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Harness Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

Claudette Rowley
Copyright 2002

"Don't play what's there, play what's not there."

- Miles Davis -

Recently, a friend asked me, "What do you love about entrepreneurs?"  I think what I enjoy the most is the *spirit* of entrepreneurship.

I define this spirit as one of risk taking, innovation, and pushing the limits of what's known and understood.  Entrepreneurs dream up visions.  And when they make these visions real, they create value - financial, social or cultural.  Entrepreneurs view change as a force of possibility rather than as a creator of problems.  To paraphrase Miles Davis, entrepreneurs play what's not there.

The Entrepreneurship Center at the Miami University of Ohio speaks to this spirit: "Entrepreneurship is the process of identifying, developing, and bringing a vision to life.  The vision may be an innovative idea, an opportunity, or simply a better way of doing something.  The end result of this process is the creation of a new venture, formed under conditions of risk and considerable uncertainty."

Throughout my coaching experience, I've noticed a particular mindset that helps to form the foundation from which this entrepreneurial spirit emerges.  One way of describing this
mindset is internal focus.  Internal focus means that what goes on inside of your head and your heart greatly effects what happens for you in the outside world.

It's often not the external trappings - the MBA or the business seminars - that make or break an entrepreneur.  It's the internal focus of believing in yourself, listening to your intuition and tuning into your emotions that allows the entrepreneurial spirit of dreaming BIG to spring forth.  By managing fear so that it doesn't become an obstacle, you are able to harness opportunity.  Self-trust is paramount for risk-taking.

Here are some questions for you to ponder:
* Where do you focus your thoughts?
* Are your choices based on fear?  Are they based on possibility?

A client described a situation to me in which she understood the difference between making fear-based choices and choices based on self-trust.  An aspiring entrepreneur, she felt caught between remaining at her day job and leaping into fulltime entrepreneurship.  Through reflecting and listening to her intuition, she became clear that the only thing keeping her chained to her day job was fear.

She also recognized that by taking the risk to leave her job, she actually had a greater chance of entrepreneurial success.  Her new business required the full weight of her attention and resources.  And over time, she realized that the decisions she made based on her intuition and self-trust were the ones that led her business down a successful and rewarding path.

A healthy entrepreneurial spirit requires trust in yourself and your intuition, an ability to make clear choices, a flare for mobilizing resources, and a capacity to move beyond obstacles created by fear.  Connect with your entrepreneurial spirit and see where it leads you.

Claudette Rowley, Coach and Author
Helps entrepreneurs harness their potential & soar to new heights
Co-author ~ A Guide To Getting It: A Clear, Compelling Vision
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