The Secret of Entrepreneur Zen-ness

warning: this post contains profanity. act accordingly.

There’s been a whirlwind of activity the past few days around Justin Vincents ‘Entreporn‘ (Ed: awesome phrase) post. Read the article, it’s pretty good. His main point is that there’s a sort of house of cards that the more public entrepreneurial community is built on. VCs, TechCrunch, etc… are all part of the same snake that feeds on it’s own tail.

Alex Payne decides to get a little self-righteous in his comment on HN, then retracts & clarifies his feelings in a lengthy, well written follow up. He argues you should go big with your ideas and try to change the world. Anything less is copping out like the guy who wouldn’t help Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid 2.

I was originally going to write about how I totally agree with Justins approach and how Alex is espousing the same narcissistic, mid-life crisis POV that leads to more failure than successes. In the latter case, more often then not, you end up like guy Alex Baldwin makes fun of in Glengarry Glen Ross. “Yeah, I tried to change the world. Tough racket. *drinks*” Where’s the awesomeness in that?

Ironically, Thomas Fuchs, the husband of the target of some of Alexs barbs, Amy Hoy, is featured on the latest post over at The Setup.

The more I thought about it, however, the more I think both guys are wrong & right. Frankly, Daniel Jalkut offers up a middle ground POV in his post. A great piece of writing honestly.

Which brings me to my point and the secret I referred to in the title:

Stop giving a shit about what other people think about what you do with life.

That’s it. Want to try and convert the world to clean fuel? Go for it. Want to open a little ice cream stand on the corner by your house? Go for it. There’s room in this world for large, world impacting problem solving and small, hyper local problem solving. We need both. And guess what? Neither improves your sex life, makes you a better spouse or a better parent. You still have to live your life and do all of those things. If you can do something to make your incredibly short time on this earth more enjoyable for you and the ones you love, do it and get rid of anyone in your life that condemns it.

You can’t rely on acknowledgment from other people to validate what you do with your life. If you do, you’re setting yourself up for a big old shit sandwich. You’ll end up 50 years old, living someone else’s life, pissed off at your lot in life and wondering how you keep getting screwed over.

Besides, if the worst thing someone can say about you when you die is that “s/he made only 10 people incredibly happy”, you led a pretty damn good life.