Animal Spirits

Posted on February 27, 2009

As I get closer and closer to getting Alemar Cheese off the ground, I’m reminded why everyone isn’t in business for themselves. Each day there are minor victories and unexpected setbacks. Emotions peak and wane by the hour. Starting a business, let alone succeeding for any length of time, demands hard work, some smarts, and a healthy dose of luck.

John Maynard Keynes, the noted economist, coined the term “Animal Spirits” to describe the confidence and naive optimism of the entrepreneur. It’s a bit of a strange name, but I understand it: where does one find the will to take an idea and turn it into a viable business? Why take the risk?

Something in the human condition has propelled us to continuously improve our circumstances. While some might argue this may turn out to be our ultimate undoing, there are at anytime millions of us striving to figure out a way to do something better. It’s hardwired into our brains, like it or not.

I’m not curing cancer or solving world hunger, though I’m deeply grateful that there are those on this planet who try. I’m just doing the thing that, for whatever reason, I’m driven to do. When I experience a sharp feeling of self-doubt, I try my best to breath and remember all the things I’m fortunate to have. Then I muster the Animal Spirits inside, and carry on.

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