By Abena Foster
Emotionally intelligent entrepreneurs are more successful
“Emotions are neither good nor bad”. Todd Armstrong, San Francisco based emotional intelligence expert shared with Draper University Heroes his wisdom on why emotional intelligence is vital for entrepreneurial success and how to hone it. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to blend thinking and feeling to make optimal decisions. Todd says the goal is to be “a self-regulated individual”. Intriguingly, he perceives that emotional intelligence has the following similar characteristics to Bitcoin (a passionate topic for Draper U students): (i) emancipation; (ii) reduces friction; and (iii) self-regulation.
Todd exemplified Tim Draper, celebrity venture capitalist and billionaire founder of the University as someone who was emotionally aware, citing the second line of Tim’s Superhero Oath: “I will do everything in my power to drive, build and pursue progress and change.” It starts with taking responsibility for your own emotions.
So, what skills can we practice in our daily lives to be more emotionally intelligent? Being emotionally intelligent takes work, and it begins with mindfulness, being self-aware in the present moment, being aware of your actions and how they have contributed to a particular outcome in your life. Todd gave an example of his own habit at college of procrastination, driven by his need for perfection (in order to feel worthy), which led to him not attaining the test results he could easily have otherwise attained had he been more aware of his own self-defeating behavior and done something to change it before it was too late. Todd counselled students to watch out for patterns in their behavior as indicators of what could be causing desirable or undesirable life outcomes. Todd also advised that reading books and journal writing were beneficial ways to help individuals to connect with their emotions.
Todd is the founder of EQ Vehicle Mobile Classroom, where his goal is to further the potential of early adolescents to create positive community change. For the whole Superhero Oath, I recommend reading Tim Draper’s book “The Startup Hero”.