Sometime ago I was watching a TV interview of the famed music mogul Quincy Jones. He was speaking very eloquently and with a degree of passion regarding his business pursuits.
He spoke in a fashion that made his business interest seem very cool, hip and even sexy. He then framed it all into one simple declaration; I am an entrepreneur.
I then said to myself, “I’m going to be an entrepreneur”.
Mr. Jones enrolled me into becoming this word we call entrepreneur. Now my definition of entrepreneur at the time was someone who started businesses, created new products and concepts, made things happen and lived an exciting life. When I was a young boy my father used to make me read the dictionary so that I would expand my vocabulary. So I decided to look the word up and here is the definition I found.
One who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.
No I said to myself, this couldn’t be right! Merriam-Webster’s has it wrong. An entrepreneur is a take the bull by the horns person, an innovator and business leader. Further I read that an entrepreneur assumes the risks and/or liabilities of a business. Baloney I thought, the dictionary has it wrong.
Well some years later I started my first business and along with that hired a business attorney. He proceeded to tell me all the ways I could be sued or get into problems with state governments even if I was doing nothing wrong. He would tell me how I needed to manage my risks and liabilities. (As a side note in the 2-½ years I ran that first business till I sold it I never had one legal problem).
I then recalled reading the definition of the word entrepreneur. Hmmm I thought, well I guess the old dictionary was right. But I was right too. An entrepreneur can be all of the things I’ve stated as well as assuming the risks associated with being in business.
Entrepreneur or Employee?
We have now entered 2021 and many of you need to make that decision. Not everyone is cut out to be a risk taker and become an entrepreneur. So the alternative is to go out and get a nice, safe and secure job. But alas my friends because having a nice, safe and secure job is now an oxymoron. Therefore being employed is taking a risk as well.
The era of working for a company for 30 years and retiring with the gold watch is over, gone, done.
Who could have ever have imagined that companies like GM, AIG, Citigroup and others could be near collapse. Or that giant Wall Street firms Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns would cease to exist. My point is obvious, whether you embrace entrepreneurship or employment, either way you are a risk taker.