All this talk about how entrepreneurs represent less than 13% of the population is bull. The seeds of entrepreneurship exist in every one of us.
Humans are amazing. Our capacity for creativity, to learn and do, amazes us every day. For those other 87%, they were entrepreneurs once. The word means "to take on." Nowhere is there more entrepreneurial activity than in our children. Is it no wonder than many entrepreneurs are characterized as optimists, high on life, continuous learners, doers, full of energy, risk-takers and all the other attributes we long for from our childhood! Everyone was a child once.
So what happened? Why do people stop taking life on? Life is a continuous process of the universe pushing us and us back onto it. One can suppose that many get tired and just scream "enough!" Some, however, push on and the more they and the universe push each other, the more they become aware of their interconnectedness. The more they become connected, seeing the impact of their actions, the stronger their purpose because they were responsible for those very actions.
Do you think entrepreneurs enjoy sleeping in their car, eating oatmeal on the camp stove burning in their open trunk as a downpour begins to descend upon them? Yes, because they are living the life they were meant to live, to explore and understand and create and become and be!
What drives an entrepreneur to do such things and the 87% to not? In a word: connectedness. It is the same feeling that people get when a loved one is sick. They'll give up everything to help another, as much as an entrepreneur will to learn, do and then share with their universe what they've helped create. Entrepreneurs connect the dots.
Our world is sick. From gross inequality in our society as a result of property rights and our money system, to environmental destruction brought on from our actions to accelerate climate change and consumerist behaviours. If we are going to solve our greatest challenges we must unlock the potential that lies dormant in the 87%: the entrepreneur in every one of us. There is work to be done.
To start, we have to redefine our culture of the past that produced docile employees to one that supports the growth of our entrepreneurial child in everyone. Students in our educational institutions ought to be free to leave school whenever they feel the urge to and come back when they require study. Our infrastructure should be focused on enabling every one of us to freely connect with each other and share our creations—the true definition of a free market.
Access to affordable spaces, telecommunications and transportation, the things that connect us, are paramount. The definition of poverty needs to be changed back to a lack of opportunity or inability to see it, not money, where a person sleeping in their car eating oatmeal out of their trunk can be viewed as a successful entrepreneur.
We must use the starting point of connectedness, that our environment, society and economy are all interconnected and depend on each others' health in that order, to have discussions on how we are going to collectively bring about this cultural change.
Most important, we need to make a decision within ourselves that our actions have an impact, however small, and with the support of an entrepreneurial community like Startup Canada we can create the change we want to see in ourselves, those closest to us, our community and perhaps even the world.