Why am I an entrepreneur? Well, I have been asked that question so many times and the answer I usually blurt out is that I don’t work well for others, or I love my freedom, or I want to make a bigger difference than what I can working for someone else. Maybe those are true, or partly true, but recently I think I figured it out.
I believe that one facet of being successful is getting comfortable being uncomfortable. Trying new things, putting yourself out there and doing what everyone else is not willing to do. I am in the process of that right now. I have launched a podcast called Athlete on Fire. It is an interview based podcast with athletes, coaches, and other inspiring individuals based on finding what drives them and inspires them. I have never interviewed a living soul. I have no idea what I am doing but my gut says that it is important to do, so I will. With a little anxiety and a lot of work I will ask the questions I have come up with and hope the guests are as interesting and inspiring to the world as I think they are!
I was practicing my first interview the other night, with my dad. I think he is as inspiring as anyone in the world. He was given 3 months to live and made it against all odds. He has pushed and inspired athletes from every socioeconomic background and every situation to be amazing, to go on and do amazing things. I think the interview went ok and decided that even if the podcast is a total failure, having the record of my interview with him will make every second worth it. And then it clicked….
Being a coach’s son made me an entrepreneur and here is why:
1. Work hard for a cause and expect nothing in return- My dad spent thousands of hours driving kids home after practice, being an open ear when they had tough times at home, tutoring, fathering, cooking for, and coaching young athletes. He did it because he cared and he knew how much it might mean in the long run. He never expected anything in return, not even a “thanks”, and more often than not he never got that return. He is as happy as ever and his time with the athletes never took away from the time from his real family. That’s impressive.
Entrepreneurs have this built into their mentality from day one. Working for a cause or a business from passion almost always insures no guarantee of a return, but we still try no matter.
2. Failure is an option, often: You can’t coach, or play any sport without a high level of failure. My best sport and the one I played in college rewarded mediocrity. And although I failed a lot I learned from my dad that it shouldn’t change your approach and who ever come back the most, wins the most.
Entrepreneurs know nothing if not failure. I have failed so many times on my own it is almost sickening. I dive in, try hard, fail, adjust, dive in, try hard. I won’t give up though. I have had many small successes along the way and believe in the power of odds and the the belief in yourself.