Tuesday, March 26, 2013

You Get Knocked Down, You Get Back Up Again

It was assumed I would go to college, and I did. Yet I wondered about all the male relatives in my quite large extended family. Some graduated from high school and some didn't. None went to college.

Every one of them worked for himself. I wondered about that. Obviously they couldn't work for anyone else. And this working for himself included my father.

After I got out of college I used my degree for three years, then said the hell with it. I was essentially working for idiots, and that included MBAs from Harvard and Yale. They didn't have much of a clue.

Now here's a little digression. The owners of "In and Out" burger once hired a MBA to advise them on how to improve their business. He told them pay the workers less. The owners threw him out and sneered at him as "a suit," i.e., an empty suit with an empty head.

So I became an independent contractor and had a blast. Then I decided to open up my own business, and I realized something about myself I didn't know: I didn't mind at times working about 70 hours a week. I was my own boss.

I had freedom, I answered to no one but myself, and so had control.

Unfortunately the business went under. But it didn't matter. I learned from my mistakes, and a few months later opened up another. This one succeeded and I made a fair amount of money. And again I had freedom and control.

Just like all my male relatives. Sometimes I think this independence is genetic.

It doesn't matter if you lose. Get back up and try again. If you get knocked down, get back up. And if you get knocked down, get up again.

You need confidence and discipline, and those are qualities you should have anyway. This put it this way: two of the Four Cardinal Virtues are Self-Control and Courage. Interesting, hmm?

The other two are Prudence ("able to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time") and Justice ("the perpetual and constant will of rendering to each one his right").

The Four Cardinal Virtues are essential to starting and running your own business. If you get knocked down, it takes courage and discipline to get back up and try again. And if you keep trying the same thing over and over and failing, then you lack prudence ("Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result" - Rita Mae Brown). Go at the problem from a different angle - which is what I did when I opened the second time. It was basically the same field, but not completely. It was easier and I made more money.

It takes justice to give customers what they want. You don't give them what they don't want and expect to be paid.

People have the wrong idea about the Four Cardinal Virtues. They not religion. They're good practical business sense. They're good sense in general, for your self-respect and the respect of others.

1 comment:

Culturephile said...

Owning your own business often comes with having to pimp yourself out (network with people) which goes against introvert values.

A lot of introverts are creative but poor because they simply do not or can not pimp themselves out.