Topic 3: Entrepreneur’s Ethic
At its core, entrepreneurship is about solving customers’ problems in creative, value-added ways. The genesis of every successful entrepreneurial endeavor begins with understanding and solving a real problem faced by someone else, who then becomes a satisfied customer when that problem is solved. The creative and innovative entrepreneurs who add value to the customer in turn receive a financial benefit from the transaction they can use to achieve their own goals and objectives. This mutually beneficial, collectively satisfying, reciprocal relationship between the customer and the entrepreneur is the foundation of the Entrepreneur’s Ethic, which is so called because it intrinsically puts the problems and challenges of a potential customer first and foremost as the purpose for entrepreneurial activity.
Of note, entrepreneurs do not just gain financially from successfully satisfying their customers’ needs. Psychic benefits can include a sense of purpose beyond oneself, a feeling of achievement and accomplishment, a satisfaction that comes from helping others, and an overall fulfillment as a result of focusing one’s talents and passions for a noble cause. This symbiotic, positive relationship between customer and entrepreneur is a model for other human interactions as well.
One of the main reasons why so many businesses fail is usually because they are either solving a problem that doesn’t exist, out of touch with their customers such that their solution isn’t one that is seen as valuable, or their solution is not better, faster, and/or cheaper than alternatives. Entrepreneurial endeavors, thus, greatly benefit from adequately and accurately incorporating the perspective of the customer when understanding the problem and generating a solution. Similarly, other types of conflict could be better avoided if people would do more to understand a situation from another’s perspective.
The Entrepreneur’s Ethic was emphasized by Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States of America, who often commended the “courage, generosity, and creativity” of entrepreneurs. He pointed out they “don’t have guaranteed incomes” and therefore must “anticipate and deliver what customers want” in order to be profitable and, most importantly, must “give before they can take.” The result of the Ethic is that entrepreneurs become the engines that drive economic, innovative, and creative activities that benefit their lives and the lives of those around them.
Imagine how different our world would be if every day we woke up, and the first thing we thought of was, “How am I going to solve somebody else’s problem today?” By doing that, we lose the selfishness and obsession with ourselves and focus on others instead. This potentially world-changing dynamic and transformative paradigm is at the fundamental heart of the entrepreneurial mindset and the ultimate zone of success.
Reflection Question: What do you see as the benefits and impact of entrepreneurial activity both in your life and in the lives of those around you? Write your answer in your Learning Journal.
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