A Million Dollars Is Nothing (Part 2)

A Million Dollars Is Nothing (Part 2)

Not all new ideas need to start. Some just need to be tried.

$1 Million dollars is nothing. We’ve written that before. But this is true because Pride and Greed destroy an economy.

I was en route to pick up my son from school today. There was a car accident at a major intersection. Traffic was down to one lane and instead of everyone methodically maneuvering around the traffic, they were all vying for the same spot. So the robot (traffic signal) kept changing before anyone could even get into the intersection.

I sat there for 20 minutes and it hit me. This is exactly how we run our businesses, our economy and our lives. We sit here and grab as much of the road as possible. We would rather sit in standstill traffic for half an hour than allow other people to move in front of us. Forget the sake of the greater good (in this case, picking our kids up from school on time), which eventually would allow us to pass through the intersection and move on to brighter and clearer roads ahead.

There’s no room for any person in Zimbabwe to be prideful. Even if you make a million dollars today and buy a brand new Mercedes because you think you deserve it. If people think you’re cooler because you drive a brand-spanking-new car, then those people are missing the point entirely.

Matthew Groelink, a Stanford grad, said, "I’m sort of discouraging entrepreneurship. Because it’s become about everyone having their own thing."

Entrepreneurship is about two things. It’s not money. Not greed. And not for a new plane.

  1. It’s solving a specific problem that isn’t being solved in your world currently.
  2. It’s if you don’t have a job. A cure for unemployment.

Having the mind of an entrepreneur doesn’t always mean starting your own company. It means you’re solving problems without being asked directly to solve them.

  • You can do it in your job. Coca-Cola promotes this in their company culture (as do most thriving companies).
  • You can be an entrepreneur in your current position. Find ways of making things work better. Systems, procedures, relationships, internal software that solves a rotating need, etc.
  • We really don’t need more chicken restaurants. We need every person to commit to making things better where they are.

Seth Godin writes in Poke The Box:

How much responsibility are you willing to take before it’s given to you?

P.S. Here’s an example for free. This is a personal story from a friend of mine. An employee (my friend) of a company noticed that he and his fellow employees were opening up Microsoft Word and Excel and creating a new form every time they needed to quote a project for a customer. They would open the templates that were already created, input all of the customer information, then transfer it to Excel and calculate the total estimate. It took about 15 minutes to do the manual data inputting each time.

With a little Googling and some computer coding (also learned from Google), he wrote a program using an Access database that simulated and populated all of the content they needed in 30 seconds when they opened the application. He saved his company thousands of hours a year (literally) and was given a bonus and contract to do that in every manual system within the company.

In other words, he still works for the company, makes great money, and everyone loves him because he saved all of them tons of time.

That’s entrepreneurship.

(photo via tim abbott)