“Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”
That’s the twelve-word definition of entrepreneurship that they teach at Harvard Business School.
I’d like to break the definition down for you.
There’s nothing intrinsic in this definition about business, or risk, or even making money. It’s something different – a way of looking at the world. It’s a way of life.
2. “…is the pursuit of opportunity…”
There are two key words here: pursuit and opportunity.
“Pursuit” means you relentlessly go after it. Entrepreneurs are people who don’t give up. A true entrepreneur is always pursuing “opportunity”. They believe in doing the best at this very moment. They don’t settle for anything less than what they feel they deserve.
3. “…without regard to resources currently controlled.”
This might just be my favorite phrase in the world. I suppose if Harvard Business School had wanted to make the definition more accessible, they could have said “regardless of” instead of “without regard to,” but no matter.
“Without regard to resources currently controlled” means it doesn’t matter how little you have at the start. It doesn’t matter that you don’t have money, or that you don’t have all the required skills, or that you don’t have a team to help you. At the very beginning especially, reach for the stars. Don’t let the opportunities you pursue be limited by the assets you currently have. Instead, let the attractiveness of the opportunity serve as your guide.
When people think of ‘company culture,’ they conjure up images of free booze, foosball tables, and bean bag chairs. These perks are nothing but manifestations of culture. Over time, even the prospect of free massages gets a little old.
Individuals who stick with your business for the long run are looking for something much deeper — something about your company and its mission that resonates with their own personal values. Why do you exist? If the answer to this question completely contradicts with what an individual believes in, there is almost no chance for cultural alignment — no matter how many company perks you throw at someone.
In their book “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies,” authors Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras argue that many great businesses succeeded because they have a cult-like culture. They performed an extensive semi-quantitative study comparing big successes alongside big failures in many industries across a multitude of parameters, and concluded that the biggest determinant for success is a strong alignment around core values.
Build a culture that lives on through the generations.