Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Free Enterprise Is The Rough Road To Easy Street

"It is a rough road that leads to the path of greatness."

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4BC - 65AD)

Obviously this kind of a quote can be used in many contexts, and it is perfect for the concept of free enterprise.

Doing something for yourself, being your "own boss," creating an entity from nothing and struggling to develop it - and all of the other things it takes to make it in a free-enterprise environment is nothing if it is not a "rough road."

But is it worth it?

Those who can navigate the free-enterprise maze and come out the other end would say yes!  Those who cannot keep afloat and perish in the business environment would say no!  They, and the other deriders of free enterprise and capitalism, would also scream the other words - unfair!  Unjust!  Unlevel playing field!  Etc.

Change, innovation, increasing knowledge, and staying in the forefront of all that it takes to stay in business and thrive requires constant effort.  You can't merely find the yellow-brick road (or Seneca's path to greatness) and push on in the right direction to the great fortune to be found!  There are head winds, side winds, muddy puddles, ice and snow, torrential rains, highway robbers, unexpected break downs and costs, road hogs and the rest.  One must anticipate and be ready to combat anything to stall the business progress moment to moment.   

The road that leads to the path of greatness is a rough one and an unpredictable place.

So why do it?  Why seek out this "rough road," and search for the "path of greatness?"

Why not sit back and wait for others to provide our bread and butter?  And let someone else take care of our needs from cradle to grave?  And be the same as everyone else?   And not develop our talents and interests?  Or learn the same things, say the same things, use the "proper" words, and think only the "proper" thoughts?  AND TAKE THE EASY ROAD TO EASY STREET?

Seneca would say that is an easy one!  Because his philosophy was that none of that leads to the path of greatness.  There is no EASY ROAD to greatness.  The easy road never gets us to EASY STREET.

Free enterprise is the rough road to easy street.

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