Be thankful for your crap

Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Prosperity is our biggest detriment

Do you know what you do not know?  Have you ever heard of little Miss Chic who thought for the first 32 days of her life, that the farmer is there to care for her, feed her and keep her safe? Only to get a massive wake-up call on day 33 because on day 34 she is grilled to perfection on the farmer’s plate.

Braaivleis Rips & All

I often get a blank expression when I talk about the importance of planning for sustainable entrepreneurship.  Whether it is about the sustainability of the environment, social entrepreneurship, or the long-term mental and physical health of the entrepreneur, people seem to be extremely casual about changing the status quo.  Yes, they do let rip around a braaivleis fire or on social media.  But that is essentially where it stays. 

Introverts for President

Does the problem lie with fear of rejection if you start standing up for what you believe in or is it apathy for messing with the status quo?  I believe it is a bit of everything, but mostly we are so comfortable with the status quo.   Especially if you find your solace in operating in groups.

In the book David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell, Malcolm speaks about the bravery of a severe introvert in the form of Dr. Emil Freirich, who was not confined to the fear of stepping out of the group’s perceptive.  This and the appalling circumstance in which he grew up led him to make remarkable discoveries in the treatment of leukemia.  Malcolm continues that if Dr. Freirich had to wait until he could convince the group of Doctors who ruled the roost, all the remarkable discoveries would not have been made and a lot more people, especially children would have lost their lives.

Dyslexia makes better stories

And then we have the classic example of Richard Branson who is one of a zillion highly successful entrepreneurs who made a massive success of his business and life, despite battling with dyslexia.  In his autobiography Losing my Virginity, he talks about the fact that he believes that it is thanks to obstacles such as dyslexia that he dreamt bigger.  Yes, he is a massive risk-taker with equally large levels of drive and energy, but can you imagine what would have happened if that passion got lost in a Sorority?

Other than Big Cheese Carl, who was head boy and valedictorian at school and finished his Accounting and MBA degrees with honors.  Statistics show us that Big Cheese Carl, will probably end up in a corporate institution with a fat salary, but nowhere near the success of the Bransons of the world.  And you would not fork out $134,500 per night to rent Big Cheese Carl’s island in the Pacific Ocean.

But this is not news for most people who are passionate about entrepreneurship.

The Handicap of Inherited Wealth

What is shocking is when I started to delve into articles about the Rich & Famous and how well their offspring’s are fairing in the business of life.  In the article ‘Inherited wealth is a real handicap to happiness. It is as certain a death to ambition as cocaine is to morality‘, Rebecca Fowler talks about the suicide of Amschel Rothschild and other highly privileged offspring’s.   The title of this article is a quote made by William K. Vanderbilt.  It is goosebump stuff but in a very sickening way.

I must admit, I am one of the first people that can check out the highly rich & famous and daydream of how it must feel to have all that privilege around me.  But it is articles like this and ‘The Vanderbilts: How American Royalty Lost their crown jewels’, that make one realize to be so extremely grateful for where you are with what you have.  You normally have absolutely no clue as to the amount of strain that these people have to live under.

Don’t be the dinner

The reality of the story?  We can think life is unfair and out to get us, to only discover that it is our privileges that are to our detriment.  The only reason why the farmer looks after little Miss Chick so diligently is because she will become dinner on day 34.

We can envy the rich & famous and high & mighty, but the reality is that the grass is only greener on the other side, because there is a whole lot more shitty stuff than we can ever imagine.

Keep to your own scorecard

Life is never a black & white situation.  As my dad often said, ‘look at your own scorecard, play your own game.’ 

And yes, you are definitely not always going to be on top of the world.  It is impossible.  Just make sure you get out of your hole as quickly as possible.   My go-to strategy is to go for a run or a walk.  You are almost guaranteed to come back with a whole bag of energy and insight.

Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Prosperity & the rest of the rocks

Whatever you do, be grateful for your obstacles.  Without them, you would not have been forced to think out of the box and get away from the same-old-same-old which is going to be your downfall.

Be grateful that you do not have money or stature that will lead you into the temptation to not be on top of your game.

It is up to you to feel sorry for yourself at the bottom or start rock climbing to the top.

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