Ries coined his infamous definition of an entrepreneur in beautifully broad terms. He described it as:
Anyone who creates something of value for people, under conditions of extreme uncertainty.
You don’t have to be a scooter riding, cappuccino drinking, hoodie wearing, french bulldog owning tech bro to be an entrepreneur, or even think like one. Each one of us can cultivate a greater comfort level with uncertainty.
Because the reality is, in the vast majority of our professional endeavors, there are no directions, there is no map, there ain’t no proof, and there won’t be reassurance that everything will be okay.
My favorite cartoonist said it best:
The maps were made by the people who went first and didn’t die.
It’s morbid, but motivational. It reminds me of my first year at a tech startup. One lesson was made crystal clear to me. Human beings have an inherent longing to resolve the burden of life’s ambiguities. It’s deeply uncomfortable to us. To the point that we will either abandon the problem completely, or jump into premature closure to avoid the pain.
But we can’t allow that tendency to muck up our work. When feel that faint vertigo caused by an ambiguity we can’t quite detect, we have to sit with those uncomfortable emotions attached to the uncertainty, like fear and control and trust and unworthiness and hope, knowing that they will pass, knowing that they’re not who we are, and knowing that this isn’t the first time somebody tried to travel without a map.
Look, many things other than our own will are sustaining us.
We may as well enjoy the journey and not care whether or when the path will end.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What one thing could you accept to make every part of your journey easier?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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