You can be entrepreneurial in many ways and through many venues. However, most of them revolve around seeing a new opportunity, taking it, and seeing it through, even if it’s difficult.
A movie I watched a few weeks ago, McFarland USA, exemplified this. Have you watched it?
In it, Jim White (played by Kevin Costner) loses two football coaching jobs, the most recent at McFarland high school. McFarland is shown as a poor, Mexican-American town. Though he lost his coaching job, Jim stays at McFarland, working as a PE teacher. In PE, he notices how fast some of the students can run. He observes them further and finds that they run to and from school and working in the fields. He even follows one student, without his permission, to clock his speed (which ends up being around a 5 minute mile).
Jim then works to create a cross-country team, despite his lack of cross-country coaching experience. He works through various obstacles – principal’s permission, lack of interest and parental permission – to put the team together and see it through.
In the movie, Jim saw an opportunity, a significant strength, in the school and capitalized on it. He embodied entrepreneurship – and not just for his own benefit. His entrepreneurial skills benefited his players as well, with many of his runners receiving scholarships to college, which they may have not received otherwise.
I often think of entrepreneurship as a numbers game. I think of it as comparing the cost of an opportunity with its potential income. I think of it as taking an opportunity so I can make money off of it. Yet I love how McFarland turned that on its head.
Our entrepreneurship doesn’t have to serve us alone. We can be entrepreneurial for those around us. We don’t need to be all about ourselves. We know this, but sometimes we need a reminder.
I know I do. I sometimes get caught up in looking out for me and living much smaller than I should. I miss too many of opportunities to use my observations and skills to benefit others. And here’s the clincher – I’m pretty sure I’d be better off personally if I always used my entrepreneurial skills to serve others rather than to serve myself.
I mean, isn’t customer service a tenet of great business? Plus, I’ve been far more satisfied when I’ve used my skills primarily to serve others rather than to make money.
So, when we notice an opportunity that will serve others, maybe even more than it will serve us – let’s use it, let’s take it, let’s do it.
Because the most beautiful life we can create is one in which we use our skills, including our entrepreneurial ones, to benefit others. It truly is better to give than to receive.
Image info: Original image by Stefania Bonacasa.
About the Author: Lindsey Tolino comes alongside artisans, craftsman and people monetizing their passions to help them create healthy businesses. She shares her heart at ToBusinessOwners.com. Follow her on Twitter @LindseyTolino or connect with her on Google+.