What is entrepreneurship?
What are the key assets of an entrepreneur?
It depends on the goal that one has set in or, the vision that is envisaged.
The prefix of successful is worth millions.
First of all, to qualify innovation has to be an inbuilt trait and perseverance as a trait acquired through experience. In between the two there are millions of other sub-traits. These add up to arrive at the final definition of Entrepreneurship.
There are paths available to make one a better entrepreneur with a greater sense of social responsibility. Here is a story of entrepreneurship through a journey of an entrepreneur to heaven and hell. The story is dedicated to take a holistic approach towards entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship as a process. The evolution of entrepreneurs and the envisaged process.
Definition on Wikipedia – Entrepreneurship – Explained
The story is to reflect on entrepreneurship. It works with the metaphor of farmer but is intended to mean a common person.
A true Entrepreneur is one who is a team person but has courage to travel alone on difficult routes and fight adversities.
Entrepreneurship is all about bringing positive changes even at Heaven and create opportunities in Hell to bring it on par with Heaven. We all have an entrepreneur within us and the onus is on us to bring out the entrepreneur to the fullest.
Setting the scene for entrepreneurship
To set the scene for storytelling, let me start with the prologue, Once upon a time.
Once upon a time there lived a peasant in a small village. He had a farm land through which he used to earn his living. Villagers loved him and even people from other villages used to visit his farm because of his innovative methods of farming. There is a related article in this blog on contemporary ideas on business growth titled 3 innovative ideas for business growth.
Getting back to the story.
The farmer had a water reservoir in centre of his farm from which he could divert small canals to his crops. He also used scientific methods to farming leading to bumper harvest each year. He used to supply water to other farms as well and charge them a royalty and soon started his own farming consultancy once his personal brand was established.
One of the key areas of entrepreneurship is to understand the importance of developing personal brand. This has been explained further in an article about.personal brand development in Forbes.
The farmer started renting farms which gave way to community farming and his business prospered. This marked the start of what can be said as an example or setting the scene for entrepreneurship.
Takeaway – There must be an innovation attached to entrepreneurship which has to be complemented by a well structured methodology. Innovation can be either process innovation or product innovation.
Entrepreneurial edge and strategies
He gradually became popular in his district.
Farmers from other parts of state also sought his advice on farming and his fame was spreading further. The peasant started his seed factory. Material plus technology support was provided to those who needed his advice. So, it was like vertical and horizontal diversification and proper marketing and positioning of his own brand.
These traits along with a proper strategy and continuous innovation formed the pillars of successful entrepreneurship for him.
This has been beautifully explained in pictorial view as Toolkit for private sectors by United nations development programme .
Takeaway – Word of mouth, a superior product, branding (marketing) strategy and continuous innovation are required to keep ahead of competition.
Things were moving picture perfect for the peasant till a startling incident happened one day.
Hand of God in entrepreneurship– The luck factor
Peasant was summoned by God to the Heaven as the recession had hit Heaven’s economy with Hell’s economy prospering and catching up with that of Heaven.
Peasant was in a deep fix upon hearing this as like all of us, he believed Heaven was a place of endless prosperity and eternal happiness. He got curious and took a tour of heaven. He saw buildings floating on cloud in rickety conditions. He saw water and milk fountains dry. The magnificence of the divine gardens was withering due to lack of maintenance.
He further observed that designer cars and flying objects were scattered everywhere lying unused. On enquiry, his celestial guide advised that all machines and vehicles run on environment friendly hydrogen. Due to excessive use, stock of celestial hydrogen has almost been consumed and the Heaven is hopelessly dependent on the fuel imported from hell to meet energy needs. Taking advantage of the situation, the authorities of hell have increased their fuel tariffs manifold.
The peasant was getting confused as he had a different picture of heaven. He went back to God to know what was expected of him. God wanted to avail of his consultancy services to produce hydrogen in the empty farmlands of Heaven.
Takeaway– Luck is a pre-requisite of entrepreneurship. It is important however not to rush into opportunities. A background search is extremely important. Luck has to be factored in but involuntarily.
