[Opinion] The Part of Belief We Don’t Talk About

Belief—insane, determined, focused, irrational belief—is sometimes the difference between a successful entrepreneur and a failed entrepreneur.

Having such belief in the accomplishing of “big, hairy” ideas, is often lauded as the only way forward in order to build projects, scale them, employ people in them, and then sell them to the highest bidder and go off to make trouble elsewhere.

Having such belief is the benchmark of successful professional entrepreneurs who consistently develop “crazy” schemes and seem to have the Midas touch when it comes to developing business ideas in spaces that other people, without such belief, dismiss out of hand.

But belief is a tricky proposition.

It can come from the entrepreneur, or project builder; from their internal drive to impose their vision on the world through personal force of will.

It can come from the world, reinforcing that the imposed vision is indeed a well-accepted one and that it is profitable as well.

Both of these visions of belief are human focused, and when successful, are lauded as being “lucky” both by people who supported the entrepreneur in their vision, and by people who detracted from that vision. Both perspectives on the power of belief can lead to developing myopia on one hand and hubris on the other.

Faith is almost never addressed in the entrepreneurial community, except when it is noted in passing. If insane, irrational, determined, and focused belief is the difference between success and failure for the entrepreneur, then faith—in a power greater than themselves that’s moving through this world and their lives—must be a huge part of that difference.

Faith is too often wrapped up with religious practice, which blinds rational people to the power of relational interactions, the impact of serendipity, the importance of preparation, and the limits of personal, individual power.

Faith is the thing that brings genuine humility to the project builder, because it opens their mind to the reality that while their belief may be the most powerful force they have ever wielded, it is not nearly the most powerful force in the world, operating on their behalf.

More talk about faith as a deep driver for entrepreneurial success—not wrapped in religious language, imagery, and symbolism—would go a long way toward deflating the arrogance, hubris, and endless calls for “hustle” that surround many entrepreneurship conversations, happening in the world today.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
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