Business Management Tips

How to Define Entrepreneurial Spirit and Find Out You Don’t Have it.

Frozen fish, a pair of scissors and an (1)

I dream like an entrepreneur. I lie awake at night coming up with amazing new business ideas.

I think like an entrepreneur. I see new business ideas all around me, every day.

I feel like and entrepreneur. I told my last boss that I was embarrassed to be working like such a fool for someone else.

But I’m not. I’m not an entrepreneur – not yet. I have all the characteristics for success except this magical ingredient of entrepreneurial spirit. So, how do you define entrepreneurial spirit? It’s that indomitable drive to plough onwards towards the goal – seeing so far ahead that the obstacles at your feet are left in your wake. It means you START. Maybe its guts mixed with stupidity. But it’s the truth and that’s how its done.

Dreaming about it doesn’t qualify – you can’t claim to be an entrepreneur until you have actually started something. And I haven’t STARTED something. Why? Because I always see the problems instead of just ploughing on towards the goal.

Here’s a couple of examples of how I have come to realise this:

Years ago my friend started a business in Ice Sculptures! He is the true embodiment of being an entrepreneur. He had this clapped out van with a spray painted logo on the side. He rented space in a freezer container – sharing with frozen fish and delivered a 200kg block of ice using a hessian sack and a big pole over his shoulder. He started with 2 moulds, a Pharaoh and a Swan. And it worked. He just hustled. People never knew they wanted a Pharaoh so badly….but it worked and he went on to have an extremely successful business with ice growing machines, a freezer complex,  and a fleet of vehicles and staff. I would have spent too long thinking “I can’t afford a professional freezer, and I’m certainly not going to share with fish.”


Once, while waiting at the airport, I watched those guys who plastic wrap your suitcase. What a brilliantly simple business model that has gone into airports all around the world. In particular, I was fascinated by the guy who took each wrapped bag, and, with a pair of scissors cut off the plastic around the wheels and handles. Boom. I knew that if I had had the idea for wrapping suitcases, I would have spent months trying to figure out how to overcome the problem of wheels and handles. I probably would have gone off on a tangent trying to redevelop the spinning machinery. And all it needed was a bloke and a pair of scissors.

So I have a good dose of the basics of entrepreneurial spirit….but so far, not that magical last ingredient that makes you START. I’ve been an INtrepreneur for so long (we’ll cover this in another article) that my starter engine has broken! But now I know what I’m missing. I know that I need help. I think that’s a pretty big step.

If any of this sounds like you, there is hope. What I have learnt is that the community of entrepreneurs are extremely helpful. The best advice is get a  mentor. Even better, just START something small. Don’t think about it too much. You will be amazed at how much you love the process and are actually quite good at things you never thought you would be.

I’ve spent the last 10 years working in digital marketing and ecommerce. I’ve been the agency, the client, and lectured and trained 1000’s of people. I have a passion for training and development, smart, simple marketing...and running and wine...not at the same time :)

  • Fernando Hurtado

    Great article Claire! so true about the scissors, that would have probably stopped me too.