How do I find my entrepreneurial self

Ulrich Bröckling: The Entrepreneurial Self (2007)

What is said in the book is extremely clever, inspiring, and illuminating. But hardly anyone can be expected to read the book!

Read: 2020


The demand that “everyone should become an entrepreneur in their own right down to the last corner of their soul” is made by motivation gurus and self-management trainers, but also by economists, education experts and trend researchers, says UB (p. 7).

  • I add: Also from more and more teachers, youth coaches, AMS etc. (see EBCL LifeManagement and their fans; they go through all social classes, there is hardly any contradiction, that is "common sense".)
  • I add: Also from proponents of civil society, see Wolf Lotter

P. 7: The entrepreneurial self "is a bundle of interpretive schemes" from:

  • normative requirements
  • Role offers and role models
  • institutional arrangements
  • Social and Self Technologies
  • In other words: "The entrepreneurial self is a model." (P. 7)

“Entrepreneurial” is often used synonymously in the political context for “personal initiative” and “personal responsibility”. (P. 8)

  • When politics or traditional institutions (schools, AMS, WKO) run out of answers, then they appeal to self-responsibility: If we can no longer tell you what to do, then (and only then) you will be happy again Blacksmith.
  • The only problem is: how should someone be able to think and act entrepreneurially at the end of the flagpole if he has never learned it by then? The same institutions that demand entrepreneurial thinking and acting as a last resort have not promoted or prevented precisely that as long as it was a nuisance to them. Only when they are at the end of their game do they delegate responsibility back to the individual (and use it to clean themselves off).
  • The demand for personal responsibility is always attached to a strong suspicion of cynicism.

“Entrepreneurial knowledge society” (p. 8): Two weighty keywords are combined; in the context cited, it is political whacking, but is there anything to this combination?

  • Is the knowledge society (especially in the sense of Peter Drucker's knowledge worker) conceivable without the entrepreneurs that it has the potential to produce?
  • Is the knowledge society, as Drucker thinks it, even conceivable if it does not include edupreneurs (asa Formation) arise?
  • Aren't certain forms of entrepreneurship only made possible by the knowledge society and knowledge work?
  • Does one cause the other here? What is the cause, what is the effect?

The state sees it as its task to create the environment, to create the framework so that these entrepreneurial people can look after themselves. (P. 8)

  • At the same time, in Europe, especially in Austria, we also have the welfare state that nobody wants to give up so easily - not even the most liberal politicians (if only because they fear for their votes).
  • In Europe we are not in the USA, where this liberal idea is very pronounced and where it is no longer questioned.
  • In Europe we have the opportunity to combine personal responsibility with responsibility towards society and society towards us. It's just not that easy to think and even more difficult to pour into a practical model of thought and action. You have to understand that first and then be able to convey it! It is easier then to fall back on ideological black and white painting. It's just that you rarely find the answers for a complex future in them.
  • At the same time, “the state” wants to have us under control, to control us, to “rule” us.

In relation to the entrepreneurial self, UB speaks of a “force field” (p. 8) that pulls the individual under its spell and on which it has a pull - especially on their behavior.

“The force field of the entrepreneurial self is fed by many sources” (p. 9). It is not only a political issue - but it is also instrumentalized in politics.

IMPORTANT: This is NOT a book about lifestyle entrepreneurs! This book is not about entrepreneurial subjects, but about the entrepreneurial self as an instrument for exercising power!

  • “What is examined is the regime of subjectification, not what the people who are subject to this regime and who in this submission constitute themselves as subjects actually say or do. The question is not how powerful the postulate to act entrepreneurially is, but how it develops its effect. " (P. 10)
  • So for me an important part of the picture is missing.
  • So in this book I learn something about the "force field", but not about how people act in this force field, how they feel about it, how well or badly they cope with it - and also not how they may use this force field. can even be used to promote their own lifestyle businesses.
  • It is important that I keep this limitation in mind when reading.

The entrepreneurial self is an ideal that can never be achieved!

  • "The following is not only about what individuals should do and how they are enabled to do so, but also about the fact that their efforts repeatedly fail and that can never fully meet the requirements." (P. 11)
  • On the one hand: A goal that can never be achieved is not a good guideline for a successful life.
  • On the other hand: Isn't that the characteristic of every ideal that it can never be fully achieved? Isn't that true of life itself, that one can never quite meet one's requirements?
  • To what extent is the entrepreneurial self different, worse, “more dangerous” than other social ideals?

The ideal of the entrepreneurial self must be seen in the context of the general dynamics of the economization of life. (P. 11)

The entrepreneurial self is forced to be free. It did not choose this freedom, it is forced to choose continually. (P. 12)

The worker entrepreneur (p. 12)

  • The individual assumes entrepreneurial responsibility for his production factor labor and markets himself as optimally as possible on the labor market. This includes career planning and "strategic decisions", e.g. changing employers and gaining new experience elsewhere.

"The entrepreneurial self is a descendant of homo oeconomicus" (p. 12)

"The fabrication of the entrepreneurial self operates with promises of success and threats of collapse" (p. 12)

  • Yes, eh. These are the weapons of war in any ideology. Why should it be any different here?

