The Four Horsemen Cometh.
The Apocalypse started before you were born. The four horsemen of the business apocalypse broke free at the dawn of the industrial revolution, and have ridden unchecked ever since. To me, the four horsemen of exploitation, greed, bondage, and elitism are killing people, businesses, and the global economy like an unchecked cancer. The industrial revolution brought a wave of employee exploitation and mismanagement in textile mills, treating people like cattle, without concern for their welfare.
These four horsemen are at the core of our current financial, geopolitical, environmental, and political issues we face as a society, and are revered as unquestioned gospel in traditional business thinking today.
- Exploitation is our culture. The social acceptance of exploitation as a profit driver is destroying the environment, our lives, and our identity as humans.
- Greed is killing us. Unchecked greed keeps stockholders, managers, and the underlying ethos of capitalism focused purely on financial profit at all costs, with any conscientious objectors treated as heretics.
- Bondage is employment. Unwavering bondage to mandatory set hours, physical locations, uniforms, and rules keeps employers from unlocking the true potential of employees.
- Elitism protects the weak. Elitism destroys the potential of great minds who don’t fit the mould. Socio-economic, academic, and appearance based elitism keep our best innovators out of positions of influence and change, robbing our society to protect the elitists.
Why does this matter?
I spent the first 12 years of my business life watching these four themes play out in business. At 22, I founded and technology service provider that supported a wide range businesses, and I was intimately involved in understanding their models, management, and approaches to employees, customers, and vendors. At first, I approached my business alongside the four horsemen, having been preached that gospel, I followed it without question.
It didn’t feel right.
After 5-6 years of growing the company, I started to notice that “it” didn’t feel right. By “it,” I mean my life; my dealings, my lack of fulfillment, my stress levels, my temper, everything about “it” felt wrong. I had created a toxic business environment, and it was polluting my personal life, and the lives of my co-workers, but for what benefit?
I learned my lesson.
When I exited that company after 12 years, I was lucky enough to face some hard life lessons that most people don’t learn until it’s too late.
- Identity – My personal identity had become completely absorbed by the business, and I had to find my personal identity.
- Sacrifice – I found that the 12 years of late nights, hard work, stress, ruined relationships, and all of the other personal sacrifices didn’t matter to anyone when I left.
- Change – I was barred from working in the only sector I knew for my entire business career by a two year non-compete. Why is this lucky? I’m lucky because I found that my identity is independant of my business, that I won’t sacrifice my time and energy for things that actually don’t matter, and that my best abilities were being held back by my technical skills.
What I do.
I help people own, grow, and enjoy businesses that are healthy for everyone involved. Healthy as they are positive workplaces that put human lives first, and success follows. Tradition will trick you into mistrusting the concepts that people need come first, that you don’t need to kill yourself for success, and that your company can be fun. Tradition is wrong; contact me to start your business growth track today.