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What does entrepreneurship mean to me? 

Author: Marc Gogel  

My dad tells me stories from when he was my age while we watch the Red Sox play the Yankees at Fenway Park. He spent summer days working for his father’s construction business and playing tennis on the beach. He later attended law school and started a litigation firm on his own. While the other Ivy-League lawyers rose the ranks in the corporate world, he made his own path. To him, the ‘hot shot’ law firms viewed their clients merely as numbers, amassing them even more money and power.  

The partners at these firms drove around in their imported exotic cars with bespoke suits and sublime 24 karat Audemars Piguet watches. Those at the top of the hierarchy would habitually pass down cases to their junior associates, who were similarly ostentatious and lacking experience. 

 My father preferred to make his own rules. He tended to his clients’ needs and worked tirelessly to understand the idiosyncrasies of each person he encountered. Many of the other lawyers retired early with houses in the Hamptons and penthouses on Park Avenue. They were neither entrepreneurs nor innovators. Although they worked hard, they rarely developed relationships with their clients. 

I grew up in the shadow of my father, observing his habits and passion for helping others. I was surrounded by the people my father had worked with for decades. These people were not numbers; they were the individuals that formed my father’s character. 

I see this character in myself. The past has shown me that character is what makes an individual unique. This uniqueness, while hard to find, has the potential to change lives. I hope to eventually unearth the uniqueness in myself, and to put my own interests aside. Much like my father, I want to make a difference.  

In any form, this entrepreneurial spirit varies greatly. Experiences and perspectives dictate an individual’s understanding of entrepreneurshipI value the ability to live freely and without certainty. I enjoy pursuing passions and persevering through challenges, whatever they may be. To me, entrepreneurship means independence. This independence allows us to work unhindered by the supervision of othersoften creating the greatest and most surprising results. 

So, tell me, what does entrepreneurship mean to you?