The principle is: an entrepreneur is someone who remakes the world in the image of themselves.
There are a few problems we’ll have with this principle:
The main problem is that we have no idea who we are, how we are, what we really like, what are our strengths, what are our weaknesses.
We keep ourselves so busy with irrelevant stuff, that we never have a chance to see how we are when things are relevant.
Back in 1988, I started a magazine. I was one person. Sold ads, designed the ads, wrote the articles, distributed the magazines to stores that gave them away for free.
I made enough money the first month to live on, and did that for quite a few months… but…
Then I hired people, and it was downhill from there.
Instead of doing everything, my job was managing… and doing everything.
I never beat my first month result… And worked more hours to boot.
It is hardest to know who you are.
No psychological profile, no sketchy thing helps… and even when you think you got it… you can still be wrong.
I am having a tough week. Possibly from the brain cleansing.
One thing your dirty insides give you is a blessed dullness. You make yourself insulated from yourself.
This week I’ve been reading a lot, and also re-watching some movies I really liked.
And something really disturbing is happening: the books, the movies land differently. I am obviously not the same person who I was when i first watched them.
I am emerging different… but was I always like this? Or is there a me even deeper?
One of the things humans have a low or no capacity for is ambivalence and complexity.
I listened half an hour or so to a course I lead last year… where I was teaching something hard to get, something hard to do… and it was obvious that people were ready to bolt… the discomfort was hard to bear…
I was listening to myself and it was hard for me to recognize myself.
I am watching one of these movies… and I felt that who is watching is not who watched years ago.
There was a seminar in Landmark Education (Sex and Intimacy), where one of the homework was to go home and bring not-knowing to the person there…
Only a minuscule percentage of the participants were willing to do that. It is not comfortable to not know.
So we jump the gun. We decide. We freeze into a persona who will eventually make us inauthentic, struggle, unsuccessful and unhappy.
Unless, like a snake, you are willing to shed your skin periodically, your life is over… and growth is impossible.
Being naked and amorphous (without boundary) for a little while is very scary, but is a small price to pay for growth.
One of my students is also in this phase… naked.
A good question to ask: what will inform you as of the next skin? Because skin you must have.
Honestly, I don’t know.
It is a good idea to have a person who cares about you and loves you to guide you. Someone who has no vested interest in what and who you are morphing into.
The worst person is a spouse or a significant other. They will NOT allow you to become who you are to become with good help. They will want you to remain the same.
The second worst is your children.
PS: If you look on the FAQ page, you’ll find a link to an exercise: The Five Questions… My most successful student asked the questions of many of his employees and family. I also did that many years ago. It was dramatic for me… because I learned an awful lot about myself. One thing I learned that I really didn’t expect is that I am fun. At the time it hit me: I never thought of myself as fun. Today I can see it.
When you know yourself somewhat accurately, life becomes a lot easier. You can do a lot more what you enjoy and you are good at and less of what you do because you think other people expect it of you… or because it is the “right thing” to do.