My father is a doctor, not an entrepreneur. But there is no doubt he is entrepreneurial.
An anesthesiologist and chronic-pain practitioner by profession, he's been tinkering away with a numbers of inventions over the years. Some of his creations include a surgical mask and a medical shunt.
Despite some disappointments along the way – including a partner who 'borrowed' one of his ideas – my father is excited about a new invention that has potential once he figures out how to manufacture, market and sell it.
What my dad possesses are two key attributes for being an entrepreneur: optimism and persistence; which keep him going amid the ups and downs of trying to create or build something. And though he'd probably never describe himself as such, his inner entrepreneur has emerged over the years despite the demands of being a doctor, father and husband.
After getting an update about his latest invention, it struck me there is an entrepreneur in all of us. Sometimes, we let it thrive, sometimes it appears infrequently and sometimes it doesn't appear at all. But deep down, everyone has the ability to be an entrepreneur. Just think of the number of kids who set up a lemonade stand on the sidewalk every summer.
I guess in many ways, I'm my father's son because I really never thought of myself as an entrepreneur, even after leaving journalism at the height of the dot-com boom in 2000 to join my first start-up, Blanketware. And even though I did two more start-ups after a five-year stint as a newspaper reporter from 2001 to 2006, I felt like I was an employee, and not an entrepreneur.
It wasn't until I started my own consulting company in 2008 that the entrepreneur inside was finally set free. Since then, there have been lots of ideas and opportunities that have received serious thought.
The bottom line is anyone can be an entrepreneur. It doesn't have to be a full-time activity but if it's in you, it might be a good idea to let it out once in a while.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Mark Evans is the principal with ME Consulting, a communications and marketing strategic consultancy that works with startups and fast-growing companies to create compelling and effective messaging to drive their sales and marketing activities. Mark has worked with four startups – Blanketware, b5Media, PlanetEye and Sysomos. He was a technology reporter for more than a decade with The Globe and Mail, Bloomberg News and the Financial Post. Mark is also one of the co-organizers of the mesh, meshmarketing and meshwest conferences.
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