teaching entrepreneurship…defining entrepreneurship
Teaching entrepreneurship is one of the biggest challenges I have under-taken in a while…but here I am teaching at the Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurship. Little ole me with my little business teaching tomorrow’s knowledge economy. Sometimes it is kind-of frightening, but more so enlightening.
The one thing I am rustling with internally…whether entrepreneurship is a learned concept or is it embedded in our “DNA”? I worked for a great entrepreneur a few years ago who hit it big during the telecom days. He used to tell me that entrepreneurship is exercising and unleashing your God given, natural talent. He did not try to explain how to take an idea, leverage your resources, and bringing that idea to market. No…he talked about having passion for an idea and bring it to fruition.
Entrepreneurship to me is more about language and culture. Was I born with the innate ability to become an entrepreneur? Or was it a series of life experiences and connections that led to that point in time when I worked for an entrepreneur, and he unlocked the urge to seek entrepreneurship. Did he teach me entrepreneurship or surround me with that language, showing the opportunities when seeking out my own marketable interests?
The culture or entrepreneurship for me is about passion. What is the one thing that you love to do, the thing that gets you up in the morning and makes you tick. What would be the one thing you would want to do if the world was going to end tomorrow. What is your life passion? For serial entrepreneurs, they have evolving interests. They have numerous passions, one that leads to the next. But it is more than just language and culture, it is identifying that desire to bring an idea to market and acting on those impulses…taking the leap.
Very nicely written and my take is it “is a series of life experiences” as going through the motions being raised by a pack of telecomm wolves in the early 90s and into 2008 one has to dig deep to understand and survive. There was a passion in the early days of telecomm that brought forth the desire to pop up out of bed and tackle as many issues as you could with your team that was in front of you. We built, repaired and grew analog networks then did it again in the late 90s at an alarming pace with digital technology. We were publically traded companies; we bought companies, took them through prepackaged bankruptcy, exited strong and merged with another to double our footprint and customer base, then ultimately selling to the big boys. Not for the weak at heart mind you. The Telecomm business is now a commodity and I stand on the side lines while reviewing a new technical play book. Alternative energy creation, transfer and management of power. WiProwess of course.
What gets me rolling in the field we are in today may be the same intoxication we obtained in the early days of telecomm. Fast paced, hills and valleys (hold your breath going up and scream coming down) and uncertainty that makes you a stronger person and team at the end of the day. The other important qualities to being a balanced entrepreneur is being able to give back to the community, network to build relationships and enjoying the family and the upstate. After 20 years of telecomm it was a must to understand the balance the cycle of work, play, family and community.
That is the story of my 20 years post coming out of high school, but then again I started mentoring with my grandfather (Francis “Bubba” Marchant) at an early age working at the Coke Cola bottling plant in Anderson where he was the GM for 25+ years. He introduced me to his roommate from the Citadel, JJ Mahoney a serial entrepreneur in his own time. Between JJ and Bubba as well as all the wolves that raised me in the Telecomm space, I owe my gratitude, continue to innovate, teach, and be a father, a husband and community leader as I rise every morning to assist thee. Passion is really the magic!