Defining Entrepreneurship. Mainstream Media or You?

Ryan Carson, CEO and Founder at Treehouse, inspired post, with his video on LinkedIn. I touched on this briefly when I shared his post there. Still, I thought, just in case it might inspire someone, I should go a bit deeper on this topic.

Today's mainstream definition of entrepreneurship 

In his video, Ryan Carson mentioned three pillars of success the media rave about, but are not actual wins, if you want long term success: 

  • VC or Angel backing 
  • Rapid growth without profit
  • Quick exits and liquidity

I wouldn't use the term win, because some of you do actually want the above. If you do, that's your win. I truly honour individual sovereignty. For those of you who don't, who feel pressured to "want" or "pursue" those three bullet points, I hope it helps to hear, "You dont have to." What do you really want? That's what sticks. 

Why did you start your own business? Why do you feel that growth is a priority if you'd prefer a model that doesn't rely on growth in the mainstream sense?  If you need a little reinforcement to stand your ground in joy (not resentment or rebellion), I'm doing that for you on Pinterest and Instagram

A Sustainable Framework

Seth Godin said in several talks I've seen him give that if they won't hire you, go write your own screenplay (paraphrased). What does that mean to you? Just because you're not the flavour of the day, or the media isn't interested in your model, doesn't make you irrelevant. In fact, it's even more important that you launch because you are very relevant to all those drawn in by the media, believing that what is unique to them is irrelevant. Here's a simple model I use for premium service professionals - one that starts internally.

  1. Schedule: What gives you energy, what times of day, night or month? What schedule truly honours that? 
  2. Process: What's the process that streamlines your offering to give the most value in the shortest time?
  3. Pricing: What do you need to live well and provide professional service? What makes your offering worth it?
  4. Client social media: Who needs, values and will invest? Where are they? Often, social media can help you find out. Once you know, it can be a great place to stay connected.

This framework executed honestly eliminates burnout risks, keeps you focused on top priorities when you have the energy for them, and ensures you're focused on what gets you paid. Let's face it. Even if you're generous to a fault, you have way more to give when you have more.

The framework that I offer to clients who've realized that the mainstream approach isn't for them , may not be for you, but I hope you honour that and let it serve as an invitation to find one that does work for you. What simple system keeps you on track and connected to the goal?

A New Lens on the Media

I say, if you don't need the news, don't watch it, and I actually live by that. It's okay to be less informed if you live longer. Plus, your mind will have more time and space for your own "Eureka!" moments. You'll have more time to create and thus more to offer the world, if you so desire. You'll be clearer, and will have an easier time making decisions. 

Still, if you must stay in the know... turn the negative press on it's head. Take it in with the lens on who's behind the news and why.

Here's an example:

As an experienced entrepreneur, putting yourself in Elon Musks shoes, you'll have a new lens on the issue. Instead of "how reckless, etcetera", you might see how restricting the media's "corporate-centred, externally managed" approach has been on his progress... and how it can do the same to yours. This is an excerpt from Canada's LinkedIn Daily Rundown

 "Tesla CEO Elon Musk is considering taking the company private. The electric-car firm’s shares soared after Musk revealed his thoughts on Twitter, causing trade to be halted for an hour although Musk then cautioned that no final decision had been made. Tesla has been public since 2010, but recently experienced a series of setbacks and negative news reports."

He put his foot down.   The other lesson hidden here is that it's never too late to change your mind. He realised it's not working for him. While we don't know the outcome, it doesn't matter. Leverage the fact that he put it out there and let that fuel you. Wherever you are, your next step can begin to change direction. 

Autonomy? What's your why?

Understand, and be gentle with the masses fed on that media diet. They think they have no reason to shift their lend on it. They'll argue that "publicity, regulation and other controls will keep you honest", but do you think Volkswagen would have lied to pass emissions tests if that were true? That may be a bad example (I'm an ecologist by training), but freedom is the gift that having your own business has given you so you can:

  • Make mistakes,
  • Be gentle with yourself as you learn from them (that lets you bounce back and fix mistakes faster than if you're drowning in guilt and bad press). 
  • Slow down when your life changes, or speed up when you get a burst of energy, without shareholders kicking you out (of your business). 

I don't say this as an excuse for bad behaviour and abusing your staff. You want for them what you want for yourself, no? That's why they stay? It's an invitation to look inward, take what works, leave what doesn't, and move forward confidently.  

What about You? What's your legacy?

I hope this has made you breathe deeply and feel a renewed sense of freedom in choosing the direction of your business. So, now, what do you really want? 


About the Author

Crystal-Marie Sealy, MBA, is a keynote speaker and entrepreneurial strategy consultant focused on sustainable business models for established entrepreneurs and professionals transitioning to entrepreneurship. President and founder of Successiory and her signature "Your E.A.S.Y. Affluence Business Model™ by Successiory", Crystal-Marie works with professionals who want to build sustainable (livable) business models around their lifestyles and create sustainable client community on social media. She also speaks and delivers workshops at business and motivational conferences on entrepreneurial strategy for pricing, process, feasible schedules and client social media community. Connect with her and subscribe at