I. Genealogy of subjectivation - a research program

How to become a subject:

  • "To become a subject is a paradoxical process in which active and passive moments, external and self-control are inextricably interwoven." (P. 19)
  • "Man becomes a subject because he first has to make himself what he already is, because he has to lead the life that he lives." (P. 19)

Foucault: Power is exercised over the subject. This exercise of power "incites, gives in, distracts, eases or complicates, expands or limits, makes it more or less probable, in borderline cases compels or prevents it completely". (P. 20)

  • The individual is entangled and interwoven in power structures. These “powers” ​​determine how far the individual can / may come with his self-becoming or in which direction it should go.
  • It liesNot alone in our hands. It is only in our power to use the leeway that the power structures offer to the full and for our purposes.
  • Power structures: politics, society, school, family, parents, relationships, economic systems, employers, chambers of commerce, ...

“Becoming oneself” is a totally recursive, self-related (and ultimately also unfinished) work. "The object to which [the work] is meant and the worker who is supposed to do it coincide." (P. 22)

  • The object that is being worked on is myself. I am also the worker. This necessarily creates a lot of self-references - but also a lot of internal contradictions and conflicts.
  • Can one reproach someone who deals with himself with “self-centeredness” (cf. Gen Y)?
  • To what extent can external parties (“life coaches”) intervene in this process in a meaningful way? Can you sensibly direct the self-centeredness? Or are they just an artifact of the power structures? Or are they helpers / accomplices?

The process of subjectification cannot be completed. (P. 22)

  • The life project is never finished. (Except ended by death. That is why it is so necessary!)
  • There are no natural limits to self-optimization.
  • “Lifelong learning” takes up this idea and makes it “common sense”.
  • Is that an imposition for people, or is it their greatest gift? (Or is it both?)

Individualization = the individual finds out what distinguishes him from others. (P. 23)

  • This is done through introspection and self-description.
  • The individual becomes a “brand” with a USP.
  • Hence: individualization and subjectification are not the same thing. UB understands individualization asoneMode of subjectification.

"Being an individual becomes a duty" (Niklas Luhmann; p. 24)

  • Finding the USP is prototypical advice to founders, especially EPU.
  • Finding the USP is also advised to everyone applying to the job market.
  • VM even recommends finding your USP in the partner search process in order to be “successful”.
  • It's about uniqueness and incomparability.
  • Individualization is the result and reason of the competitive society. In the competition for jobs, attention, ... you have to be distinctive, you have to stand out in order to have an advantage.
    • See "You don't have to be better, just different."

The challenge for the individual: the plural self can never cope with "assembling its elements into a coherent unit". (P. 24)

  • Compare the difficult task of writing “your own story” and finding something like a red thread in the randomness of life. Everyone has so many different insights into who he / she is, what defines him / her.
  • Isn't it a completely overwhelming task for the individual to find this “coherent unity”? In addition, because the elements change again and again in the course of life?
  • The human being becomes a “product” (or, less industrially, a “brand”). A product has clear properties and a clear benefit. Because the product is fixed, you can also fabricate a story of the product. Because the product is fixed, it can also be marketed. When something is in a state of flux, when it is ambiguous and perhaps even contradictory, it becomes difficult to market.
  • => Only the individualization makes it possible to market yourself. When everyone is equal, there is no market (at least no market that favors the individual).

Individuals today have previously unimagined choices, but at the same time are equally subject to choice constraints. (P. 26)

  • Ulrich Beck: "People are condemned to individualization."
  • Compulsory voting can lead to excessive demands and paralysis.

“In the end, the compulsion to individualize also means that you have to take responsibility for your own failure." (P. 26)

  • You have to take responsibility for your own failure (“You made that decision”) -> for fear of this charge, young people prefer not to make a decision at all.

The task, indeed the duty of subjectification and individualization, is challenging, even overwhelming. It is an interplay between the expectations of society and what the individual is trying to make of them. That is why the individual turns to authorities who are supposed to show him the way, to tell him where to go. But very often there is nothing useful. (P. 30)

  • Bloggers, podcasters, "gurus", influencers, are new forms of these authorities.
  • People look for solutions to problems, not explanations of problems.

"Becoming a subject is something that nobody escapes and that at the same time nobody succeeds." (P. 30)

  • It's a collective task. It affects everyone.
  • So everyone has to go through this alley. The topic is an evergreen.

“Self-technologies” (p. 31) - an interesting word

There are no simple stimulus-response automatisms here. There is a pull that makes certain behaviors more likely than others. (P. 38). And: there is always resistance:

  • “Programs never translate seamlessly into individual behavior; Acquiring their rules always means modifying them. The stubbornness of human action insists in the form of counter-movements, moments of inertia and neutralization techniques. " (P. 40)

"Regimes of subjectivation need directors of subjectivation." (P. 41)

  • Classic: pastors, teachers, doctors
  • New: consultants, experts, therapists, trainers
  • They are all “experts in subjectivity” because they transfer the question of the meaning of life (existential question) into the technical problem of how difficulties can be “managed” as efficiently as possible and the “quality of life” can be increased.
  • Self-management / life management as the new answer to the oldest questions of mankind? Self-management / life management as a new "religion" that gives meaning - but without spiritual energy?

Process of professionalization and differentiation (p. 41f)

  • “Obviously, to find out who you are, you need someone to tell you; to become someone who will help you. " (P. 42)
  • At the same time, “any professional help first and foremost constructs those in need”. She assumes a need for help and no longer questions this assumption!

