The fairy tales and legends teach us that dragons are dangerous, that they are creatures to be slain. Hogwarts (in the Harry Potter books and films) has the school motto of “Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus,” or, “Never tickle a sleeping dragon.” Smaug (in the Hobbit book and films) goes on a dwarf-killing rampage before stealing their treasure.
These stories show us the danger that is inherent in great power—and end up making us fear our own power.
As an entrepreneur, you possess great power. You have the power to grow a business, to create jobs, to innovate solutions, to change the world. In many ways, these are the “easy” powers of an entrepreneur. These are the powers that are universally entrepreneurial. These are the powers that you probably feel most comfortable with.
It’s your dragon powers that make you uncomfortable and even downright fearful.
What are your dragon powers?
Your dragon powers are your unique set of gifts and talents that make you different from all other entrepreneurs out there.
Your dragon powers enable you to command attention, to soar above the competition, to disrupt the status quo, and to ignite a burning desire in your customers and clients.
That sounds pretty awesome, right? So, what’s the problem? Why would anyone—especially an entrepreneur—try to hide their dragon powers?
We all hide our dragon powers because we’re afraid we won’t be able to control them, that we’ll end up doing damage with them. Imagine one fire-breath from a dragon destroying a house or a village.
Entrepreneurs try to hide their dragon powers because they—YOU—are even more aware of the responsibility and ripple effect of your power. Through your Chapel Valley Landscape Architect, you not only touch the lives of your immediate customers and clients, you also touch the lives of everyone around them. Through your business, you create deep and wide ripples.
Knowing the effects of your power naturally makes you more cautious about expressing your full power. You want to be careful about how you express it, how you use it. You want to make sure that you only do good with your power, no bad.
And some parts of your power feel too big, too dangerous, too scary to let out. Some parts of your power really do feel like a fire-breathing dragon whose power can’t be controlled. And so you put your entrepreneurial dragon in chains. You lock it away in a dungeon. You try to forget it’s even there.
Here’s where the real danger starts. That chained up, locked away, long-forgotten dragon is not dead. It is weakened but alive. It is angry. And it desperately wants to come out.
Your entrepreneurial dragon may look like a type-A need for control. It may look like an obsessive passion. It may look like a deep intuitive knowingness of the best action to take.
While type-A personalities were all the rage in the 1980’s, today we’re told to “let go” of control, to lower our expectations, and to accept “good enough.” Type A’s are warned that we’re going to get a heart attack or a stroke and just need to calm down.
In actuality, it’s suppressing this dragon power that hurts the heart. Seeing the details, having high expectations, and orchestrating excellence are huge gifts. Just because most people don’t have these gifts does not mean that YOU shouldn’t express them yourself.
Type-A gifts are commonly locked away today because of the bad rap Type A’s have gotten over the years. Yes, you can get out of hand and become overbearing in your efforts to control everything. You can intimidate or anger people with your micromanaging. You can come across as arrogant in your knowingness and your propensity for being right.
So, are you just supposed to ignore your entrepreneurial dragon gifts?
Absolutely not. When it comes to your entrepreneurial dragon, ignoring it does not make it go away. Ignoring it makes it temperamental and makes YOU less good at using those gifts.
In contrast, the more you use your dragon gifts, they happier your entrepreneurial dragon is, and the better you get at using the gifts. You begin to master them, making you feel accomplished and ensuring that your dragon gifts are used for the highest good.
Your entrepreneurial dragon will know it doesn’t need to breathe fire indiscriminately when it can focus its fires as often as it likes. It won’t need to destroy a village when it knows it can tear down structures that aren’t working for you. It won’t need to steal someone else’s treasure when it knows that it can help you manifest your own treasure.
Rather than trying to slay your dragon, harness its power. Claim its power as your own.
Unearth those gifts that you’ve locked away. Own everything that makes you uniquely YOU.
When you first let your entrepreneurial dragon out of the dungeon, it may go a little crazy. (Ok, maybe even a lot crazy.) That’s all right. Just give it space to spread its wings, to breathe a little fire, and to have a little fun.
Then give yourself the space to grow into these powers and to master your dragon gifts.
About the Author, Kelly Eckert
Kelly Eckert is an author, professional speaker, and shamanic leadership coach. She is a graduate of Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in biological anthropology and Tufts Graduate School of Arts and Sciences with a master's degree in biology.
Kelly is a certified MentorCoach® and a certified coach member of the International Coach Federation. She is the creator of the Fear Releasing Method™ and Coaching with Animal Archetypes™. Kelly speaks nationally and internationally on the topics of fear and unleashing the animal within. Her latest book, What's Your Spirit Animal?, is now available. Find out more at kellyeckert.com.