Skip to main content

Execution Is What Makes an Entrepreneur

I was speaking with a friend about what he’d seen in venture capital on what makes an entrepreneur. We talked about how entrepreneurship is about execution – “ideas are nothing if they remain as ideas”, except, there’s a wrinkle here.

Thinking about several others who have “started” an idea or launched an app, I don’t qualify them as entrepreneurs yet. Heck, I started Dee Duper in Dec 2014, but did nothing to sell it once it launched.

Many have grand technology ideas and can hire others to build them. Once built and launched, are these owners also entrepreneurs? Not immediately, no. They’ve launched something and they’ve funded it, but I wouldn’t qualify them as entrepreneurs yet. 

So what makes a true entrepreneur? There’s a myriad of actions and decisions that may qualify them, but I’m going simple to say, “Sustained execution”.

Just because I golf a few times a year doesn’t make me a golfer. If someone runs twice in a month, I wouldn’t qualify him as a runner. He goes on runs, but he’s not a runner. Entrepreneurship is similar. It’s about sustained execution. It’s about meeting the needs of the market, developing and delivering some solution, and iterating the idea to serve the market… continuously.

During the tribulations of Body Boss, my cofounders and I were entrepreneurs. We were actively iterating our product months after launching. I met with prospects and helped customers daily. We attended tradeshows and sold our product to the masses. And of course, we struggled, too. Entrepreneurship is about the ups and the downs. It’s about persistence and sustained execution.

What are your thoughts on entrepreneurship and sustained execution? What about execution in general?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

You Make Time for What (and Who) Matters

I’ve always been a big proponent that you make time for the things and people that matter. Sounds simple, right? Then, why do so many not implement this better in their lives? Let me take a moment to recognize this more explicitly.
I touched on Laura Vanderkam’s TED Talk “How to Gain Control of Your Free Time” in last week’s post. In it, she shares a story of a woman who had a leak in her home. Coordinating with plumbers, and getting everything resolved, the woman estimated that it probably took seven hours of attention. That’s seven hours of “stuff” the woman hadn’t planned on doing. If you were to ask her (or most anyone) to find seven hours in the week before, she’d have told you, “heck, no, I don’t have seven hours. I’m busy!”
I was thinking of Laura’s talk in conjunction with Jacob Christensen’s How Will You Measure Your Life. Specifically, I’m aligning “making time” with Christensen’s Resources-Processes-Priorities framework. We make (process) time (resources) for the things th…

Leadership Take-Aways from Two of NCAA’s Most Successful Coaches

On my recent Delta flight, I read an interesting leadership article in Delta’s Sky magazine – the feature piece being an interview of two of the NCAA’s most successful coaches – Coach MikeKrzyzewski (Coach “K”) of Duke’s men’s basketball team and Coach Urban Meyer of Ohio State football with five and three national championships, respectively.
Given these two coaches’ storied careers, their leadership has incredible sustainability. Here are my take-aways from the article: Both coaches took leave of absences in their careers due to medical concerns. Their successes cultivated deeper motivations to win exacting significant physical, mental, social, and emotional tolls. After stepping away, however, each returned to coaching posts to continue winning ways, but implemented mechanisms and understanding to keep themselves in check. Take-away: To operate in peak form like their respective teams, leaders, too, need to ensure self-maintenance.The interviewer asked the coaches about social medi…

My Life-Defining Moment Happened When I Failed to Make Varsity in High School

Ever stop to think about who you are? What makes you tick and tock? How about what you truly enjoy and what you’re good at vs. not good at? Or what/ who has shaped you into the person you are today?
I’m at this stage of figuring out whether to continue independent consulting while iterating on ideas for the next startup or take on some full-time employment (consulting, product management, or otherwise). My recent post about my daily/ weekly schedule was an interesting exercise in stepping back and recognizing what I’m actually doing in a day, and made me really think at the macro level.
In one of my recent reflections, I thought about defining moments in my life. One of those watershed events that truly transformed me was my failure to make the Varsity soccer team in high school. I won’t rehash the whole story here – shared the story almost a year ago in my post titled “Getting Through Dark Moments and the Most Vulnerable Story I've Ever Told Publicly”. It’s this moment that I w…