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Your Inner Entrepreneur

Do you have an entrepreneurial outlook on life? Use these three exercises to awaken the entrepreneur within.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There's a commonly held belief that one becomes anentrepreneur by going into business, or going out on one'sown.

I don't subscribe to that belief.

In fact, not only don't I subscribe to that belief, but Ihold strongly to the opposing belief--with overwhelming evidence tosupport my position--that to go into business, or out on one'sown, in the belief that by so doing you'll be an entrepreneurwill result in tragic consequences of the greatest magnitude. Inshort, it's a very, very bad idea!

So then what exactly is an entrepreneur? Let me share my viewwith you, and then let me give you three exercises to do to helpawaken the entrepreneur within you.

An entrepreneur is not a person, but a personality, thepersonality living inside of each and every person on the face ofthe earth, the personality who dreams. The entrepreneur inside ofyou, of me, of your friends, of your relatives of every shape, sizeand dimension, no matter what they do for a living, no matter howbold or how shy, no matter where they live or what their educationmay or may not be, the entrepreneur in each and every human beingis the dreamer who sees life as it could be, not as it is. It'sthe dreamer who sees mountains where only flat land exists; whosees great buildings and cities and countries arising with enormousenergy where no buildings or cities or countries live as of yet;who sees the sweet juice of opportunity around every corner, inevery nook, cranny and claptrap yard, in every square or roundedinch of misery. To the entrepreneurial personality living in eachand every human being, there is a life larger than life, a beautylarger than beauty, a promise larger than any promise could hope tobe. The entrepreneur in each and every one of us is the inventor,the creator, a lunatic of the most profound dimensions, theinconsolable pursuer of the impossible who sees visions whereothers only see work.

The entrepreneur in you and in me is holy, truly holy, and notto be believed.

Which means that Walt Disney knew who his entrepreneur was, asdid Sam Walton and Ray Kroc, as did Steve Jobs and Debby Fields,and yes, even as strange as it might seem to you, as did Einsteinand Chopin and Rumi and every "imagineer" who ever daredclimb a mountain that wasn't there, reach the summit, and holdup his hands and head and scream to those who didn't see him orher--or even the mountain--until they came into view, "I'mhere!" And there was no "here" until they said it.And there was no "there" until all the others saw it. Andthere was no summit until they created it. And that's what themagic of your entrepreneurial soul does when you invite him or herto go climbing.

The First Exercise

Stop thinking about what you want to do. Stop doing whatyou're doing. Go to a place, any place will do, where activityceases, where there is no itinerary, no schedule, no agenda, noresponsibility, no work of any kind, no expectation, no resultyou've set for yourself, no goals, no objectives, no actionplans whatsoever. Go to such a place to empty your mind.

And that's the first exercise to awaken the entrepreneur inyou: to empty your mind. To dream and to create, there needs to beboth space and energy. The entrepreneur in us wants to play withthe idea of things, without constraint. To write without purpose,to imagine without an end game, to live fully and completely in themoment of his or her experience, now. Not in the past nor in thefuture, but now.

To prepare yourself for this exercise, try sitting down whereyou are, closing the door, telling everyone who might bother you togive you ten minutes without a disturbance of any kind. Unplug thephone, turn off your computer, sit down, face a wall, close youreyes, place your hands in your lap, breath deeply and just staythere, just like that. You'll see immediately what I mean, andwhy that's important.

You must do this first exercise every single day!

The Second Exercise

Get a blank piece of paper. You have nothing in mind. Sit withthe blank piece of paper, and let whatever comes to mind go to thepaper. Whether it be a sentence, or just three seemingly unrelatedwords. Whether it be an entire paragraph, a thought, a concern, aconclusion, let it write itself down. The key here is to let"It" speak. To let "It" say what "It"wants to say. To let "It" have the room to breath.

My saxophone teacher once said to me many years ago,"Michael, you don't make music; music finds you." Youneed to let "It" play its music. That's what theentrepreneur in you wants more than anything: to play"Its" music.

You'll be amazed what appears on the blank piece of paper asyou do this second exercise.

Do it for only 10 minutes. Do it once a day. And save thosepieces of paper, with the date on the top right hand corner. Savethem in a box, or a file folder, and know that that box or filefolder is a sacred place. Because your dreamer has created it. Yourentrepreneur has become vulnerable. Your creator has expressedhimself or herself, and you've been a witness to it.

The Third Exercise

Maintaining an entrepreneurial journal is a daily process, and Ihighly recommend it. Buy yourself a journal, preferably withleather covers, a rich-looking journal, a journal that impressesyou because it looks so rich, so permanent, so significant. Writein that journal what you learned that day. Write in that journalwhat you felt that day. Write in that journal anything that came tomind that day, as you sat with a blank piece of paper, as you satin your chair facing the wall for ten minutes with absolutely nointerruption at all, as you felt your feelings come up, yourfeelings of being blocked, your feelings of being ashamed, yourfeelings of excitement, your feelings of despair...whatever came upthat day, record it, even though you may not think you're anaccomplished writer--or even if you think you are. Yourentrepreneurial journal is not about the writing; it's aboutthe recording. This is your life, someone once said. This is yourlife, and if you don't take it seriously, who will? This isyour third exercise, and it will feed your first exercise and yoursecond exercise, and you will know it.

Believe me, you will know it.

Write me and tell me what you find out.


Michael Gerber is the "Leadership" coach atEntrepreneur.com and is the author of themega-bestseller, The E-Myth: Why Most Small BusinessesDon't Work and What to Do About It. He is also anentrepreneur himself, having spent the past three decades buildinghis coaching company, E-Myth Worldwide, around the idea of empoweringbusiness owners to gain more freedom, more money, more time andmore life.

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