Methodology for entrepreneurs
Peasant called team of innovators back from earth to heaven whom he had hand-picked over the years and discussed with them the techno – economic feasibility prospects of various possible projects to augment the production of hydrogen fuel. The advice he received was as given below:
‘Hydrogen is a significant source of energy which can be burned to produce power with no negative impact on the environment, unlike power produced by burning fossil fuels. Hydrogen gas can be easily produced by splitting water into its constituent elements – hydrogen and oxygen. Plants’ powers of photosynthesis allow them to harness the energy of the sun to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen at separate times and at separate physical locations in the plant’s structure. By applying direct current to water via a positive and a negatively-charged electrode in a process known as electrolysis, scientists have been able to break the bonds between hydrogen and oxygen, releasing them as gas.’ (reproduced from Phys Org).
From the information above, the peasant along with the creative scientists of heaven devised a machine which could harness the energy direct from the plant and send to a central reservoir through a sealed canal system.
Relentless effort of the peasant along with his team and innovators and creators at Heaven reaped desired results and soon Hydrogen fuelled the revival of the economy of heaven and it was termed as the ‘Great hydrogen bang’.
Takeaway– A structured methodology, proper knowledge management along with a great team constitute the recipe of success in entrepreneurship. Success never comes fast and easy.
Competition and expansion
Peasant was sent back to earth with rewards but the vibration of his fame soon started to resonate in the closed economy of Hell. So, he was summoned by the king of Hell.
When the peasant visited hell, he saw the place to be mixed bag of slums and high-rises side by side. Few dominated and most were getting dominated. Punishments were severe for even petty crimes and there were local small rulers who had their own legal system and production system.
Sun used to shine on them for only 1% of the time and fire through inflammable gases were used for lighting. Barter was the only mode of exchange and there was a huge queue of immigrants living miserably who were waiting from ages to get a seat in hell as they were banned from heaven and the population of the wait-listed queue was bigger than the inhabitants of hell.
Well, probably not by choice.
The King of hell wanted the Peasant to devise and initiate suitable measures to develop the economy of the Hell in the manner in which he had brought up the economy of the Heaven.
Takeaway – Opportunity lies everywhere. so, love competition and embrace uncertainty.
The Peasant visited the queued zone and found out that there were several entrepreneurs in that zone. He considered it to be wastage of available resources and persuaded the hell authorities to ensure their immigration on top priority basis. The endless wait of those failed entrepreneurs ended and gave rise to desire and optimism.
Related article- Your irrational optimism is necessary
They teamed up with Peasant and the team overflowing with ideas, blossomed under the leadership of the peasant. The first immediate innovation was of Giant Solar Simulator which were planted at various locations.
As per the definition ‘A solar simulator (also artificial sun) is a device that provides illumination approximating natural sunlight. The purpose of the solar simulator is to provide a controllable indoor test facility under laboratory conditions, used for the testing of solar cells, sun screen, plastics, and other materials and devices.’
Now the issue of darkness was sorted out and this new light of hope gave way to a series of innovations and the effect of dangerous gases were reduced which impacted the health of the inhabitants. Suddenly there was a hope of transformation which helped in integration of the society.
The Peasant introduced community farming and several economic reforms. Education system and infrastructure were next in line of target for innovations and then came a day when Hell and Heaven were competing for best places and the Peasant was acting as an advisor to both.
Takeaway – In the era of cut throat competition, innovation and emotional intelligence help entrepreneurs to evolve. Entrepreneurship doesn’t mean killing competition but creating a blue ocean for entrepreneurs which makes competition obsolete.
One of my earlier posts covers the topic about 7 Catalysts of innovation and creativity at work.
The Final Takeaway on entrepreneurship
The Peasant in the story is a true Entrepreneur who has hope, does not get perturbed by risk, uncertainty and challenges (like growing Hydrogen on farm- strange!!).
He looks for opportunities even in adversities or without being overwhelmed in good times and creates a blue ocean of opportunities of his own.