Heroic Heart of the Entrepreneur

Posted by on Mar 19 2012

Every entrepreneur is an explorer, a seeker of freedom, self-expression and mastery of their craft in the service of others.

Adventure summons you. Your journey to distant lands unfolds along byways both well-trodden and uncharted. Try as you might to step aside from the path of your calling, your eyes forever turn back to your true path with dogged desire and steadfast yearning. And so you walk on.

Pebbles and rocks and mighty boulders are strewn in front of you, challenging you to grow, to excel. Try the easy way, the small voice slithers in your ear. Wouldn’t it be better simply to give up, it whispers with calm and warm deceit.

Don’t you dare! This is not the time to slide into mediocrity, damning yourself to a life of bland conformity and empty wanderings. Press on! You didn’t start a business to stay small, meek, wanting, and wasting.

Command your courage; walk forward with steady gaze and steely spine. Ignited by purpose, your passion intensifies inner dedication and perseverance until the solid core of inherent power is revealed.

Colleagues and mentors travel the unknown world with you, applaud with glee as you toss the rocks from your path, and lend their might when boulders don’t yield to the single-handed touch.

Every breath blazes with endless potentiality. You were born with a heroic heart.

The gift of a bold, purposeful life and joyful work awaits the entrepreneur whose essential self is open to the journey.


42 comments for now

42 Responses to “Heroic Heart of the Entrepreneur”

  1. Thank you Karyn–a wonderful confirmation to keep on keeping on!

    28 Feb 2011 at 12:02 pm

  2. Thanks Karyn! What a beautiful article 🙂 Made my monday morning!

    28 Feb 2011 at 12:06 pm

  3. I love it. it is exactly what I needed to hear today! Thanks.

    28 Feb 2011 at 12:08 pm

  4. Inspired & inspiring. This is definitely something to frame and use as a motivational reminder and touchstone. Thanks

    28 Feb 2011 at 12:12 pm

  5. Karen, this is so spot on! I think your last line sums it up beautifully…”the gift of a bold, purposeful life and joyful work awaits the entrepreneur whose essential self is open to the journey.”

    I believe it’s the confusion about our “essential selves” that is the core problem for many people who aspire to be successful in business.

    So many people think it’s all about knowing the right marketing information when the real business battle is all about finding that person who dwells within us, and can “walk forward with steady gaze and steely spine.”

    28 Feb 2011 at 12:14 pm

  6. This is a timely essay, as just a few days ago, marked an anniversary of my arrival to the United States when I was just an “unaccompanied” child, with two younger sisters in tow and was embraced by what is now known as “The Peter Pan Project” of children without parents leaving Cuba to be saved from a communist regime.

    It was then when I became an instant “entrepreneur’ and it has permeated all through my life, including all the times I wanted to give up and didn’t. Yes, it would have been easier, and No, it would have not been me. The unique, singular person that I am that can move mountains without lifting a finger (at times), or so it seems and continues to forge forward with a dream and a song in my heart.

    I used to think of my Mom and other relatives as the heroes that saved us from a communist life with very little future to offer; and indeed, they did. However, now I think, feel and know that I, too, am a hero and proud to show the world how I turned out to be and how I continue to evolve with an amazing “heroic heart” ♥

    28 Feb 2011 at 12:15 pm

  7. Karyn,
    Thank you for this!
    It’s just what I needed to hear on a Monday morning when I am feeling so overwhelmed.
    Yes, it would be easier to just stick with my day job and be satisfied with that….but NO! I want more! I have always had my own “business on the side” because I need to feel that I am working in and on something of my own. It’s how I maintain my sense of self, my authenticity…It’s how I answer my calling.
    Thanks for the reminder to “keep on keepin’ on”!

    Margie Cherry
    Life Design Coach

    28 Feb 2011 at 12:32 pm

  8. I was affirmed by your post.

    Last Saturday I led a program, Fearless Speaking: Discovering Your True Voice, in San Francisco. It was an adventure…from the time I drove across the Golden Gate bridge with the the dazzling view of the city, to the moment I stood in front of the courageous participants who were anxious but eager to begin their own journey to face their fear of speaking, and finally, to the end of the day when they left more empowered to be themselves.

