I look out upon a sea of recently unemployed people, many of whom are:
- Without entrepreneurial ideas
- Depressed and sometimes grasping at straws to get income
- Without having ever wanted to or considered what is involved in becoming an entrepreneur
It is self evident that we ALL have an obligation to go out and try to create jobs – not only for ourselves, but for as many other people as we can. That is the only way out of this economic crisis – it won’t be over until there is a whole class of imaginative, motivated entrepreneurs who can pull not only themselves but the rest up by their bootstraps. Knowing this may be an important first step, but the next ones are harder – determination and mindset.
So how am I doing on creating that determination? I started thinking I was an entrepreneur ten years ago when I decided that job security was an illusion and became an independent security consultant. This ironically was the beginning of the longest and most secure ‘job’ (full-time contract from a single client) of my life. I did a good job, but it did not require entrepreneurial drive.
Intellectually I believe that the world doesn’t owe me a salary, but tell that to my emotions. I have technical and business MS degrees and twenty years in computer design and operations. None of the methods I’ve used before is getting me jobs or contracts. Some days I feel like I’m holding out my rice bowl and pissed off at the world. So far, I have not summoned the consistent fire-in-the-belly level of drive that is required to be a successful entrepreneur. But, I’m working on it!
I’m doing better on finding the entrepreneurial mindset. That is the other hard part. I recently finished the Austin Tech Ranch Employee-to-Entrepreneur (E2E) program. It is the best effort I’ve seen so far to help someone think and act entrepreneurial. Unlike MBA-light style incubator programs, the E2E program is focused on imparting and fostering the entrepreneurial process. One key is envisioning. Equally important are the steps the program helped me to take to identify my deeper motivations and apply those motivations to try to create a successful business. With luck, I’ll create more than one.
So am I going to create employment for you, or are you going to create it for me? Quite frankly, I’d rather that it was me creating it for you – but either way – we’ve both got to try to get vision, motivation and determination.