A couple of years ago, I was digging around on the Internet and stumbled across the following definition of entrepreneurship from Harvard Professor, Howard Stevenson as written in 1983:
Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.
I found it again just a few days ago in an article on WWW.INC.COM. It really home this time. I realized that every successful entrepreneur, business person, and individual I've ever met instictively follows Stevenson's definition. And it's not just in the business world. Think about the successful not-for-profits in our area. Think about the creators, directors, and managers of those organizations. Each embraces this definition of entrepreneurship in their own way.
This is one of those definitions that takes reading a few times to begin to ferret out its full meaning.
Yeah, I know! Everyone hates New Year’s Resolutions, but we seem to keep making them none-the-less. And from what we find, people read them. But keep them – not so much. So here we go:
Lose weight. Stop smoking. Drink less (or more expensively). Join a gym or health club and actually go there. Promise to be more loving to your family, spouse, etc. Be kinder to others. Clean out your closets, garage, car, etc. De-clutter your office – are file folders that you last looked at two years ago really necessary?? Balance your checkbook.
Now that I’ve gotten the usual list out of the way, here are a few others that you might want to consider:
There are many not-for-profit orgnanizations in this community who support the less fortunate, the arts, education and other worthy endeavors which make Ithaca and Tompkins County a very special place to live. Each year, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, NY Finger Lakes Chapter presents four awards honoring the people and organizations that make philanthropy work in our community. This years award winners are:
Professor Arthur Kuckes was presented with the Philanthropist of the Year award for his major gifts to the Tompkins Cortland Community College Foundation that funds over 60 student scholarships at TC3 annually.
John Potter, the owner of Seneca Beverage Corporation in Elmira received the Corporate Philanthropist of the Year award for his company’s work with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and guidance to Glover house, the Boy Scouts and other organizations.
Brigid Hubberman received the Outstanding Professional Achievement in non-profit leadership award for her un-tiring work in creating and nurturing the Family Reading Partnership.
Lastly, Larry Baum, CEO of The Computing Center received the Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year award for his work with the TC3 Foundation, Cayuga Medical Center Foundation, Finger Lakes Wine Center, and other local not-for-profit organizations.
I was watching a really old episode of Stargate SG-1 and that line was spoken. The context was when one person was on trial for something he had done in the past and was being defended by another. It got me thinking. How many times do we know things but refuse to acknowledge them or reject them as false when someone else raises them up to us?
As a business owner and consultant I often had to tell clients things we discovered in their business that were not easy things to talk about. And the reverse is I also had to hear things from staff and others that I did not want to hear. One of the most difficult conversations I had to have with a client was when my staff told me the reason there were so many repeat problems on one of the computers there was due to an executive in the firm going to explicit websites. They didn’t want to say anything to the client because they didn’t want to rock the boat. I had to weigh what the impact on our relationship with the client would be if we spoke up and also how it might affect their business if we did or didn’t speak up.
We talked for quite a while and you could see that they were finally ready to acknowledge the problem. Sadly, readiness happened after they spent a lot of money that did not need to be spent. Has that ever been you? Were you unwilling to face the reality of what someone was telling you because it would create friction, cause a confrontation with someone, or make you change something you were doing? Did you know something about yourself that you refused to deal with because you did not want to admit you had a problem with it or with someone?
The RIM Blackberry Outage that began in Europe and the Middle East has expanded to the US and Canada. We began noting problems with our Blackberries this morning around 7:15am. We will continue to monitor what is occuring and will add more to this article as we know more.
Here is the link to the RIM Status Site: www.rim.com/newsroom/service-update.shtml
Update - 10/12 @ 16:30 -- We are starting to see some email coming through our Blackberry Enterprise Server at Computing Center. Still not totally reliable.
Update - 10/12 @ 19:20 - Most local BlackBerry emails are now working. There are still some BlackBerry Messenger and browswer issues.
Update - 10/13 @ 10:00 - RIM reports that all Blackberry Services are back to normal and all backlogged emails have been delivered.