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Positive Enterprise Value Blog EOMs Are A Fountain of Zest
EOMs Are A Fountain of Zest

EOMs Are A Fountain of Zest

January 19, 2023

1 minute read

Santa Barbara, California

I have been engaged in a more or less continuous conversation for four decades with high performing Entrepreneur Owner-Managers (“EOMs”) about the path to unlock their potential and experience their freedom.

In the world of uncertainty today, where most employees or bureaucrats face the future gloomily or with suspicion, EOMs are a different animal aren’t they? Hell, they are a different species.

I have concluded, that these high performing EOMs must be an apparatus for making zest.

Zest is a positive trait reflecting a person’s accustomed approach to life with anticipation, energy, and excitement. I think of it as energy, liveliness, vitality, exuberance, joie de vivre, vigor, engagement. The core idea of zest is to live and not just exist.

Across all occupations, zest predicts the stance that work is a calling (Petersen, Park, Hall, & Seligman 2007). For high performing EOMs, work is intrinsically rewarding and a central part of one’s very existence. Viewing work as a calling is central in entrepreneurial life, and enjoyable. Satisfaction is high. We don’t see the point in retirement.

So EOMs look at the future with zest, and we get excited about future goals and impatient to make them a reality. Obstacles, especially cynical or unsupportive people who may surround  us, make EOMs even more frustrated about the present— and eager to change. The energy between the tension of these two poles sparks EOM creativity and action.

Maybe Entrepreneur Owner-Managers are just “wired” different from the mass popular culture. But one of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals choose the way they think. For EOMs, behaving with zest is worth 25 IQ points.

Note: In 2018, we published an original piece of research titled Entrepreneur Strengths Study: Results from a Preliminary Study of the Brief Signature Strengths and GRIT-S Scale of Seasoned Entrepreneurs.  It is a unique preliminary study on the VIA Signature Strengths of Entrepreneurs. We sought to learn if seasoned successful entrepreneurs exhibit a blend of unique signature character strengths and persistence compared to the general population? Are there affirmative characteristics that they share? When it comes to character, what are the different components of character specific to entrepreneurs?

The study can be found here.

What I am Reading / Listening to

CODA (2021)
Written & directed by Sian Heder

In music, a coda is the passage that brings a piece to an end. In this 2021 movie written and directed by Sian Heder, the word is used to describe the hearing children of deaf adults. I don’t know whether experts would classify this work as a drama or as a comedy, but it evokes the emotions of both.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby Rossi is the only hearing member of her family. Her Dad and brother are fishermen out of Gloucester, MA and the movie features some of the grittiness of that life and that geography. She struggles to follow her passion which is singing, and be the first person in her family to go to college—in this case trying for the Berklee School of Music with the help of a supportive music teacher/coach.

I don’t like it when the writers or directors manipulate our emotions. I didn’t feel that with CODA. What I did learn through a couple of incredibly skillful scenes was for a moment, just the perception of what it’s like for people who cannot hear, to experience everyday life.

I highly recommend.

Entrepreneur Owner-Manager Quote

"I am so appreciative of Bigelow’s professionalism and hard work. Their team was in lockstep with me from beginning to end. I felt personally taken care of, and I knew the company was in good hands. I don’t imagine we could have achieved the same success without Bigelow’s involvement."

-Jan L. Blomstrann, Former Chairwoman & Owner of NRG Systems, Inc.


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