Look Beyond The Word

758. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

According to my dictionary, an entrepreneur is a risk taking businessperson. This is not much of a definition. The word is French in origin and it meant to undertake. It was a verb. To get out of bed and undertake the tasks of the day makes us all entrepreneurs. Especially these days when risk, according to the dictionary, means that there is a chance something might go wrong. I’ve yet to live a day when everything went right. For instance, last night I opened a jar of curry powder with too much enthusiasm and curry exploded everywhere. I think there is a more appropriate definition of an entrepreneur: someone whose not invested in things going right. In fact, entrepreneurs look for things going wrong because that provides the opportunity necessary for new creation. Entrepreneurs see the world beyond right and wrong. They see opportunity. Risk has nothing to do with it.

An artist, as defined by the dictionary, is a creator of art, a performer, a person with skills or a cunning person. The origin of this word is either French or Latin. We are cautioned in the dictionary not to confuse artist with artisan. An artisan is engaged in a craft. An artist is engaged in a fine art though I can’t find any mention of what distinguishes a craft from a fine art. From the definition of artist, the phrase “cunning person” shouted to me so following the word chain I learned that cunning means crafty and deceitful, clever or cute. So, artisans, unlike artists, must not be deceitful, clever or cute though they are, by definition crafty. In the Venn diagram of artist and artisan, craftiness is the crossover. So, to sum up: artists are cute, crafty, clever and deceitful while creating something fine. Artisans are rough, dull and honest while also crafty. Can one be crafty and dull at the same time? I have a more appropriate definition for artist: someone who lives beyond the abstractions of thought. They engage with what is there, not what they think is there. In other words, someone who has made presence a priority in his or her life is an artist. Artists guide their community to presence.

Words like “risk” or “fine” blind us. They distance us from our potential because we think we need to take risks to be entrepreneurial; we think we need to do something fine to be and artist. Artists and entrepreneurs explore. They engage. They discover. They act first and then make meaning of their experiences. They master their “doing” because they are not invested in win/lose games. They step into the unknown without reservation. Artistry, like entrepreneurship, defines a way of being not something achieved.

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