Many great founders showed some kind of entrepreneurial bent early on.
They were the ones with side hustles in elementary school, selling everyone’s favorite school supplies or collectibles.
They chafed under their managers and dreamed of building something great of their own.
They saw things the rest of us couldn’t see.
I always wished I could be that kind of person. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, surrounded by people who built their own companies and worked for themselves. But I wasn’t like them. I was good at following the rules. I liked school. I liked my first bosses. I loved checklists and hated unstructured creative brainstorming. No one, least of all myself, saw a visionary when they looked at me.
I didn’t start my business for visionary reasons, either. I wanted autonomy, sure, but more than anything I wanted flexible work I could do while raising children.
It was all very practical.
I undercharged, underestimated my contributions, and thought small. My earliest mentors encouraged, cajoled, and begged me to knock it off. They painted a picture of something bigger. I did my best to listen and stretch my understanding of what was possible.
When I hired my first team member, I began to think about how cool it would be to create jobs. Maybe I could design a flexible, good job that didn’t exist before…maybe, I could even make several of them.
When I built relationships with my clients, I became more and more passionate about my people – these incredible entrepreneurs I was honored to know. I saw them overwhelmed, stuck, and frustrated. I saw them really excited about their best ideas. I saw how I could clear some of the obstacles that made implementing those big ideas so hard.
I finally started thinking bigger.
A candidate for one of our open positions called me a visionary, and I was shocked. My brain rejected the notion as a sign she didn’t know me very well yet.
But I kept changing.
I started thinking I had enough to say to write a book that could help people.
I started planting my flag and taking a stand for my ideas about things. I started coining my own phrases, like ‘time leadership’ and ‘human-sizing’ and ‘eureka results.’
I have a vision for what my business can become years from now.
A Squared has changed me as a person. It has helped me build muscles I didn’t even know I had.
I’m still not a natural at all this. I still get in my own way. But it’s really fun to pick up this new tool and feel a little less awkward with it each day.
If you’re a natural visionary, you might not relate to this story at all. But I’d love to hear your thoughts about the unique ways that entrepreneurship has changed you. Has entrepreneurship allowed you to build your own muscles in new areas and unwind old understandings of who you are?
Maybe you’re taking more agency over your time, or your systems. Maybe you’re learning how to write. Maybe you’re stepping into a new role as a leader or salesperson.
I love learning from all of you visionaries out there. And I’m honored to share my own strengths as a systems master with you.
Here’s to higher frontiers of change and growth.
Side note: Eureka Results is $.99 on Kindle for only a few more days. The price is going up THIS SATURDAY (June 12th). If you’ve been thinking about reading it, now is a good time to get your copy!