Perspective

Igniting Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

The entrepreneurial spirit gives you hope and drives you to make something out of nothing.  See how I previously defined it here.  It empowers you believe you can get from point A to K, without directions and by taking an unplanned route.  Once you get to point B, you’ll leverage your experience from getting from point A to B to figure out how to get to point C.  There’s a risk you won’t make it to point K, but despite that, the entrepreneurial spirit tells you it is ok to try. The entrepreneurial spirit in rooted in the belief that effort and small steps are better than making no progress at all.

So how do you ignite your own entrepreneurial spirit?

Before Editing

Take ownership of what makes you unique.  Be in tuned to who you are, what is important to you and what you stand for.  Make a conscious effort to prioritize those things and customize your life so you experience more of them. Yes, it is possible to customize your life!  Remember that life didn’t come with a handbook so what society prescribed as the path may not be the one for you.  And that is perfectly fine.  But the responsibility to celebrate who you are and create the life you want is yours.

After Editing

Insert creative moments in your day.  The exploratory nature of creativity is fundamental to the entrepreneurial spirit because creativity allows you to experiment and see things differently.  Make it a point to incorporate creativity in your day so that you’re actively doing something.  I’ve always loved photography because it provides a lasting gratification associated with a moment that captured my attention and moved me emotionally.  So most times, I’m carrying my camera and when I’m not, my phone comes in handy. In addition to taking photos, I love editing them similar to what I’ve done with this photo.  Find a creative outlet that’s manageable and give yourself permission to explore and apply by doing each day.

Choose risk-taking over risk-aversion.  We are creatures of habit and we prefer things we’re used to. We like to be and feel comfortable.  But if the entrepreneurial spirit is about doing, exploring and discovering new things, then this approach won’t work because you don’t get new results by repeating the same steps.  To get a different outcome, you have to embrace new and different approaches which involve risks.  It is an old saying but no risk, no reward.

Maintain a big picture perspective.  You will miss a lot of things if you continuously have tunnel vision.  Yes, you need to concentrate and focus on one thing at times, but it is also important to be aware of what’s happening around you.  When you’re able to read your environment well and keep a pulse of what’s going on, you’ll be more prepared for tomorrow. You’ll be better at anticipating what’s next, what to get into, what to avoid and where opportunities are.  Continue to question and think of ways to make an overall connection.  Remain mindful of the vision and keep your perspective broad.

Develop the habit of sharing.  When you take the road less traveled and go against the grain, people will stare, talk and wonder about you.  As humans, we generally feel more comfortable with things we know and are familiar with.  So anything outside the norm tends to make people uncomfortable. Instead of letting this reaction discourage you, use it as an opportunity to inform others and share your story.  Let them know what drives you and what you’re passionate about. Tell them what you want to accomplish and how you plan to do it.  As they begin to understand, you’ll notice them becoming more supportive, congratulating you on your courage and possibly expressing a desire of wanting to do the same.

Have you identified your entrepreneurial spirit?  Are you looking to ignite it?  If you already have, how do you keep it active and maintain it?

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Get More By Taking Action, Applying and Doing

In life, you can stand on the sideline and watch or you can get in the game.  Yes, there’s a certain number of players who can be on the court at the same time, but don’t let that stop you.  Don’t let your hours of practice go to waste.  Make sure you get in the game and apply what you’ve learned.  You will get the most of the experience this way because learning has a lot to do with application.   When you’re actively involved, you increase your chances of learning and retaining information.  For example, you may read about a topic and think you understand it, but if you’re not able to speak about it and explain it to someone else, then chances are you don’t understand it as well as you think.

So if you’re looking to get the most of our situation and experiences, make it a point to get active, apply and do.

“Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember.  Involve me and I learn.” 

– Benjamin Franklin

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do.”

– Johann Von Goethe

What do you do to get more?  How do you test how much you’ve learned from a situation?  Do you learn more passively or actively?

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    TheAfter5Edge blog was built on the premise of leveraging one’s entrepreneurial spirit to achieve competitive edge in business and life.
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