Humor and Entrepreneurship Have you heard the one about the investor, lawyer, and entrepreneur walk into the bar? No? Well, consider this one: "The Investor, lawyer, and entrepreneur walk into a bar. The bartender asks them what they'll have. The Investor says dry martini, shaken not stirred. The lawyer says Scotch, neat. The entrepreneur quietly says to the barkeep, 'make mine a water. I need time to see who is paying the bill when they've had a few' ". Other chucklers are: The reluctant entrepreneur "I decided to open my own business after something my last boss said." "What did he say? asked a friend" "You're fired." As Entrepreneurs we tend to want to teach our children the lessons that we have learned. Sometimes this is confusing to them. One entrepreneur sat his four year old son down and said "It's time for your lesson." What's two plus two? The little boy said "Two plus two is Six." "No, son," his father said, two plus two is not six. "Two plus two is four." "I'm sorry, father," said the little boy. "I thought we were negotiating." A panhandler slinks up and asks "Buddy, I haven't eaten all day, can you give me $50." The man says, "I think you would be a lot more successful if you asked for $1." The indigent answers, "Look, give me a dollar or give me $50, but don't tell me how to run my business." If necessity is the mother of invention, why are there so many unnecessary inventions? But for those seeking a more academic pursuit I recommend the following….. "Title of College Course: Humor, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship Web: http://entrepreneurship.vanderbilt.edu Instructor: R. Wilburn Clouse, Ph.D. (Wil) Synopsis - Purpose of the course This course is designed for the student who likes to live on the edge. It is about a way of thinking, living, and working. We will integrate humor, creativity, and entrepreneurship into this course. The course will challenge some of your current beliefs and philosophies concerning how people live and work in organizations. The course emphasizes humor, creativity, and entrepreneurship as a way of life. The course is designed to help students use humor, creativity, and entrepreneurship in their own lives, as well as to apply some of the concepts to their organizational lives. It is designed to teach students how to live and work outside of bureaucracy, to learn to dream about new ideas and new ventures, to push the edges of the envelope and to see the concept of entrepreneurship as "virtual reality." Most individuals have a sense of humor, are creative and to some extent have an entrepreneurship spirit. However, in most cases, they leave these characteristics at the front door of their school or work environment. Hopefully, we can help you carry some of these characteristics through the front door and have an impact on your organizational life. Usually, we all like to have fun and enjoy life. Why can't we make the work environment a place that is fun, enjoyable and creative? Dreaming is an important part of this course. How can we get people to rise above the day-to-day activities and to dream about themselves and about their lives? "If you don't see it, it will never happen." This is a common phrase that I often use. Students in Colleges and Universities, as well as Elementary Schools and High Schools, must see a dream and work towards accomplishing that dream. Learning and working are fun activities, if you have the right mindset. Creating the mindset to have fun, to be creative, and to be entrepreneurial is a major focus of this course. Most courses teach certainty and conformity. In this course, I hope to introduce you to uncertainty, chaos, individual freedom, and how to become self-reliant and self-sufficient. The course is likely to challenge some of the beliefs and assumptions that you have developed from your experiences and previous courses. Therefore, this course is not for everyone. If you are not interested in being challenged and if you find chaos frightening, there is still time to drop the class. You may be excused now. (A little Humor!) For those of you, who are still in your seats, buckle your seat belts. This flight is destined to points unknown, to places unseen and at speeds previously unrealized. This course is about learning, having fun and enjoying it. Welcome aboard! Course Assumptions 1. People like to laugh. 2. Learning is fun. 3. Working is fun. 4. People like to be creative. 5. Chaos is here to stay. 6. Dreaming is important. 7. The work environment will change drastically in this new millennium. 8. Twenty-first century students must think in different and more creative ways. 9. Students must develop the ability to create jobs instead of simply taking jobs. 10. People need to be creative, self-sufficient and self-reliant. 11. American students must be prepared to compete effectively in the new global economy. 12. Students must be prepared to deal with uncertainty and manage chaos. Course Objectives 1. To develop new and interesting ways of thinking; 2. To dream about the future; 3. To use humor in our lives; 4. To brainstorm about new ideas and business ventures; 5. To understand the concept of entrepreneurship; 6. To discuss new and different ideas openly, without shame; 7. To take a business idea and develop it into a marketable plan; 8. To share that idea with classmates and with local entrepreneurs. Section 1- Humor Activity I – Opening Session – Overview of Course and Introductions Activity II -- Humor--Come On and Let's Laugh Objective: To build a background and understanding of humor and its uses in your personal life and in organizations. These readings will help you develop an appreciation for humor and its uses. Much of our discussions will center on the book by Morreall, Humor Works. We will use the following out line for discussion. Class Activities Humor Activity 1 - Play is the opposite of work, or is it? (Morreall, Chapter 1) Class Discussion Activity 2 - Humor is nonsense! (Morreall, Chapter 2) Class Discussion Exercise 2-1 • Superiority Theory • The Incongruity Theory • Humor, Joy or Optimism • Humor and Mental Distance • Distance of Fiction/Reality • Distance of Spatial Distance • Distance of Time • Personal Distance/Between People" You get the idea don't you? Humor is in the eye of the beholder, and it clearly depends heavily upon the situation, a person's perspectives, and the timing of the use of humor. Never let it be said entrepreneurs do not have a sense of humor. Turns out it is a requirement of entrepreneurism. Happy New Year!