Defying death and impermanence: The Entrepreneur's Mindset. Alexander Lyadov

Defying death and impermanence: The Entrepreneur's Mindset. Alexander Lyadov

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While reading a book by Buddhist teacher Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, I came across a phrase that succinctly summed up what I was vaguely feeling: "But they were the most likely environments in which to find a great master, who had overcome his or her fear of death and impermanence — two of the fearful conditions that keep most people locked in the samsaric conditions of attachment to what is and aversion to what might occur." Anyone who has tried to change something drastically knows the power of resistance to leave things as they are. Scale and scope are unimportant as the dynamics are similar in relation to self and family, individual and group, one's profession and clients' businesses.

I haven't finished the book yet, but my hypothesis is that the root of man's problems lies in mistaken identification with X instead of Y. This can be viewed through the lens of philosophy, religion, or science, but for the purposes of this newsletter, the business perspective is more appropriate. For example, a local company may be big and profitable today, and the owner proudly looks down on everyone. But investors and strategic buyers would value it extremely low if a global leader announced plans to conquer the same market. The value of a company is based on its discounted future cash flow, and the threat of disruption drives the value towards zero. On the other hand, a loss-making technology start-up may be highly valued by investors because users are benefiting and the number of users is growing exponentially every day. In other words, in business, the current form means something, but little. More important is the potential of a company that has yet to be unlocked.

But isn't it madness to rely on what doesn't yet exist? On the contrary, it's wise. Investors are betting on function, on someone who can turn the implicit into the explicit. In other words, the market values those who identify not with any form but with the process itself. And who is that? An entrepreneur, of course. In his (or her) private life he (or she) can be anything, but at least in business the founder overcomes the greatest fears — death and impermanence — by consciously choosing to be an agent of change.

Yours sincerely,

-Alexander Lyadov