Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Startups: A Surprising Place to Find Spiritual Satisfaction


I find a ton of spirituality in tech startups.

What!?  Yep, you heard me.

Let’s start from a basic question. Where do you find God and spiritual satisfaction?

For me, deep spiritual satisfaction comes from being in motion. In pursuit of something better. It’s not about the what you’re making better, it’s just about movement towards better. As an example, I believe Christianity is all about the pursuit of being better at serving others and making the world a better place to live. It’s that simple, to me.

When stagnation takes hold, that’s the “devil” (or whatever bad news label you want to give it). That’s the lack of presence of good spiritual stuff. Ironically there is a book about the thoughts of Napoleon Hill called Outwitting the Devil.    In his research and writing for Think and Grow Rich, Hill not only explores why successful people succeed, but also why unsuccessful people don’t find their groove.   Doubt. Lack of self-confidence. Laziness. Fear. These are all things that lead to not moving.  It totally supports the idea that real meaning comes from motion.

With this understanding of my view of faith, religion, and spirituality, you can understand why the world of startups and entrepreneurs provides crazy good spiritual satisfaction for me.

  • Entrepreneurs who decide to do a startup are working to make themselves better as people. We all know that to build a good business, you have to build a good entrepreneur at the heart of that business.  Fundamentals are just as true here as in any other discipline. Fundamentals of life balance, a burning passion, and healthy living are key. As the business grows, so must the entrepreneur.   The spiritual energy that took a business from start to go isn’t the same energy that will get the business to the next level. Everything must move.
  • Startups are about making some tiny corner of the world better.   Whether their passion is about making something easier, cheaper, or better, it’s always about movement. It’s about helping a customer move their needle.
  • Over the top generosity and giving is a fundamental success factor for startups, just as it is in anything else. Giving of your time to others helps grow your network, which in turn helps you move. You change trajectories.

This idea is also perhaps what pulls me to technology. Technology is in constant motion. It’s not going to change any time soon. The rate of innovation is exhilarating.  Technology + Startups = More movement towards better than you’ll find in many other disciplines.

This idea is at the core of the reason I encourage “lifestyle entrepreneurs” to take it to the next level. I won’t say that these guys frustrate me, just that I feel like they are leaving tons of fulfillment on the table.   These are entrepreneurs who had the glory of going from 0-60, but then set the cruise control and relax. That’s a nice way to live for some, but for me, I see that the acceleration has slowed or stopped and the juicy satisfaction is going away.  Swinging for the fences doesn’t have to mean taking stupid risks, but it just means persistently moving from where you are today to somewhere else. Keep going! Keep moving!


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