Someone in a Google+ community I am a part of posted a link to this article this morning: “The Dangerous Rise of Entrepreneurship Porn.” It’s a good article for anyone interested in entrepreneurship or what it might take to become one.

The point the author makes is that the way entrepreneurship is coming to be characterized is unrealistic and even misleading.

In her view entrepreneurship being portrayed in the same way porn is portrayed...

Here’s what she had to say…

Sir Richard Branson has proclaimed 2014 “The Year of the Entrepreneur.” Breathless coverage abounds: sexy stories of the young and old who threw off the yoke and started their own businesses. It’s all goodbye cubicle — hello freedom, vitality, creativity. Fed by media and online coverage of an idealized lifestyle, this “entrepreneurship porn” presents an airbrushed reality in which all work is always meaningful and running your own business is a way to achieve better work/life harmony.

I had mixed feelings as I read the post.

She definitely describes some aspects of what I feel as an entrepreneur… but not all of it.

  • I DO want freedom (from a restrictive schedule and a bosses demands… I am a leader and therefore am not always able to be content under leadership that I don’t respect).
  • I DO want to build something myself (I’m a creative, therefore I’m stifled personally when I have to push out widgets for somebody else’s ambitions or ego).
  • I DO want to do something that is beneficial to the world but also meaningful to me (because I believe God wired me to do exactly that.. in my view, that’s when the synergy of our calling and gifts come together).
  • And I DO want the opportunity to decide my own income based on my own effort (very few typical “jobs” allow for that, really)

Having said all that…

I get her point. The entrepreneureal community can tend to paint an all-too-rosey picture that leaves out many of the painful stories and details of what it’s really like to cut it on your own.

I’ve long felt that it’s a road that’s not cut out for everyone. After all, we NEED bus drivers and pilots and teachers and plumbers and grocery store clerks, etc. in order for our society to thrive. Some people are wired to fit there better than others.. and believe it or not, they actually enjoy their work (my 21 year old daughter informed me a few days back that she truly enjoys her job as a clerk at the local Shell(c) station.)

That’s great. I’m very happy for them, honestly…

But I’ve learned over a very long, hard, frustrating road that I’m not one of them.

Prior to the last 12 months I spent my entire working life doing the work somebody else assigned me to do. Granted, over 20 years of that was in a local church, which admittedly is much different. But strangely enough, I see many of the same dynamics working there as do in the traditional workplace.

I’m not sure it’s supposed to be that way in the church… but I’ve written about that elsewhere.

What I learned over the years is that I am wired by God in such a way that…

  • I have to be creating things.
  • I have to be able lead with some degree of personal freedom (which I’ve not always found is possible in an organization of any kind).
  • I have to be able to use the initiative and drive the LORD has given me, in a way that matches me and aligns with my gifts and talents (also not always possible in organizations).

But more than any of that, I need to feel free to be and do what I believe God is calling me to be and do.

Much of that… no, MOST of that happens within the walls of my own home (as I believe it should for every person on the planet).

But some of it leaks over into my work. I want to do things… I LONG to do things that I believe are productive, beneficial to the world, and at the same time fulfilling to my deepest desires and gifts.

If you’re considering a ride on the “entrepreneur express” know this…

It’s hard road. A very hard road.

Don’t buy the “porn” out there that will try to tell you otherwise. But don’t let the difficulty stifle the calling God has placed on you either.

We (the people of the world) need you to be what God has made you to be… whether that’s a grocery store clerk or a business owner.

You were made for it.