The thing about entrepreneurship is that you probably want to live in the world of the people who you want to buy your products or services. How else would you be able to determine what your customers want or need? Or might want or need?
And I think that’s where I fall short. I live too far in my own world.
What is more, I enjoy anti-capitalist sentiment. Or, at least, I enjoy reading about it. And agreeing with much of it.
I can imagine, though, that without capitalism much of what we enjoy today would have remained as science-fiction: the internet; cars; air-conditioners. All the things I love.
I cannot imagine a world where instead of the internet I’m actually outside staring into the forest (or maybe I can). Where instead of cars I actually walk or run (or maybe I can). Where instead of air-conditioners I’m actually thinking about moving to a cooler locale (or maybe I can). (And on this last point, the funny thing about air-conditioners is that they help to cool a world that could well have been warmed by their very use – global warming, anyone? And if you’ve ever walked past a grassy, tree-shaded oasis after coming from a conrete-ised area, you’d probably notice how much modern buildings are like ovens!)
I’m cursed with a mind that always goes in multiple directions at once, living in a universe where there’s no black or white, just grey and ambiguity, where everything (or just about everything) is given the benefit of the doubt. I’m not God, so who am I to judge?
My favourite phrase in my Econs class was “it depends”, which I answered with gusto every time my teacher shot me a question. I became so well-known for it every time she needed someone to provide both sides of an argument she’d call for me. I thought maybe it was a Buddhist phase I was going through, but I never grew out of that mentality.
It is (too) often said that when it comes to choosing property (whether for business or personal use), the three most important things to look for are: location; location; location. Repeated thrice because it’s just that important. In a similar vein, when it comes to answers to questions of just about any kind, it’s always going to be: context; context; context. What works in one situation may not work in others.
What’s 1+1? In the context of mathematics we might say “2”. In the context of humour we might say “11”. In the context of business and marriage, we might say “3” (or more – “synergy” in the former between good business partners, and babies in the latter).
How does one become an entrepreneur through such a mentality? No focus. No strong beliefs. No do or die (just do – for as long as it takes – and then, eventually, die).