"The genealogy of subjectivation does not know whether there is a beyond the governments of the self, but it insists on making visible the unreasonable demands that the regimes of subjectivation demand of the individual." (P. 44)

  • It's unreasonable!
  • Genealogy = genealogy, research into the origin

"The present study [...] examines a subjectification model in which, according to the thesis to be explicated below, a large number of current government and self-regulation practices are condensed: the entrepreneurial self." (P. 45)

2. Contours of the entrepreneurial self - a search for clues

The Ich-AGs constantly work on the market value of their own shares. (P. 46)

  • The aim is to increase value - to infinity?
  • “Value” is not just marketing value (= labor); Value = appreciation

The entrepreneurial self does not exist in reality. It will not be found anywhere. (P. 46)

  • "The entrepreneurial self does not designate an empirically observable entity at all, but the way in which individuals are addressed as persons, and at the same time the direction in which they are and should change."
  • The entrepreneurial self is “not a tool for describing reality, but an instrument for changing it”. (P. 48)
  • It's not easy to understand.

"You are not an entrepreneurial self, you should become one." (P. 47)

  • "Not to be found, but to be produced"
  • This ideal is downright contemporary.

Increasing corporateization of everyday life (p. 48)

  • And whether! That's exactly what a LifeManager does: budget, budget controlling, life planning, vision, strategy ... = tasks of a company, an "I-AG"
  • It is accepted without being contradicted if one says: A family is like a small business.
  • "The pressure to economize affects all areas of everyday life." (P. 48)
  • Read more: Hans J. Pongratz, G. Günter Voß: Externally Organized Self-Organization (1997)

"The tendency towards increased self-control, self-economization and self-rationalization [...] can therefore be demonstrated particularly in promising fields of employment such as [...] in the further training and consulting sector [...]." (P. 49)

  • The entrepreneurial self is therefore particularly relevant for edupreneurs. I had already suspected that.

"The precarious variant of the labor entrepreneur, finally, is the growing army of small self-employed people who make their way through with the help of an employment agency or without state start-up funding - with little prospect of eventually attaining the level of prosperity that was once associated with the figure of the entrepreneur." (P. 49)

  • Unfortunately, this definitely applies to some of the participants in the UGP.
  • This certainly applies to some (most?) Edupreneurs as well.
  • What about lifestyle entrepreneurs? Is it inevitable that the lifestyle entrepreneur will have to forego (financial) prosperity?

“The consumerist and entrepreneurial imperative coincided: As a consumer, the individual should accumulate his pleasure capital and for this purpose had to be as innovative, willing to take risks and willing to make decisions as if he had to lead a company to market success.” (P. 51)

  • Interesting thought: The “triumph of the entrepreneur” actually comes from the logic of consumerism. Individuality arises in the private sphere and, in this, primarily through consumption. What I consume is what sets me apart from others.
  • And: In order to raise the funds I need for consumption, I have to behave in an entrepreneurial manner. It’s not just about money, but also vision and creativity. I have to plan my consumption as strategically as a company, so that I am individual and distinguishable in my private life, so that I have my USP.
  • This USP is necessary because status is so enormously important for us humans (cf. Seth Godin). The status in private is thus defined by the uniqueness of my consumption. And to be unique here, you need entrepreneurial thinking and acting.
  • That is really a very exciting thought. Incidentally, it does not come from Bröckling, but from an article by Paul Thibaud: The Triumph of the Entrepreneur (1984)

"In doing so, he was able to practice those behavioral dispositions that also benefited him in other areas of life." (P. 51)

  • So it doesn't end with private consumption - on the contrary. This is just the starting point.
  • "From being an entrepreneur in the service of your own enjoyment, you can become an entrepreneur in general." (Thibaud)

"There was no longer an irreconcilable contradiction between the pursuit of self-fulfillment and the pursuit of economic success, rather both strengthened each other." (P. 52)

  • That’s really exciting. Entrepreneurial thinking and capitalism are virtually wandering up the hierarchy of needs. It starts with material things and eventually even reaches the domain of self-actualization.
  • Again I assume the striving for individualism and distinctiveness as a fundamental drive. Entrepreneurial thinking is simply apt to feed that drive successfully. It is a recipe for success! Capitalism is a recipe for success! It goes without saying that it was also able to gain a foothold in the domain of self-realization.
  • Only with this a problem arose: Self-realization and economic success were (and are) equated. The process was shortened to: Financial success = self-realization. And vice versa: Self-realization (“Follow your passion!”) ​​=> Financial success. And these formulas are very present to this day.
  • Only: That can't work out! Because: Am I not a “real”, “fully fledged” person if I am not (currently) financially successful? (See people in unemployment; founders / entrepreneurs who fail with their company, etc.) What if I don't get rich and successful with my passion?
  • This game cannot be won. It only leads to more and more galloping consumption, which is ultimately responsible for the climate catastrophe. And this catastrophe has its basic evil in the abbreviated formula “Consumption = Self-realization = Happiness”.
  • This industrial capitalist world and human view is based on the fact that we undermine our own basis of life (Philipp Blom) - the material, but also the psychological. The recipe for success is therefore only effective in the short term. In the long run, it will lead us to hell.

Another consequence of this development: the reversal of means and ends

  • "The economy no longer appeared as an instrument in the service of society and its political institutions; from now on, society and its political institutions should obey the imperative of the economy." (P. 52)
  • In a nutshell: If the economy is doing well, we're all doing well.
  • This is more present than ever in the 2020 Corona crisis: The most important thing is that the economy catches up. That is pretty unquestioned, even with the Greens. This is common sense.

Parallel to this: transition from the welfare state to the activating state (p. 52)

  • People should be "brought into work". The AMS implements “activation measures”.
  • Current: In order to reintegrate the many corona-related unemployed people are more likely to rely on retraining than on an increase in unemployment benefits. It should be as unattractive as possible to be “not active”.

