Our Heart’s Eye

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from the Belvedere Sphinxes

On my recent trip to Vienna, I stumbled upon an intriguing set of statues at the Belvedere Palace that made me pause.

In the eyes of the Sphinx, we find the reflection of our own potential: infinite, mysterious, and ready to be unveiled.

The Belvedere Palace is home to a unique set of Sphinx statues, with the bodies of lions and the heads and torsos of women, symbolizing a powerful mix of strength and wisdom.

This got me to reflect on the challenges we face in business and how a blend of: courage and intuition can guide us through.


Prince Eugene of Savoy, an influential figure in the early 18th century, chose the Sphinxes to guard his summer residence, the Belvedere Palace. Designed by the famous architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, the palace and its guardians reflect a period of artistic and intellectual blossoming.

The female Sphinxes, in particular, were chosen for their symbolic representation of protection and intelligence, offering a blend of female fierceness and insight that was highly valued in both guarding the palace and guiding those within it.


The Sphinxes at Belvedere are not only beautiful historical artifacts – they offer us valuable lessons on navigating the entrepreneurial landscape:

1. Combine Strength with Intuition: Just like the Sphinxes that combine the lion’s might with human insight, successful entrepreneurs need both resilience and intuitive foresight to overcome challenges.

2. Creatively Protect Your Vision: Inspired by Prince Eugene’s choice of the female Sphinxes to guard his palace, we too must vigilantly protect our business goals and the values we stand for. The Prince could have selected any statue to represent power and by selecting a female sphinx he used a diverse approach.

3. Approach Problems with Curiosity instead of Angst: Each business hurdle can be seen as a riddle, like the riddles often posed by the Sphinx. Solving these requires a blend of reflection, analytical thinking, openness and curiosity.

4. Embrace Leadership with Empathy: The selection of female Sphinxes underscores the importance of leading with both authority and empathy, balancing strength with a nurturing spirit.


Prince Eugene’s choice to use Sphinxes as protectors, crafted under the visionary design of von Hildebrandt, underscores the thoughtful blending of aesthetics, power, and wisdom.

This decision reflects the prince’s foresight and the architect’s ingenuity—qualities every entrepreneur can aspire to.

It reminds us that : our businesses, much like the Belvedere, should be places where creativity, strength, and brand intelligence meet.


Listen to Your Inner Voice: Let the wisdom of the Belvedere Sphinxes inspire you to trust your instincts alongside your business and your brand.

View Challenges as Opportunities: Take on each business challenge as a Sphinx-like riddle, using both intuition,logic and creativity to unravel solutions.

Build Your Brand Experience: Just as Prince Eugene and von Hildebrandt left lasting legacies, for all of us to enjoy hundreds of years later, you, too, can build a lasting brand. Take the time to see what you and your brand would like to be known for in the future. What do you want people to experience when they first see you?

Lead with Heart & Mind: Guide your team and business decisions with a blend of heart and intellect – this combination builds strength in your business and reflects the symbolic power of the Sphinxes.


My encounter with the Belvedere’s Sphinxes was a powerful reminder of how the past can dictate our future.

It also was a important nudge to get out of our day-to-day grind and take a look at history.

Whether it’s visiting a local garden or museum or taking planned trips to different countries –  it’s always helpful to get inspired and gain another perspective.

The female Sphinxes at Belvedere Palace stand as symbols of strength, wisdom, and intuition, and have much to teach us about navigating the complex riddles of entrepreneurship.

As we face our daily challenges, let’s remember the value of tapping in to our intuitive insights to “see” with our heart’s eye – new paths to success.

Wishing you all the best always,


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Jill Willard has a keen sense of what’s going on. As a gifted Intuitive, medium and leader in meditation practice, Jill’s ease and grace have many coveted her golden rays of wisdom. She is the author of Intuitive Being (HarperElixir, 2016). She has been featured on GOOPWomen’s Health OnlineMindbodygreen, and Atomic Moms.

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for fresh insights on how to tap into your intuition and achieve greater success, then you need to listen to the EO Wonder Podcast‘s episode “The Intuitive Entrepreneur” featuring Jill Willard