The Entourage Reaches 100,000 Members – Why I Started The Entourage and Reflections on the Journey So Far…
The Entourage has reached 100,000 Members. It’s a little surreal to write that down or to say it out loud. This for me was never a commercial play or about “starting another business”. At the time I started The Entourage I was already on a strong path with MBE Education and the deals it exposed me to. Had I been driven by finance or the usual commercial rhetoric that gets thrown around, I would never have started an unaccredited education business, with an undefined business model, in a highly fragmented market place, with no real plan or clear path forward. And what I have come to learn is that that’s the point.
So often true entrepreneurship is not based on rational decisions, indeed some of the greatest movements and companies haven’t been born out of logic, but love. A great idea or urge to follow a particular path starts off as a whisper, slowly growing louder and louder within us until it becomes a roar we can no longer suppress. This was true for The Entourage, it was something I felt compelled to do not something that made logical sense, particularly to a highly commercial 23 year old.
“This was true for The Entourage, it was something I felt compelled to do not something that made logical sense…”
I believe that whenever we pursue a meaningful path in life, the first few years of the endeavour are often incredibly challenging. At one point in the first year of The Entourage, disencouraged by the slow pace at which we were progressing, I called my then partner, Anna, and told her I was going to “delve back into MBE world and do deals” – help businesses raise money from investors or exit their business. It made more sense. Intellectually.
Anna quickly jumped in her car and drove to where we headquartered at the time, a dark and dingy office with other startups in Pitt Street, Sydney. We ducked out to a nearby bar for a drink. I was empty. I had lost belief and had started to think that all of the advisors, all of the ‘experts’… their concerns were right. I had decided it was a stupid idea and I was going to get back to doing “real business”. Anna told me that I couldn’t quit. That The Entourage was not a business I started or a skill I had acquired, but it was who I am. If it wasn’t for that moment, that drink, that conversation, I would have taken a very different path. Thanks AC.
In business and life it’s always easy to get to a point and forget all the work, the strain, the thinking, the perserverance it took to get there. It’s the preparation work, the years of giving it everything you have and more, the 100 flights every year, the working 7 days a week for 90 days straight. That’s the level of energy and commitment required to get something off the ground. It’s a test. You either want it or you don’t.
“It’s a test. You either want it or you don’t.”
From that fundamental building block that’s made of pure will, incredible leverage occurs. You start to bring on great people. You start to build a team, one by one. Some work, some don’t. Eventually you have so many people you need a leadership team and ultimately arrive at a point where you need an executive team. You develop management structures, leadership principles, search inward to explore yourself and eventually breathe meanginful DNA throughout the organisation. You find wonder as you start to realise your business is and always has been a reflection of you. You start to build a relationship with your audience, a profile, and ultimately what becomes your greatest asset in business; your reputation. Things become easier, they happen faster, projects become signficiantly larger. In the beginning what took a year, now takes a month. In the beginning what kept you up at night no longer makes it to your inbox because your people have taken care of that now.
From what started as a whisper in your heart and became an inspired thought in your mind, something real starts to grow. Something tangible. And provided the right leadership is combined with the right intention and the right team, ultimately it grows into something special. Something that touches the hearts and minds of people everywhere. It is the most beautiful, natural, spiritual process to reflect on. It is our craft as entrepreneurs. It is who we are.
“Something that touches the hearts and minds of people everywhere. It is the most beautiful, natural, spiritual process to reflect on. It is our craft as entrepreneurs. It is who we are.”
Thank you for making this journey what it is. Thank you for making this movement such a strong force for change. Such a strong force for good. I often ask myself, “What does the planet need now?” The answer I’ve carried for the last year or so has been, “empowered and enlightened leaders.” I hold a tear in my eye now knowing that we have 100,000 of us in the one place. I hope The Entourage and the incredible team that make up The Entourage today, can continue to enable empowered and enlightened leaders in the years to come as we look forward to the vision that is still resting on the horizon; to push civilisation forward by enabling more people to live on purpose.