The Renaissance Man is a strange term, derived from the European Renaissance period, where the proper education (of gentlemen) consisted of many topics in various fields, mainly literature, poetry, music, languages and so forth. It was a time where a broad view on things was encouraged. Also, interestingly enough, artists of that time came up with a concept that is forever a useful thing in entrepreneurship - perspective.
Professionalism has always been a virtue. We are constantly being encouraged to learn a trade, focus on something until we master it to a degree where we can expect others to compensate us for our services. When looking at an organizational chart, you will see people categorized according to their function - the value of their trade represented as a position inside the company.
Entrepreneurs are usually professionals with a clear vision, drive, and strong will. Yet professionalism alone is not always enough to allow entrepreneurs see the big picture, clear their heads, and take an idea into execution. The model of the Renaissance Entrepreneur, a concept that I have been trying to live by, attempts to create a holistic approach to entrepreneurship, and combine several aspects that are crucial to anyone who wish to found a company, and make something out of nothing.
The renaissance entrepreneur has 4 elements in her:
- The visionary. This is often easy to find, as entrepreneurs usually are governed by a passion to create, and have an overview of the idea they wish to bring to life. This element rules the heart, while keeping the head high in the clouds, thinking, expanding, exploring. It is the romantic spirit of the entrepreneur, and the part of her that keeps up faith, hope, and perseverance.
- The analyst. The antithesis of the visionary, the analyst rules facts with a firm hand. This is the element that explores market data, studies growth factors, gathers information about consumer habits, and deciphers technical analysis. The facts gathered by the analyst help the entrepreneur with battles that require a certain amount of proof, providing real world information that is an essential part of any initiative.
- The businessman. This element rules the pocketbook. An idea could be far reaching, could be shown as acceptable by the market, yet is worth very little if it has no way of making money, or providing some sort of profit to those who engage in its execution. The businessman in the entrepreneur should always keep an ear out for opportunities to capitalize out of an idea, and come up with business models to fit both product and market alike.
- The manager. Finally, the entrepreneur should be aware that a business is only as good as it is managed. Poor management could take the best idea, with the clearest vision, addressing a promising market with a great business model, and make it vanish like a puff of smoke. There is nothing worse than a wonderful idea that failed due to poor management. Great management is priceless, and a necessity for a successful execution of an idea into a company.
These four element, though quite helpful when existing inside a single body of an entrepreneur, are not necessary to make a person into an entrepreneur. However, the founder is advised to be aware of them, identify the different aspects of her personality that correspond to each element, find out her strengths and weaknesses in relations to these element, and where she may need assistance through the help of her co-workers.
This is a brief summary of this concept of the renaissance entrepreneur. In the next posts, I will provide more in-depth analysis to each one, and show how these elements could come into play when putting on an entrepreneur's hat and making an idea materialize. Also, when writing more about the path of founding a company, I will often relate to these terms and how these elements could be applied in order to focus on specific tasks and gaining the right mindset and perspective to complete them.