Entrepreneurship in Europe: Are You Captain or Sailor? OneEurope
Innovation

European societies have promoted a dream of ascending the social escalator throughout education in the contemporary society, as if you don't really have to work hard for it- and we seem reluctant to awaken from it. Education should be a basic need of the contemporary society growing in social complexity. In North America  it is all about an entrepreneurial pursuit, “The American Dream”. Europe does however not have a truly entrepreneurial spirit.  European expectations are still as if to ascent to a new kind of aristocracy. The old Europe is still dreaming an old dream when facing the future. Why is this happening? Europe needs entrepreneurs, innovators of any kind. Self-conscious about the challenges for the future. Have you ever considered becoming one yourself? 

A widespread definition of entrepreneurship is running a business - 'the main activity of a firm’ (Coase, 1988).    I would describe it as the action of creating. Do you remember Lego from your childhood? How did you build it?- piece by piece, until you made something big out of the little pieces, which at the onset of the game seemed completely unrelated. Were you an expert or an engineer? Did you struggle? Did the game stress you out? No, no, yes and no  ... only gut feelings! Creating it amazed you, and you were happy doing it, you were “minding your own business” until someone called for you, “enough for today” or “dinner is ready!”. If something went wrong you would  just start over again. You were a child fascinated about building something and creating your own view of things and how it should work. Sometimes you would built a house, others you tried for a car, a boat or a plain with creativity as your only guide. It is the dream that matters most. The child truly lives her dream while making it happen in her precious time.

This means that all you need is sharp analysis and blissful creativity, persistence and a fierce desire to win. This will challenge you, push you to work harder. As my Introduction to Business professor, Mr. Cano Vieiras once said “Business is all about emotions, it is an emotional process.”. Business is all about emotions. Buying and selling decisions are all made by men and women following their emotions. Biologically, emotions are what makes us thrive, and directs us throughout our life decisions, big or small ones. I suggest you to read   the literature in this field. A good start is to try reading "Thinking Fast and Slow” by Dr. Daniel Kahneman. 

So what is so important about emotions then? Biologically, emotions are what makes a living creature thrive in the life long run for survival. Animals are emotional as living beings. What makes them react to things other than their  gut feelings? Who told you that they do not feel when they are bitten or beaten or receiving good care?

So, this is business: you dream, you try to work it out in your head and you make it happen. Or better still: at first, you have no idea about what you are about to get yourself into, then you brainstorm, after you look around and find some pretty good ideas among the competition that you could had done yourself and finally you have just realized that you could do it better. You copy the idea and you shape it into your own conception and then, you realise that you are an entrepreneur. 

So my advice for you is: venture in creative turmoil; be creative. This is what you have within, what you won't learn from school, inherit or receive in an epiphany. You have ideas which mature, and when your gut says you are ready just go through with it and you find yourself sailing in deep water. Who are you then? The captain or just another sailor? Time, emotions and the sea will be your best guide. Pay attention and do not forget that your loved ones are waiting for you with dinner. Or even an early breakfast, and a “have a nice day” kiss before going to work. 

Sometimes, you have no idea about what you have just accomplished, and it turns out that it was not a bad idea at all. It is a piece of art, your own piece of art. Then it all begins: one day you hate it, and the next one you like it. Then, after a good night of sleep, a shower and a nice cup of coffee early in the morning, it turns out that you love it, along with the idea of "being the boss and in charge": this is your reward for working hard and for believing in it despite the few compliments and the subtle voyeurs critics. So keep up with the good work - tomorrow there is more to accomplish.

After all these efforts, you will find the right people to work with you, who match or complement your skills and your personality. Blend it all with your own values and beliefs and there you go: you have just started your own business culture. Once this step is done, all you need is to find resources -not in a great deal. However it is worth the time to check all possible ones, and don't stick to the first few that might seem to be easy to get,. It is not easy to find funding for your first enterprise. But then again, it is worth finding as many resources as possible. 

Need more hints?  

To make your venture sparkle from day one is to indulge your customers. Pamper them, but do not spoil them right in the beginning. Not too much, not too little - just a little more than enough at the right time. I would compare it to a great massage: great hands technique, comfy bed, amazing music, delicious essences, and a subtle invitation for the next return trip, all in time. Do not forget, a smooth, nice and welcoming voice to start and when time goes off.  

Hiroshi Mikitani, a Japanese entrepreneur, gave the following advice to debutant entrepreneurs during the World Economic Forum: "Great ideas, to be truly successful, must make a final leap and become systems. (...) Hypothesize → Practice → Validate → Shikumika (means: systematize)".

So remember, Europe needs entrepreneurs. Creatives, creators, innovators, explorers, climbers, adventurers, farmers, builders, risk takers ... of any personality kind, gender, race or creed. Entrepreneurship is always an innovation itself, there is something unique about each new venture. Have you ever seen two same ethnic shops on the same street and thought their products are invariably the same? If it works for them it will surely work for you as well (I am not making comparisons or assumptions or racist discrimination. This is just a simple example of what basic entrepreneurship is all about.)  Have a starting idea, have a product or service, and figure out how to promote it in order to sell it. Then, you just need to be a little picky kind of innovator to make the real difference.  After all, this is all about the emotional personality of the business owner. Be picky, be fabulous, have absurd ideas, make bizarre experiments, be yourself, be the daring adventurous sailor but do not forget that you are the captain of your venture. And you always need to know that you have someone waiting for you with dinner (unless you are a cat person). Just don't let them down, Captain.