Entrepreneurs are Artists


I’ve never really thought of myself as an overly creative type, more of a logical problem solver or realist. Having said that, I’d say that it’s more accurate to categorise entrepreneurs as artists than as businessmen.

The term “business”, brings to mind a corporate office, managers, suits and a hierarchal environment and structure. It’s the rat race. The political process called ‘the corporate ladder’ and it speaks to long repetitive hours of grind as you steadily move your way up.

Entrepreneurship is different. The entrepreneur’s career path is more like that of a struggling artist, with years of working on a number of projects most of which don’t really take off until that one that flies. It’s like all the piles of sketches plans and paintings that will never see the light of day, until you get to that masterpiece. Their career path is jagged; it has plenty of slow smooth parts with a couple of big spikes.

“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art. And working is art. And good business is the best kind of art.” – Andy Warhol

The ability to look at the world and spot the opportunities and to create something that was not there before, is exactly what creativity is. Creativity in business is called innovation but speaks to the same act of doing something different, something unique – and it is very rare that this happens in business.

A large business is more likely to tweak something that already exists, to restructure it or to offer it in a different way or apply it to another field. The focus is not on trying to create the big leaps of faith; it’s all about just improving on last year and growing that slowly and steadily.

Startups are not like this. They consist of volatile ups and downs and if you’re aiming to just beat last year you’re doing it wrong. They have to shoot for the stars to survive. Entrepreneurs have to keep challenging what is known and aiming for that masterpiece.

Thanks to Ivor Abramowitz for proofreading this for me.

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