Something to closely think about as 2013 moves full steam ahead: What is the future of business in the West, let alone the world?
Could a concept melding entrepreneurship, in some ways historically considered to be someone(s) who is a lone wolf (-ves), and community, which by its very definition is plural, be the path forward, the ‘Ho Chi Minh‘ trail out towards prosperity, purpose, and to fulfill our potential as born geniuses who have been covered in ‘glaze‘ ?
My answer: Most definitely.
Think about it. When you take the ‘edge’ off of the perceived risks of entrepreneurship as compared to its alternatives by mixing it with community, which is rightly perceived as a team who has come together to make the individuals forming it stronger ( ‘iron sharpening iron’ ), you get a potent combination, do you not?
Taking this a step further, we live in a completely new age/era – we are well past the years when people were looked at as mere hands to build widgets while not exercising independent thought; we’re also beyond the time where huge corporations and other big entities dominated the landscape, and everyone felt secure in giving up autonomy and trade it for perceived (false) security. And, are we also not well past the time when your only entrepreneurial pathway was to sign a big stack of papers, putting your entire future on the line, to get a loan to build a business from scratch?
Again, my answer is: Most definitely.
The issues we have in order to grasp this is to replace traditional thinking, traditional sources of information, and traditional habits for what is already working well. Going back centuries into history, we find that Edmund Burke opined about entrepreneurial communities in his time & place; he called them ‘little platoons’, although he was living in a time when agriculture was still the dominant industry. Talk about having foresight! So, now that we live in a time when the internet connects us all, and the ‘six degrees of separation’ have been shrunk to four, is there any reason why the little platoons of yore cannot become the dominant business model of the 21st century?
These communities can & will comprise of men & women who want to learn together, grow personally by applying better quality information into their day to day lives, leverage their investment into their minds by pooling those perceived risks of being an entrepreneur, & al l the while, being the ‘glass cleaners’, the ‘candles in the dark’ for society.
What kind of non traditional, non conformist thinking, information, and habits will be an asset to those who voluntarily choose this path forward? Let’s ponder for a few:
1. Putting aside that winning means someone else loses (‘zero sum’) and trade it for Level 4 thought / Habit 4 from Covey — win:win
2. Tossing aside entitlement and victimology for earned results & personal accountability
3. Understanding that big institutions/entities no longer can effectively offer security, govern society, or be on the cutting edge of thought.
4. Over time, replacing mass media sources ( satellite/cable + radio, FM/AM, newspapers, magazines, et al.) with specialized information culled from the very best in entrepreneurship & community building. This is a branch off the crucial “Define. Learn. Do” tree that is a base law of success.
5. Realizing that schooling & education are not one in the same. There is nothing at all wrong with conveyor belt & professional track schooling ( K-12 & undergrad/grad/post grad ) so long as they are supplemented by self-directed education, also known as liber/liberty/TJed.
6. Building the habits of associating positively, putting others ahead of yourself ( ‘service before self’ ), reading, and listening.
7. Studying entrepreneurship and applying the skills that these men & women use in your day to day lives within the community (while learning, studying, & growing oneself) & outside of it the rest of the time by practicing top notch people skills.
8. Being very clear on the massive difference between investment and expense. (using the “Y-D-I-L” equation goes a long way to help make this simple. )
9. Putting mental fitness and physical fitness on the same level playing field. Both matter; a LOT. This seems so simple, yet why do so many not put money into their minds, yet spend so much money on gym memberships? The latter is very useful, but the former is just as much.
10. Paying forward what you learn inside of the entrepreneurial community with others. Learning is best applied when you teach/coach/mentor someone else who is not yet part of the community with you. The old way would be to ‘hog’ what you know, thinking it would be a competitive advantage; this is Level 3 thought at best, and perhaps Level 2; Only Levels 4-5 are useful in this developing model.
Thank you for reading today, and I hope & trust that this post made you pause, ponder, & stretch your mind. Nothing but the best to you on your journey!