Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We are the miracles

It all started to make sense when I was reorganizing our bookshelves, and a book fell in my hands. I took a glimpse at the first page, where the author claims that nothing happens by coincidence.

So it all started to click … the falling star in the Kimberly, where there was absolutely no lights as we were driving late at night through the empty roads because of a late plane… my thoughts on the financial crisis, whilst I was editing once more a chapter on the power of groups which I had renamed earlier the cycle of order and chaos… a friend in Bali and the anniversary of the Bali bombings… the social entrepreneurship business plan competition… my friend’s Maureen who is a walking miracle… and the launch of my book: falling in love with your life.

I had forgotten about the falling star… as I forget about so many things, living under the influence of information overload. Then Chopra brought it back with a simple sentence about miracles and falling starts. Each night, many stars fall, but we are not looking at them. It is as if they require an spectator to come to existence. Same happens with miracles. They happen all the time, yet we are not aware of them.

And I started connecting other dots, based on conversations and reflections lost in the back of my memories, and so diverse: About language onthology in a café in Chile, problem solving in Houston, mind mapping on a flight over the Pacific, cultural differences in Venezuela and making a difference with Ashoka. I also remembered an interview to Tony Melendez, a singer-writer without arms. When he was asked if he believed in miracles, he responded: You see those hands people raise? I see a hand, and I see a miracle.

You see… writing about what it takes to fall in love with our lives has made me a better person. It was written as a way to help my kids go through hard times, specially moving so often being teenagers, then it went to a friend, then another, then my relatives, then some customers until there was a woman in Iran, who manages a girls’s school and asked: why don’t you write a book about it? It seems that yes, we can all connect the dots that brought us here. We take the dots and make the roads… and we do it together. Considering all that others have created and shared with us so we can connect, I can’t but see it as a miracle.

I am constantly pushing people’s envelops: Be the reality you want, be the driving force, stand out of the crowd, be ready to be discovered and enjoy your contribution, be the learning, the world needs you, and needs you to be your best. We all need more prosperity, new ideas, new wealth, and passion. This thing about the financial crisis? Yes I’ve lost a lot who hasn’t? but as far as I am concern we didn’t have them to begin with. We all created them… Let’s be part of the solution, not the problem.

We need more people to believe in the role they play. I am not my funds, my family, my profession, I am the feelings I enact in others. We both need each other to exist. Like the falling stars. We can chose to be part of the crisis, to send panicking information, to be the disaster… yet, we can be the solution, the determination and the resurrection (ok, help me here ‘cause I can’t find another more ‘culturally’ appropriate word, you get the idea).

My great breakthrough with the book, however, was not that miracles need us to exist, but the realization that they need us to create them… Thanks Mauren, for making me realize that.

We are the miracles…
we are…


the book?

Friday, October 3, 2008

The three pilars of entrepreneurship

I took a trip to Halls Creek, a small town in a remote location. My idea was to fund a business plan competition at the local high school to promote entrepreneurship. By the way, this picture was taken by an 8 yrs old girl who was wandering around with friends.

I came back thinking that I will make it a priority to get involved as the foundations for "life" there is much different and there is a lot of work to do to establish a basic structure... mmmm like there is no bank.

Despite everybody's pessimism I was determined to find the local entrepreneurs… Once we got into it, they started popping up like stars on a clear sky. I had the fortune of meeting amazing people and sharing our experiences in social entrepreneurship around the world.

Coming back I reflected on what makes an entrepreneur special and wanted to share my thoughts with you. A lot has been studied about entrepreneur’s way of thinking, but I think we are yet to find some commonalities. I hope these three pillars shed some light into the mystery.

Entrepreneurship is NOT about learning but about developing skills in three key areas, I’ve called them the three pillars of entrepreneurship: self-expression, self-determination, and self-accountability.

Self – expression nurtures our sense of contribution and importance. Entrepreneurs feel that they have something to offer to the world, and they need to find a way to express it, to share it with others. Not so much because they need feedback but more because they believe it is useful. That feeling provides a sense of self esteem that feeds onto the second pillar.

Self-determination allows us to believe that we can manage our destiny. That it is through our choices, successes and failures that we create the life we live in. It makes the switch from victim to hero, and feeds into the third pillar.

Self-accountability gives us courage to accept that we are not perfect but that, regardless of any circumstances, we still chose. It helps us nurture our wisdom. When we accept accountability, we can transform the world. We switch from being part of the problem to being part of the solution.

Whatever we do either in our home, with our family, friends, coworkers or our extended community, we will always win if we support these skills. Nowadays when many people are concern about the crisis, I think knowing about these pillars can come handy to all of us. Because every single one of us can do something about it.

here is to your success,