Hero’s Odyssey Entrepreneurship: Arts Entrepreneurship & Technology is all about taking action in rendering your ideals and dreams real.  It’s about investing in your art and equipment and learning by doing instead of going into debt to sit in a class which is oft decades behind in technology, and which also oft ignores the timeless classics of the world’s greatest artists from whom we must learn.  HJE combines the classical, inspirational wisdom of the ages with cutting-edge technologies; and just as the Founding Fathers rendered classical wisdom real in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, HJE calls upon you to render classical wisdom real in your own living ventures.  HJE is all about buying Aristotle’s Poetics and Homer’s Odyssey to learn of poetry and screenwriting, books on Rembrandt and Van Gogh to learn of composition and lighting, and cutting-edge cameras and computers, and launching your own venture, leveraging all the wonderful revolutions in technology—in both production and distribution, alongside all the classical wisdom brought forth by yesteryear’s revolutionaries. –Dr. E (Dr. E was a mentor in Hiphop Entrepreneur Russell Simmons’ 2008 Race to Be)

 

The First Hero’s Journey / Arts Entrepreneurship Class Outline, 2005

Over 120 students at UNC Chapel Hill applied for the 45 spots.

ArtsEntrepreneurship.com: Make Your Passion Your Profession

Inspired in part by Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces, alongside the Great Books and Classics, from Homer and Moses on down.

As for the story, whether the poet takes it ready made or constructs it for himself, he should first sketch its general outline, and then fill in the episodes and amplify in detail.   –Aristotle, Poetics

1. Departure/Separation: The first step—blog the venture’s vision.

1.1 The Call to Adventure: Unyielding artistic passions & dreams.

1.2 Refusal of the Call: Is it practical?  Do parents/friends approve?

1.3 Supernatural Aid: Meeting The Mentors: Use the force, Luke! Homer’s Odyssey & Bogle’s Battle for The Soul of Capitalism.

1.4 The Crossing of the First Threshold: No turning back, Neo!  Leaving the Shire and opening shop.

1.5 The Belly of the Whale: Honing the business plan, raising funds, intellectual property. Finding inner light in the darkness.

2 Initiation: Building the team, incorporating

2.1 The Road of Trials: Striving toward profitability.  The harder  you work, the luckier you get.  “Chance favors the bold.” –Virgil  “Never, never, never give up!” –Churchill “Press on, regardless!” –Bogle

2.2 The Meeting with the Goddess: Branding via divine inspiration—Virgin,Vanguard, Legendary.

2.3 Woman as Temptress: Shifting marketplaces—stay away form the Sirens of short-term riches.  Stay true & “do you!” (Russell Simmons)

2.4 Atonement with the Father: Competing or collaborating with the big guys—the Microsofts & Apples, the Hollywood studios.

2.5 Apotheosis: Death/Reurrection: Realizing your core value.  Bogle, Wallace, & Jobs were fired before exalting their industries to new heights.

2.6 The Ultimate Boon: Vanguard / Apple / Braveheart!

3 Return: It is all for naught without the road back!

3.1  Refusal of the Return: Don’t lose site of the core business!

3.2 The Magic Flight to sustainability.

3.3 The Ultimate Showdown—one final faceoff  of the few against the many.  Bogle vs. Wall Street.  Jobs vs. Scully’s MBAs.

3.4 Rescue from Without: An old friend helps you as you helped them. The competition becomes a best friend.

3.5 The Crossing of the Return Threshold: Vanguard delivers superior returns!

3.6  Master of Two Worlds: You know what it takes—like Richard Branson/Steven Jobs you can do it again in any realm.  The same 18th century ideals underlying Vanguard pervade Bogle’s Battle & speeches, buoying all of his endeavors to eloquent, long-term success.

