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Verboten Publishing Ltd.

A Deck Full Of Fools

There are risks in everything.

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By Bill Hunting

When we start a business, we're told the market is honest. Well established laws and political protections will guarantee fair market access in the long run even if any particular day has its own inequities.

Why else do we pay such high business taxes? We are told with absolute conviction we'll be given a fair shake. If our products and services are good, we'll sell them, reach critical mass, pay back our investors, pay off our equipment and make a profit.

We 're then told for every compromise if we're willing to give a little now it'll afford opportunity tomorrow. Borrow from the future and pay us today. Pay your dues... to us. Apply for permits... from us. Advertise... on our networks. The market has a caretaker and it cares for your business and wants your success.

If you're very lucky and very special the rare success story that came before you will be wheeled out to impress. Look how happy, rich, and successful that old partner is. Look at the quality of woman on his arm, the car he drives, the plane he flies. Command of the stage. Turtle neck... sneakers. Surrounded by electricity.

However, in the real world many forces will come out to stop you, and the more radical the ideas the more aggressive these forces will be. Those that cared a moment ago will strike when you're at your most vulnerable just after they've seduced you into stretching out that... wallet. Basic services will be denied routinely because of the political biases of the people running these services. They will call you names, they will paint you as whatever classification they find most useful to getting their way. And getting their way means you not getting yours. In the face of such lies and dishonest conduct one might ask what's the point?

The point is glorious battle! To lay ones enemies at ones feet is all the sweeter for their struggle. Force your competitors to face their own weakness, because it is most certainly a weakness to be so dishonest. Truth is like oil in water, it naturally wants to float to the surface. There are many ways to delay and obscure the truth but in the end it always wins out. It's nature. It costs money to lie, and the bigger the lie the more money it costs to keep people believing it.

Time is on our side. Persistence is the key. Make them spend their money every day, make them think about you every day. Draw their energy into a pointless contest where you are advantaged by your minimal size and lack of overhead. The powerful have more to lose. Every move they make carries risk a start up doesn't have to worry about.

The hardest part of all is putting ones ego to the side. A startup must get hit hard, knocked senseless so it can learn to get up again and ask for another round. This should continue for some time. It builds character and develops "Horse Sense". Remember, your competitors are bigger than you, smarter than you, and richer than you. But they don't have your backbone. They don't have your passion.

Your ideas can compete with the best of them. Competitors become increasingly desperate as they run out of options and you're still standing there smiling that sh*t eating grin that says, "Is that all you've got?"

The more they work against you, the more you've drawn them into your story. The more you control the narrative they so eagerly engaged in forming just a few short months earlier. As the market gradually accepts your services you'll realize there's only one king in this kingdom, the producers, and all those other businesses were just jokers. What do you do then? Count your capital.

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Author
Bill Hunting
Bill writes a lot about pioneering and production. A strong advocate of ones independent means of production.
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