What is entrepreneurship?

newspaper boyWhat is entrepreneurship?

We throw the word around all the time, but what does it really mean?

Google says it’s “someone who organises a business venture and assumes the risk for it“.

I relate to that definition.  I even label myself an entrepreneur.

My earliest memory of my entrepreneurial behaviour was as an 11 year old when I had my first real job; a newspaper boy.

I would sell newspapers and magazines on Saturday mornings on the footpath of a busy suburban retail strip.

Vintage Leather Coin PouchThe newsagent owner provided me with a leather coin pouch with change in it.  However, this was hopelessly inefficient with all the coins and notes mixed up together.  Every time a customer purchased a product it would take time to find the correct change from the coin pouch.

My newspaper boy pay was made up of two components – base hourly rate plus a commission for unit sales of the newspapers/magazines.

Therefore, I proposed to the newsagent owner that a spring loaded coin sorter that strapped to my belt would increase my efficiency and I could sell more of his product. A financial gain for both of us.

He wasn’t interested in my 11 year old business case.

Instead, I purchased a coin sorter out of my own pocket.

Coin SorterThe coin sorter allowed me to sell more units and it paid for itself in one Saturday morning shift.

The following Saturday all the other newspaper boys had purchased their own coin sorters.

An entrepreneur is someone who takes the risk with a business venture with the opportunity to reap a reward.

I took the risk on the cost of the coin sorter and was rewarded with an instant payback.

What was your first entrepreneurial experience?