Entrepreneur – Do You Want To Change The World?
Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes and are driven by a wide range of objectives. As I’ve written elsewhere, the emotional reasons for becoming an entrepreneur range from fulfilling basic survival needs to seeking feelings related to esteem, meaning and self-actualization needs. While there are no hard and fast rules on this, many of the greatest entrepreneurs did not get started seeking fame and fortune; rather, they wanted to change the world.
I never wanted to be a businessman; I just wanted to change the world. Richard Branson
Do you want to change the world?
At the end of the day, we all change the world even if unintentionally and even if just a little bit. What sort of change do you want to make happen? Do you want to do it deliberately or unintentionally?
Remember, you are making changes every day, in your business, in your personal life, in the path that leads to your future. Or are you? Are you making changes, or are you just letting life happen? You have a choice.
Whether you are the CEO of a family business that you had not intended to work in, but inherited when a loved one passed away unexpectedly, or you are a startup entrepreneur seeking to grow your first venture, you are a change agent. You have the potential to change the world you live in. Will you make changes intentionally, or will you just let them happen?
Although Steve Jobs said, “Things don’t have to change the world to be important,” he also said:
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me”.
Steve Jobs and his team at Apple have changed the world of computing and communications in many important ways. Although he said that something does not have to change the world to be important, I think he would have agreed that changing the world is important. Like so many of his fellow ultra-successful entrepreneurs, Jobs was not content with the status quo, nor was he asking others what the future should look like. He had his ideas and his vision and through force of will and extraordinary creativity, he was going to make it happen.
Do you want to change the world in your business? In your industry? In some other area of life? Do you have a vision for what the future should hold? Do you have the commitment and perseverance to make it happen regardless of what obstacles stand in your way?
A trio of Thomas Edison quotes sum up what it takes to change the world:
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
Hell, there are no rules – we are trying to accomplish something.
I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Can you come up with the perspiration to back up your inspiration? Are you willing to disregard the status quo “rules” to change the world? Do you have the willpower to persevere through 10,000 failed trials?
If you truly want to change the world for yourself and others, you need to redefine failure and not let it affect you in a negative way. Take Edison’s approach and let attempt number 10,001 be just another data point, if, in fact, it’s not the one that succeeds. It might be!
If you want to change the world, then you must have a big vision and channel your “inner Bezos, Jobs, Edison” and other entrepreneurial greats, so that you too will have the perseverance and vision to make a difference. By the way, you may achieve great financial success along the way as well, but if for some reason you don’t, at least you will have changed the world! If you truly want to change the world, as Jobs and Apple may say, listen more to those who “think different” than those who don’t.
I look forward to your thoughts and questions. Please leave a comment (“response”) below or in the upper right corner of this post.
Don’t miss an issue of Company Founder! Subscribe today. It’s free. It’s private. It’s practical information for entrepreneurs and leaders interested in taking it to the next level.
Go to the right-hand navigation bar near the top of the page, enter your email and click subscribe. We respect your privacy and will not sell your email address. Note: once you subscribe, if the confirmation email doesn’t arrive, check your spam filter. It usually makes it through, but we’ve had a few get caught up in the filter..