In this context, one should not underestimate the influence of the USA and GB in the 1980s. (P. 53)

  • “It was the logic of Thatcherism and Reaganomics that everyone should become the entrepreneur of their own life, which put individual responsibility at the top of the political agenda […].” (P. 52)
  • It was about establishing an "enterprise culture".
  • Reagan (1985): New "Era of Entrepreneurship": "Being an entrepreneur is not entirely American, but entrepreneurship seems to be more in our nature than anywhere else in the world." (P. 54)
  • I thought more about that: Where are the European / Austrian thinkers and gurus?

A disturbing paradox: "To imagine yourself as a subject with the power to act, instead of feeling defenseless at the mercy of the forces of the market, becomes synonymous with behaving consistently as a market subject." (P.56)

  • To rebel against the market means at the same time to recognize it as existent.
  • The market is only as powerful as people try to use it for themselves or to outsmart it. It is only by trying to withdraw from the market that one accepts and reinforces the existence of the market.

New self-employed: "You buy more self-determination with less social security." (P. 57)

  • Because they have to organize their business relationships themselves, communication work becomes an essential part of their job.

The entrepreneurial self addresses people's longings: “The entrepreneurial self [...] could only become a hegemonic figure because it was linked to a collective desire for autonomy, self-realization and non-alienated work. Without the utopian energies [...] this role model could never have developed such an attraction. " (P. 58)

  • These longings persist. If the entrepreneurial self is not a good answer, then what is it? Or is that the wrong question?

“Individuals should maximize their power over themselves, self-esteem and self-esteem and health, as well as their job performance and wealth; They should be able to do this all the better, the more actively and responsibly they take control of their lives; and they should seek professional help when they are overwhelmed with all of this. " (P. 61)

  • This is the value proposition, the "creed" of Life Management, the small business owners who change the world.
  • That is also the core idea of ​​civil society and civil capitalism.
  • That is also what the attractive utopia is: we have our own luck in our own hands. It just depends what we make of it!
  • Paradoxically, this also corresponds to the values ​​of the “therapy culture”: Psychologists, counselors, coaches, ... have an interest in keeping this ideal alive because it legitimizes their work and also makes it materially possible.
    • Wolf Lotter would see it very differently. In the knowledge society, the demands are just different.
  • In this respect we have a lot of self-reference: Consultants advise consultants who advise consultants.
  • Every interest-driven model has an agenda. This is how a utopia becomes an ideology - because it benefits those who represent it.

"Self-management is largely based on the conviction that you can achieve what you want to achieve." (P. 68)

  • Without this belief there would be no point in self-management.
  • At the same time, this also means: If you have not (yet) achieved what you want, then you have to improve your self-management! You have to become more productive / more effective! It's not the environment's fault, it's up to you. Because anything else would be a victim mentality.
  • This is also what Brian Little means by: Are the cables plugged in? You can optimize what you want, if you cannot achieve what you want to achieve, then you will not succeed.
  • Self-management must therefore be balanced with a realistic feeling for what is actually feasible and achievable for the individual.

“Permanent further training, lifelong learning, personal growth - the imperatives of self-optimization imply the need for continuous improvement. This compulsion to outdo oneself is driven by the mechanism of competition. " (P. 71f)

  • I think he's going too far here. To see further training, learning and growth purely as instruments of discipline ignores the intrinsic impulse of people for growth and development from my point of view. If you see with children: People want to learn, want to develop, want to grow. This aspect is completely excluded here.
  • It's true: From this point of view, there is no voluntariness involved. He speaks of “coercion”. The individual has no choice. It's not about him growingwantbut it is forced to grow. That's just a big difference.
  • And yet: It bothers me that this first aspect is so completely excluded. This makes the picture too one-sided for me.

"Finally, the dark side of entrepreneurial self-optimization has also become visible: The constant fear of not having done enough or not doing the right thing, and the irrevocable feeling of inadequacy are part of the entrepreneur in his own right [...]." (P. 74)

  • Yes, the US is overwhelmed. There are actually dark sides and undesirable side effects.
  • It is questionable whether lifestyle entrepreneurs are really happier overall. A question that hurts.

"The invocation of the entrepreneurial self does not stop at those in whose ears even modest promises must sound like sheer mockery, because their superfluity is brought before their eyes on a daily basis."

  • What is meant are: long-term unemployed, disadvantaged young people and probably also refugees
  • It is really amazing what attraction entrepreneurial concepts exude to those who are responsible for these groups of people. They are inspired by the wish that these “difficult target groups” would finally take their lives into their own hands and thus make the lives of those who have to deal with them easier for themselves. The magic formula of "Be the captain of your own life" is really too tempting.
  • But that can easily slide into cynicism.
  • See Life Management: The line between help and support that is felt to be honest and an unreasonable demand from someone who does not understand at all how a long-term unemployed is doing is very, very narrow. Do you really know why you are holding out your hand?

3. Rationality

3.1 The truth of the market. Facets of neoliberalism

“Entrepreneurs only exist where there are markets; Entrepreneurial action is only action with a view to market success. " (P. 76)

  • Entrepreneurship and the market are mutually dependent. Those who want more entrepreneurial action also want more areas of life that are regulated by market logic.
  • Who will say a, need to say b as well.

