The Woke Entrepreneur

If you think this blog is going to wade into the political morass of what has been termed as “wokeness” in society, well, that’s not going to happen. The Woke Entrepreneur I’m about to describe is a totally different kind of “woke.” Instead, I should probably use the term “Awakened Entrepreneur.”

The Awakened Entrepreneur has a number of traits and tendencies. For starters he/she is a visionary and has a clear idea of what the future looks like. This person understands how critical it is to communicate this vision in such a way that everyone in the organization knows “what it looks like where they get there.”

The Awakened Entrepreneur is a “Culture Builder.” I’ve said it before that every organization has a culture – either intentional or unintentional. Strong sustainable companies have intentional cultures that have been developed and refined over a period of years. A great leader believes in the culture and tirelessly supports and promotes it because it creates a solid foundation on which a company relies.

The Awakened Entrepreneur is authentic. There are no hidden agendas with this person. He or she is comfortable in their own skin and sees no need to put on airs or present a fake façade. The Awakened Entrepreneur exudes honesty and integrity. When someone meets this person, they instantly feel a high level of trust and honor. This genuineness can create the kind of reputation which every organization aspires to. We’ve all seen leaders who are known to be conniving and crafty – and their company is viewed in the same light.

The Awakened Entrepreneur is sensitive to the feelings of others. He or she is always looking for ways to support every member of the team. When corrective action is needed, this person does so with warm candor. He/she does not criticize publicly instead choosing to coach in private and without demonstrations of anger or hostility.

The Awakened Entrepreneur does not seek the limelight but deflects it in favor of other team members. This is yet another example of how this person is comfortable with himself/herself and does not need kudos or adulation. He/she builds up others by making certain they receive credit and recognition for their good work. Further, the Awakened Entrepreneur is quick to own his/her mistakes and never “throws anyone under bus.” In fact, this leader will take responsibility for errors and failures on behalf of the organization. There is no finger pointing by the Awakened Entrepreneur.

The Awakened Entrepreneur sets a good example for others. He/she demonstrates the desired work ethic and lives the organization’s core values. This person understands that the entire team is watching and his/her actions speak louder than words. You’ll never see this person getting drunk at the company Christmas party or having an inappropriate relationship with another member of the team. This leader never asks someone to do something that he or she wouldn’t do himself/herself.

The Awakened Entrepreneur is the eternal optimist and remains positive no matter the situation. While others may be disappointed in circumstance or outcome, this leader will always look for – and find – the silver lining. He or she understands that the psyche of the organization rises or falls with his/her mindset.

Yes, the Awakened Entrepreneur is many things – a visionary, a culture builder, authentic, sensitive to others, shuns the spotlight, sets a good example, and is always positive. Maybe this will some day become the new definition of “woke.”

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

The Lucky Entrepreneur

I am sure you have heard the saying that even blind pigs find a truffle once in a while. Sometimes people will say that their luck has run out. Author Josephine Hart once wrote, “Lucky people should hide. Pray the days of wrath do not visit their home.” Theodore Roosevelt said, “As regards the extraordinary prizes, the element of luck is the determining factor.” Bill Watterson, creator of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes once quoted Calvin as saying, “You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don’t help.” That one is my favorite.

So, how often do we chalk things that happen up to luck? There has always been a lot of talk about coincidence, destiny and fate. It is as if there are certain influences in our lives that are out of our control. And it is pretty hard not to believe that this is totally true. But as the years have gone by, I have come to believe that we do control pretty much everything that happens, just not always at a conscious level. Once, I was talking with a friend who had been struggling with his job performance. He wasn’t hitting the sales goals his company had set and was on the firing line to improve. He had a breakthrough month and said this about it, “Basically, my team was down three points, and I got fouled shooting a half-court shot at the buzzer that happened to go in. I worked hard to get there, but it was purely coincidence that it all came together at one time for me.” But the reality of what transpired for him had nothing to do with coincidence or the serendipity that he describes.

What my friend did not realize is that he set an intention and then persevered to make it so. In the process, he created an energy that opened the door for him to win. We are such a tangible society. If we can’t touch it or see it, we often don’t believe it. Ah, ye of little faith, as the saying goes . . . right? But I have said many times how powerful our minds can be. Think about it. When we are in a negative frame of mind, how productive are we? How often do good things happen? Likewise, when we have a positive mindset how productive are we? How often do good things happen? I can’t think of a single time when I was in a sour mood and wallowing in negativity that anything really good came of it. And I do know that everything good that has transpired occurred when I was in a positive place. Thus, I have reached a pretty simplistic conclusion that if I stay positive, I will create the energy necessary to draw good things into my life.

Do you believe that NBA star LeBron James is the luckiest man alive because he can shoot the lights out and dominate the game? Or, do you believe that LeBron James maintains a positive mindset that propels him to work hard to take advantage of an opportunity given to him by his innate skills? He does a combination of stretching and yoga throughout the day. He works out in the gym and on the basketball court. He is fanatical about his nutrition and water. James has a tireless work ethic, preparing himself mentally and physically to be the best basketball player in the world. Is that luck?

We do not stumble into our success but will it to be so with our preparation and mindset. Keeping negativity at bay opens the door to the positive energy that is anything but luck.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.