Stop bitching. Start creating.

I recently overheard a discussion that got me thinking. Two people were in the middle of a debate about “true entrepreneurship”. Can it be taught? Or is it something you’re born with?

I do not believe entrepreneurship is something you’re born with. To me, “true entrepreneurship” is in essence about the difference between a constructive state of mind and a critical state of mind. The difference between those who keep complaining about missed chances, and those who are celebrating upcoming opportunities. The very difference between people who feel sorry for themselves and those who push harder.

It surprises me how often people confuse a critical mind with a visionary mind. There are too many societies, including here in the Netherlands, where being critical on just about anything is highly overrated. I love how this comes to light on a micro scale during the typical crowd response at startup pitch events. There are always a few jokers who, after a mere 5 minutes, think they’ve discovered a key business model the founder hasn’t thought of yet.

Affiliates? As a business model for a search and comparison website?! Who could have thought!

Please note that I’m not saying you shouldn’t deliver feedback on pitches. The discussion flowing from critical remarks is much more valuable to a founder than a silent crowd. My point is though, that critical voices are too often being applauded for stating the obvious. From my own experience as a founder, I can easily tell any entrepreneur 10 potential problems he or she should beware of. The other way around is much harder. For most startups, I would lack the experience to identify 10 potential opportunities for their specific industry.

It’s easy to be critical about everything. It’s much much harder though to really stand for something. True vision is about standing for what you believe in and having the confidence that you and your co-founders will make it work. Stop bitching and start creating. That’s what “true entrepreneurship” really is about.

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