    I’m a psychologist, coach, facilitator and author of a book on Essential Speaking that guides people toward a way of being present and authentic when they speak. I traveled that path of stage fright myself, so I know that those individuals who joined me Saturday were trembling and scared. But I also knew that transformation is possible and that is what I was offering my students.

    Thank you for reminding me of the power of my purpose. I do have a passion and I am privileged to work with those who are ready to explore and discover their potential, find their voice, and change their life.

    Doreen Hamilton
    http: http://www.essentialspeaking.com

    28 Feb 2011 at 12:33 pm

  9. Fiona

    I am deeply grateful my friend sent this to me! It fills me with courage to keep moving on regardless of what pebbles, rocks or boulders may land in my path. Today I was ready to just sit down and rest… some of those pebbles were looking pretty…Hmmmm..
    Your passion flows through your words and into my being inspiring me to continue following my passion no matter what!
    Thank You:),
    Working on my first book

    28 Feb 2011 at 12:50 pm

  10. This was definitely both inspired and inspiring Karyn! I too am one of those who needed to read these words today. Beautifully written. Thank you for all you do.

    I shared a couple quotes plus the link to the article on social media so others who needed to could read them as well.

    28 Feb 2011 at 12:51 pm

  11. Karen, It is spot on. And yes, from time to time I hear that voice saying “it would be so much easier, just stop and go back to work for someone else” and i get that feeling in the pit of my stomach that feels sick and nervous when I hear it. Would it be easier, maybe. Would it be as rewarding and fulfilling, maybe It would be however, there is no way I am giving up. The passion is high!
    Keep sending your powerful messages you are a light for the rest of us.
    Thank you
    Corinne McElroy

    28 Feb 2011 at 12:59 pm

  12. Karen – So VERY well said. I love you you “tell it like it is” with a little bit of “tough love”. I think we all need to hear/read this once in a while!

    28 Feb 2011 at 1:01 pm

  13. Thank you Karyn,

    As always, your wisdom comes through in your writing. You have always demonstrated the soul of the entreprenuer in your work. This short essay reveals the Source of your Power.

    It seems that when we let go of what seems to be easier and simply tap into the Greater we experience joy that cannot be explained to those timid souls who must have security (or percieved security) of a paycheck. Two weeks ago I put the career path that has sustained me for more than 15 years on the “back-burner” and stepped into a full time freelance copywriting career. It is scary – yet brings me a sense of calm assurance that it is the right path. Your essay was a confirmation that is very welcome into my life right now.


    BTW: I went to your blog and posted a link in my FB status. This is too rich to keep to ourselves.

    28 Feb 2011 at 1:07 pm

  14. Terry L. Wynne

    Hi Karyn,

    What you wrote applies not only to entrepreneurs, but to anyone. Listening to your heart is to important otherwise your heart will “haunt you like a ghost” until you follow your utmost destiny. And, if you don’t, fate will take your to your destiny kicking and screaming in the form of downsizing, terminations, and layoffs.

    I’m a career counselor and have seen many times how unhappy people are until they listen to their heart.

    Cheers to you for speaking up from your heart as well!

    Terry L. Wynne, Ed.S., LPC

    28 Feb 2011 at 1:16 pm

  15. Thanks for the morning boost, Karen. It’s easy to forget that living a full life is indeed a hero’s journey. We conquer our own dragons, move through turbulent seas, bask in the beauty of nature, and through the challenges, obstacles and joy, become the heroic beings we were meant to be when we were created.

    28 Feb 2011 at 1:39 pm

  16. Karyn Greenstreet

    I’m so glad you found this Heroic Heart essay inspiring. Truly, it took 20 minutes to write it (or “download it” as one friend put it). Then it took another 20 minutes to fix the grammar — apparently angels have not taken English 101. 🙂

    When something like this comes to you, through you, take the hint! You’re moving in the right direction and what you have to share with the world is immensely important.

