Rich Sloan

Rich Sloan is chief startupologist and co-founder of StartupNation and host of StartupNation podcasts. He is also co-author of the acclaimed how-to book, StartupNation: America's Leading Entrepreneurial Experts Reveal the Secrets to Building a Blockbuster Business. Rich encourages you to make a comment under his blog posts or send him a personal message at member nickname, "Rich," here at StartupNation.

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(This entry’s by Rich)

So many times I’ve heard the term "muse" referred to in interviews I’ve witnessed with cool musicians, writers and other artists.

A "muse" is defined by the Merriam Webster online dictionary as, "a source of inspiration; especially: a guiding genius."

Mannnn!!!!, as an entrepreneur, doesn’t that sound like a good thing to have?!

Along these lines, I was recently enjoying networking (and a pale ale) with the great StartupNation community members of Northern California at a gathering spot in San Francisco. I toted along my video camera and shot some footage of people telling their entrepreneurial stories (you’ll see the videos here at StartupNation soon).

One question I asked each person on camera was, who do you think is/was a particularly heroic entrepreneur…? In a sense, who is their "muse"?

Some people had an immediate answer. One guy said, "Steve Wynn. He’s a genius!" (Steve’s the guy who created the Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, and now Wynn Resort.)

One gal said, "My mom. She was way ahead of her time and raised children while running her business."

Several people had to scratch their chins… they weren’t quite sure. I challenged a voracious business book reader to think of stand-out names from the many books he’d read. He admitted, "They’ve all become a scramble and I can’t pick anyone out!"

As I think about my muse–my heroic entrepreneur–my mind immediately moves to three kinds of people as options:

1) Someone who gutted it out to make things a success and whose story i know personally. In my case, Grandpa.
2) Someone who is a HUGE success with equally huge vision, ambition, and willingness to take risk. That would be Ted Turner. I know… very outdated.
3) Someone who has turned success into a social mission. For that I think of Mike Korchinsky, who’s featured in our book, who created WildlifeWorks, and through that business has transformed Africans’ lives and preserved habitat in unprecedented ways.

So, I wonder, bastardizing that great movie line by Joe Pesci… "Do I muse you?" Or better yet, do you have a muse?

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