… is from page 19 of Larry Schweikart’s and Lynne Doti’s 2009 book, American Entrepreneur: The Fascinating Stories of the People Who Defined Business in the United States:
Every successful entrepreneur, however, does have one characteristic in common with the others. The entrepreneur has faith and vision, in essence a driving motivation that infuses the individual’s commitment to at least one idea or product (and often more). For the true entrepreneur, cha llenges represent opportunities. Indeed, it seems that entrepreneurs do not even see challenges in the same way as others do. Consciously or subconsciously, entrepreneurs diminish the size of the hurdle to be cleared….
DBx: Professors, pundits, preachers, and politicians – like true entrepreneurs – see challenges as opportunities. But unlike entrepreneurs, the opportunities perceived by professors, pundits, preachers, and politicians are opportunities for the use of coercion (or its threat). Most professors, pundits, preachers, and politicians lack the imagination to ‘see’ as workable ‘solutions’ to ‘problems’ anything other than coercing individuals to behave in ways that are imagined to ‘fix’ the ‘problems.’ In stark contrast, entrepreneurs creatively envision, and then arrange for, win-win means of overcoming challenges; professors, pundits, preachers, and politicians uncreatively suppose that the only means of overcoming challenges is the application of direct, brute force (all funded, of course, with other people’s money).
It’s sad that so many people admire brutes in suits and look with contempt or even disgust on successful entrepreneurs. This admiration is of coercion rather than of cooperation.
Pictured here is one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Gustavus Swift (1839-1903).