Some entrepreneurial principles to live by

An entrepreneur: “one who undertakes,” says the OED. Or could we be a bit coy and say, “one who gives it a whirl?” And how might he live? By his wits and according to principle.

The first three, slightly modified, are lifted from a short essay by Milton Glaser.

  1. Only work with people you like.
  2. Don’t get a job. (Addendum: The career is dead, and the project, disconnected from a broader vision, is disorienting).
  3. Seek out nourishing people. Avoid toxic ones. (Read Glaser here.)
  4. Lines of thought: Learn the art of the zigzag: Few ideas or essays ever go in a straight line.
  5. Partnerships: Invite the other–try things out–thank him.
  6. Money matters: Never haggle. Ask what the other thinks is fair. (If you’re following principles 1-3 above, then the question of haggling should never arise.)
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4 thoughts on “Some entrepreneurial principles to live by

  1. My wife has long promised/threatened to write a book that I’ve called “Xanthippe and Her Sisters: Being Married to a Philosopher, Artist or Intellectual.” Usually the wife is practical and the P/A/I is preoccupied with his calling to the neglect of prudent care of wife and family. There seems to be a pattern. And–weirder yet–these two people keep marrying each other!!!

  2. This, by the way, is something I wondered by Plotinus. (All right, I’ve not read Plotinus, but I have heard Hadot’s short book on Plotinus.) So Plotinus opts for the life of mysticism. All right. But what happens after the mystical experience? “You’re instrumentalizing, Andrew!” Maybe, but I’m wondering: Suppose he were married, and he’s been having these mystical experiences. Does he love his wife more, care for his children better? Can something divinely felt bear on the mundane good?

  3. Almost certainly, we could expect a gnostic to become less competent about the things of this life the more he becomes a good gnostic. Platonic relations with his wife, that’s where the term comes from. Abrahamic religions have a high value on the created order, gnostic religions view the material world as something to overcome.
    So a drug abuser who is converted to Christ, who neglects brushing his teeth, etc., has to move toward a high view of the material world, to be consistent with his newfound faith. Monastics have the problem of bringing Plato’s gnosticism where it doesn’t belong into a pro-creation frame of life.

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