3.7 Freedom to Live: Financial freedom to pursue your dreams!! Tennyson’s Ulysses!  “Death closes all; but something ere the end, Some work of noble note, may yet be done.” (read by Bogle @ the 2007 HJEF)

“I wish there was one grand artistic depot where the artist only need hand in his artwork. As things stand now, one must be half a businessman.” –Beethoven

In the classic Hero’s Journey there is both the death and the resurrection of the idealist.  As an idealist, you need not fear death, for no harm can befall a good man’s soul.  Never be afraid of being fired or losing your job; but be very afraid of compromising on your ideals and dreams, and losing that precious element by which all freedom, immortality, and true wealth is ever bought—the soul.  For Socrates reminds us that wickedness runs far faster than death, and while all men die, not all men truly live, actualizing their ideals and dreams in this brief, fragile life.  Steven Jobs was fired from Apple by the very same MBAs he had brought on board, who almost killed the company.  Jobs was resurrect and brought on back to lead Apple to new heights.  And the computer he invented during his exile from Apple—the NEXT Computer—became the basis for the OS X operating system.  Because Jobs kept on following his love—his soul’s longing to exalt technology as an art—he was eventually resurrected.  “Never, never, never give up!” –Winston Churchill

 

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle. –Steven Jobs, Stanford Commencement Address, 2005

ARTISTIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP & TECHNOLOGY: Teresea Ciulla of Entrepreneur Magazine blogs, “Can you actually make your passion your profession? According to Dr. Elliot McGucken, a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (and now Pepperdine University), who’s teaching the university’s first “Artistic Entrepreneurship & Technology 101” class, the answer just may be yes. McGucken’s class, which is comprised of a group of 45 students majoring in law, business, art, computer science, journalism and music, focuses on teaching students about creating value over just making money, about letting their higher ideals guide the bottom line. After all, as McGucken says, “Successful companies aren’t successful because they make money—they’re successful because they create value.” Class projects range from a classical music video to a hip hop curriculum and textbook to an online art gallery to a freshman’s record label that’s signed more than ten bands to a social network being programmed by three computer science majors. Students are seeing that to the degree they succeed in creating useful art and ventures, they’ll be able to support their passions with a profitable business. And isn’t that what we’re all really striving for? To find an excitement in our work in order to beat back the dullness of the typical 9-to-5 routine? Looks like McGucken’s found a way to inspire a new generation of artistically minded entrepreneurs to follow their passions—and make a living.”

HerosJourneyEntrepreneurship.org

Entrepreneurship has aspects of art—the creation and the pursuit of higher aesthetics; and science—economics, finance, engineering, and physical invention. How these aspects, and many more—from intellectual property to corporate structures—combine to generate wealth, are part of an Epic Story that is told whenever an individual sets out to render their ideals and dreams real. Thus a most efficient way to study entrepreneurship—to unite its diverse aspects—is via the epic Hero’s Journey found in the Great Books and Classics, from Homer and Moses on down.

As a new cornerstone in a classical liberal arts education, Artistic Entrepreneurship is for those seeking to make their passions their professions. This festival is dedicated to all those embarking on the “Hero’s Journey” to create enduring wealth, be it a new venture, video game, indie film, record label, book, DRM system serving artists and musicians, or course.

A Renaissance In Epic Story

Aristotle ranked “story” first in his Poetics. Story is the most important element in epic poetry, as Aristotle saw that story was the soul of a work.  The greatest stories have ever been those centered about the hero rendering their idealistic dreams real, come hell or high water; and so too with you, is your epic story your greatest asset and investment.  And thus you must lead with your ideals.

“The soul cannot think without a picture.” ~Aristotle

The rising generation is longing for Epic Story, and thus opportunity abounds for artistic entrepreneurs to perform the classical ideals in the contemporary context—in Hollywood and the Heartland, on Wall Street and Main Street, in videogames and academia.

The classic hero, from Odysseus on down, is one who serves. This moral premise pervades all enduring literature and entrepreneurial ventures, as expressed by John C. Bogle—the “student entrepreneur” who founded the $700 billion Vanguard fund based on an idealistic premise in his 1951 Princeton senior thesis. Mr. Bogle recently quoted his original thesis in one of his eloquent speeches—”After analyzing fund performance, I concluded that “funds can make no claim to superiority over the market averages,” perhaps an early harbinger of my decision to create, nearly a quarter-century later, the world’s first index mutual fund. And my conclusion powerfully reaffirmed the ideals that I hold to this day: The role of the mutual fund is to serve—”to serve the needs of both individual and institutional investors . . . to serve them in the most efficient, honest, and economical way possible . . . The principal function of investment companies is the management of their investment portfolios. Everything else is incidental.”

