I have been a business owner for 21 years. I have been entrepreneurial my whole life. If you know my story at all, you know that I enjoy being an entrepreneur. I believe I was born this way. In this era of startups, angel investors, private equity, venture capital, IPO’s and the long shot dream of being the next unicorn, I think our culture is a bit whacked. And posting quotes like this on social media, I believe, is very misguided.
I posted this quote on my Facebook Profile and asked my community what they thought of it. I appreciate how thoughtful people were and how quick some of them were to answer. I find the answers say so much about who they are, what is important to them and where they seek to find their peace in life. I have been thinking about this all day and decided to write a few of my thoughts on it. At least my thoughts as of now as I still consider it.
First, I do think everyone should be entrepreneurial. Absolutely! But, my definition of being an entrepreneur may surprise you. I found 2 definitions that I liked. Dictionary.com defined it one way as, “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business…” Google returned a more general definition of “characterized by the taking of financial risks in the hope of profit, enterprising.” My definition is much simpler. I think being entrepreneurial means taking control of what you want in life.
As a dad to 5 really awesome humans, I have learned first hand that people are so different. It always amazes me that our 5 kids have the same mom and dad, live in the same house and have been raised the same way. Yet, they are so different. It makes life really fun. Sometimes it just makes things challenging. But, the point is, we are all different and we all have different goals. Most of my kids don’t want to be entrepreneurs. But, 1 or 2 may follow in my footsteps.
For some, doing the same work for 40 years, earning a good income and never having the pressure of being the boss may be exactly what they want in life. They have their time outside of work to be intentional in other areas of their lives like family, hobbies, volunteering…you get what I mean. They like their time outside of work to be able to do other things and the “cost” of making a salary, punching a clock, having a boss and all that goes with it is just fine by them.
Others like to have a side hustle. They use their side gig to learn, have control, make extra money and may even hope that someday their hustle will turn into their full-time income and they can work from a beach. My point is that your own identity determines your dreams. Not Entrepreneurship.
I liked what you all posted on my Facebook post. I really liked what my childhood friend Randy Vera said in the Facebook posts. He accomplished his dream of playing professional soccer. But, his dream changed. He also said that his dreams have nothing to do with his salary. T0 me, that sounds like a guy that knows himself and knows his own priorities. At least, for his current season.
This is my point. My experience and history has been as an entrepreneur in the traditional since of starting companies and leading them. But, what I have come to discover is that we all need to be Entrepreneurial in how we think about our life. That means, know ourselves to lead ourselves. Know our own identity. Know our own passions. Know what gives us energy and what drains us of energy. When we take the time to know ourselves, clarify what is really important to us and be intentional about how we spend our time and resources, I think that is an awesome entrepreneur! You are leading You Inc. with intention.
When we know our identity we can live in peace. When we live in peace. We can live peacefully with those who are most important to us and anyone else in our communities.
So, why did I write all of this? The past 2 years I have been working on my latest venture. Its called Yip Yip. This has been the hardest startup launch that I have experienced. Its my 5th company too. In the process, I have had to ask myself a lot of hard questions about my identity. When times get hard, its the time to ask the right questions and use the answers well.
I have used this time to create new content, write another book, gain clarity on my personal goals and values and learned what is really necessary in my life to live at peace. I think I found it. At least for this current season of my life. More importantly, I have spent the last 8 years working on my identity, my mindsets, awareness of myself and strategies and systems to lead me every day of my life. It is a new framework for me and one that I have worked incredibly hard to discover and create.
If you are interested, join my mailing list. I plan to continue sharing what I have learned, where I have struggled, how I hit rock bottom right after selling my largest company and all the incredible lessons and growth that have come from it. I appreciate that you have taken time to read this. Share with me what you have learned and how it has helped you live your personal dream with peace and passion.