The title of this blog was lodged in my mind before any particular content. It emerged from an impression more than any sort of journalistic research endeavor.
Perhaps it is the afterglow of an enjoyable Thursday night with a large Nashville-based group of executive and life coaches, a symphony of possibilities, creativity and genuine caring for others. Essentially, it was a house full of entrepreneurial spirit set free–partially by choice, partially by necessity.
As the economy takes an uncertain journey toward a different future, I believe that many industries, educational institutions and service arenas will not have sustainability when it comes to providing generous salaries or benefits. This is particularly relevant for educators, trainers, executive/life coaches, clergy, artists, etc.–those who do not necessarily generate revenue in as direct a manner as sales, but without whom society would be bereft, lacking depth and bored.
Where does that leave the vocational free spirit in a world still dominated by the economist-engineer motif, as Peter Block has described? Left to the freedom and joy of their own creativity, I believe, with a thrilling touch of risk thrown in for good measure.
The risk is to dare to follow your heart, leverage your true strengths and refuse to yield to the wasteland by playing it safe and conventional. The thrill unfolds in greater dimensions as the fruit of faith, perseverance and relationships grows ripe for harvest.
In the end, we're all entrepreneurs; business owners who may not have companies or balance sheets, but who represent a brand that can add value and enrich human endeavors. Most of us have not yet awoken the entrepreneur within, so dulled our senses have been by conventional thinking and infrastructures. But as those foundations continue to disintegrate, many will be forced to look more deeply at their strengths, their values and their desired lifestyles and do something that takes effort but reaps great rewards:
Across disciplines. Across cultures. Across social networks. Across socio-economic-religious boundaries. Across zero lot line fences.
The way of the future is banding together for common causes that serve vital human needs, expressed economically, spiritually, environmentally, politically, philanthropically, artistically. Entrepreneur by entrepreneur, we are creating a new, holistic economic and cultural landscape we cannot even define yet. The revolution is happening all around us, and it is fueled by the chosen or forced unleashing of our potential for genius.
We cannot pretend the insurgency has not already started. The first shots rang out a while ago. Welcome to the great adventure of crafting a more viable future, with very little defined as to how it might look. Everybody has a part to play, for in this emerging future no one truly is downsized, automated or sent offshore unless they stop believing in themselves and in the possibility of community.