Watch the academy-award-winning movie Braveheart, and you will see the very same moral premise at the film’s center and circumference, as expressed by William Wallace’s actions and his words to the Scottish Nobles—”There’s a difference between us. You think the people of this land exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it.”

And Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero With a Thousand Faces which helped inspire Star Wars, The Matrix, The Lord of The Rings, and Dr. E’s AE&T class wrote, “Man should not be in the service of society, society should be in the service of man. When man is in the service of society, you have a monster state. . .”

Entrepreneurship is the force that continually rights the world by rewarding those who serve—those who battle the bureaucracy with a better way. Entrepreneurship is an epic story wherein the world is continually “begun anew,” as the humble risk-taker—the reluctant hero—the fount of lasting cultural and monetary wealth—happens upon an innovation, invention, or epiphany, and takes a risk in rendering it real for others.

The classic entrepreneur navigates on out while keeping the higher ideals over the bottom line, endures the road of trials en route to the countless showdowns with competitors and convention, seizes the sword, and returns on home with the elixir—with the rewards gained from risking their time, their talents, their passions, and their money in penning that novel, shooting that film, and creating that venture. And so often it is all based on some simple, pervading moral premise. For Google it is “Do no evil.” For Apple it is “Think different.” For Buffett it is “Our favourite holding period is forever.” For Bogle and Wallace, it is “institutions must serve.” For this HJE Festival, it is “own the risk of the renaissance.”

And my goal is to serve you with a most useful, informative, and inspirational festival, class, and book  regarding how best to make your passion your profession, as we celebrate the words of that classic entrepreneurial document, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Dr. E @

—http://herosjourneyentrepreneurship.org

And make no mistake—they’re gonna tell you it ain’t safe out there—that it’s safer in a cubicle, with a pension and benefits. Call the bluff and catch the wave—45 SURF.

 

HJE pervades the exalted form of all noble and lasting endeavors in the arts, culture, government, academia, blockbuster movies, and business—all of which are characterized by the individual, creator, and innovator’s will to serve—both the higher ideals and the end customer. So often it is that HJE is characterized by an indie entrepreneur or a rugged band of revolutionairies, such as the Founding Fathers, who penned that business plan of all business plans—The United States Constitution. John C. Bogle, the founder and former CEO of Vanguard, reflects upon the nature of entrepreneurial Fellowships in his speech: Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Just as heroes are so often the least likely suspects in movies—such as a Hobbit named Frodo in Lord of The Rings, a farmboy named Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, and a common cubicle worker named Neo in The Matrix, so too are entrepreneurs most often humble heroes. They embark on great journeys by simply “doing the right thing,” while serving with a better way and new day. They end up leading and creating wealth not by degrees and titles, but by innovation, common sense, and humble service. They may seem rebellious, but look closer, and one shall see that they are extremely loyal to higher ideals, and they have the ability—the Classic Character—to render those ideals real in any arena they partake in. As William Wallace said in Braveheart, “men don’t follow titles—they follow courage.” And courage is not the absense of fear, but the ability to hold true to one’s convictions and ideals while facing down the bureaucracy that inverts entrepreneurship’s fundamental premise of service.

A vast demand exists for the classical ideals performed in the contemporary context—for honor, integrity, courage, and committment—on Wall Street and Main Street, in Hollywood and the Heartland, in Academia and Government. And thus opportunity abounds for entrepreneurs who keep the higher ideals above the bottom line—for humble heroes in all walks of life.

Inspired in part by Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces alongside the Great Books and Classics–from Homer and Moses on down–HJE approaches life as an Epic Story, wherein the rugged innovator, inventor, artist, or entrepreneur embarks on a journey to realize their dream—to render some ideal real.

