8 temptations (and antidote) for a small business owner or a freelancer
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One of the ways to overcome any temptation is to analyse it. I have been interacting with many small business owners and I got tempted. I define temptation in the context as this : ‘…mentally speculating a business future and getting anxious or depressed after the exercise.’
1. Growth : All growth-worshippers are somewhat impersonalist in their fundamental world-view. There remains vagueness about three issues – growth of what ? growth for whom ? growth’s future. The vaguness unsettles the mind and it goes into more speculation.
Think of the tragedy of a short-story writer who is unhappy because his craft completes itself into 3 pages whereas a novelist crafts in 200 pages.
2. Pyramid : For a corporate slave, the equivalent is corner-office or to become some Head, Top-boss, CEO etc. The small business owner wants to build a pyramid – vertically and horizontally and he imagines that such a pointed position will be protecting him from two permanent problem : competition from bottom and lack of capital to expand (or to waste).
Think of climbing a modest sized pointed Pyriamid and sitting there. Is the pain more or less than being bitten by hungry ants or not able to drive a car far away because you do not have enough money to busy fuel.
3. Magnet : So long I have gone to people, vending my products and services (Sales) and now I want to do something so that I need not do this. I need to make something like a magnet that people (customer) come and stick. This continuous sales process is wearing me down. I hate it.
Iron fillings and human beings are not same. The whole idea is a mecahnistic view of the Universe which got outdated at least hundred years back. Drop a business model that is outdated and crude.
4. Strategy: The owner is not very happy to work – mundane boring work – sales, operations, financial planning etc. He wants now to be ‘doing strategy’. This in some languages translate something like – ‘The neuro-strategic method of waking up from sleep if I need to go to the bathroom to defecate and preventing soiling of bed-sheets’
Work is Strategy. Human civilization’s greatest work came from work – passionate and dedicated work. There is no strategy. At this moment, drop this word and think strategos – the Greek word and those who spoke the language 2500 years back and fought Salamis and Thermopaly under heaviest odds which simply means : to fight a good fight.
5. Olympia Media and most of information stations are manipulated by powerful men and women. These stations are mostly run by betas and alphas use them. It is in the nature of betas to consider somebody better, wealthier or powerful as some Olympian gods. This creates halo and falsifies. It thursts qualifications where it does not exist and it mystifies the actions of these Olympians. The pinnacle of ignorance : To consider oneself as God – all powerful. Lesser men get quickly manipulated and consider them god or demi-god.
Remember : any one whom you consider like God or godly will age, will have dieases and will die. The cosmic law will crush everything and there is no remedy against it.
6. Lust Consider you have a credit card which you can use and the bills will be sharded by 200 relatives of yours. This (impossible) agreement is an assumption as we say ABC is a triangle while we establish a geometrical theorem. Will you be very careful while spending this credit card ? Government debt is very high because the taxpayers pay the bill of the credit card Government swipes ! Now, individuals, especially small businesses sometimes lust for this kind of credit card. The big businesses who have been benefiary of this credit card (cheap credit / bank loans ) amplify this lust. The small business-owner now becomes a capital-hunter and he starts to hone the skill of handling bureaucratic experts : Government officials and decision makers in public sector banks, various Government schemes etc !
Is capital is the only thing that will solve all your problem ? A 20+ man recently attracted to a fertile young female speculates that once he unites with the female, there will be bliss. His innate problems, his boredom everything will melt and will be a panacea. How realistic and what is the shelf-life of such a solution ? It is not a solution. It is going from pan to fire. The solution is start of a much larger problem
7. Soap-Opera Syndrome: Have you ever wondered as what other addl factor, apart from very high level of human stupidity and love for projection sustain the soap-operas worldwide ? In these operas (Indian soap-operas as case) you will see a business family enjoying all rewards of business but the menfolk are always as relaxed and ready as if to go to a bridal part in next half an hour. I am not sure what business they do. Their business seems to be auto-piloted. It appears that once the business reaches a height (growth), there is an auto-pilot that will handle everything.
Life is not soap-opera. There is nothing like that.
8. Sustainability : This word is used by the literate to call what a man of wisdom calls fear for the uncertain. Many business owners do not work or do Der Werke but instead try to cover fear of the unknown by this word. Every mammal got the best food available – ready within minutes of being born. Sustainability is the most unsustainable thing that exists.
Do not be tempted. It does you little honour, as a first class man you are to be tempted by your own mind which has suddenly degraded into the level of speculation.