Creating a Resilient, Natural Economy

How To Save The World Blog

August 11, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

My friend Dale and I have been conversing about my recent post concerning why so many entrepreneurs want to be sole proprietors, when, historically, committed partnerships (of people with a shared purpose and complementary skills) tend to be far more resilient, sustainable, and joyful. I’d been writing about our modern aversion to accepting responsibility for other people, and Dale suggested it was this fear of responsibility, more than any of the ten fears of entrepreneurship* I write about in my book, Finding the Sweet Spot, that keeps so many of us in the thrall of wage slavery. Dale wrote:

What keeps people from starting startups is the fear of having so much responsibility. And this is not an irrational fear: it really is hard to bear…This really fits with my own experience.  I had plenty of opportunity to expand my business creating software products and sharing software development expertise. The thing that always held me back was knowing the responsibility that I had for everyone else.  I was also nagged by the thought that this great burden that I was taking on would not be respected, or worse, would be taken advantage of.

I was chatting about this this afternoon with Tree (a very successful sole proprietor, doing work as an independent professional facilitator), who has challenged me before on whether “the work we’re meant to do” really should preferably be in partnership with others. I had lamented that most of the people who had written to me to tell me that thanks to my book they had found their sweet spot (the work they’re mean to do), also told me that this work involves writing or personal coaching or some other individual enterprise.

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