The Joy Of Being An Entrepreneur
Hi. Growing up I never once dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. I hadn’t even heard that word and wouldn’t have known what it meant either. Even later, as an adult, the word entrepreneur didn’t do anything for me. I had only the fuzziest idea of what that meant, and didn’t really care. If someone had asked me what entrepreneur meant, I’d have given some vague answer such as, “starting a business, I think”.
When I was small my dreams were much different. I did have dreams of wanting to make money and make people happy; make a difference. But somehow it never occurred to me that these three goals could, and should, be combined into one major goal that could drive me to carry on despite the odds that always seem to spring up when you aren’t looking.
Then I’d hear other people talking about their desire to be the proprietors of their own business, but at the time, that idea didn’t really appeal to me. Many decades later, I realized the reason for that. I took too much pride in being able to have a role that was not that of a boss but rather one in which I could communicate with my co-workers in any role I and they served. I could equally follow instructions and stand up for my own creative ideas. And although that thought gave me a great feeling of empowerment, looking back, I know now it did limit my ability to fly in my own way.
I certainly didn’t become an entrepreneur just to be one. Today, I’m still not quite sure I am one. As I slowly discovered the power of the human brain and my abilities in a job at which I was quite good, I worked with friendly colleagues, had a great routine and best of all, I had a good salary embellished by regular bonuses! Despite all that and with a feeling of a secure future before me I took a dive into what I call “nowhere land.” What in the world was I thinking? Obviously, I wasn’t thinking the matter through as I should have done. But I was wrapped up in a message bigger than life, and of supreme importance to me, so I meekly followed it all the way.
Fifteen years later with more setbacks and tears than successes to bolster my ego I had to stop and think. My decision was that I might (and would) continue to make a good number of mistakes as I pursued my dream of establishing my company. How is it possible to have so much to do each day, and get it done? Well, I somehow managed and every day I remind myself that I’m one of the lucky people on earth who gets to do exactly what I want every day. I do what I love!
So, when I talk to you about the elements of entrepreneurship, I personally see them as an amazing and wonderful gift. As an entrepreneur, you’ll see and use the power you’ll have to help others to move ahead and fulfill their own dreams. You can offer resources and guidance to establishments that are so seriously in need. I hope I can connect with others through my writing, and I’m waiting and hoping to start a dialogue with — YES — the entire world!
I designed a company from scratch. I did it! Starting from the minute when I had to think a name for the business, I had help from friends who hurried to my rescue with all sorts of suggestions. Next came the logo, the colors, the manuals. Hundreds of decisions. Course materials followed with articles, columns, talks, events, books, venues. Most importantly messages to share! I had the good fortune to be able to train others in leadership, and in doing so, I learned more than I ever imagined about wealth, health, and fund-raising. As I began training others, I realized that before you can really lead, you must learn to follow others.
One that message came home to me: Hundreds of new windows opened wide and my company got the message. I had open windows to collaborations, new ideas, new ventures and more than anything else, my inner world had grown to the point where it was making me confused too. In fact, more confused than ever. Brilliant! Still, I have far more clarity amid this confusion than I ever did before operating the old-fashioned thinking “inside the box”. Now I wake up in the morning and wonder what will happen, what can happen next and I always look forward to the excitement of pushing the envelope much wider than I ever before thought possible.
At this point, I’m now quite sure I want to be an entrepreneur all my life. It would be easy for me to find a great job and work for someone else again, and I might even go that way again, but right now I’m grateful that I did. I found what I call a code or mindset of behavior bit by bit along the way. I was clueless at the time about where, if anyplace, these pearls of wisdom would lead, but today I feel as if I learnt how to speak 10 new foreign languages overnight.
Once you get into the zone, you must keep up the pace. You can’t always define the tempo and there is no greater lesson in life than being an entrepreneur on your own terms while keeping all your other areas of life in balance at the same time. That’s what I’m working for and this is what I call entrepreneurship worth pursuing. You need to have the drive to make it happen while you keep true to yourself, your body, and your family as well. When you do this, you’ll find yourself having MAJOR FUN! Go for it!