Why I hate business

I actually love enterprise. I love the idea of individuals and small groups of people getting together and building something wonderful, and having that wonderful something produce prosperity for them and their community and the world at large.

But for some reason, I get really annoyed by people who are "really into business", who are obsessed with the topic, who want to write about it, and talk about their aspirations as business owners, etc, etc, etc.

And I just figured out what that reason is.

People who are into music, technology, house-building, cabinetry, automotive engineering, writing, astronautics, philosophy, pizza-making, ditch-digging, and grammar-correcting-for-hire really interest me. They interest me even if I'm not into the thing they're into. If they're making a lot of money with their pizza-making or whatever, I really respect that. If they want to share their strategy for turning their mom-and-pop pizza joint into a multi-national aunt-and-uncle pizza joint, I'm probably interested in reading about that.

What they are doing with their specific focus is telling me how they are making the world a better place. Maybe just by improving the pizza slice that you eat on your way home from the dentist, or making a deeper ditch, or writing a better poem...but these people are contributing something that they value to the world.

Someone who is obsessed with business, on the other hand, is telling me how excited they are to extract value from the world. Which is cool - I want them to find good ways to provide value and extract payment for that value. But I'm more interested in hearing about the way they're going to provide value - not the way they're going to extract value. One excites and interests me - the other strikes me as boring and selfish.

There's some irony in this. I'm being selfish in that I want to hear about how people are going to create something that will make the world, and by extension my own life, better. I'm not interested in how they're going to make their life better. That's kind of weird to think about, but the fact remains:

Writing about the business of creation is fundamentally about others, writing about the business of business is fundamentally about yourself.



• • •

Comments

Nice post. Reminds me of the commencement talk by Hugh Nibley, "Leaders to Managers: The Fatal Shift" (http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/transcripts/?id=125):

"To question that sovereign maxim ['seek ye first financial independence and all other things shall be added'], one need only consider what strenuous efforts of wit, will, and imagination have been required to defend it. I have never heard, for example, of artists, astronomers, naturalists, poets, athletes, musicians, scholars, or even politicians coming together in high-priced institutes, therapy groups, lecture series, outreach programs, or clinics to get themselves psyched up by GO! GO! GO! slogans, moralizing clichés, or the spiritual exercises of a careful dialectic, to give themselves what is called a "wealth mindset" with the assurance that (in the words of Korihor) "whatsoever a man did was no crime" (Alma 30:17). Nor do those ancient disciplines lean upon lawyers, those managers of managers, to prove to the world that they are not cheating. Those who have something to give to humanity revel in their work, and do not have to rationalize, advertise, or evangelize to make themselves feel good about what they are doing. It is only when their art and their science become business oriented that problems of ethics ever arise."

There's just something about that joy and excitement in doing a job well that's contagious in a very good way. Making money from it seems like a happy accident or side effect.

And then there are those who are motivated by greed, and their excitement is in that paycheck. It just doesn't spread the same way, does it?

Thank goodness.

You speak my mind. I have always been feeling the same. Got into business Major, changed to Comp Science because I couldn't stand my feeling for not having the passion studying about making money by all means necessary.

Too much into business is self-demeaning.

I agree with Tanapuch and the writer himself..
doing business solely is demeaning but adding value and respecting isn't so..

btw, even I changed my major from Business to Environmental Science ._.

I agree with this 100%.

Right now I'm starting a company that buys non-performing mortgage notes on the secondary mortgage market (we buy defaulted mortgages from banks). I'm stuck between 2 possibilities.

Option A= Build a small LLC with people who want a good job; Pay them very well; promote a manager; use the company as a cashcow while I build an organization that searches for the cure for cancer (Literally)

Option B= Build a Multinational conglomerate that buys notes; Get officers; Put other businesses under the company; become a fat cat brainless business person.

You can see which one I'm leading towards... I want to add more value to the world, not take it. I don't think I can do something like that in america anyways. I'm go with option A. After the cashcow is complete I can move everything to Europe, they'll be more interested in human advancement without a price tag.

Thanks

Add new comment