On Being a Selfish Entrepreneur

How many of you are yearning to start that passion project that keeps you up at night?

  • that idea you talk about with anyone who will listen (or that you talk about with no-one because it’s too important to you to share casually)
  • the project that’s been in various stages of start/stop
  • the one that you’ve been putting off for months or even years, saving it until it’s the right time.

Just saying it out loud leaves a lump in my throat.

Somehow, entrepreneurs have been able to take that leap and have built things that have added unimaginable value to our world. They’ve solved problems, brought us joy, saved lives and made us think.

What makes them different from you or me?

What makes them decide NOT to take that job opportunity that magically presents right before they are about to hit GO? Do they even go through the process of evaluating and justifying the opportunity?

Made for you Job Posting:

  • it’s interesting — check
  • it’s challenging — check
  • I could make a difference — check
  • I could be great at it — check
  • somebody else thinks I could be great at it — check

And don’t forget the steady incomemore time with my family and less stress.

All of this is meant to make you feel better about the real reason you take the job…

…it would be selfish not to.

Whether it’s family, society or self-imposed, there is tremendous guilt in pursuing something that may or may not work and asking others to support your journey. Let’s face it, the journey of a Startup is not a movie script, full of fun, excitement and big wins; it’s endless work hours, trial and error, pivots and financial uncertainty.

Many of us have been caught in this cycle of job…entrepreneur…job and can recognize the pattern that ultimately leads to discontent and even depression. Unfulfilled potential is an entrepreneurial curse. It’s even harder for someone who has failed at something they’ve started because there is the added fear of failing again.

So why is it so important?

Entrepreneurs are the people who grow our cities and communities. They advance our culture, solve our problems and teach us about the possibility. Imagine if Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, or Walt Disney had taken the job? How would our world be different?

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. — Steve Jobs

Not every entrepreneur is going to be a Steve Jobs but the value that they create impacts lives, whether it’s on a local level or a global one. Entrepreneurs drive innovation.

I always have optimism, but I’m realistic. It was not with the expectation of great success that I started Tesla or SpaceX… It’s just that I thought they were important enough to do anyway. — Elon Musk

We don’t need entrepreneurs to be self-LESS. We need more of you! Only a cosmic crystal ball could show us how much further ahead we would be as a human race, (happier, safer, healthier) if more entrepreneurs had acted on their ideas and not been stopped by guilt, fear, and doubt. SELFISH might end up being the final judgment of inaction.

We all need you to execute on your ideas; but more importantly, YOU need to do it. No matter how great that job is, you know you will always come back to your own ideas and vision and wonder “what if…”.

Launch…push the button…see the idea through.

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way — implicitly and unquestionable. — Walt Disney

Choose to have faith in the future and in yourself.

Be a Selfish Entrepreneur this year.

(And, if you don’t build YOUR DREAM there will always be someone else who will hire you to help build theirs.)

Originally published on Rural on Purpose


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