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“Blue Monday” and 3 Lessons for Entrepreneurs


Today we are examining “Blue Monday” by Langston Hughes and Its 3 Lessons for Entrepreneurs. Langston. . Poetry is a great way to learn lessons in a more relaxed way than traditional learning methods.

Let’s start by checking out the poem.

Blue Monday by Langston Hughes

No use in my going

Downtown to work today,

It’s eight,

I’m late-

And it’s marked down that-a-way,

Fun to sport around.

But no use denying-

Monday’ll get you down.

That old blue Monday

Will surely get you down.

As stated above, this great poem has 3 lessons for entrepreneurs. These lessons are:

  1. 1. Timeliness matters.
  2. 2. Actions have consequences.
  3. 3. Protect your mental health.

Timeliness matters the first of this poem’s lessons for entrpreneurs.

At the start of this poem, the narrator acknowledges being late for work. She has not left the house yet, but it is already too late for her to get downtown to work on time. Of course there may be reason why she is late. Some of those reasons may be good reasons. However, none of that changes the fact that she is late for work. She will not be able to meet her obligations to her employer. No matter what she does from this point forward, nothing will change the fact that she is now late for work.

As entrepreneurs we have schedules, deadlines, and appointments. When we do, it is important that we meet them in a timely manner. I once had a client in New Orleans, Louisiana who never showed up on time to meetings. He was habitually two or more hours late to appointments. When he was late, he did not call those he was meeting with. When he arrived late to the meetings, he did not apologize. Instead, he simply continued with the meeting as if he was on time.

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As a result, most of his prospects did not become clients. The prospects did not become good will ambassadors for my client. Instead, they told everyone they came in contact with how inconsiderate rude, and unpleasant it was to deal with my client. My client lamented to me on more than one occasion that the people in NOLA didn’t like him because he was from the North. He said they didn’t want to do business with him because he was so much smarter than them. Often he said they simply weren’t smart enough to be in business with him.

What he never did was take responsibility. He never acknowledged the fact that people did not want to do business with him because he was disrespectful. Like many entrepreneurs, he did not value anyone’s time but his own. This is a mistake. When we make a schedule for when and how things will happen, our clients make decisions based upon that schedule. In some cases, our clients make promises to others based upon what we have said. When we don’t keep to the schedules set, we cause damages, consequences, and aggravation we cannot imagine.

It is important for entrepreneurs to understand the value of time. Our time matters. We only have a precious little bit of it. At the same time, the time of those we come in with matters. When we disrespect the time of others we disrespect them. The disrespect may be unintentional, but it is real nonetheless. If you want to succeed in business and in life, respect the time of all those with whom you deal. The value of time and respecting the time of others one of the lessons for entrepreneurs provided by this poem.

Actions have consequences the second of this poem’s lessons for entrepreneurs.

No matter who we are or what we do, our actions have consequences. Human beings do not act in a vacuum. All of our actions impact other things in our life. Here, the narrator is late for work. Not only is she late for work, a record of that latest has been made. We don’t know how often the narrator has been late before. In some cases, it may mean the narrator will lose her job, be denied a promotion, or suffer some other loss as a result of this lateness.

As an entrepreneur, your actions have consequences. When you do good things, you open yourself up to good consequences. When you do bad things, you open yourself up to bad consequences. It is important to remember that you are not acting alone in the world. Every action you take impacts someone else. For example, if you purchase a website, you give money to a hosting company. That hosting company has to hire employees. Those employees pay for food, clothing, and shelter. A consequence of an entrepreneur being in business is the potential growth of other businesses.

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It is important to keep in mind that consequences can be positive and negative. Entrepreneurs would be well served to remember this. When customers are treated with dignity and respect, one consequence is loyalty. On the other hand when they are treated with rudeness and disrespect,  loss of income and social media fury are often a consequence. What goes around and the fact that actions have consequences is another of the lessons for entrepreneurs found in this poem.

Protect your mental health the third of this poem’s lessons for entrepreneurs.

In this poem, the narrator is experiencing the blues. Back in Langston Hughes’ day, depression was often called the blues, or feeling blue. Here, the narrator knows that she is feeling blue. She recognizes that some situations, here the fact that it is Monday, cause the blues. The narrator describes feeling the blues on Mondays almost as if it unavoidable. In many cases, mental health challenges are unavoidable. If you are a person who knows that certain things trigger mental problems, don’t get ready, stay ready. In other words when you approach situations that cause mental issues to occur, prepare for them in advance. That way you will be prepared for the problems.

No matter what else an entrepreneur does, she must protect her mental health. Often entrepreneurs fail to take care of their mental health. When mental health issues arise, they ignore them and think they can power their way through to good mental health. This is interesting, because most entrepreneurs would never treat their physical health in such a manner. For example, they would never say, “Oh, I have high blood pressure and instead of taking my blood pressure medication, I will just push forward and be healthy.”

The same time and attention that goes into taking care of one’s physical health must be made when it comes to one’s mental health. Entrepreneurs who experience mental health challenges or illness must have this checked out on a regular basis. Common mental illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder can often be treated with medication and talk therapy. If you have these illnesses, do not try to power your way through alone. Instead, seek qualified professional help so that you can operate at your best level.

This poem is full of great lessons for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs will be more successful when they understand that timeliness matters, actions have consequences, and mental health must be protected. So, the question for you this terrific day is what lesson did you learn from this poem.

Janeane Davis

View Comments

  • I love these tips! I think taking care of our mental health is very important.

  • These are really helpful tips! We will be needing these for sure. Thank you for sharing.

  • I am definitely obsessive about keeping time. I'm never late for things unless there is a really extenuating circumstance. Good thoughts!

  • In any business, self-care is important for mental health. I've been happy to see more people talk about that more, as it's a good reminder for the rest of us.

  • These are excellent tips! I am a very timely person and I have taught this to my children!

  • Love this! I hate being late and I definetly get the Monday blues

  • Mental health it's so important. We need to do more to preserve it! We need to start by respecting ourselves and others and their time!

  • It is hard to believe that his potential clients would even wait that long for the meeting! Mental health is really important and in the past was often ignored, I'm glad people are starting to pay attention to it.

  • I find this time of year really hard so I totally get blue monday. These are some great lessons as well, definitely something I need to think upon.

  • I have to admit I really struggle with this time of year so I really get the whole blue monday thing. These lessons are great as well I need to try and take them onboard.

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