08
Mar
09

Reid Hoffman: Take risks now!

TechCrunch posted an awesome and inspiring interview with Reid Hoffman.  Reid is the CEO and co-founder of LinkedIn.com and an investor in web companies (over 60 companies to date including Facebook and Digg).  He is also considered the most connected person in Silicon Valley.  In other words, he is an entrepreneur guru!

Charlie Rose discusses social media, the faltering economy and how Americans can dig themselves out of this deep financial hole (among other things).  Reid believes (as do I) that this will be an incredible opportunity for ordinary Americans who have never considered being entrepreneurs (the millions of people who were laid off of comfortable corporate jobs that will no longer be there when the recession is gone) to find their true voice and solve some of our most pressing problems through entrepreneur endeavors (which is usually the case in recessions).

Here is a snippet from his interview that caught my attention.  In it Reid discusses why he believes we are all entrepreneurs and how we will dig ourselves out of this crippling recession:

So I now think part of what’s been happening over the last couple of decades is I actually think every individual is now an entrepreneur, whether they recognize it or not. Because it used to be that you got a job at one company and you were there 20, 30, 40, years. That’s been dead for decades. That’s even dying in Japan. The salary man no longer even exists in Japan.

You are the entrepreneur of your own small business. How do you get to your next gig? How do you do your career progression? All these things now fall on the individual shoulders. And so, they’re essentially an entrepreneur. Now, they’re not an entrepreneur a la, I’ll go create, you know, Google, LinkedIn, a business. They’re entrepreneurs in terms of the business of themselves and how they drive that. So it’s how they get, like, their next job opportunity, how they get a promotion. All of that stuff comes from how they manage the network around them. Which is, by the
way, what gave me the idea for LinkedIn.

But I think that one of the key things — the reason why I think risk tolerance is important is because what happens is people delude themselves they’re not taking risks. They say, oh, I’m going to get a job at, you know, Hewlett-Packard or I’m going to get a job — and that’s not risky. Well, look at current economic climates. Everything in life has some risk, and what you have to actually learn to do is how to navigate it. And people who take risk intelligently can usually actually make a lot more progress than people who don’t.

I especially agree with his statement that we are all entrepreneurs constantly selling our thoughts, our ideas and ourselves on a daily basis.  We’re all natural entrepreneurs.  We all have something to say — and there are people in this world who will listen to you.

It’s a great interview.  Enjoy! : )

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