The Art of Entrepreneurship: You don’t need permission


Where, precisely, do you go in order to get permission to make a dent in the universe? Which Government department gives approval to be a game-changer, a disruptor, an innovator?

The accepted state that we all ascribe to is to be a cog in an industrial machine. The preferred career is to follow the well-worn path, to read the instructions, to do what we are told. It is safer that way. Less responsibility. More people to blame.

When someone comes along and says, “not me, I’m going down a different path, I’m going to start a project, a business, an innovation” we flinch.

We are not organised to encourage and celebrate the unproven striver.

It is safer to tear them down (with their best interests at heart, of course). Better, we think, to let them down easy, to encourage them to take a safer path, to be realistic, to hear it from us rather than the marketplace.

Perhaps, years ago, this was good advice. Today, it is clearly not. In fact, it is disrespectful, ill-advised and short sighted.

How dare we cheer when a bold change maker stumbles, makes a mistakes or fail? We celebrate when people stumble, beka cabangani mara?? (what was he thinking?) He better stick to the proven formula, don’t rock the boat, don’t break from the script, keep it safe.

Our obligation today is not to spare the feelings of our peers from future disappointment. It is to establish an expectation that of course they are going to do something that matters.

No one goes around dishing out permission slips to make a dent in the universe.

The good news is the person with the ability to give you permission is you.

If you think there is a chance you can make a dent, GO.



You have my permission. Not that you needed it anyway.


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