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Words of Wisdom A 2500-year-old Chinese philosophy holds new meaning for modern-day entrepreneurs.

By Mark Henricks

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Paul D'Souza had been trying to contact two prospectiveclients for more than a week and had all but given up. Then one dayover lunch, he felt a sudden urge to try again. "I got thephone numbers, one in Milpitas, California, and the other in NewYork City, and called these people. They were both in, and readyand willing to talk," says the vice president and partner ofHealth Innovations, a 15-person health-care consulting firm inSanta Cruz, California.

What may sound like a lucky break is much more to D'Souza,who is a longtime student of the Chinese philosophical systemcalled Taoism. Says D'Souza, "What I call theTao--intuition or what have you--told me to call thesepeople."

The Tao (pronounced "dow") has been talking to a lotof businesspeople, even encouraging them to write books on applyingits principles to management, negotiation, leadership, organizationand even sales. As part of what seems like a renaissance ofspiritual concerns about work, Taoism stands out as one of theoldest and most widely applied.

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