Tag Archives: entrepreneur

Beginning of the Adventure

The road to happiness is broken into three broad segments: 1) preparation for the journey, 2) the journey, and 3) the adventure.

Having a caring family and a functional society contribute to any individual’s preparation for the journey.  I have already discussed this in earlier posts.

Harnessing the entrepreneur with each of us is the best way to make the journey by developing social skills and self-esteem that lead to confidence, strength, achievement, prestige, and financial comfort.  Academic research indicates that successful entrepreneurs exhibit these same traits of education/training, social skills, and high self-esteem.  Those exhibiting these characteristics have the best chance of reaching the end of the journey.  The last several posts have discussed this journey.

Once the journey has been completed, then the road continues with the adventure.  The adventure of any individual begins with a call or summons.  The call is the command to leave behind the journey and accept the adventure into the unknown.  Those that receive this call, and recognize it, are put in a very tough position.  They are asked to select the road less traveled into an unknown future, rather than stay on the more popular path that others are on.  This is very difficult to do; after all, the individual who has reached this point most likely has a very comfortable life, with financial comfort, many friends, and the prestige and recognition of others in his/her community.

This tough position, the pondering of the call or summons to the adventure, is seen in the following two artworks.  Both works are very dramatic and are among the greatest of artworks ever created.

The Calling of St. Matthew (Caravaggio, 1599-1600, San Luigi Dei Francesi, Rome)

Calling of St. Matthew by Caravaggio The arrivals on the right are poor people with bare feet and simple garments.  Their appearance contrasts sharply with the richly clothed Matthew and his four companions.  A strong beam of light guides the eye from the outstretched hand of Jesus across to Matthew.   Among art scholars is debate as to whether Matthew is the bearded man pointing to himself (with a look of surprise) or the younger man with his head down (looking bewildered and uncertain, but comfortable in his status and wealth).

Fifth Symphony, First Movement (Beethoven, 1804-1808)

This work, perhaps the artist’s most famous, begins with the popular four-note motif.  It is suggested that these notes represent fate (or the call) knocking at the door.  This motif is repeated throughout the piece.  What is clear is that a decision has not been made.  The knock comes several times during the piece.  Perhaps this piece echoes the sentiments of the Caravaggio painting regarding the uncertainty and hesitancy of accepting the call – a call that is awaiting a decision. 

Next up: the details of the adventure.

End of the Journey: Part 1

Harnessing the entrepreneur within us is the vehicle for achieving self-esteem.  In fact, it is also the vehicle for reaching a sense of belongingness with others.

Once self-esteem is reached, the journey section of the road to happiness is over.  The very small number of people who have reached this level (less than 15% of the US) have received proper education/training, social skills, and self-esteem.  Harnessing the entrepreneur, to grasp the first three traits of successful entrepreneurs as indicated by the academic research, is the vehicle for reaching the end of the journey.

Reaching the end of the journey requires embracing risks, risks in one’s job, club, hobby, or volunteer position, and even in one’s family.  Most likely, those at the end of the journey have strong connections within their community, recognition, confidence, appreciation, prestige, and financial comfort.  Essentially, those that have reached the end of the journey now have all the necessary skills and experiences for the next segment of the road: the adventure.

Self-Esteem 4: Harness the Entrepreneur Within

There has been a lot of academic research over the past few years addressing the traits or characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.  The emphasis is on successful entrepreneurs versus unsuccessful entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs.

Most of the research focuses on five traits, and there are an additional three characteristics that are endemic to new venture creation.  To reach the satisfaction of the self-esteem need requires the first three traits presented in the research: 1) education/trade, 2) social skills, and 3) high self-esteem.

The first trait is obtained from a caring family and functional society.  The second trait is found through involvement with others.  This involvement, the first risk assumed by individuals, is encountered through one’s job, school, hobbies, sports organizations, and civic, cultural, and religious organizations.  It also includes interaction with loved ones.

The third trait involves exposure.  This exposure, depicted in the artwork of the previous posts, involves risks to one’s reputation and financial position.  This can be found in the same organizations as the involvement activities above.

The key is that to develop proper self-esteem requires assuming risks.  Many people are uncomfortable assuming such risks and go through life without the self-esteem need satisfied. This is unfortunate because happiness is never achieved.  In particular, the risks that are encountered are ones that not only lead to high self-esteem but also prepare the individual for an adventure well beyond the journey that has taken place to date.

