They Say

… that the elements of business are the same as those of war. They say that war is diplomacy by other means. They have said that a diplomat is someone sent abroad to lie for his or her country. That countries are the modern realisation of tribalism, that tribalism is as nature intended us to be.

That tribes have structures and inherent to those structures is the idea of leadership. In fact leadership is inherent to everything. But for their to be leaders there have to be followers just as for business to flourish there have to be buyers.

Buyers come in many sizes depending upon their wealth. Each wealth group is tribal to its own group. An extension of business, country and leadership wealth engenders followers like flowers following the sunshine.

Bad Business Can Be Good

I have just been talking to a man who discussed with me the history of a certain business interest here in the UK. They no longer trade but they survived for nearly a hundred and more years living off borrowing, not chasing their debtors and investing in all sorts of other businesses.

They managed to do this because they were well known, friends with many of their debtors and so wouldn’t foreclose or demand their money and had amenable banks who just lent them more at higher and higher interest rates or sold them insurance on top of their loans and for their loans, so they at least made money.

Made me laugh that the whole system they built up was in debt for so long and never worked and none of the people who ran the place were good business men and yet – the whole community survived.

Out With The Old

Traditions can be temperamental things. No sooner does one generation discard them as irrelevant than the next picks them up as rebellious. But sometimes people ignore the traditional simply because its convenient.

My first children’s story was written in 1982 and I was told at the time it was too like C S Lewis, and this was seen as a negative. I thought it a compliment but in the world of publishing what I was being told was simply ‘ we have a C S Lewis and he sells very well and we don’t want someone else stealing his sales’. Years ago I read about a French singer who looked too like Piaf and could never get any work.

We tend to think talent comes singly but it doesn’t but the more there is the more work the salesmen have to do to make money so they keep similar talent down. It’s been done for years and will go on being done because people are not honest.

What hurts though for the artist is they never say this, they never admit it, they tell you, you are not good enough. They even denigrate your ability. Such people are, of course, never slow to steal your main ideas and sell them onto their ‘in house’ talent.

Originality in business does not exist.

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December 2018
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