Insights and Opinions: If It Walks Like An Entrepreneur...

What is an entrepreneur? Gil Elbaz, founder of Los Angeles-based Factual, talks about entrepeneurship for our Insights and Opinions section.

One summer after my freshman year in college, I took a job selling high-end Kirby vacuum cleaners door-to-door. I thought it might be a good experience.

It was. I learned that based on my selling statistics (which were good, but not great), every non-sale got me 1/15th of the way toward a sale.

To stay super-motivated, I had to train myself to view a non-sale as having earned a hard $20 (1/15th of a full commission), rather than seeing it as a failure.

What does this have to do with being an entrepreneur? Quite a lot. Apparently, there is some magic ratio (depending on the circumstance) that any new idea will succeed. Every attempt and every failure gets you one step closer to the next success. I wasn't aware of this magic ratio while I was selling Kirby vacuum cleaners door-to-door, but by seeing every non-sale as a stepping stone to a sale, I was well on my way to becoming an entrepreneur.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to the Caltech Entrepreneur Club, and it got me thinking about what it means to be an entrepreneur. Here's the definition I came up with: if you walk and talk like an entrepreneur, you are one. And while some people assume this term strictly applies to founders of start-up companies, it applies just fine to employees, students, really anyone. (Continued...)

Read Gil's full article, If It Walks Like An Entrepeneur.


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