The Elements

We love rags-to-riches and triumph-of-the-underdog stories because it reminds us of our own basic human capacity.

For several years, I had the honor of working with and learning from Barbara J. Winter, best selling author and guru for inspired entrepreneurs. Barbara is a great muse for many who choose to leave corporate life to be “joyfully jobless” and make a living with self-employment, multiple income streams, and creative small business.

She helped me clarify the difference between the experience of the classic employee and the inspired entrepreneur.  Below you will find my version of the chart we developed, followed by descriptions of each aspect of natural entrepreneurial thinking.

Whenever I have shared this chart with people, there is an immediate grasp of the difference.

  • Do you see yourself more on one side or the other?  Do you recognize when you shift between the two sides of the chart?
  • Do you feel a need to balance the two columns? Or to find a friendly compromise between the two?
Classic Employee Tendencies vs. The Elements of Natural Entrepreneurial Thinking
See what is wrong. vs. See what is present.  Fill in what is missing.
See problem. vs. See opportunity.
Outsource desire. vs. Listen to desire, body wisdom and inspiration.
Prove yourself. vs. Let your vision pull you and look for a match.
Wait for orders for what to do. vs. Take initiative.
Complain about not having resources. vs. Start with what you’ve got.
All spending is an expense. vs. Recognize investments and  expenses.
Wait to be invited and included. vs. Invite and include.
Follow the rules. vs. Follow your values.
Feel burdened or blessed with responsibility. vs. Decide where/when to be able to respond.

Entrepreneurial thinking is a state of mind, not a position in a company. We can think entrepreneurially when serving on a community school board, starting or growing our own company, or helping to grow someone else’s company. Natural entrepreneurial thinking is not bound by location or circumstance.

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