It’s a word we throw around every day: entrepreneur. But does it mean the same thing now as it did in 1723?
BY FAISAL HOQUE | March 5, 2013
The buzz about entrepreneurship is everywhere nowadays–from magazine covers to conferences, hotel lobbies to the White House, and of course, kitchen tables. The French word entrepreneur first appeared in the French dictionary in 1723 to describe a person who organizes and operates a business by taking a financial risk. Since then the word entrepreneur–and the world–has completely changed. Today, entrepreneurship is celebrated like never before and it is defined in so many ways–social entrepreneurship, intra-entrepreneurship, knowledge entrepreneurship, micro-entrepreneurship–you name it.
In 1975, Harvard professor Howard Stevenson defined entrepreneurship as “the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.” “Resources currently controlled” can be interpreted as limited resources. From that point of view, almost all of us have some level of entrepreneurial challenges.
I have been practicing entrepreneurship since I was 14 years old. I know all too well about the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources. Author Steven Pressfield (author of the Legend of Bagger Vance) writes,
“We duel adversity every day, you and I. We get bloodied; we experience casualties–and we have to get up and find a way to fight again. We might not be wearing body armor or carrying M4 carbines, but we know in our bones that the warrior virtues of patience, resolution, tenacity, selflessness, capacity to endure hardship, etc. serve us every day of our lives.”
Steven’s description of the warrior’s virtues describes the practice of entrepreneurship quite well. At a fundamental level all entrepreneurs try to overcome adversity to pursue opportunity with limited resources.
Read the full article @FastCompany.