branding

What Is An Entrepreneur

by Jamal on April 23, 2018

Entrepreneurship is huge right now! Everyone is always talking about their startup venture, and how it’s going to be a big game changer. Even past that, you probably can’t be on social media without someone talking about building their brand or starting the next game-changing company. After seeing and hearing this for so long it makes you wonder…. how many people actually get what being an entrepreneur is?

 

Entrepreneurship To Be Exact

When looking at entrepreneurship in an exact sense, you’ll start to see the divide in the companies/brands people boast about. Simply put an entrepreneurial venture is when a company is formed from the noticing a market gap, and its founder(s) assume all presumable risks and possible rewards.

This casts a wide net that can describe the industry disruptors we celebrate and the small business owners we tend to neglect and let go unnoticed. Now with this understanding, you might be wondering how does this definition apply to any form of a business owner or branded service provider. Well, there’s a key aspect you can notice to differentiate entrepreneurship from false equivalent entrepreneurship I mentioned. What product or solution is being provided.

What You Provide

As more and more people get bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, the idea of what a product or solution is has become watered down. Take a look at the economy we have in front of us today. Percentage-wise, it’s safe to assume we have more independent service providers opening businesses than we do product or market gap operations.

An important factor to keep in mind is, of course, the change in the nature of work most people see today being short-term(i.e. gig economy). Don’t take that the wrong way by any means. Being an independent service provider is an important part of the modern workforce, and is a critical piece of many high performing organizations.

Myself included, FAI, in essence, is a specialized service providing brand. It wasn’t until last year I fully invested in making the pivot to start FAI Labs and launch my first product LastCheck.

Making this pivot from a service provider to also be a product owner was a big step forward for myself or any business owner. For anyone making this leap takes only one thing really, having the courage to take the chance.

Courage and Perseverance

For most business owners that pivot is an elusive step. Its filled with more than just building something that seems marketable. In all honesty, it’s mostly about having the endurance to pursue this product until its show to no longer be a viable solution(if you can see that).

At the end of the day, that’s really what being an entrepreneur is all about. The money, CEO title, and all the materialistic aspects of being an entrepreneur should all be at the most third(really fourth or fifth if you’re doing it right) on your priority list.

The top priority is always finishing something that you started on YOUR terms and having the faith in yourself(courage) to get things started. You can sit with as many entrepreneurs as you want, read as many interviews and articles as you can find, and somehow you’ll find this recurring theme.

Granted, there are plenty of new businesses forming with admirations of the more shallow aspects, and those are more likely not to hit the 5-year mark. That’s because companies like this aren’t built on the essential foundation of courage and perseverance.

Starting a new venture with dollar signs and expensive things as the main end goal at most may take some courage at most. Even that marginal amount alone is nowhere near enough to keep a venture going. Having faith in the idea, and your own abilities keep things going when it seems like it’s at its worst.

That’s what perseverance is all about.

Look To Emulate

Now that we’ve broken everything down, and our understanding is clear, its time to look for outside inspiration. No matter how related something may be to what you’re doing, there’s always something to take away from somebody/something that does something great. For entrepreneurs, this couldn’t be truer.

Looking at what other people have done is a great way to start figuring how to grow your venture in key aspects like the projected runway, market analysis, and overall business structure. Personally, I gained quite a bit by admiring the work of others from afar. Two of the people that stand out the most to me at the moment is Kobe Bryant and Nipsey Hussle.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is someone I spent most of my life not because of his celebrity status, but because of his cerebral work ethic. Playing in the NBA was never a dream I had, but I always say Kobe as a competition from afar to push my work ethic further. On the days where I work until 2 or 3 AM just to get up 4 AM, part of my thought process was if Kobe was doing the same hours honing his craft, then I have no complaints doing it for mine.

He’s also one of the people that taught me that your own greatness can’t be confined by others into a box. Throughout his basketball career, he consistently made it a point to highlight his non-basketball skills as well. Ranging from all the languages he speaks(English, Italian, Spanish, and French), his storytelling ability, his musical talent on the piano, his business savvy, and so much more.

And to think he was able to do this while mostly growing up feeling isolated in Italy and later in life readjusting to life in the states during his high school years.

Nipsey Hussle

Nipsey Hussle is much more recent appreciation and respect of mine. I look at him that way because of the position he was able to work and educate himself into. As a kid, I was introduced to him by my favorite rapper at the time. I saw him rise from new upcoming West Coast rapper to a thriving businessman with multiple vested interests ranging from cryptocurrencies to his Vector 90 coworking space.

The amount of work Nipsey, alongside his brother Black Sam, is not the story you typically hear about for articles like this. I’m writing on it because it’s an important story to tell. Nipsey and his team worked up to the position of where they’re able to take care of themselves and contribute to his community.

Affectionately calling this process the marathon, also the namesake of his successful clothing brand, Nipsey personifies the concept of internalizing courage and perseverance.

Wrapping Up

Being an entrepreneur is not easy or glamorous, and takes more than just having the title on your IG page. Wanting to take control of your own destiny and put your financial security in your own hands takes a lot of trust in yourself. I respect anyone that takes on that challenge. However, always keep in mind there’s more to it than that. Understanding this, and what it takes to get to the true entrepreneurial destination, should be more than enough to guide you through your journey down this road.