By now in this column you know that every now and again I get this compelling urge to stand on an Okanagan mountaintop and shout out with glee about the joys of the entrepreneurial spirit.
Entrepreneurs are truly everywhere if you just take the time to look closely, read well and listen to the wonderful stories right here at home in our beautiful valley landscape.
What these experiences do is prompt me to share with you some thought on the psuedo-mystery of inspirational entrepreneurship that, inspires me when I look into the eyes of the many talented people with whom I interact while creating this column for you.
A thought comes to mind quickly that I read in a book recently: “We don’t need to push life so much as we need to experience it more elegantly, to be motivated more by inspiration than by motivation.”
Let’s together conceptualize a story of inspirational imagery right here in our Okanagan playground where entrepreneurship is just outside the door.
One day last spring, while visiting a vineyard in Summerland, I struck up a conversation with one of the multitude of vintners I have had the privilege of meeting over the past five years.
While he showed us around his vines and talking about his plans for the future, I couldn’t help but ask him, “You don’t have much land here. How can you get bigger?”
The vintner replied quickly: “ I don’t want to get bigger, I want to get better.”
I experienced a strong emotion dwelling about that man’s philosophy for many days after our meeting.
Personal growth has no limits. entrepreneurial ventures can grow more profitable by becoming better or leaner or deeper or more concentrated without becoming bigger.
Bigness, in both business and in life, can lead to an absence of focus, too much complexity and, in the end, too much to control. Ouch, I say.
Let’s take a moment and look at the “small is beautiful” school of entrepreneurship and seek out an opportunity to learn how to bring more creativity, definitely more inspiration and fun into your entrepreneurial journey.
Try and envision if your new or existing venture would incite the element and passion of inspiration if you knew:
• How to find inspiration all around you
• How to make your venture a creative adventure
• How to use your venture to make a difference in our complicated world
• How to market through the law of attraction
• How to gather unfailing support for your dreams
• How to form creative and enriching collaborations.
To achieve inspiration we need to learn how to integrate more of the answers to these questions into our venture as well as learn how to outsmart resistance and operate from our entrepreneurial core.
All of this learning exercise can place us in a highly interactive setting with plenty of attention to the specific challenges of our venture creation.
For example, as said frequently in this column, it is my belief that a worthy option for you is to explore the Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society to find your inspirational foundation. Why?
Because, my friends, you’ll find an entrepreneurial hotbed teeming with creativity and boldness.
In fact, the society is a great classroom for nurturing your entrepreneurial spirit.
Take a look at the way others combine creativity and commerce. Spend time together studying the behaviours and attitudes of those whose imagination contributed to their citadel of success.
Inspirational entrepreneurship takes us on a kaleidoscopic journey of reality as it seems ingrained in us to either sacrifice our dreams and our deeper self in return for a regular compensation of some sort.
Follow your heart and do something with your life that inspires us and is meaningful to you, even though it may not hold an absolute for financial gain or security.
I would suggest your desire to discover the entrepreneurial journey you have been born to do is not a selfish act but more of a spiritual impulse,
When your work is on the canvas of life onto which you express your soul, it is the road you were meant to travel.
It’s moving beyond sacrifice to inspiration, beyond dilemma to authenticity and leading to a wonderful journey of meaning and success.
Author George Sheehan summed it up nicely when he said: “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
So, let me this week urge you to overcome your resistance to investigate your inspirational entrepreneurial venture life path with a few tips.
• Commitment to turn up and take some action, even baby steps—tiniest steps builds momentum and brings dreams to life.
• Develop your courage—feel the fear, guilt, doubt, but act in the face of them; don’t wait for them to subside. Engage with your fears to grow bigger than the fear itself.
• Learn the how to information and strategies—educate yourself and learn what you need to move forward with inspiration.
• Don’t try to solve problems you don’t have yet. We can waste so much precious time and energy worrying.
• Focus then on problems you may like to have, such as having so man clients to serve.
• Lastly and most important, surround yourself with positive, non-toxic people. Isolation is the biggest entrepreneurial dream killer as the belief, love and encouragement of others can move mountains.
Three additional tips that I highly recommend for new aspiring entrepreneurs which has helped many. .
Have an accountability partner who is also an entrepreneur to share goals, objectives plans with i.e. each others mentor and coach. It works.
Join a Mastermind Group— i.e. Accelerate Okanagan, Women’s Enterprise Centre or our Okanagan Entrepreneurs Society—where you can share and nurture your inspiration, passion and dreams.
Actively network with other entrepreneurs. Such exchange rejuvenates your creative juices.
I would like to close this column this week with some reflection of Steve Jobs, the recently deceased Apple visionary.
While he knew he was dying, he still offered us all this everlasting message of faith: “Live each and every moment of every single day as if it were your last. For most of us, we take far too much for granted until we are threatened with serious loss of a kind. For while we are still alive, the possibilities are limitless, unless we choose to resign ourselves to a very small mundane existence and a routine life of not making a difference. The plans that your heart tell you are truly meant for you. Proceed with passion…with inspiration.”
So entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs of the Okanagan, step into your greater power and keep your focus on contribution. You have the unique gifts and the world needs what you have to offer—so give us what you’ve got.
Embrace a new personal mantra a quote from one of my Okanagan friends: “Aim not only to become the best in the world, but also the best, for the world.”
Joel Young is an entrepreneurial leadership coach, consultant and educator and founder of the Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society.