Posted by: Amy Choi on November 3, 2009
Here at SmallBiz, we spend a lot of time thinking about what drives an entrepreneur. The issue was at the heart of our special report earlier this year on social entrepreneurship, and our feature story on how entrepreneurs beat burnout and stay passionate about their business. We’ve asked several of our guest columnists to examine the subject, including Steven Berglas and Vivek Wadhwa.
In fact, you could say we’re obsessed.
I don’t think that’s a bad thing. After spending an evening listening to Robin Chase, co-founder of Zipcar and current CEO of GoLoco, dissect one of Carl Jung’s paintings at the Rubin Museum of Art last week, I’m convinced that obsession is the core of the entrepreneurial spirit. The Rubin has invited numerous artists, intellectuals, and executives to sit on stage with a Jungian analyst and respond to a painting from Jung’s legendary Red Book diary, which famously chronicles the psychologist’s descent into madness. Chase could have gone anywhere with the painting, which featured a deity-like man floating above an urban waterfront scene. Instead, she spent an hour discussing the potential tragedy of climate change if people don’t deal with excess capacity (share your cars!) and sprawl (infrastructure first!).
This sort of single-mindedness, even when presented with madness, is what has helped propel Chase to success. I’d venture that other entrepreneurs who dive into their business ventures wholeheartedly have the same. After all, what is it to sacrifice everything for an idea, if not madness?