Definitive aspects of the entrepreneurial journey can be seen in movies ranging from The Matrix to The Lord of The Rings to Star Wars—the call to adventure (seeing an opportunity), refusal of the call (it’s too hard—somebody else would have done it—working a corporate job is safer), meeting the mentor (finding the angels/professors/books/coaches/leaders/entrepreneurs who can help), crossing the threshold (the point of no return—signing the lease/hiring employees), seizing the sword from the stone (getting the patent/raising funds), the showdown/ordeal (facing down competitors), tests, allies, and enemies (collaborators and competition). And even after all that, even after the patent has issued and the funds have been raised, there’s still the classic road on home (getting the product to market!) and the return with the elixir—the exit strategy.

And too, there’s the belly of the whale (Steve Jobs being kicked out of Apple by the MBAs and into the darkness of NEXT) and the resurrection (Steve Jobs returning on home, reinventing Apple with the iPod/iPhone, and leading it to new heights). And it’s always the least likely suspect—the reluctant hero—who somehow succeeds—Frodo was just a little Hobbit, Neo was a lowly cubicle worker—and Jobs, Branson, and Gates have not a college degree between them.

Failure isn’t always failure, so much as a small step along the greater journey. Frodo and Neo both appeared to be dead at one point. In tirelessly testing different filaments, Edison said, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.”

Hero’s Journey Entrepreneurship is a philosophy of life—ideals are real, and they’re not just meant for epic myths of yore and the silver screen. HJE is all about recognizing the true nature of risk, calling the bluff, and reaping the higher rewards. HJE is a class, a festival, a blog, and a couple upcoming books. It’s about taking ownership in your dreams—your most valuable assets—and making your passion your profession. An outline of Hero’s Journey Entrepreneurship, complete with useful resources for patents, trademarks, and incorporating, may be found below.

In this day and age, there exist all-to-many of sales-pitches designed to diminish your dreams, take your money or creations, and all too often place you at risk or in debt to fund someone else’s ventures. Whenever someone on Wall Street, or at a Record Label, or at a University, tells you they are managing your risk, they are generally bluffing, as pointed out by Bogle, Buffett, and Mark Cuban, who states:

“Risk is what Wall Street lies about every day. Risk is what they try to sweep under the covers knowing that we all are addicted to the dream of financial freedom. Risk is the poison that is masked by the commercials. . . You Inc. is the best stock you can ever buy… if you are willing to do the work.”—Mark Cuban

The bureaucracy—be it the Mutual Fund or the Record Label or Web 2.0 company—is generally transferring the lion’s share of the risk to you and the lion’s share of the wealth to themselves. HJE is where the risk-takers—the artists, creators, and entrepreneurs—get the reward, as set forth in the United States Constitution. HJE salutes Nobel Laureate economists such as Friedman, Hayek, and Schumpeter—all of whom recognized the indie innovator—not the bureaucracy—as society’s natural fount of wealth, and thusly held the notion of property rights in high regard.

Hero’s Journey Entrepreneurship is about calling the bluff and reaping the rewards of your innovations. HJE is all about investing your time, your energy, and your money into your own passions and dreams—for there is no better investment. The resources throughout Dr. E’s websites, syllabi, and books are dedicated to giving you the tools for your journey.

HJE is not so much about making money as it is about creating wealth. For money derives from wealth, and following your dreams is a vast payment in and of itself—that type of payment, that as Herman Melville said, “Cannot be counted down in dollars from the mint.” HJE seeks mentorship in the classics and contemporaries—in the words of Socrates, Mark Cuban, John Bogle, Richard Branson, the Founding Fathers, and Joseph Campbell.

