Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Who’s Looking At Who?

You have to understand everything to be in business.

Please note I said “understand,” not “be good at.” But if you’re going to turn over part of your efforts to others, for money, and you don’t have a grasp of what they’re doing –or supposed to be doing — you’re in for a lot of trouble. See: 1999 CEO investments in web-based business models if you need a refresher.

What is that allegory about the blind men feeling the elephant? Something about each man describing the animal differently because they can’t see the whole thing. Each fellow is feeling a different part of the beast. I’m sure it’s very Zen and Tony Robbins and Rah Rah Let’s Go Out There and Sell People! if you tell it right in a multi-level marketing motivational speech. But I can’t be bothered to remember it, and believe me, in real life, it’s the elephant that’s blind — and angry, too — and if you’re lucky he just steps on your toes and doesn’t sit on you. And by the way, everybody always is positioned in the same spot under the elephant of commerce: under its tail.

Anyway, I was put on notice that there would be no mercy shown to such as I a long time before I heard : “I can’t save every undercapitalized business in America.” That wasn’t even the first time such a person mentioned they weren’t going to be interested in throwing me a flotation device, even though I didn’t really need one until they had just hurled me into the ocean. The only thing you can ever pray for in business is to be left alone. I must pray in the wrong church.

I make things because it is in my bones to do so. Every once in a while –fairly often, thank God — someone sends me a letter or an e-mail, telling me that the thing I made for them made them happy to look at it, or helped their children to reach the sink to brush their teeth, or some other detail that made their life a little more pleasant. And I have to trust that many more feel that way but are anonymous. You have to put your efforts out into the ether, and doggedly trust sometimes that they are worthwhile. You can’t always tell right away. The penalty for trusting the wrong things is… I can’t save every undercapitalized bu…

The customers feed my children, and my soul. And like the fools we all are, they thank me for it.

3 Responses

  1. I’m kind of serious, but I tried to word it in a Sippicanishly rascally way. So, Dudley, do right and answer my question.

    Rocket J. Squirrel

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