Under the affliction that we call business. It takes a significant breed of animal, to take on the world of constant mental oppression. As time lines are fought to be met, and budgets are pushed to the limits under constant economic constraints. The volatile world of business is not for everyone. Which leads me to the following concept; the ideology and philosophy behind the RELIANT - SELF MADE MAN.
As the concept of the self made man is deeply rooted in the American Dream. It is as old as the United States. Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, is also sometimes said to have co-founded the very concept. In his Autobiography, he describes his way from a poor, unknown son of a candle maker to a very successful business man and highly acknowledged member of the American society. Franklin creates the archetype of someone coming from low origins, who against all odds, breaks out of his inherited social position, climbs up the social ladder and creates a new identity for himself. As Franklin states in his autobiography;
Self-made men…..are the men who owe little or nothing to birth, relationship, friendly surroundings; to wealth inherited or to early approved means of education; who are what they are, without the aid of any of the favoring conditions by which other men usually rise in the world and achieve great results.
Through the years, I have had the immense pleasure of listening, interviewing, and speaking to some of the greatest minds in philosophy and business strategy today. Till this day, I am still humbled and honored to have the chance to speak to the one and only Robert Greene. Upon our discussion on Self Reliance, I asked the following question;
Today’s Entrepreneur knows that to make it in this world, you have to be Self-Reliant. Explain what this means to you?
Wow, well self reliance is a huge toot to me; I can spend about four hours talking about it. There is an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson that I encourage everyone to read on self reliance. It will inspire you. But the idea is basically that you are born alone in this world and that you are going to die alone in this world. You have family, you have friends, they are important, but in the end there is no one that is really there that is going to 100% back you up or support you. You find out now a days that the company you work for will fire you on the spot, the state is short of shriveling away, there losing money, there not gonna be able to pay for your un-employment checks. You’re not going to be able to depend on them for anything. Your family should be there, but often times, they have their own problems and they can’t pay for everything that you want, ect. And maybe there sometimes not there for you in certain moments. So you have to learn early on in life that you are the last sort of safety net. You have to depend on your own skills, your own attitude. If you’re sitting there waiting for other people to help you, you are a loser! You are going to miss all of the opportunities that are out there. So you develop a mindset that I have to get things for myself. I have to be strong and occasionally if people are going to help me that’s great. If there is that contact out there that promised me to put me in touch with someone important and he comes through, fantastic. But I’m not going to be sitting there waiting for that to happen, and I’m not gonna be upset, depressed, or disappointed if it doesn’t happen. I am going to get things done by myself, and I’m going to learn how to do it at a very early age. I have the metaphor in the book of a guy that was on a desert island, who the story of Robison Cruso is based on. Living alone for nine months, whining to himself and feeling sorry. Then he suddenly decides that he is going to make the best of the situation. So he learns all these skills, he teaches himself how to hunt and build things. He ends up leaving the island, and after he is rescued, he looks back at how this was the greatest period of his life. Because he finally learns the skills that he needed to live, and it was a very exciting adventure. That is kind of the way you should see it for yourself. You are on an island, and you have to learn how to fish, hunt, and make your own hut. Do it for yourself, and it makes being an Entrepreneur, which can sometimes be a daunting task, be something that is actually a lot of fun.
Furthermore, whether it is in love, business, or life. You have to stand your ground, fight for what you believe in, and lead from the front. As we are all “SELF MADE” and are constantly fighting the currents of self belief and volatile economic cycles, so….. don’t let anything stop you from reaching the top! I can definitely confirm to the fact that your belief, visions, and budgets…..will be tested…time and time again……That’s where you have to dig deep, look deep inside yourself, and state the following affirmation;
In conclusion, I will end this piece with the following quote; “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. “-Harriet Beecher Stowe