You don’t need to be an entrepreneur to achieve happiness, but you need to think like an entrepreneur and understand the benefit of risk-taking.  As such, to get to the level where you have high self-esteem (with recognition, prestige, confidence, and strength), which is a very healthy position to reach, you need to be well-educated or trained in a skill, have good social skills, and have taken controlled risks in separating yourself from others.

To go further along the road to happiness will require other traits of successful entrepreneurs that I will talk about in the near future.  But, it is important to reach this lofty position of high self-esteem, harnessing the entrepreneur that is inside you, before continuing the along the road.

Press Release for New Book!

A publicity firm that I am working with is submitting a press release for my book.  I thought you might like to see it: 

Serial Entrepreneur Announces New Literary Format; “Prose/Art Exposition”, Helping Readers Navigate the Road to True Happiness.

Written by Oliver Abel IV, “Happiness: Cashing in Life’s IOUs” weaves together the worlds of psychology, philosophy, myth, the fine arts, and contemporary entrepreneurship into a ground-breaking new format coined “Prose/Art Exposition”. With his book helping readers answer five of life’s toughest questions, Abel’s work is poised to resonate with people around the world.

For Immediate Release

New York City, New York – There’s no denying that everyone wants to reach true happiness. However, while it may appear to be easier said than done, a compelling new book by Oliver Abel IV lays out the definitive roadmap to reaching this bold achievement.

The success of “Happiness: Cashing in Life’s IOUs” emanates from a groundbreaking new literary format designed and refined by Abel himself.


This book weaves together the worlds of psychology, philosophy, myth, the fine arts, and contemporary entrepreneurship into a refreshing and entertaining narrative answering five questions, questions that most of us would like answered:

What is the roadmap to happiness?
Is the roadmap reliable, can it be trusted?
If I reach happiness, what can I expect when I get there?
What is the vehicle for traveling along the road outlined by the map?
With so much attention on achieving happiness, how does society flourish?

This book’s author, the curator of the exposition, delivers the elusive roadmap to happiness and the vehicle for traveling the road with map in hand, using a refreshing new literary device: Prose/Art Exposition, the space where intellectual “prose” meets “art.”

The “prose” is a synthesis of well-known ideas of three modern thinkers, leaders in their fields of psychology and classics, and four esteemed ancient philosophers. The “art” represents 78 works of great artists, poets, composers, and choreographers of the last 500 years, translating the “prose” into human feelings.

As the author explains, Prose/Art Exposition is more than a modern buzzword.

“This is the real deal; it’s an innovative device to deliver the roadmap to happiness. Everyone is in one of six galleries and each reader will discover which one they currently belong to. Most importantly, they’ll leave the exposition enlightened by an enriching display of life’s journey and inspired to harness the vehicle – the entrepreneur within each of us, to follow the lessons learned and travel forward to other galleries to reach happiness and the flourishing of society,” says Abel.

Continuing, “It’s much like a book-bound museum exhibit. However, by fusing the prose with art, readers will transition into a place where human feeling, experiences, and inspiration can empower them to achieve great things.”

With Abel as their curator, those with busy lives will find all ideas and artwork already sorted to uncover a visible roadmap that anyone can use as they travel along life’s journey.

With the book’s popularity set to rapidly increase, interested readers are urged to purchase their copies as soon as possible.

‘”Happiness: Cashing in Life’s IOUs” is available now: http://amzn.to/1g5dccc.

For more information, visit the book’s official website: http://happinessiou.com

About the Author:

The author has an MBA from Wharton and has spent the last 35 years as an entrepreneur. His career has taken him to Wall Street and into the operations of dozens of small businesses.

He’s also a semi-professional musician, an adjunct college professor, and is widely acclaimed for creating the unique college course, “Entrepreneurship and the Arts.”

What My Book is Not

My soon to be released (second week of September) book is not about –

A “biography” on the bravery of noted entrepreneurs who forged ahead with their visions, business models validated, creative disruptions accomplished, millions or even billions of dollars earned, and perhaps prestige and political power garnered.  Many excellent biographies have been written on hundreds of such successful entrepreneurs.

A “how to” guide on launching a new business.  Let me save you some time and money by giving you a quick summary of the steps, following a twelve point plan: 1) begin with an idea, 2) evaluate the receptivity for the idea, 3) evaluate the competition, 4) write a business plan, 5) locate partners, 6) form a legal entity, 7) finance only the startup phase, 8) rollout the product or service on a test basis, 9) if accepted by the initial users, execute the marketing plan, if not accepted, pivot to your Plan B, 10) alter the product/service or marketing effort, as needed, 11) find more financing, and 12) if successful, then harvest the business (i.e., sell the business, or pass it on to a younger generation of family members); or, if unsuccessful, start fresh with something new (this setback happens to the best of us).  There are many well-written manuals/textbooks on this topic.

