What Makes an Entrepreneur?

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I just had to comment on Denny Hatch's letter to the editor ("Junk Mail Shibboleth," May 17), which -- let's face it -- summed up the vast gulf between those who create businesses and those who are totally dependent on others for their salaries.

I have every admiration for the real entrepreneurs in this business. The founder of DM News is a great example, and I could list several hundred others in your market whom I have been fortunate enough to meet. Most of these successful businesses started with an idea, scant financial investment and an entrepreneur who built the business with few of the "luxuries" (like that regular pay check, benefits, expenses, etc.) that employees the world over take for granted.

These entrepreneurs are resourceful, hard working and committed. They seized every opportunity to glean ideas, identify prospects and create a medium that delivered value. And, today, even though they lead very much larger businesses, they remain alert to the opportunities that employees simply do not or cannot recognize.

In the United Kingdom, the phrase, "Where there's muck, there's brass," is an apt one for Bob Portner's junk mail dumpster. If he were building his own agency business, he'd have recognized that immediately. But there again, if all the Portners of this world were fashioned from the same rare material as the entrepreneurs, then it would be a much more competitive marketplace -- and good employees would be even harder to find.

Jane Revell-Higgins


European Catalogue & Mail Order Days and Catalogue & Mail Order Business Journal

Devon, England

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