Friday 18 February 2011

Entrepreneur : Orion : Ambiguity

Tonight is the 15th night (or "Zub Gor Mair" in hokkien), which is also the last day of the Chinese New Year celebration. The sky is clear, the moon is full and bright, and the stars are sparkling. While walking back after a simple but good dinner with my wife, we were able to see the Orion constellation clearly. Do you know that you can find the North South East West direction by looking at the Orion? Perhaps you may have already know, but for the benefit of those who do not, I have done an image illustration below.

First, spot the Orion constellation.

Then, look for the Orion's Belt.

There is a bright spot (a nebula - gaseous cloud) below the belt. Opposite it is the North. The left is the East and the right is the West (opposite to the compass).

Yes, I finally did it. I have always wanted to share this in my blog. :)

So, what is this got to do with the topic "Entrepreneur : Orion : Ambiguity"?

Well, it seems like Orion is "Consistent" or "Certain", which can tell you the direction. Whereas, Ambiguity is "Doubtful" or "Uncertain", which may make you lost your direction.

As an Entrepreneur, you have to be certain and consistent. You are the leader, you have to lead the direction. You have to stay FOCUS. Just to share, my definition of focus is

Frequent, Outright, Concentration, Uphold , Success.

I think this part is quite easy to understand. But what about Ambiguity?

Recently, I read an article title "Should You Really Be A Startup Entrepreneur?" written by Mark Suster, a 2x entrepreneur who has gone to the Dark Side of VC. For the benefit of reading, I extracted the following portion from the article

"And I mean this. I’m sure everybody has their own definition of the attributes of an entrepreneur. Some of the ones I would identify are:
  • Not very status-oriented
  • Doesn't follow rules very well and questions authority
  • Can handle high degrees of ambiguity or uncertainty
  • Can handle rejection, being told “no” often and yet still have the confidence in your idea
  • Very decisive. A bias toward making decisions – even when only right 70% of the time – moving forward & correcting what doesn’t work
  • A high level of confidence in your own ideas and ability to execute
  • Not highly susceptible to stress
  • Have a high risk tolerance
  • Not scared or ashamed of failure
  • Can handle long hours, travel, lack of sleep and the trade-offs of having less time for hobbies & other stuff
I bold and used blue color to emphasize the point that I strongly agree and would like to elaborate here.

If entrepreneurship is certain, than why do people want to work for anybody?

I remembered in the early days, our MM Lee Kuan Yew insisted that a leader is born and not trained. Many years later, he toned down and said that leaders can be trained too. In my opinion, it is both. You simply cannot train someone, who do not have a leadership quality, to be a leader. On the other hand, not all leaders shine or are discovered in their early days. Their potential can be "revealed" through training and also through opportunities. Furthermore, there are different level of leadership.

Similar to leaders, I strongly believe that entrepreneurs are both born and trained. In addition, there are different level of Entrepreneurship. The word Entrepreneur is so loosely used everywhere. Let me briefly break it down into Businessman, Top Level Executive, Self-employed, Freelancer, Trader and even Salesperson. Although they have crossover attributes, they are very much different too. They have each different risk level, different ways of seeing things and solving problems, different expectations and different way of life.

There is nothing wrong with being a businessman, top level executive, self-employed, freelancer, trader and even salesperson. Some people want the freedom of working for themselves, but do not want the kind of life as an Entrepreneur. Some people want to make a lot of money but do not want the hassle to build a business. The list can go on and on. By the way, you don't have to be an entrepreneur to make a lot of money. I am 101% sure. :)

You may comment that Ambiguity is an attribute similar across the range of entrepreneurship like businessman, top level executives, trader and etc. Yes, I agree. That is why I put them in the same category of Entrepreneurship. But, again, they are pretty much different among themselves... is this a form of ambiguity? :) Are you able to accept ambiguity like this and still be able to distinguish them? In my opinion, an entrepreneur has all the attributes across the range of entrepreneurship, plus, the willingness to change the world for the better and not putting his/her interest in the first place.... isn't it sounds more contradicting and ambiguous?

By the way, if you are not yet successful, it does not mean that you will not be successful in the future. Likewise, if you have had some successful moments, it does not mean that you will continue to be successful in the future. Another ambiguity indeed :). Remember this, your story only ended when you take your last breath on this earth. Continue to "write" your life story...

In conclusion, if you are someone who cannot handle and take ambiguity, it is best to drop the idea to be an Entrepreneur.

"Doing what you do best is better than doing what is the best to do out there" - jaywin

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