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Stoic Entrepreneurship

Yellow blur Cindy at night. Tokyo, 2018
Yellow blur Cindy at night. Tokyo, 2018

Dear friend,

Another thought which might benefit you: embrace the philosophy of Stoicism, and apply it to your entrepreneurial pursuits in life, to feel less fear, to take more risks and to live your life to the fullest for the sake of empowering humanity! (memento mori).

My practical thoughts:

First of all, you’re going to die. In Stoicism there is an obsession with “memento mori” (remember that you will die). With the knowledge that you’re going to eventually die (probably at the age of 90-100 years old at best scenario, worst case you will die tonight), what do you wish to achieve in your short life? Which regrets do you NOT wish to have before you die?

Secondly, in Stoicism a lot of the mental training focuses on preparing for the worst-case before it happens. For example, whenever you kiss your child to sleep at night, just think to yourself “My beautiful child might not be awake in the next morning.” I think this gives you more appreciation for your loved ones (while they’re still alive). Often when we are caught unprepared in life with shitty stuff that happens to us, we are devastated. Why? Because we never expected that bad thing to happen to us. If we prepare for the worst on a daily basis, I think we can actually live a fuller and more epic life, because we have less to be afraid of.

Third, with the knowledge that you’re going to die, what legacy, information, knowledge, ideas, or stuff do you want to leave behind for future generations of humanity? For myself, I am devoted to empowering humanity with knowledge, ideas, and information, which is why I keep everything on this blog “open source”; I believe in the idea that information and new ideas can empower us to become greater versions of ourselves.


In Stoicism, we also learn how to not be negatively affected by “haters”, nay-sayers, people who try to tear us down, or people in opposition to us. As Ryan Holiday says, “The obstacle is the way” (quoting Marcus Aurelius). This means, when you see obstacles in life, let that be the fire and fuel which actually propels you forward and upwards! In fact, obstacles are what make life fun, challenging and interesting. Video games aren’t fun if there are no obstacles and challenges. Same in real life, entrepreneurship, photography art and anything else.


Honestly I think that 90% of entrepreneurship is calculated risk taking and overcoming fear.

Which means to become a more successful entrepreneur, we should focus on:

  1. How to make better “calculated risks” in our life, business, photography, and entrepreneurial pursuits and
  2. Overcoming fears which get in our way.

For the first (calculated risks), we learn to think of the potential upsides and downsides before we take a certain risk in life. That means asking ourselves, “If I take this risk, what is the best case scenario that will happen, and what is the potential worst case scenario?”

For the second point (overcoming fears), I think it is about being a little foolish, about being brazen, and being so passionate about whatever you wish to attempt, you’re going to try to do it anyways (whether you succeed or not).

Memento mori Entrepreneurship

Remember friend, you will (and must) die. Don’t let fear get in the way of you attempting awesome, epic, and cool stuff!

BE BOLD,
ERIC

Learn more: Memento Mori Entrepreneurship >

By ERIC KIM

Artist-Philosopher