Back when I started my business, before Twitter, before Google, “entrepreneur” meant quitting a job and building your own company so that you can write your own paycheque. It wasn’t a new thing then. From Martha Matilda Harper to Coco Chanel to Martha Stewart, men and women have been building businesses, inventing, and creating brands for decades.
These days, “entrepreneur” is quite the buzzword, and a goal for many people. And it seems that a whole new business sector has developed to help people become entrepreneurs. How very entrepreneurial of them.
Back when I started my business, the word “entrepreneur” wasn’t used very much. I certainly didn’t notice it. If you had asked me 13 years ago if my dream was to be an entrepreneur, I may have been tempted to snort a little bit.
Across social media platforms and blogs, “entrepreneurship” is being positioned as a dream for the discontent. And there are many discontented people looking for answers. Want more vacation time? Start your own business! Want to make a million? Start your own business! Want to love what you do every day? Start your own business!
So here come the seminars and DVDs and e-books and workshops which promise to help people “overcome your fear” or “embrace your inner entrepreneur”. All valid achievements, all worthy causes. However, what seems to be missing in all this is the fact that not everyone is cut out to be a business owner, or entrepreneur.
I see lots of push for “what is holding you back?” but very little of “is this right for you?”. Being an entrepreneur may be a cool thing now, but it isn’t for everyone. Just as being a heart surgeon or a Broadway singer requires specific skills and personality, so does being an entrepreneur. I could dream all I like about dancing on stage in front of audience, but I simply don’t have what it takes to make that happen. Ever. Just because you want something, doesn’t mean you can get it. Or be it. No matter how many seminars you sign up for.
We all have our limitations. It takes courage to accept them. Which frees us to focus on the strengths we do have, and to find joy in our life, perhaps just as it is.