A business founder’s “five-step” plan to fortune, fame, and power.  Again, let me save you some time and money.  These plans’ successes are based on just one step – make money, lots of money, with your new product or service.  After all, such an author would not be a noted expert on such a topic without this one step.  Who has ever heard of a book on achieving fortune, fame, and power written by an unsuccessful business founder? 

It is much more interesting and valuable than the above!

New Vehicle for the Road to Happiness – Part 5

In my previous two posts I discussed the traits that are needed by all of us as well travel the road of life towards happiness.  These traits are not impossible to obtain; in fact, research indicates that they are shared by most “successful entrepreneurs.”  I would like to summarize the means of traveling the road to happiness.

The first trait is a proper education or training.  This trait is needed to have a secure job or vocation to earn a living to pay for living expenses and to save for the future.  The second trait is a desire to be involved with others.  This trait is needed to get along with family, neighbors, and co-workers.  It leads to a further desire to take risks in order to differentiate ourselves from others to enhance our self-esteem.  The psychologists and philosophers support these two traits as necessary for human development.

The third trait is an orientation to the future rather than the present.  This orientation is based on a desire to not miss an opportunity today to have a future lived above expectations.  In other words, not “missing the boat.”  Research indicates that “successful entrepreneurs” are very concerned with not wanting to regret in the future opportunities missed in the present.

The fourth trait is a willingness to take action when the right opportunity comes along.  This desire to capitalize on new opportunities is not seen as any riskier than other opportunities: perhaps it is seen as a means to not “miss the boat” and forego any regrets in the future.  In essence, the opportunity may be viewed as very reasonable if seen through the glasses of the third trait of not “missing the boat.”

So, the vehicle for traveling the road requires education/training, social skills, an orientation to the future, and a willingness to take action when necessary.  The researchers support these traits, and they seem reasonable.  But, one final requirement is needed – the environment to take the action when the right opportunity comes along.  We all need to be in a vocation in which we can take action, if needed.  Having the four traits is necessary for traveling the road, but without the ability to put the traits to work, the road will be difficult to travel.

More to come.

New Vehicle for the Road to Happiness – Part 4

A painting be Winslow Homer, The Morning Bell

The Morning Bell (Homer, 1871)

In my previous post I mentioned that four traits or types of behavior are needed to travel the road to happiness.  It just so happens that these four traits have been identified by researchers as the same traits of “successful” entrepreneurs.  This is good news.

I have already mentioned two of these four traits: education/training and social skills.  Both of these are needed for the journey of life and both have been identified by psychology researchers are requirements of successful entrepreneurs.  It is no big surprise that these traits are needed for the road to happiness.  We all need to be educated/trained to have a job and live in today’s complex world.  We also need social skills to interact with family, friends, our neighbors, and at our job.

However, there are two additional traits of successful entrepreneurs: an orientation to the future and motivation to identify opportunities that others do not see.

Successful entrepreneurs are ones that have an orientation to the future – they are very concerned with “missing the boat” in the distant future and willing to take risks and explore opportunities today to avoid regretting a future lived below expectations.  This is a very important trait and explains a lot of why entrepreneurs do what they do.  They are preoccupied with not experiencing regret in the future for inaction today.  As such, they are willing to do things to ensure that their future will be lived as best as possible.  In essence, these entrepreneurs are proactive – they are taking action today in order to enjoy a future that might be lived above expectations.  They are not waiting for whatever might come their way.

The second trait is related to the above trait: desire to capitalize on opportunities that others do not see.  It is not that entrepreneurs are more prone to taking risks; they just see opportunities differently than others see them.  In fact, they may believe that the opportunities that they see may be less risky than staying in their current job.

Both of these traits are related to each other.  The desire to capitalize on opportunities that others may view as risky is driven by an orientation to the future and a life that will not be lived below expectations.  In other words, “successful” entrepreneurs are always looking for new opportunities in order to make sure that their future is lived as best as possible by those actions taken today.

The above painting by Winslow Homer, discussed in far greater detail in my book, is an excellent depiction of the two traits.  The young woman is viewed leaving her friends for an opportunity that she recognizes and that the others in the group do not see.  In addition, she is  seen expressing a reserved confidence that this new opportunity will lead to a future life lived above her expectations of today.

