What if You’re Entrepreneurial, But Don’t Want to Start a Business?

I love entrepreneurs. I am an entrepreneur myself, and I find working with other entrepreneurs very enjoyable because their energy is so compelling. Also, if you haven’t heard, this particular moment in history is a great time to be an entrepreneur – many authors and futurists are lauding entrepreneurialism as the “savior of business.”

But I am troubled by something: What if you don’t want to start a business?

What if you don’t have the “crazy gene” that entrepreneurs seem to have?

There is a ton of information about how to succeed in today’s business climate by being entrepreneurial. And that’s great.

Unless you don’t want to be one.

An entrepreneurial lifestyle can’t, and probably shouldn’t be, for everyone. When I look around at my circles of influence, I find very few of my friends or family who have any “entrepreneurial desire.” Left to their wants, the vast majority of them would prefer to find a job working for someone else—and this ought to be OK.

It is true that the new economy is brilliantly organized for entrepreneurs. And that’s wonderful. But not everyone wants to start a business or lead an organization. In fact, judging by the numbers in the workforce, it seems there are many people who prefer to work for someone else.

And that should be wonderful, too.

The world needs both managers and makers.* One is not more important than the other, they are simply different pieces of the puzzle. The real problem is that each side often forgets something really important: nothing happens without both groups working together.

Every single person deserves to work in an environment that 1) provides them a sustainable living, 2) treats them like a human being, and 3) allows them to work towards some greater purpose.

As leaders and entrepreneurs, we should see it as our responsibility to design this kind of working environment.

If we don’t, who will?


*I confess I don’t know who used this terminology first, but I originally heard of it in a blog post by Seth Godin referencing Paul Graham.



About the Author: Josh Allan Dykstra is a founder of Strengths Doctors, a collaborative consulting firm specializing in building engaging work environments through strengths philosophy and passion-centric organizational design. His graduate studies with the behavioral scientists at The Gallup Organization and eclectic work background spanning Fortune 500 companies like Apple, Starbucks, and Viacom/CBS to startups, nonprofits, and government agencies give him a unique and incisive expertise into big-picture trends and the future of business. His upcoming book, “Igniting the Invisible Tribe: Designing An Organization That Doesn’t Suck”, will be released in early 2012. Connect with him online. Follow Josh on Twitter!




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