I spent many years working in corporate companies since starting my career. With the economy, I heard a lot of talk about people leaving or being asked to leave corporate life to pursue other career options. Many folks were out of work for a long time. Many of these folks then realized they needed to do something. (Unfortunately many opened up websites and became consultants.) But there were also equal numbers of people who just decided to start their own companies and leave corporate life.

Interesting note: not all people starting a new company consider themselves entrepreneurs.

A few months ago, I did not either! Entrepreneur implies risky characters like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, the ever quirky Mark Zuckerberg and people who appear on the cover of Fast Company magazine. And the risks that some of these guys took, well, I told myself, “I would never do that!”

Risky though it sounds, entrepreneurs may actually be more risk-averse than you think.

There is some interesting research being done at Darden by Saras Sarasvathy and her team, published in the Society of Effectual Action. It implies that to the outside world, the decisions entrepreneurs make are incredibly risky. But in fact, the main thrust of what many of them do is actually based on calculated risk rather than random acts.

Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur? What do you think it takes to be an entrepreneur?

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