Neoliberalism has no uniform political concept, is not a coherent set of ideas: "The economic theories that operate under the self-chosen or externally ascribed label" neoliberalism "are anything but homogeneous." (P. 104) But the following are important cornerstones: (see p. 78f; p. 106)

  • General suspicion: There is too much government.
  • The place where the truth about the nature of governance is revealed is in the market.
  • It is always the individual who makes the decision. The individual decides in such a way that he maximizes the benefit for himself.
  • Promise of liberalism (after Foucault): “I will give you the possibilities of freedom. I will arrange it so that you are free to be free. "
  • “Governing under this maxim requires the consistent renunciation of any measure that could shackle the invisible hand of the market. Therefore, all political interventions are initially under general suspicion. "
  • Resists any form of redistribution, e.g. the welfare state, because it is incompatible with the principles of the market economy (exception: subsidies for those who cannot secure their existence in the short or long term and would therefore withdraw as market participants). (see p. 84)
  • Important: The ordoliberals (!, The German school of classical liberalism) see competition as the best principle of order for the economy - butjust for the economy! They don't want competition as a principle with which to build society as a whole. Outside of the economy, a “strong political and moral framework” is needed. (P. 85f)
    • This distinguishes them from the Chicago School of Economics, which see competition as a “general model for describing human action”.

Economic imperialism = "Expansion of economic explanations also to areas of life that are traditionally not included in the sphere of economics" (p. 86f)

  • How this succeeds, among other things: By understanding the individual as an actor who influences the market with his decisions.
  • “Whatever someone does, they could also refrain from doing it or do something else at the same time. Therefore, it makes sense to assume that he will take whatever option he believes will best suit his preferences. The person of the human capital theory is above all a person who is constantly different. " (P. 88)
  • This opportunity cost approach can of course (with a little good will) be applied to all areas of life. See Personal Project Management

Liberalism = "Shift away from the paradigm of exchange towards that of competition"

  • Exchange economy becomes a competitive society
  • Gift economy -> exchange economy -> competition economy -> network economy -> access economy

In Becker and Schultz's liberalism, people are “competence machines” (Foucault):

  • Education as an investment in human capital: "[...] these machines need to be carefully developed, carefully maintained and continuously adjusted to market requirements. This cannot be started early enough, and it requires the commitment of their parents and other social institutions even before the individual can take the development and permanent expansion of his skills into his own hands. " (P. 92)
  • "An entire industry lives with neuroscientific backing from the promise that the investment in an infant's human capital can be optimized by providing them with" activating "game material." (P. 92)
  • Majia Holmer Nadesan: Engineering the entrepreneurial infant (2003)
  • See English in kindergarten; Recognize talent as early as possible

The universal principle "It's your own fault!" (P. 93)

  • “Those who get sick have not cared enough about their health [or have allowed too much“ negative energy ”into their life, note]; Anyone who is the victim of an accident or a crime should have been more concerned about their safety. "
  • Cf. Life Management, where this way of thinking was / is also manifested: Example smoking: The smoker chooses to smoke because he derives high (short-term) benefit from it and decides against doing something about the long-term damage to health. Everything a person does is an opportunity cost decision.

Knowledge is also an investment (p. 95)

  • “The allocation of resources that produces the maximum return on investment only becomes apparent in retrospect, but precisely because complete information cannot be obtained and market success is ultimately contingent, the relative information advantage can be decisive. In this perspective, the will to know is also an economic function [...]. "
  • [The acquisition of knowledge is] an investment in one's own human capital […]. Becoming a homo oeconomicus is also an educational program. "

What Friedrich August von Hayek (according to the UB) says:

  • "In short, the market is smarter than its participants, which is why they would do well to follow its signals." (P. 99)
    • see Seth Godin: The market is a “listening device”.
  • "More clearly than most of his companions, he says that the competition not only produces winners and that success depends at least as much on luck as it does on individual effort." (P. 102)
  • "A competitive society is not a performance society, and it certainly does not create social justice." (P. 102)
  • "The main task of the competition is to show which plans are wrong." (P. 103)

Which rules of conduct for the individual lifestyle result from this?

  • “Because luck and skill are inextricably interwoven, he can never be sure whether his success is due to sheer chance and his failure to lack of effort, and in any case he has to continue to use all his strength without ever being able to know whether the effort is being made will be worth it. Happiness only beckons to the able, but no matter how much efficiency does not necessarily protect against unhappiness. " (P. 103)
    • This is also the reason for entrepreneurs to break down.

3.2 Entrepreneurial functions

"Entrepreneurial action, as far as there is consensus, is economic action, but not every economic activity is entrepreneurial." (P. 108)

  • See entrepreneur vs. manager: A manager also acts economically (= economically), but he often does the opposite of what one would call “entrepreneurial action”.
  • I would even restrict that and say: an entrepreneur sometimes does not act economically (in the sense of economically). Entrepreneurial action does not always have to be purely economic - especially not with lifestyle entrepreneurs.

