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Entrepreneurship is Like Rocket Repair

Nov 04, 2020

I have always been fascinated with rockets and space and, of course, grew up dreaming to be an astronaut. It is easy for me to apply a rocket metaphor, but this truly is applicable, so I hope you will stick with me.

I have on my wall the mission map for the Apollo 11 moon landing. So many great stories involved in the mission to land a man on the moon. Setting an impossible goal and achieving it. Maybe the greater story is the Apollo 13 story, which was reinvigorated by Tom Hanks in the movie 25 years ago. (WHAT?) 

Rocket repair is different.

If an airplane encounters a problem, it typically will land at the nearest airport or highway, evacuate the passengers and then fix the problem. A rocket in space doesn’t have that option. 

Apollo 13 encountered a problem in orbit and needed to be repaired. They had limited supplies and had to have enough fuel for their return, enough oxygen to stay alive, and of course the capability to make sure they landed in the right place. This was one of our country's finest hours, solving a complex problem.

Entrepreneurs at their core are problem solvers.

They have created a product that solves a problem. They have a service that solves a problem. They have a talent that solves problems. Entrepreneurs solve problems. 

I believe that entrepreneurs lead the transformation in this country. The biggest tech companies today started out at small tables in garages and today they provide services and solutions and employ thousands of people. Henry Ford believed that he could change the world. He didn’t invent a fast horse, he transformed the world. Elon Musk didn’t want to make another option for a car, he wanted to transform the world. 

Entrepreneurs are necessary to the survival of our world. They are the problem solvers. If you see a problem and you know a solution, then you can be an entrepreneur. 

Service companies solve problems, if you can solve a problem for your customers, whether it is meeting their daily needs or making their lives more convenient, then you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. If you have solutions that help people grow, then you can be an entrepreneur. 

Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Sam Walton, or even Jeff Bezos didn’t start their companies to build an empire, they started them to solve a problem, to make things easier or better, or cheaper for people. They were incredible problem solvers and by solving problems they grew very large companies that employ great numbers of people and provide their services around the world. They were driven by the problem they chose to solve.

The ability to solve a problem, like repairing a rocket in space, is what it takes to be an entrepreneur. 

The irony is those big companies will all be surpassed by the next entrepreneur. It is necessary part of the evolution. The company can’t see the next problem, it is too caught up in its own survival or the survival of its vision. The next problems won’t be solved by them they will be solved by the next guy who sees a problem and starts offering the solution.

What is the problem you want to solve? What breaks your heart? If you have a solution or want to offer the world a solution, then you should be an entrepreneur. Take the leap. If you have already take the leap be sure that you are passionate about solving the problem, because when the chips are down, and they will be, it is the passion for the solution that will help you push through, like rocket repair, because your life depends on it.