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How Entrepreneurs Shape The World — And You Can Too


There’s a lot of angst in the world today from individuals who think that existing systems and institutions should be different because they don’t fit their personal needs and desires.

Whenever someone uses the word “should,” it’s a hint that they either aren’t realizing or aren’t coming to terms with a pretty simple fact about the world: It wasn’t built for them.

There’s no use in getting angry or upset that something isn’t the way it “should” be for you in particular, since it wasn’t designed for you in particular.

Everything that’s been created was created for the people living at the time, for their own purposes. In the context of human history, which might date back about two million years, you’ve come into things very, very late in the game.

So don’t take it personally that the world wasn’t built with you in mind.

The school system, for example, has been around for a century. No one was thinking about someone being born decades later when it was designed. Any institution you’re in that existed before you couldn’t have been designed in such a way that every aspect of it would be perfect for you.

Creating your own world.

The world may not have been designed for you, but you aren’t obligated to deal with the world in the same way that other people have dealt with it.

We all have the power to create our own environments according to what we want out of life.

I was the fifth child born in my family, and I realized at an early age that a lot of my family’s roles and resources were already spoken for by the time I came around. So I recognized that I had to go about creating my own place in my environment.

Years later, when Babs Smith and I were starting our company, Strategic Coach, we set about creating our own rules and principles, one of the earliest of which was taking 260 days of free time every year.

A lot of people said we couldn’t do that while building a business, but we created an environment where it was not only allowed, it was to the benefit of the company.

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Entrepreneurial creation.

This is what entrepreneurs do. We encourage creating your own world because one doesn’t already exist for us.

Our attitude is, “There’s no way of making a living that’s exactly right for me, so I’m going to create it myself. I’m going to use my brain to see opportunities and figure out how to be the most useful I can be to other people.”

We talk to people, find out what they’re looking for that isn’t already being provided, and we create it for them. And we might collaborate with other entrepreneurs and create an entirely new product or service or even a new enterprise.

Entrepreneurs create their own jobs, their own careers, and their own world.

I find that attitude very refreshing, to accept things for how they are, and to also say, “What action can I take to do something new, better, and different that will get me paid well for a long time until other people start copying me … at which point I’ll create something new?”

That’s my whole approach. If it’s not the way I want it, I question what it is that I have to do in order to make it the way I want it.

This means taking 100 percent responsibility, not complaining, and not demanding that other people solve my problems for me.

In this way, entrepreneurs are the most accepting human beings of how things in the world already are.

Improve it yourself.

If you want something to be better, you have to use your initiative and creativity to make it better for yourself.

This is how you can live your life: Recognize how things are, and instead of banging your head against the wall and being upset that it’s not perfect for you, create opportunities for yourself in the world.

Use what already exists as raw material for creating the world you want to live in.

This is what I’ve done in my 75 years. I’ve used the capabilities, the intelligence, and the opportunities that were available to me. No one forced me to do these things; it’s just the way I decided to respond to a reality that wasn’t created for me.

About the Author

Dan Sullivan is the world’s foremost expert on entrepreneurship in action. He is the founder of The Strategic Coach Inc. and creator of The Strategic Coach® Program. Visionary, creative, wise, playful, and generous, he is a true champion of entrepreneurs worldwide.

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