Entrepreneurs love to live in the clouds. Appropriate, given the name of our organization, Open Sky Education. Dreaming is important. Dreaming leads to the discovery of problems, and problems lead to ideas and innovation. However, I argue that the entrepreneur is much more than a dreamer, but one who lives in tireless pursuit of that dream. Over the years, I have come to define an entrepreneur as
“somebody who does more than anyone thought possible with less than anyone thought possible.”
For the entrepreneur, this statement evokes a sense of adventure and excitement. It presupposes the idea that entrepreneurs are more than dreamers, but leaders who are inspired to look past the initial barriers to success and see a brighter future in the distance.
The entrepreneurial organization is only entrepreneurial because of the people within it and culture that it holds dear – people that are not only committed to dreaming, but to “looking up”. “Looking up” can lead to the discovery of a cause or context that is greater than yourself. “Looking up” can help us keep our eyes on what matters most in our work, the pursuit of a greater purpose – a purpose that gives meaning to our work and that transcends our current circumstances, pushes us past our challenges, or drives us to overcome our fears. Committing to a greater purpose gives us the inspiration and motivation to serve selflessly and with humility. Ultimately, our greater purpose is what makes going through all of the difficult days worth it. We can be fulfilled and joyful as we collectively commit to something beyond ourselves.
Are you looking up? What do you see? Serving in an entrepreneurial organization is both exciting and challenging. The entrepreneur can easily see the problems that need to be solved or the gaps that need to be filled. However, when we look up we can also draw our strength from something greater than ourselves. When we focus on a greater purpose, our perspective changes and we begin to see how our daily contributions fit into the bigger picture, even when things are difficult. At the end of the day, we all do better work when we are “looking up”.
We are all entrepreneurs, not just because we see the problems; rather, because we are together pursuing something greater.