Entrepreneur YOU!

Symptoms of the chronic disease of entrepreneurialism to be on the alert for.

Posted in Personal Journey by Robert Lindsay Thompson on February 3, 2011

Within your mind there are rich, undeveloped entrepreneurial ideas that require cultivation

One thing a would-be entrepreneur has no shortage of: IDEAS. In fact, it’s one of the surest signs that you may be, in fact, a “closet” entrepreneur. Additional symptoms may include (but certainly are not limited to): a reoccurring and lingering DISCONTENT despite whatever your job is or has been. A secret sense of GRANDIOSITY. You privately think you have much better ideas for new products and businesses than others that appear successful. An inherent REBELLION. You hate being given orders by anyone, particularly by those who you know are less intelligent or capable than yourself.

In the final stages of chronic closet entrepreneurialism, before you break out into a full blown episode of what may appear to be insanely irresponsible behavior as you impulsively quit your secure job, abandon your commitments and squander your nest egg… you may experience MANIC DEPRESSIVE periods; “high” on visions of starting your own business and imagined feelings of future success followed by depression to the point of immobility thinking about what will be the likely wreckage that your life will become… unemployed, homeless, bereft of sanity and companionship.

Whether you are in the early or later stages of the “disease” of entrepreneurialism, you are not crazy. You are not irresponsible. You are not somehow flawed, unable to settle into a normal job and be happy. You just have a disease. The disease of entrepreneurialism. Fortunately or unfortunately, with time, it will only become worse, never better. Ultimately, you will face a choice. Accept the growing misery that an unexpressed, unfulfilled entrepreneurial spirit brings. Or figure out a way to make it happen.

In my mid twenties, I get my first “real” professional full-time gig. The vice president of development at CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) created a new position – a sort of “special teams” thingy – just for me. I helped design seminars, produced tv spots, developed innovative market research and new “tools” to add to or improve upon their $100,000,000 fund-raising buffet. Really cool stuff.

Another (even better) opportunity came up when the Executive VP in charge Global TV Marketing) who used to be in charge of a whole freakin’ hemi-sphere for Exxon) offered me a job. I would be traveling the world (to like 50+ countries) selling ancillary rights to all their television programming (CBN owned the Family Channel). It sounded like THE perfect job. However, as a discerning and wise man, he quickly discovered in the interview process, my inherent restless entrepreneurial spirit. We ended up talking about my “vision” of producing a theatrical feature film on the book of Revelations.

He advised me thusly: You could get this job. Travel the world. Be successful. However, one day, you will look back and regret not “going for” your vision, your hearts passion. I advise you to “go for it”. Go for it with wisdom, but go for it. I took his advise. I didn’t take the job. I quit CBN. I started a company. I worked to develop my feature film. He became my chief advisor and primary investor.

So. I advise you to do the same. “Go for it.” Go for it with wisdom… considering the times and seasons of your life and the market place… but go for it, non the less.

If you don’t. As a subplot in the movie Flashdance depicts, something inside of you will die.

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