THERE IS NO REASON NOT TO FOLLOW YOUR HEART

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. –Steven Jobs,

http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html 

“I wish there was one grand artistic depot where the artist only need hand in his artwork. As things stand now, one must be half a businessman.” –Beethoven

 

In the classic Hero’s Journey there is both the death and the resurrection of the idealist.  As an idealist, you need not fear death, for no harm can befall a good man’s soul.  Never be afraid of being fired or losing your job; but be very afraid of compromising on your ideals and dreams, and losing that precious element by which all freedom, immortality, and true wealth is ever bought—the soul.  For Socrates reminds us that wickedness runs far faster than death, and while all men die, not all men truly live, actualizing their ideals and dreams in this brief, fragile life.  Steven Jobs was fired from Apple by the very same MBAs he had brought on board, who almost killed the company.  Jobs was resurrect and brought on back to lead Apple to new heights.  And the computer he invented during his exile from Apple—the NEXT Computer—became the basis for the OS X operating system.  Because Jobs kept on following his love—his soul’s longing to exalt technology as an art—he was eventually resurrected.  “Never, never, never give up!” –Winston Churchill

 

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle. –Steven Jobs, Stanford Commencement Address, 2005

 

ARTISTIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP & TECHNOLOGY: Teresea Ciulla of Entrepreneur Magazine blogs, “Can you actually make your passion your profession? According to Dr. Elliot McGucken, a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (and now Pepperdine University), who’s teaching the university’s first “Artistic Entrepreneurship & Technology 101” class, the answer just may be yes. McGucken’s class, which is comprised of a group of 45 students majoring in law, business, art, computer science, journalism and music, focuses on teaching students about creating value over just making money, about letting their higher ideals guide the bottom line. After all, as McGucken says, “Successful companies aren’t successful because they make money—they’re successful because they create value.” Class projects range from a classical music video to a hip hop curriculum and textbook to an online art gallery to a freshman’s record label that’s signed more than ten bands to a social network being programmed by three computer science majors. Students are seeing that to the degree they succeed in creating useful art and ventures, they’ll be able to support their passions with a profitable business. And isn’t that what we’re all really striving for? To find an excitement in our work in order to beat back the dullness of the typical 9-to-5 routine? Looks like McGucken’s found a way to inspire a new generation of artistically minded entrepreneurs to follow their passions—and make a living.”

 

HerosJourneyEntrepreneurship.org

Entrepreneurship has aspects of art—the creation and the pursuit of higher aesthetics; and science—economics, finance, engineering, and physical invention. How these aspects, and many more—from intellectual property to corporate structures—combine to generate wealth, are part of an Epic Story that is told whenever an individual sets out to render their ideals and dreams real. Thus a most efficient way to study entrepreneurship—to unite its diverse aspects—is via the Hero’s Journey.

As a new cornerstone in a classical liberal arts education, Artistic Entrepreneurship is for those seeking to make their passions their professions. This festival is dedicated to all those embarking on the “Hero’s Journey” to create enduring wealth, be it a new venture, video game, indie film, record label, book, DRM system serving artists and musicians, or course.

 

A Renaissance In Epic Story

Aristotle ranked “story” first in his Poetics. Story is the most important element in epic poetry, as Aristotle saw that story was the soul of a work.  The greatest stories have ever been those centered about the hero rendering their idealistic dreams real, come hell or high water; and so too with you, is your epic story your greatest asset and investment.  And thus you must lead with your ideals. 

 

“The soul cannot think without a picture.” ~Aristotle

 

The rising generation is longing for Epic Story, and thus opportunity abounds for artistic entrepreneurs to perform the classical ideals in the contemporary context—in Hollywood and the Heartland, on Wall Street and Main Street, in videogames and academia.

The classic hero, from Odysseus on down, is one who serves. This moral premise pervades all enduring literature and entrepreneurial ventures, as expressed by John C. Bogle—the “student entrepreneur” who founded the $700 billion Vanguard fund based on an idealistic premise in his 1951 Princeton senior thesis. Mr. Bogle recently quoted his original thesis in one of his eloquent speeches—”After analyzing fund performance, I concluded that “funds can make no claim to superiority over the market averages,” perhaps an early harbinger of my decision to create, nearly a quarter-century later, the world’s first index mutual fund. And my conclusion powerfully reaffirmed the ideals that I hold to this day: The role of the mutual fund is to serve—”to serve the needs of both individual and institutional investors . . . to serve them in the most efficient, honest, and economical way possible . . . The principal function of investment companies is the management of their investment portfolios. Everything else is incidental.”