    28 Feb 2011 at 2:12 pm

  17. Great inspiration…thanks!

    28 Feb 2011 at 2:28 pm

  18. Hi Karyn,
    How did you know that that was what I needed to hear today?!?
    Truly inspiring … with just a touch of daunting to make it a terrific message.
    Thank you!

    28 Feb 2011 at 2:50 pm

  19. Mike Korner

    “You were born with a heroic heart”
    That would look awesome on a t-shirt

    28 Feb 2011 at 6:33 pm

  20. Karyn Greenstreet

    Great idea, Mike – Tshirts! 🙂

    28 Feb 2011 at 9:02 pm

  21. Dear Karen
    I was feeling very burnt out and down this morning needing a holiday after working 10hrs and day for months on end now without a break. I was criticised by a man last night wanting to know how much money i was making and i tried to explain that when you start up a small business from scratch you do not make money for a few years as you have to keep putting it back into the business for new equipment etc and then wages. And he kept saying ‘but how much profit are you making – trying to put me down in a cynical way….etc as men try to do to women alone…. and he said oh it is just a hobby for you then if you are not making much money….!! i was outraged and so angry and realised that it was useless to try to explain to someone who has never run a business.!!!
    I was thinking this morning – it should not be so hard….and feeling so down.
    Then when i read your letter as the first email of the morning it heartened me and inspired me to keep going.
    thank you so much . you have given me strength to get through the day.

    28 Feb 2011 at 6:34 pm

  22. Very special Karyn. It really resonates (but you knew that!) I love the last line the most: The gift of a bold, purposeful life and joyful work awaits the entrepreneur whose essential self is open to the journey.

    Now there is a new path for you – inspirational writer…why not!

    Thanks again,

    28 Feb 2011 at 7:13 pm

  23. Karyn Greenstreet

    Gemma, Margie, Val, and all,

    I’m so glad it helped, and that you got the message you needed to hear on this Monday morning. I knew when I wrote it that it would touch hearts and souls…so happy it touched yours!

    28 Feb 2011 at 9:07 pm

  24. Thank you, Karyn.
    Just today morning I literally cried to the Lord.
    When I reached office I found your essay in my email.
    Thank you.
    Had I not decided to be self-employed, life would not have been so different – purposeful, sometime desperate but fulfilling.
    Thank you for your “free” support.

    28 Feb 2011 at 10:31 pm

  25. Karyn Greenstreet

    Ah, Ravi, I’m so pleased to know that the essay was “just the right thing” for you this morning. I was inspired to write it and inspired to share it immediately, and now I know why I was pushed to get it out to everyone right away. I think you’ve captured the heart of entrepreneurship — “purposeful, sometimes desperate, but fulfilling.”

    Wishing you much happiness and success, Karyn

    01 Mar 2011 at 8:02 am

  26. Karen,

    What a beautiful clarion call and deep recognition! You have captured the heroic heart of the conscious entrepreneur.


    01 Mar 2011 at 6:57 am

  27. Karyn Greenstreet

    Adela, you and I speak with entrepreneurs every day. We see the awe in them, even when they cannot. It just felt like the right time to express how I feel about being self-employed and how I see my clients, my students, my clients, my readers. Hmmm…makes me wonder which essay topic will “bubble up” next. 🙂

    01 Mar 2011 at 8:05 am

  28. I have been doing some soul searching recently as my business was fragmenting. This “Heroic Heart” certainly resonates.
    Thank you for sharing it.

    01 Mar 2011 at 10:31 am

  29. Karyn Greenstreet

    You’re welcome, Christine. Anything I can do to help with soul searching, I’m all there! 🙂

    01 Mar 2011 at 11:10 am

  30. Your essay was certainly timely. I trained as a life coach about 6 years ago, but due to various “boulders” thrown in my path, including a long battle with depression, I have not done anything about “doing” my business. The fear of not doing it perfectly, stopped me in my tracks.

    Settling for a “day-job” is not acceptable – been there, done that and wasted so much time. When you are forced to play small, and be the good corporate cog, your integrity is totally compromised. Being one’s own “boss” is very hard, not easy at all, but the satisfaction and growth of integrity which comes from it makes the journey well worth the struggle.

