How To Be An Entrepreneur

Look up.

Lift your gaze from your screen and your device and your social media, and fix your gaze on the Everest you are pursuing. Sear it into your mind’s eye. Contemplate its meaning. Remember your own, ineffable Why.

Then look down.

Consider where you are standing. Appraise your immediate environs, the resources available to you, your own current abilities or lack thereof.

Take a step.

Congratulate yourself; you have made progress. Forget the progress you have made, immediately, and look up again.

You are not perceptibly closer to your Everest. You may not even be facing your Everest anymore. Adjust your bearings.

Look down again. Evaluate the barrier immediately in front of you, the one preventing the next step. Determine whether the barrier must be scaled, surmounted, skirted around, or smashed -- or whether it is a barrier to which you must acquiesce.

Overcome barrier. Congratulate yourself, for the briefest possible moment. Look up. Spin, slowly, until you find your Everest again. Take a deep breath.

Look left. Look right. Spot a fellow traveler. Offer to share your water bottle. Ask for a bite of their beef jerky. Agree to travel together for a while.

Become tired. Realize you are aiming at different Everests. Argue. Reconcile. Argue. Reconcile. Argue. Reconcile.

Look up. You have made visible progress. Congratulate yourselves. Look down. See the gaping chasm in front of you. Despair.

Build a ladder out of flax and branches. Congratulate yourselves. Heave ladder across chasm, where it falls short and plummets into the void. Despair.

Build a second ladder, twice as long as the first. Heave ladder across chasm, where it sticks. Congratulate yourselves. Get halfway across. Drop water bottle. Despair.

Make it across. Look up. Adjust your bearings. Contemplate the meaning of the Everest you are pursuing. Remember your own, ineffable Why.

Look around. Spot more traveling companions. Join forces. Argue. Reconcile.

Look down. Notice there is a path, leading in the direction you want to go. Pursue path for some time until you hit a thicket of brambles. Look up. You have made significant progress. Congratulate yourselves. Look down, sigh, and pull out machete to cut through brambles.

Emerge from thicket. You are out of food and out of water. You are in the “argue” phase of the “argue-reconcile” cycle. You have no more strength and no more willpower. You have forgotten your ineffable why.

Look up. The summit is immediately in front of you. Discover within you a small reserve for just a few more steps.

Arrive.

Congratulate yourself.

Look up.

Fix your gaze on a new Everest.

And begin again.

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1 comment about "How To Be An Entrepreneur".
  1. Daniel Fell from ND&P , July 6, 2012 at 10:57 a.m.
    Great column - obviously a business person and mountaineer on some level wrote this!