What Am I?
I studied art from 1990 till 1997. During that time I made a lot of work and started a lot of projects. I still have lots of stuff stacked away at my and my parents house. Officially I’m an artist. That is what I studied.
Sometimes I meet people I studied with and often they ask me, cautiously; ‘So euh, do you do anything with art these days’.
The question always confuses me. What they want to know is whether I paint, make sculptures and hang out in galleries. The typical art stuff. And I don’t so the answer in their minds would be ‘No’. But in my mind my work never really changed. It just evolved. I’m an artist and entrepreneur.
Luckily I don’t really have to make that distinction much. The only time I really think about it is when I have to fill out that form at the US Customs where it says ‘Occupation’ and when I meet old friends who ask me the dreaded ‘Art’ question.
But last week I received a comment here on this blog from one of my readers. It was in Dutch but roughly translated it said:
It has been too long since you had a good idea. Maybe you should stop using the ‘Serial Internet Entrepreneur’ term for yourself
You can still see the original comment here. I could have deleted it but I didn’t because I was just intrigued by it.
For some people, just like with the ‘Art’ question, there apparently are rules about how you can use these kind of titles. Some people think I am not an artist because I don’t paint and my work isn’t for sale in a gallery. Other people think that because I haven’t sold a company in 4 years I shouldn’t call myself a ‘Serial Internet Entrepreneur’ anymore.
For me however being an Serial Internet Entrepreneur isn’t all about selling companies.
It is about being able to try new ideas.
And sometimes, yes, bad or maybe even stupid ideas.
Looking back I am just as proud of the companies I started that failed as I am of the projects that succeeded. I am proud and thankful that I got a chance to try these ideas and I am happy that I could exit gracefully when they turned out to be bad ideas.
Being an entrepreneur is not all about success. It is about falling down and getting up again and trying again and enjoying the whole process.
Or, as Winston Churchill said, better than I ever can:
‘Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm’
So, without hesitation I can say:
My name is Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten and I’m an Serial Internet Entrepreneur, artist and professional juggler.