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Archive for the “Divine Madness” Category

I’m pretty sure it helps to be a little crazy if you want to be an entrepreneur.  I suspect I am.

I am personally not the world’s best businessman.  I’m just not.  Fortunately, a series of gifted associates have always been able to buttress my considerable dearth of quotidian business skills at my executive sales outsourcing firm Corporate Rain International.

Part of the inadequacy of my basic business backgrounding is chosen.  I simply don’t enjoy administration, spreadsheets,  human resources, and quantitative analysis.  What does interest me are the more elusive values of entrepreneurship–the envisioning, the strategy, the philosophy, the ethics and the collegiality of it.  What I want out of my business is no less than freedom, truth and salvation.  I want entrance into that metaphorical Golden City On The Hill, what Shakespeare calls “the brightest heaven of invention.” (Henry V, Act One, Prologue)  I think great entrepreneurs (which I am most assuredly not one) have this procrustean longing and intent.  In this myopically secular age, many business founders are perhaps inchoately and unconsciously involved in a closeted, low level search for God.

Certainly that was the case with Steve Jobs.  Walter Isaacson has just written a biography of Jobs.  (I have not yet read his book, but only read criticism and seen 60 Minutes on the book.)  But one thing that struck me from reportage was that Jobs was more than a bit nuts.  And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Maureen Dowd, in a NY Times op-ed on October 26, referred to Jobs as a “monstre sacre.”  She says, “…his life sounded like the darkest hell of volatility,” a bipolar madness.

I have already talked about Jobs as an artist in a posting on October 11, but he was also a avid spiritual searcher and seeker of ultimate truth.  Because he sought to find his spiritual center in his business, doesn’t mean he was a nice man.  He was difficult, bullying, and arrogant.  His spiritual entrepreneurial journey did not make him Mother Theresa.  Yet like Moses, Jesus and Captain Kirk he went boldly where no man had gone before.  Ultimately his business journey was a uniquely autodidactic search for personal meaning and God in a non-religious age.

Here is what Plato, by way of Socrates, said about poetry, but it could apply equally to the heart of the entrepreneur.

“…if any man come to the gates of poetry without the madness of the Muses, persuaded that skill alone will make him a good poet, then shall he and his works of sanity with him be brought naught by the poetry of madness…”

Thank you, Plato.

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