Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

A Common Trait of Entrepreneurs – Maybe a new Definition


Self and WorkI got into a deep discussion with a friend recently about “What is an entrepreneur?”   He challenged me that my definition was too narrow… but really, he was just manipulating me to give a definition that he could fit into.  Darren, I kid, I kid.

That conversation however, has sparked chats with others on the same topic, and one common thread or idea has started to surface the more I think about it.  There are a lot of people I know who work in large companies, or in organizations considered far from a “startup,” but I still consider them entrepreneurs because of their ability to demonstrate entrepreneurial energy and abilities.  What is it about these people that impresses me enough to label them as entrepreneurs.  I believe it is this:

True entrepreneurs cannot separate work from self.

Perhaps this is why entrepreneurs have so much energy. When they think about their existence, they think about their business and money-making endeavors, their families, their spirits all together. It’s all connected in an personal energy ecosystem from which comes our legacy: our mark on the world.

I met someone recently who, after I got to know him, would admit that he is not an entrepreneur… it’s funny and not surprising to hear it, because his first question to me when we met was “How do you keep yourself busy Monday through Friday?”  I have never asked anyone that question!! Even though I know he was just using a witty conversation starter, I still know that “many a truth are said in jest.” The premise of the question drives me nuts! Is that how people see their lives? As keeping busy during 71% of the week? Unfathomable to me, and I suspect to most people who consider themselves entrepreneurial at their core.

I think this is the true differentiator of the people I love to be around and the people I am around because they are there. I also believe these are the people for whom I write this blog. These are the people, like me, that need to keep the self fueled.  These are the people who are most effective at so-called work (I HATE that word!!).. because they are most in tune with themselves, the world around them, their families. They know that their energy, family, physical and spiritual health are what gives them success in everything.

I hope you consider yourself an entrepreneur. If so, I hope you can embrace the idea that fueling your self will continue to fuel everything else you do.




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