Mar 06

The Real Entrepreneur

It is always a touch embarrassing to read or, even worse, have to actually listen to a so called businessman sing his own praises. Telling us how clever he or she was, to be in the right place, asset class, property or just job, at any particular time.

After all who really wants to know? They mostly want you to know, as it strokes their ego and many will go to great lengths, even paying for advertorial articles on themselves that blow their own trumpet or tells us of their aspirations, goals and potential. What a waste of stale hot air!

There is great confusion in the minds of these often career corporate men, bean counters or more suitably back room boys and it all revolves around what entrepreneurship actually is. From the great Jack Walsh (what an ego!) to over promoted third world accountants, I, like you, have probably had to listen to their descriptions of how they took, “bold and brave steps” how they are born entrepreneurs! What poppy cock, they are often spending shareholders funds, hocking company assets, looking after their own self interest or simply standing on the shoulders of giants. Others simply ride the company founders coat tails and are then history within months, rather than years, of the originators departure, simply because without a real entrepreneur around, a leader and or an ideas man, they are nothing but the school 2nd XV playing in the 1st teams kit, while the 1st team are on tour!

One of the reasons I say this is because in every individual that runs their own business, a business they originated and started from scratch, I see a man or woman with more nerve, skill, strength and personal integrity than the combined out put of all MBA’s sitting in the worlds corporates or every accountant sitting within these same corporates!

I add to my group of stars all those who raise their families and live their lives knowing that each month they are themselves their families single safety net.

The financial services industry has created many such great entrepreneurs and self starters. People who work knowing, amongst other things, that luck is basically “Preparation meets Opportunity”. People who know they are the future of their industry and must act with honesty and integrity, while using their entrepreneurial skills to earn their living and deliver all they know their clients deserve.

The next time a life served banker, accountant, insurance or conglomerate executive starts talking about his entrepreneurial ability just ask him what new ideas he has delivered, what risk he took personally, especially with his own capital rather than that of shareholders?

Ask them to spell the word entrepreneur, list the three key moments in their career that meaningfully added value and also go and get the next round in! If they can’t do all three at speed they are a charlatan and not worth giving the time of day to!

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