Entrepreneurs are the marines of business. Figuratively speaking, they take the beachhead, and incur the heaviest casualties.
Entrepreneurs have the “no guts, no glory” swag necessary to risk their money, time and reputation on a dream, and because so many fail, we think that only the naturally gifted could do what it takes to reap those incredible rewards.
But even if true, lamenting your lack of God-given entrepreneurial talents is as useful as explaining your non-swimmer status to the pirate captain forcing you to walk the plank
No-one is safe in their job
Captains of 21st century industry are forcing workers and middle managers to ‘walk the plank’, not at the edge of a sword but at the edge of technology driven productivity gains and disruptive innovation. Nothing personal, it’s all about profit.
And it’s worse. Degrees are no longer differentiators. Having a degree won’t help you get or keep your job when everyone and his sister has one, and especially when employers find that most degreed candidates don’t produce the superior value to justify their higher salary.
Unions can only do so much
Unions can protect workers against unethical and uncaring employers but they cannot protect workers and managers against the march of technology.
Your only chance for long-term survival and (fingers crossed) prosperity is to develop your own capacities to: (1) help people solve real problems that matter to them, (2) create new and valuable situations, and (3) adapt to change. These are entrepreneurial skills.
But what is an entrepreneur and
do you have what it takes to be one?
I believe that anyone who puts “skin in the game”— capital, energy and personal dignity—to reap rewards from an uncertain future career position or business situation is an entrepreneur.
The scale of the non-existent situation or degree of it’s ‘cutting-edge’ is not important.
You can be an entrepreneur within an existing company (Steve Jobs), by starting a game changer like Twitter or AirBnB, or by starting and running your own traditional small business. You can simply have a consistent practice of learning and un-learning to make sure that you are always offering superior value to companies that you want to work for.
All that’s required is the vision and arrogance to get it done.
Not your degree(s), unions or legislation will guarantee that you won’t be forced to walk the plank.
You either risk being among the growing numbers of worker/managers forced unprepared into deep shark-infested water, or you develop your own capacities to create value and adapt; and when the time is right you dive in and swim to your uncharted island and you take that beachhead.
No guarantees, but you’ll have a greater potential payoff and you’ll be responsible for your own job security.
Entrepreneurs know life is much more interesting when you have something to fight for, especially when you get to keep the rewards when you win.