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My Entrepreneurial Soul

October 12, 2010

I’ve heard lots of definitions for the word entrepreneur. Most of them involve things about risk-taking, innovation, leadership and the like. Then there are the ways entrepreneurs define themselves. An entrepreneur is someone who keeps banging their head against a wall until they make a big enough hole to climb through to the other side. And entrepreneur is someone who sees obstacles as opportunities.

The other night, I was hanging with two beautiful girlfriends of mine and we were talking about the rather remarkable amount of shit we’ve all been dealt in the last year. One of my friends announced that we were the Queens of Wands, from the Tarot. (She is an amazing astrologer.) I didn’t know what that meant, and she explained that the Queen of Wands is, essentially, a symbol of the feminine energy that makes it possible to find opportunity in life’s paradoxes. The Queen of Wands is an entrepreneur of the soul.

I had a crystal clear image of a woman – perhaps the Queen of Wands, Entrepreneur of the Soul – walking into a room only to find out that she had just been robbed, and the room was empty. She clasped her hands and said, “very well then, what shall we do with all this space?”

I’ve always thought of my entrepreneurial proclivities in terms of  business. But I realized then that I am just plain entrepreneurial in general. I always believe that if I just keep going, it’s going to work, that there is something amazing and huge on the horizon, that I can create the life I want, even when the obstacles would make a sane person stop.

For the most part, I love that about myself. When it comes to life, I go “all in,” and don’t pull my punches. I get my heart-broken, but as much as that sucks, it’s not any different from any other failed venture. It just means that one didn’t work.

That’s especially salient now, as I am mired in the only bad break-up I’ve ever had. It’s amazing to me that I’ve made it through 40 years and one ended-marriage and still haven’t had a bad break-up. In the business world, that makes me super successful. But this one really hurts. This one is one that caused me to really question my ability to judge people, to look out for myself, to trust. This is one that took my voice away from me, and in order to find it again I’m lashing out in ways I didn’t think I was capable of.

Not violently or anything, but with a good deal more force than I knew I had. I feel a bit like I had been wearing the shackles of other people’s expectations, and I am busting them with the brute force of my faith in myself and my future. Not unlike being told that a market can’t change, and building a brand that proves otherwise.

But even that is positive. Because I’ve learned what I am capable of. I can be  strong, and vocal and brave – even when “forced” not to. I can admit the mistakes I made, and that makes me stronger. By being treated in a way that I never thought I would allow myself to be treated, I learned, for sure, what my boundaries are, and will take those lessons with me moving forward. Agile development at its finest.

And it has never made me think that I won’t fall in love again. Of course I will. Maybe even next time.

I also had to think about why I am so hurt. I am, basically, so hurt because the things that I love most about myself were abused. My trust, faith, patience, desire to help others. I was robbed blind (because love is blind) through the wide-open portals into my soul.

In version 2.0, will I change those things about myself? No, that would be diluting my brand. However, I will work on the ‘love is blind’ part, and learn to evaluate a situation by more empirical criteria. What IS will be the metric, not what COULD BE.

Same is true with this silly body of mine, with it’s broken neck that has robbed me of the athletics that I love so much. So, I can’t run, bike, swim, or ski anymore. Without noticing it, I just found tons of new ways to work out, and am actually in the best shape of my life. I didn’t realize I had done that, but I did. When everything I knew was taken from me, I just found new things to learn. That’s so cool.

It’s also how I cook. I just throw open the cupboards and say to myself, “what can I create tonight?”

It never occurs to me – whether it’s business, love, health or hobbies – that I can’t make something amazing happen. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I just cry and swear and want to throw things and hurt people….  But that’s just the heavy banging necessary to break down the walls and see what’s on the other side.

I’m an entrepreneur through and through and through. Right on through to the other side.

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