Orrin Woodward on LIFE & Leadership

Inc Magazine Top 20 Leader shares his personal, professional, and financial secrets.

  • Orrin Woodward

    Former Guinness World Record Holder for largest book signing ever, Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of And Justice For All along with RESOLVED & coauthor of LeaderShift and Launching a Leadership Revolution. His books have sold over one million copies in the financial, leadership and liberty fields. RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

    Orrin made the Top 20 Inc. Magazine Leadership list & has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE. He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.

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Role of Entrepreneur

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 15, 2013

I read an interesting article today on the role of entrepreneurs today. I have played each of these roles at various parts in my entrepreneurial journey just like the reader will in theirs. Entrepreneurs gather as many facts and relevant data as possible in their field of endeavor, but, at the end of the day, they must move ahead without any guarantees on the outcomes. Entrepreneurship, in other words, demands faith to a degree an employee is unwilling to endure.

Richard Cantillon, the great French economist, was the first to recognize the important role of the entrepreneur as the catalyst for economic growth. In a true free-enterprise system, entrepreneurs only advance by serving the customers through innovative methods and processes. Customers do not care about good intentions, hard work, or personal problems, they just want results. Entrepreneurs are those rare individuals who blend leadership, strategy, and courage to implement game plans with the goal to satisfy customer demands.

Free Enterprise is another way of saying the customer is king. Whomever satisfies the customers is promoted into leadership. However, as soon as he or she cannot get the job done, they will be replaced by another competitor who will. Tough; Cold-hearted; Unforgiving? These are all epithets hurled at the free enterprise system by those who do not comprehend the importance of customer satisfaction. Imagine a world where people returned phone calls when they said they would, completed tasks on time, and performed quality work that would stand the test of time. Only when the customer has the freedom to reject anything less, the quality of workmanship and results would increase to this level.

In any event, here is to the much criticized entrepreneurs of the world who have served customers without looking for special deals from government. Instead they rely on their innovativeness, courage, and energy to serve customers who freely choose them. The LIFE Leadership organization teaches all of these characteristics in its highly acclaimed audios, videos, and books from top leaders and bestselling authors. In fact, the Mental Fitness Challenge ought to be devoured by every hungry entrepreneur.

The West needs a LeaderShift and entrepreneurs play a leading role. Here is part one of the ongoing series.


Orrin Woodward

Successful entrepreneurs are usually modeled as combinations of innovators (with creative and innovative flair) and managers (with strong general management skills, business know-how, and sufficient contacts). Over the years, economists have, however, described more roles of entrepreneurs. The following is a summary of the economists’ interesting discourse that, aspiring entrepreneurs may, hopefully, find useful.

Entrepreneur as risk-taker
Richard Cantillon (1680-1734) suggested that an entrepreneur is someone who has the foresight and willingness to assume risk and take the requisite action to make a profit (or loss). Cantillon’s entrepreneur is forward-looking, risk-taking, alert though need not be innovative in the strict sense.

Two different kinds of risk were distinguished by Frank Knight (1885-1972): one is capable of being measured (i.e., objective probability that an event will happen) and shifted from the entrepreneur to another party by insurance; the other is un-measurable (i.e., no objective measure of probability of gain or loss), e.g., the inability to predict consumer demand. According to Knight, the entrepreneur takes the latter risk: “true” uncertainty found in situations, which do not repeat themselves with sufficient conformity to make possible a computation of probability (what we nowadays term as “unknown and unknowable”).

20 Responses to “Role of Entrepreneur”

  1. jammie said

    That first statement was what held me back for three years because I felt I had enough evidence in my life to deny faith in anything. When that changed everything changed. Thank you. You and many other leaders made numerous deposits into me that gave me reason to have faith again with undeniable evidence that faith is real and required.

  2. Leslie Gebhart said

    Amen! Thanks for taking all the risks you have Orrin, not much risk now except for waiting to pursue LIFE, (liberty and the pursuit of happiness to be gained as well) 🙂

  3. Scott Staley said

    Great article. I’m always fascinated by the process that people go through when customers vote with their feet. The responses vary greatly; however, once it’s clear that success or failure is based solely on satisfying customers without outside intervention – that’s when true supply and demand (free enterprise) thrives. I come from an automotive background – and ‘outside intervention’ kept the company in business when performance didn’t warrant it. The end result… Increased prices, and competition being put out of business as they could no longer compete in the artificial market.

  4. Larry Pahl said

    Thanks Orrin, onward through the unknown to the destination of our dreams!

  5. Clint Fix said

    Thanks for the post, Orrin! I like how you dug into what business should look like in a free enterprise system. Many today seem to think that free enterprise somehow allows companies to abuse and take advantage of their customers, but they fail to realize that in the areas of the market that that is happening, it’s a result of government regulations that make the barrier to entry into the market difficult for new competition.

