What's an Enlightened Entrepreneur?
I've known a few and was recently re-introduced to the concept of "enlightened" entrepreneur by some unsung heroes who get it. In their own way they consistently demonstrate that successful entrepreneurship means taking care of people and the planet while taking care of business.
All my business books and crime fiction novels – for entrepreneurs and about entrepreneurs – are dedicated to the principle that: Enlightened Entrepreneurs will do better for themselves and their businesses by also doing better for their employees and their families, their customers and suppliers, their communities and the planet.
Enlightened simply means being aware of your place in the ecosystem and accepting responsibility for the impact of your behaviour, actions, and words on the people and environment around you.
In the historical context, the Age of Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, dominated philosophical ideas in Europe from the early 17th Century. The principal goals of Enlightenment thinkers were liberty, progress, reason, tolerance, fraternity and ending the abuses of the church, royalty, and the state. The ideas of the Enlightenment played a major role in inspiring both the American and the French Revolutions for freedom and democracy, giving more power to the people.
In 1776, Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations and first described the principle of the invisible hand, guiding entrepreneurs to unintentionally contribute to the greater good of society. In his words, describing the business owner: “He neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it …, he intends only his own gain, … and he is led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it."
In modern terms it can be put more simply:
- Nice guys DO NOT finish last. People prefer to do business with people they know, like, respect and trust. Especially if they share common values.
- Treat people like people, not as revenue generating assets. Treat your staff and management team well; give them what they need to succeed, then get out of their way. If you treat them well, they will take good care of your business, your customers, suppliers, associates, and the community.
Be better. Do Better. Be an Enlightened Entrepreneur.
Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph
Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.
Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs.