Lately, I have become very intrigued with the way words are used and interpreted. I recently had a very spirited conversation with a young man that involved me labeling him an entrepreneur.
Now, if I would have known that he was going to become extremely enraged at me over this title, I would NOT have used it. Without going into too much detail about his rage, I will say that he accepted the term as one of a person that evades responsibility by not taking a “real job”.
I was extremely disgusted by his response to the term because I (as I thought most people in the world did as well) associate the term entrepreneur with a person that takes full ownership and responsibility of their skills (usually to operate their own business and have a greater sense of control of their financial income). Every business owner I know works harder than the people they employ. The owner has to know every single function of the business and/or have access to the resources that ensure every function is executed efficiently and effectively. As a result, I had to ask myself why the word entrepreneur had such a negative connotation for him.
When I think of the word entrepreneur, I think of someone who possesses a visionary spirit. After all, to be a successful entrepreneur one must be able to foresee his/her ideal goal and have a plan for how he/she will get there. BUT, after looking up the term visionary in preparation for this entry, I was highly surprised at the definitions I found. Overall, the words “imaginary”, “unreal”, and “radical” were included.
When I describe a person as a visionary, or if I say a person has vision, I am referring to their ability to dream in great detail of a changed system or reality.
Some well-known visionaries include:
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for his ability to envision a fully integrated America
- Phil Donahue for his ability to envision a more well informed day time television audience
- William Shakespeare for his ability to envision a style of literary and performance works that would stand the tests of time
- Oprah Winfrey for her ability to envision how journalism and story telling could ultimately lead to healing
I have spent countless hours envisioning a new Chicago, dreaming up a plan to provide arts to youth and families, and even helping others expand their visions into sustainable business plans. BUT, the person that it is most important for me to have a vision for is me.
I struggle with this as I try to find the words that will communicate my vision to others so that I do not appear to be living in fantasy or wonderland. I struggle with this even more because I have watched committed leaders (both visionaries and entrepreneurs) be ridiculed when others are unable or unwilling to see the bigger picture.
Daily, I am working with an entrepreneurial spirit and skill set to make choices that align with my vision. The truth though….. is that I have not fully created my vision.
What does this mean? It means that over the next few weeks, I am going to commit to creating a vision plan that is the sum of my hopes. The business I am currently running is Ashley S.C. Walls and I MUST get my strategic plan together. I am my number one resource. People invest in good business plans.
It’s time we ask ourselves, are we truly worth the investment?
Below is a link to an article that discusses the importance of investing in yourself.