What It Means to Be an Entrepreneur in a Mad World

Are you still reeling from the US Election results? I am. I’m struggling to function for a variety of reasons, not least because I took 5 days off from my business (always hard) to celebrate Jim’s 30th in our old stomping ground – Somerset, which is now 5 hours’ drive away – and succumbed to ‘real’ coffee. Not to mention heaps of other nasties like wheat and sugar. Plus, late nights and travelling took their toll. Back on the wagon this weekend, I think! But the trip was good for the soul.

Jim and I spent the long weekend feeling loved, and blissful, and full of gratitude for the wonderful people we have in our lives.

And then this.

So, Trump is in. I wasn’t keen on Clinton either, and, as a Brit, there was nothing I could do about it anyway. I’m not as shocked as most people, though. Maybe it’s the Brexit effect, but I never assumed Hillary was a shoo-in. I thought there was a very real chance that the man with a dead cat on his head could become president.

But how to deal with Trump, and while we’re at it – Brexit, the persecution of refugees, misogyny, racism, global power plays, global warming and day-to-day poverty and misery, going on across the globe, including right here in the UK? Or rather, how to deal with my reaction to these things?

My initial response was, “Bugger writing novels that are crap anyway and trying to run a business that means something to me. Forget art. I should just work and save, work and save, until I can buy a cabin in the woods, a shotgun, and a stockpile of tinned goods.”

After all, if JK Rowling couldn’t save the world with the Harry Potter books – what good can I do?

But, then again, Harry did make me a better person.

I may not be as kind as Dumbledore, or as brave as Harry, or as resourceful as Sirius. I may not be as resilient as McGonagall, or as clever as Hermione. But I am trying. I know there’s something to work towards, because brilliant people created characters that are better than themselves.

I know there’s an amazing world out there, even if I haven’t seen as much of it as I’d like, because human beings created cameras, oil paints and canvas, smartphones, and the internet, so that we can share the good, as well as the bad.

I also know what it’s like to be poor, and scared. I grew up in relative poverty (were foodbanks a thing back then we would probably have used them), and I don’t blame people for their fear. I don’t blame them for worrying about immigration or blaming foreigners, Muslims, right-wing fundamentalists, politicians, corporations, the military or the police. I just know fear is not going to help, because fear and anger are the same thing, and we need less anger.

Take road rage, for example. Someone does something silly on the roads and you respond with anger. This is not because you’re annoyed with that person for being stupid. It’s because he or she just drove a tonne of metal at you and then got distracted by a text. You were scared, that’s all.

Don’t let fear make you contract, draw yourself in, make your dreams small. Don’t let it crush you. We’re here to expand.

We need local businesses, people with skills, artists, makers and doers.

Entrepreneurs are dreamers turned doers.

Their ideas become manifest. And, now more than ever, those dreams are as much about helping people (or animals, or the planet) as they are about making a living. So, for all our sakes, don’t give up on your dreams and schemes.

It’s time to get clear on what we want. We know what we don’t want. We don’t want corruption, persecution or the destruction of our home – planet earth. We want honesty, and fair play. We want natural foods and community. We want unspoiled nature and health and clean air.

America had to choose between Umbridge and Voldemort – there was no right choice. So, let’s take a breath, and make sure we don’t add the American people to our list of groups to fear/blame.

America, I forgive you.

You're welcome gif

I found also found this video useful.

Let’s get on with our work – our real work – because it’s more important now than ever.