By Michael Hepworth
I hear from time to time that we need to engender a greater entrepreneurial spirit in Canada.
I dont believe there is anything wrong with entrepreneurial spirit here. I’ve lived in 4 countries, started 5 businesses and worked with literally 100s of entrepreneurs in Canada and there’s no shortage of people who aspire to build and run a business and like everywhere else there is a range through good bad and indifferent entrepreneurs.
Contrary to popular belief entrepreneurs are not really risk takers, they merely do what they believe they can achieve.
I believe that the thing that holds people back from becoming entrepreneurs is lack of certainty. Most people wont leave a paying job, even one they hate if they dont know how they will feed their family from a new business.
If you are certain you can achieve something, you get stuck in and get it done. Why people stop is they get disillusioned, they run into barriers and begin to doubt themselves.
I think all entrepreneurial dreams begin with what is possible. As soon as one begins to understand that certain solutions or creations are possible we begin to take action.
Once we’ve taken a certain amount of action, asked lots of questions, sought lots of advice, we move to something being probable. At this stage it’s not a certainty but it gives us sufficient momentum to keep going. The belief that something is probable grows with every barrier to success we overcome.
Once we get past this stage, we get to certainty. Certainty is an exciting stage we know our dream is going to come true and our momentum increases. In fact at this stage most entrepreneurs are unstoppable. To some extent serial entrepreneurs like myself are a little arrogant and believe everything is certain, but if there are enough set backs even we too begin to doubt ourselves. Too many set backs and we begin to think about moving on to something else.
As an entrepreneur if you want to succeed you must protect that feeling of certainty for without it your doubts will make the job so much more difficult. You protect your certainty by having very clear goals, surrounding yourself with successful advisors and having solid plans. Also important is a strong network of people who can introduce you to the right people help you get to where you want to go.