In my decade working in corporate America in my earlier years, I have witnessed some pretty interesting things and met some really interesting people. I’ve met many who were amazing and many who were there for the sake of being there. In my decade being in business for myself and taking on entrepreneurship, I also interacted with many amazing individuals, as well as many lost souls. While both experiences helped shape who I became, it also became clear that there is a significant difference between the mentality of those involved in both trades. Having been on the successful side of both ends, I thought it would fun for me to break down how the two differ in their day to day thinking.
Corporate America people work within rules while entrepreneurs work within boundaries.
Corporate America people understand their growth is based on performance and adaptability while entrepreneurs understand their growth is based upon their inner improvement.
Corporate America people feel important by being recognized at work while entrepreneurs find fulfillment by creating solutions that create value for others.
Corporate America people are afraid to lose their job while entrepreneurs are afraid of having to get a job.
While there are similarities in people who are leaders within organizations and people who are entrepreneurs, the biggest difference of them all is the fact that one works within the rules of society and the other within the rules of life. The real difference is like asking…
Would you rather be lost in a building or in a city?
You see, when you work in Corporate America, you live within the confines of the 4 walls that you call your office, your job, your employer, and function within the scope of how they designed that very same place for you to work in. Because they figured out how to build a foundation before you were there, and are guaranteeing you shelter, you have to follow their rules and directions in order to continue maintaining the building. The building is already built and its maximum floor or expansion is not dependent on you and will never be your choice.
Others will choose for you and will even try to tell you when they think you are ready to move up one level closer to the top of the building. You start at the bottom with the hope one day to get to see the top floor. At any given time, you could be asked to leave the building. The only real satisfaction you have is the false sense of security that as long as you follow the rules, you will always have shelter.
In the city, however, as an entrepreneur things look completely different as the city is vast and many options exist. The difference is that despite so many buildings being part of that city, none of them open their doors to let you in unless they need something you have. While the city is vast and scary, and shelter is not guaranteed, the logical choice is to build a building yourself rather than actually go try to find one who will accept you.
The problem, however, lies in the idea that building one takes resources, connections, hard work, and so many more things you don’t have. While there are many things you don’t have that if you had would make it easier, you have one thing and one thing only that no one else has: your understanding of yourself, and your belief that you’ll find a way. This is the single greatest difference as people who are real entrepreneurs do not need resources, they are resourceful.
Through being resourceful, they will identify what other people who live in those other buildings need that they don’t have, and they will find a way to get it to them. By doing so, more and more doors in the city open, offering resources in exchange for this newly created solution and a new building in town gets created to continue servicing all the others. Now the entrepreneur is on the top floor from the very beginning.
The real challenge being lost in a city versus in a building is that you simply have no idea where to start, as a city is vast, but a building like in Corporate America has signs and processes in place to ensure you don’t get lost. When you get lost in that same city, it could mean you don’t eat, you sleep in the street, or do anything you have to so that you can keep searching for answers. You take that risk because you believe that your life is worth more than the limitations set forth by others who do not know you, know your capacity, and whose arrogance believes you are defined by a piece of paper they call a resume. The sad part is they believe the title someone else gave them gives them authority.
Anyone who relies on others to set forth their limitations is already doomed, they just don’t know it yet! – Pejman Ghadimi