Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Finding Wisdom for the Entrepreneur

Few people will admit to lacking wisdom.  Everyone believes they have had enough personal experiences with which to understand people and situations that will positively impact how they make decisions.  Wisdom is necessary to make consistent and appropriate judgments, yet it is not an attribute that is easy to gain or self determine.  The opposite of wise is often seen as stupid or ignorant, and thus people are nervous about not being seen in this light.

Many people have associated age with wisdom, but for an entrepreneur it has more to do with having an open mind and a realization that they do not instinctively hold all the answers.  It has to do with the decision making process and the types of actions that are undertaken.  Wisdom cannot be gained by just a series of birthdays, but instead what you do between those birthdays.  

Serial entrepreneurs often know they need to surround themselves with people smarter than themselves, and that they are better off by asking many questions at all stages of their career.  A wise person is usually one who knows they alone cannot possibly have all the answers.  Those that are early to question the world around them are on track to finding wisdom.

Labeling another as "wise" is a wonderful compliment, but it is not a moniker that is used often to describe others.  Wisdom is not learned in books and can only come with meaningful experience.  This creates a disconnect between those who might think they are wise and those who have acquired actual wisdom.

An entrepreneur discovers wisdom from being in the game.  Reading a book can provide knowledge, but wisdom comes from doing, living, trying, and experiencing failure.  Those who get lucky one time in business often have trouble recreating the same level of success.  The skills that work for one entrepreneur are not the same as those that lead another to success.  There are also changes that the entrepreneur must make from one business to the next.  There is no cookie cutter recipe.  We all have different backgrounds, educations, and experiences, and this means that the path will be different for everyone.

Making mistakes is part of the journey.  Those who are considered wise have learned from the mistakes of others, but also from their own stumbles.  Entrepreneurs are willing to take risks, and when their results come up short, they do not just "try-try again", but they assess their methods and look for signs and patterns that will propel them toward a better outcome in the future.

Finding wisdom is deeply personal and hard to self-assign.  There is no substitute for experience and observation.  Question everything and listen to others.  You will know you are a wise when other people say so, not when you think it is true.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

1 comment:

Thom Singer said...

A friend just called who read this post and added an important point -- -A wise entrepreneur knows the difference between a big issue and a little issue, and they never confuse the two. I like that!