Recently I ran across a Forbes article about the importance of the true definition of entrepreneur. The author Brett Nelson points to the Dictionary.com definition, "a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk," as the best definition because it means people who have a primordial urge to identify and fill a need. I agree with this traditional definition of entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is the man who brewed mead for his own consumption until he recognized the opportunity to introduce his love to the world and an entrepreneur is the woman who helps improve the welfare of local craftspeople by sharing their wares around the world.
In my mind, an entrepreneur is also the individual who works for others or volunteers their time. An entrepreneur is the child who raised $240,000 for Haiti earthquake relief and an entrepreneur can be the individual within a company who takes risks to move their department forward. Being an entrepreneur is not solely about owning a business. It is about identifying those we can service with our innate ability. A true entrepreneur - with or without a company - identifies a need that s/he can uniquely fill and puts all their time, money, and effort into making it a reality.
An entrepreneur is fulfilling their life mission.
We all have a unique ability to see something that can be fixed or improved through our knowledge and insight. We all have passions, large and small, to change how things are done; to make them easier, more efficient, or more beautiful. We all have a driving passion to make an impact on the world.
Before you say, "Not me," think about it. Your life mission may not be the monumental task of bringing peace to the Middle East. Your life mission may be to create the best chocolate chip cookie in the world. Don't judge. Life missions are not one size fits all. We are all a cog in the machine and our role is to bring hope, transformation, beauty, peace, joy, laughter, wellness, and a range of other gifts to the world. Uncover, accept and embrace the gift you are meant to bring to the world.
Now is the time like none other to stop playing on the sidelines and to actively create your life. Reveal your gift and share it with the world. Don't restrict yourself by others' definitions of success as money or fame. Know that your success with be to reach as many people as you are meant to with your gift.
Here is a simple way to uncover and fulfill your life mission through the true definition of entrepreneurship.
Identify a Need: What wrong do you want to right? What solution can you share? How can you ease the lives of others? What widget can you introduce to make the world a little bit better?
Fulfill the Need: How can your unique thoughts, abilities, and creations help others?
Take Initiative: Do you have the energy, desire, and passion to actually take action? Can you move from concept to uncontrollable desire to make something manifest?
Take a Risk: Are you ready to take that first baby step no matter what the possible results?
What mission is calling you? What do you want - nay - need to introduce to the world?