The Entrepreneurial Spirit
I have worked with entrepreneurs and leaders for all of my career, but here’s why I choose to coach people with entrepreneurial spirits — I believe these are the change agents that the world needs, and the calls are getting louder and haunt more and more of us.
vox clamantis in deserto – a call to be heard and followed
The entrepreneurial spirit is a very unique character. My alma mater’s motto is Vox Clamantis in Deserto – Latin for A Voice Crying In the Wilderness. Entrepreneurs hear and heed this call – a voice in the wild that sometimes seems fantastical and often is a lone voice – but one that you must move towards to be satisfied. It requires a profound amount of courage and daring, a journey that is anything but a walk in the park. But it’s what distinguishes you from the herd.
Being an entrepreneur is not just about being a business person, and there are in fact plenty of entrepreneurs who are not in business. It’s about taking on the task of creating something bigger than you. The word entrepreneur comes from the French, entreprendre, to undertake. Living as an entrepreneur is to undertake a calling for an adventure, a task, a project, a vision, a journey you often find at once exhilarating, confusing, and fearful. It’s about taking on your hero’s journey, to borrow a line from Joseph Campbell.
Undertaking a calling. It’s as if there’s a compulsion. There’s a drive and all you can do is choose to resist or follow.
The entrepreneurial spirit is also an extremely creative one, not too different from the idea of a Renaissance person. The greatest entrepreneurs in history, undertakers of their own personal quests, have been extreme Renaissance characters – from Da Vinci to Einstein and even Jung, who was also a beautiful artist and writer. The Industrial Revolution brought about this weird concept of a single career or function as your total identity, but I think humans, and especially entrepreneurial spirits, are not made for this singularity. We are multiplicitous, multi-talented, and more complicated than that. And like a woven tapestry, it’s important to nurture and balance all of your inspired needs and creative quirks to live your truth, to undertake your grand and small visions to be fulfilled.
all the faces and hiding places of entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurial spirits can be found living all kinds of lives. They can be Internet startup founders, corporate leaders, chefs, artists, writers, scientists, philanthropists, small business owners, humanitarians…. Entrepreneurial spirits might also be living inside false lives, muffled under social, cultural, and familial pressures. Our world does not always welcome the entrepreneurial spirit with open arms. She is often an iconoclast, a dark horse, a black sheep. He doesn’t always fit in, so he makes himself fit to survive, until he finds himself incredibly uncomfortable in his comfort. Then it’s time to heed the call from the wilderness.