    Thank you, Karyn for all you do, and for this essay particularly. I feel a “calling” deep inside my heart, and know it must be honored and followed.

    01 Mar 2011 at 12:28 pm

  31. Karyn Greenstreet

    Oh, Melissa, so many of us can’t be “corporate cogs” anymore. Self-employed small biz owners know that they need to have the autonomy, even though it comes with it’s own learning curve.

    01 Mar 2011 at 2:23 pm

  32. Hi Karyn,
    Thanks for sharing this with us! It certainly is inspirational, it’s also true although we may not want to admit it as such. It’s comforting actually — thanks!!

    01 Mar 2011 at 2:14 pm

  33. Karyn Greenstreet

    Hi, Michelle, I’m glad you found it inspirational and comforting. Someone else wrote that it was a big of “tough love,” — telling the truth, even though we might not want to admit it.


    01 Mar 2011 at 2:21 pm

  34. Kool Karyn,

    Thank You for the wondrous post!

    Sending you all the courage of sparkling golden lions running by your side…

    Christine Marsh – Artrepreneur

    02 Mar 2011 at 10:16 am

  35. Karyn Greenstreet

    I love this image, Christine…I see the lions. 🙂

    02 Mar 2011 at 10:47 am

  36. Dear Karen,

    Thank you, thank you.

    Yes, a bit of tough love, and JUST what the doctor ordered… Timed to perfection, as I ‘ve just come up from an undertow and am ready to shine my light again. Hiding is such an easy pull. Sharing one’s art is like putting your heart on a pedestal near the freeway, sometimes… at least that’s how it feels to my sea anemone side.

    Also, it is a privilege and responsibility, not to hide one’s light.

    Guidance taken, with gratitude.

    Zola de Firmian

    Ceramic Artist- tiles, vessels, murals

    02 Mar 2011 at 1:12 pm

  37. Wow Karyn, Such a powerful, poetic and inspirational piece! Truly a gift through you to all of us. Is this a new ‘calling’ presenting itself? It takes courage to speak the essence of something so beautifully…you are walking your talk and I am touched by your words. Thanks, Claire

    02 Mar 2011 at 4:50 pm

  38. Karyn Greenstreet

    I have a sense, Claire, of a lot of these “entrepreneur inspiration” pieces are ready to be written. I keep getting little voices giving me one-liners, which I feverishly write down. 🙂

    I just wish they’d shut up for a minute when I’m trying to take a shower or go food shopping. I mean — really! I can’t be writing these essays 24/7. A girl’s gotta have a life, too!

    02 Mar 2011 at 5:10 pm

  39. I was so surprised to see that you captured words I didn’t know were written on my soul. Thank you for this.

    02 Mar 2011 at 10:11 pm

  40. Karyn Greenstreet

    You’re welcome, LaCharla. Written on my soul, too.

    03 Mar 2011 at 7:54 am

  41. Karyn,

    I really enjoyed your powerfully creative post on what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. It doesn’t always “feel” like an adventure, but viewing it this way is helpful to enjoy the ride.

    Persistence + Passion = Purpose

    03 Mar 2011 at 3:02 pm

  42. Karyn, as I already told you, I loved the article – everything about it because it described me to the “T”.
    My life has been full of challenges which I always welcomed. My latest journey became somewhat difficult for me for reasons I have not yet fully understood. Ready to give up? Me? NO! Suffering, yes, I was in that feeling bad mode for awhile.
    I want to add some thoughts to your article, Karyn. Sometimes it’s useful to give in, feel sad, bad, because our thoughts alone don’t live us; our feelings also want recognition, in fact, are necessary motivators for action. I believe, I picked up again when I had enough of feeling sorry for myself – and here I am again, energized by the ups and downs and ready to proceed. And, may I add, your and Angee’s contributions believing in me during this process was not insignificant.

    Thank you for being you. Helga

    03 Mar 2011 at 5:07 pm

Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business