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Stay Out Of The Ditch: An Introduction

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

In my twenties, I was extremely interested in philosophy. I would head to the local bookstore and spend 90% of my time in the philosophy section flipping through the ponderings of philosophers old and new. The final 10% of my time was spent looking for fiction to rest my brain!

It always amazing to me that those who lived so long ago were debating the same topics we were struggling with today. The nature of love, justice, peace, humanity, ethics, and more.

One such interesting figure was Aristotle, born around 385 BC. He was the teacher of Alexander the Great, a student of Plato, and the father of modern ethics. Aristotle was the first known philosopher to speculate that a person could develop better character (or virtue) through education, practice, and encouragement. A revolutionary thought at the time.

In his book, Nicomachean Ethics, he argued that each virtue had a Golden Mean. You can think of the Golden Mean as the final bed Goldilocks tried in the story of the three bears. The first was too hard, the second too soft, but the last one? Just right.

Here are a couple of examples from Aristotle of the Golden Mean as it applies to virtues. The Golden Mean between rash and cowardice is courage. The Golden Mean between wasteful and stingy is generosity. My personal favorite is the Golden Mean between boorish and buffoonery, which is wittiness.

I would argue that just as there is a Golden Mean for virtues, there is also a Golden Mean for business activities. This does not mean we will never be on the “too much” or “too little” side, but it does mean we can learn and practice and become better over time.

My task, over the next few weeks, is to help define the “golden mean” for different areas of business.

When applying this idea to business, it helps me to think of the Golden Mean as a road. The place where you are meant to drive. The place where your business can move forward with the least amount of drag. “Too much” and “too little” are now ditches.

The goal is to stay out of the ditch.

In the coming weeks, we will be talking about this road and these ditches in detail. We will define the road and ditches for goal setting, executing, and measuring KPIs. Stay tuned!

Looking forward to taking this journey with you!


Amy Lynne Coaching is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN and works with solopreneurs and small business owners to help them reach their goals.

If you are interested in learning more about business coaching with Amy Lynne Coaching, you can schedule a phone call here!

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