skip to main content

Innovator or Entrepreneur

close up of people having a meeting at a desk

You’re an Innovator; but are you an Entrepreneur?

It’s the old “hard work beats talent any day” discussion trying to separate the difference between an innovator and an entrepreneur. And to bluntly put it: we’re all innovators. How can I say that about you, I’ve never even met you? Yea, I know right. But the truth is we’re all out living to make life simpler – it’s because we’re lazy. The only reason things are invented is because someone gets tired of doing it one way and found another way to do it much simpler. It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention and laziness is credited as the father of it; and I stand at the altar reading the vows to necessity and laziness as they often times produce greatness. While some say it with tongue-in-cheek, there is certainly validity to it.

Entrepreneurship is different.

Entrepreneurship is a process of taking the talent and combining it with grit, with passion, with pain. With hard work. Entrepreneurship, when done correctly, is the innovators dreams come true. Contrary to our ability to innovate, we all aren’t entrepreneurs. While innovators find immediate solutions, entrepreneurs take those solutions, establish a value and demand and share those solutions for others to use. Innovation is the talent, but Entrepreneurship is the hard work. Being able to design a new mobile app is innovative, but being willing to create a demand, establish a value and wait for a response is entrepreneurship.

And so, it forces one to ask, why is it hard for an innovator to pursue entrepreneurship. Well, why? A lot of it can be credited to a lack of knowledge and information on how to start a business or turn an invention into a product/service and make money from it. And the other half can be directly pointed at money. There are other reasons we shy away from starting our own business or taking over the family company (fear) but let’s just debunk this whole, “I have an idea and I know it works, but I don’t know how to do that paperwork stuff.”

Let’s call it like it is, this is the year 2018, there’s no information that is hidden under the sun. You can Google, Facebook and search all kinds of platforms to find just about anything about anybody or anybody about anything. The Internet is the primary source to find information on your idea and once you’re online there’s only five letters you need to know how to find on your keyboard anyway when searching for business – L-S-B-D-C. It’s just five taps on your keyboard and you’ll connect with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center, the state’s no-cost technical assistance provider for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

If you show up with the hard work coupled with your talent, the LSBDC will help you learn how to register the business, develop a business plan, conduct market research, develop financial projections, and help put you in position to obtain and utilize working capital to turn your dreams into reality.

You don’t have to live your life hiding a gem because you don’t know how to shine it. Take risks, challenge the norm, don’t stop, pursue. Contact the LSBDC. Be an Entrepreneur.

DeRon Talley
Marketing & Media Manager
Louisiana Small Business Development Center

Editor’s Note: The Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network, hosted by Louisiana Delta Community College, is a member of the National Association of Small Business Development Centers and funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Economic Development and participating universities. All SBA programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and/or limited English proficiency will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.

About the Author:

DeRon Talley is the Marketing & Media Manager for the Louisiana Small Business Development Center network. He is married to Patience Talley and they have one daughter. When not working for the LSBDC, DeRon is likely serving in ministry, Rotary or through his own non-profit Journey 4 Success. He is also the CEO of Key Marketing Solutions, LLC.  Follow him on Twitter: @DeRonTalley.