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Entrepreneurs are stoic

  • By Alan Knott-Craig
  • August 27, 2016

entrepreneur stoic


At its core, stoicism is a philosophy for dealing with adversity. What better philosophy for a budding entrepreneur?


Here are some basic rules:


  1. Focus on what you can control


Distinguish between things that are under your control and things that are not. (Think of the Serenity Prayer.) Don’t be upset by things which you cannot influence, i.e.: other people and external events. Focus on yourself, your own behavior.


Your actions and choices are fully in your own control.


“Demand not that events should happen as you wish; but wish them to happen as they do happen, and your life will be serene.” Epictetus


  1. Find a role model


Decide what kind of person you want to be.


Set some principles and routines you want to follow, then find a role model that already follows this path.


It’s not easy, but with small steps, adjusting for mishaps, and by consciously mimicking your role model, you can get closer to the character you wish to have.


  1. Be equanimous


Handle success and disaster in the same manner. Train yourself to be indifferent to reputation, wealth and health.


This doesn’t not mean that you should have no feelings or emotions.


Rather you should not let your feelings or emotions control you.


Remaining above your base instincts starts with controlling your reaction to events.


  1. Align with yourself and the world


Know yourself. Then choose a path that aligns with who you are. Then align your path to the world.


If you can align your path with the world you will find success. But it all starts with self-awareness.


  1. Don’t waste your life


You only have one life to live. Do not postpone your dreams and your happiness.


Every minute of every day should be dedicated towards attaining happiness. If that means working in a coal mine to save enough money to retire to the beach, so be it.


If you can’t choose work that you love, love the work you do.


  1. The obstacle is the way


As Ryan Holiday brilliantly explains in his book: The obstacle in the path becomes the path.


Embrace adversity and challenges.


It will make you stronger and differentiate you further from the chasing pack.


  1. Be present


It’s easy to be caught up in reflection on the past or anticipation of the future. Don’t.


Focus on the present. Today. Right now.


Don’t look at your phone when seeing people. Pay attention to your surroundings.  Do one thing at a time.




Stay in the moment and the future will take care of itself.


  1. Never stop moving


There is only one thing worse than going backwards in life: Staying where you are.


Don’t procrastinate. Keep moving. You can’t grow if you don’t encounter new things and take on new challenges.


When you’re finding yourself bored, or frozen, that’s the time to get worried.


You only have one life, don’t waste it.



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