Undoing

January 12, 2008 at 6:34 pm 3 comments

The Entrepreneurship summit was interesting and lots of the ‘old’ faces from the London/UK entrepreneurial scene were there. It was great to catch up with some of the key players in the world of enterprise. However, sometimes I wonder whether the true entrepreneurs are actually back at their desks getting on and doing it? Yes we need to encourage the next generation and these people are true evangelists for the power of entrepreneurship, but are they entrepreneurs?

I’m a doer, sometimes to my own detriment. I probably learn from my mistakes (or sometimes even then I don’t) and sometimes start ideas and get them moving before I’ve really thought them through – which is why I think my company Travelroots never really flourished. Fortunately I now have a business partner and staff at Bright Green who can hold me back when I’m about to dive too quickly. But does all the talking, whether at the UN, in Bali or at conferences achieve as much as getting out there and getting on with it? How much hot air is wasted and how much of it is about who’s traveling Club class and staying in the nicest hotel? Yes, we need to talk and discuss… we are social creatures, but does it occur to the detriment of action? It’s much easier to talk about things than to successfully deliver. Can we come up with an accountability structure that pushes the delivery of action?

I guess I’m being hypocritical at this moment, typing away as opposed to ‘doing’.  But there’s a huge power in getting on and doing it. Ideas are there to be explored up to the point that they prove impossible. Note – impossible, not very, very difficult. Certainly we don’t have time to follow each and every idea we come across, but too many people don’t get the doing bit right. Nearly all the successes I’ve had have resulted not in an initial idea, but as a by-product of working on something else. Blue Ventures came about as a result of helping out with a University Expedition organization. My scholarship at Oxford came about as a result of an opportune meeting at the right time. Neither would have occurred through planning. Neither could have been forseen.

So, I vouch that you just go out and do it… Nike are on to something. Just do it.

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World Entrepreneurship Summit Eco-forcefullness (Part 3)

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mikhail  |  January 13, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Dear Tom,

    My name is Mikhail, and I am a friend of Juhi who was on the same panel with you last week. Sorry I didn’t introduce myself as I had to run early but I like what you are doing and agree about the vast quantity of hot air generated in discussions about the “right things to do.”

    As someone who has a day job outside the green or social enterpreneur sector, I am always looking for ways to do more in it “after work” and meet more people in it. If you have the inclination for a cup of coffee sometime, let me know! My email should be attached but just in case, it’s mzeldovi@gmail.com Cheers!

    Reply
  • 2. Dr Harvey  |  January 20, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Nike are far from ‘just doing it’. Sometimes it is not easy to ‘just do it’ even though you really really want to. Working at Nike has taught me that!

    Reply
  • 3. Lilly Evans  |  March 5, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    I wish more people were ‘real’ about the value of conferences and their impact on them as either speakers or delegates. Where one gets the most is from meeting others with similar interests and chance encounters – like Mikhail above!

    And, Nike ‘Just do it’ is a good reminder that there is no substitute for trying ideas out – start small and see where it goes. Even when one works in a large company overburdened by processes, it is always possible to ‘break through’ and make things happen, as I have learnt. You do need at least one willing partner though!

    So, having a complementary team is an invaluable bonus! Long may that be the basis of your company and working relationships.

    Reply

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