Back when I was in graduate school, I learned about Donald Brownstein. He’s a billionaire hedge fund manager who happened to study philosophy. At the time, I was pretty comfortable in a middle class neighborhood. I was also pretty content. Still, I looked around at bright fellow philosophy students and thought about what good they may be able to do with a billion dollars.

Fast forward 10 years.

I now have a business idea.

I’ve had several business ideas in the past, but this one is different. It may actually come to fruition.

I’m still in the planning stages, but things are looking good.

So, how does one become a philosopher-entrepreneur? Let me tell you, although you may have to acquire some skills, it’s probably easier than writing an original thesis!

  1. The Idea. For starters, you don’t need an original idea. I know. This may dumbfound you. But, really, if you live in an area where there’s few restaurants, you don’t need to come up with the next novel idea. You just need a solid plan for a restaurant.
  2. The Plan. Which brings me to the next phase of the business: The Almighty Business Plan. You can look online at how to create one. While they may seem frivolous and unnecessary, they actually help you solidify your idea into moving, working parts. This, I’ve found, is incredibly helpful. Beyond being helpful, they come in handy when you are pitching your idea to investors and banks!

With these two things–The Idea and The Plan–you can move onto making your business concrete. And that’s exactly where I am at the moment with my current business idea.

You’ll want to keep your idea under wraps at first, but you will also want to run it by trusted sources to get feedback. Keeping your idea under wraps prevents someone else from jumping the gun before you and seizing the market.

Philosophy students, they say, tend to be good entrepreneurs. There’s laws and regulations you have to abide by (which is fine by me), but typically you have freedom (say, in casual dress codes) as a business owner that may suit philosophers. To boot, there’s always a challenge if you’re a start up–something philosophers seem to enjoy!

I hope this has helped anyone would may wish to go into business for themselves. I may never be Don Brownstein, but pursuing a passion project has its own benefits.

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