I believe that being an entrepreneur, and creating value in the world, is one of the purest forms of self-expression and fulfillment. The most fulfilled people that I have ever met in my life are people that are clear about why they were put on this earth. Once they are clear, then they decide to spend their life doing that “thing.” These people are purposeful. They feel that their life matters.
The best news of all is that any one of us can choose to make this simple decision, i.e. to live a purposeful life. Here’s more good news. Being an entrepreneur does NOT mean you have to take risks and start your own business. It does mean, however, that you have to take full and complete responsibility for your life, for your actions, and for the outcomes that you desire. This is like being the CEO of your own life. There is a great feeling of freedom that goes along with this choice, and I’ve watched people who choose this direction go through radical, positive transformations.
The best news of all is that any one of us can choose to make this simple decision, i.e. to live a purposeful life
My parents, Marie and Frank, chose to have nine children. I was the 7th born, and I have very fond memories of my early childhood. We had huge family dinners and we all chipped in to keep things running smoothly at home. Neither one of my parents finished high school, and neither one of them found a way to make a lot of money. But they were both entrepreneurial in that they took complete responsibility for their family, and for the outcomes that they wanted in this domain.
When I was 13 years old, my father died, leaving my mother with a lot of children, but not a lot of money. But because of all the time that my dad invested in us becoming “entrepreneurial-minded,” we actually found a way to succeed as a family, despite this massive setback. We all decided to become entrepreneurial in our approach to life. I am happy to say that 37 years later, all of Marie and Frank’s children are doing well, and we are all continuing to live as entrepreneurs.
Soon after my father died, I remember going to church and the preacher telling the crowd, “You can choose to be a Horse, or the rider of the Horse, but whatever you choose, Life will be the other thing. So, if you choose to be a Horse, Life will be your rider, and it will take you wherever it wants you to go. But ALAS, you can choose to be the Rider, and Life becomes the Horse, and YOU can decide to take your Life wherever you want It to go.”
After hearing that preacher, I decided at that point of my life, at the age of only 14, that I wanted to be on the Horse, and that I wanted to have a purposeful life. You can too! This does NOT mean that I didn’t have any challenges. My life, in fact, was FULL of challenges, from the death of my dad, to my mom being institutionalized from a nervous breakdown and life-long depression, to my closest sister being paralyzed in a car accident, to being involved in life-changing lawsuits, to getting into relationships that moved me backwards many years. But these challenges were always opportunities to learn and grow and become better.
Being an entrepreneur has saved my life, and my bet is that it will save yours too!