Is Entrepreneurship a Work of Art or Heart?

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”

— Helen Keller

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”

— Pablo Picasso

I’m in the middle of reading and truly enjoying Creativity Inc. which has already given me two practical and insightful takeaways, which I listed in my latest post for LinkedIn. I will list them again here:

• “Ideas come from people, so people are more important than ideas”

• “The process of developing a story is one of discovery”

I wrote there and will write again here that I intend to write a whole blogpost (on WordPress) devoted to what I learned from that wonderful book. It reads like a cross between a tell-all book on Steve Jobs and behind the curtain at Disney, and life lessons for people in business. What I do want to share is this question that’s been on my mind while reading Ed Catmull’s thought leadership:

Is entrepreneurship a work of art or heart?

The road to entrepreneurial success can be murky and filled with potholes, forcing us to regularly detour and reframe success and failure. The debate about whether entrepreneurship is learned or taught is ongoing, and has ongoing implications for the way we approach work overall. it’s also something to consider when pondering the entrepreneurial journey, let alone the process. It’s something I mentioned in my latest Tumblr post, which also cites this interesting article worth reading.

If you belong to the camp of entrepreneurial artistry then you know that an artist must hone his/her craft across platforms and mediums, to ensure that the design has real impact. That’s where self education comes in. The Internet has made ongoing learning and professional development more feasible than ever, but one needs to consider information overload . It’s why I’m such a fan of regular “digital detox” and monitoring the usefulness and impact of one’s digital footprint. Which brings me to my next point….

Entrepreneurship is not just a work of art. It’s actually also a work of heart.

It’s something I elaborate on in my book, The NICE Reboot, and in my various writings in the blogosphere. It’s something I believe is missing from the mindset and attitude of many enclaves of entrepreneurship, such as the revered and vilified Silicon Valley. I was the lone female panelist at a social entrepreneurship event in November 2013, in Palo Alto, CA. I saw first hand the culture, the energy, the innovation, and yes, the hubris of that strip of land. The one that’s taken on mythical proportions in entrepreneur lore. The event was sponsored by Hack for Big Choices and attracted a very interesting mix of people.

It’s where I met legendary Vivek Wadhwa (who sat next to me), and shared some of his insights. Some of which made it into this thought provoking post on LinkedIn this week. It’s where I met erudite Dave Mosby, futurist, venture capitalist and author of a great book, The Paradox of Excellence (which I reviewed on Amazon). His take on disruptive innovation, machine learning, and the future of entrepreneurship deserves a second book!

Entrepreneurship is as much about furthering a positive, meaningful culture as it is about different kinds of innovation; something that women entrepreneurs intuitively understand and bank on. That’s why many of us are not looking to create the next Silicon Valley, whatever our current industry and geographical location. What we’re actually looking for is to

• Use our pursuit of work/life balance and humanity/technology balance to create something of value for us all

• Provide a service/product which is delivered with a human touch and voice that reflects us all

That’s why for women founders in particular, entrepreneurship is really a work of heart that affects one’s art; perception, drive, performance, and execution. I’ll leave you with this insightful observation by fellow female entrepreneur, blogger, and thinker Diane Bertolin:

The saboteur archetype distorts our opinions and judgements of the events and people who surround us. This distortion causes us to make decisions that are normally rooted in our survival or ego, which ultimately distorts our reality.

People who act from the heart and embrace life and its opportunities as art….. where the vivid, ever changing palette is not bound by yesterday’s mistakes and present inertia, are the ones to watch and learn from. They are the ones who will really give the proverbial Silicon Valley ‘Treps competition.

Is what you’re doing a work of art or heart, or both?



Art Heart



About penina4niceinitiative

Penina Rybak MA/CCC-SLP, TSHH, CEO of Socially Speaking LLC, is the author of "The NICE Reboot: A Guide to Becoming a Better Female Entrepreneur". She is an Autism specialist and educational technology consultant turned social entrepreneur. She is also a pediatric speech therapist and the creator of the Socially Speaking™ Program & iPad App. Her second book, "Autism Intervention in the iEra" was published in 2015. Since 2010, Penina has been a national/international speaker about social communication development, balancing humanity and technology, and best practices re: mobile and social technology. Connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more. You can also find her on Twitter: @PopGoesPenina, Facebook: Socially Speaking LLC, Google+ at The NICE Initiative for Female Entrepreneurship, and Pinterest and YouTube as well.
This entry was posted in Architecture vs. Artistry, Balancing Humanity & Technology, Female Entrepreneurship, Musings on Humanity, Thought Leadership. Bookmark the permalink.

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