A wise friend and coaching colleague of mine, upon reading my post about failure, made the observation, "When what drives us is the need to prove something, we suffer." So she asked me about my reasons for being an entrepreneur. Photo by nasrulekram
I do have reasons for being an entrepreneur that have nothing to do with proving something. I love the process of creating something from nothing. I also love the satisfaction of having a lasting impact.
And yet, I've been pondering that question. What have I been trying to prove and how have I suffered because of it?
It's easy to see what's suffered. Two years ago, before spending 90% of my time on a start-up that serves university alumni associations (My Alumni Link), I had more time--to play the flute in a local community band, to blog, to do the things that I know give me joy. Not so much anymore.
While journaling, I wrote a partial answer, "Being competent at being an entrepreneur." I've known for awhile that being seen as competent is a biggie for me. It's where I can easily get hooked. (Yes, if you want to give my Gremlins a field day, tell me that I'm completely incompetent and then cite the reasons why.)
And here's the kicker: What constitutes competency as an entrepreneur? Making a profit can be one measure. Making a living can be another measure. Creating a sustainable business, worth selling is another. And there are plenty of successful entrepreneurs, people I would judge as totally competent, who attempted and failed repeatedly before making it by any of those measures.
If I'm being totally honest, I'd say my drive to be an entrepreneur is an attempt to make my dad proud, to do what he wasn't able to do and to show him that one of his own made it after all. Crazy, I know. My dad died over 35 years ago. Photo by makelessnoise.
Entrepreneurship is one of the most challenging professions I can think of, because much of it is an "inside first" endeavor. It's both a head and heart game. The more I do this, the more I learn about myself.
What are you learning about yourself as a result of being an entrerpreneur?