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Is Enterpreneur a profession or personality.?

I just checked the meaning of the word entrepreneur, and I got: “one who undertakes and assumes the risk of a business enterprise; contractor."

Is this who we are, can we learn how to be one, and why?

Can we educate entrepreneurs to take risk, and what is a calculated risk: to start school and leave in the 2nd year because we start a business, is this wise? Ask Bill gates, he will probably say, go finish school and then start a business, my comment would be "but you didn't."

Now it is too late for me in my 40s (my goal was to start my 2nd career in my 40s -- and I will leave this as a surprise). What makes us get up every morning and keep going to an office to build? Build what? A crazy idea? Why are we are doing it to ourselves? I know why, because this is who we are! We are the ones to draw a picture, the ones to write a book, the one to open our coffee shop to serve you a hot drink.

In 1991, I moved to New York to make a few dollars so I could save up and eventually drive around the world on a motorcycle (this is for a different story). I got a job in a moving company (definitely not for me, I’m 5'10" 160 pounds, some will call me slim, moving was not for me). Then I got my first true entrepreneur experience DRIVING A TAXI in NYC. I can get up on my own time, anytime. I can stop for coffee (addicted) anytime I feel like it, and stop working on my own schedule. I thought entrepreneur life, it is me, and life is great. Then very quickly I got my first lessons in the university of life, class 101. I got up at 4am, worked till midnight 7 days a week, 2 weeks straight and crash, my wife today whom I met driving a cab, ( I needed a green card she needed an Israeli) was complaining: "you are working too hard I do not get to see you." My comment was soon I will slow down, almost 20 years later, I am still up at 5am, never done working.

Some will say the $$$ is driving us. I will say it is not the money, it is because we can, it is who we are!

I know some friends of mine will work 5am till midnight as a Doctor, or an attorney. Are they entrepreneurs or just Workaholics? What is the different between us and them: the risk we take in business. A long time ago, I said to a friend right after he opened his own business but refused to buy the land on which the business stood. I said to him "buy the land." He said it is too risky. My response was "you already took a risk, you opened your own business".

To all you entrepreneurs out there. what does this definition really mean : "assume the risk of a business"? Do we need to start entrepreneur anonymousJ

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Comment by Ralph Paglia on January 16, 2008 at 9:30pm
Mike,

I like your response... Although I will play a few hands of 21 while in Vegas, I am not a particularly motivated gambler... Yet, I have repeatedly engaged in entrepreneurial activities throughout my life, built businesses and continue to be driven by the motivation to create, build... leave something behind that wasn't there before I came along.

Your comment on appearances versus underlying intent or motivation is particularly appropriate.
Comment by Mike Muncy on January 16, 2008 at 7:09pm
Hi Moti, Ralph...
Being in the process, perhaps my views will be somewhat skewed, but I think the underlying drive is innate. Many people simply must do for themselves. They can't watch others do and benefit from what they know they can do as well or better.

Whether chronic gamblers are like entrepreneurs, I'd say that there are no similarities whatsoever – the two merely appear similar.

Fundamentally, a gambler is looking to take advantage of probability for an immediate win. Entrepreneurs though are incredibly hard workers and often won't realize their pay out (if any) for years to come.

The natural inclinations of either individual are diametrically opposed.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on January 16, 2008 at 6:46pm
Moti,

As a recovering entrepreneur I can assure you that the element of risk-taking is certainly part of what drives entrepreneurial motivations. However, I believe there is a difference between serial entrepreneurs and the type that invent or create one or two truly great businesses or products in their entire life. The serial entrepreneur cannot stand to keep improving upon previous successful ventures... He or she is driven to put themselves on the line repeatedly, over and over again... This, I believe is similar to a gambling addiction, although obviously more healthy and potentially productive. Does anyone else think that there are similarities between business risk takers and chronic gamblers?

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