Tag Archives: Entrepreneurship

Virtuous Entrepreneurs!

In today’s New York Times newspaper David Brooks, a right of center columnist, mentions that today’s conservatives need to stop extolling the virtues of the entrepreneur and focus more on ways that might improve the lives of the average American.

I don’t disagree with his assessment; however, I do think that it is important to study the virtues of entrepreneurs for two reasons: 1) the appear very happy, and 2) they contribute to the flourishing of society.

As I mention in my book, the average American can learn a lot from successful entrepreneurs; in fact, the average American should be encouraged to harness their own entrepreneurial instincts as the means for achieving happiness in life (not necessarily start a new business) and the flourishing of society.

Successful entrepreneurs are well-educated, trained, involved in society, and open to activities that lead to successes and failures.  These attributes lead to the wisdom and courage to see future opportunities and to capitalize on these opportunities.  It is clear that those who are not well-educated, socially involved, or open to new activities to enhance one’s self-esteem will not be able to see a future course of action in life, nor have the courage to act on one’s convictions.

In addition, the entrepreneur who is building a new venture must be frugal with resources and be offering a product that can be useful to others.  Of course, the venture will not succeed without the public’s embrace of the venture.

We can all learn from these successful entrepreneurs that the virtues of wisdom, courage, moderation, and concern for the well-being of society are the attributes that will lead to individual happiness and the flourishing of society.  Of course, the final virtue of love of neighbor is also needed to complete the mission for all, especially the  average American.

Virtue: A Must Have for Happiness – Part 5

Continuing with my last post: the adventurer is near the end and is at the entrance to the threshold back to the everyday world.

The philosophers discussed in my book – Aristotle, Epicurus, and the Stoics, all mention that individuals will progress from valuing food and warmth, to social relationships with others, to valuing the moral virtues of wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice, before reaching happiness.

The positive psychologists teach of a similar progression of food and warmth to social relationships to self-esteem and finally self-actualization or simply, happiness.  Both the philosophers (especially Aristotle) and the psychologists (especially Maslow) teach that the deep-seated human motivation – the purpose in life, is to seek happiness.

The myths, as explained by Campbell, also address the human desire to achieve happiness through the adventures to secure the boons for the benefit of society.

The works of art presented in my book also illustrate the desire to achieve happiness and, in most cases, they depict the means of achieving this happiness.

The traits of successful entrepreneurs reinforce the teachings of the philosophers, psychologists, the myths, and the artists as the vehicle for traveling the road of life in search of happiness.

But there is one final link missing.  This one remaining condition is what pulls the adventurer across the threshold back to the everyday world in which the boon contributes to the flourishing of society and happiness is rewarded to the adventurer.

End of the Journey: Part 2

One final point on reaching the end of the journey.

I have talked about the psychologists, Maslow and Csikszentmihalyi, and their teachings regarding the importance of self-esteem in reaching happiness.  Both psychologists place self-esteem at the second to last stage of human development.

I have also presented numerous artworks that support and validate the teachings of the psychologists by translating their ideas and research into human feelings and experiences.

Also, I have mentioned that harnessing the entrepreneur within us is the best means of traveling along the road during the journey.  The academic researchers have highlighted the traits of successful entrepreneurs and it is these traits that illuminate the beast means of reaching the end of the journey.

One final point that I would like to mention is the teachings of the philosophers regarding the journey.  Aristotle and St. Aquinas mention that health, wealth, friendships, and recognition or prestige are common human goals and are needed along the road to happiness.  In addition, the Stoics mention that individuals progress from valuing food, warmth, and safety, to social interactions.  The teachings of these esteemed ancient philosophers mirror the theories of the psychologists, artists, and entrepreneurs.

It is nice when many very different disciplines reach the same conclusion.  I think that we can rest assured that the journey that I have outlined, which takes us only part of the way to happiness, is viable and trustworthy.

Social Skills – Artists, Thinkers, Entrepreneurs

The last few posts have discussed the experiences of those who are sharing their life by being with others.  The painters, poets, composers, and choreographers have all expressed this shared feeling through their own artistic styles.

The psychologists and philosophers agree with the importance of this need being met.  Both agree that this is the second need that must be satisfied on the road to happiness (the first being warmth, food, shelter, education, safety).

One final point, academic research studies reveal that this is the second of several traits shared by successful entrepreneurs (the first being education/skills).  The studies show that good social skills are a necessity to be successful in starting a new business.  These skills are needed to convince others to provide funding, join the venture, and purchase the product/service.  It is best to harness this entrepreneurial trait that is within all of us to satisfy this need so that we can all move forward.

As I mention in my book, developing social skills is the main topic of the second gallery of the exposition.  This gallery is concerned with being involved with others.  By the way, the first gallery deals with preparing for the journey through life – the upbringing of a caring family, education, and safety provided by society.

Next up – Gallery Three.

 

Why are Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurs?

I have done a significant amount of research regarding the traits of entrepreneurs for my book.  Over the past several decades the academic researchers have determined that successful entrepreneurs shares certain behavior traits.  These traits are discussed in my book.

Photo of entrepreneur, Thomas Edison

What is amazing to me is that these researchers have determined the shared traits but don’t seem to answer the most basic of all questions regarding entrepreneurship: Why become an entrepreneur.  After all, if the stakes are so high regarding the financial risks, time spent, and impact on one’s self-esteem, you would think that this would be the fundamental question to answer.

In fact, I attended a launch of a new book on entrepreneurship and I asked the authors the same question.  Their answer was startling.  They said that they did not have the answer, but most likely the answer is that entrepreneurs do not fit into the corporate world and that is why they go off on their own.  Shocking answer!

What my research indicates is a very different reason and one that most people would wish they had if they knew the real reason.