We are reviewing the ten most important factors that will determine your success (or not) as an entrepreneur.
#6. Comfort with Chaos
Many people need structure in their lives. They need their job to be somewhat linear … A to B and then B to C, and so on.
The life of an entrepreneur is anything but linear. In fact it is often just one step above total chaos.
One of the great thinkers of our time is a man named Nassim Taleb who has written three books that touch on the subject of chaos: Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, and Antifragile.
It would, of course, be ridiculous to try to summarize his overriding theme in one blog post but, anyway here goes:
Some things are totally unpredictable. We should never discount the unpredictable. We should be careful to check our thinking that A causes B. Some things thrive on chaos.
An entrepreneur must learn to live with chaos. But, more than that, the entrepreneur should accept that disruption, chaos, and even stress strengthen the entrepreneurial process. In fact, what is the goal of an entrepreneur but disruption in an effort to change or improve on what already exists? In other words, an entrepreneur needs to embrace chaos.
Here is a quote from the Prologue of Taleb's great work on what he calls the "antifragile" (think of this property as the opposite of something "fragile" that breaks with stress, like a piece of glassware):
"Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk and uncertainty. Let us call (these things) the antifragile. This property (of antifragile-ness) is behind everything that has changed with time: evolution, culture, ideas, … ".
Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, Nassim Taleb (Random House, 2014)