Are you an Entrepreneur? Are you entrepreneurial?
There is an implied pressure on people in the workplace today, that if you're not an entrepreneur, you are resolved to a life that includes frequently being at risk of being fired. It's not hard to see why. We're seeing how technology changes the dynamics of business, and it seems like the big winners in this new economy are the entrepreneurs who are figuring out the latest app or technological disruption that pushes big corporations back on their heels. The folks that are being acquired for billions of dollars. They know something that the rest of us don't.
Maybe we're thinking about it all wrong.
Last year, I had the pleasure of spending some time with Marc Ecko. In one sentence: he is one of the most fascinating people that I have ever met. I was asked to interview him live and onstage in Toronto, and then had the pleasure of having him on my podcast (SPOS #377 - Marc Ecko Builds Brands That Sell But Don't Sell Out). I knew that he was the creative and fashion genius behind Eckō Unltd (which has become a billion dollar fashion and lifestyle company). I also knew that his marketing antics have been well documented (remember the tagging of Air Force One?). Before researching and meeting him, I imagined him as an older gentleman in his late fifties (like a Tommy Hilfiger or Kenneth Cole type of persona). It turns out that Ecko and I are almost the exact same age, and come from a very similar upbringing. Ecko is still semi-actively involved in the multiple fashion brands that he created (Eckored, Marc Ecko Cut & Sew and Zoo York), but spends the bulk of his current time working on Complex Media. As if that's not enough, he is one of the most generous philanthropists out there. Last year, he also released a stunning business book called, Unlabel - Selling You Without Selling Out. He is, simply put, an amazing individual who is very real, practical and friendly. This past week, I came across this presentation he gave at the 99U conference. The title of his presentation is Embrace The Mess. In it, he looks at how we, as individuals, are all creators and that we have to be very leery that we don't let others both define our careers and, potentially, rob us all of our natural potential. So, as he describes so eloquently in this 20 minute presentation, it's important we all embrace our creativity and artistry by knowing and understanding that we are all creators. It may be easier for us to see ourselves as creators instead of artists, don't you think?
It's a powerful message... watch it here: Marc Ecko - Embrace The Mess.