The economists (Schumpeter and Co) assume that "the entrepreneur" has four basic functions of entrepreneurial activity (see p. 110):

  1. Entrepreneurs are resourceful users of opportunities
  2. Entrepreneurs are innovators
  3. Entrepreneurs take on the uncertainties of the economic process
  4. Entrepreneurs coordinate the production and marketing processes

These functions are by no means to be clearly delineated from one another.
The entrepreneur as a resourceful user of opportunities to win

  • According to Israel M. Kirzner, "ingenuity" (alertness) is the decisive quality of the entrepreneur (p. 114)
  • UB quotes Kirzner: “Entrepreneurship does not consist in reaching for a free ten dollar bill that you have already discovered somewhere. Rather, it is about discovering that it exists and that it is tangible. "
  • "Resourcefulness can be understood as the ability to learn faster than others and, above all," without a specific approach "[Kirzner]." (P. 114)
  • “Resourcefulness needs stimulation [on the part of politics, with the help of markets that also reward resourcefulness]. This is also an unfinished project. " (P. 115)

The entrepreneur as innovator (Schumpeter)

  • Schumpeter sees the entrepreneur as "less the resourceful speculator than the creative destroyer and innovator". (P. 115)
  • “What distinguishes the entrepreneur from the rest of the people is only secondarily his knowledge and comprehension; first and foremost it is his willpower. " (P. 116)
    • The entrepreneur is first and foremost a doer, a leader; has will, has strength, has power; has authority, has weight, finds obedience.
  • "The entrepreneur is not driven by hedonistic motives: the entrepreneurial urge to act is rather fed by the striving for independence, the pleasure in fighting and winning, in success as such, and finally in the joy of doing as well as creating a work." (P. 116)
    • ... and describes a finite game.
  • “In the specific person, both moments may combine in different combinations, based on the function in the economic process there are only innovators or imitators. Creative design or routine, building a way or going a way - tertium non datur. ” (P. 117)
  • "Economic development is driven forward by the entrepreneurs alone, the others manage stocks." (P. 117)

The entrepreneur as the bearer of risks

  • "[Frank H.] Knight's entrepreneur" is simply a specialist in taking risks and acting under uncertainty "." (P. 118)
  • In the entrepreneur, responsibility and control of the staff working for him are combined: “For Knight, this coupling is the core of entrepreneurship, which is why he denies the entrepreneur status of the paid manager who controls but does not have to bear the economic consequences of his decisions, provided that he is not also at least a partial investor. " (P. 118)
    • see Ernesto Sirolli: Entrepreneur vs. Manager
    • "Entrepreneurs are agents of change, managers of stability." (Peter Temin) (p. 123)

The entrepreneur as a coordinator

  • Marc Casson: "An entrepreneur is someone who specializes in making decisions about coordinating scarce resources." (P. 120)
  • "He thinks he's right while everyone else is wrong." (P. 121)
  • “Gaining and maintaining the information advantage creates costs that the entrepreneur needs capital to cover. His access to information depends not least on a social environment that brings him into contact with information carriers - for example through family relationships or membership in clubs and associations. " (S, 122)

These entrepreneurial functions not only represent a description, but also form "a normative model of individual lifestyle." (P. 123)

  • Entrepreneurship is “people's exit from their self-inflicted unproductivity”. (Jan Masschelein, Maarten Simons) (p. 123)
  • "Self-inflicted, this is unproductive if the cause is not a lack of human capital, but a lack of determination and courage to use one's human capital without someone else's guidance." (Jan Masschelein, Maarten Simons) (p. 123)

"Entrepreneurship is more likely to find its role model in the genius of the artist, in the strategic skill and determination of the general or in the athlete's pursuit of record." (P. 124)

"Entrepreneurship is now seen as a universal therapy for everything and everyone, its lack as the cause of all problems." (P. 124)

“The development of entrepreneurship is dictated by the comparative: You only act in an entrepreneurial way if and as long as you are more innovative, resourceful, daring, self-responsible and more leadership-conscious than the others. […] Everyone should become an entrepreneur, but if they were all of them, it wouldn't be anyone. Everyone could, but not everyone can. " (P. 126)

"Nobody can avoid this competition, but not everyone plays in the same league." (P. 126)

  • Yes, definitely. You can see it in the UGP. Not everyone is in the same league. Whoever has is given. We will always have arms among the founders.

3.3 Contract worlds

Our everyday life is very much regulated by contracts, especially the implicit contracts - "social contracts" in the broadest sense.

  • An example: “Pedagogical bestsellers have been recommending stressed parents since the 1970s not to insist on their authority in disputes with their offspring, but rather to convene a“ family conference ”and to agree on rules of living together that are acceptable to all. Contract pedagogy takes the place of disciplinary sanctions. " (P. 130)
  • We no longer question whether this is the best approach. It is so intuitively "reasonable" that it has become a matter of course.
  • No value judgment is made with this. “Contract education” may or may not be a good idea. The point is: it is often unquestioned and unchallenged.

There are also implicit contracts in salaried employment (in addition to the explicit employment contract): “Performance requirements can be enforced more easily, according to the credo of Management by Objectives, if the management does not decree them, but negotiates them with the employees. Target agreements are more sustainable than a regime of ordering and controlling. " (P. 130f)

"Despite the new contract culture that has been invoked by everyone, the contractual relationship between the service provider state and citizen customers is anything but symmetrical: one side determines when a contract is concluded and the conditions, the other has to adhere to them." (P. 131)

  • see UGP: The contract is not negotiable. Details can possibly be lived individually, but the contract is the same for all founders. Take it or don't take it - whether it suits you or not.

4. Strategies and Programs

4.1 Creativity

“The term creativity arouses unreservedly positive associations; Conversely, there is hardly any evil that cannot be traced back to a lack of creativity and cannot be cured by increased creative efforts. Whatever the problem, creativity promises the solution. " (P. 152)

  • That's what they say as solo preneurs: You just have to be creative!

