Is success the only valid outcome of entrepreneurship?

If success is the only valid entrepreneurial outcome, then if you're not successful, you're by definition a failure. That raises the bar. Makes the non-success into a personal defeat.

What if we thought of it as "perosnal development through entrepreneurship"? Or "entrepreneurship as self-expression"? Or even "entrepreneurship as soul expression"?

Then when you experience "failure", it's not really a failure at all. It's just another step on the path of personal development or self-expression or expressing your soul.

The "failure" just means you've learned something about yourself and the world, and you're now one step closer to coming up with a true expression of yourself.

Makes sense?

Update: Or you could define the entrepreneurial outcome as simply having fun, making a difference in other people's lives, learning, doing things you love, doing things with people you love, creating a place you like to be, creating something you'd like to see in the world, or a bunch of other things.

Lots of possibilities beside big profits or a big acquisition.

3 comments

Makes a lot of sense, and I totally agree. I'm not what people would call a successful entrepreneur, but I'm learning a LOT and I'm loving every minute of it! :-D
By Anja Lysholm on Sun, Aug 22, 10 at 11:33 · Reply
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Lars, This piece really speaks to me. I started my first business in 2005. It was a joy working with partners that were and still are some of my best friends. However, in early 2009, I realized that I needed to venture out in a different direction, all on my own. Starting and running a business all by myself has been extremely trying. I don't regret one bit of it. I need this pressure. I need a little fear of the unknown, the fear of not knowing what I don't know. I need this catalyst for change. I've decided that if my current venture fails, I'll just start a new one. I have learned so much about myself. I have learned so much through failure -- yes, I am openly admitting to many mistakes and failures in my current venture -- that I could never go back to "working for the man" where I am never challenged so personally. Regardless of the financial outcome of my current company, it is and will continue to be a success.
By David Aaron Fendley on Tue, Aug 31, 10 at 10:16 · Reply
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts, David and Anja. It's an ongoing journey.
By Lars Pind on Tue, Aug 31, 10 at 10:23 · Reply
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