Thomas Bogle currently teaches a myriad of business-related courses to high school students in Tempe, Arizona. He and his wife also operate a mobile shaved ice vending business (well, they will once the city gets out of their way). Tom also blogs about economics and religion at www.thingstoact.wordpress.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.
I teach a course in entrepreneurship for upperclassmen at the high school where I work. Part of the course requires students to organize a plan for a business they would like to start with a group of their peers. They put it together, piece by piece, over the better part of a school semester. As they submit each section, I offer constructive feedback.
Without fail, there is one correction that I make for several groups each semester: don’t ever let me see the word “hope” in your business plan.
Entrepreneurs don’t hope!
Hope might help us maintain a positive outlook. It might help us hold on when faced with a difficult situation. But for the most part, hope is passive.
Entrepreneurship is an act of faith! Faith is a hope that leads us to act. I hope that the sun will rise tomorrow, but that requires no action on my part. There is literally nothing I can do to make it happen, nor is there anything I can to prevent it from happening. But golly, I sure hope it does.
I have faith that I can create value for my employer and for my customers. I know the process by which value is created because I have taken the time to get to know them. I have a plan to act accordingly. I have the ability to combine resources and do so in a way that will bring satisfaction to the lives of others because I have taken the required action to gain knowledge and skill.
No, entrepreneurs do not merely hope. Entrepreneurs act on faith, and in so doing, they change the world!