I’ve met two people in the last week who truly define ‘entrepreneur’.
The first is a lady who started a niche transportation company in the early 90s and grew it to 300 employees. She sold the company in 2005 and while the terms were undisclosed, we can assume she did very well – she now spends half the year living in the southern hemisphere. Last year she started a new company. And when I met her last week, she proudly described what the company does, asked if I knew anyone who would benefit from their services, and generally did all the things that founders do – promoting, selling, educating. What I found remarkable was the fact that here is an individual who has accomplished what all entrepreneurs dream of – cashing out – and yet was pouring her heart, soul, capabilities and money into a new business. She had not slowed down one bit. I found that just plain awesome.
The second is a young man at the other end of entrepreneur spectrum. He left a well-paying but dull corporate job to take the helm of a struggling start-up that had all but collapsed. I saw him present at a ‘Dragon’s Den’ type event where he was trying to raise $500,000. He’s been at the money-raising game for almost a year now – it’s been that tough a market . When I heard him speak last night, he did it with all the passion and interest of a first time run-through. Despite the slog, he is just as focused and determined as his first day.
Both these experiences highlight the ‘never say die’ attitude of an entrepreneur.