Some nice quotes in this Knowledge@Emory article:
“An entrepreneur has to like to take big risks, says Jim Griffin, founder of Griffin Services of Atlanta, Georgia. When I say big risks, I mean BIG risks. Im talking about losing your own stuff. Not somebody elses. Youre not risking getting fired; youre risking losing everything you ever had. How would you like to be close to middle age, have two children in private school and a big house with a mortgage on it? All of the sudden you not only have no salary, but no promise of one, and everything you own is collateralized. Can you put yourself there? Youve got to be really excited and have a great deal of self-talent. And faith. Not only in yourself, but also in everything you have faith in.
Definition of an entrepreneur: He or she who has succeeded more often than they have failed.
The biggest single fault in the creation of business plans is unrealistic expectations. But you have to think about thisone of the classic traits of an entrepreneur is optimism. Nobody wants to innovate if they think it wont work.
human capital is key to any success in business. Without good leadership, you wont get far. And dont believe that you, as the boss, are infallible. Try to hire the most expensive management team you can hire, says Matthews, emphasizing that most expensive means best value.
The most important investment you can make in any business is in human capital, he continues. What does a great leader do, especially an entrepreneurial leader? You hire people that are smarter than you. You dont want to be on this big ego trip. There is a great rule of thumb that says one person can only lead or directly manage between five and seven people.
Probably the best entrepreneurs in the world are the Chinese and Indians, says Matthews. Why? Because the family is involved. When everyone is involved then everyone feels the same pressures and the same stresses.
Whatever business you get into, it is a way of life, says Matthews. You better pick something you like. You have to live it. I never had so little time off as when I started my own company.”