I don’t have fond memories of high school. It was the kind of school where you’d arrive one day and your mates would say howzit and make the circle bigger.
The next day you’d arrive and they wouldn’t even greet you, nevermind shuffling a few inches to the left.
Our year was hi-jacked by some bullies and they made everyone’s life unpleasant from grade 1 to matric. If you weren’t part of the “main okes” group then you were prone to random physical and mental bullying every single day. Lucky I was tall for my age so I was mostly left alone, but I watched from the sidelines as the less fortunate were mauled every day.
Its easy to say you’ll intervene when you see someone being bullied, its a lot harder when you’re actually on the field and you know that intervening guarantees you months of being bullied yourself.
Of course, sometime its none of your business. We used to live on a fancy golf estate and take my dog for a walk every day. An old geezer came to me once and starting wagging his finger that my dog was off her leash.
So I said, “My grandfather lived to 97. When he died he had all his own teeth. Do you know why?”
He said, “Why?”
I said, “Because he’d minded his own fucking business.”
The codger walked away.
The difference between entrepreneurs and everyone else is that they know when to mind their own business, and when to get off the sidelines.
Entrepreneurs don’t stand by and watch whilst someone is being hurt. They step up, even though they risk being included in the attack.
Stepping up is different for different people. Sometimes you can step in with money, or strength, or a voice, or legal aid. Everyone can make a difference in a small way.
We all know when something is right or wrong. We all know when something unfair is happening. We all know when standing on the sidelines is wrong.
Entrepreneurs get off the sidelines and do something.
Also published on Medium.