Ruthlessness

Run Time 2 min

Entrepreneurs need to overcome their attachments. They need to be able to look at things objectively and without emotion. They cannot be attached to building a product exactly how they want to if they are getting feedback from the market that the product needs to be different. They need to recognize when members of the team are not a good fit for their roles anymore.  They need to stop being nice to people who are in their way or manipulating a situation. In non-entrepreneurial life, you can arguably let things like this slide. But to a large extent, entrepreneurship is about fighting the battle that you are in. In the Bhagavad Gita, the great Hindu spiritual text, Krishna, the enlightened master, tells Arjuna the warrior that his job is to fight and kill, not to question why he is in battle. The Bhagavad Gita describes the pathway to enlightenment for Hindu mystics. So it’s a bit odd to hear that an enlightened master is telling someone to fight and kill people! But it is a misconception that enlightenment is always about peace and turning the other cheek. It is about doing what’s right. An entrepreneur has chosen a path. As long as the entrepreneur is on that path, she must face what’s in front of her.

Another way we’ve described it as that as an entrepreneur your job sometimes is to be the asshole in the room.  It’s a nice idea that we don’t need assholes around, but sometimes we do, and sometimes it's gotta be you, so take responsibility. There’s another koan for you:).