I have written a lot about entrepreneurship and how it is increasingly becoming the norm. The main reason is that companies are getting smaller, not bigger. We used to go to big companies because that is where the tools were to work and collaborate. Furthermore, our society was about mass production and consumption.
In the new connected economy, a single person can build her own factory. The tools for working and collaborating exist online, and you can work with anyone anywhere. The size of your office or your geographic location are not factors when dealing with knowledge work today in many different industries.
So, whether people are thrust into entrepreneurship from the reality that there are no jobs or from some other timely occurrence, the journey will test everything about a person.
Learning to Color in the White Spaces
I love watching the imagination of children. If they are not second guessing themselves or stumped by peer pressure, they can pick up a piece of paper and create something beautiful instantly. They are undaunted by the white space. They love it and can get lost in their creativity for a long time.
If you hand that same blank piece of paper to an adult and tell them to make whatever they want, more often than not, there is hesitation. They want parameters. They look for direction and approval.
The industrial age did its job in creating people that follow instructions and work repeatedly with efficiency. White space can be foreign, if not intimidating.
Many days in entrepreneurship will be about the white space when it comes to building something of your own. Without someone to tell you what to build, you are left with your own imagination and creativity.
The white space can be exciting. The thrill of creating something out of nothing or creating a new solution to a problem makes work exhilarating. Of course, there’s new risk. If your idea doesn’t work, then you are the only one holding the responsibility. There’s no one to share the blame with.
The Magic of Perseverance
With the responsibility fully in your court and no boss to turn to, developing the intangibles that will help you be successful is critical. Learning that failure will be regular and that you have to get up and try something new when what you thought would work falls short will be a regular thing.
To continue to persevere through failure means that you must have a strong belief system. Thus, you will have to focus on your emotional, spiritual and intellectual well-being continually. Taking walks to clear your head and working through problems or reading biographies of remarkable and inspiring historical figures will help you be strong when you feel like quitting.
Entrepreneurship is a journey of continual growth and learning. You are only as good as what you know and experience. It will test everything about you because there is often no roadmap to tell you what to do next.
The beauty of many endeavors is that there is an answer. You have to persevere enough to find it. Finding new customers, paying your vendors, discovering what is valuable to a market or making your operations efficient are all part of the wonderful game of entrepreneurship. There are enough successful people that have travelled the journey to let us all know that it is not impossible to win.
If you are willing to be tested and to push yourself to discover, create and persevere, success emerges over time.
What is it that holds you back from the journey? If you are in it, what have you learned about yourself?