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From Learned Helplessness to Empowered Entrepreneur in Six Steps

Dave Pollard, author of Finding the Sweet Spot: The Natural Entrepreneur’s Guide to Responsible, Sustainable, Joyful Work, wants to help you take control of your worklife. In this article he published in Ode Magazine he argues that this recession is exactly the right time to make that leap into your post-employee life. He suggests we confront and combat the “learned helplessness” that we’ve adopted as employees in this society.

He explains in the article:

This perception of helplessness is reinforced by our society for all sorts of reasons. Employers want their employees to be loyal and obedient; schools and universities teach us we have to find a job or career working for someone else. Government programs to “combat unemployment” generally entail giving money and tax breaks to corporations in the naive belief that this will “trickle down” to the rest of us. So, conditioned by learned helplessness, we perceive ourselves as passive consumers, passive citizens and passive employees. The key to overcoming learned helplessness is realizing that we aren’t helpless, that we have more control over our situations and destinies than we’ve been led to believe.

Entrepreneurship need not be stressful, risky, expensive, lonely, exhausting or require great skills, ideas or self-confidence—a perception that’s reinforced by the mainstream media. Right now, when the economy is falling apart, is the best possible time to start your own enterprise, and doing so could propel you into work that’s more responsible, sustainable and joyful than what you’re doing now.

Dave then goes on to list the six differences between entrepreneurs who find their businesses to be “stress-prone, boom-and-bust, struggling” and their “natural entrepreneur” counterparts who enjoy their work every day. Read them, and the rest of the article, here at Ode.

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