Watch the academy-award-winning movie Braveheart, and you will see the very same moral premise at the film’s center and circumference, as expressed by William Wallace’s actions and his words to the Scottish Nobles—”There’s a difference between us. You think the people of this land exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it.”

And Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero With a Thousand Faces which helped inspire Star Wars, The Matrix, The Lord of The Rings, and Dr. E’s AE&T class wrote, “Man should not be in the service of society, society should be in the service of man. When man is in the service of society, you have a monster state. . .”

Entrepreneurship is the force that continually rights the world by rewarding those who serve—those who battle the bureaucracy with a better way. Entrepreneurship is an epic story wherein the world is continually “begun anew,” as the humble risk-taker—the reluctant hero—the fount of lasting cultural and monetary wealth—happens upon an innovation, invention, or epiphany, and takes a risk in rendering it real for others.

The classic entrepreneur navigates on out while keeping the higher ideals over the bottom line, endures the road of trials en route to the countless showdowns with competitors and convention, seizes the sword, and returns on home with the elixir—with the rewards gained from risking their time, their talents, their passions, and their money in penning that novel, shooting that film, and creating that venture. And so often it is all based on some simple, pervading moral premise. For Google it is “Do no evil.” For Apple it is “Think different.” For Buffett it is “Our favourite holding period is forever.” For Bogle and Wallace, it is “institutions must serve.” For this HJE Festival, it is “own the risk of the renaissance.”

 

And my goal is to serve you with a most useful, informative, and inspirational festival, class, and book  regarding how best to make your passion your profession, as we celebrate the words of that classic entrepreneurial document, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Dr. E @

—http://herosjourneyentrepreneurship.org

 

And make no mistake—they’re gonna tell you it ain’t safe out there—that it’s safer in a cubicle, with a pension and benefits. Call the bluff and catch the wave—45 SURF.

 

HJE pervades the exalted form of all noble and lasting endeavors in the arts, culture, government, academia, blockbuster movies, and business—all of which are characterized by the individual, creator, and innovator’s will to serve—both the higher ideals and the end customer. So often it is that HJE is characterized by an indie entrepreneur or a rugged band of revolutionairies, such as the Founding Fathers, who penned that business plan of all business plans—The United States Constitution. John C. Bogle, the founder and former CEO of Vanguard, reflects upon the nature of entrepreneurial Fellowships in his speech: Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Just as heroes are so often the least likely suspects in movies—such as a Hobbit named Frodo in Lord of The Rings, a farmboy named Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, and a common cubicle worker named Neo in The Matrix, so too are entrepreneurs most often humble heroes. They embark on great journeys by simply “doing the right thing,” while serving with a better way and new day. They end up leading and creating wealth not by degrees and titles, but by innovation, common sense, and humble service. They may seem rebellious, but look closer, and one shall see that they are extremely loyal to higher ideals, and they have the ability—the Classic Character—to render those ideals real in any arena they partake in. As William Wallace said in Braveheart, “men don’t follow titles—they follow courage.” And courage is not the absense of fear, but the ability to hold true to one’s convictions and ideals while facing down the bureaucracy that inverts entrepreneurship’s fundamental premise of service.

A vast demand exists for the classical ideals performed in the contemporary context—for honor, integrity, courage, and committment—on Wall Street and Main Street, in Hollywood and the Heartland, in Academia and Government. And thus opportunity abounds for entrepreneurs who keep the higher ideals above the bottom line—for humble heroes in all walks of life.

Inspired in part by Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces as well as the Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, and Exodus, HJE approaches life as an Epic Story, wherein the rugged innovator, inventor, artist, or entrepreneur embarks on a journey to realize their dream—to render some ideal real.

Definitive aspects of the entrepreneurial journey can be seen in movies ranging from The Matrix to The Lord of The Rings to Star Wars—the call to adventure (seeing an opportunity), refusal of the call (it’s too hard—somebody else would have done it—working a corporate job is safer), meeting the mentor (finding the angels/professors/books/coaches/leaders/entrepreneurs who can help), crossing the threshold (the point of no return—signing the lease/hiring employees), seizing the sword from the stone (getting the patent/raising funds), the showdown/ordeal (facing down competitors), tests, allies, and enemies (collaborators and competition). And even after all that, even after the patent has issued and the funds have been raised, there’s still the classic road on home (getting the product to market!) and the return with the elixir—the exit strategy.

