Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit or don’t you? Maybe you’ve had an experience similar to my own where your reality needed to be shaken before you could make a major step off a plateau in life. Maybe you’ve failed once, twice or more. Maybe a lot more.
You’ve paid a price for each of your failures, each contains a valuable lesson. Don’t miss out on your own valuable failures!
Here is part of my experience.
“You’re No Entrepreneur”
These words came at me during a heated argument I had with a man I had worked under for many years.
We had a pretty utilitarian relationship, originally rooted in respect, and one, regretfully, I would not consider very close, at least not as close as I would have desired for spending so much of my professional life contributing towards a common mission.
A mission that was my mission also, but no longer. Like an old once glorious dream and now tarnished and collecting dust in the corner of a storage shed was our working relationship.
For a while it bugged me why he said that. Was it because I failed to run business in the past? Was it because I decided I would not work extra hours for him any longer (doing something that was no longer a passion for me)? In the end, it doesn’t matter.
I changed and could no longer fit the old jello mold.
Although the charge of being labeled as a “non-entrepreneur” was pregnant with ‘an insensitive release of a thought that was held back for so long’ (it felt like an insult), I knew in my heart there was some truth to it.
What I was, and what I had, I had attracted to myself – even my old boss, whom I do not blame.
I wanted to spend more time with my family and be concerned about not killing myself with work. If that was worth being labeled “you’re no entrepreneur”, to not be willing to make those sacrifices while succeeding in business, then I was okay with that. Nevertheless, something was missing in my make up between who I was and who I wanted to become.
Without knowing why, I knew I didn’t have everything a person needs to make my own businesses work out. Of course, there was always the easy blaming of the circumstances I was unwilling to take the risk of overcoming; but, on the other hand, maybe there were ideas and truths I had yet to discover, skills I needed to pick up, people who needed to be introduced to me on the path of life.
I had tried a couple times in my life to run my own business. I left active duty in the Navy in 1986 with the intention of taking over my father’s electric vehicle business, but after three solid years of working became disillusioned and depressed when I could no longer see my future in it. Looking back, getting run over by a car I was working on was probably the not-so-subtle hint I needed to change my plans.
I entered the engineering field in 1990, not so much as a career choice, but rather to desire to create financial stability. Although, I achieved much in the first 12 years I am proud of, I had a deep sense of knowing this was not really … me.
Fast forward to 2002, I left engineering and management in the electronics industry, went back to school* (see note below) and earned my Masters in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture licenses in 2007, but with a young family and a recession hitting my finances in 2008, I chose to raise the white flag again and actually go back to the industry I had believed I was destined to leave for good.
That was a real blast against my pride to have to take a step backwards into working in a damned corporate cubicle again. But I had to face it, with life you’ve got to roll with the punches, not knowing ahead of time some important lessons you need to add to your personal tool box, to your experiences, to your understanding of life, and to the vision of your dream.
What I discovered on the path I travelled since the “you’re no entrepreneur” argument has been eye-opening and I want to take you through the major discoveries that brought me up to where I am now, to be of service to you, to build a foundation for future personal development and opportunity by benefitting from my release from unintended ignorance.
*Originally in 1998, when I was still single, being freed from the burden of trying to find a wife, I was called to become a Navy Chaplain and began taking classes to fulfill that objective. As life would have it, however, it is when you are not burdened by your pursuit when your wishes are fulfilled. I got married in 2000 to my wonderful wife and have been blessed with two great children.
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I’ll see you… on the next page