Resonate, Lessons From the Grateful Dead, and the Disease of Entrepreneurship

Over the last few years, this blog has expanded to talk about entrepreneurship in general, beyond being a social entrepreneur or wisdom entrepreneur.  The concepts of story-telling and community-building apply to entrepreneurship in general, especially these days. More importantly, the personal journey of creating something lasting and larger than yourself, whether it's for profit or non-profit, is the same. 

Here are resources that I recommend any entrepreneur check out:

  • Resonate Resonate by Nancy Duarte.  This book is based on change management principles and the things that move people into action.  Duarte is a master at creating a compelling story that helps the listener feel the tension between what is and what can be. In this book, she analyzes great speeches in history and outlines a form that you can use to develop presentations that connect deeply to the audience. A few wonderful quotes from the book that inspire and tell me that Duarte knows what she is talking about:

"Passion for your idea should drive you to invest in communication."

"We were born to create ideas; getting people to feel like they have a stake in what we believe is the hard part."

"If you can communicate an idea well, you have, within you, the power to change the world."

  • Marketing Lessons From the Grateful Dead, by David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan. Meerman Scott and Halligan are marketing gurus who are also lifelong Deadheads. So this book is the result of walking in both worlds and realizing the connection between the two (that's a boundary crosser in my book.) Watch this video to learn more about the approach of the book.

I quickly devoured this book and finished with a renewed feeling that community-building is at the heart of a successful enterprise–whether for-profit, non-profit or anything in between.  Sure the product has to be interesting and engaging.  But it's the community that fuels the growth beyond what any business person could envision.

  • Entrepreneurship as a Disease.  This post on the Harvard Business Review blog comes down heavily on the side of nature in the debate of whether entrepreneurs are born or made. Entrepreneurs find they can't stop themselves from doing what they do. Those who have the disease will recognize themselves immediately and those who don't will wonder whether they missed out on the magic pill somewhere along the way.  I provide this last resource to help those who are often described as driven (like me) to see that it's what we are wired to do. The caveat is to pay close attention to the other blog post about emotional journey, so that you don't end up burning yourself out (like me.)

And finally, I love this HBR blog post,"On Entrepreneurship, Steve Jobs, and Unashamedly Loving Your Work." The blogger talks about one of the many gifts that Steve Jobs gave to the world–an example of what it looks like to be passionate and engaged with your work, to the very end. A favorite quote from the blog post:

"For too many, work is a grind instead of a passion, a four-letter word. I'm lucky enough to share Jobs' absolute passion for work. A good number of my friends and colleagues I know feel the same way — and entrepreneurs absolutely have to, or their businesses will fail. But it is sad to see how many people do not cherish what they do for a living."

While being an entrepreneur is not an easy path, I count myself among the lucky ones to be on this journey


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