I’ve had an ongoing conversation with myself about “the entrepreneurial spirit.” The question that sparks the conversation is “can it be taught?” Can one impart to another a set of abstract skills that result in successfully implemented new ideas that expand or enhance the mission of an individual or organization? In lieu of actually studying the matter, I simply keep having this conversation with myself.
Most university classes in entrepreneurship are about starting or growing businesses. I’m interested in what the secret is to starting or growing….anything. Because I’ve been accused of being an entrepreneur, I dreamed up some little classes for people who are interested in building their entrepreneurial muscles. Mostly, we sit around and toss ideas back and forth like popcorn down a row of high-schoolers at a Saturday matinee.
The other day I was out for a run and the conversation popped up again: Can the entrepreneurial spirit be taught? What I realized in that conversation with myself is that what I consider entrepreneurship is really just imagination. Other people imagine characters in a novel or scenes to paint. I imagine weird ways for established institutions to do the needful. I find that I do my best imagining in the company of others, building off their ideas while they build off mine. So perhaps entrepreneurship is about having the right conversation partners.
What are your favorite flavor ideas to dream up? Who are your best conversation partners?