What is an Entrepreneur?
Entrepreneur – according to the dictionary:
A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
Life doesn’t always turn out the way we want, in fact, it almost never does. While I’ve never started a company myself, risk has always been a big part of my career. In fact, I’ve been in seven different industries, and working on my 8th now. Change drives me, even if it stresses me. I would actually be a great candidate to start-up a company, but the financial risk side of it is over the threshold for me to think about.
The first decade of my career was spent in the insurance industry, and soon I found myself living in the Orlando, Florida area of the United States, looking for a job. A start-up call center position is what I landed, selling insurance over the phone, all over the country. Soon thereafter, I was promoted to corporate trainer, and the company’s goal was to go from a 20 seat call center to a 400 seat call center in less than two years. They did it successfully, and I received an award for helping them get there.
That was my first experience in a start-up environment, and one of my past jobs that I had the most fun with, but made the lowest salary with. I then moved around to various industries, and parts of the United States, taking jobs that interested me, and always found myself moving around to different departments, being the ‘go-to’ person, and getting promoted multiple times.
In 2008, I moved from Florida to North Carolina. I was unable to find a job in a large company that interested me, so I took a position in another start-up as Director of Operations. The thought of a good challenge is what brought me into this. As it turns out, all of the previous jobs I held, whether they were short in duration, several years, or no matter which industry, all came into play.
This was a start-up software company that required me to wear many hats, as the owner and co-founder were busy traveling and selling the product. They relied solely on me to be the leader at the home office. The company quickly grew over time, in fact, some years up to 450%! I was soon promoted to Vice President of Operations, and also was responsible for four other departments. The company won many awards, including Inc. 500. At the end of 2015, the company sold, and I was a part of the buy-out process.
Part of my salary was paid to me in stock shares, so I was able to see the entire process of a small start-up with only eight employees, grow to a real, respectable company with nearly one hundred employees, doing triple the workload due to efficiencies created. I was also able to walk away, so I could once again set out to find another challenge, with some extra funding due to my shares.
Keep dreaming, entrepreneurs. You are creating jobs, creating solutions in industries where they are needed, and creating opportunities. You are inspiring others that it CAN be done, and is an achievable goal. I know myself personally, I would embrace another opportunity to help a start-up company, or even several start-ups, reach the top.
My definition of an entrepreneur is:
A person or group of people who operate, grow, and manage a business to success, taking on greater than normal financial, mental, physical, family and stress risks than normal. This person or group of people are driven to success by a goal, a dream, and a belief in their own abilities, and the abilities of those that lead the mission with them.
Written for Entrepreneur Bench website.