Most people look at entrepreneurship as a project.
You start with an idea, then turn it into something real, build a business around it. And all is well with the world.
But that’s the wrong approach. Because entrepreneurship, in the wild, doesn’t work that way.
What really happens is you get an idea, it may have some nugget of viability, maybe not. You dig deeper, do research, flesh it out, create prototypes, get feedback, dirty-test interest and value, find out you were dead wrong. So you start over, come up with a new variation, refine it, tweak it, put it into peoples’ hands, learn it’s even more off-course. You curse, kick, scream, fret, whine, run, meditate, breath, sing, dance, whine some more and try again.
Somewhere between iteration numbers 3 and 1,003, you either get proven so wrong that you realize the heart of the idea just didn’t have legs, or you get proven so right that everything starts to click, people show up, trade value for what you’ve created and you start to build something real. Until it all breaks again. Which it will, because even successful businesses and ideas outgrow the structure, processes and even people who gave rise to them.
Entrepreneurship isn’t a discrete event or even a project. Truth is…
Entrepreneurship is a practice.
One that occasionally yields mondo rewards early in the process, but far more often reveals the fruits of your labor in bits and pieces that add up to gorgeous awakenings, rewards and impact over time. One you commit to. Until you don’t. Just like artists, athletes and any other person pursuing a level of mastery in any field.
And that’s something a lot of people miss. Entrepreneurship isn’t just about moments of insight or killer technical skills. It’s about building a level of mastery over the very process of entrepreneurship. Over your ability to plan, but remain open to serendipity, to act without perfect information, to read social dynamics and move people, to harness resources, think in ways others don’t and see things nobody else sees. Some of that comes naturally to some people, most, if not all, is trainable over time…if you’re willing to invest the effort.
San Francisco entrepreneur and founder of the famed Samovar Tea Lounges, Jesse Jacobs, knows this firsthand. He’s lived through it, building his business into three locations, globally-sourced product and online retail and more.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Jesse to talk about his remarkable journey in this week’s episode of Good Life Project. We dive deep into the concept of entrepreneurship as a practice, what that really means and how it unfolds in real life, especially when you’ve borrowed yourself into business and have a family in the mix.
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