Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey is akin to navigating uncharted waters—a blend of excitement, uncertainty, and pursuing one’s passions. Reflecting on my two-decade-long journey as an entrepreneur, I find inspiration in my experiences and the profound wisdom shared in Andy Merrifield’s “The Amateur: The Pleasures of Doing What You Love.” This blog post is a tapestry woven with the threads of amateurism, drawing not only from Merrifield’s insightful book but also from the personal advice of my late father, a distinguished architect and entrepreneur.


 The Joy of Curiosity and Enthusiasm


Merrifield encourages us to embrace curiosity and enthusiasm in the spirit of amateurism, which resonates deeply with my father’s advice, marked by a charming mix of English and French accents. His love for the French language and the nuanced meaning of the word “Amateur” underscored the importance of being genuinely interested in what we do.


As an entrepreneur setting sail on uncharted waters, the joy derived from curiosity and enthusiasm became the compass guiding my early decisions. The encouragement to explore, experiment, and find delight in the Process laid the foundation for a journey marked by a relentless pursuit of passion.


 Passion Over Perfection


The counsel to prioritize passion over perfection echoed not only in Merrifield’s wisdom but also in the resonant words of my father. As a startup founder, I learned that the entrepreneurial journey is not a quest for flawlessness but a dynamic process marked by growth, setbacks, and continual learning.


My father’s emphasis on finding satisfaction in the Process became a guiding principle, much like an amateur exploring the boundless possibilities of their craft and accepting imperfections as stepping stones to progress transformed how I approached challenges, viewing them not as roadblocks but as opportunities for refinement.


Learning from Setbacks and Failures


Learning from setbacks became crucial to the book’s wisdom and my entrepreneurial experience. With a blend of encouragement and wisdom, my father shared stories of his ventures—some marked with success, others with failure. Yet, through it all, he found a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in the results.


His tales of resilience and adaptability during periods of failure became beacons of inspiration. They resonated deeply, illustrating that setbacks are not endpoints but milestones in the journey toward growth and achievement.


Cultivating a Love for the Process


Cultivating a love for the Process emerged as a gem of advice from Merrifield and my father. The day-to-day practice, the incremental improvements, and the small victories became the heartbeat of my entrepreneurial journey. Being an amateur allows for savoring each moment and finding joy in the continuous evolution of one’s craft.


In the realm of startups, where the path is often unpredictable, the advice to focus on the journey rather than fixate solely on the destination became a compass. The amateur spirit became a driving force, encouraging me to appreciate the nuances of growth, celebrate small victories, and thrive in the ongoing pursuit of improvement.


Challenging Societal Expectations


Challenging societal expectations was a theme that aligned seamlessly with my father’s entrepreneurial spirit. As an architect and entrepreneur, he constantly challenged norms and redefined success on his terms. His encouragement to aim high and achieve success while remaining an amateur at heart resonates with the French notion he cherished so dearly.


This advice took root in my journey, empowering me to think beyond conventional boundaries and carve a unique path. The concept of challenging societal expectations became a cornerstone, fostering an environment where innovation thrived and creativity knew no bounds.


Personal Reflection:


My father’s influence on my entrepreneurial journey has been profound. His legacy lives on in the advice to work as an amateur—ambitious, curious, and relaxed. Setting up my startup two decades ago was a leap of faith; his words have been a guiding light. 


In the annals of my memory, I recall a pivotal conversation with my father. As he urged me to embrace the amateur spirit, his words resonated with a unique cadence. He emphasized the importance of aiming high and achieving success, yet always approaching endeavors with an amateur’s relaxed, ambitious, and curious mindset.


The wisdom derived from “The Amateur” and my personal experiences converge on embracing passion, persistence, and remaining true to oneself. Whether you’re just starting your entrepreneurial journey or have been on the path for years, may the spirit of amateurism inspire you to find joy in your pursuits and success in your endeavors.


Thank you for embarking on this reflective journey with me. If these insights resonate, I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Until next time, embrace the joy of being an amateur in your pursuits, relish the Process, and persist in pursuing your passions.

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