The following guest post is from 2013 Unreasonable Institute Fellow and co-founder of MANA Nutrition and Calorie Cloud Mark Moore.
A recent Heretic post called “It Takes Two Years” got me thinking about how fast two years can fly by. Then I got thinking about how dozens of years can fly by! The ancient Jews had a practice they called “Jubilee”. The gist was that every 50 years all debts would be forgiven and a huge “reset” button would be hit. Prisoners would go free, land returned, everything would be evened out. It strikes me that one way to say this in modern English would be that everyone was required to “live like nobody owed them anything.” It also strikes me that if this were to happen today it would shake the very foundations of the world economy — for better or for worse.
We all have a long list of people to whom we are deeply indebted. People who have inspired us, challenged us, taught us and helped us. We can’t or shouldn’t forget this, but sometimes as entrepreneurs we start thinking that others — strangers, potential investors, maybe even our mentors, owe us something. (Ok, sorry for saying “we”… I know I did for a while.) In moments of frustration we think things like, “I used to make way more than this in my old job” or “don’t these idiots know that we are about to change the world!”.
The truth is, no one owes us anything. And if we act or live like they do, they slowly, quietly lose respect for us and our visions look more like schemes than dreams.
Many of us walked away from other jobs and experienced the freedom of venturing out to attempt something fun and challenging. In doing so we declared Jubilee. Freedom! Now the challenge is to live boldly in that freedom and to live like nobody owes us anything. If we pull that off in a world where most people keep score and live in debt, we’ll not only attract the respect of the crowds for the freedom-ethos we exude, eventually we’ll attract the dollars we seek to scale our entrepreneurial visions.