I’ve often wondered how you and I might view the budding and seasoned entrepreneur in this crazy world of uncertainty and joy for the business victor.
I thought this week, it might be fun to entertain some realm of comparison between an entrepreneur champion and a hero.
What makes a champion? Is it an unrelenting attitude, belief in yourself, focus and determination?
A champion is a strong competitor who never quits, never surrenders.
A true champion, it is said, is one who would rather fall down while striving and exerting maximum effort, than to sit down because they are tired.
The same attitude and characteristics also describe the successful entrepreneur.
Although it may appear sometimes that there is little hope, you must remain hopeful.
There is always something to be learned from past experiences, something that we can reach inward for that will furnish the drive and inspiration to prevail when we feel as if our entrepreneurial dream might be slipping through our fingers.
There will always be that quiet temptation to quit, go back to a job and escape, but the serious entrepreneur realizes that during those disconcerting moments, the champion awaits to rush forth, just ahead, sometimes obscured by the next curve or dip in the road.
Though often unseen, triumph awaits the champion entrepreneur—just over the hill.
The winner knows in their gut that they will find a way to prevail in their current course of action or will indeed change course as many times as is necessary leading to the victory lane.
This winning attitude of a true entrepreneurial champion is expressed so eloquently in the old adage: “I cannot do anything about the wind, but I can adjust my sails.”
To quit is simply not an option for the vast majority of entrepreneurs. That is winning attitude that separates champions from everyone else.
So now let’s move right into a view of the entrepreneurial hero.
What is a hero? For some, a hero represents a person who lives up to age-old values such as honesty, integrity, courage and bravery.
For others, a hero is someone who is steadfast and sets a great example to emulate in the future.
To many, being a hero also means self-sacrifice, even for the sake of others.
It is then said that every society has and needs heroes to reflect the values we revere, the accomplishments we respect and the hopes that give our lives true meaning.
By celebrating our heroes, we honour our past, energize our present and shape our future.
When we delve into a research mode, the typical path of the hero can be traced in all cultures through three stages.
The first stage departs from the familiar and comfortable into the unknown, risking failure and loss— a venturing forth for some greater idea or purpose.
The second stage is the encountering of hardship and challenge and the mustering of courage and strength to overcome or discover.
The final stage is the return to the community at large with something new or better than what was there before.
Ultimately, it is the entrepreneurial hero figure that is the representative of the “new”—the founder of processes or products that make people in their communities and the world in general better off.
What we may contend is that in our modern era, the wealth creators—the hero and champion entrepreneurs—actually travel a heroic path and are every bit as bold and daring as the heroes who fought dragons and overcame evil in our fictional tales of yesterday.
In many a heroic journey, the entrepreneur is venturing forth from a world of accepted ways and norms.
They then assert that there is a better way and they will find it.
The entrepreneur is an optimist, able to clearly see more of what be by taking what is here now and seeking to rearrange it.
Entrepreneurs are characterized by boundless energy, brimming vision and bold determination. I’ve seen those qualities in many of the entrepreneurs I have met here in the Okanagan for the past six years.
They are alert, watching for new opportunities to change the status quo, and often through failure develop a better than average sense of timing, learning to balance patience and immediate action.
Entrepreneurial champions possess these same heroic characteristics.
Most winners are also further inspired by tales of other winners and their successes against all odds.
Such sources of inspiration often fuel the fires of desire and persistence, providing much needed boost that provides the ultimate edge for victory.
So, is there really a distinct difference between the entrepreneurial hero and a champion?
I think not. At least not enough to cause us grief over an internalizing of the variables.
I, for one, choose to stand at the finish line of many of life’s races for personal reward and success and applaud jubilantly for the victors among us in our daily journey.
Please join me as they’re waiting for our sound.