Welcome to blog post #1 of MeditatingEntrepreneur.com where we offer inspiration and mentorship to truth-seekers who want to start or already run a business. In this first blog post I discuss the origin of and vision for this site. My hope is that you end up loving this site as much as I am enjoying creating it.
What Makes this Site Different
Many excellent websites serve entrepreneurs, and we will be linking to them.
So, what makes this site unique?
- Not one, but scores of successful entrepreneurs in every imaginable field share their wisdom and perspective. (I serve as sort of a master of ceremonies).
- The driving force for each of us is personal evolution — enlightenment and world peace.
- The experience and knowledge gained in our quest for Self-realization plays a major role in our business success. (We became successful despite that few of us had business knowledge, and that we started our businesses in 1980’s rural Iowa, population 10,000).
Our unlikely, true, and inspiring stories show that successful entrepreneurship and self-development form a synergistic, virtuous cycle.
Writing to my Avatar
When writing a book or creating marketing copy, experts advise to identify an avatar and write directly to him or her. He or she represents your main target audience both in terms of demographics and psychographics (who is your audience and why are they interested?).
To start, I’ve decided that I will write to me — I’ll be the avatar. The content is the guidance I wish I had received from 1985-2011 when I started and ran my small publishing company. It is also the guidance for me today at age 67 in 2015 as I build this web-site from scratch and make it self-sustaining.
Are You a Fit for this Site?
Are you creative, always learning, and driven?
Are you considering starting or are already running a business?
Are you truth-seeking and is personal development foundational for you?
Do you care deeply about the planet and the well-being of humanity?
If the answer is yes to all these questions, I believe you will resonate with our stories and be able to apply what we’ve learned to your journey. Our real-life, inspiring, and unlikely entrepreneurial stories demonstrate the virtual cycle of successful entrepreneurship and self-development.
The Brief Back-story
The Move to the Middle of Nowhere
“Meditate together at Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa, and create world peace. You will be rewarded 10,000 times over spiritually and materially.”
– Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1979 addressing an advanced Transcendental Meditation course in Amherst, MA.
Thousands of meditators like me heard the request. Thanks to the daily TM practice we experienced greater clarity, better health, and more happiness. However, Maharishi’s promise certainly seemed a stretch. In our 20’s and 30’s, many of us starting families, how would we support ourselves? We didn’t farm, and there were only so many volunteer positions at Maharishi International University (now Maharishi University of Management – M.U.M) which promised only board and a dilapidated dorm room.
At the time I had an excellent position as a software engineer at Hewlett-Packard in California’s sunny and mild Silicon Valley. A short drive took me to the ocean, San Francisco or Yosemite. Now Maharishi asked us to move to a land of corn-growing and pig-farming, characterized by hot summers and cold winters, hundreds of miles from a significant body of water and five hours from the major Midwestern cities.
Thousands Move to Rural Iowa
Over the next years, many of us ignored common sense and our family’s pleading, followed our heart, and moved to Fairfield.
In Fairfield, we started hundreds of small businesses despite that most of us a decade before were anti-establishment hippies, and knew nothing about business. Many businesses failed. Others succeeded but stayed small. Still others went public and ended up being sold for hundreds of millions of dollars.
We pioneered inexpensive long-distance phone calls, infomercials, and testing for genetically engineered food. My publishing business wrote about small computers, which became today’s smartphones. Other entrepreneurs restored stained glass, took marathon running finish line photos, brokered oil and gas, created book covers, taught yoga teachers, supplied products to chimney sweeps, created People Magazine’s best ice cream of the year, sold incense, made a top bird watching website, developed no-money down real estate courses, ran an organic dairy farm, started a healthcare company, provided back-end services for financial planners, invented sky ceilings, and so much more.
The short version of my story
Rita, my wife to be, and I shared a deep desire for self-development. Consequently, our honeymoon in 1984 consisted of the drive between Palo Alto, California and Fairfield, Iowa. Both of us gave up good jobs. We had about $10,000 of personal savings to cushion us on our new adventure. Shortly before leaving Hewlett-Packard, I used the employee purchase program to buy two cutting-edge products – the first LaserJet printer and the first PC MS-DOS compatible laptop.
Once in Fairfield, I decided to write software that would allow the two devices to communicate. I soon realized that I would not make my fortune promoting “PrinterTalk.” To support Rita and myself, I began selling personal computers for a local retailer, but I wasn’t happy. As Rita recalls, one day bursting out of my office, I announced I would create a newsletter to support HP laptop users, and through the newsletter I would sell PrinterTalk.
However, I knew nothing about publishing or running a business.
Over the next 26 years we produced nearly 200 magazines issues about HP Portables and Palmtops; Microsoft handhelds, Pocket PCs and smartphones; and the Apple iPhone and iPad. In 2011 at the age 64 I turned the operations and much of the ownership of the publishing business to three 20-something meditating employees. (Visit our iPhone Life magazine site for free daily tips).
Teaching “The Successful Entrepreneur”
Every March starting in 2012, I have taught an undergrad course The Successful Entrepreneur – Integrating Inner Fulfillment and Outer Success at Maharishi University of Management. Each afternoon I invited a local guest entrepreneur to share their story and wisdom. This site and book grew from listening to those inspiring stories.
The Role of T.M. on this Site
Maharishi’s teaching served as a backdrop for moving to rural Iowa and creating successful businesses from nothing. We practiced Maharishi’s TM technique and assimilated Maharishi’s teachings about how the pure field of Creative Intelligence, experienced in daily meditation, manifests.
I encourage anyone reading this site to practice TM and advanced programs and enjoy a myriad of daily benefits. At the same time if you resonate with the material, you are most welcome whether or not you practice TM.
(As a side note, TM is a simple, natural, effortless technique for experiencing the silence within. It is not a religion and requires no belief system. I am Jewish and my wife, Roman Catholic. We both found meditation enriched the experience of our own religious traditions. Also, this site does not represent the TM organization or Maharishi University of Management.)
I welcome your thoughts.