I’m a Born Again Entrepreneur
For me, I became a Born Again Entrepreneur nearly ten years ago when I started ID Insight.
I say Born Again Entrepreneur, because I truly believe that all of us were born into this world as entrepreneurs. It is only our environment and time that teaches many of us to minimize risk-taking and avoid the world of entrepreneurship.
Think about it. When you look at little kids – they have no fear. For them – everything they do is about risk taking. The first time they crawl or try to stand up, they have never done it before and yet every time they will try. Same thing with food. Every “first” time I put some sort of new food in front of my 1 year old daughter – she would try it.
As parents of young babies and toddlers, we encourage them to take risks. It is fair to say that these risks we encourage are not large in the grand scheme of things, but for a 1 year old it is the largest thing they understand.
As they continue to grow up, suddenly things begin to change. Now – I have to fight tooth and nail with my 9 year to get her to try some new food for the “first” time. She has somehow learned that trying food for the first time can be “risky” at least if occasionally she gets a hold of something that wasn’t too tasteful. Over time – she has developed a risk tolerance regarding trying new foods. I try to explain that by not trying new foods that she will truly miss out on finding some wonderful new foods. Nice try Dad!
One of the best examples is swimming. We have all seen the pictures of the 6 month old babies swimming in a pool. Why? The experts tell us it is because they are used to swimming in water (womb) and therefore have no fear. Flash forward a couple years and suddenly many kids are afraid of the water. Why? Because over time they have developed a risk tolerance regarding water.
As I think back over my childhood – I can think of many such risk-taking ‘developments’. In third grade – I had no problem singing a solo in front of the entire school. By the 7th grade, my risk tolerance changed and I trembled at the thought of singing a solo in front of my much smaller choir class.
In the early 90’s, I finished up my schooling and then entered the work force as a computer programmer. It was a job and a paycheck and not really fraught with much risk. However- it wasn’t long before I started thinking of “doing my own thing”. I remember dreaming up dozens of ideas and concepts. However, every time that I would get to the stage of “are you going to do it” – my answer was always “no”.
That pesky risk tolerance that I had developed was too great. I had built this tolerance up after seeing my Dad’s business fail and other business’ failing. It repeatedly held me back from taking a risk and starting my own company. As the years went on – I realized that I was only trapped by my own mind. My notion of risk-taking was something I had developed in my own head and that the only way I could get around it was to go back to that 3rd grade concert and throw caution to the wind.
For me – I became a Born Again Entrepreneur on October 28th, 2002. It happened to coincide with our first child being born. My wife was not working at the time, while I was still working in the corporate world. That day when I got the call to go to the hospital, I had worked it out that this would be my last day in corporate America. I had resigned and walked away from all salary, benefits and security to pursue “something”. A few short months later we incorporated ID Insight.
Nearly ten years later my daughter just completed the third grade. She is a risk-taker and we encourage her to take risks, whether it be playing hockey with the older girls, playing tackle football on the boys team or just trying a new food. I hope she doesn’t lose that notion of risk-taking and potentially have to become Born Again like her Old Man.
Contributed By: Adam J. Elliott