For entrepreneurs, even a problem has the potential to be an inspiration for a new product. For entrepreneurs, even a crisis is seen as a turning point that can be of value. For entrepreneurs, no object or action or idea too small to make lasting effect. The result is creative destruction. For Joseph Schumpeter that is challenging the status quo by bringing something new.
How does one who challenges the status quo thinks? How do they see the hidden diamond through all the layers of garbage?
Entrepreneurism is potentiality in everything; it is bringing a being’s existence to its higher essence while maintaining the being’s dignity. Entrepreneurism is a philosophy of how one sees potential value in oneself and everything that occupies space. Alongside seeing the potential in everything is being immersed in existence. As Martin Heidegger said, being is always involved in doing something even when it seems that they are not doing anything; that could be thinking or doing. Entrepreneurism involves a way of seeing and Being immersed.
All who created value for themselves or for others, from Thales, the ancient Greek Philosopher, who controlled olive press supplies to the modern day entrepreneur, saw potentiality while others saw nothing, and seeing potentiality was not left as potential.
Entrepreneurism works within the framework of how Business is defined by Pope Francis in his encyclical, Fratelli Tutti: Business activity is essentially “a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving our world”.
So, business venture developed from entrepreneurism is first a noble vocation only to be followed by profit and world improvement. Now, if we see ourselves and the world around us as having the potential to generate value to someone then that value is to be noble or carry ideals.
No one is born a natural entrepreneur but has the potential. A case of a student of mine may be used to illustrate potentiality. Most entrepreneurs come from entrepreneurial families, however, my student did not. This student is interested in the idea of doing business and so he enrolled himself in an entrepreneurial program and immersed himself in the ideas about entrepreneurship. He became a full fledged entrepreneur who is among the few who went straight to doing business after graduating college.
The hindrance to entrepreneurism is not the lack of creativity but the blindness to the dynamism of being. Enlightenment and modernity dared us to think and that led to what we have today; science and technology, invention and innovation. Enlightenment taught us to create and even self-create, to take control of our direction, hence individuality. I want to emphasize that there is potentiality in everything, a little caveat though: potentiality is a benefit inherent in our being so is limitation. In other words, we may have free thought to see potentiality in everything but limit the creation and self-creation so that it does not create a monster.
Entrepreneurism is then the philosophy of seeing potential in everything as well as immersed in existence, but acting within the limit that preserves the dignity of the being.