Everybody wants to rule the world, right? Everybody who’s an entrepreneur, anyway.
Well, there wasn’t much entrepreneurial activity, let alone global domination, on show chez nous on Sunday evening. No, just the mundanity of a bit of clearing up after a final seasonal calorific overload, courtesy Mr Word Up’s magnificent macaroni cheese.
But I was also in the process of a mental clear up, gearing up for a return to the working world of Word Up after a short (and bloody brilliant) break from business.
So, as is the wont of The Word, there I was, tackling the post-macaroni cheese mayhem whilst listening in to my regular Sunday evening radio output of choice, BBC Radio 5 Live’s On the Money, Declan Curry’s weekly business programme.
Now I know it ain’t exactly rock’n’roll, and it’s far from my usual evening alt and indy music radio consumption, but OTM certainly floats my boat. Not so much because it fits with my new, mature business owning status (tho’ it does), but more for Declan’s delicious dulcet tones and glorious giggle. The boy sure does have Celtic charm by the buicéad-load.
But my hackles rose when I heard one of OTM’s contributors saying that entrepreneurs have a “natural sense that they can conquer the world”.
These pearls of wisdom came from someone who certainly knows a bit about business, for they tripped from the lips of Stephen Welton, the Chief Exec of the Business Growth Fund. I realise, of course, that his words were just an expression about a certain commercial mindset. However, I simply do not recognise myself as having that particular entrepreneurial personality profile.
Yes, I know it’s a brand new year, a time when we’re all supposed to be setting goals for new, improved versions of ourselves and our businesses. I realise that in enterprise we’re all supposed to be thrusting and ambitious on the road to making our first million and becoming trading top dog.
But d’you know what? I simply don’t feel the need to conquer the world. I have searched my soul and the inner workings of my business brain, but it’s no use, I just don’t have those feelings or ambitions.
Yes, I give a monkey’s about my small business and yes, I do have ambitions for it. Yes, I will do everything I can to make it succeed, but I’ll do that on my own entrepreneurial terms. Conquering the world is just not high up in my business planning. Actually, it’s not in my plan at all.
My own “natural sense” is less all-conquering, and more about people, passion and pride.
I don’t want to be a pathetic parochial Scot who can’t see beyond my own self-imposed borders and barriers. But I’m a lot more concerned about developing trust and relationships in my own back yard during these early months of sole trading. I am prepared to work just about anywhere (even Edinburgh), and will cross borders, both personal and geographical, and think big, but I could care less about conquering.
Maybe this shows lack of ambition and business acumen on my part. Maybe I’ve got the wrong mindset. Or, whisper it, maybe I’m not a real entrepreneur.
Or maybe, and more likely, my entrepreneurial spark is burning bold and bright, it’s just that I am perfectly happy to have my trading posts a bit closer to home.