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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.