I located this interview from 2010 that featured in a book. And now I wonder how I might answer those same questions today.
INTERVIEW BY SHANN VANDER LEEK FOR HER BOOK ‘LIFE ON YOUR TERMS‘
“I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I’ve been knocking from the inside.” – Rumi
Nic is an entrepreneur because that’s the only way he can be. For him, the entrepreneurial spirit is everywhere. He is inspired by observing ordinary people living in extraordinary ways. He is inspired by noticing the life that runs through everything. He has created a life on his terms by asking himself questions such as, “How do you live a life full of space? How do you live with a sense of wonder?” He believes life to be a beautiful place although he has noticed that fading eyesight can obscure its experience.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
I’m not sure I am in its most usually used sense. But living a life of self invention has been a constant in my life. It faded on occasion, but that is less and less the case now.
I’m inflicted with a quiet curiosity. For life, and for people. And so I ask many questions, but have noticed that I seldom require the answers. Perhaps that’s a reasonable definition of curiosity. I see the entrepreneurial spirit as a way in which a person could approach life. Surely the greatest entrepreneurial act is the creation of a life fully lived. And I’ve noticed that with respect to a ‘life fully lived’, the way a person IS, is so much more important than what a person DOES.
As a film maker, I’ve filmed characters with the most magnificently dramatic stories of overcoming extraordinary circumstance. But the stories had lost their charge and the adventures had become stories of self importance. There was no life running through our time together.
And I’ve filmed characters who live the most ordinary of lives in the most extraordinary of ways. And our time together had life running through every sentence. I see these people as leading truly entrepreneurial lives. Lives full of ‘I don’t knows’, of unbridled curiosity and of wonder. Such lives often slip by unnoticed.
HOW HAVE YOU CREATED YOUR LIFE ON YOUR TERMS?
It seems to me that a life is lived outside any ‘imposed terms’ when you ask yourself how it can be lived through a sense of wonder. Such wonder exists despite the things of life but doesn’t exclude them. I am unsure if ‘any life’ based on ‘any terms’, even my own, could exist as a life in true flow. My own terms seem to change often. They seem not to be able to make their own mind up. I try to ignore them. Paradoxically, a life conspicuous by the absence of the usual goals seems to have allowed me to create a life without too many terms. And without the need to become someone (else) or be somewhere (else).
TELL ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM MENTORS & ROLE MODELS IN YOUR LIFE
I’ve never had a particular mentor, but everything in life has been a mentor in one respect. I always wondered about the wisdom of wanting to be like someone else. And as such the events of someone else’s life haven’t been inspiring in themselves but have always held the capacity to trigger something deep inside of me. And I’ve realised that the translation of such an event is down to my own observation. I enjoy the encounter of those who hold a light in their eyes. And have noticed that everyone has that capacity.
SHARE ONE TIP OR KEY TO LIVING A FULL LIFE
I once wrote a few words entitled ’the adventure of uncertainty’.
‘ … there was a time when I looked for certainty. Certainty in the outcome of the events of my own life. And then I realised that there was only one certainty. And that was that it’s all OK. That there’s something that could never die. And now I realise that the total uncertainty of the events of life is the adventure. And that’s the wonder.’
If I had a tip, I imagine it to be hidden somewhere amongst these words.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR LEGACY TO BE?
To provoke a sense of wonder. Through anything I happen to have created, or left behind.
There is life running through everything. Live not for ‘things,’ but live for a life full of wonder. Live so that you’re forever curious. Live knowing that there is nowhere else you need be and no one else you need become.
You can find Shann’s book of interviews HERE.