Why Entrepreneurs Are the Athletes of the 21st Century

Names like Jack Ma, Marc Benioff, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are inspiring a new generation of youth.


4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


For much of the 20th century, athletes were pop culture icons. Athletics helped to bring people together from different ethnicities, classes or backgrounds. Everyone could cheer for a Jackie Robinson home run or acknowledge the brilliance of a Sandy Koufax pitch or a Pele roundhouse kick. But, has something happened to the myth and legend of the traditional athlete or did something else take its place instead?

Related: 8 Hugely Successful People Who Didn’t Graduate College

According to a survey of 172 high school students by Millennial Branding and Internships.com, when asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, an astounding 72 percent of respondents said entrepreneurs! Yes, “entrepreneur” has become the profession and passion for the world’s global youth and the hope for the future of many burgeoning market-based economies around the world. Names like Ma, Benioff, Bezos, Page, Brin, Buffett, Bogle, Musser, Jobs, Schwab, Johnson, Ellison, Gupta, Lauder, Blakely, Franklin, Ford, Winfrey and Branson are as diverse as they are brilliant and helped create markets when others couldn’t see them and while inspiring millions.

Entrepreneurship may become the greatest export America has ever helped popularize outside of a constitutional democracy. It knows no boundaries. No creed. No race. It’s as free as an idea someone can dream up that will help solve a problem better, faster, or more cheaply or elegantly than anyone else. It is freedom really at the individual level through an idea and in the form of a corporate structure.

Entrepreneurship means a disciplined commitment to one’s craft, an utter belief in self and the team, and an unfettering resilience to seeing the end-state. The mission of winning the championship for an entrepreneur may mean anything from releasing a new product that the world or your target market loves, achieving profitability and self-sufficiency, or exiting the business at a high multiple which rewards all stakeholders.

Related: A Look at the Demanding Schedule of Elon Musk, Who Works in 5-Minute Slots, Skips Breakfast and Avoids Emails

In his 2012 commencement speech at Georgetown University, Bono commented that America was maybe the single greatest idea that the world had ever come up with. Ideas are the basis of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship may very well be the basis and hope for individual freedom in the future. Freedom will not be based solely upon nation-states but based upon entrepreneurial business structures that enable individuals to achieve their dreams and aspirations. Mark Benioff recently claimed that the business may be the most significant force for good the world has ever known. Entrepreneurship is the basis for this.

There are fewer than 5,000 publicly traded businesses but nearly 30.2 million private businesses in the United States that are all based on ideas of a committed entrepreneur and brilliant teams. What could be more fulfilling than to help foster total belief in yourself, your team and your idea to help impact change? While I will always love to watch my beloved Philadelphia sports teams, the world needs more Carson Wentzes in their communities that don’t just play on Sundays but play every day in fields everyone can participate in with one idea.

One can easily imagine a day when entrepreneurs are measured by many scores and stats akin to athletes. An entrepreneur’s slugging percentage may even be measured one day by enterprise value created for all stakeholders including internal rate of return (IRR). Shares in particular entrepreneurs (not just their ventures) may even be traded on exchanges in the future and become investable instruments.

Related: How 5 Entrepreneurs With Household Names Turned Failing Businesses Into Successes

When you think of the sports ecosystem of the 20th century that emerged with leagues by sport, players unions for athletes, dedicated marketing agencies, endorsement deals and fantasy betting clubs, one can imagine a parallel network may emerge by the end of the 21st century for entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs, I believe, are the athletes of the 21st century and will create powerful ecosystems of opportunities for all stakeholders who support and help create them in their communities or markets.

Source link

more recommended stories

  • How to Build Philanthropy Into Your Budget — Even If You’re Not Google

    Big-name companies like Google are doubling.

  • 10 Questions to Ask Before Committing to a Business Partner

    If you can get someone to.

  • Model 3 Gets Bad Report Card, Leading to Drop for Tesla Stock

    Plus, more signs of a sputtering.

  • 4 Ways to Successfully Turn Your Day Job into a #SideHustle That Earns You #PassiveIncome from #ThePowerofPassiveIncome

    Find out which key moves you.

  • J.M. Smucker Is Up, But Rest of Stock Market Soft After Minutes of Last Fed Meeting Released

    The stock market wasn’t sure what.

  • The 10 Most Reliable Ways to Fund a Startup

    Every funding decision is a complex.

  • The Most Important Career Lessons Are the Ones You Learn From Your Mistakes

    Instead of being embarrassed by your.

  • 7 Steps to a Perfectly Written Business Plan

    February 20, 2019 7 min read.

  • Must-Reads for List-Makers, Disrupters, and Social Entrepreneurs

    Inspired by our own personal goals.

  • 3 Fast Ways To Get Good Press

    Whether you’re a publicist or a.

  • 9 Questions to Ask Candidates’ References

    February 18, 2019 5 min read.

  • Are Your Goals Too Small? Here’s How to Know.

    See your life transform by setting.

  • 5 Partnership Lessons From Bill Belichick and Tom Brady

    Neither would be wearing so many.

  • Learning From Kevin Hart’s Social Media Mistakes

    He lost his gig at the.

  • Breaking Through on the PGA Tour After 187 Tries

    PGA Tour player Ken Duke shares.

  • Learn How to Practice Mindfulness at Work for Less Than $40

    Make the ancient, stress-relieving discipline more.

  • Why Your Next Startup Should Focus on Healthcare

    Breakdowns exist in the healthcare system,.

  • Market Up as Government Shutdown Averted, but FAANG Stocks Still Down

    The government shutdown drama is over.

  • 9 Business Ideas Under $1,000 You Can Run From Anywhere

    February 15, 2019 11 min read.

  • How to Make Your Wealth Last for Generations

    Hone your financial literacy and sustain.

  • Bed Bath & Beyond (Up 49 Percent This Year) Continues to Rise, but the Market Falls Flat

    Stocks were not feeling the love.

  • This Startup Raised $30 Million. Now, Its Founder Is Accused of Fraud.

    This promising Mexican startup closed its.

  • Corporate America Needs Understand These 4 Keys to Working With Millennials

    Millennials have a bad reputation that.

  • Government Shutdown and Trade Talks Still in Limbo but Market Up Slightly

    The stock market didn’t seem overly.

  • Jack Dorsey Picks Elon Musk as ‘Most Exciting’ User, Amazon Buys Eero and Prices Spike at Whole Foods (60-Second Video)

    Here are three things entrepreneurs should.

  • This CEO Says That Second-Guessing Your Business Is Natural

    The big decision for this Canadian.

  • The Government Shutdown Wasn’t So Bad for the Stock Market — But Avoiding a Shutdown Would Be Even Better

    The Entrepreneur Index™ was up big.

  • Mars Trip Could Cost You Less Than $500K or Even $100K

    The prices would be ‘low enough.

  • Chipotle Shoots for the Stars, Hires Oscar Winner to Produce Ad

    The burrito chain the had biggest.

  • Could These Companies Be the Next $1 Billion Unicorns?

    A new study looks ahead at.

  • Stop Hitting the Snooze Button and Start Intentionally Building Your Life and Business

    Don’t beat yourself up for hitting.

  • Get Exclusive Access to Silicon Valley Trailblazers for Less Than $10

    The CEOs of Redfin, Nextdoor, SurveyMonkey,.