In the next post, I will summarize all four traits.

New Vehicle for the Road to Happiness – Part 3

Night Watch painting by Rembrandt

Night Watch, Rembrandt, 1642

In my earlier post I mentioned that researchers are beginning to uncover the traits or practices that make “successful entrepreneurs” successful.

So what are these traits.  Two of them are rather obvious and shared by all vocations: education/training and social skills.  We all need education or training to be able to have a job that can support us and our families.

The same education and training allows each of us to interact with one another, especially in our jobs.  This interaction provides the social skills to get along in society, advance in our jobs or vocations, develop friendships, and have loving relationships with others.  As with other occupations, entrepreneurs need to understand their products or services in order to sell it to the public.  They also need to be able to interface with others in their sales effort.  They may also need to develop a team to finance the new endeavor, a team to create the product, and a team to manage the marketing and sales effort.

In many cases, unsuccessful entrepreneurs do not have the necessary education/skills to create or sell a product.  They just rush into a new venture and hope for the best.  Also, many don’t have the social skills to work with others in the delivery of the product or the purchase of the product; In many cases, they simply hide from the public and hope for the best.

Non-entrepreneurs may be well-educated/trained and have acceptable social skills.  In fact, if they didn’t have social skills they would not succeed in the corporate environment that they work for.  Some people believe that entrepreneurs are those that lack social skills to compete in a corporate world – nothing could be further from the truth.  Social skills are critical to the performance of entrepreneurs.  Each of us probably knows a small business owner that doesn’t like to interface with the public – they don’t last long.

The above painting by Rembrandt, which I discuss in my book, is a great visual representation of the first two traits.  The leaders are clearly well-educated/trained and successful in their vocation.  They have strong social skills in being able to form and lead a group of men to protect the citizens, and they enjoy one another’s company.  The two men also project self-esteem and pride in their accomplishments, and a sense of duty to society.

So, education/training and social skills are the basics needed for our journey, and they can take us a long way along the journey to happiness.  They can provide the much needed belongingness or social interactions that most of us crave, and they can enhance our self-esteem, that is part of the human condition.  We can feel good about ourselves and our accomplishments.

Next post, the other two traits.

New Vehicle for the Road Part 2

The great thinkers (both ancient and modern) and the great artists have presented the roadmap to happiness, verified by one another.

However, we all need the vehicle to travel the road.  And the vehicle should be as modern as possible, as comfortable as possible, and as fast as possible.  The good news is that such a vehicle exists.

The great thinkers and the great artists have shown us what we need to do, which I have broken down into six galleries of the exposition found in my book.  It wouldn’t be very helpful to anyone if the human activities that are needed to travel the road are too numerous, too rare, or too difficult for any one person to possess.  What good is it to see the road to the place that you want to get to but no means of getting there.  The road might look great but, if you can’t travel along the road, the roadmap provided by the thinkers and the artists is useless.

The good news is that the traits that are needed to travel the road are the same ones that researchers are now discovering in the world of business.

It just so happens that it is the “successful” entrepreneur who has the traits, or follows certain activities, that we all need to consider as the vehicle for traveling the road.  Successful entrepreneurs are the ones that the researchers are following, and it is the human traits or activities of this group of people that are the means to travel the road.  Also, you don’t need to be a visionary or a Steve Jobs to travel the road.  Anyone can do it!  All it takes is harnessing the entrepreneur within you!

More to come.

The New Vehicle for the Road

A large number of my posts have focused on what the artists and great thinkers have to say about happiness.  I am very confident that the road to happiness can be found in the “prose” of just a few ancient philosophers and a few modern thinkers (vantage point 1), and the “art” of great artists of the past 500 years (vantage point 2).  These masters have not only presented a reliable roadmap to follow but they also depict what happiness looks like when we reach it.  This is all great news!

But, we all live in a modern world not the world of ancient philosophy, myths, and art.  We must travel the road of today’s world using whatever is the best vehicle for getting us to happiness and fulfillment.

The good news is that a lot of work, using today’s latest research techniques, have shined a light on a new vehicle for the travel along the road of today’s world.  In fact, this new vehicle is exactly what we each need move forward in life.

The conclusions of the research, which are needed to provide the confidence to use the vehicle, are just emerging and I am confident that you will find the vehicle ideal for traveling along the road presented by the “prose” of the great ancient and modern thinkers, and the “art” of the great masters for the world of the fine arts.

More to come.