Making mountains

A reflection on entrepreneurship

In their struggle to romanticise human endeavour, writers have used several phrases: the rat race, the race to the top, the climb to the top, the corporate ladder.

It’s easy to see how such metaphors might be appealing and representative, but the reality is that none properly conveys entrepreneurship.

Because the truth is, we’re not racing against anyone; there’s no track for us to run on, no finish line, no crowd gathered at the end to cheer. We’re not climbing anything either, because we have no interest in seeing far away; we already know what’s out there. It’s not competition that drives us, nor adrenaline or curiosity, and certainly it isn’t lust for power.

Entrepreneurs don’t climb mountains; we build them.

We do it because we have to.

We build them for other people to climb, to see from, to feed off of, to get inspired from, to take pictures of, to study, or just to look at.

Just like our newly formed planet was shaped by the forces underneath its crust, we’re driven by the forces of our newly formed society. Capitalism, finance, fashion, free trade, freedom of movements, transportation, communication, social networking and any and all synergic industries are the forces that move society; most people simply live under their influence or thanks to their existence, but for the few of us who understand their workings, they culminate into ourselves.

And, just like natural forces, what we do may look illogical: because at the start, there will just be a man carrying a rock to an empty place. There are going to be countless more, and the effort needed to carry them up will only grow as we have to climb the layers that we built ourselves, just to lay one more rock.

But at the start, there’s just going to be a rock in an empty place.