The process of becoming yourself, of awakening your audacity and dreaming a bigger dream than you have ever allowed yourself before, is delicious exhilaration – for the one becoming, yes, but equally so for those of us privileged to bear witness. My practice has always included working with entrepreneurs, both emerging and established, and it brings me great joy to be able to serve their visions. Entrepreneurs are exciting and excitable: they grab onto ideas and run with them, full tilt, no thought but making it to the end zone… which is a tremendous gift most of the time.
Occasionally, as they make their headlong touchdown play, they suddenly become aware of the expectations of the roaring crowds, or the six or eight defensive players from the other team heading straight for them, and they briefly take their head out of the game. Naturally, that’s exactly where a good coach comes in (…and this brings us to the end of the football metaphor interlude because we’ve now exhausted my knowledge of the game!)
Like Free Agency, unless you grew up in a family business, entrepreneurship involves stepping way out of familiar territory to chart an entirely new course, learning to tolerate feeling like the ground is shifting under you and finding your centre of balance within you instead of somewhere out in the world.
This chapter explores two stories: one a transition from employment to entrepreneurship; the second a larger leap from entrepreneurship to a true enterprise, embracing Michael Gerber’s oft-quoted idea that you’re not really in business until you have enough systems in place that the operation makes money whether you are there or not. Business is tough enough; living in conscious alignment with your values every day is even tougher. Running a consciously values-driven business, a social venture? I stand completely in awe. When you experience the stories of the following clients, I predict you will, too.