Sunday, January 01, 2006

Eleanor Roosevelt
and your enterprise life

We're the kind of family with stuff taped up all over most available surfaces.

Since our daughters were very young there's been two Eleanor Roosevelt quotes posted on their door, along with zillions of other projects over the years: notes, warnings to parent to stay out, etc.

To see Tom Peters pick one of the quotes out for special notice going into 2006 reminds me of the importance of those words we've walked past for a couple of decades or so.

From Tom Peters blog 12/28/05 Raw Meat for "Resolutions": "But when I sat down, quietly, to think about my stance toward 2006, a quote of Eleanor Roosevelt's drifted before my mind's eye: 'Do one thing every day that scares you'."

Tom will make excellent use of this idea, of course. I'd like to point to it also as a wonderful rallying cry for the world of start ups and emerging enterprises.

As an example, many of the coolest peddlers I know work on straight commission. It can be hard, scary work, and it's also a pretty good metaphor for all of enterprise life at the level we're talking about here. As one of the best just summarized it for me, "I wake up every Monday morning unemployed, and then get to work."

That's what you're telling yourself and the world when you birth your start up or grow your emerging enterprise. That you're intentionally making every Monday a potentially scary challenge and that every day is a call to action.

Does this sound like it may be a bit much? Like you're not feeling up to it?.

A good time for the other Eleanor Roosevelt quote posted upstairs by long yellowed tape; "Most of the good work in the world is done by people who weren't feeling all that well the day they did it."

To enter the world of enterprise or to take scary steps to grow your emerging enterprise, there are no perfect times. There are no greener pastures. There are no certainties.

And yet, no matter how well you feel or how scary each step seems, there are opportunities to improve the world, to fix problems, everywhere you look.

Take the steps this year to launch your startup or grow your emerging enterprise in smart, personally scary new ways.

In the end you, and all the rest of us, will be better off.

Go get 'em.

Time magazine profile of Eleanor Roosevelt as one of their 100 most influential people of the last century

Tom Peters site. Most of us don't work for big Corps or organizations that bring Tom in to speak. However, he puts much of his best stuff on line directly, and comments regularily for free on line. Just go there. This new theme of scaring yourself will be very much worth reading.

Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, also taped up on a stairway wall at home. Great links to source docs here.

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