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"Action Trumps Everything"

There's one conference a year that I try to take in and that's the Global Leadership Summit hosted by Willowcreek Community Church. I really appreciate the posture of The Summit:  we can learn from those who are doing things well from many different spheres. I love that the speakers are a real mixture and variety of people and backgrounds. So, last week, I got to take in the Summit again.

One of my favorite sessions was by Len Schlesinger, the President of the leading school for entrepreneurship, Babson College. I've always been fascinated and intrigued by what it means to be an entrepreneur, and what makes one an entrepreneur.  I think we tend to believe that entrepreneurs are only a small, select kind of people. The kind we could never be.  But what if that weren't true? I've thought that if there's a way more of us could figure out what it means to be an entrepreneur and actually take steps in that direction, that there's a whole lot of Kingdom potential that could be released.  What I loved about this session was that Len Schlesinger dismantled many of our widely accepted perceptions about entrepreneurs.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Many entrepreneurs don't start with a big, clear vision.  They just do something, learn from it, and keep on doing it.
  • Entrepreneurs are not actually all that excited about risk; in fact, the good ones know how to avoid it.
  • Research has shown that entrepreneurs aren't more decisive and self-confident than others.
  • We think a true entrepreneur is someone like Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg but in reality an entrepreneur is more likely to be someone who sees something being done and they just do it better.
  • Being an entrepreneur is a discipline, and like any other discipline it can be learned.
  • If you can't predict the future, create it.
  • In the face of unknowability, you can sit and think, or you can act.
  • How do you start something?  Start with something you care about.
  • Many great enterprises have been started by 2 people who like each other deciding to just do something together.
  • Failure doesn't mean "game over", it means learn from it and try again.
  • When you fail, its quite likely you've just learned something that no one else knows that will help you do it better the next time.
  • Stop obsessing about what you think you need and don't have, just act with what you have.


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