When I was at school there was some special event/series of workshops held for young entrepreneurs. There may have been some sort of competition. I remember hearing about it in assembly, and leaflets being given out in form time. Some of my friends definitely applied, the high achievers with lots of confidence. I definitely did not apply. I specifically remember thinking being an entrepreneur sounded scary and not something I would ever be able to do.
Fast forward to now and I’m about to start coaching to help set up my own business, am currently making money through a number of self-employed ventures and have just finished having coaching about making my theatre company a profitable business. Thinking about all this, the bizarre question dawned on me a few weeks ago: ‘am I an entrepreneur?’
Might I actually be that thing I shied away from and didn’t have the confidence to even consider being all those years ago?
I might not be an entrepreneur in the traditional sense of association with start-ups and business. I don’t know, but in the age of Internet businesses and creative business owners I reckon the definition of entrepreneur may have expanded slightly.
Whether I am or not doesn’t really matter, though. What matters is what happens when we consider the possibility of being something we thought we never were or could be. Perhaps this is something we all should do regularly, just to check in. Am I a chef? No. Am I a teacher? No. Am I an explorer….. oh, maybe I could be (put anything you want after the am I a… bit, these are just fun examples). An exercise to help us expand the definition of who we are, broaden the boundaries of ourselves or shift the parameters.
We can get stuck in binary thinking. I am this, I am not this. I am shy, I am not confident. But who we are shifts a lot more than we think it does; and so a binary we constructed when we were 14 years old is almost certainly not going to serve us now.
So today (and always) I’m advocating growing your own story by considering whether you might be something you thought you weren’t. Where might it lead you?