Whose Fault is it Anyway?
(A little context for those of you in sunny climes or reading this post in some time so far in the future that the weather today is irrelevant. Today is March 24th, and Spring has sprung a winter storm system on the Midwestern states that is predicted to leave us with seven inches or more of snow. )
In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; one of my favorite resources for the wise and the witty, Douglas Adams tells us how to make a problem disappear completely. You simply turn it into an SEP.
Because, you see, SEP stands for “Somebody Else’s Problem.” And when you can make that problem somebody ELSE’S problem it disappears. For you.
That isn’t working for me on this fifth day of spring, watching snowflakes accumulate on the balcony outside my window.
But it works for a lot of problems. Blame it on someone else and, if it doesn’t disappear, at least you’ll get so much sympathy that you can stand to look at it.
Blame it on someone else and, even if you still have to deal with it, it’s not YOUR problem, you’re now the poor martyr who is slogging away under the weight of an SEP.
How important is it for you to “own” your problems?
Let’s just say unless you own your problems you cannot own your life.
My friend Joe Tye, author of The Florence Prescription, Never Fear Never Quit, and other great books, likens the value of ownership in a company with our mindset about renting a car.
We don’t treat a rental car the way we would one that we own, he points out. Because it belongs to someone else, you aren’t going to even think about taking it in for a check up and oil change. You won’t wash it unless you went off-roading in it and can’t see out of the windshield.
It’s basically an SEP, and you’re paying for the privilege of making its need for oil changes and belt replacements, and even a run through the car wash, an invisible problem for you.
We’ve been hearing about creating an “ownership mindset” in our workforce for many years – I took and taught courses on it at least 20 years ago.
But, while I KNOW that an “ownership mindset” is an essential ingredient in any unstoppable business, I don’t believe that our economy – that is our GLOBAL economy – can be saved by an “ownership mindset” in our workforce.
It’s going to take an “ownership mindset” in our LIFE force.
If our economy is to be saved it’s going to take an “Entrepreneurial Mindset.”
In Just Blow It Up; Firepower for Living an Unlimited Life, I say;
“Our lives are our undertaking; our businesses and careers are simply vehicles by which we achieve our purpose.”
Which is why I also say that it is the “Entrepreneurial Mindset” that will, or at least CAN if enough of us adopt it, save our global economy.
Not entrepreneurism as a business model – but as a way of life.
Not business ownership – but life ownership.
While there are dozens of “gurus” who have their own set of requirements for calling yourself an entrepreneur, here is the literal translation – what the word “entrepreneur” originally meant:
Someone with an entrepreneurial mindset has undertaken their very life. They’ve undertaken responsibility for their choices, their actions, their reactions, and their outcomes.
Even when someone else IS in the wrong, someone with an entrepreneurial mindset doesn’t waste time or energy on blame.
Instead, they invest time and energy on making it right. They OWN the outcomes that matter to them – not just their jobs, not just their businesses, not just their backyards, not just their own country…
They take ownership of the problems that affect their lives; they meet the challenges, they look for solutions.
They don’t say “I saw it, I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t actually do it so I can’t be held accountable.”
They don’t say, “I saw it needed to be done, but it isn’t my job so I didn’t do anything about it.”
They don’t say, “He started it,” or “what she did was waaaay worse.”
They say, “What can I do about it?”
The entrepreneurial mindset says “If I care about how it turns out then I will UNDERTAKE to affect that outcome with everything I have to give.”
If everyone operated out of that mindset.
I think it would solve almost any problem, except maybe the weather!
*I’d love to give photo credit, but it showed up in my Facebook feed shared by so many individuals I couldn’t trace the origin of the photo. But I will give a big THANK YOU to Lisa Hodges Dean whose timeline I pulled it from.