Entrepreneurship and self reflection goes hand in hand. When you’re able to step away from the laptop for a few, you often are confronted by the “whys” of your life. One of the fundamental “whys” that confronts entrepreneurs is the ‘why am I doing what I do?’. I mean…your friends think your weird, your parents don’t approve, you can’t take your girlfriend out to that nice restaurant down the street, you sometimes wonder if you can pay rent on time…why in the hell do we do what we do?
As my friend and amazing entrepreneur Arielle Scott has asked a group of friends…“How do us over believers set our goals so high, fail, yet keep on moving forward”.
I believe it’s imperative that entrepreneurs must establish a governing motivation beyond anything superficial and ephemeral such as money, fame or status. If those are your main motivators you will we quickly be disappointed. You will either not fulfill your expectations fast enough having the utter disappointment making you quit…or you will obtain money and status so fast that you fail to establish a long term vision beyond yourself and fail when both money and fame cease to be enough. Basically it takes looking beyond one’s self satisfaction and preservation to actually make a true impact. It takes the intention of building a legacy with the contribution you make.
I have no empirical evidence suggesting that people like Sergey, Larry, Steve Jobs and others have come to the same conclusion that making a contribution is what it takes. I am sure many successful entrepreneurs are simply free market opportunists with genius like intelligence and uncanny work ethic. However I believe this notion of “being a contribution” is adopted amongst a sub-set Gen-Yers…and if it is not yet adopted it needs to be. Not simply to better our chances to succeed…but to better the chance for all of humanity to thrive.
I would like to believe that the very people that have the innovative abilities, ingenuity and vision to transform the world with what they create will always keep the people of the world in mind. Having “being a contribution” become a governing motivator for many may shape the world in positive ways that we can only dream of at this point.
It took me a while to realize that focusing on becoming a contribution would be my only way to accept the failures and continue to move forward towards success. It took me even more time to be present enough to look outside myself with the work I do. Next step is to make it so that I (and we) leave a lasting positive impact on the world.