Jerry Ash: The Disruptive Professor

Entrepreneurship Requires Work, Common Sense

Recommendation: If you have not read Ode #1 and Ode #2, start there.

See Ode to an Employee — #3 below

Most of us might overcome our economic unhappiness by choosing the alternative of entrepreneurship. Many have tried. Most have failed.

Nevertheless the trilogy of the Odes to an Employee isn’t pure fantasy. Many individuals have gone from rags to riches as indie entrepreneurs. The spectacular examples are legends. You know quite well the names and the stories.

But before we attempt to model ourselves after the few, let us first consider the failures of the many.

Entrepreneurship doesn’t generally depend just on passion or serendipity. It depends on common sense and hard work

And there lies the origin of the most fundamental of mistakes an indie entrepreneur makes when his or her knees jerk into entrepreneurship.

“The Employee” may not have had a clue, but he had a mission that went beyond replacing the paycheck. He genuinely liked his employers, what he did and the customers he served. And he discovered, not accidentally, a means of helping all of them save the system.

The legendary “need.”

Ask Bill Gates what his intentions were in his garage back when, and he’ll tell you it was to put the power of main frame computing in the pockets of every human being in the world. I believe him. I don’t believe that his vision was to become one of the richest men in the world. However, I’m sure he likes it

But while “The Employee” became a solopreneur out of passion, it wasn’t enough. He had ideas.

He understood the plight of both business and labor in the hospitality industry. They were on a never-ending treadmill that would ultimately lead to failure for the owners as well as his friends. And the customers!

Worst of all, it would lead to the passage of human driven hospitality as we know it.

Instead of grabbing on to another dead end job in a dead end industry, he decided he would save Mom and Pop entrepreneurs and the many others who depended on them for more than a living . . . for a lifestyle.

While other employees were out there begging for another job at the only thing they knew, “The Employee” had no competition. He promised turnarounds at no cost until the enterprises could pay him a fair share of their newly found profits. Instead of using his unemployment check on a futile job hunt, he used it to start up a better future for himself and many others.

His early sacrifice led to an income stream from many sources, far greater than he could have dreamed. And his financial security was in his hands. No longer would one business failure or one pink slip affect his income or the security of his future.

The problem with passion, however, is that it seldom comes with a plan.

Success had made everyone happy but himself. Like every other accidental entrepreneur, he had a dream. And the dream turned sour. He hated his job and he hated his boss — which was himself of course — and it was all his fault!

Fortunately his “inner voice was still talking,” an app not available to many of us.

Instead of hiring an office manager and other business professionals, “The Employee” proposed the same arrangements he’d accepted for himself and that he afforded everyone in his organization: a fair share of the profits.

You might think more sharing would reduce the amounts available to the existing stakeholders (business and labor), but the outcome would be far different. Business professionals would be happy and productive in the office. Their work would lead to more growth, more jobs, and for “The Entrepreneur,” an Attaboy Ode.

I call this the foundation for a socially responsible, self-managed, profit-sharing business model. I’m not the voice in your head, but there lies your future! If you listen.

Ode to an Employee #3

Unemployment is long gone / And he’s having so much fun
He’s an un-employee now / A com-pan-y of one
More jobs than he can handle / He needs to hire more hands
Can’t afford a payroll / But he has other plans
Instead of offering paychecks / Entirely too small
He’ll offer to share profit / Fair to one and all
The company of many friends / Grows by leaps and bounds
But he’s too busy managing / No time to make the rounds
All the others are so happy / Earning their fair share
But he’s so busy managing / He’s pulling out his hair!
All he really wanted /  Was to be his own boss
Now, as he sees himself / He’s the worst he’s come across
Hotels, his inner voice says / Turnarounds your credentials
In running your own business / You lack the essentials
Right away he looks for answers/ A franchise firm his choice
Again he’s out where he belongs / Working, leading . . .
Listening to his inner voice

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Not My EconomicsEntrepreneurship Requires Work, Common Sense