A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

A SIMPLE TEST




I think I’ve made it quite obvious by now that my early education wasn’t too great. There are after all, huge gaps in my knowledge, which explains why I was surprised to learn the other day that The Duke of Wellington became Prime Minister after all of his military exploits…

Now don’t mock me here – we’re all ignorant, but on many different subjects. It’s just that I have more subjects of ignorance to choose from than most.

Anyway, Wellington sounds like a quite colourful character who wouldn’t have fitted in too well with modern day political correctness or with the ‘health police’ too for that matter.

Apparently he would regularly drink 6 glasses of wine with dinner and a pint of claret afterwards. And I’m no expert here (told you I was thick), but I think that might put him somewhat above the government’s current recommended alcohol limits for a man… even a fat one.

And contrary to popular belief, he didn’t gain the nickname ‘The Iron Duke’ on the battlefield either – it was actually derived from the metal shutters he had fitted to his windows while he was Prime Minister, to protect him from the mob protesting about his elitist and somewhat non-democratic policies.

But what I found really interesting was his astute remarks following his first cabinet meeting as Prime Minister in 1828…

“It was an extraordinary affair,” he said “I gave them
their orders, and they wanted to stay and discuss them.”

Now I’d imagine that Margaret Thatcher would have said something pretty similar after her first cabinet meeting in 1979.

It’s funny because the most common response I get to issues of this blog (apart from “Get a life, loser” – I should have never married that woman!) is “How about forming a political party or standing for election yourself?” And my response is always the same…

“I’d only ever be interested in politics if I can become Dictator.”

You see, just like in the early military, entrepreneurs are not really ‘wired up’ for decision making by any committee. On the very few occasions I’ve been involved in a committee situation I’ve found it to be a totally horrible experience – completely time consuming, physically frustrating and emotionally draining.

You see, I want to do what I think is right, and I want to do it now! And If I can’t… well I’m not interested in playing your game. So there!

I think this is a characteristic of the majority of successful entrepreneurs… in fact I’d go as far as to say it’s almost a pre-requisite…

So if you’re the sort of person who enjoys the cut and thrust of decision making by committee, you’re unlikely to be the sort of person best suited to life as an entrepreneur. Collective responsibility is an anathema to entrepreneurs. They want to make a decision and then stand or fall on the results - without any form of outside interference - and alone.

They court neither a group to share the blame when things go wrong, nor one to share the spoils or plaudits with.

Contrast the likes of Wellington and Thatcher (who I believe would have made a great entrepreneur) with the likes of Gordon Brown now...

You see, there’s a man created specifically by his maker to sit on committees. Watch him closely on TV as he mouths the word ‘committee'. You can almost sense a frisson of pseudo-sexual excitement from him as the words leave his lips. He’d set up a committee to decide on the colour of his own bathroom if he could. Perfect for politics I suppose, where discussing stuff is an end in itself. But not so good if you want to actually get anything done.

So, if like many people, you’ve yet to sail your entrepreneurial ship, and are weighing up the pro’s and cons of pulling up the anchor, then your position on this matter would be a  good measure of whether you’re fit for the voyage or not.

There’s no shame in admitting that you may not have the sea legs – and folly only in ignoring the evidence and winding up losing your breakfast over the side.

And on that charming image, I’ll leave you to ponder the issue.



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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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