Attitudes + Opportunities

Marc-André Bovet's Words of Wisdom

Monday, July 11, 2016
Many studies have been done to try to find out whether having a talent for entrepreneurship is innate or acquired. Personally, I don’t believe we can say it’s totally one or the other. Given that there are 7 billion people living on our planet, I truly think we are all equipped with different skills and that we hardly have a choice as to where in the world we come from, even less so what socio-economic or family situation we are born into. That being said, the issue raises certain questions about attitudes and opportunities.


Are children born prematurely because they cannot wait to see what the world has to offer or because they cannot wait to start accomplishing things? Some would say it’s neither one nor the other, but rather a medical condition forcing Mother Nature to do her job. Yet it is precisely in such challenging situations that the connection between attitude and opportunity brings out the entrepreneurial spirit in those with more enterprising DNA. Many well-known billionaires have arisen from underprivileged backgrounds in which they experienced significant setbacks, both personal and professional. 

So what is it that makes the difference? Although the answer may sound a little cliché, it’s a question of attitude. It’s easy to spot those individuals who maintain a positive outlook regardless of the situation they find themselves in, both in times of adversity and in times of success. Unfortunately, we too often see people who are all too ready to take all the credit for themselves when the success achieved was actually the result of a team effort. I view such people as suffering from a lack of oxygen caused by a high-altitude ego as opposed to a grounded sense of humility. Of course, people’s characters are more easily seen in times of failure; what’s more, it’s often noxiously gratifying for some to point their finger at those who have taken risks and failed. But as the old saying goes, for real entrepreneurs, “Adversity is the inevitable term for prosperity.”1

Ultimately, you need to choose both your vocabulary as well as your associates with mindful awareness in order to put together the elements necessary for success. In our daily lives, we have the ability to choose language that inspires and leads people to change their behaviour in a concrete way, even in difficult situations. For example, if you talk about “opportunities” rather than “problems,” or stop interrupting people or correcting them immediately out of habit, you will notice strong reactions ranging from wary smiles to looks of amazement. You will definitely encourage and perhaps even instill behaviour that will promote more positive attitudes, and the effect will be similar to that gained from training a winning team. But obviously, as the saying goes, charity begins at home, or, if you prefer, you have to walk the talk.


Whether you believe you were born with a nose for business or can develop your ability to sniff out good opportunities, the fact remains that entrepreneurship clearly offers benefits to those who truly want to invest themselves in it for the right reasons. And I did say invest – you need drive that goes beyond reason. But that doesn’t mean recklessness, even though your project’s raison d’être will make you want to outdo yourself every day, to create something for the common good. If financial benefits are your only motivation in the short term, and if you think your road to success will be like speeding down a highway paved with gold in a fancy sports car, think again: Those “wheels of fortune” go round and round, and with one turn you can easily lose everything you thought you had gained! I’m not a believer in the tarot, but you may want to read up on that particular card.


Nevertheless, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of achievement while bringing others along on an adventure on which they have a strong desire to give the best of themselves in order to realize a vision that is often less than perfect. The intense moments shared while overcoming daily challenges gives a community of individuals the opportunity to grow through a common objective.

Entrepreneurship comes with responsibility – are you up to the task?

Your challenge: Be the one who says “Yes I can!”

1 Quote of Mirabeau; Pensées et maximes (1749-1791)