The Oracle and the Entrepreneur

I’ve written a book of business light verse entitled, “The Druids as Entrepreneurs, a Business Person’s Garden of Verse and Other Poisonous Growths.” In it, I tell the tale of Binkley’s Inc., the mythical manufacturing company, run by its autocratic founder and CEO, Calvin T. Binkley. It goes from department to department, telling little light verse stories about successes and failures, good ideas and bad, and all the people I met, including the heroes, varlets, doers, poseurs, and those who just occupy space.

It took roughly 40 years (1960 – 2000) of part-time work on airplanes, classrooms, and at the back of many extremely dull meetings, when I should have been paying attention. The book is about what I saw, felt, and learned. Here is a sample:

 

Stave the Twenty-One

Mr. Binkley’s Address to the Young Entrepreneur’s Club

 It’s called “The Oracle and the Entrepreneur”)

 

So you’re going into business, son,

And you have climbed my mountain,

To beg from me – The Oracle,

A sip from Wisdom’s fountain.

 

Come in my boy and be at peace,

Drink deep of Jasmine Tea;

And I will tell the secret of,

The Business Mystery.

 

For I have made it big, my boy,

I’ve tasted fiscal heaven.

(And then, of course, there was that time,

I went Chapter Eleven.)

 

Now the building blocks of Industry,

Since Neolithic Time,

Have been limited to just these Eight,

And they are called “The Prime”:

 

A Good Idea, Commitment, and a Dedicated Team,

Of Loyal, Competent people who would realize your dream;

Sufficient Funds to bring it off, a massive dose of Pluck,

And you have the magic recipe; the rest is (frankly) Luck.

 

(Before I vacate that last point,

A word to all beginners:

If the team you’re with was out before,

It helps if they were Winners.)

 

If you can’t avoid a partner,

Then there’s nothing you can do,

But I’ve never seen the business yet,

That’s big enough for two.

 

Now separate your private world,

From that of your profession’s,

Don’t mix your family, lives, or friends,

Or personal possessions.

 

If you must move from one dimension,

To escape your devils,

You’ll need a safe place to regroup,

So live on many levels.

 

Walk wide of Texas MBA’s,

In business they excel;

And if they say they’re “country boys”,

Turn tail and run like Hell.

 

Beware of Wall Street lawyers,

And their legalistic tricks.

I knew an honest lawyer once,

He died in Fifty-Six.

 

Take heed of the investor who,

With gold and jewels come laden;

He’ll help you like that Roman guard,

Helped out the Sabine maiden.

 

Be trusting of your fellow man,

Be open, honest, frank;

But it’s smart to sit in corners,

And keep money in the bank.

 

And now you know it all, my son,

Your consciousness is raised;

But stay and sit a moment yet,

Your eyes are somewhat glazed.

 

If Success was all that easy,

If Life was all that Fair,

Then every slob could quit his job,

And be a millionaire.

 

I’ve told you every Truth but one,

With this your outlook’s sunny:

If you ever get the chance, my boy,

Be smart – and marry money.

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