This is going to be a tough post to write, because unless you're an entrepreneur, you're probably going to take what I have to say the wrong way.
Being an entrepreneur means bending the rules... carefully. (It does not mean breaking the rules). Here's an example - a litmus test, if you will - about what the mentality of being an entrepreneur is all about:
If you are male, and you are in a Starbucks, say, or any location that has a "women's" and "men's" bathroom, and the men's bathroom is occupied, would you use the women's bathroom? Let's assume that it's just 1 person per bathroom, meaning if you were to use the women's bathroom, you could lock the door and know that no other women would come in.
Now, as an entrepreneur, my mentality is that both bathrooms are, generally speaking, exactly the same. One just has a sign that says "women" and one has a sign that says "men". To me, I would be bending the rules by using the women's bathroom. Of course, I would be extra courteous when in the women's bathroom (think: "don't sprinkle when you tinkle"), but I would have no problem using the women's bathroom, because the signage is meant more as a guide than an absolute. This is the mind of an entrepreneur in action, folks! Some people would steadfastly argue that the bathrooms are not interchangeable. If that's your mentality, then you probably wouldn't make a very good entrepreneur. I'd love to hear your comments on this perspective.
I've been getting some great comments! Please share yours. I'm introducing the "Bathroom Entrepreneurial Scale"and would love to know how "entrepreneurial" you are based on your behavior. Here's the scale, please let me know in the comments section where you land:
Rank yourself on this scale in the comments section:
1) NOT ENTREPRENEURIAL AT ALL - I would never go into a bathroom designated for the opposite sex
2) SOMEWHAT ENTREPRENEURIAL - I would go into an opposite-sex bathroom but only if it's a "1 stall" type of bathroom where I knew nobody else would come in AND I knew that there was no way anyone would ever find out
3) PRETTY ENTREPRENEURIAL - I would go into an opposite-sex bathroom if it were "1 stall" and would not care or be embarrassed if someone from the opposite sex was waiting when I got out
4) OVER-THE-TOP ENTREPRENEURIAL - I would go into a multi-stall opposite sex bathroom if I had to, and risk someone of the opposite sex coming in while I was inside!
NEW ADDITION! 5) TOO ENTREPRENEURIAL (?)- I would go into a multi-stall opposite sex bathroom knowing that someone of the opposite sex was already in there and use a stall next to them!
This is a cultural issue. In France, men and women cross over into other gender's bathrooms without even thinking. In America, it's a taboo.
I could go at 3 or 4 if the circumstances force me to. I guess when you are forced into a corner, you get "creative".
On another note, I guess I have not think this way when I am forced to go into an opposite-sex bathroom. A very interesting way of thinking. Love to see more of such posts!
Hey Lisa, awesome answer! Interested in a marketing job at AppMakr? If so, please email me! daniel.odio (at) appmakr (dot) com
It's amazing to see people's personalities come out! Brian, you're obviously a very caring guy to put a sign up - I don't think any of the rest of us had thought of that! I certainly have never done it when running into an opposite-sex bathroom.
I'm going to add a "5" to the bathroom scale because it seems that everyone on this list is averaging a 3 or 4. Is my sense of entrepreneurial risk off, or is everyone who's responding truly *that* entrepreneurial? Aren't there any "1's" or "2's" out there who would never do this type of thing?!
Entrepreneur itself means the creativity. If they have to get success they have to show how much they are creative and innovative towards their designation.
Depending on the time of the month, I could go at #3 or #4. It's not any different from using a unisex bathroom. I must have used the guys bathroom at least once already.. I just can't seem to remember where exactly. I'd even go bend by the bushes for a tinkle if nature calls too loudly.
Whether you would USE the bathroom of the opposite sex isn't the entrepreneurial litmus test, it's whether you would recognize an opportunity that could be exploited to create value. By selling men's room time to women standing in line at a crowded theatre or sporting event there is great opportunity for a revenue "stream". You offer cover and protection from embarrassment and you've got yourself a new venture. Add a staff and a few walkie talkies and you could regulate the bathrooms in an entire stadium!
i'll go for Number 3! i'll go for number 4 (and I have..)if its "a well calculated risk with exit strategy(if I get caught)!" In my opinion TOO ENTREPRENEURIAL would mean going for what you want while disregarding the people around you.
I'm willing to take an all out risk if nobody else is involve.... but if not, i'll think twice , otherwise.
Brothers Daniel and Sam Odio say D.C. doesn't sate entrepreneurial needs
Herndon natives Daniel and Sam Odio share a last name, two alma maters and a gene for entrepreneurial risk-taking. Each brother has created a well-known, successful tech startup , mobile app builder PointAbout Inc. for Daniel, picture-sharing company Divvyshot for Sam.
But only one Odio brother stayed in D.C. Sam left in 2009 for a sunnier West Coast startup climate.
Sam's success out West, however, now has Daniel on the verge of following his younger brother to California: His company PointAbout , though still headquartered in D.C. , is putting down Western roots as well.
Ok, serious question here: what would happen if I started habitually using the ladies' room? I'm sitting at JFK airport right now, and I just went to the men's bathroom. It's filthy. I mean filthy filthy.
Some of the displays of filth are so bad that I can only assume people have never used toilets before. Everything is in the wrong place.
I don't understand how it happens. Are these accidents? Do people enjoy displaying their work for the next guy?