Rarely, if ever, do such cries come from real entrepreneurs:
“The lack of startup support structure is letting down an entire generation.”
“Minnesota could do more to encourage, nourish and retain new startups.”
“We don’t have to stay in Minnesota and be blasted with terrible advice and disparaging feedback.”
“The early stage startup community has nothing to give right now except for the promise of Minnesota’s future.”
These expectations…and implied entitlement…are cancerous to the heart and mind of entrepreneurship. Worse, toxic to a community. Just because you wannabe an entrepreneur — because you care and try — doesn’t mean that someone else owes you time, advice, or money.
What successful entrepreneur ever got to where they are with such a perverse view of how business works?
It matters not your age, gender, race, religion, life situation, or any other factor aside from action and ability.
- Place their validation in the market above all else.
- Don’t turn to others for the answer.
- Are creators of circumstance, not victims.
- Operate more from a space of within and less from without.
- Take ownership of their fate, the trials and tribuluations, their wins and losses.
It’s the wannabes who tend to impose their sense of entitlement and expectations on others. This approach may draw some attention and empathy from equally depraved peers, but it never convinced a customer to buy a product, inspired others to jump on board, or attracted an investors cash.
Real entrepreneurs are taking what they’ve got, where they are at, and running with it. If that sprint leads to a different environment, one of greater opportunity given the objectives, then that’s their path and their concern.
Meanwhile, the other real entrepreneurs are not letting those life and career choices distract their pursuits.
Wannabe entrepreneurs waste energy on trivial matters — such as whether their state or existing network is “supportive enough” — instead of learning how earn business in the wild right now on their own accord.
When the wannabe fails, the excuses emerge and it becomes other peoples fault. They distract and steal attention from the real entrepreneurs who are making it happen every damn day under the same circumstances as the rest.
Transforming from a wannabe to the real thing comes from leading by example, taking initiative and doing it. The onus of success is always on the entrepreneur, and no one else — that’s 101.
Look in the mirror because it starts with being the change you wish to see. Invent a solution to the problem you perceive instead of waiting, or expecting someone else to do it while passing blame. And if it’s a grant you’re after, start a charity; if you want a shot at investment, start a company.
Jeff Pesek has interviewed hundreds of Minnesota tech entrepreneurs. Some are real, and some just wannabe.