In essence, there are two paths to entrepreneurship, with entrepreneurship amounting to the accomplishment of a goal or the creation of solutions to problems which a society faces. Moreover, with globalization and technology, society is now global and international in scope. Thus, the problems which any particular society faces are global and international in scope.
For one, there is the conventional and hedonistic path of entrepreneurship, which is often taken by the likes of hedonistic public figures, social entrepreneurs, and leaders such as Cyril Ramaphosa and many others. This path – namely, the conventional and hedonistic path – is the easier and quicker path towards the accomplishment of a goal and bringing attention to a certain societal problem. But the ultimate goals of the conventional and hedonistic path of entrepreneurship are conformational in nature rather than transformational. Also, just because a path is easier and quicker does not mean that the pressures and stresses of such a path are less severe.
Then, there is the unconventional and unorthodox path, whereby the goals of such a path are transformational and thus unconventional and unorthodox. Although I had to take a few punches in the gut in order to adjust to an unconventional and unorthodox path of entrepreneurship, I made the adjustment nonetheless, and I decided to forego the conventional and hedonistic path of entrepreneurship which many others are willing to take up in the blink of an eye. Although the pressures and stresses of an unconventional and unorthodox path of entrepreneurship are immense, these pressures and stresses are much less damaging and toxic than the pressures and stresses of a conventional and hedonistic path of entrepreneurship.
The goals for my personal entrepreneurial efforts have long been tailored to some sort of diplomatic work and some sort of teaching, preferably at a university. Thus, this blog facilitated a certain level of diplomatic outreach and work on what is known as the “Track II” level, in addition to serving as a teaching tool which in turn enabled me to provide educational content to people from around the world.
I mentioned in the previous blog post that diplomatic work and outreach on a “Track II” level can sometimes lead to breakthroughs on the official or “Track I” level of diplomacy. One of the breakthroughs on a “Track I” level of diplomacy in recent history was the 1993 “Oslo Accords” signed in the White House which would not have materialized without the private efforts of a Norwegian scholar. Another recent breakthrough on the “Track I” level which may have never materialized without the private efforts of an individual on the “Track II” level is the 2015 ‘Iran Nuclear Deal.’
As a grad student in Washington, I had the privilege of taking a class with Hillary Mann Leverett, which was a privilege I did not really appreciate until recently. Leverett became a maverick in Washington by calling on Washington to recognize the Iranian government and to assume diplomatic ties with Tehran. Although the 2015 ‘Iran Nuclear Deal’ falls short of recognition and normal diplomatic ties with Tehran, I highly doubt that this historic diplomatic breakthrough in 2015 would have occurred had it not been for Leverett’s private efforts on the aforementioned “Track II” level. As a result, we cannot underestimate the private efforts of private individuals when it comes to academic and diplomatic breakthroughs on the state and international levels. Not to mention the excitement and intellectual stimulus which results from taking an unconventional and unorthodox path towards the achievement of particular goals.