Back in 2008 I registered the domain name www.cubepreneur.com with the intention of writing my thoughts as being an internal-entrepreneur, or an intrapreneur in a large fortune company.
I was an engineer at the time and had just gotten the green light to start working more on “Greensfield Projects,” projects that had less oversight and had more freedom to experiment with newer technologies. I was so grateful for the opportunity as I was literally rotting away at my current role developing their enterprise ecommerce platform and tech as this was more in line with what I had hoped to do with the company.
As such, with most things, I wanted to write specifically from the vantage and perspective of being an intrapreneur, or a “cubepreneur” – one who innovates from the cubicle atmosphere. In many ways this blog and the small application I was planning was doomed to fail as I realized very quickly after I started in this futurestate organization that being an entrepreneur within the confines of a larger organization wasn’t as sweet of a deal as I had first imagined.
When I was growing up I figured that it was important to be good at everything that I did or tried. This was most likely a combination of the culture of competition that I grew up in as well as my own personality and behavioral tendencies – but who’s to know and at this point it doesn’t matter that much where it came from.
What does matter, though, is that I maintained this perspective for most of my life – this idea that if I didn’t perform to the utmost and achieve the greatest results or grades or professional reviews that I was a failure. I pushed myself to the very limit which resulted in a deep battle with depression which ultimately had me attempt suicide my freshman year in college as the requirements of perfection became too impossible to meet.
Luckily I was not very good at suicide so my failure was, in fact, a pretty solid “win” – go figure.
Completely stolen from this recent Scientific American article:
- Seek Novelty
- Challenge Yourself
- Think Creatively
- Do Things The Hard Way
Dear 24-year Old Sir,
Meeting you this morning was an incredible experience, at least for me. Even though we chatted for what seemed only like a few minutes I hope that in that time I was able to provide you, most simply, with an option to encounter more opportunities.
And that it created, if anything, a feeling of hope for your future.
I know you’re working hard, as a soon-to-be-new parent (I’m sure your girlfriend is awesome!) and the fact that you’ve sacrificed a lot for her. I know you’ve got a lot of things going on as well; moving into a new apartment and borrowing your mom’s car to get downtown at your government job tending the grounds of the capital building has got to be humbling.
And when you go home you have to think about getting your community college work done so that you can begin your journey into the legal field; “Public Security and Corrrections Law” if I remember correctly. You’ve just started so you know the journey is going to be a long-one. If that’s what you’re meant to do then it’ll be well-worth the journey, you can be sure of that.
Yes… this happened. My daughter loves the Kidstuf ministry at our church and volunteered herself (and consequently her parent) to compete on stage.
I love this video, especially since I spent nearly 4 years of my life living in downtown Tokyo myself – I’ve been to all the places in the video and a flood of memories returned.
I really miss that place.
I’ve been thinking about this sentiment ever since I saw it as I was walking through the checkout line at my local Whole Foods. It made me think about how true it may be as well as how difficult it is to truly work through the “end” of one’s particular comfort zone.
We all have them, by the way, and no one necessarily better at blasting through their comfort zones than another. It’s rather the scale and qualitative differences that make one person appear to be more brave than the next.
For example, asking a skydiver to jump off a cliff is like asking them to take a walk to the local park while if you were to ask me to do that I would have to give it some serious consideration. The point is this: My comfort zone is much different in a variety of different contexts than others.