I came across the true sense of the concept a long time ago and have been moved by it so much, as to have complete faith in it, ever since. It has been the greatest source of motivation and inspiration in my life from then on. We had gathered at a friend's place and had planned to watch an eagerly awaited soccer match in the English premier league.
All three of us were childhood buddies and were naturally frank and outspoken with each other. It was a hot summer weekend night, and the mercury was rising. But fortunately for us, we had the luxury of the central air-conditioning system at the host's place. Our host, who was also the most affluent of us all, was running several successful enterprises. We had been invited to his favorite"escape the world" farmhouse in the suburbs. All the staff had been given the weekend off, and there was no one in the farmhouse beside the three of us. My third friend was vice president of a very well established company dealing in auto insurance.
The eagerly awaited soccer match turned out to be a boring encounter; as both teams were content and happy, aspiring for a goalless draw. It was but natural that our focus started to drift away from the game and shifted towards our usual mutual chitchats. As it turns out sometimes during such informal gatherings, the discussion became more and more work centric. It especially happened, since my vice president friend was very unhappy with President of the company. He was continuously cribbing about the "Old Man's" attitude and pointing out that the president at the company was rigid in his ideas, thus was very averse to change, and had no willingness to adopt to the emerging scenarios; the company was fast losing the ability to stay competitive with the market flow. The vice president friend believed that if it was left to him to manage and decide the company affairs, he was sure to double the profits within the next six months. In fact, he seemed quite sad because he was unable to do something that was otherwise well within his abilities, and could immensely benefit the company.
We believed him. Having been born and lived in the same neighborhood, we had known each other since we were toddlers. We were fully aware of his capabilities and potential. He did very well all through his life. He was invariably among the top graders and had earned many distinctions during his illustrious academic career.
He was an honest humble man, always eager to help others. He was a natural-born leader and a gifted team player. He had begun his career from a relatively junior position in the same company where he had risen to be the vice president today. His excellence and brilliance helped him in achieving excessive laurels for his company. That is why he was consistently acknowledged, and was generously rewarded for his great services through accelerated promotions and other fringe benefits all along his career. He was the youngest ever vice president of his company, but now he was stuck with an 'old timer' who had a completely different point of view of the things, then his own.
The idea seemed ridiculous, rather crazy, when our host abruptly came out with it in the first place. It was sudden and quite unexpected when he said," Why don't you fire your boss." We burst out laughing aloud at the idea of firing a boss; it seemed so funny, and we were sure that he was just kidding us. Not accompanying us in the laughter, our host said, "No, I m serious, you can fire your boss and be the master of your own destiny. You can choose to be your own boss". This time we did not laugh, rather stared at him in silence, becoming fully attentive.
You must have guessed by now the idea, the concept that has been with me for a very long time and is the source of great motivation in my life is that of "Entrepreneurship." My host friend was telling our vice president friend to quit his job and be an "Entrepreneur." Today the ex-vice president friend of mine is the proud owner of a very successful multinational concern that has branches all over the globe. His company is considered as one of the leading names in the auto insurance industry. Had he not adopted the life-changing idea of being an "Entrepreneur," he probably would still be answerable to his bosses and bitching about his work during our get-togethers.
The Longman dictionary of contemporary English defines the word entrepreneur as simply "being a person who starts a company or arranges for a piece of work to be done and takes business risks in the hope of making profits." However, to me, Entrepreneur is not a mere word; rather it is a complete ideology.
Entrepreneurship is not an act rather it is a mindset and an accomplished set of beliefs. To start something new out of nowhere, to build out of scratch, be it an idea, approach, gadgets, techniques, or anything fresh, is Entrepreneurship. To invent and to innovate, to give up traditional mindset and instilled inhibitions are being an "Entrepreneur." To venture into an uncertain future with no guaranteed results and that too at the cost of leaving behind a highly paid steady job, even the most successful of the people envy, is being an Entrepreneur. Risking the lifestyle, you and your family are accustomed to, and giving up on hard-earned personal and professional achievements are not initiatives expected to be undertaken by faint hearts. Only the most adventurous, the most fearless, and the most courageous of us can dare to take on a challenge of this magnitude and decide to be the masters of our own destinies, and become Entrepreneurs.
It is true that not all Entrepreneurs are successful, but then it is not about being successful alone. It is about the willingness to explore the unexplored. Those of us, who never attempt to take to the uncharted waters, can never hope to become pioneers and inventors. Least of all, it is better to try and fail, rather than face the remorse and agony of regretting all your life for not trying at all. The same concept is summed up beautifully in this famous adage "Not failure, but low aim is a crime." Therefore, step forward, be an Entrepreneur, and be the master of your own destiny. Remember, you get to live your life only once, so live it to the fullest; do what you really want to do, what you have dreamt of doing all along, and do not let yourself be dictated by others. Besides, do you know what the best part of being an Entrepreneur is? "You never have to skip the breakfast for making it in time to the office."