Oct 252011
 
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Change the world

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?

Thomas EdisonA 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.

Paul Morin

paul@companyfounder.com

www.companyfounder.com

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  • Tisa

    This is good and you are right, we need to redefine how we view failure. A failure, for lack of a better word, should be a springboard we use to spur us on in our pursuit of success.

    Tisa

  • Agreed, Tisa. That’s a great way to look at failure — as a springboard! We have to spring quite frequently and it could get tiring, but it’s an excellent metaphor! Paul

  • Prabash

    Yup, agree with both Tisa and Paul – failure as hard as it is can be one of the largest motivators for those who look at it right.

    Love this post, I think we have to constantly challenge the status quo if you truly want to change the world for better. Keep on learning and trying!

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  • Thanks, Prabash. Agreed — we do need to constantly change, or at least challenge, the status quo if we want to make the world a better place. Thanks for stopping by! Paul

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  • Jimmy

    Hi Paul,

    I like that you started this post with a Richard Branson quote. That guy is my role model and someone I really aspire to become. It’s about creating something that will change the world that is important.

    I look at entrepreneurship as bring our gifts to the forefront for society’s benefits. Everyone is an entrepreneur or capable of being one. The only question is why aren’t there so many? Many have simply not found their core business in life. Some listen to others too much, hence they live other people’s lives. Some are too scare and prefer to stay in their own comfort zones. Well, to each their own. Enlightenment and entrepreneurship comes hand in hand. Once you see the light, there is really not second way to bring change to the world. Entrepreneurship is by far the most effect ways of spreading this love. I dare say even people like Mother Theresa and Buddha are entrepreneurs. They are ones that do not want to get paid that’s all.

  • Very inspiring and thought provoking article. I LOVE Thomas Edison’s quote and find his story very inspiring. If he can continue strong in his endeavor after trying 9,999 times – I can certainly persevere too!

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  • Knikkolette

    I was never one of those “wanting to change the world” people… but if you think of it we all put a “ripple” in the pool whether we want to or not. We all touch people’s lives is some way, and it may be in a more profound way than we will ever know. I may never be famous or make millions, but something I said or did may have inspired someone else to do so. I always love reading your posts Paul! 🙂

  • Tram Tran

    YES. I DO want to change the world. I want to be able to tell my grand kids that when I was young, I changed the world. Let’s change the world today by first making the Internet a better place;)

  • Excellent! That’s a great goal — to be able to tell your kids that you made a difference in the world! Your thought on making the internet a better place — sure, sounds like a plan! Thanks for stopping by. Paul

  • Thanks, Annemarie. I love the quotes from Thomas Edison as well! His story is amazing and he certainly did change the world! The whole them of perseverance, about which he wrote a lot and obviously practiced as well, I feel is perhaps the most important ingredient in entrepreneurial success. It’s inevitable that we’ll run into challenges; where those challenges lead us all depends on how we respond to them! Do we persevere and find a way over, under, or around, or do we give up? Paul

  • Thanks, Knikkolette. We all change the world in our own way! Undoubtedly, you are doing things that impact the lives of others in various ways. Some choose to focus on changing the world and others just let it happen. I’m sure you are having positive impact on plenty of people, of which you’re not necessarily even directly aware! As you said, “something I said or did may have inspired someone else to do so…” Paul

  • I was reading your post, and recognize my blog writing style. 😉 I think what most of the great people that change the world did, they allowed themselves to be guided by their internal vision and will. They were too busy doing that, instead of spending time listening what others might say about their thoughts… they were simply self driven!
    Too many people out there are in the Waiting Place, like Dr. Suess said:
    “The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
    Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting…”

    When you say you don’t know, and wait for information or the right opportunity… you’re giving your power away (unconciously maybe). The world is not changed by people who expect recognition, but by people who have something to say or create… because they feel an internal need to.

  • Geoff

    I have to say that I look at entrepreneurship too as deliver our gifts to the forefront for society’s benefits. Everyone is an entrepreneur or capable of becoming 1. The only question is why aren’t there so many? Numerous have simply not discovered their core business in existence. Some pay attention to others too much, therefore they reside other people’s lives. Some are as well scare and favor to remain in their personal comfort zones.

  • Wow, Gabriela, it sure does sound like we’re very much on the same page. I appreciate your stopping by and leaving a comment and I love that you incorporated Dr. Seuss into your comment! 🙂 Very kool. I particularly like this idea: “The world is not changed by people who expect recognition, but by people who have something to say or create … because they feel an internal need to“. It’s key to be in touch with what your target markets want, but you MUST have an internal drive if you are truly going to create change! Paul

  • Hi, Geoff. I tend to agree with you that many would-be entrepreneurs are afraid to fail and thus never get started. They find it hard to get outside their comfort zone. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. Paul

  • graham

    the belated steve jobs was a modern day pioneer, he changed the way we use technology. if it wasnt for the iphone changeing how social we tweet fb and twitter would not be who they today if it wasnt ste. ste not only change we use technology he also proved that a man can still dream and be successfull at the.

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