The Lucky And The Wise

By | 2014-12-08T21:55:26+00:00 January 21st, 2013|Rules of Thumb, skmurphy|7 Comments

The Little Ways That Encourage Good Fortune

Wisdom is having things right in your life
and knowing why.
If you do not have things right in your life
you will be overwhelmed:
you may be heroic, but you will not be wise.
If you have things right in your life
but do not know why,
You are just lucky, and you will not move
in the little ways that encourage good fortune.

The saddest are those not right in their lives
who are acting to make things right for others:
they act only from the self–
and that self will never be right:
no luck, no help, no wisdom.

William Edgar Stafford

How can entrepreneurs move in the little ways that encourage good fortune? Here are my suggestions for judging your actions:

  • Is it kind?
  • Does it spring from empathy?
  • Does it demonstrate love for your spouse?
  • Will it maintain or improve your health?
  • Will it nurture your children?
  • Does it contribute to your community?

It can be hard to assess whose advice to take about your business. One reason for cultivating at least a kitchen cabinet of informal advisors, if not a more formal advisory board, is that a diversity of perspectives can normally provide more insights into opportunities, risks, and options for managing them. Advice from a lucky entrepreneur tends to be very specific and suggest a “copy exactly” model, a wise entrepreneur will offer principles and several alternatives with one or two approaches recommended as either most likely to succeed or least risky.

“It’s hard to detect good luck–it looks so much like something you’ve earned.”
Frank A. Clark

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  1. Sandeep De January 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Great perspective from you as usual – puts the empire building / galactic domination plans in context.

  2. […] These are the first two lines of  ”The Little Ways That Encourage Good Fortune” from his “Stories That Could Be True: New and Collected Poems (1977).” The full poem is used as the opening quotation for “The Lucky And The Wise” […]

  3. April February 1, 2013 at 9:28 am

    It’s nice to see someone remind us that “good fortune” involves life in general and not just the bottom line. Thanks for sharing.

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