The Meaning is in the Making

Photo by SwapnIl Dwivedi on Unsplash

Word of caution: Avoid entrepreneurial stereotypes like a deadly plague.

Someone recently shared with me an entrepreneurial project they were working on. It had the following elements: it required them to learn some new skills, it required them to make creative use of existing skills, and it involved making a product and selling it to customers. I was impressed. Yet, this person was hesitant to share their work because it wasn’t as “impressive” as something like “taking an online coding course.”

I’ve never taken an online coding course, but I’ve met dozens of people who have. And some of them haven’t created a single thing outside of the classroom. All they have are a bunch of mock-up websites, apps, and other unshipped items that no one in the real world even knows about. But hey…they know how to code. Yay!

Knowing how to code doesn’t mean squat if you fail to create value with it. Being able to speak techno-geek doesn’t mean squat if you can’t keep a job or all you know how to do is lurk around at hackathons.

Don’t be fooled by startup culture hype. It’s not about working at a co-op space that serves white chocolate mochas. It’s not about attending conferences on innovation and technology. It’s not about being a fan of Elon Musk. It’s not about working from home or working from the beach. It’s not about saying “I know python.” It’s about identifying the things you want to do and figuring out a way to get those things done.

All of the above matters only if you make it matter. And none of the above matters if you don’t make it matter.

It’s what you make that matters.