I love this title and I thought I knew what it meant until this past year. Recently I made the transition from corporate America and embraced the entrepreneur profession like I never knew I could. I actually inspired myself to make the leap (can I say that?).
I’m swerving off my usual blogging topic of social media to share what I’ve learned in the process of becoming an entrepreneur. First, I learned how to spell the word correctly (the suffix is spelled with the letters “neur” not “nuer”). In all honesty, I’ve learned more in the last six months than I have in the last six years. I’m not sure if they teach an “entrepreneur” class in the college ranks but they should. Some of the local entrepreneurs should be encouraged to teach at the surrounding educational institutions because it’s a world more people would enter if they knew, and more importantly, believed they could succeed in. By success I’ don’t mean money but success in terms of transforming a dream, idea or vision into a reality.
I love Howard Thurman’s quote “Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do that. What the world needs is people who have come alive”. I’ve lived that quote for moments and seasons in my life but never in the professional sense. I didn’t really know that I could. Maybe I didn’t give myself permission to. Whatever the case maybe, I’m learning now how to turn my passion for technology, social media and entrepreneurship into reality. My social media consulting business is 7 months old and that passion has led to a focused purpose. The purpose? To partner with businesses and build relationships that matter. Business should provide an “experience” for the customer. That’s good business. That’s the foundation I bring to my consulting. I always looked at entrepreneurship from a distance and with admiration but not much else. Well, not much belief is more accurate.
Now, I am a believer. I’m living my passion and my work has purpose. It offers the ultimate investment (time, money, energy and effort), the ultimate risk (husband and father of three), and the ultimate adventure (never have done this before).
That brings me to perseverance, which, I thought had plenty of experience with. Not so fast. Early into this new chapter in my life I’ve
realized that this word will take on a whole new meaning for me. I’ve persevered through down sales cycles and bad managers. I’ve persevered
through bad jobs and bad companies. I’ve persevered through a half dozen mergers and acquisitions and even through some bad relationships. Entrepreneurism will test your perseverance like nothing else.
What’s become crystal clear to me is that if you don’t have a deep passion for what you do, the purpose of you work will not only suffer but will be short lived as well. I’ve always loved the perseverance story, who doesn’t? Movies like Apollo 13, October Sky and Saving Private Ryan are a few good examples where perseverance is the story.
I’m living my passion, my work has purpose and I’m learning how to persevere at a whole new level. Ask yourself some hard questions: Are you doing what you love to do? If not, why? I didn’t have the fortitude, the vision or more importantly, the belief that I could make it as
an entrepreneur. That has changed and I hope I get to encourage those in the local schools and colleges that it’s not as easy or hard as one might think.
Here’s a quote to note: “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat” – Teddy Roosevelt
Live your passion, have a purpose and always persevere.