I first identified with the idea of being a “Creator” or “Inventor” after a profile I took back in 2008, but I was running my 3rd business by then and had been calling myself an entrepreneur and CEO for 8 years at that point. But something resonated with me when I discovered that there was a role that gave me permission to have my “head in the clouds”. And, quite accidentally, my journey for realignment began.
Officially today, July 13, 2017, I’m ready to finally step fully into my reinvention as an Innovator and a Social Impact Architect (i.e. Social Innovator) and an Avatar of Promises. I, hereby, give up the title CEO and entrepreneur once and for all. My title is Founder and Chieftress of Innovation.
Okay. You did the math. It’s now 9 years later and I am writing about my great declaration. What took so long? Well, the answer to that is a different blog I’ll save for another day. I’ll say simply…fear & attachment. Fear of financial loss attached to an identity (entrepreneur) that knew how to produce a financial result. If I didn’t have the identity of an entrepreneur, I couldn’t see the money. I also didn’t have examples of successful Innovators that weren’t entrepreneurs. It took me 7 years to build and prove my innovation (due to self funding), and 1 year to exit the business side of my innovation. Officially on 1/1/16, I was not running any business, and was free to officially start my realignment process in earnest, and 18 months later…
What I Discovered
Today, one of my advisors sent me a link to a Gary V video that was intended to help me understand why I should follow his suggestion to push for more sales in an upcoming pilot I was running to test another part of my innovation. I loved it and loved what Gary had to say, but the affect wasn’t what my advisor had intended. It was the final push to claim my role as Innovator. Here is the link for your enjoyment: https://youtu.be/
My favorite Gary V quote from the Larry King interview is “I believe a purebred entrepreneur suffocates in the notion of doing anything but running their own business”. I suffocate IN the notion of running my own business. As an innovator, for me you can say “I believe a purebred innovator suffocates in the notion of doing anything but innovating.”
Innovator vs Inventor vs Entrepreneur
Now that I’ve discovered at my core I’m 80% innovator and 20% entrepreneur, I’m more certain than ever that I spent too much of my life operating out of my genius developing my skills to be an entrepreneur when I’m really a purebred innovator with entrepreneurial tendencies. I seem to have forgotten that my company name is “Inspire INNOVATION”. Duh!
I see distinction between inventor & innovator. In my own words, an inventor creates something new. An innovator reformulates something that already exists or places something in a new context http://www.
I also see distinction between Innovator (creation) and Entrepreneur (monetization).
I don’t want to be the one who is responsible for the monetization of ideas. I’m not sufficiently money motivated.
Capability vs Responsibility (Capacity)
I’ve spent 17 years of my life on a personal journey of self discovery. I have mastery level skills in finances & accounting and even became a CPA. I have mastery level skills in entrepreneurship and launched 3 businesses. And, I’m constantly seduced to do both of these things. As a test (that I passed), I even had my mentor ask me at the end of 2015 to join his global team as his CFO. I said no. Mostly, I fail and get seduced by the opportunity or the challenge; or, I’m operating out of fear and feel like I need the money.
My coach, recently explained to me the difference between “capability” and “responsibility” (capacity).
Just because I CAN do something isn’t a reason to do it.
What drives me off course is the fact that I have the capability to be a highly successful entrepreneur. I’m equally capable as an accountant. It took me a few months, but I’ve successfully trained everyone to recognize that I have no business being an accountant. My talents far exceed what I could contribute as an accountant. But, for some reason it’s not as easy when I talk about my desire to stop being an entrepreneur.
I invested years in growing my abilities to master my entrepreneurial skills. So, I understand why people encourage me to grow businesses. They can see that I have the abilities (more than many) to be a successful entrepreneur, but it isn’t in my heart to be an entrepreneur. I don’t have any interest in solving the day-to-day problems of an entrepreneur. When I force myself to, I suffer and am left drained, exhausted and empty. I’m only truly inspired to solve the problems of an innovator. I mess with a formula enough until the impossible becomes possible, and I have the guts to stick with it and fail 10,000 times before I find the answer.
I’m Not Your Typical Innovator, I care about the Revenue Model and have a $1m in 1st year revenue goal
It wasn’t a waste. I am putting all of the skills and training to good use in a way that is truly aligned for me. Because I’m 100% committed that my innovations have maximum social and financial impact, I’ll use the tools I have mastered as an accountant and entrepreneur to build things that have mass scale and reach (for maximum social impact) and highest revenue and profit potential (for maximum financial impact) satisfying my ultimate goal. The goal to reach $1m in revenue in first year of monetization is simply a target to aim for in my innovations to ensure to that I design with impact in mind. I don’t get excited about innovations that can’t generate at least $1m in revenue their first year, but NOT because of the money, but because what money represents in terms of reach and impact. If I’m successful, the person who monetizes my innovations will see that $1m in their pocket and I’ll get a small share of that victory.
Personal Brand & Avatar of Promises
As a personal brand, I want to be the Gary Vanderchuck for Social Innovators that do NOT want to be Entrepreneurs. We have little to no voice or representation because the lines are so blurred between Innovator and Entrepreneur and the relationship is so symbiotic. Interestingly, I searched for top Inventors and Steve Jobs shows up on the list. He also happened to be the CEO of his own empire and one of the best Entrepreneurs. And, he is recognized as one of top Innovators. Confusing!
I want to be an Ambassador for Social Innovators, and unblur the lines so people like me don’t have to suffer from years of time, money and effort wasted. It is time to stop the constant demoralization when Innovators fail to “implement”. When lack of “implementation” is simply confused with what is really a lack of motivation for “monetization”.
An Avatar is an incarnation, embodiment, or manifestation of a person or idea; and an incarnate divine teacher.
Inherent in every social innovation is a promise awaiting to be fulfilled. As a Social Innovator, I am a promise-maker. As an Avatar of Promises, I am a promise-keeper.
It is time for the world to have our gifts.
I surround myself with people who keep me looking towards my True North. I do need to be gently reminded to let go of my automatic & practiced condition to try to implement the monetization piece of my innovations and focus on the innovation itself. I need to be reminded of who I am, that I say that I am, instead of what I am capable of.
I never connected with the notion of “do what you love and the money will follow”. I love traveling and nature and so on, but never felt the things I loved were aligned with my purpose and career. I can see what they mean now. When I give up any notions of what I “should” be doing, and do what I know in my heart is my genius, whatever resources I need will flow effortlessly to me (including money). “Do what you love” is about alignment and about stepping into one’s natural flow.
Innovators do need financial resources for our innovations, which my users supply abundantly as a way of communicating back to me the value I am providing them.
I am becoming the person that attracts the right people to help monetize my innovations. Now that I am clear in my declaration of who I am and who I am not, I experience the instant grace and ease of attracting people vs the struggle and force of “making it happen”.
As for my advisors, coaches and mentors, they not only share this journey with me, but contribute their gifts to me so generously. They listen to me bigger than I know myself, and are my greatest advocates. I am forever grateful, and promise to pay it forward by achieving the impact I know I was born for until my last breath.
The Profile that Started it all
“Know thyself and to thyself be true.” Polonius in Hamlet
If you want to learn more about the 8 different profiles or to take your own profile, visit: www.flowprofiles.com.
I still had to course correct and find alignment, but I meet people every day that still don’t know who they are and what they love. Ask someone: what do you want to do? And, watch the blank stares…
This is only one of many tools in my toolbox, but is one of the most powerful. The profile created by my mentor, Roger, from iChing a 5,000 year old ancient text of wisdom.
I use them every day and encourage those looking for clarity and ease to take their profile today.
Stay tuned as the journey for me continues!