Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Calling All Failures: Part II

This is a continuation of a post I made earlier about how failures are "non-narratable"-- i.e. stories our culture does not allow to be told.

As I said in that post, there are exceptions.  But even a book talks about failure still has passages like this:

One of the best entrepreneurs I have ever known is a friend and business partner of mine.....  In describing what an entrepreneur does, he said, "There are three parts to putting a business deal together.  One is finding the right people.  Two is finding the right opportunity.  And three is finding the money."  He also said, "Rarely do all three pieces come together at the same time.  Sometimes you have the people, but you do not have the deal or the money.  Sometimes you have the money, but no deal or people."  He also said, "The most important job of an entrepreneur is to grab one piece and then began to put the other two pieces together.  That may take a week or it may take years, but if you have one piece, at least you gotten started."  In other words, an entrepreneur does not care if two out of three lights are red.  In fact an entrepreneur does not care if all three lights are red.  Red lights to not prevent an entrepreneur from being an entrepreneur (Kiyosaki, Before You Quit Your Job xx-xxi).

See what I mean?  Thou shalt go for it, regardless.  If you are the real deal, you won't fail.  Of course, I realized that my complaint is not very realistic.  Naturally, the people who are successful write books and the people who are not successful do not.  If they did write books, and no one would want to publish them because no one would want to read them.  I realize that.  I guess what I'm driving at is the implicit assumption that dreams and passions are meant to be followed regardless.

But the only people who get to talk about the subject are people who have succeeded because of their dreams and passion.  The people who failed and whose failure was a disaster for those who depended on them don't get to talk.  (Unless they want to comment here, on this blog post!)

I know exactly what I want to do, but even in my most generous calculation it doesn't look like it would be lucrative.  (Maybe $3,000 a year, in a good year.)  And that doesn't seem fair to my spouse.  On the flip side, my spouse would probably be doing something very different and equally non-lucrative if it weren't for me!  And so we are responsible instead.  And we count our blessings, which are many, but we still wonder.

So when is it selfish to follow your dreams?  If I reject the absolute idea that dreams must always be followed, on one hand, and also the idea of that one must wait until there is absolutely no risk until pursuing one passion, at what point does the dreamer get the green light?  My beloved and I actually have a little joke about this.  He says, "When the house has paid off and we have $100,000 in the bank.  Then you can start."  But the interest from $100,000 would not replace my salary....

Ergo for right now I will be grateful for my good job and the security which it brings.  I'll be glad that my spouse and I can discuss finances and dreams.  I will hope and plan and take some little steps in the direction of what I want.  And I am going to try not to live only in someday.  But in the back of my head there will always be the reckless voice that wants to just take the plunge and worry about the consequences later, like the typical heroine in the American Entrepreneurial Fairy Tale.

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