Take Care Of Your Business, XII
Entrepreneurs Don't Fear The Things Victims Fear
There are two types of person out there, and inside each of us. We have a lesser nature, an "inner Victim," which is critical, political, and principally concerned with making sure no one gets more than we get (driven by what the Victim rationalizes as "fairness"). Our better self I call the "inner Entrepreneur," which is courageous, creative, and more concerned with doing whatever it takes to be our best (driven by a zeal for excellence).
We all have both types, and we might move between the types as circumstances change in our lives; but we tend to be more-or-less dominated by one or the other for most of our lives. We'll be dominated by the inner self we feed and nourish, and will be able to subdue the other self by starving it. Victims are nourished by fear, envy, and complaint; Entrepreneurs want a steady diet of hope, optimism, and adventure. Victims, having digested fear and envy, act from a sense of entitlement; Entrepreneurs, because of their very-different nourishment, act from a sense of obligation. Victims need (and expect) to be taken care of; Entrepreneurs take care of themselves, and of those around them.
Have you ever noticed that some people at work act like they own the place, when they don't? Sure: the Victim-types act like they are entitled to whatever the business can produce, regardless of their personal input to those outcomes... the Entrepreneur-types act like they have to sign the paychecks themselves, regardless of what they stand to get out of it. The Victim expects the business to perform in order to take care of him... the Entrepreneur expects herself to perform, in order to take care of the company. Each only adjusts his performance and effort in one direction: the Victim, downward (based on what he feels he's not getting enough of from his employer)... the Entrepreneur, upward (based on what she thinks the business can achieve if she can keep doing more and getting better).
Yes, you are in business for yourself, whether or not it's your name on the shingle (or on the bank loan). And you will take care of your business if you keep nourishing your inner Entrepreneur and starving your inner Victim.
Pay attention to what motivates you. We're all driven to some extent by fear, but Victims and Entrepreneurs fear very different. things. Victims are afraid to try. Entrepreneurs are afraid not to try. Victims are afraid they won't "get" enough. Entrepreneurs are afraid they won't "do" enough. Victims fear what's ahead. Entrepreneurs fear looking back with regret. Victims fear failure; Entrepreneurs don't fear failing (they know they'll learn from their failures), but they're often scared they'll miss an awesome opportunity.
People who own a business are not always entrepreneurs; and Entrepreneurs don't always own businesses. But anyone who wants to take care of her business knows how to act like an Entrepreneur. She's an adventurer. She seeks the thrill of true excellence, and won't be distracted from its pursuit. She's aware of her weaknesses, and seeks to improve them... but she's more about her strengths, and how she can leverage them. She's aware of the threats to her business, and seeks to minimize them, but that's not what gets her out of bed in the morning.
The Entrepreneur is all about the opportunity.
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