“Entrepreneurship is a form of art; it’s a form of expression. It lets you be who you want to be, it lets you inspire others to get behind a vision, and it allows you to give back in a way you’ve never given back before. It will test you; it will take every ounce of your energy and your emotion to succeed at it. Entrepreneurship can change the world. It’s life’s greatest test. It’s your legacy” – Tim Denning
Last night, after pondering for a while and trying to think about what entrepreneurship means to me, it struck me. I raced over to my iPhone, opened the notes app, and started talking into it. It was like a rush of passion just went straight through me.
I wrote this quote accidentally as I put my thoughts into words. When I read it back, I accidentally realised that I had created a quote that would have a profound impact on my own life. If this doesn’t change your perspective on entrepreneurship, then nothing will!
Below are the eight parts of the quote broken down for you into chunks, and I encourage you to study each part.
1. Entrepreneurship is a form of art
The key trait of successful entrepreneurs is creativity. This comes as no surprise because entrepreneurship is about creating something from nothing and so is art. Having studied lots of entrepreneurs I have found that many of them spend their spare time doing some sort of art like drawing, creating music or writing.
To be able to dream up an idea and build a startup around it, you will be required to use the creative side of your brain more than anything else. You will have to be able to see in detail what your idea will look like and then be able to communicate it with lots of people (like the Canva founders did) and this is exactly what art is all about.
2. Entrepreneurship means you get to be you and express yourself
A lot of people work their entire careers and get told what to do and how to think. Entrepreneurship is the exact opposite of this, and you’re rewarded for being you, and for the people you bring along on your journey.
What makes you different? Why are you the chosen one to lead us down a path that we haven’t been down before? Will you show us yourself on the way and use what’s uniquely individual about you to help solve a problem?
If you look at any successful startup, you will see that the business is a direct reflection of the founders. From the office layout, to what people wear, to social functions, to the website; entrepreneurship allows you to express yourself in a way that nothing else in the world can.
3. Entrepreneurship inspires others to get behind a vision
Trying to make a change in the world is very hard. Through entrepreneurship, you get to inspire people with what you do, and guess what? The more you inspire people, the more successful your company is. Stop thinking in dollars and start thinking in terms of the impact you are having on people and whether or not you are inspiring them (inspiring them to do something positive I hope).
On my own entrepreneurial journey, I remember it being a bit like finding yourself. It’s like finding your purpose except instead of it just being about you; it’s about lots of people. What inspires you?
4. Entrepreneurship allows you to give back
The ultimate gift that comes from this amazing thing called entrepreneurship is the ability to have more resources than you require and to be able to use those resources to create change and give back. For me, writing this article right now is one way that I give back to the community that supported me.
We have all heard it before but giving back is the most rewarding thing you can do in your life. If you have already had success as an entrepreneur then what up and coming entrepreneurs can you inspire? What platform can you use to do this?
You can give money to anyone, but if they don’t have the mindset and beliefs to sustain the value you have given them, then in a short space of time they will be right back where the started. Education is the answer to sustained impact, not free money.
5. Entrepreneurship will test you
It’s life’s greatest test, and it is the hardest thing you will ever do in life. You have to be willing to put every bit of passion into what you do and be prepared to fail. You have to love what you do and be a likeable enough person that the masses will rally behind you and buy what you have to sell.
The best thing about the whole test is not the test itself, but the journey you go on and what you discover about yourself. After all, the need to grow is a basic human need, and I know for me, growth is one of the needs I seek more than anything else – I don’t care about the result.
6. Entrepreneurship will take every ounce of your energy and emotion
To give everything that you have and to create value for others will require all your energy (so you better fix your diet). It will also use all of your emotion. You are going to have days when you are exhausted and days when you feel like doing nothing more than crying – can you take it? Are you willing to experience every emotion there is and still make it to the other side?
You have to put all of you into it and not worry about what others think. Some will say your startup is rubbish, and it will never work, but your unwavering belief in yourself is all that matters. Let the passion of what you do shine through in your product and always treat your tribe (customers) like they are the only thing that matters. Do this, and you will be one of the greats.
Fail to give 100% of your emotion and energy, and fail – the choice is yours. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone so don’t be afraid if it consumes you, and you realise that it’s not for you. If after you fail (and you will at some point), and you find that you can’t come back, that’s okay, move on, serve others and be passionate about your interests.
7. Entrepreneurship can change the world
How many tasks in life can you think of that have the opportunity to completely change the course of human life as we know it? I can only think of one; entrepreneurship. If you have thought about your life and purpose in detail then by now, you will probably be thinking that you want to change the world in some way.
The road to change is a difficult one because it means you are going to have to change people’s perceptions around what they currently think is possible. It means you are going to have to let them see the passion in your eyes as you communicate your vision for something different.
You are not an entrepreneur you are a problem, solver. You have made it your mission in life to solve problems and for that you will be greatly compensated with more value you than you can ever expect to give. Your success will be compounded every time you solve another problem so think with an abundant mind at all times.
8. Entrepreneurship can create a legacy
I have said this many times before, but I feel the need to continue to keep spreading the message. We have to all be aware that our time on this planet is limited. All the money that we have and all the material possessions we have will not be with us forever.
Entrepreneurship allows us to create something that will outlive all of us and to leave something behind after we are gone. If your last day was on this earth tomorrow, would anyone remember the impact you had on the world in a decade’s time or would you just be a distant memory?
If the answer is a distant memory, then the good news is it’s never too late to become an entrepreneur. Start now and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks!