Everyone Has A Story

Everyone Has A Story Live Work Anywhere

Everyone Has a Story … It’s your story, you write it. These words echo often in my thoughts.

Similar words were once said by internet entrepreneur Chris Michel when talking to a Harvard Business School class about entrepreneurship. It’s a story that continues to inspire me.

As it was told to me, there was a student, from Brazil who said he planned to copy a business idea from the US and bring it to Brazil. Chris’s response was this: “Well, you can make a lot of money doing that, but at the end of the day when it’s no longer about money. And you have enough, you will have to have a story to tell. Everyone has a story”. This is paraphrased but the lesson was strong.

There are three famous brothers, Germans who created Rocket Internet, an incubator company built to clone popular startup ideas. These included Groupon, EBay, Facebook, VeriSign.

The Samwer brothers weren’t embraced for their strategy. They have been called unethical parasites. A startup exists to make money, yes. Bbut that’s not the basis upon which it was created.

Startups are temporary companies that solve a larger problem.” -Steven Blank

Startups are created by innovative problem solvers who see something they don’t like, something they wish to change, or something they could improve. They then come up with a solution. Entrepreneurs work nearly 24/7 (even in their sleep!) and take great risks and sacrifices to solve these problems effectively. They are artists, scientists, creators, persistent optimists, and childishly naive. They are dreamers and world changers.

Copying someone’s idea has nothing to do with innovation. It’s just a cheap way to get rich.

Look at your life from the end to present. What do you want people to say about you, alive or dead? Is your life filled with happiness or emptiness? Write a book about your life that you would want to read. About YOUR life, not someone else’s life. It’s not that hard to think about it, because you really do know what you can live with. I would think it’d be hard to live with yourself for blatantly stealing from someone else and calling it your very own. Harder than it would be to try something and fail.

Giving credit where credit is due and true innovation is what inspires more innovation, more entrepreneurship, and progression. Better to write a book that ends in originality. Even if it doesn’t get you rich per se, it will be a much better story to tell.

What chapter are you on in your book and how does it end?

Lion in the Wild: Why Entrepreneurship is a Natural Choice

Lions In The Wild Why Entrepreneurship Is a Natural Choice For Many LiveWorkAnywhere.com

Lions In The Wild Why Entrepreneurship Is a Natural Choice For Many  LiveWorkAnywhere.com

One of my favorite articles is by Paul Graham, entrepreneur, investor, founder of Y Combinator. I quote it often and I wanted to give it a shout out. It’s called You Weren’t Meant to Have a Boss.
Paul likens an entrepreneur to a lion in the wild. He says:

“I was in Africa last year and saw a lot of animals in the wild that I’d only seen in zoos before. It was remarkable how different they seemed. Particularly lions. Lions in the wild seem about ten times more alive.

They’re like different animals. I suspect that working for oneself feels better to humans in much the same way that living in the wild must feel better to a wide-ranging predator like a lion. Life in a zoo is easier, but it isn’t the life they were designed for.”

Here’s my interpretation of what he’s saying: It’s much tougher to be out in the world of the unknown, whether in work or in life. It’s wild. It’s scary. And on any given day it can eat you alive. That’s the daily existence for people who work as entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is like walking into a jungle and trust that you packed the right stuff beforehand.

But… the process engrosses you. Your mistakes are your own, and you can do whatever you want. You love it, because you are free. Or as Paul Graham says “Ten times more alive”!

Humans weren’t designed to be corporate machines, slaving away (voluntarily!) to build someone else’s dreams. To feed someone else’s family. Entrepreneurship means that you may not know if you’re going to eat the next day or not. But it’s your choice whether or not that happens, not someone else’s. You don’t live off someone else’s rationing.

Being wild, free, undaunted and passionate amidst daily challenges are characteristics of both the lion and the entrepreneur. No one would ever argue that entrepreneurship is easy.

But human beings were meant to experience life by being alive. Ten times more alive than they are when captive. We’ve been taught that we’re supposed to take charge of our own destinies. How are we supposed to do that if we can’t even control the amount of dollars in our wallets?

Kudos to the entrepreneurs among us! And lets hope the numbers continue to grow. It’s way more fun to run together.

If you’re an entrepreneur, do you feel more free because of it? If you’re not an entrepreneur, do you think becoming one would make you feel more free?