The Donald Trump phenomenon brings to mind a lot of unpopular entrepreneurs. And puleeze. This is not, not a column about things political.
You may love The Donald. Maybe you don’t like him but you like his proposals. Maybe you don’t like either. No matter. You have to admit that he rubs a lot of people the wrong way. And that is my point. To many he is rude, brash, coarse.
Welcome to Entrepreneur Land.
Do you know some genuine entrepreneurs? Maybe yours are different from those I know. Among mine are a bunch of pain-in-the-arses.
I love ‘em. Well, some of them. But with all of them I love what they do. However, collectively they would not win popularity contests.
Why not? Because many are brash. Full of themselves. In your face bold. They make others look and feel like quislings. Because they take risks when others tremble. They charge off on white steeds. While others wet their pants.
They are stubborn. Their motto should be “I’m right. I’m right. I’m right.” They see rules as targets for breaking. And they damned well don’t care what others think of them.
Doesn’t that remind you of The Donald?
Reminds me of Ted Turner. Mister in-your-face brashness itself.
Reminds me of Richard Branson. The guy who stamps his “Virgin” brand on everything from spacecraft to condoms.
Reminds me of Steve Jobs of Apple. And Michael Dell of Dell Computers. Even Michael Bloomberg. And any number of inventors and innovators.
Henry Ford was brilliant. He was the Bill Gates/Steve Jobs, etc., of his era. He was a crank. He was rude, nasty, impatient and stubborn. That was on his good days. On his worst days he proclaimed he knew how to run the entire world better than anybody alive.
There is a prime reason why entrepreneurs often annoy the rest of us. They think differently than we do. If there is a hall of fame for them those six words should be chiseled above the entry. “They think differently than we do.”
When we walk a street we admire the buildings, the trees. We sniff the roses. They tromp on the forbidden grass. And crane their necks to see what is around corners. They are addicted. To figuring out a future we don’t conceive. We paddle our kayaks merrily down the stream. They whirl theirs about and battle against the current.
We obey rules. And customs. The right clothing. The correct knives and forks. Social graces. Protocol. The proper education. They plonk their elbows onto the table of life. Pick their teeth. Wipe their mouth on their sleeve. They just don’t care what others think of their behavior.
Many drop out of universities. They tend to be “C” students, rarely “A”. Many shun higher education altogether. They are bored. Or figure they know more than their profs.
Consider Michael Bloomberg. Consider how utterly massive is the empire he created. He must have thought a thousand thoughts nobody else did.
One of my entrepreneur friends created a fortune of probably $400 million. From scratch. His conversations reveal one of his secrets. He never utters a cliché. Never resorts to any of the hundred stock remarks most of us use. My guess is he does not speak like we do because he does not think like we do.
Like a lot of my entrepreneurial friends he looks at what I do and sees things I don’t. I swear he sees colors that don’t exist in my spectrum.
He is actually a likeable guy. Sweet to be around. Good company. As for a lot of the other entrepreneurs? Especially the most famous? Dining with them would be great. If I was in New York and they were in Los Angeles.
From Tom...as in Morgan.