Entrepreneurship: How Scrapbook Making got me Inspired
Is a scrapbook a useful tool in entrepreneurship? If this is your first time here, we welcome you to our blog series that offers a unique take on entrepreneurship training. This is because we seek entrepreneurship advise from the unlikeliest sources. Moreover, everything we have learned in our quest to be top entrepreneurs is shared free. Notably, rookie entrepreneurs will find our bookmark-able entrepreneurship articles laden with links and resources useful. Somewhat of a startup kit that will unlock entrepreneurial opportunities.
So far in this growing pile of entrepreneurship articles, we have already learned from the unlikely journeys of great entrepreneurs like Donald Trump. The 44th American President whose forays into professional wrestling make for must-have reading. In this dip into scarp book making, we continue with this tradition of sharpening our entrepreneurial skills by seeking inspiration from unlikely sources. This installment delves into the world of scrapbook making with a focus on illuminating its worth to entrepreneurs
What is Scrapbook Making?
Scrapbook making is an old-fashioned art form. It is more at home with the fading hobby of stamp collection than it is with 21st century reinterpretations of the same: the likes of social media giants Snap Chat and Instagram. In this article, we propose that it should be otherwise. We say so because we still find value in scrapping. The relative popularity of digital scrapping software such as MyMemories Suite, Memory Mixer and Scrapbook Max only serve to fortify our belief.
In keeping with these beliefs, we propose that these online scrapbook makers are the tools by which to refashion the art of making a personalized scrapbook; in the process yielding new uses of the art. We will show you how by making your own scrapbook, you can by your own terms define what’s an entrepreneur. We will share our personal story. All these efforts will embolden a message known by heart by any entrepreneur. That knowledge is power. The power to make decisions. Our journey will also reveal:
- How a custom scrapbook can inspire us to becoming successful entrepreneurs.
- How through scrapbook making, we can gather resources needed to develop our entrepreneurship skills.
Scrapbook making is about counting the steps in the manner that an ant remembers its way home
In the tradition of this blog, of seeking business advice from unlikely sources, we head off to the animal kingdom. We seek out the invertebrates moving through the ranks of classification to settle on the ants. We are particularly curious about the fascinating phenomenon of how ants find their way about. The orderliness of it all is indeed fascinating. But the science of how ants find their way home is nothing short of mind-blowing. Consider this quote from Science Direct
Research over the last two decades using the desert ant Cataglyphis has shown that its most important orientation tool is the so-called path integrator. Essentially, when the ant leaves its nest to go foraging, it counts the steps and keeps a record of how many steps it is away from home at any given time, like a pedometer. In addition, it also records changes in direction.
Being an entrepreneur is about realizing that like in life as in business, mistakes offer us the chance to pick valuable lessons. It is also about accepting that all that considered, such a state of mind still offers little respite during the many troughs of life as an entrepreneur. Simply because no one enjoys the gutted feeling that comes with the realization, come to late, that your judgment had been right/wrong all along. But somehow, someway, because you lost sight of home – your mission, vision and goal – outside persuasion prevailed.
Scrapping as a Way of Finding Your Way Home By Joining the Dots Backwards. (Forwards to?)
What kind of entrepreneur are you? Are you driven by fear or calculated risk? Our world view as entrepreneurs is educated by our experiences through the journey of life. Truth is, we often get it all wrong. But as the departed iConic Steve Jobs advised that Stamford class in that famous 2005 speech:
Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
It is such conviction, such belief that embodies the entrepreneurial spirit any investor should clothe themselves with. We dare say that scrapbook making begets such clarity. Clarity as an entrepreneur comes from finding answers to the following questions:
- Am I a savvy investor? If not, how does one get instinctively savvy as an entrepreneur? And; How can I get to that level of zen?
- If savvyness is about getting the big bets right? How can one slash the odds so that their money works for them?
- Once you bag the first two, where does one learn how to offer the entrepreneurial leadership required to visualize and actualize the entrepreneurial dreams?
These are the questions that scrapbook making done the entrepreneurial way, answers. Before I share my experience and detail the value of scrapbook making in my journey as an entrepreneur; we first have to understand the mindset needed.
The Mind of Hustler : My Journey so far in entrepreneurship
As a small business owner – like any other – my ambition does not allow me to be content with the small business tag. My dreams are of a professionally run, sustainable outfit serving the community I live in. An organization that is in touch with the reality of the times. A behemoth that is constantly offering solutions to 21st Century quagmires. A lean enterprise ruled by a capitalistic north, yet still averse to the mentality and traditions that inspired the Occupy Wall Street protests.
In my attempt at building such an organization, I have called upon my life experiences. Like the ant, I needed a way to count the steps to and from home. Home is my vision, mission and objectives as an entrepreneur. Given the evolving nature of these entrepreneurial constructs of home, simple note taking or journal keeping couldn’t suffice. I needed to have a canvas where I could paint. Dream and paint some more. That is where scrapping came in handy.
