I tend to embrace an entrepreneurial tag line that I adopted several years ago when asked by my eldest son Craig to speak at an economic development conference he created in Duncan on Vancouver Island.
Craig had asked a First Nations sculptor to mold a side view of a human head in First Nations symbolism with a small fire burning at its base.
He placed it on one corner of the auditorium stage with an electrical light shining within its hollow base.
Although it has been several memorable years since I spent the weekend in Duncan at that event, I hold tightly to the philosophy of the entrepreneurial fire burning within each of our souls.
So let me share some thought about that philosophical viewpoint.
In the 1970s, author Carlos Castaneda studied with the Yaqui Indian shaman, Don Juan Matus, and watched in awe, it is said, as Don Juan accessed other dimensions and realities.
At those times, Don Juan’s eyes shone brightly with an energy Castaneda referred to as “the fire from within.”
That fire is our luminous energy body of which so many authors refer, full present in the universal field, at one with spirit and of unlimited strength, say both Dr. Wayne Dyer and Dr. John Maxwell, both acclaimed authors and speakers.
That fire within all of us is the sacred path to our radiant field, the path that assists us in achieving our full potential.
So, let’s directly focus Castaneda’s words to awakening the entrepreneurial fire within each of us.
Being an entrepreneur is much more about who you are than about what you do.
The Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society has as its primary vision to contribute to the development of entrepreneurial leaders, leaders who may find their fire within through the human interaction via the Society’s programs, services and legion of existing, aspiring and budding entrepreneur members.
An entrepreneur is not merely a person, but a personality, says author Michael Gerber, the personality living inside of each us who dreams.
The entrepreneur inside of each of us is the dreamer who sees life as it could be, not as it is.
It’s the dreamer who sees mountains where only flat land exists, who sees great buildings and cities arising with enormous energy where none exist, who sees the sweet juice of opportunity around every corner, in every nook, cranny and claptrap yard, in every square inch of perceived misery out there in our topsy-turvy world.
To the entrepreneurial personality living in each of us, there is that fire burning within that is larger than life itself, a beauty larger than beauty, and a wonderous promise larger than any promise we might dream of.
The entrepreneurial fire within prompts magic in the inventor, the inconsolable pursuer of the impossible who sees vision where others only see problems and work.
And, it is this fire within each of us that lights the magic of our entrepreneurial soul and invites us to join the climb to personal growth and success in its journey.
Let’s take a small whimsical sidestep for a few moments—now that I have your hearts pumping and your entrepreneurial fire ready to ignite— and highlight six “F” words that every entrepreneur should know in their journey.
Faith—Even in a moment of extreme challenge, without faith in yourself, in your new entrepreneurial venture and in your purpose, how can you actually succeed as an entrepreneur?
Family—The generations of entrepreneurs who built our Canada understood that family ought to always be at the center of your entrepreneurial life, as many successes were built together with family bonds.
Friends—True friends are always there to see the beauty of the idea, the product or the service, the entrepreneur creates for the world And, they won’t send you a bill.
Focus—It’s nice to say you are an entrepreneur, that you are your own boss. But, do you have the commitment and drive to see your idea turn into real success?
Finances—Many strike out as entrepreneurs because they believe they can improve their financial situation. Ask yourself, how hard are you willing to work? Your answer should be to make good on all my commitments that rank ahead of money on my list.
Freedom—Perhaps, the greatest gift of entrepreneurship. But, it only comes after you can act on all the other “F” words in my list
So many entrepreneurs strike out to find success because they miss that true entrepreneurial freedom comes from a vision that encompasses what’s really important to you in your life.
Dear readers, are these the only “ F “ words an entrepreneur needs to know? Of course not, but remembering these may help you weather a moment of extreme challenge without resorting to the unprintable variety, and help you remember why you decided to embark on your entrepreneurial fire in the first place.
Let me close this passionate plea for your attention to your fire within by quoting a few lines of a song by Leann Rhimes, notable country singer, that stands tall in my mind and I hope yours as well:
Once in every lifetime
there’s a chance to
We can show the
our very best
Reveal what’s in our
so the story goes and
never will end
Inspiration lights the
May you find your fire within and keep it burning brightly.
I would like to dedicate this column to my son Craig, who is embellishing his fire within in his university in the capital of Mozambique, Africa.
Joel Young is an entrepreneurial leadership coach, consultant and educator and the founder of the Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society.