You can choose yourself. And you can say I am going to be successful, because I have decided I am going to be successful.
– Jeff Civillico
This week is an exciting one for me. My new book See, Do, Repeat: The Practice of Entrepreneurship, which will be available in early September, 2021, is now online for pre-sale purchase here! Over the past year, I decided to choose myself and work on a passion project that has been on my “to do” list for many years. That is, to share what I have learned in more than 30+ years of teaching, researching and practicing entrepreneurship in a way that is accessible to everyone. And here we are! Getting within sight of the finish line! This week and over the next month or so I will share a few excerpts from the book. I hope you enjoy!
Entrepreneurship is empowering and transformative. It is also democratic. I fell in love with entrepreneurship education because I saw the power it has to transform lives and people on so many levels. As so many of the entrepreneurial stories shared in the book have shown, entrepreneurship can provide a pathway to income and wealth, for anyone who wants to invest in the practice.
Entrepreneurship doesn’t require a specific degree or experience, and it doesn’t discriminate by age or demographic. Entrepreneurship is available to anyone. It can be practiced on a very small and intimate scale, or it can be pursued as a change agent for the world. It can be practiced within an organizational environment or be a venue for creating a new organization. It can be applied in a not-for-profit environment, or it can provide extreme wealth. A single entrepreneurial effort can provide one job or thousands of jobs.
The practice of entrepreneurship is transformative to anyone who chooses to take the journey, and it is also a pathway to changing the world. Regardless of how it is applied, the principles of entrepreneurship remain the same. It is a learning and doing practice, that is skill-based. The goal is not mastery of every aspect, the goal is to keep learning and to execute past failure, to reach your definition of success.
When he was a young man, Jeff Civilico fell in love with juggling. It wasn’t so much the act of juggling that he enjoyed. He loved the way people who watched him seemed to feel. They were smiling and laughing. His performances seemed to bring joy to others. So, he would juggle anything he could pick up around his house, often much to the chagrin of his mother and grandmother!
Jeff continued to juggle for fun and the occasional performance while he went to Georgetown University. After school, while the rest of his friends went on to pursue professional careers as corporate lawyers, bankers, or doctors, Jeff decided to pursue a different path. With a lot of hard work, Jeff turned his passion for performance into a career and his highly acclaimed Vegas shows have been 3-time winners of the “Best of Las Vegas” awards and has been named one of the “Top 10 Things to Do in Vegas.”
But performing in one of the top show cities in the world wasn’t enough. Jeff is someone who practices the See, Do, Repeat model. He also has created a thriving business doing corporate entertainment and a philanthropic performance business, Win Win Entertainment, a national nonprofit, that brings smiles to the faces of children, by arranging in-person and virtual visits from entertainers, athletes, and celebrities.
When I had the chance to interview Jeff about his entrepreneurial career as a performer, we talked about the challenges of this career. Performance can be anything but democratic. There are thousands of talented performers, who are finding ways to make money elsewhere because they have not been able to attain a coveted role as a performer. For many years performance meant you had to be discovered. But Jeff, and others like him, those with an entrepreneurial mindset, always find a way.
Jeff looked for opportunities, took action, and persisted through many challenges, some that could have destroyed his career, had he let them. Even during the pandemic, which closed in-person performances, Jeff found a way to offer performances, corporate entertainment, and juggling lessons virtually. Jeff decided early on to pursue his passion, even though it was a far cry from what might have been expected of him, and he decided to choose himself and not wait to be chosen.