There is a notion becoming more and more strong that everyone can be an entrepreneur or an innovator. Not true.
To really do something new, a person needs a particular make up. Not every person’s skill set and abilities, mental resolve, or priorities allow them to start, let alone see a new project through. To say otherwise is the same as suggesting everyone has an equal aptitude for maths or science, or sporting ability. We need to be focussing on revitalising our economy and shifting what we rely on from natural resources to knowledge and ideas – that doesn’t mean every person needs to be involved in the creative part though.
Understanding what it takes to deliver something new from start to finish is the first step in bringing the change, and unfortunately it is the one we are missing so far. It is much more than wanting to try something different. There is a much higher risk profile in in any pioneer than other people, whether they are an explorer, artist, entrepreneur or innovator. The willingness to lose everything, not as a gambler, but as a leader or a revolution, sets them apart from most. The mindset of someone who can deliver what is entirely new is such that they look for goals that are intangible and seem almost impossible to others.
Not everyone can push themselves towards an unknown goal. It makes sense – in fact it’s almost more logical from an evolutionary standpoint. How would humans have survived if we all ran off in to the unknown? The entrepreneurs and innovators are the anomaly, they are non-conformists. Encouraging everyone to try to do “new” is not the way to approach the problem, especially not from the point we are at now.
We need to acknowledge that the whole system of business, regulation and governance must support innovation and entrepreneurship. Not every player in that system needs to be taking the risks associated with pioneering something – but every player in the system, the ecosystem, must support the notion that it needs to be done. The system should, in fact, be weighted towards new rather than old, with a focus on evolving current to new.
As convoluted as that sounds, it is really just the acceptance that things will change, whether you are the person directly changing them or not. By creating systems that promote this, fewer people will resist the change and become obstacles to it. It creates a free-flowing ecosystem of ideas. More ideas and an environment where they can be heard is good for a simple reason, it increases the chances of finding the best solution to the problem.
The fear of missing out, combined with the need to sell policy changes and spending programs, is going to drive almost everyone to be (or feel) pressured in to being entrepreneurial or innovative. If it isn’t you, fight it. There will be people only too happy to take on the mantle and aim for targets no one can see. They need support to be able to do it – whatever part you are playing you will be making a difference, don’t force yourself to be in a space where you aren’t able to contribute as much as you could somewhere else.