An Annual Accounting

by Naomi Korb Weiss

Mentally, I often divide the entrepreneurs we work with at PresenTense into two camps: those who simply love starting new things and those who can’t sleep at night because of an unfilled need in the world. In an ideal scenario, an entrepreneur is both.

During this time of year as we find ourselves in the seemingly never-ending cycle of Jewish holidays and, as a result, choppy work weeks. Our team finds itself alternating between our office and inboxes and sukkahs and new year’s resolutions. Beginning in late summer, our tradition encourages us to become introspective and to perform a cheshbon nefesh – an accounting of oneself. Yet concurrently we are reviewing our organizational charts of accounts in preparation for our new fiscal year. How do we reconcile this back-and-forth?

I look to our entrepreneurs as inspiration, as I so often do. I think about our PresenTense community members who are unsettled with the state of Jewish education or poverty or politics and who have taken it upon themselves to do something, to drive change in their community. They have performed an accounting both of themselves and of their potential impact in the world. To help them further develop their visions we spend seminar time together mapping the community and environment around them, to understand who else is considering the issue about which they feel so passionately.

And then I look at the other camp of entrepreneurs – those who have caught the bug of entrepreneurship and are itching to start something new. Many of them were born with this bug and will never lose it; others have been influenced by their peers and by today’s economic reality. They draw energy and fulfillment from beginning something fresh, testing new ground and leading a charge.

As we begin this new Jewish year, let’s all draw inspiration from our community by accounting for what we have, dreaming anew and joining together to drive change in this world.

Naomi Korb Weiss is Co-Director of PresenTense Group.

cross-posted at Blogging Innovation (PresenTense Blog)