I’m 6 weeks into my 2018 summer listening tour. For those who missed it earlier, I’m touring the country and listening. I’m listening because now is a special time in my professional narrative, and we are experiencing a unique time in history which is creating a whitespace of opportunity for entrepreneurs like me.
The 4thindustrial revolution is rolling forward and we are reaching a maturity of the internet, which is changing all aspects of our global economy. It is also affecting us personally as we deal with a new level of transparency and access that just a few short years ago would have been unimaginable.
This isn’t easy though. There are many traditional players, institutions, and industries that hold tremendous value that are working hard to pivot. And we as individuals are having to grapple with issues of privacy, propaganda, and the speed and quantity of information.
Two observations in the last week:
To the start-ups: Don’t underestimate the traditional players. While they may be slow to pivot right now, many eventually will. The establishment will flood the space with their capital and influence. The game will change again when that happens, so now is a special time when the playing field is particularly level. That won’t last.
To would-be entrepreneurs: There has been a big mistake, we’ve given you the impression being an entrepreneur is romantic. The abundance of “entrepreneur speak” makes it look easy. The truth is, entrepreneurism is gritty. Stomach churning risky. And it’s meant for the only the slimmest of the population. For most people, it’s a far more rewarding path to be a rock-star within an organization.
Go for fulfillment and value creation and double down on your strengths. Pay no attention to what social says you “should” do.