Having just had a Royal Birth in the UK, it’s worth reminding the entrepreneur to remember the parents of his or her favoured business idea.
For all the glorification of the entrepreneur and their ideas, the reality is that those ideas have not come out of nowhere – they’re the result of creative intercourse between various forces in the entrepreneur’s life – whether this be their current boss, ex-partner or irritant down at the old Bull and Bush.
The entrepreneurs pet idea is the offspring of those intercourses and it’s worth spending some thinking about the background of the idea’s parents. Are they loaded? Royalled? Troubled? Are they likely to bring about some hybrid vigour in their offspring? Or are they so inbred that the idea is only ever likely to survive in a state of permanent hospitalisation, connected to the life support systems of funding, business support services and royal privilege?
For one thing is clear about the creative intercourse which leads to the business idea: it needs to have been generated by forces which need to be different, confident and vital: energies which will enable the business idea to stand on its own two shaky feet at some point in the near future. The entrepreneur is but a channel for those energies, and to misquote Khalil Gibran:
Your business is not your business.
It is the son and daughter of Life’s longing for itself.
It comes through you but not from you,
And though it is with you yet it belongs not to you.
You may give it your love but not your thoughts,
For it has its own thoughts.
You may house its body but not its soul,
For its soul dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like it,
but seek not to make it like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your business
as living arrow is sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.