The traditional definition of an entrepreneur is a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hopes of making a profit.
The traditional definition of an employee is a person employed for wages or salary, typically at a non-executive level.
Usually, these two roles are very different. In most cases, one is in the driver’s seat, and other is driven. However, I challenge you to think beyond the boundaries of these binaries and traditional definitions.
After years of experience as a business owner, I authored Just Read It, a book that is not only dedicated to inspiring aspiring entrepreneurs but also to guiding them to set up their businesses. However, when I made the decision to write a profitable book, I did not quit my day job at the Abu Tourism and Culture Authority and call myself an author-entrepreneur. Why? Because you can be both an employee and an entrepreneur! One does not preclude the other.
Developing your business potential begins with being able to see and act without being restricted by what others think of you and what you think of others. Forget the labels. Just because you are an employee of a company does not mean that you cannot be an entrepreneur as well.
So, you are a happy employee but you also want to start your own business. ‘How can I do it?’ I hear you ask. Simple, JUST DO IT (Nike style)!
You can achieve anything you set your mind to. Just follow these three steps:
1.Develop a vision.
2.Work diligently towards achieving it, keeping in mind the need for passion and talent necessary to make it come true.
3.Have a sense of social responsibility – your business must have a positive impact.
Given my deep passion for educating and motivating others through the written word, I could easily envision myself as an author-entrepreneur. However, passion alone is not enough. Talent and perseverance are also a big part of the equation. If you do not believe me, just watch an episode of Arabs Got Talent. Some people surely have the passion for it, but they do not necessarily have the talent or ability to pursue it as a career.
Talent alone is also not enough. Some people are gifted in, for example, sports, but for them to become experts in their fields, they need to dedicate thousands of hours of practice toi master the trade. This applies to any trade. In Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell states that a person needs to dedicate 10,000 hours to something to become an expert at it, citing Bill Gates and the Beatles as examples.
It took countless hours of perseverance and hard work to turn my vision into a reality. I always had a talent for writing, but I knew that my talent had to be sharpened greatly if I was going to write a book that people would want to buy and that would have a positive impact on people’s lives. I spent endless nights harnessing my experiences, my ideas, and my resources to write a helpful and meaningful book that would motivate others to pursue their entrepreneurial goals.
After much effort and dedication, I successfully completed and published my book in 2015. I can trace all my success back to the moment that I decided to break free from traditional categories and others’ expectations.
It all starts at the individual level. You can only reach your true potential after you decide to break free from the shackles that others have put on you.
Today, I happily continue to be an employee by day and an author-entrepreneur by night.
Omar Al Busaidy is an Emirati author and entrepreneur.