Entrepreneurial Design, Development and Refresh
“How long you been with the railroad now?"
"Twenty-seven years. Now, I'll tell you something about the railroad. What I done learned after twenty-seven years. See, you got North. You got West. You look over here you got South. Over there you got East. Now, you can start from anywhere. Don't care where you at. You got to go one of the four ways. And which way you decide to go, they got a railroad that will take you there. Now that's something simple. You think anybody would be able to understand that. But you'd be surprised how many people trying to go North get on a train going West. They think train's supposed to go where they going rather than where it's going.”
- August Wilson, The Piano Lesson -
Being an entrepreneur requires an idea, surely, but more than that, to be an extraordinary entrepreneur, it requires passion, vision, focus, drive, courage, willingness to fail, willingness to be humbled, willingness to be wrong ten times in a day and keep going forward anyway. It requires extra-human work when required, a willingness to own your fears and keep going anyway. Most of all, it requires grit and determination and resilience. It’s a tall order – taller than most of us can maintain on a daily basis. The default of our culture is that being an entrepreneur is too hard, takes too much work, becomes drudgery, and it won’t work anyway, and then where will you be? Our default is safety. Maybe you will default before you ever get started, or maybe you will default on one of those dog days that every entrepreneur has, or maybe at 2 AM some dark, dark morning as you lay awake worrying (or worse, as you are staring at your computer or sweeping the floors of your business). Or maybe you will default to safety or despair inch by inch. You will be tempted by the default. In order to not give in to the siren song of the default you have to define it, and then change how you interact with it. You need to become a different observer of the possible. You need to learn the art of the possible.
What is at the heart of why you became or are becoming an entrepreneur? What do you have to contribute? Are you expressing your greatest self through your work? Do you make a difference? What’s the why of what you do?
Where did you think you were going? Where have you ended up going? What is your North Star? Which star have you ended up following?
Find your North, get on the road, stay on it. Navigate. Love your life. Love your business. Make it count.
One has no rules
Is not precise
One rarely acts
The same way twice
One spurns no device
Practicing the art of the possible
–Tim Rice, “The Art of the Possible” from the musical “Evita”