I'm back, and this week marks the official year of being in the pandemic, and a personal milestone of being 6 months free of social media. Both have substantially changed my perspective of entrepreneurship and business growth and I'm returning with a 3-part series about breaking the entrepreneurial fever. What is the entrepreneurial fever, you might ask? It's the state of being in entrepreneurship marked by personal-branding, performative allyship, mirage-like-innovation, workaholism, optimization, rapid growth, tribal-markets, trauma-bonding with teammates, and a co-dependent relationship to the market. All of which I can say I dabbled in myself at different times of my journey.  

The entrepreneurial fever really began to rise when we confused the ideas of what it means to bring our whole selves to work versus letting work become our whole selves. With that blurring of the personal and professional, and the rise of social media, I watched more and more entrepreneurs, including myself, slowly become enmeshed with their business struggling to create both an identity for themselves and a healthy company that is separate from who they are as an individual—even if they are an individual business of 1.

The problem when we work through the fever is that we unconsciously perpetuate the culture of capitalism that we claim we want to correct. The good news is, no matter where you are in your journey, there is a different way to experience entrepreneurship.


Last week while teaching class I had to use the word "influencer" and I immediately felt my body constrict. Being off of media I have more perspective of just how easy it becomes to believe that business growth is dependent on personality -- either someone else's (influencers) or our own (the ever-deified-founder). Even in small, non-VC based companies, I see a dependence on the founder's personal story, voice, and active participation to grow their business. To be transparent about a founder's expertise builds trust, to be dependent on it, leads us down a path of enmeshment.

There are three, separate, equally important entities within a health business: The Entrepreneur, The Company, and the Customer. If we fail to separate out the entrepreneur from the company (even a company of 1) we fail to understand our role within the business and have a healthy relationship to it. And the best way to do that is to start by separating out our point of view from our personality. 


A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of virtually sitting down with one of my colleagues, Luis Mojica, to discuss the difference in detail and the impact this has on business. This conversation is full of juicy clarity about business and identity and how our relationship to our business determines our experience of it and the impact it has on the wider world. I hope you will give it a listen. We cover topics such as scarcity, white supremacy, colonization, cults, building bridges, biodiversity in cultures, seasonality & evolutions. And at the foundation of our conversation was understanding the difference between your point of view and personality and how one creates rich biodiversity in the marketplace while one perpetuates mono-cropped scarcity.

If you are seeking to understand how to distinguish your point of view from personality, consider the following: 


  • Is your content dependent on your personal experience instead of your culture (even as a business of 1)?
  • Do you struggle with knowing the boundaries between posting about your personal life versus posting about your business? 
  • Have you thought more about your company's brand than your company's culture? 
  • Have you considered that your digital ad spend might be inversely related to your willingness to be vulnerable? (And first, we have to truly understand what vulnerability actually is.)
  • Is your consumer community mono-cropped? 
  • If you have a team, do you struggle with delegating and training? 
  • If you have a team, do you struggle to own your position of leadership under the guise of being more egalitarian? 
  • If you have a team, do you find yourself surrounded by individuals who allow you to play out familiar-familial dynamics that bring you a sense of safety? 
  • Do you believe that growth is dependent on your contributions, even as a business of 1? 
  • Have you hesitated from painting a clear vision under the guise of allowing things to evolve "organically" but really to avoid vulnerability? 
  • Do you see the marketplace as a completion to be won? 
  • Is your vision rigid and ultimately about "proving" yourself? 
  • Do you find yourself with occasional or consistent burnout? 
If the answer to many of these questions is yes, you're operating from a personality, not a point of view. A point of view can - most importantly - be shared, can be argued, can be agreed with, can be built upon, can be changed, can be passed along to future generations and built by others. A personality, cannot be shared. It can be worshiped, it can be followed. It can be intoxicating (more on that next week). As Luis points out in our conversation, this distinction is so reasonable, yet so taboo at this time. 


When I start my class, I ask the question: what does entrepreneurship means to you? And the most common answer is "freedom"—freedom to create your own schedule, freedom to pursue your creative vision, freedom from the oppression of a boss. But the irony is that most entrepreneurs don't find themselves to be truly free until they are able to separate their point of view from their personality and see the business as something separate from themselves.

And beginning this process is what allows a culture to develop and thrive which facilitates all of the opportunities for growth that you seek.


If you are seeking a different way, start by defining your values and your purpose from your life experience and personal point of view. Then remove the dependency of your personality to be able to execute on them and see them fully expressed in the world. When you have done this, you've successfully built a culture, not a cult.  Your business becomes dynamic, not static, and growth becomes about evolution, not dominance.

If we are waiting on the world to change instead of changing ourselves, we'll miss the opportunity to break the entrepreneurial fever and contribute to changing the culture of entrepreneurship itself. 


Mighty Ira. I was touched and inspired by his work, but also his relationship with William F Buckley Jr. I am a subscriber to The National Review, myself, to better understand the conservative point of view. This reminded me of the interview Tristan Harris just did with Ciaran O'Connor from the organization Braver Angels. This line stuck with me: “Conflict can actually be a pathway to intimacy and connection rather than division if you have the right structure for bringing people together.” 

I'm back in school now so my free reading time is all devoted to ancient religious texts. That being said, I'm not finding myself reading as many business and economics books as usual which will likely continue to be the case for a while. But here are a good few I did read this winter: 
Amusing Ourselves to Death - I would call this a must-read for any human in the 21st century. The breakdown between Huxley's prophecy and Orwell's is sobering. You'll have to dive in if you want to learn more. 
The Empty Religions of Instagram - Because Instavangelists. 

If you are interested in reading more on how to separate point of view from personality consider: 
How Will You Measure Your Life
Doughnut Economics
My Grandmother's Hands 

Miley Cyrus on Joe Rogan It was eerie to hear her say explicitly that she struggled when the media started confusing her point of view for her personality. I loved this whole conversation.
Doughnut Economics on Your Undivided Attention (maybe my new favorite podcast of the moment). Kate Raworth lays out an inspiring vision of how to clarify our purpose, shift our focus to create a less destructive, extractive economy. 
Yuval Noah Harari talking crazy about emotionally intelligent refrigerators.  I was shook after listening to this. 
Ira Glasser on Joe Rogan. (I've had a lot of Ira in my life recently) In light of all of the polarization in recent years, here are some snippets that had me applauding: The lifeblood of the country depends on listening to what you don’t like. Ware protected when they protect the rights of their enemies to speak.

How Trauma Affects Your Business. My conversation with Luis Mojica. 


Our next book club will meet next on Tuesday, April 20th from 7pm-8:30pm via Zoom. We will be reading The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins.  This is a free event, please email me if you'd like to join. 


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