"Like any religion, that of creativity consists not only of beliefs, but also of social practices and experts who proclaim them and guide the layperson accordingly." (P. 153)

“People cannot create something from nothing, their creations are always derivatives - re-creations of what already exists. But because they appropriate the world by acting and interpreting, their productions always go beyond what is found. People can and must create new things, but their inventions and innovations are never absolute. The attempt to capture creative people, files or products therefore leads to an infinite regress: in everything new there is something old, on which it is built, which it modifies or from which it sets itself apart. Conversely, there is a moment of creative variation in every repetition. The fact that something is creative can therefore just as easily be asserted as it is denied. " (P. 155)

“Because the new is a relational category, being creative means creating distinctions. [...] The possibilities to create something new are unlimited, the decisive factor is the moment of difference. " (P. 157)

“Problem-solving thinking undoubtedly functions as the guiding metaphor of the contemporary creativity discourse. [...] The problem to be solved is always the same: to be successful and innovative, to assert oneself in the competition, to find customers for oneself and one's own products. " (P. 159)

“Czikszentmihalyi also draws attention to the social dimension of creativity. The “creative moment” may belong to the individual and overtake it in the proverbial quiet little room, but one is never creative alone. The creative person deals with others who ascribe or refuse this attribute to his inventions, artefacts or interpretations of meaning or to himself, whose recognition he hopes or whose disregard he fears, with whom he forges ideas together or whom he avoids To come up with ideas that give him problems or whose solutions do not satisfy him, in whose footsteps he is following or in whose footsteps he is just following. " (P. 168)

“Simply going other ways than the masses is of no use as long as nobody is interested. The new that asserts itself is creative. " (P. 169)

  • “The market decides which creations yield a return. The rest fizzles out. " (P. 169)
  • "Everyone doesn't just have to be creative, they have to be more creative than the others." (P. 170)

Richard Florida: The Rise Of The Creative Class (2002)

  • Creativity is the ultimate economic resource (p. 172)
  • Quote from the book: “The creative class consists of people who create economic value through their creativity. It includes many knowledge workers, symbol analysts, and skilled technical employees, but the term emphasizes its essentially economic meaning. […] Most members of the creative class do not have any material property worth mentioning. Their property - which grows out of their creative abilities - is immaterial because they literally carry it in their heads. […] The members of the creative class do not regard themselves as a clearly identifiable social group until now; but they share many desires and preferences. The new class may not be as clearly delimitable in this regard as the industrial working class at its peak, but it is showing increasing coherence. " (P. 173)
  • There are SO MANY points of contact: Lifestyle Entrepreneurs, Aquarian Economy, Gift Economy, Seth Godin: The Icarus Deception; Access economy, etc.
  • A scientist is developing a theory that is very useful to me!
  • Florida's concern: Promotion of the location. Areas with a lot of creative people are competitive and prosper economically.
  • “Creatives are individualists, and bowling is not necessarily their favorite pastime. This class is not characterized by a return to fixed, but rather the multiplication of loose ties [...]. " (P. 173)

"[...] the permanent feeling of ineptitude results in both the persistent hunger for creativity techniques and the constant boom in the corresponding offers." (P. 179)

  • In the performance society of the entrepreneurial self, there will always be a “market” for creativity offers, because it is never enough.

4.2 Empowerment

Saul D. Alinsky: "The fact is that every community, no matter how poor it is, has problems, but it has no goals, it only knows bad conditions." (P. 187)

  • First of all, these people must be shown what else would be possible. Only from this vision can goals develop that are worth fighting for.

Paolo Freire: Bankers Method of Conventional Education Programs (p. 190)

  • Book: Paolo Freire: Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Education as a practice of freedom
  • Students are investment objects, teachers are investors.
  • Paolo Freire: “Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiqués, he makes contributions that the students patiently receive, memorize and repeat. […] The more the students are busy piling up the deposits that are entrusted to them, the less they develop the critical awareness that would arise if they intervened in the world as stewards of this world. The more fully they accept their passive role that is forced upon them, the more they tend to simply adapt to the world as it is and to the fragmentary vision of reality that has been imposed on them. "
  • It reminds me of the founders / EPU: They are busy working through what is being assigned to them as tasks from outside - and so they largely remain in a passive role.
    • Make start-up advice suck less! -> One should understand that!

"Empowered" is never enough. " (P. 195)

  • Empowerment is also an unfinished project.
  • Even the attempt to empower EPU cannot come to an end. When will this goal be achieved? Can anything still be achieved here, or are EPUs empowered enough anyway? Who decides that? etc.

"Personal growth and that of the company, the struggle for individual autonomy and the fight against bankruptcy should coincide, and the individual should be able to benefit from the demands placed on him even when the company declines him." (P. 211)

"Freedom from discipline is bought with the obligation to permanent optimization and self-optimization." (P. 212)

4.3 quality

“The seal of quality is awarded on the market. Even the rarest treasure is worthless as long as nobody is willing to pay the asking price for it. Conversely, a junk product also has quality if only the price-performance ratio is right and buyers can be found. Because market orientation in this sense demands consistent quality orientation (and vice versa), entrepreneurial action becomes synonymous with quality management. " (P. 216)

Total Quality Management primarily serves to “commit employees at all levels to entrepreneurial action. Companies increase their quality and thus their profitability, is the message of the TQM when they transform into a multitude of "companies within the company". Salaried employees should become intrapreneurs who take responsibility, show commitment and independently optimize their work areas according to internal and external customer needs. " (P. 221)