How I Discovered the Powers of Scrapbook Making to Entrepreneurs
Armed with simple office glue, a good pair of scissors and a notebook, one can chart a map of their lives. By way of this simpleton scrapbook kit, the relationships in our lives and other significant happenings are recorded. Going back, I remember when dating was uncomplicated and finding love was simple.
To let a girl know that you liked her, all that you needed to do was make a mix tape -essentially a scrapbook of love ballads. Or build a scrapbook of poems, love heart-shaped cuttings and Kodak photos of time spent together/ this-could-be- us photos of strangers from magazines and newspapers. Once done painting your idea of love, you’d have to risk it all and find a way of presenting it to her. No hiding behind filters, avatars or DMs.
Unlike today’s social media love seeking interactions, with scrapbook making, sentimentality and engagement was the name of the game. It was a private affair. More private than a DM. That valuable resource – time – was spent painstakingly painting a vision of you and her. All the while hoping that no one beats you to it as you scamper around in search for just the right fitting piece in the jigsaw puzzle.
Scrapbook making. has an allure hard to resist. A satisfaction of being the master mind behind unraveling work. Besides, there is the tease of an acceptable detachment in scrapbook making, that allows one to be alone with their thoughts, dreams and hopes. Tapping into that intense engagement with the self. To unreservedly wallow in the sea of personal space. That can only yield a spring of inspiration to retool your entrepreneurial exploits over and again.
How Making Scrapbooks Helped Save Me from the Psychological Burden of Entrepreneurship
I am yet to pinpoint the exact inspiration behind my rediscovery of this love. It happened during a toxic time when I had hit a dead-end in my entrepreneurship pursuits. A business partnership had gone awry. And I had lost it all. There I was almost penniless, burdened by today, yearning to recapture the feeling of the good old times, scared shitless of tomorrow. Rent was a few days away. Yet all I wanted was to pursue the “one who got away”. Find home. My mission, vision and goals as an entrepreneur.
I couldn’t find inspiration within myself. Therefore, striving to crawl when I couldn’t walk, I would pick up the newspaper- in 2010 Africa,the internet wasn’t as accessible – delve into business stories that I thought had value even if they weren’t resonating then. I would then cut them out. Then stick them on an old note-book that I had bought for less than $ 10 cents. Needless to say, to-date, dog-eared and all, it remains my most valuable business asset.
Many years later, many entrepreneurial troughs and triumphs latter, this is something that I still do. This scrapbook making and entrepreneurship thing, I prefer to keep it old school. The most I’d do digitally is bookmarking on my browser. Or adding to pocket any sound entrepreneurship advice I come across on the internet.
I have come to experience that these scrapbook ideas serve me well on those days/weeks I can’t get going. Those many years back, my redefinition of scrapbook making as an entrepreneurial tool helped re-orientate myself. That’s besides the realization that I did some pretty descent market research cutting and sticking newspaper cuttings on a book. Needless to say, it’s been like a love rekindled.
What kind of Scrapbooks can an Entrepreneur have?
First off, by all means keep a scrapbook of your personal life. When you do make it, this scrapbook will offer invaluable insights into your journey. When starting out, before venture capitalists, good corporate governance etc.,the startup is the entrepreneur.
Someone once said: “Happiness brings about success not the other way around” or something close to that. With making a scrapbook, the griping fun in entrepreneurship is taken to a new level. From such humble beginnings, of cutting stories of interest in the local daily and pasting them onto my scrapbook. I now boast of a trove of several volumes of business oriented scrapbooks.
Just to mention a few, I’ve got scrapbooks on: business models, stocks, green energy, agribusiness and health care enterprise. Each scrapbook is a collage of know-how from different sources. Later, when these dots are joined, they should transition into holistic insights that turn ideas into currency. Scrapbook making turns freely available information into deep knowledge. It creates a record which then allows the budding entrepreneur to exploit this monopolized knowledge.
I carry my entrepreneurial scrapbooks along my travels. In the infamous Nairobi traffic, they provide a worthy alternative to people watching. In those boring meetings, my entrepreneur scrapbooks offer props for small talk. As any entrepreneur knows, small talk is the tonic that in due time, grows your entrepreneur network.
It is from this network that one gets business. Therefore, the wider and deeper it nests, the higher your chances of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Like and Save away on twitter & Facebook
With time, I have come to appreciate the possibilities of 21st Century technology. Just be creating the right connections on the various social media platforms, a trove of information relevant to your entrepreneurial interests is at your fingertips.
What has been the result of clicking on selected subscribe/ like/ follow buttons? I now live, eat and sleep my dreams. In all this, am just trying my best to hit that level of focus that Steve Jobs demanded of that Stamford class.
My parting shot is to urge you to try out scrapbook making for entrepreneurship. I have found it to be beyond just being on top of the progress curve in your industry of interest. Scrapbook making is about creating constructive passion. It is about organizing and making use of information key to your entrepreneurial success. It is about having the power to first visualize, then actualize. The two key events in any entrepreneurial endeavor.