Think Like an Entrepreneur

EntrepreneursHere’s my vision of what is one small component of what makes up a great PR professional: entrepreneurial spirit.

To me, entrepreneurial spirit is vital to making it in this business. An entrepreneur is a fighter. He is someone who is always looking one—or two—steps ahead of both the competition and his peers, and is actively finding a way to make the often difficult and impossible happen. And with flair. And gumption. And great success.

Having an entrepreneurial spirit in PR means your job doesn’t just entail what is written out in the job duties and responsibilities that you boss gave you on your first day. That’s fine if you’re content with doing the same thing, day after day. But for those of us who like a little adventure and excitement in our jobs, having an entrepreneurial spirit means we have the foresight and the confidence to look just a bit beyond our set out job duties to see what really needs to and should be done to generate great results.

It means not giving up when you have just sent out 10 fantastic, targeted pitches to reporters and bloggers and not a single one of them gets even a hint of interest. OK. So maybe your story hasn’t been fleshed out as much as you thought. Or maybe you overestimated the excitement that the market (reporters and bloggers) would have for your idea. That’s where an entrepreneurial spirit steps in . . . big time.

A non-entrepreneurial PR pro shrugs his shoulders, thinks this client has zero story to their business and the impossible can’t be done. They just pick up and move on to the next task. The entrepreneurial PR guy or gal—the one I want on my team—takes that feedback, mulls it over for a bit and dives head on into finding a way to refine and redevelop his or her strategy and tactics for achieving his goal.

It’s about fighting through the rough times and struggles that can envelop all of us in this mighty tough but incredibly rewarding profession. It means constantly seeking out the next challenge because your mind never rests, no matter if your newest challenge is going along smooth as silk or if it is struggling mightily.

It takes all kinds of people and personalities to make this profession rock and to fulfill the goals and dreams of our clients and organizations that we work for. Me? I like the entrepreneurial types. A bit hyper, a little obsessive about things and certainly someone who is not going to back down from good challenge, whether that comes from the always-tough client you have who has tasked you with doing the impossible or a boss who has tasked you with new responsibilities that maybe you weren’t quite prepared for.

[reus id=”6″]
[recent posts]

Share on Tumblr

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Think Like an Entrepreneur :PRBreakfastClub -- Topsy.com()

  • jeffespo

    It is also pretty easy to see those that have this mindset stand out among the team/crowd. Would you say this is something that can be learned or is it simply genetic?

  • keithtrivitt

    That's a really good question, Jeff. I'd say it's a bit of both, though from my own personal experience, I think it's somewhat genetically inclined to be curious and inquisitive about processes and innovations and trying new things, which ultimately, leads to a pretty strong entrepreneurial spirit.

    Certainly, some of this spirit can be learned, but that requires being in an entrepreneurial environment and/or putting the onus on yourself to go out there and search for those types of ideas and innovations that keep you always on the hunt for more great initiatives to take part in.

    Really great question. Something I'm going to pose to the Twitter crowd and see what they say.

  • jeffespo

    Can't wait to see the responses. I would give it a 50-50 breakdown.

  • Pingback: uberVU - social comments()

  • Pingback: Internet Strategy, Marketing & Technology Links – Dec 23, 2009 | Sazbean()

  • keithtrivitt

    For those who are reading this post today, what do you think: Can entrepreneurial spirit be learned or is it simply genetic?

    Chime in!

  • Pingback: Here’s to the entrepreneurial spirit! | Public Relations Solutions()

  • heatherwhaling

    Excellent question! I've worked with lots of talented, effective PR people who would probably never think about going out on their own. But, those people also demonstrated some of the characteristics you identify in this post. So, maybe people can have some hints of the entrepreneurial spirit, without having totally caught the bug?

    For many, the risk of owning their own business is too great. As someone who just started her own company, the risk was somewhat intimidating, but now that I've actually made the leap, I love it. I'm not one of those people who always knew they just want to “own stuff.” But, looking back, I guess I've always displayed some of those characteristics you mention. It was just a matter of putting it all together.

    Sorry for the long, rambling answer … thought-provoking question. 🙂

  • Spirit, yes.

    Thinking like one? Extremely dangerous…especially given that 90% of them fail.

  • keithtrivitt

    Stu – Good point re: spirit vs. thinking like an entrepreneur. Though I do think that just simply having the spirit of something (in this case – an entrepreneur) isn't enough to move you forward in some cases. Often thinking like one, in terms of strategies, tactics, goals, etc. – in small doses – is useful to get things moving and potentially get out of a rut.

    I know I often use this tactic when I am in a rut with some of my work, and it seems to work pretty well for me.

    Thanks for chiming in, especially since you have one of the best entrepreneurial spirits I know!

  • Interesting question, Keith. And great post. I think some people are born with the desire to try new things and never take no for an answer. I'd call those people leaders.

    But I also think entrepreneurial spirit, like anything else, can be learned, even if those who learn it aren't quite as good at calling it up as those genetically predisposed.

    Come to think of it, I think learning is a fundamental component of entrepreneurial spirit itself. People who are content with doing things just one way often run into their own egos that won't let them believe another way, possibly someone else's way, might provide a better solution.

    You have to be eager to learn and willing to fail to be entrepreneurial. But being those two things also makes you willing to succeed and unwilling to be complacent.

    Ok Heather, I rambled too :). My bad. Thought provoking post. Thanks, Keith. What do you all think?

  • keithtrivitt

    Heather – Great point about having just a hint of entrepreneurial spirit, without completely going off the deep end (obviously, when I saw “going off the deep end,” I don't mean that starting your own firm is a bad thing 🙂 ). And I think that's what Stuart Foster was getting at when he said it's great to have the spirit of an entrepreneur, but we need to keep that tempered some so we don't start creating ideas and strategies that are too far away from our intended goals.

    Thanks for chiming in, and as always, good luck with the business!

  • Interesting question, Keith. And great post. I think some people are born with the desire to try new things and never take no for an answer. I'd call those people leaders.

    But I also think entrepreneurial spirit, like anything else, can be learned, even if those who learn it aren't quite as good at calling it up as those genetically predisposed.

    Come to think of it, I think learning is a fundamental component of entrepreneurial spirit itself. People who are content with doing things just one way often run into their own egos that won't let them believe another way, possibly someone else's way, might provide a better solution.

    You have to be eager to learn and willing to fail to be entrepreneurial. But being those two things also makes you willing to succeed and unwilling to be complacent.

    Ok Heather, I rambled too :). My bad. Thought provoking post. Thanks, Keith. What do you all think?

  • keithtrivitt

    Heather – Great point about having just a hint of entrepreneurial spirit, without completely going off the deep end (obviously, when I saw “going off the deep end,” I don't mean that starting your own firm is a bad thing 🙂 ). And I think that's what Stuart Foster was getting at when he said it's great to have the spirit of an entrepreneur, but we need to keep that tempered some so we don't start creating ideas and strategies that are too far away from our intended goals.

    Thanks for chiming in, and as always, good luck with the business!