How can the spirit of entrepreneurship be explained to someone who hasn't experienced it? For those of us who are bewitched by whatever it is that drives us to tinker, innovate, and improve, putting our passion in to words can be a difficult task.
So, what is it that drives us? Is it the feeling? The action? Merely the pride of a job well done? Or, is it the pleasure of spiting the people who said "it'll never work"?
I surmise that entrepreneurship, of all kinds, can be packed into a single word: if.
What if? What if it can be done? What if it will work? So what if it can't?
Our whole philosophy revolves around the prospect of "if"—if it works, if it flies, if it cures—the world will be a better place. But like many a great insight, mine isn't all that original. I think it was best said between the lines of "If" by the great Rudyard Kipling:
BY RUDYARD KIPLING
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
So, dear reader, if you can embrace the "if" in your life, perhaps, if you are lucky, you will find out what it is that drives you.