It’s true: by many assessments, I exhibit all the traits of an entrepreneur. Ghostwriting is a business. Coaching is a business. But I was never interested in being “in business”. All I’ve ever wanted to do is making a living and a life doing what I love.
It’s a constraint of today’s language, the contemporary nomenclature we use to describe people and the specific things those people do that carry certain similarities to each other. English has a special built-in disposition to categorization and division. Separating and parsing concepts and ideas and all of their subjects ad infinitum.
Deep down, I am not an “entrepreneur”, though I’ve described myself as such in the language of the trade. I never had a deep seated yearning to open a “business”, though in reality, that’s what I’ve done. The concepts and names seem divorced from “art” in my perception of the terminology, in a way that many of my colleagues who have “creative businesses” don’t seem to experience. As long as it occurs that way in my perception, that’s what I’ll experience, much the same way that the Inuit can experience multiple types of “snow” in their occurring of the world simply because their language has words to describe them.
I’m lacking a single word that captures the artistry and the enterprise of what I do in one fell swoop, and because of that, I’m two minds about my role in the world.
My intention again: making a living and a life doing what I love.
“Writer” is the basic word that describes the “what” of this intent.
I “am” a human being who writes, not an author, not a ghostwriter, not a copywriter, even though I “do” authoring, ghostwriting, and copywriting. “Writer” is simply “what” I am doing; the rest are all subcategorical manifestations of “how” I do what I do, not identities in and of themselves.
And yes, my intent requires learning the technicalities of business, but I’ve recently become present as to how much I’ve been trying to cloak myself (that is, my “self”) in the shiny identity of “entrepreneur”, to parse myself into the language of “business” which, in my occurring of the term, is a diminishment of what could otherwise be a spiritual calling. I don’t share the same fascination with entrepreneurship that many of my colleagues do: like a snake eating its own tail, my journey along this path seems to have come full circle.
My authors aren’t mere “clients”, they’re friends and visionaries, partners in co-creation. When I come from that space in my work with them, we join the high vibrational “flow” of creation. When I see them as “clients”, however, it becomes stilted and non-productive, an “us and them” context sharing way too much with the corporate work I was doing before for my comfort level.
Traditionally in “business”, it’s bad to look bad, even if the thing you have to express is authentic and real. Especially if it’s real. In this way, “business” and trying to squeeze myself into “entrepreneur” is a constraint on my full self-expression.
Beyond all labels and categorizations of an imperial language, beyond the two-dimensionality of the trade, of using a social medium as a 21st Century version of newspaper want-ad, there is a far larger existence, a grander reason for why we are nowhere: that is, “now here”.
All that’s missing is a mission, a future that’s so compelling and beyond the limitations of me that I would be pulled in rather than having to push myself to enter. I have the “what” and know the “how”. What’s my “why”? Mere survival doesn’t inspire me: it’s what I’m doing right now.
I don’t have one, and I feel that I need one. But what could it be? And will it stick? The half-life of all the previous candidates for a mission-centric future has averaged only months before I start looking for the next thing.
What could it be?
Until it finds me, I’m legitimately afraid that I will continue to chase my own tail and go nowhere, all the while mistaking every new lap on the same racetrack as progress.