Benjamin Franklin: A True Renaissance Soul, Are You?

Meredith Russell

I was recently introduced to a book called The Renaissance Soul: How to Make Your Passions Your Life. I thought it might be a fun read and I’m always looking for new books on life and business - It’s actually one of my yearly goals to read at least 12 nonfiction books per year, or one a month. Let me tell you, I am so glad I picked this one up. It spoke straight to MY little renaissance soul.


Some of my favorite examples of renaissance souls include, Imhotep, Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Robert Dudley, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Winston Churchill. While you don’t need to be famous for your accomplishments to be a true renaissance soul, it always helps to have some role models. 

And since I’m publishing this on Benjamin Franklin day I thought I’d talk a little bit about him. He was born and raised during the American colonial era and throughout his life became a printer, inventor, scientist, author, and diplomat. His continuous curiosity and enjoyment of a challenge is what makes him such a prolific renaissance soul. He combined that curiosity with the can-do attitude that early colonial America is so famous for. 

While I’m definitely no Benjamin Franklin, it’s nice to be able to look at his life and realize that being a “Jack of all trades” is a perfectly acceptable choice. I’ve always felt I’d rather be well rounded and know a little about everything, but sometimes society doesn’t see it that way. Instead they ask, why are you leaving a perfectly good corporate job? Why are you changing careers again? Why aren’t you using your degree? What about those other businesses you started? Can’t you just pick one thing?

Hands covered in paint

And to them we say NO. I enjoy the challenge of learning new things. I get bored easily unless I’m continuously challenged. I will always love the act of being creative but my hobbies change often so I don’t get bored. I think this is one of the reasons that I love being an entrepreneur so much - it’s different every day and I’m constantly challenged to find new ways to tackle ideas and solve problems.

If you’re in hanging out in renaissance life with me, I’d love to hear your different pursuits through the years. And if you aren’t sure if you’re more Mozart or more Benjamin Franklin I would absolutely recommend reading The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine. Not only is it informative and insightful, but it’s an easy and enjoyable read. 

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