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Roger Setlon

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Where do you find the inspiration and energy to start and build your own venture?

I'm interested to learn where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs get their inspiration from for starting and running their own venture? From discussions with many peers I learn that inspiration for undertaking a business comes from one's self, but that external sources also play a significant role. Think of role models, peers, literature, tv/film, the like. I'd like to know if these answers are different for entrepreneurs around the globe.

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    Mar 9 2011: I don't know too many entrepreneurs who started a business because of a role model - and I deal with a lot of entrepreneurs. In fact, I can't think of a single persion who has ever answered my query ("Why did you start this business?") with a person's name.

    I started my first business at nine. I saw an opportunity to trade something I had that was needed, for something I wanted (which wasn't strictly the cash, oddly enough).

    I find the true entrepreneurial personality works well in small businesses (start-ups in specific) but is stifled in larger corporations. In the former they are likely to be exploited; in the latter they are likely to be squandered if not a source of friction.

    Inevitably you realize that you won't be a solid fit and be happy anywhere but helming your own project.

    The external factors usually come in the form of people who believe in your ability - and possibly your vision, but this is less necessary - and who support you in your quest. I know a couple of people who have overcome the hurdles of unsupportive environments ("you aren't smart enough", "you can't do that") by simply choosing to put themselves into a more supportive milieu, usually people who are already doing it.

    I am sure somewhere there are people who were inspired by Branson, Onassis, or Edison, but I don't personally know one.
    • Mar 15 2011: Thanks for sharing, Gisela. It helps a lot.

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