Nothing Fishy About it

“Among other things, he (Warren Buffet) impressed upon me that it is better to be a bad manager of a good business than be a good manager of a bad business”. – Katharine Graham, Personal History

It is certainly not my business to comment on good and bad managers. But I am often surrounded by thoughts on managing (rather than minding) my own business. There’s the old theory of which kind of fish you want to be and in which kind of pond…big in small or small in big. Depending on swimming capabilities and other relevant criteria one might choose either pond or land up in one or the other by chance. There is however a third (hidden) question that some among us dare to answer.

I can’t statistically prove it but have every reason to believe that every minute, someone somewhere is sending in a resignation and waking up to their own business idea. What makes so many people around the world stand in front of the mirror and say “I’m the boss” and literally mean it? The search for an answer to that takes me to a classroom discussion long ago…are writers born or made? The debate, as I remember, was never settled. It has since taken different forms, like one among many articles which asked, Should creative writing be taught? Entrepreneurship is no less a skill than writing, and could just as well beg the question…are you born with the guts to break away or do circumstances make a man/woman their own boss? Whether writer or entrepreneur, born with it or having acquired it, it’s your ideas laid bare with the world waiting to pronounce judgment.

That the man/woman who starts a business displays the most passion in the board room is no surprise. But it takes more than board room passion to get others behind the idea to drive it further. And this is where those desirous of playing the big-fish-in-small-pond routine come in. It also helps if these fish can bring in some dough beneath their fins.

Everything starts small but aims big. Somewhere along the way things take a turn for the better or worse. Success or failure in this respect cannot be measured by the idea or the person or the circumstance alone. No pond-creator knows for a fact how big her enterprise can be, yet she dives knee deep in mud to create what she can call her own. And it isn’t an easy task with naysayers crowding around and disrupting many a worthwhile endeavor.

As people continue to leave behind comfort zones of 9-to-5 routines and monthly pay checks, they’re certainly hoping to be good managers of good businesses. No matter what the jury rules, the entrepreneur breed all have one thing in common…they answered the right question.

‘tis no bother what sort of fish I am, but I would rather swim in my own pond.