What Confucius Taught Us About Startups And Businesses


What Confucius Taught Us About Startups And Businesses

Confucius was known for it’s teachings that many people still live by today. The most amazing thing about Confucius’s teaching is that it can be used during any phrase of your life and any location of your life. The teachings also motivate people and teaches them every aspect of life. Some of his teachings are theory based and some of them are lesson based, but a lot of them teach us to be a better person and achieve better goals in life.


Guanxi is a must have

Guanxi is the Chinese term for relationship. Anyone that is familiar with the Chinese business culture should be very familiar with the term Guanxi. We could go on for an entire course about how China uses Guanxi, but for now just think of it as building networks and building relationships with other people. Confucius believed that this is extremely important. He believed that you have to treat someone well in order to be treat well, which is also why gifting is a must when doing business in China. Confucius believes that you also must respect other people in order to gain respect and network from them.

Take Pride In Your Work And Don’t Be Shy About It

Confucius believed that generals should take pride in their country just like how a business and startup should take pride in their work. You should be proud of what you are doing and not allow other people to stop your shine. Take pride in your work, but don’t worry about what other people think. To Confucius, fame meant nothing and that human beings should not be blinded by fame at all.

I will not be concerned at other men’s not knowing me; I will be concerned at my own want of ability. – Confucius

The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has.

Do not worry about failing

If you haven’t already, check out the article on The Art Of Failure. Confucius believes that it’s perfectly fine to fail and you should come forward and admit your failure. Learn from the mistakes and get back up from it. Confucius believed that the only people that truly fail are the ones that fail and not find another way to come back up. Entrepreneurs and startups must learn from their failure and keep moving forward.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

No body is born smarter than another

Confucius truly believed that all man was born equal, nobody is born smarter than another. This tells us that we should never have an excuse to not start a business. We always hear people say, “Oh I wish I was like him.” Confucius says that there’s no reason you cant be like “him”. Your both born equal, and nothing makes them any better than you are. Everyone has disadvantage and advantages, take your disadvantage and turn it into an advantage. Kill all the bad habits and make something happen.

The nature of man is always the same; it is their habits that separate them.


A startup/business needs a good leader

Well startups weren’t known when Confucius was around, but he believed that a city or state must be well governed. He believed that in a city that is doing well, poverty should not occur and should be a disgrace to the city. He also believed that if the city was poorly governed but there was a lot of wealth around, then that should also be a disgrace to the city. You can relate this to a startup or business by thinking about how everyone should be treated equally in a startup. How a leader’s leadership and management skills make a huge impact on the company.

In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.

Be Passionate And World Changing

This one is a bit controversial because some people would debate that entrepreneurs should never do it for the money while others would say that money means everything in business. It depends on how you view it, but Confucius believes that you should never do it for profit, instead you should go after something that is world changing, something that will make this world a better place. Be passionate about the product and business. We have seen startups that failed because they never had passion for their product, so this theory is definitely debatable.

The superior man seeks what is right; the inferior one, what is profitable.

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Entrepreneur. Huge Startup Junkie. Loves Marketing & Business. @artofwarbiz

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