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Joe Robinson in his article, “The 7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs” from Entrepreneur Magazine’s January 2014 issue states, “Entrepreneurs who can avoid saying uncle have a better chance of finding their market and outlasting their inevitable mistakes. This trait is known by many names–perseverance, persistence, determination, commitment, resilience–but it’s really just old-fashioned stick-to-it-iveness.” He goes on to quote Mike Colwell, who runs Plains Angels, an Iowa angel investor forum, and the Business Innovation Zone now known as Square One DSM and the NestMint Equity Fund program: Mike asserts, “Tenacity is No. 1. So much of entrepreneurship is dealing with repeated failure. It happens many times each week.”
Recently I listened to a video of Pharrell Williams critiquing Maggie Rogers, a young singer-songwriter, attending The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. (Incidentally this video has gone viral. Atta girl Maggie!!) I love what Pharrell Williams has to say to Maggie after he genuinely listens to her work. He tells her, “You’re doing your own thing. It’s singular.” We all have the ability to share our own voice – some of us are just brave enough to actually do it. Another interesting part of this dialogue was what Maggie had to say to Pharrell about her own journey. Maggie shared that in order to come to this new place of creativity, she needed to take several years off to focus on self-discovery. Taking time off to regroup and regenerate might seem anti-tenacious, but the truth is; regenerating is actually an integral part of the tenacity process. I have heard it said that what is meant for us, does not go by us. I sincerely agree. What is ours to do always comes to pass and sometimes the best way to find your way is to get off the path for a bit and wander. I believe that artists and entrepreneurs share this quality. They need to be free to explore and grow in order for the big ideas and the great projects to reveal themselves. I purposely make time for my spirit to wander. Wandering is a habit of mine in fact! I have observed that nothing brilliant grows in captivity. It should be noted that Pharrell Williams is not just your average a pop star. He is also a force to be reckoned with as a creative entrepreneur. If you have a few minutes, check out his website and you will see what I mean. (Atta boy Pharrell!) Pharrell knows, as does our Arizona State University, that art is a business and business is art. Check out ASU’s smart Herberger Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programs to learn more.
On my desk in front of my keyboard are three stones that read, “Tenacity,”“Strength,” and “Never Give Up.” In the middle of the stones is a laminated copy of the Serenity Prayer. You know why? I forget too. I get tired and confused. Even I doubt my path sometimes. I have to step back on a regular basis and regroup, refocus and kick myself in the ass too. I study successful people very carefully. I also regularly recall my own successes. What I know to be true is that tenacity is a messy business that when practiced regularly is the only way to achieve one’s goals. One must shake off limiting feelings of fear, failure, exhaustion and doubt. Then firmly push aside all the toxic people who question your methods or purpose and extract all the emotional vampires who suck the life out of you. As entrepreneurs, we make a decision to press on tenaciously and follow through on that determination. I have titled an emotion on my Facebook emojis, “FEARLESSLY FREAKING DETERMINED,” that is what tenacity is to me. It is a decision to be FEARLESSLY FREAKING DETERMINED. I say what the hell – build a business! Make art! Sing songs! Set crazy goals that make others’ heads spin! Be intrinsically and optimistically your very own bold self and make your way no matter what. Be as Pharrell so wonderfully says, “SINGULAR”.
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Revisited this topic on Jan 22, 2018
Entrepreneurs and inspiring stories of all kinds are Michelle Micalizzi muse and focus.
Micalizzi uses her ability as a visual journalist and social practice artist as a vehicle to inspire, educate, collaborate and strategically build relationships and brand. Art Projects are collaborative social practice art engagements that connect ART + BUSINESS + COMMUNITY.
Micalizzi Enterprises collaborates way out of the box by investing time, treasure and/or talent into inspired business concepts that are ready to explode and dynamic charitable organizations on a mission to do more good.
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