How I Became A 'Professional Entrepreneur' like Mark Zuckerberg and how you too can

Entrepreneurism is a journey, or at least it has been for me. What my journey has revealed over the years is that, much like traditional professions, there is a learning curve that you must respect and allow for, to assure yourself some reasonable amount of success.
Born to be a Professional Entrepreneur 
Some say that people are “born” entrepreneurs, or “natural” entrepreneurs. This may be so, as much as a doctor or engineer may also be born to be in their respective profession. However, most us require education and training.
All professionals - physicians, lawyers, engineers and accountants - go through rigorous training and education to master their respective fields. This is also true for professional entrepreneurs.
Think of this: would you want the guy designing the bridge over that 1,000 foot gorge, doing so as his first project out of school? How about having your appendix removed by a newly-minted doctor performing his first surgery? In both of these scenarios you may be lucky, but do we want to count on luck in those situations, or skill and experience? The same holds true in creating a start-up business like mine, Efferent Labs.

Most colleges and universities offer basic and advanced business courses designed to teach general, traditional concepts. However, even though these courses are necessary to learn foundational business principles, they don’t teach you how to be an entrepreneur. They only provide a roadmap. You must also learn specific skills and knowledge in a very non-traditional way if you seek to excel as an entrepreneur.
I have always felt that I was “born” to be an entrepreneur. As I have written about in other stories, I started early and without a lot of direction. Over time I realized what I was, and molded my skills slowly through a combination of experiential and traditional learning.
I did try traditional professions for which I was educated. While I excelled in my traditional journey from marine biology, through nuclear energy and electrical engineering, I was always looking for a way to take my education and experience and use it to create a thriving business that would make a real difference, one that I could grow into a powerhouse.
I would find my way in the different companies I started along my entrepreneurism route, but it took a lot of work. Being a professional entrepreneur is not a 9 to 5 job. It is all encompassing.
It’s a matter of scale.
You can be an entrepreneur, say the owner of a flower shop or a sandwich counter, and make a good living. You will provide a great resource to the community and provide jobs. Here you would be an entrepreneur small business owner, and maybe have the opportunity for a more standard workweek. I applaud all those small business owners who can maintain a work/life balance while supporting the local economy and providing a service valued by the community.
Being a “Professional Entrepreneur” is a different commitment from that of a small business owner. Here I am speaking to those looking to scale an enterprise that produces hundreds of jobs and millions to hundreds of millions of dollars or more in revenues. Committing to be a professional entrepreneur is not a 9 to 5 job; it is a full life style adjustment. You will work 7 days a week, even when you do not think that you are “on the clock”. Twelve hours a day, or more, is not uncommon.
As a professional entrepreneur you are always working, planning, and staying current with your reading. You even dream of your business. I keep a recorder near my bed so when I have that “idea” at 2AM I can capture it before I lose it.

Perfecting your skills.
So how do I hone my craft as a Professional Entrepreneur? I continually learn, I mentor others and I share my experience through workshops and speeches.
When an opportunity to gain knowledge presents itself, I go, I learn. In fact, I have attended 10 universities and colleges over the past 30+ years. From the University of Southern California and Florida Institute of Technology, to Harvard Business School. I attended to gain the background or refresher knowledge needed to maintain or perfect my skills.
These institutions, coupled with dozens of certificate programs and seminars, were used to gain knowledge and provide me with tools to creatively solve problems. Do you need to go to so many institutions of higher learning to be a Professional Entrepreneur? The answer is no. You can gain knowledge almost anywhere if you are open to learning.
Source : Here

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