Photo Credit Nick Fewings on unsplash.com
I remember a Summer holiday in Cornwall, UK collecting seashells and overseeing my younger siblings to create necklaces and bracelets. I orchestrated sales from outside 'Rose Cottage' and hared down the road to retrieve discarded purchases for resell. I loved every minute of it. My siblings may beg to differ.
Entrepreneurship in the truest sense of the word is defined as the activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit. Interestingly the word profit, which has come to mean money over and above costs actually originates from the Latin PRO- FACERE meaning - on behalf of doing.
I came from a lineage with a mix of nursing, farming, solid working class credentials, teachers and a good smattering of religious vocations. I now appreciate that my Irish family heritage was deeply informed by a culture of service, community and social contribution through a vocation or a job and was vaguely disturbed by entrepreneurship and the pursuit of profit. After all The Bible tells us “For the love of money is the root of evil is money.” 1 Timothy, 6:10.
Unconsciously I struggled with the desire to be free and creative, the obligation to be of service vocationally or through a job, the need to survive financially and the imperative not to be seen to be ostentatiously rich or greedy for money.
I was temperamentally imaginative, dreamy and experimental. I loved learning and embarked curiously on a career in IT - which in the 1970s was new and edgy. IT suited my experimental spirit but being shoe-horned into a 9-5 job was painful. As soon as I could I reinvented myself as a freelancer and for 20+ years did quite well in the space in between work and entrepreneurship - living the illusion of being free and creative without the danger of become too rich or evil.
It is only as I enter the latter 3rd of my working life that it is all starting to come together. Awareness has been the key. Awareness of what my 'real' skills and talents are - not my 'career' skills and talents, awareness of my conditioning, concepts and definitions and awareness of the social, ecological and spiritual divides that we are collectively experiencing. As I unpack and discard what isn't useful I am free to make up what works for me.
It is my pleasure and joy to be imaginative, creative and experimental AND to take on risks, not so much financial, but rather to challenge to the status quo, in the service of a better more beautiful future for on behalf of people and the planet. Money is an aspect of this but isn't the end in and of itself. Rather we have a model of true profit.
Perhaps you could define this as Social Entrepreneurship but I believe there is something higher we can all claim. A marriage of service and money that can redefine the world of business, what business stands for and what it serves to create.
Just a thought.