We are all entrepreneurs

“All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves we were all self-employed . . . finding our food, feeding ourselves. That’s where human history began . . . As civilization came we suppressed it. We became labor because they stamped us, ‘You are labor.’ We forgot that we are entrepreneurs.”

Source: Muhammad Yunus/The News Hour—PBS/1122.2006

I am indebted to Tom Peters for the above quote which I discovered on reading his slide presentation on his site excellencenow.com.

The point is, we are all entrepreneurs – the label was and never should have been ascribed to only successful businessmen.

For most people, however, they have stopped behaving in a way that might mark them out as having a entrepreneurial mindset because, by and large, they have allowed others to make decisions for them.

It may sound flippant, but it’s as if they have abdicated their life (choices) to someone else.

The challenge for all of us is to step back from the hurly burly, exhausting process of just living and provide a space to think. Too often if it isn’t the external that compresses our entrepreneurial spirit, it’s our internal critic which keeps up the constant barrage of negative thoughts and turns us against our true being.

I have said it many times before, but it’s worth repeating, if we carry on living through the prism of yesterday’s thoughts and deeds, then nothing will change. We will still be doing the same thing, and ordering our life the same way, in the next 10 years.

This isn’t about sucking up to some success credo or allowing yourself to believe that there is a guaranteed formula of success, but rather asking yourself what sort of life you want for yourself in the future and for those closest to you.

To achieve that life, you have to have a clear and definite picture of how different your life will be.

Will you:

  • be working less?
  • earning more?
  • have less money worries?
  • have more time to travel?
  • have time to retrain?
  • have completed at least 50% of your bucket list?

The point about entrepreneurship, as it applies to our everyday lives, is that those people who live the happiest, most fulfilled lives take positive steps to live out that life. In pure entrepreneurship speak, they go to work on their lives, rather than living in it. Don’t get me wrong. I am all for slowing down, being mindful and enjoying the simple things in life; but too few people even manage to engineer that life until possibly the time comes when they ask ‘What was all that about?’ by which time it might be too late.

For me I love the idea of drawing my bow and firing my arrow at a target. Of course, I have no idea if I will ever reach the target, or the arrow might get blown of course, but that doesn’t stop me trying every single day.

So, next time you hear the word entrepreneur mentioned don’t immediately discount yourself from the equation.


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I am available for speaking, consulting and one on one coaching. Please feel free to email me at juliansummerhayes@gmail.com or contact me on 075888 15384.

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