How Entrepreneurship is no different from sainthood?Girish Madanshetti
Logically speaking, there can be little comparison between an entrepreneur and a monk. Both sit on two extreme curves with no common intersection. While former aims for wealth accumulation, the latter seeks spiritual redemption with no inclination for profit whatsoever. But if you just tweak this so called logical thinking with dash of creativity, then interestingly you’ll find many commonalities between an entrepreneur and monk. Both fight tough battles that at times can almost make them lose their minds. In one way or other, both are bounded by adversities that can compel these so-called divergent personalities to identify with each other. Below I’ve shed light on four interesting situations that will help entrepreneurs identify with selfless monks. The real purpose of writing this article is to bring forth a spiritual dimension to entrepreneurial pursuit and motivate entrepreneurs to not give up in the face of adversity, just like a true monk.
They give up everything to make a new beginning:
The moment a guy gives up his five figure salary and along with it all the complementary lifestyle perks to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams, he immediately adorns the hat of a monk. Because a monk also gives up all the materialistic pleasure in a bid to pursue his spiritual pursuits. Now a budding entrepreneur may not become a complete hermit, but there is denying in the fact that both willingly take on uncertainties in a bid to make a new beginning. An entrepreneur is just as unsure about his future, as monk is. Both leave it to destiny and to their intrinsic self belief that they will achieve something priceless on this challenging path.
Society mocks their rebellious attitude:
If you’ve already started pursuing the entrepreneurial path, then you may have got or may still trying to get used to those dissenting attitude that look at your dreams with great sense of doubt. Sometimes these relentless doubts can lead people to bluntly mock your dreams, showing scant respect for your entrepreneurial ambitions. People label you insane and crazy for putting your entire life on stake for achieving an apparently elusive dream.
It is the same predicament that confronts a monk whose unflinching quest to resolve the mysterious life is looked down upon by almost entire society. There have been so many legendary tales about how several famous monks faced social bias and apathy until they achieved the saintly goal of enlightenment. There are many anecdotes from the life of a monk called Siddhartha, who lived in India thousands of years back, that reveal us about the enormous humiliation and insults he was made to go through. Today that monk is better known as Gautam Buddha and as we all know is today revered by the entire world.
It is a highly lonely journey
Try comparing a monk who is busy doing meditation underneath the tree for several hours and an entrepreneur whose work pressure has forced him to temporarily cut all his social ties. Now you may ask what is common between these two situations. To tell you the fact that both situations are intensely lonely, where the patience of even an experienced monk and entrepreneur is pushed to the brink. Try asking any monk or entrepreneur how many lonely days and nights they have endured in a pursuit to achieve their dreams. They will tell you without mincing any words that they have indeed endured too much of it, and may have to endure even more. Simply put, the journey of sainthood and entrepreneurship is not for faint hearted people. It is for those people who are brave enough to hang on their when it gets damn lonely out there.
It is always about the inner journey
When an entrepreneur tastes the success, his life most obviously begins to bask in the lap of luxury. The fame, money and materialistic achievements can make him stand completely in contrast to a wandering saint who has least concerns for such worldly things. But a truly humble entrepreneur will never deny that his journey from rags to riches was less about the external comfort and more about the inner spark.
It is this inner spark that tightly binds an entrepreneur and a saint. The spark that propelled both them on the challenging path of realizing their inner potential. While a saint uses this potential to help understand people the true meaning of life, an entrepreneur uses it for creating an impact on millions of consumers through his products and services.
If i dwell more deeply, i can probably bring up more interesting similarities between entrepreneurship and sainthood. But i will keep these points for some other day. I sincerely hope that these points are suffice enough to motivate entrepreneurs to look at their entrepreneurship journey from a spiritual point of view. This will most certainly help in overcoming all the adversities that they will invariably meet in this challenging path.