And too, there’s the belly of the whale (Steve Jobs being kicked out of Apple by the MBAs and into the darkness of NEXT) and the resurrection (Steve Jobs returning on home, reinventing Apple with the iPod/iPhone, and leading it to new heights). And it’s always the least likely suspect—the reluctant hero—who somehow succeeds—Frodo was just a little Hobbit, Neo was a lowly cubicle worker—and Jobs, Branson, and Gates have not a college degree between them.

Failure isn’t always failure, so much as a small step along the greater journey. Frodo and Neo both appeared to be dead at one point. In tirelessly testing different filaments, Edison said, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.”

Hero’s Journey Entrepreneurship is a philosophy of life—ideals are real, and they’re not just meant for epic myths of yore and the silver screen. HJE is all about recognizing the true nature of risk, calling the bluff, and reaping the higher rewards. HJE is a class, a festival, a blog, and a couple upcoming books. It’s about taking ownership in your dreams—your most valuable assets—and making your passion your profession. An outline of Hero’s Journey Entrepreneurship, complete with useful resources for patents, trademarks, and incorporating, may be found below.

In this day and age, there exist all-to-many of sales-pitches designed to diminish your dreams, take your money or creations, and all too often place you at risk or in debt to fund someone else’s ventures. Whenever someone on Wall Street, or at a Record Label, or at a University, tells you they are managing your risk, they are generally bluffing, as pointed out by Bogle, Buffett, and Mark Cuban, who states:

 

“Risk is what Wall Street lies about every day. Risk is what they try to sweep under the covers knowing that we all are addicted to the dream of financial freedom. Risk is the poison that is masked by the commercials. . . You Inc. is the best stock you can ever buy… if you are willing to do the work.”—Mark Cuban

 

The bureaucracy—be it the Mutual Fund or the Record Label or Web 2.0 company—is generally transferring the lion’s share of the risk to you and the lion’s share of the wealth to themselves. HJE is where the risk-takers—the artists, creators, and entrepreneurs—get the reward, as set forth in the United States Constitution. HJE salutes Nobel Laureate economists such as Friedman, Hayek, and Schumpeter—all of whom recognized the indie innovator—not the bureaucracy—as society’s natural fount of wealth, and thusly held the notion of property rights in high regard.

Hero’s Journey Entrepreneurship is about calling the bluff and reaping the rewards of your innovations. HJE is all about investing your time, your energy, and your money into your own passions and dreams—for there is no better investment. The resources throughout Dr. E’s websites, syllabi, and books are dedicated to giving you the tools for your journey.

HJE is not so much about making money as it is about creating wealth. For money derives from wealth, and following your dreams is a vast payment in and of itself—that type of payment, that as Herman Melville said, “Cannot be counted down in dollars from the mint.” HJE seeks mentorship in the classics and contemporaries—in the words of Socrates, Mark Cuban, John Bogle, Richard Branson, the Founding Fathers, and Joseph Campbell.

HJE manifests itself in many forms, but it is generally based on the Epic Hero’s Journey, which traces the natural path that an idealist usually follows en route to rendering their ideals real. “The Hero’s Journey” provides the plot outline for not only Exodus, the Iliad,, Odyssey, and Aeneid, blockbuster movies such as The Matrix, Star Wars, Lord of The Rings, as they are all about the battle of good and evil—the lone cowboy facing down the Agents, the Empire, or the Orcs of Mordor. HJE is about taking those classic ideals and rendering them real—in your very own ventures. You are the director, and you are the star—you take the risks, and you get the reward.

 

THERE IS NO REASON NOT TO FOLLOW YOUR HEART

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. –Steven Jobs,

http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html

Hero’s Odyssey Entrepreneurship
Arts Entrepreneurship & Technology 101

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