Actions are more powerful than words. Maybe you find yourself frequently in a position of disagreement with someone. Depending on your degree of assertiveness, or on the extent to which you are convinced of the validity of your position, you find ways to argue in its defense and against the position your interlocutor espouses. People who are good at articulating their arguments are generally regarded as holding positions of relevance. They tend to gravitate towards them. I think this is a safe assumption to make.

Entrepreneurs, I believe, are more geared towards action than words. They tend to not be good at giving their opinion on many subjects, because they don’t feel the need to do so. I go to functions all the time in which I meet or get introduced to entrepreneurs identifying themselves, or being identified by the presenter, as such. Through the years I have met hundreds of them, and through the years, I’ve made good friends and acquaintances with many. One thing that I have noticed is that some of the most successful ones I know draw the least attention to themselves. They are generally not the most articulate, or the most prone to publicly volunteering arguments in favor of an opinion they may have in matters of public discourse. They are quiet, focused, knowledgeable. They are particularly knowledgeable in their area of endeavor. They are strategic, technical. If you happen to get them out of their shell by prodding into the subject matter they are experts at because of their business dealings, they suddenly become the most articulate people. But they tend to communicate one-on-one. They are not about to share their opinion, based on highly validated knowledge, to the crowd, unsolicited. For them, actions are more powerful than words. You learn and gain wisdom just from watching them.

Entrepreneurs are more interested in what gets built than what gets said. They are more interested in making sure that what they build is long lasting, and they continuously act to make sure that happens. They don’t care about people’s opinions, they care the most about their customer’s opinions. They can tell potential customers from non-customers apart really well. They can tell when someone is giving their opinion to provide valuable constructive criticism, the kind that will enable them to optimize their product or their service. They know that most potential non-customers have opinions, about everything, and they care as much about those opinions as they think others care about their own opinions on the things they are not invested in. They think those opinions (on the things they are not invested in) are basically worthless to others, and they perceive them as worthless themselves. Formulating those opinions, to them, is a waste of time and brainpower to them and the non-customers around them.

At the same time, they are not light, empty vessels, devoid of substance and not wanting to participate nor feeling responsible for their place in the economy, in society, in the world. All the contrary, they know that they are very good at a limited number of things, and they know that they can have a higher impact by focusing exclusively and devoting themselves to those things, rather than extemporaneously prevaricating on topics in which they have no impact. As they become successful they gain wisdom, and they add things to their roster of topics worth having an opinion on. They become mentors to the new crop of entrepreneurs emerging, and the cycle continues to feed on itself, and it’s one of the best enablers of human freedom out there.

Our View from the Top – August 13, 2019