Recently I gained a new understanding of how my role as an entrepreneur has defined me. I have come through a major period of change and hence I was open and interested in changing my role in life.
As an entrepreneur I was willing to reshape my skills in new directions and to learn new skills that I did not currently possess. This was curbed by an interesting situation, brought about by the perception of others of me.
Every entrepreneur has a first job. My first job was as a gardener at 14. I can remember I was scared I didn’t have the knowledge or skills to fill the job properly. My mother would worry did I have the social skills to talk with work mates? Like others I developed grew and was able at that age to adapt to the challenge.
Now further on in life with 13 years of management experience under my belt, 8 of those in full time entrepreneurship I begin to face another challenge, one of identity. My colleagues, friends and family say I am an entrepreneur through and through I couldn’t do a standard job, I’d want more, Id work to long hours or to hard, and yet what if I genuinely wanted to focus or change?
Like all entrepreneurs I have management experience, I have consultancy experience, I have sales experience, I have business analysis experience and yet others will look at me openly and shrug, I just don’t think you could do a 9-5.
As an entrepreneur I have stated that I wanted to feel I was seen as a normal member of staff, and to perhaps do a more focused role for a short time. As with other entrepreneurs I am sure my peers where not so convinced.
I and other entrepreneurs face a challenge I have realised that the outside world still looks at us as risks as job takers. “What if,” he wants to go off and start a business, “what if,” they get ideas and becomes a competitor? The answer to both questions is that neither would happen, our integrity wouldn’t allow it. For myself with only 1/3rd of my own life in business I am identified as a business person, and there doesn’t seem like a way back, even if I did want one.
In my earlier days I like I would guess many entrepreneurs are was a loyal and hard-working staff member who went beyond the call of duty, just as I was when I became an entrepreneur and business founder.
Many entrepreneurs have been involved in many aspects of business. Entrepreneurs often understand their strengths and weaknesses well. I feel I as one entrepreneur can see where I am weak. Generally entrepreneurs see where we lack experience, where we need a team and finally where we just needed a darkened room in order to identify the best ways forward.
Do all entrepreneurs question their place in life as I do? Are we only capable of the tasks we did on a day to day basis. Are entrepreneurs capable? Is it right for them to adapt and do different things? Does doing new things mean bringing new values?
To me I believe the answer to be yes, but my question is will the world accept the changes within entrepreneurs when or if they choose to change pathways?