Today I ran across Noobpreneur’s intriguing comparison of entrepreneurs and religious leaders — both led by faith.
Having worked with Pearle Vision franchise owners for years before opening my own business, my hesitation in stepping out on my own was always that fear of the unknown. I admired the entrepreneurial spirit, the risk-taker element, and yes, the apparent attitude of faith in themselves that they would be successful.
This past Sunday while staying on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institute I had the pleasure of hearing the renowned pastor, educator and speaker Rev. Peter Gomes. The Reverend Professor Peter J. Gomes is an American Baptist minister and since 1970 he has served in The Memorial Church, Harvard University.
His sermon was calling “Acting Extravagantly.” He referred to a New Testament story where a woman poured expensive oils over the head of Jesus. It is a well-known biblical story that teaches us, among other things, about acting with boldness and fervency and passion, instead of being timid or going half way or holding back.
However, as I listened to his message of the benefits of acting with extravagance I thought about small business owners and our desire to stand out in the crowd. We have smaller budgets, little or no support staff, fewer resources at our disposal, and as expenses such as gas and healthcare increase, our disposable income available for making a difference dwindles daily.
Yet it is with an act of faith and perhaps a little extravagance that we can in fact make a bigger splash than the big guys. I am reminded of Brent Leary’s article the other day about David Meerman Scott giving away a 20-page document for free which led to $1 million in revenues. Was it an extravagant act to give away valuable information expecting nothing in return? Certainly it was an act of faith.
When you think “entrepreneur” and “extravagant” Donald Trump certainly comes to mind. I found an article listing Trump’s success factors: ferocity, passion, idealism, perception and instinct.
Under the comments for idealism author Evan Carmichael talks about Trump’s extravagance:
The Trump Organization has become synonymous with luxury, lavishness, class and extravagance. It didn’t get that way by following its competitors. It got that way because Trump was not afraid to think big, to do what hadn’t been done before and in a way that many couldn’t even imagine. His ability to blur the line between fantasy and reality helped push Trump’s company into a league above the rest.
In what way have you seen entrepreneurs have enough faith in themselves to act boldly, with extravagance? What were the results?