If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t crave the stability of a nine-to-five job, and who would risk a lot for something you believe in, perhaps you are an entrepreneurial type. In a talk on starting media businesses that combined advice with encouragement in the form of success stories, Jeffrey Klein, USC Annenberg executive-in-residence and founder of 101communications (now 1105 Media) told students of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism today that he isn’t even sure he’d have what it takes to be an entrepreneur in today’s post-recession economic climate.
Being an entrepreneur means investing a TON of time and finances into the company you’re starting, and not expecting to get much back for a couple of years, Klein explained. For this reason, most of today’s entrepreneurs are young, and do not yet have a family of their own to support. They are usually real idea people, who do not enjoy being constrained by bosses or standard working hours. They are not the only ones to come up with a new idea, he emphasized, but the first to tap into resources (i.e., people and financing) that enable them to execute it.
Klein counseled potential entrepreneurs to focus their efforts on something they loved, and to start small. Before you invest all your energy, etc., into a start-up, make sure it’s something you really love and care about. As a proponent of small community-based businesses, Klein gave the example of The Long Beach Post, a Long Beach, California-oriented online newspaper started by two young guys – one of whom wasn’t even a trained journalist. The quality of their written work and website layout, Klein opined, as well as the employees that the founders have added to their team, give this organization great potential. Klein believes that the future of media, both online and off, lies in community-based news organizations like the Long Beach Post.
Do you agree? Do you think his assessment of the entrepreneurial personality type is correct?