Business is conflict

The journey of entrepreneurship is a path of 1,000 steps. And that’s just to avoid failure in the first year. True success. The success you seek. Is thousands more. It is not fenced by roses. It is muddy, rocky, overgrown in some places, where rain and storms are more common than clear skies. This is only avoided by avoiding business. By avoiding entrepreneurship. If you choose to run a business, and you want it to grow, you are inviting conflict. The majority of the conflict will come from your family, friends, and the people you trust most, rely on the most, and promote in your business – if you are successful.

Wealth requires scale, scale begets complexity

The steps you’ve taken so far are the most important – you start with one, after all – but each additional step is a function of increased resources, costs, complexity, and risk. And enemies, as they increase faster than friends. This is what happens once you “succeed” and get over the first hurdle. You now face the most difficult step – scale.

Tradeoffs are the rule. Doubt is permanent. Risk is endogenous.

Never let any [Company] imagine that it can choose perfectly safe courses; rather let it expect to have to take very doubtful ones, because it is found in ordinary affairs that one never seeks to avoid one trouble without running into another; but prudence consists in knowing how to distinguish the character of troubles, and for choice to take the lesser evil.

In the beginning… Simplicity

Going from 0 to 1 is comparatively simple – spiritually, emotionally, technically. There are so few moving pieces. You alone can canvass them. It’s you and your founding team. Only people you believe in and who believe in you. Only a handful of customers – maybe just one – who believes in you. Only one vendor or supplier, who you know personally and, moreover, you are in the honeymoon phase with them. Everybody is on board to sacrifice. Everybody understands and is excited by the new. Everyone has lower expectations for today and dates their checks for the future.

When you make it…

Those of outstanding ability are more likely to lack the power of controlling their own people than of defeating an enemy in battle.

The good ‘ol days were easy, and you were poor

Those demands which were hidden behind smiles and personal calculations. Those future checks. Those evolving demands. The weariness after dawn. A dulled patina of the early days. Framed, displayed, and remember fondly if rewarded; remembered bitterly if the future fell a scintilla short of hopes. This is what success looks like.

Demands, power structures, playing politics, having to negotiate with parties that have too much influence over you, internal conflict, doing 100 things a day that you MUST do. Because you don’t have other realistic options. At least, for now. You’ve taken all this burden and stress for wealth.

All innovation that exists in the world is there because of people like you who sacrifice their mental health while praising and supporting the world to the furthest length your dollar can afford.

It is not the strength, but the duration, of great sentiments that makes greatness.

Sacred cows built you, and overtime will break you

If you go down this path, you’re a hero. The person who redeems the world in the most profound of ways. But do not go gently into that growing venture. Because success comes at a price. And the real suffering starts after you start to succeed. Congratulations upon leaving the pond. Welcome to open warfare.

Abandon all idols, ye who wish to be wealthy

Continued growth requires adaptation, continuous energy – like a drum beat of hope and willfulness – and the “shattering of sacred cows.” Growth requires you to abandon all your personal preferences beyond profitability and domination. This language is not an exaggeration. Domination is appropriate.

The art of [profit] is of vital importance to the [business]. It is a matter of [wealth] and [poverty], a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

Profit is the purpose of a business

When you understand how power works this is obvious, especially as Businesses and Nation States have nearly identical logic. For example. The purpose of a Nation State is to get Power. The purpose of a Business is to get Profit. How much? More. Why is this the case? Because these P words are the tool by which Nation States and Businesses Provide for their People.

A nation state with more power can

  • Secure its territory
  • Provide for the common good
  • Allow its citizens to prosper
  • Create opportunity
  • Protect the weak from predation
  • Harness the creativity of the strong

A business with more profit can

  • Innovate
  • Increase salary and benefits to staff
  • Decrease costs to customers
  • Invest in the future
  • Plan for the longterm
  • Secure your future and your heirs

Become a business empire

Staying small is not moral, honorable, or wise. Become an upright Empire. Be strong, capable, and just. Alexander the Great conquered the known world. His father, Phillip of Macedon, saw to his education. He hired Aristotle as his advisor. Augustus Caesar turned Rome from a city of bricks to a city of marble. He had the longest reign of any Roman Emperor. He hired Agrippa as his advisor. Liu Bei was born into poverty and sold sandals on the street. When the Han dynasty collapsed, he fought to restore it against impossible odds. He hired Zhuge Liang as his advisor.

Business Owners are Emperors

I am their advisor.

I stand behind them in the shadows. I take no credit, wish for no fame, and prefer anonymity. I subordinate myself to them and am fiercely loyal. I help them turn their businesses into empires, and only work with those where the relationship could last a lifetime.

Copyright 2016 – Until I'm Dead. Evan Thomsen Consulting LLC.