I know literature better than I do business. For those I’ve spoken with on CEO Blog Nation, a lot of you have inquired as to whether I am a business woman or something else. My studies in college were focused solely on creative writing, British literature, and reading some pretty amazing writing. So what does a girl with an English degree know about business?
The answer is very little.
But I do know literature and I am learning about business from some pretty amazing entrepreneurs and business owners. So this blog of mine will be dedicated to relating business to what I do know – literature and clever phrases in general. That is what truly inspires me is reading a line in a novel and having it stick with me every single time I pick up that book. Entrepreneurs and business owners have much the same feeling when it comes to their pursuits. They realize an idea and run with it. This is how I relate most to the business world.
My first post is also inspired by the character Jack Donaghy from the NBC show “30 Rock.” Portrayed by the actor Alec Baldwin, Jack shares some pretty ruthless business quotes. A particular one comes to mind: “Ambition is the willingness to kill the things you love and eat them in order to stay alive.”
Now, I’m clearly not a businessperson. I have no desire to be one. When I was six I sold candy bars for my school and I was so lousy at it that my parents eventually felt guilty and just bought all the candy bars from me. This is my experience with business and it taught me that I am not a shark.
The quote from Jack reminds me of this fact. Though I am not adept at the world of business, I’m not blind either. I realize that the term ‘dog eat dog’ is extremely true in the world of business. There are fights to be on top, stay on top, find the quickest way to the top, and all kinds of other top-related ideals. I know in business you have to be bold and brash and perhaps step on some toes to get to where you need to be. Catching your opponent off guard so you can succeed is just how you play the game, right?
Yet I wonder if you can be a successful entrepreneur without living up to the typical business persona. For those of us who are not sharks and want to start a business, do you have to climb over the proverbial bodies to get there? Or can you be the kind of selfless, magnanimous business owner who never smacks someone the wrong way. Of course, all business owners in some way must try and remain ‘good’ under the pressures of business but to get ahead…isn’t a little Jaws 101 needed?