Can I Do It? (Part 4)

Can I Do It? (Part 4)

Power.  It is incredibly important.  It is the currency of entrepreneurism.  When we have it (or perceive that we have it), we can move mountains.  When we don’t have it (or perceive we can not), we can hardly move out of our own beds. 

Power is not a “super”-power.  It is not invincibility.  It is not limitlessness.  It is not the ability to do whatever we want.  It is simply the internal permission to try.  It is the mind and the heart giving clearance to the will to make a way. 

That’s the great irony of power.  It is exists independent of circumstance.  It is completely internal.   No one can give it to you, no one can take it away.  Only you are given the authority to your own power.  Only you have the key.

Can I Do It? (Part 2)

Can I Do It? (Part 2)

Can I do it?  A fundamental question of humankind.  Yet almost erroneous from the start.  The subject and focus of the question is us (the “I”).  Can I do it?  It assumes sort of an isolated go at the whole thing where we bear all responsibility. 

And in today’s corporate understanding of responsibility there is the loaded word “accountability.”  People are held responsible to produce certain results or be let go.  Trying is not enough.  Outcomes demand results, not logged office hours.

But ownership is a good thing.  Certainly.  We want people to “own” their endeavors.  Yes.  But what most people mean by that is make sure it works, or succeeds.  Hence the hubris and the fear mongering.  Can we really know what will work?…

The Space Between (Part 6)

Are we at least willing to leave it all? The Hebrew tale of an invisible God calling a young Abram out of his home to a new land is such a perfect story of faith ventures. Even non-religious people can relate at least to the risk factor the unknown. “Go from your country, your people, and your father’s house” (Gen. 12.1). Gets right into it. Go. It’s the heart of all risk. Go. Leave what you know. And for what? In this case, “the land I will show you.” A future unknown goal is at hand.

That is the very heart of entrepreneurial risk: leaving what you know for some possible better future. That is really at the heart of the Scriptures throughout. Ironic that now religious people are seen as sterile, lethargic, and even lifeless.

Far from it in the beginning. The “father of faith” indeed shows a very different kind of religious model. It’s all about one’s willingness to leave it all for a promise of something better (a place with less space between). Are you willing to do that?

Some will argue the job of a great leader is to describe and inspire toward a vision of a preferred future. Their job, at least partly, is to understand and articulate where all this is leading. They are to help us know why it is worth our sacrifice.

That is precisely where we get the term visionary. Of course in today’s world that term is used almost exclusively for people working toward scientific and technological breakthroughs. Their “vision” is quite palatable and “usable” by the public.

Somehow all those breakthroughs make our lives “better,” or at least more comfortable. They are not visions of a preferred future exactly, they are visions of a preferred present. What can we do to make life better for humans now.

It is an interesting change. And most of the breakthroughs don’t necessarily lead us to be “better” humans doing “better” things, they lead us in most cases to greater comfort. That’s of course where “progress” and traditional vision fork in the road.

The goal of a true visionary is not to make life more comfortable for people, especially as we talk about artists. Their job in many ways is to make people less comfortable, or more irritable in their given comforts, to even “afflict their consciences.”

Sounds almost gloomy and downright mean, certainly a buzzkill. It also sounds like the “true” nature of real art is serious and confounding. While not the only purpose of the creative arts it may be one of most important.

“Better” generally involves growing, which generally does not come easy. Creative people have to keep pushing at the market to adjust expectations to include things that are good for them. That’s the heart of today’s creative entrepreneurs.

How do we sustain-ably bring good things to people? How do we take visions of a truly preferred future and get them into the conscious of the people? How do we reduce the space between people, natural resources, and the hope to carry on?

To Be or Not to Be (Part 1)

To Be or Not to Be (Part 1)

Whether we live, or whether we die.... One is not necessarily better than
the other. There are those who fulfill their calling by negation, By what they give
up. Then there are those who do so by what they embrace.

The entrepreneur of course is one who embraces a vision, who with great
passion decidedly moves toward that vision, and making it happen. In such a strong pursuit it is very easy for their identity to be wrapped entirely around the venture.

The problem is, the matter how passionately we are committed to our work, it
cannot define us. It would be simpler, to some degree, if it could. But our work
alone is not enough to grasp the mystery of human "being."