Kelowna Capital News

Young: Difficult economic times don’t stop entrepreneurial thinking

During tough economic times, innovation and creativity within the entrepreneurial process don’t take a vacation.

True entrepreneurs are able to locate opportunities that others requiring safety and security would never consider.

The flipside of this is that during periods of economic vitality, money can often hide problems and sometimes even obscure legitimate entrepreneurial opportunities.

On Oct. 30, the Okanogan Valley Entrepreneurs Society hosted yet another of its monthly Town Hall Series sessions.

As has been the format for our society program, an energetic and experienced panel was recruited, with a topic being the pursuit pursuing self-employment, entrepreneurship and the pros and cons of beginning your own venture.

Discussion about the qualities inherent in entrepreneurs—desire, passion, positivity, commitment, patience and perseverance—all appear to dovetail nicely in the exchange with each Town Hall panel member and the audience.

There was an amazing reservoir of real life experiences and knowledge represented by the panel members of the panel.

It is with my reflection on the joy of this monthly exchange that led me this week to  share my thoughts about “the entrepreneurial option” in your life.

By definition, entrepreneurship not only involves uncertainty, innovation and creativity, and managerial competencies, but also a commitment to the strategic development, hopefully, of a growth-destined venture.

Although uncertainty, for example, might cause many to freeze, it can be used to your benefit.

Uncertain situations are chock full of potentially new opportunities.

For example, I have written recently of the Canadian and American studies that highlight that entrepreneurship does flourish in tough economic times.

But your task as a budding entrepreneur is to continuously identify high-potential venture opportunities and reach to exploit such opportunities with speed and confidence.

So uncertainty can often become your ally, not your enemy.

I would suggest to each of you that successful entrepreneurship is as much an art form as it is an economic activity.

We would tend to express ourselves in an instrumental medium of sorts and likened to creative and innovative inventors and architects, we strive to create practical but unique outcomes to our entrepreneurial endeavours.

So, just as one does not become a composer without the knowledge of music, one does not become a genuine entrepreneur without some knowledge of the venture process itself.

The theory here involves two main ingredients.

First, previsualizing a desired outcome, identifying that product or service for the marketplace to fill a perceived need.

Second, impressing one’s creative vision upon a chosen and comfortable medium by accessing necessary resources and allocating them toward the successful launch of your entrepreneurial venture.

Entrepreneurship is a multi-faceted phenomenon involving notably entrepreneurial vision, entrepreneurial strategy, entrepreneurial tools and talents, and the venture as the medium of creative expression within an environment which makes the resources available to get the job done successfully and profitably.

It is no secret to those of us within the world of the entrepreneur, nor should it be to many of you reading this column on a regular basis, that entrepreneurship is the ultimate expression of innovation and creativity.

Entrepreneurs serve as “agents of change,” create  innovative ideas for venture enterprises and help such ventures grow and prosper.

In essence, this perspective of the entrepreneur suggests that you or I have the insight and intuition to recognize an opportunity for us to establish products, services and even, industries.

This ability to see into the future around us, to dream of possibilities  and to dare to act is that series of attributes that drive entrepreneurs to turn dreams into reality.

The process is clear my friends—entrepreneurs initiate entrepreneurial ventures.

The debate does continue over the years about entrepreneurial behaviour and this singular act of volition which has genuinely become so vital to our region, province and nation’s economic vitality.

My comments this week have attempted to light a candle against the darkness for both practitioners and non-practitioners alike within the entrepreneurial sphere.

Yes, innovation and creativity is necessary for the true success of a venture. But, when I ask you to consider entrepreneurship as an option in your life, I must suggest that to fully light up the darkness, we must break down barriers and embrace the benefits of entrepreneurship and begin the process rigorously through teaching its elements to everyone via a cultural backdrop.

What a better world we could have before us if we could encourage creative thinking, stretching minds to embrace truly great ideas for the betterment of society.

Entrepreneurship is the greatest vehicle we know to allow us to simultaneously envision, dream, analyze, create and profit. It is a life journey like none other.

No other enterprise can you live your life as your intuition dictates and enjoy the success that your mind creates.

I encourage you to “dare to dream.”

Joel Young is an entrepreneurial leadership coach, educator and consultant and the founder of the Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society.

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