I believe that entrepreneurship is an artform much like music composition, painting, sculpture, photography, and literature. The reason I believe this is because we all can learn how to critique art. We can learn lots about the technical nature of the artwork, but until you become the author, or artist and actually create it, you will never develop the skills to be called a true artist.
My wife is in a entrepreneurship for women course here at BYU. As a final paper, she interviewed my sister, who has just started a quilting and crafts business, to ask several questions about her experiences as an entrepreneur. She is in the starting phases of her business and I found it interesting that most all of the challenges that she is facing and has faced have all been topics covered in my marketing class (Business Management 341). Much like an artist, my sister is actually practicing the principles of this artwork. She has not had any professional training on business, but is learning hands-on. I feel more like a critic who can see the final result and judge whether it is good or not, and if she is doing it right. I am like the observer and she is like the composer.
I grew up in a family where learning to play the piano and other instruments was very important. I learned to play the piano, the trumpet, and percussion instruments. I am very opinionated about music that I hear. Some of the local radio stations play LDS music on Sundays that were written by LDS musicians. Some songs I can tell I just don’t like from the get go, because they contain cliche musical themes, lyrics, and such. However horrible I think the music is, I could not compose anything better. That is what I’m trying to say about business.
We can learn all about business, entrepreneurship, technology, etc., but just digging in and doing it is the only way to truly become good at it. The first few attempts will probably be bad and are likely to fail. With persistence, mistakes can be overcome and experience attained that is required to be successful.
My brother composes and records music and is becoming quite good at it. As I look at the progress that he has made, his early compositions aren’t half as good as his latest ones. It took the experience of creating these early pieces in order to move towards excellence. These things just take practice.