Monday, December 29, 2008

Zen | 10 | Universe

To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.


The absolute most difficult task of an entrepreneur is to find inner-peace while everything around them is chaotic.  It is more than simply the inability to relax - it is a deeper problem of conflict - where an entrepreneur is in a constant state of anxiety.  It is near impossible for an entrepreneur to stop the mind - but it is critical you learn how.

The first step in allowing your mind to become still - is removing the feeling of guilt that you feel when you are not working.  So many entrepreneurs are not able to stop, because they equate stopping to failure or laziness.  Entrepreneurs are only comfortable when moving, in a chaotic way - toward some objective... and cannot live in the moment.

But there is something powerful in a mind that is still. There is a level of enlightenment and clarity that is difficult to achieve when in a constant state of movement.  

As the mind becomes still - it will begin seeing all of the current challenges, opportunities and events as moments in time. Where they have no permanence, but rather are just experiences that have a beginning and an end. A still mind will force and allow you to focus. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Zen | 9 | Speed

There is more to life than increasing its speed.


Everything you start as an entrepreneur has a pace. Some ventures have a fast pace. Some don't feel like they are moving at all. In either case, there is a danger of failure. Ventures require momentum, but the market sets the pace. A Zentrepreneur looks for the perfect balance of both.

It is more important to focus on the Path, than it is to focus on the Speed of a venture. If your venture is on the wrong path, then the speed you move will only drive you to certain failure faster.

The easiest way to accept that Speed is not crucial to success, is to look at any company (new or old) and how they were able to leverage and learn from the failure of companies before them that focused on Speed and not Path. You can be an innovator to a fault. If you take your venture too far beyond market demand, and too fast down the path - you will not be able to convert the innovation into revenue. This is one of the primary reasons why it is so difficult to commercialize technology out of University labs - because Professors typically push the limits of innovation with no concern (and no need) to commercialize their invention. There are a few that have closed that Gap, and those Universities have been the drivers of the new generation of technologies (e.g. Google, Yahoo, etc).

Many times entrepreneurs believe their idea loses value as the market matures, but it is the exact opposite. Only bad ideas lose value over time. Good ideas prosper as more competition enter the market, and as more customers begin to buy.

Just as Gandhi, appropriately said "There is more too life than increasing it's speed", there is more to a Venture than increasing it's speed. Of course Gandhi was referring to enjoying your life, and stop focusing on tomorrow - but I believe it speaks to the same point - which is focus on the essentials of life - the essentials of your venture.