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Clint, well said. The only true monopolies are where State Force coerces people to do what they say by limiting competitors. Ever heard of the US Postal service or various “private” businesses where government regulations are so stringent that new entrepreneurs cannot enter the field and kill bad businesses by innovating them into oblivion. Some day I will write a definitive book on the destruction of freedom through State intervention. Anyway, you get it Clint, now lead and help implement the LeaderShift! thanks, Orrin

  6. Phil Wall said

    Great article Orrin!

  7. Great post! Your second paragraph is by far my favorite part, because in the end it all boils down to happy customers and service to others.

  8. Orrin, great post, and I share your love for the entrepreneur and passion for entrepreneurship. I think you’ll enjoy this article, “A Tribute to the American Dream(ers).”

    An excerpt:

    “The politicians and bureaucrats can try to stifle you. They can tax you. They can regulate you.

    They can sneer down their noses at you and call you greedy and selfish — while living off the fruits of your labors.

    But they cannot break your spirit. Nor can they ever beat you.

    Because their laws and guns are no match for your idea might. Because you will always be one step ahead. Because you understand and live according to natural law.

    Because you, unlike them, are not blinded by scarcity. Because you know we live in an abundant world, bursting with infinite wealth and opportunity for all.

    Because you create wealth and opportunity while they suffocate it. Because you truly serve humanity while they smother human potential with excuses and crutches.

    So dream on, American Dreamer, and keep the dream alive for us all.

    We desperately need your heart, your strength, your light.

    For it is you who will pull our nation from despair and rebuild our City on a Hill.”

  9. Orrin,
    I’m amazed with companies that do get this. I think back on my “conventional business” days, and so many of the mistakes I made with customers still ring in my head. But even today, 3+ years from even being In business, I still get calls from the customers that we did it right. I have a friend that works for a marketing company, that has averaged a 44% growth each year for the last 3 years. I think they have figured some of that out.
    Sometimes….. Holding to that customer satisfaction, especially when it is at an expense or loss of profit to the business owner, is one RISK that some aren’t willing to take. (Along with many others) I remember not believing that ultimately satisfying the customer, would work, and that I needed to be profitable on every deal, or i would be out of business. That thinking put me out of business. Interesting….. After all the financial risks, quitting a “good secure government job” an I would not take that risk at times….
    Thank The Lord for the LIFE business!

  10. CJ Calvert said

    Orrin, we are all the beneficiaries of the PC casting off from the shores of certainty and voyaging toward uncertain shores. There is no safety in significance, and I am grateful that you have set an entrepreneurial example for us all to follow!

  11. Chad Waters said

    Hi Orrin!

    As a self made business owner before the Life business I totally understand this article. Service to others is key really in any industry! Difficulties comonly arise and its how you deal with the situation in retail or in Life.

    The way you put this perspective together better explains the 10% were looking for a LeaderShift. 10% is a committment much like being an owner. You choose to do or you choose to fail. There is no option but to win by helping others!

    Leading while in the treches good or bad!

    Today Is Always A LeaderShift Day!

  12. Ken Hendon said

    Right on, Orrin!

  13. Dave Mitchell said

    I liked the second paragraph where you stated “Entrepreneurs are those rare individuals who blend leadership, strategy, and courage to implement game plans with the goal to satisfy customer demands.” Your past posting on the life Live seminars shared allot of post’s from people across North America whom saw speakers at these events whom live and lead by these principles daily. Thanks to the Life Business, anyone can learn the principles to succeed as a entrepreneur, if not just take the principles to better their lives.

  14. Jason Dames said

    Thx for helping us all in the team to become better equiped to be entreprnuers!! Look forward to seeing you and Chris in St Louis this month!!!

  15. Elaine Mallios said

    So insightful Orrin. I know about stats and probabilities, and truthfully there are so many variables anyway that there is no way to predict. Especially when people are involved who are highly motivated and passionate about their cause! Like us!

  16. Excellent post!

  17. Kevin Hamm said


    15 years ago I walked out of a GS11 step 6 government job on a wing and a prayer to become an entrepreneur. 5 years ago, that early experience, coupled with the TEAM system enabled me to reframe a near bankrupt situation into an entrepreneurial opportunity. Today, I am so grateful for all of the entrepreneurial training you are providing that will enable me to poor that experience into other lives and create more entrepreneurs…Boy, that reads like an add for entrepreneurship. 🙂 Thanks Orrin

  18. Keith Sieracki said

    Are Entrepreneurs “made” differently? The spirit seems somewhat independent of personality types. Some Entrepreneurs seem to break out by being frustrated and confined by job title or role, yet others seem to have always had the mindset to accept challenges/take risks from a very young age. I am fascinated by the mindset of the Entrepreneur and their determination to constantly move ahead, control fears, and never accept the status quo. Thanks for the article Orrin!

  19. Kim Decker said

    Most people lead the industrial way (management), lets make a change…stand up and fight which is an entreprenur….”LIFE” is doing a wonderful job one person at a time and thank you to the PC who have helped up grow to better people.

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