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The Art of Entrepreneurship

By David Gormley, a member of the 2017 Sustainability LaunchPad

Get used to feeling comfortable with ambiguity.
— Conor Hanley, CEO of FIRE1

A simple message. But, can we sit with it? Can we play with it? How comfortable do you really feel not knowing, not being in control? All sensible people keep things in control, don’t they?

Source: CIO

Source: CIO

I ask myself this while twitching my thumbs, shifting anxiously and mind racing too fast for me to catch up with. As our 12-week Sustainable Entrepreneurial Program draws closer to its finale, I try to sit with this idea just like one would with an old friend.

For me, entrepreneurship no longer means men dressed in tailor-made business suits, spitting out jargon and all fighting to be the alpha male. It has become so much more of a subtle idea and its potential impact on sustainable issues, for me, has made it more rewarding.

Striking the balance between focusing on a sustainable issue and ensuring your sustainable business model drives revenue and the ability to scale is a challenge. From my experience, it is important that you always tread on the side of revenue and scalability. Too often, I presented world-changing, tree-hugging ideas that were, looking back now, naïve.

In the 21st Century, we have entered the era of self-directed teams where our innovation, initiative and our accountability are valued. It is not about where you come from but about what you can bring to the table. It is not about standing by and waiting for your next instruction, it is about making your own direction.

But back to the issue at hand! What does it mean to make it as an entrepreneur today? Must I drop into Louis Copeland for a stunning suit that gives the impression that I mean business? Must I have the loudest and most persuasive voice?

Entrepreneurship is not about the grades you get but the work you are willing to put in when no one is looking. It is experiential, hands on and the greatest thing of all is its feedback is immediate. If you fail, fail fast, learn but be sure to pick yourself up Dust yourself off and never give up. Can you become comfortable with ambiguity?

World class entrepreneurs are never lucky, they make their own luck by turning up more than the others.
— Steve Blank
Mary Cronin