I attended another entrepreneurs night on Tuesday in the city. It was cold and I turned up in my long overcoat and entered the room jammed full of entrepreneurs and those wanting to be. I stood with a beer in my hand as the various speakers related their diverse experiences feeling intrigued and invigorated by it all. I wondered why it had taken so long for me to cotton onto this.
As the crowd asked questions and related their own stories I realised that taking on an entrepreneurial enterprise does not an entrepreneur make. That's probably incorrect in the literal meaning of the term, but true for the spirit of it. Being an entrepreneur I think is a way of thinking and approaching things, it's a mindset bold and somehow defiant, creative, innovative, independent and outside of - or beyond - the common expectations of society.
There were people there who had happened across good business ideas and where enterprising enough to make it happen. Yet listening to them it seemed obvious they did not have the imagination to properly exploit them. Imagination is important to understand what is possible, to identify opportunities and to find different ways of making them happen.
Afterwards in our small groups we swapped stories and business cards over a beer. On one occasion a few of us spoke of the distinction in peripheral terms, each of us riffing in entrepreneurial manner about one of the stories brought up earlier. They could do this, or that. To each of us attuned to the same entrepreneurial spirit the context seemed obvious if not the solution. There are a hundred ways to skin a cat, but at least we knew it.
For me personally it was a productive night. I met some nice and some very interesting people. I got some decent suggestions, and one woman who said she'd look out for a mother for my children. And I got some connections I'm following up on next week. I left after nine, a few beers in my belly and the idea refreshed that the world is full of infinite possibilities.