“Don’t forget that everything is one big whole. And don’t forget the language of the omens. And – above all – don’t forget to follow your Personal Legend all the way to the end.”
At the end of Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece, ‘The Alchemist’, the protagonist faces a dilemma which has followed him on a long journey; the dilemma between following the conventional and know or the unconventional and unknown. Whereas the first is driven my human rationale and analytic conclusions, the latter is driven by intuition.
The protagonist, a young shepherd, is on a journey to find a secret treasure, which two philosopher’s stones and omens guide him to. In the end, the shepherd meets some thieves who mock him for his story about the value of the philosopher’s stones as he has nothing else to give them. The thieves only want to rob him of any visible value. Therefore, they leave emptyhanded while the shepherd continues his journey and finds the treasure.
The treasure becomes visible to he who sees, and the boy sees because he follows the omens that appear as his Personal Legend guides him.
In entrepreneurship, intuition causes visibility, not the other way around. Visibility doesn’t cause intuition. If the latter were the case, the innovative would be blurred, and this would give rise to conventional blindness to innovative masterstrokes. Brilliant ideas are visible to the entrepreneur who sees more than meets the eye.
Any entrepreneur must make sure not to fall into the conventional trench. They must follow their Personal Legend uncompromisingly. It is, therefore, also important that any entrepreneur who has put brilliant ideas into practice and made them flourish is loyal to their Personal Legend. They need to be aware of when they risk losing track; when they are entering a conventional grey area where visibility is lost because they’ve stopped following their intuition. It may have a significant negative impact on the next growth phase of a brilliant idea if the entrepreneur in charge has lost the ability to see the big picture.
It is so important that competent boards of directors can ensure the right progress or succession planning. They must ensure the correct planning for and hiring of the right person at the right time so that the company isn’t managed with a blindfold on.
The people who facilitate ground-breaking thoughts that lead to the development of new ideas and new jobs – the people who dare take the lead – are exceptional role models. Consequently, they must be supported in the best way possible so that they can continue being unique in the exact way they are, whether their uniqueness lies in the idea phase, start-up phase, scale-up phase, or several phases in succession.
You could say that we are all entrepreneurs in relation to our own lives and Personal Legend. Entrepreneurship isn’t about inventing brilliant ideas alone and knowing when to stop when you lose the ability to drive the ideas forward. It is very much and above all to invent and drive a worthy course of life, ensure the right content and meaning, and be true to your Personal Legend.
Founder of the Global Voices project. Belongingness officer and an experienced People Executive.