Start A Business With Persistence
...Or End Up Living Like A Flintstone In Bedrock
Start a business with persistence or live the life of Fred Flintstone. Remember him?
Back between 1960 and 1966 the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) launched a sitcom starring this animated cartoon character, his middle-class family (wife Wilma and daughter Pebbles) and his middle-class neighbors Barney and Betty Rubble with their herculean little boy Bam-Bam. All of them lived in their middle-class town of Bedrock, USA. Fred worked in construction.
Greatly influenced by the 1954-56 hit TV show The Honeymooners, the Flintstones came to represent mainstream America, playing during primetime hour and becoming the longest running, animated situation comedy filling that time slot. Targeting the young, The Flintstones helped influence an entire generation about the American Way of Life.
What do you see Fred do at every start of the show, horns blaring, bare feet spinning down toward the exit door?
Does this picture ring a bell?
The guy is clocking out and racing to freedom. And freedom looked like this back then:
Not that Fred was a loser. Not at all! We're talking about a whole perspective on life here. And to give a frame of reference to this mid 20th-Century perspective, consider what writer Bob Bly had to say about it.
My dad died 15 years ago.My own father was similar. He lived through the Great Depression. He died less than a year ago. He was into simple things. But unlike Bob's father, my dad was an entrepreneur and this made a huge difference in his life.
He was a great father ... and we were extremely close.
I admired how Dad, growing up in the Great Depression, lifted himself up from poverty to a comfortable middle class existence.
I knew we didn't have as much money as a lot of families. But we always had clothes, shelter, and never missed a meal.
To achieve this comfortable existence, my father made the ultimate sacrifice:
He worked for more than 40 years at a job he did not like (as an insurance agent). Dad found his happiness in his family, his friends, and his hobbies (he played poker, bowled, and collected coins).
I NEVER saw my father rush out the door of his own business dying to get home because he felt trapped. My dad liked his job as proprietor.
I met many more people who did not like their jobs when I worked as a technical writer for Westinghouse in the late 70s.
These people performed mindless repetitive tasks - like wrapping wire around a cylinder - 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
When the five o'clock whistle blew, they dropped what they were doing and raced out of there with amazing speed.
Based on observations of my father and Westinghouse, I soon concluded that - above all else - I wanted to avoid working at a job that I didn't like ... especially one that was boring.
So after a few years as a wage slave in corporate America, I quit to strike out on my own as a freelance copywriter, seminar leader, and book author ... and much later, as an Internet information marketer.
In all the years that I spent in Corporate America myself as an employee, I experienced the same as Bob, barring one exception. There were people like me working at large companies who had managed to gain enough credibility to secure large budgets and teams so big that they performed within these companies as might a small business inside a small town.
There was a time, for example, when I had 75 people reporting into me at a company 110,000 employees big.
Individuals like these are called intrapreneurs because they behave just like my father did, except inside large companies. Short of them, I recognized that only independent contractors come close to imitating my father's attitude inside corporations...and getting away with it!
Intrapreneurs for the most part love their work so long as they are allowed to behave rather independently within the confines of the corporation, supporting internal "clients" to achieve their corporate objectives. I spent years as one and ended up loving my work most of the time, except when I was reminded that I was a wage slave after all. This I needed to change soon enough.
You could say I am lucky in that I love my work. But you and I don't get jobs we love through luck, for the most part.I remember a time when my father was having a really lousy season at his bakery. He wanted to expand his operation abroad. But the moment he left his domestic enterprise, the business began to sink and he'd have to rush back to stabilize it. This was very frustrating to him.
You gain the ability to love your work by making a deliberate choice to pursue a career or business that interests you - and staying at it until you succeed.
So why do so many small businesses fail? There are a lot of reasons, but a primary one is: they give up too early.
Something bad happens. A customer doesn't pay a large bill. The economy turns sour.
So they give up. Way to easily.
He would return home sullen. He knew he was confronting one major limitation in his knowledge and ability. But he never quit.
One of the secrets to success is persistence: pressing on in the face of adversity.To start a business you must be persistent. You must not be a Fred Flintstone, content with running home to watch TV after clocking out at 5 PM every work day. You may not want to join the Bedrock Country Club. But you may want to have something you can truly call not only your own but a true reflection of your freedom the freedom from wage bondage.
Remember the fight between Rocky and Apollo Creed in Rocky II?
Rocky won the heavyweight championship of the world because he got up after being knocked down ... and Apollo didn't.
The musical group Chumbawamba says in their song Tub Thumping:
"I get knocked down. But I get up again. You're never going to keep me down."
Calvin Coolidge: "Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
"Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
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