view that an entrepreneur must be a swash-buckling thrill-seeker or else a dedicated nerd puts off many people from considering starting a business.
Iím the first to stress the many reasons not to start a business. But thinking youíre missing out on some clichťd entrepreneur characteristics isnít one of them!
Role your own mogul
We humans love to categorise, though, and we also like to have role models. Itís usually the same for those who start businesses.
True, a few entrepreneurs grow unthinkingly into the role from their everyday activities, while others become entrepreneurs because they just couldnít work for someone else. Theyíre unemployable!
Yet even these Ďaccidental tycoonsí usually cite success stories Ė if not outright role models Ė that they admire.
For this reason, Iíd suggest that anyone thinking about starting a business gets reading. After digesting a few good biographies, youíll appreciate thereís a wealth of different entrepreneur characteristics, and no billionaire can claim to have even half of them.
Here are ten good books Ė and ten very different entrepreneurs Ė to get you started:
iCon Steve Jobs (Steve Jobs) Losing My Virginity (Richard Branson) Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (John D. Rockefeller) What You See Is What You Get (Alan Sugar) How to Get Rich (Felix Dennis) Anyone Can Do It (Duncan Bannatune) [My review] Business as Unusual (Anita Roddick) Enter the Dragon (Theo Paphitis) [My review] Andrew Carnegie (Andrew Carnagie) The Snowball (Warren Buffett) [My review] Like anyone else, entrepreneurs have a huge variety of flaws too, but I think weíre all best concentrating on our strengths and finding people who can compensate for our weaknesses, rather than trying to do everything.
That said, you can flip most entrepreneur characteristics to reveal a potential failing Ė so risk-takers can be overconfident, numerical people too obsessed with detail or budgets, and so on.
Finally, I donít think a Ďhuge desire for moneyí is the defining characteristic for most entrepreneurs.
Obviously itíll be in the mix for many, but there are quicker and easier ways to make a bit of cash than starting a business if thatís your main goal.
Most people driven primarily by money will go into sales, property, or finance, depending on their aptitude, rather than risk having no money at all due to a failure in business.
And thereís no shame in that, as long as itís true to their desires. As Jobs (and many before him) also said:
ďYour time is limited, so donít waste it living someone elseís life.Ē
For more info please visit:http://monevator.com/2011/10/07/entrepreneur-characteristics/
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