“Is there a Hilton hotel in this area?” asked a young man, welldressed and bright eyed.
“Not that I am aware of,” was my reply. I didn’t really know, but then he didn’t really want to know either. What he really wanted was to introduce himself, which he did, as a “young entrepreneur.”
I quickly expressed my lack of interest in his sales pitch, and walked on without engaging in conversation, or parting with my money – which always was the point.
What was incongruous to me was the fact that he thought I was Venture Capital. Secondly he was all dressed up with no where to go. Most entrepreneurs don’t wear nice suits – they are normally more roguish by nature, less mainstream, and much less invested in their appearances so much as their product or idea. Granted they may wear a suit when approaching people for VC, but on the streets, randomly, really?
Truth is I felt a little sorry for him. He is probably raised on Instant Fame TV shows, and thinks that if you look a certain way and say you are something then the world is your oyster. But most pearls, in their initial stage, are little irritations, not finished products.
An entrepreneur is a different kettle of fish. He or she isn’t fixated on money and all things instant (and therefore temporary). They are ideas driven which is why they don’t wear a suit and stop total strangers with their well rehearsed pitch.
Wired magazine once reported some comments about universities making entrepreneurship a course, part of the curriculum. The problem with this is that many entrepreneurs are far to ‘educationally challenged.’ They don’t like to, or want to, sit in a class room listening to a professor talk about what they have never accomplished. They are itchy, often nerdy ( the new cool), and convention is the very thing that are working against, around of, in spite of. They stay up late, look bleary eyed, don’t mix easily, and exhibit numerous other stereotypical traits. This may not be true of all of them by any means, but you get the point.
You are unlikely to have an entrepreneur stop you in the streets. And someone that tells you they are one is like someone who sings in the shower claiming to be the next pop sensation.
I wonder if we are losing the ability of being something long before claiming we are something. Even then a wise person won’t even make the claim – they will let others do that. Because it is only others that recognise us for what we are by what we do. We can fool ourselves but that is all we are likely to fool.
Be all you can be – just don’t tell me about it.