When I was interviewed in early December on one of iHeart Radio’s highly respected syndicated radio shows, a question from the hosts, Dr. Deborah Osgood and Jack Heath, got me thinking about my role in the business community.
It would be easy to say I am a serial entrepreneur, having launched more than 150 businesses over the last five decades. But that label would be short-sighted. I’m actually a serial start-up entrepreneur. This is something I was asked to elaborate on in the iHeart Radio show, which is called “Movers and Shakers.”
Being a serial start-up entrepreneur means that I like to come up with the concept, put it into business form, and then be ready to make adjustments along the way.
Let me elaborate. When I say come up with the concept, I am referring to an innate ability I have to see down the road, whether that means recognizing future opportunities associated with the business or, just as importantly, future problems. This is one of the reasons, over the last 15 years, I have embraced the idea of having one-on-one meetings with young entrepreneurs. I have had hundreds of such meetings. On one hand, it is a great way for me to give back. On the other hand, I truly enjoy the process. I find that it helps me sharpen my skills for my own ventures.
Turning to second part of being a serial start-up entrepreneur, you have to put the idea into business form. This is what I like to call baking the entrepreneurial cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the correct proportions to make it work. By embrace this you recognize the importance of those first few steps.
Finally, a serial start-up entrepreneur must be ready to make adjustments to the business along the way. The business concept that emerges from an idea rarely stays the same.
I am akin to the puzzle master. I can see the end game, before there even is a game. I can see the trends. Several decades ago, I brought mopeds to the U.S., which was the forerunner to eScooters. Twelve years ago, I introduced co-working space for entrepreneurs in Phoenix. Had I stayed with either one of those, I might have a couple Unicorns on my hands. But that’s not what I do.
I revel in the idea, and then making that idea a reality. There are too many other ideas waiting to be discovered to get bogged down in one business.