A local well know business school defines Entrepreneurship as “The relentless pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled”. This definition is perhaps open to debate and pretty narrow in scope but it revolves primarily around three major elements, namely:
1. Product idea and development
2. Financing – personal, friends, bank, angels or VC
3. Exit – sale or replacement by competent CEO
This is quite normal perhaps for a high tech start up but there is much more to your typical entrepreneurial endeavor. The first two points are valid but thereafter it can take on many variations with the “Exit” obviously being just one. What appears to be missing is Quality of Life. Many people also start new enterprises to create a career, to build some wealth over a period of time, to create a legacy for their family and very often to be in control. Some would argue that it is all about being the King (in control) or Rich or, is there more to it?
Where does happiness fit into all this? Many would argue that the “Pursuit of Happiness” is a function of success; when I make enough money or land that great job, then I will be happy. But it never quite works out like that. According to Harvard psychologist, Sean Achor he challenges this traditional paradigm and claims that success is actually a function of happiness. Remember only 10% of entrepreneurial endeavors actually succeed? Perhaps if more people sought happiness first – doing what they love, staying in control equity wise, building their own team, being in it for the long haul then maybe this disturbing statistic might change for the better. But undoubtedly the debate will linger as to which is the cart and which is the horse.
So if you are an entrepreneur, here are some questions for you:
1. Why are you doing it?
2. Do you want to be Rich or King?
3. Are you Happy?
The answers to these questions might begin to provide some interesting insights and allow you to figure out what true entrepreneurship is all about.