Most of the businesses fail, most entrepreneurs fail. Even those who succeed suffer through the process. You could spend every week of the year at a conference where successful entrepreneurs talk of the importance of fast failure and pivoting out of disaster, but the life of the entrepreneur is celebrated and desired. HENKÔ program is based on how we can be more conscious of this hard process but have fun at the same time.
The optimism of entrepreneurs is widespread, stubborn and costly. Entrepreneurship offers a way out of corporate life, out of a system of task and reward allocation run by others, to one run by you. You get to decide how to work, what to work on, and how to divide the rewards. If you would rather wear your skivvies instead of a suit, forego all meetings and work via Skype from the beach, you can – assuming your investors and employees still trust you to make your business fly. At the very least, when you find yourself hauled out of bed early on a weekend morning, or taking that last, grey flight home on a Friday night, you can know you are doing it for yourself rather than at the whim of another. But entrepreneurship also allows individuals a shot at the even deeper pleasure of doing work that they cannot do while working for others. It provides a way to innovate, to challenge whatever currently prevails and to let your originality flourish.
Entrepreneurship is a powerful means of arranging life to enable one’s fulfillment, and it is this ineffable opportunity which colors people’s view of its risks. Business is often wrongly seen as a set of rational processes. Entrepreneurship gives emotion its proper place. Once the venture was underway, optimists tended to do better than pessimists: “Confidence in their future success sustains a positive mood that helps them obtain resources from others , raise the morale of their employees and enhance the prospects of prevailing. When action is needed , optimism , even if the mildly delusional variety, may be a good thing.
Why HENKÔ is thinking for entrepreneurs? Because we work on some skills that they will need. To think like an entrepreneur is to journey through this mazy terrain between optimism and despair, optimism engendered by the thrill of self- actualization which occurs when you start and manage a successful enterprise, and despair at the difficulties which this entails and the corpses which litter your path.
The definition of entrepreneurship by Howard Stevenson is ” entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled”. The ocean is the best example of analogy with this.
An entrepreneur is a person who resists ever feeling stuck because they don’t currently have what it takes to pursue a dream or opportunity . An entrepreneur finds a way to resist the easy default settings of modern life , to pursue a path that is their own.
Entrepreneurs are described as risk addicts and control freaks, intuitive and rigorous, charismatic, evangelical. They are empathetic to people very different from themselves and have the imagination to understand conflicting points of view. They venture eagerly and playfully into the unknown and are thus more likely to discover new things than those who set out in fear. The struggles of entrepreneurship and the fear of soul-shattering failure have turned many entrepreneurs to philosophies of indifference, notably stoicism and zen.
To think like an entrepreneur is not just to draw up a spreadsheet. It is not just to mess around with a product, to create a website, invest in some Google Adwords and hope for the best. It is to think in terms of change, often dramatic change. And to change anything, one must move lightly, unburdened by the drab expectations of others. The HENKÔ experience is the best analogy with this constant change.
This post was based on the book “How to think like an entrepreneur” by Philip Delves Broughton