When I was toying with the idea of leaving the FBI, most people looked at me like I needed a psych evaluation. "Why would you turn your back on something you worked so hard to achieve?" Just the other day, a woman asked me why I "quit." Rest assured, I didn't quit.
The short answer is, not everyone is meant to be a “lifer” and earn a gold watch. I don’t say that disparagingly, it’s just that I came to a point where I wanted to do something new with my life. If you've seen my keynote speech, you know that I learned a long time ago, the hard way, that we don't decide when it's our time to go. So I want to experience a lot of different things in life - both personally AND professionally.
I wouldn’t trade my time as an FBI Special Agent for anything. Was it everything that Hollywood portrays in the movies? Obviously not. But it was the most interesting and exciting time of my professional life.
I moved on because I found a new calling, plain and simple.
My business plan is only 2 sentences long: Help people tap into their greatness by elevating their consciousness, helping them become who they were always meant to be. I do this through my coaching practice and live workshops, combined with my writing endeavors and a little bit of speaking here and there.
This movement I’m creating- I’m putting in a lot of front-loaded time and energy without much in the way of pecuniary reward. But I know what I’m trying to build here, and I know what I need to do to be successful. Like anyone starting a business from the ground up, I am mindful this stuff takes time.
So, I’ve been thinking a lot about the word 'entrepreneur' lately.
What is an entrepreneur, anyway? The best definition I've found: A person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk. If I am being honest with myself, this is me to a tee. I have a vision of what I want to create, but achieving it isn’t going to happen without considerable risk and an uncertain outcome. But I believe in myself and this movement. The only thing that can stop me is me.
Calvin Coolidge, who was known as the “tight-lipped” President, and was an introvert like me, summed up the definition of persistence in a way that I cannot match:
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
I was chatting with another entrepreneur friend of mine the other day and I was inspired by his own unwavering ethos of determination and belief, even though his company has faced innumerable setbacks. They are facing considerable odds and are more likely than not to fail. But somehow, in my heart, I know he is going to make it big. Not because I’m rooting for him on a personal level, but because of his unflinching determination and belief that he will succeed.
So from here on out, I am going to embrace the label of being an entrepreneur. But I intend to take the definition a step further, incorporating Coolidge’s elements of persistence and determination.
And if you think about it, aren't YOU the entrepreneur of your own life? What do you want to achieve that you know in your heart you were always meant to do?