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  • Writer's pictureRick Julian

In Praise of Entrepreneurs

When I was a little boy, I lived next to the jungle for a few years. It was in Central America near the Panama Canal Zone. My father was stationed there. Every few days, men with machetes would come and have to hack back the jungle to keep it from encroaching into the neighborhood where we lived. Left untended, the jungle would literally creep in and take over buildings and homes and whatever it could get its tendrils wrapped around. The animals also ventured into our neighborhood on a regular basis. I can remember huge bats, snakes, and sloths and giant spiders and all kinds of stuff. Literally a wild place full of lots of memories. Toward the end of our stay there, instead of the men showing up to chop back the jungle, a group of men were chopping into the jungle. They were clearing the jungle to build a new home. And I marveled at it because it was such a scary place for me. It was such a powerful entity to me, this jungle was. And so for these men to go in and do battle with it was heroic. And I sat for days and kind of watched their progress. In physics, there's the Second Law of Thermodynamics—it's a fundamental rule that determines the fate of the universe. What it describes is the tendency for hot things to become cool unless something is done to prevent it. More broadly, it speaks about entropy and the tendency of things to go from order to disorder; from an organized state to a more chaotic state. Now, all these years later, when I think back on those men carving a place into that jungle for a new home, I think about entrepreneurs. Think about how these men, with their machetes, were an anti-entropic force. They were meeting the chaos and harnessing it, doing battle with it, pushing back against one of the fundamental laws of the universe. Entrepreneurs are remarkable in that way. They don't use machetes. They use their ideas, their innovation, their passion, their hustle and carve out places on the edge of this frontier of our world to do new things. Whether they're creating a presence in the metaverse or if they're parking a food truck on an empty lot, they are taming new territory. I love working with entrepreneurs. I love the passion, the fierceness, and often the fearlessness that's required to do what they do. But not everyone is cut out for it. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that among everyone active in the workforce, only 16% of them are entrepreneurs. You have to be wired a certain way in order to be a successful entrepreneur.

As someone who's a serial entrepreneur for the last 35 years, I'm not going to say that wiring is completely normal, but it does require a very specific kind of mentality. So here are some flowers, entrepreneurs, bravo to you for what you do for yourselves, for your families, and for the world. It takes something special to go out there and create things where there was nothing before.

If that's something that you're looking to do in your life, just want to let you know we're sharpening machetes over here. Be bold and prosper. Be Unforgettable.

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