Sometimes we hear that entrepreneurs are selfish people. Is there any truth to the stereotype?
Let’s get something established first. Entrepreneurship, in it’s highest and best form, isn’t merely about making money; it’s about bringing change, finding solutions, and making life easier for people. Entrepreneurs are inherently problem-solvers, visionaries, and risk-takers. They see opportunities where others see dead-ends. Though their paths may seem divergent and driven by personal passion, their ultimate goal is often linked to benefiting others in one way or another.
Where Does the ‘Selfish’ Tag Come From Anyway?
This is the whole businessman turned Scrooge kind of stereotype. Given their single-minded focus and the hours they spend perfecting their product or service, it’s easy to see why some may feel they are self-centered. It’s also the case that the entrepreneurs who are bad actors are the ones that make the news… because they fit the Scrooge stereotype. You know what we mean here: firing people right before Christmas, demanding long hours without adequate compensation, toxic workplaces.
A Drive Mistaken for Selfishness
Ever heard of the phrase, ‘Journey before Destination’? Many entrepreneurs live by this and it’s those entrepreneurs we want to celebrate. Their journey is filled with an intense desire to innovate, solve problems, or create something impactful. Even this steadfast dedication could be mistaken for selfishness. But let’s not confuse their passion-driven pursuit with self-centeredness. It’s much more about achieving their goal and savoring the thrill of the chase!
Benefits Flowing Wide and Far
Have you ever stopped and thought about how entrepreneurs shape our world? Think of the jobs created, the solutions offered, the communities benefited. Even the local sandwich shop down the road contributes by providing meals and employment, right? Clearly, the fruits of entrepreneurial labor stretch far beyond their personal bank accounts.
Which Kind Are You?
In a rapidly evolving world where societal, environmental, and economic challenges are becoming increasingly intertwined, we need to see more of the breed of entrepreneurs who are not solely profit-driven, but purpose-driven. These change-makers are social entrepreneurs, who find innovative solutions to pressing societal issues, or those who establish certified B Corp businesses, a title that signifies their commitment to positive social and environmental impact beyond revenue.
Such businesses are a breath of fresh air in a heavily short term profits-dominated corporate landscape. They demonstrate that it is possible to do good while still doing well financially. And let’s not forget entrepreneurs who take a shared leadership stance, creating worker-owned cooperatives. By doing so, they are democratizing the workplace, giving each employee a voice and a stake in the business, promoting equitable wealth distribution and a more sustainable business model.
While we value all kinds of entrepreneurship for their spirit of innovation and risk-taking, it is these socially-minded, environmentally-conscious, and equity-driven entrepreneurs that need to stand in the spotlight more, as they have the potential to shape not only our economies but our societies and our planet in a positive, holistic manner. With innovation at their helm and compassion at their core, they act as catalysts, driving change and nurturing a more sustainable and inclusive future.