Ageless Entrepreneur

Summary Written by Justin Gasbarre
"The most important skill we can learn today is the ability to create and manage our own career. It is never too early to start or too late to achieve."

- Ageless Entrepreneur, page 17

The Big Idea

Finding a Different Angle

"Entrepreneurs often succeed by finding a different angle to do something for which there’s a proven demand."- Ageless Entrepreneur, page 53

Early on in the story, Sam comes back to his hometown to do a keynote on entrepreneurship. During this presentation one of his key messages centers on the mindset of an entrepreneur. Sam states that often entrepreneurs succeed because they are able to bring something to the market that’s better than what is already there. This is a powerful paradigm shift and message. When it comes to who is considered an entrepreneur, most think about the person that creates the next great industry or company that no one has thought of yet, such as Apple, Uber, Facebook. While the founders of those companies are absolutely entrepreneurs, that’s not the only classification of one. Sam says: “that’s one of the entrepreneurial myths that you have to invent something new. Finding a better way to tap a proven market reduces the risk.”

Looking at entrepreneurship through this lens allows us to consider less overwhelming opportunities to start a business or as Steve Jobs famously said, “make a dent in the universe”.

Insight #1

Finding Inspiration

"Fear of failure is one of the strongest possible motivations"- Ageless Entrepreneur, page 115

The lessons learned throughout Sam’s workshop dive into finding the inspiration and opportunity to make the leap to becoming an entrepreneur. Becoming an entrepreneur, just like anything else, involves taking on some level of risk. Sam challenges the class to start embracing their doubts along their entrepreneurial journey. He says: “What you’re feeling are simply internal warnings that trigger closer examination. Fears offer the same warnings. Together they are the tools of defining and taking managed risk as opposed to reckless risk.” In any career or industry, circumstances and markets change so much that it’s almost impossible to keep up.

In order to navigate that change, entrepreneurs discipline themselves to face those fears and challenges head on. Often it’s those truths that motivate them to find success. Next time, you get that funny feeling in your stomach when it comes to making a big business decision step back, examine it, face it, and work through it!

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Insight #2

The Mentoring Mind

"A mentor is an advisor and teacher. Someone, who inspires, motivates, educates, and encourages"- Ageless Entrepreneur, page 168

Towards the end of the workshop, Sam starts to dive into the role and importance of mentors and coaches in the life of a business owner and entrepreneur. What was interesting was how he made the delineation between a mentor and coach. Sam says: “Coaches hold hands and ask a lot of questions. Coaches help find a solution within your own knowledge and skill set. They will never know as much as you do about your business but they know how to lead you to a solution.” He then goes on to say: “Mentors build knowledge. They prepare you for the path ahead by adding to what you know based on what they’ve experienced.”

Understanding this difference is critical, in my opinion, when looking for guidance in your business. Mentors, by this definition, are those that have been to where you’re trying to go and can help you get there based on their experience. A coach, by this definition, can help to provide some context and insight based on an outside perspective. Both are important and have their place in helping you grow as a leader and business owner. The important thing is to be aware of which is needed for you in any given situation and not relying on just one throughout the life of your business.

This is a constant in life, but by surrounding yourself with good people who help make you better will accelerate your individual and business growth. The same goes for an entrepreneur!

“Not all of us can be entrepreneurs. Every one of us can think like one.”

Read the book

Get Ageless Entrepreneur on Amazon.

Fred Dawkins

Fred Dawkins is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded the Olde Hide House, Canada’s largest leather goods store. He is a partner in the Creative Destruction Lab at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. The first book in this informative series, Everyday Entrepreneur, was published in 2013. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.

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