In this third article in a series called “The Big Small,” Bryan Ritchie and Nick Swisher discuss how pursuing an entrepreneurial path builds key character traits and skill sets that makes them extremely valuable to society and prepares them well for whatever role emerges in their future, regardless of success.
Producing their Own Value
Those of us who occupy job positions within organizations necessarily provide value to our employers when our work is performed to satisfaction. Value is inherent in the job positions itself. Entrepreneurs, by contrast, don’t follow this model. They must create their own value to society and to the economy as neither what they offer personally nor the businesses they launch are initially or inherently valuable. In fact, it may take many years for this value to form. Yet, when it does, it is often outsized compared to the rest of us. Entrepreneurs create new industries, launch revolutionary new products, found businesses that employ thousands of people and, most importantly, changed the world (think Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Thomas Edison). Many seasoned entrepreneurs, whether successful or not, also gain a set of traits and skill sets that make them very likely to succeed in future endeavors. The passion, courage, grit, confidence, optimism, agility, empathy and real-world wisdom that many entrepreneurs gain, not to mention the on-the-job experience of daily wearing multiple hats, makes them extremely valuable to society and to our economy.
The Entrepreneurial Path Creates Leaders
Entrepreneurs are often leaders in their field and their communities as well as their companies. Their startups are based on the conviction that they have something to offer that will solve problems, accelerate success, and improve people’s lives in a way not otherwise available. Their mission-driven dedication to add value in some particular way gives meaning and purpose to the long hours and lean finances so likely in the beginning. (In the process, they add value to the overall economy as an employer, purchaser, tenant, etc.) Their ability to articulate their vision attracts partners and colleagues as well as customers. In many cases, that passion overcomes a lack of previous public speaking experience and helps the person grow as a compelling elevator-pitcher and storyteller.