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People sometimes ask me, “Leonard, if you’re so smart, why don’t you run your own business?” Except they leave out the part about me being smart. My answer is multifaceted.

1. I do run my own business; I am a freelance writer. Just because I don’t have any employees doesn’t mean it’s not a business; just ask the IRS. Er, actually, on second thought, please don’t ask the IRS, or even mention my name around them.

2. It’s not that I don’t have any ideas about running my own business; it’s just that they’re all stupid. I tend to judge ideas I come up with for new products not by how well they would sell, but by whether or not they are hilarious.

3. My own personal prejudices interfere with most of the skills one needs to run a business. I am bad with money, I don’t like telling people what to do, and I get along poorly with others, all of which are essential skills for running a business; more specifically, my occasional urges to open up a bistro are stymied by my logistical deficiencies, and I always think it would be fun to run a bar, but the older I get, the less I relish the idea of staying up until 4AM every day.

4. Most of the businesses I would be interested in starting are guaranteed money-losers (starting a magazine, opening an independent bookstore, running a small press) or so abstract they would be unlikely to attract customers.

5. Being my own boss would mean working more, not less.

All that said, if you have a good idea for a small business, and are interested in 'partnering' with me, please PayPal a large sum of money to leonard dot pierce at gmail dot com, and I promise to spend some time at a tropical resort hotel thinking about your idea.

Comments

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picodulce
Nov. 6th, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC)
Ok, this is obviously my personal view, but the whole "start your own business" woody that this country has is misguided. Being one's own boss does suck, and there isn't autonomy as some would have you believe - it's a hard grind to work oneself into a niche all while blowing your own money and living without health insurance.

And most people's small biz/ one-person/ craft ideas are just downright stupid or low-profit. Policy-wise, I wish politicians wouldn't slurp at the concept of small businesses, because the legal and tax environments favor large businesses with capital.

All of that changes, of course, if you have an idea that is actually unique yet accessible; or if you have an idea that piggybacks well onto a highly successful product and the capital and wherewithal to realize the idea. Which happens, sometimes.

Rant's over, you people get back to your Livejournalling.
calamityjon
Nov. 6th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
Hey there, I have a business proposal that's right up your alley - I want to relaunch the Tijuana Bible in America, but as an upscale men's magazine. It's a completely untapped market. All we need to do is convince Gore Vidal to write a story that we can print in its entirety on 6 3"x4" sheets of mimeographed paper.
roseyv
Nov. 6th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
To this day, I regret not having invested my little all in Poob.
blue_straggler
Nov. 6th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Just today I have come up with a business-owning scheme that I invite you in on. Help me get the ball rolling on a publicly-owned sports franchise.
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PROPRIETOR

Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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