“Benchmarking is based on the imitation of successful behavior patterns. According to the principle, individuals and organizations should learn from the most successful the recipes to which they owe their success. But if everyone follows the same recipes, the gap disappears and with it the success.The paradox of benchmarking is that its impact decreases as the number of users of the concept increases. The imitators always learn the wrong thing, because today's optimal process has become the standard solution tomorrow and no longer guarantees a competitive advantage. " (P. 232)

"His tireless will to know sometimes turns strange capers [...]." (P. 234)

“You do what is measured and omit what is not covered by the evaluation grid. In this way, the feedback creates the reality that they claim to be evaluating [...]. " (P. 241)

4.4 projects

“Even if almost everything can become a project, not everything at the same time. Committing to one project excludes many others, and where different projects are running in parallel, they must be identified as distinct from one another. Projects are characterized by their limitations [...]. " (P. 251)

“The name you give something does not leave it untouched. Declaring something as a project means assigning it the character of a draft or plan and then influencing it in such a way that it meets the criteria of project form. " (P. 251)

"" Project "is a specific form of organizing reality - a rationality scheme, a bundle of technologies, finally a mode of relation to oneself." (P. 251)

"Nothing is a project per se, but there is hardly anything that cannot be brought into this form." (P. 251)

“All people are project makers”, said Johann Heinrich Gottlob von Justi as early as 1761 in his essay “Thoughts of projects and project makers. (P. 253f)

  • “People, so the starting point of his considerations, have to take care of their own well-being and therefore make plans, set goals and develop strategies to achieve them - in other words: they have to lead their own lives as a project. Justi designs nothing less than the figure of the entrepreneur [...]. " (P. 254)
  • see "Project: Life"

"You can only make good progress if someone really takes care of it and encourages others to join in." (Bröckling quotes "two members of a rural commune", p. 258)

  • Every project needs a “carer”.
  • The caretaker has to take care of himselfcorrect take care of it - both correctly in the sense of suitable means and correctly in the sense of full commitment.
  • The caretaker doesn't do the project for himself, but pulls others along with him. Getting others on board is the most important job of the caretaker.
  • Of course, you could say that in modern projects, the project manager is the caretaker. But it's not that easy. Because the project manager is often not very concerned about the project. Sometimes there are caretakers in projects who are not the formal project managers at all.

Project i

"And if it is agreed that project organization is the ideal way to more flexibility and personal responsibility, then it makes sense to switch the administration of your own life to project management." (P. 279)

  • see Personal Project Management

"Since this project I myself is composed of diverse work, relationship, leisure, health projects, etc., its self-management advances to the management of the individual" project portfolio "." (P. 279)

  • That is exactly what Personal Project Management is!
  • I ask myself: To what extent does Bröckling have any complaints about it? Is he just describing, or is he also evaluating with the sarcastic undertone that runs through the entire book?

“In any case, according to a guideline for I-AGs, it is helpful to“ orientate yourself towards classic methods of project management as they are used every day in business ”. Your own life can also be understood as a problem-solving cycle with defined steps. "(P. 280)

"Checklists, voluntary commitments and personal" annual exams "should help the individual to keep track of the large number of individual projects." (P. 280)

"The" project "form is a historical a priori of our self-image, a film on which we understand and model ourselves - for better or for worse." (P. 282)

“The definitive end of the project will come sometime for everyone, the“ project 'life' ”that Tom Peters evokes so pathetically ends in any case fatally. Before that, there can be no ultimate failure any more than there can be an ultimate triumph. Every success, as well as every failure, is only followed by the next project. As unevenly as the chances are distributed, the maxims are the same for everyone: Be active! Take your life in hand! Be your own chairman! "" (P. 282)

5. Conclusion: lines of flight or the art of being different

"There is no outside or an inner space of the self that is unaffected by the entrepreneurial regime of subjectivation, or if it does, then only as a zone of future conquests, where unused resources are waiting to be developed." (P. 285)
“To be differently different includes denial as well as denial of denial. Criticism, understood in this way, is not a mere reflection of its subject. It is not a counter-program to entrepreneurial self-optimization, but the continuous effort to at least temporarily withdraw from access to any program. Not a counterforce, but an override; Interruption instead of reversing the polarity of the energy flow [...]. "(P. 286)

  • E.g. being a lifestyle entrepreneur AND meditating to remind yourself again and again that it is a construct of the ego / mind.
  • "The override of the entrepreneurial force field can only succeed for the moment, but it is these moments that suddenly show that the suction is not inevitable." (P. 287)

“Because the entrepreneurial invocation follows a logic of delimitation, there is no beyond the borders, but at most spaces in which the pull is stronger or weaker, the imperative to act entrepreneurially is more or less overlaid by other invocations. [...] In which direction and how strong the suction pulls depends not least on the obstacles it encounters. "(P. 288)

How is the power of entrepreneurial invocation (exemplary) slowed down?

  1. Immanent excessive demands lead to depression and burnout: “The entrepreneurial self is an“ exhausted self ”. Because the requirements cannot be finalized, the individual always lags behind [...]. Not all are able to withstand this pressure, and no one is always. "(P. 289)
  2. Ironization: “The ironist knows the laws of the market and their paradoxical demands on individuals. He knows what is expected of him and he speaks it out. He takes things to extremes, exposes their absurdities - and thus ridicules what he cannot change ”(p. 291). Ulrich Bröckling cites the Dilbert comics by Scott Adams as an example.
  3. Passive Resistance: Idleness, The Discovery of Laziness (Corinne Maier)