The Palace III – The Entrepeneur

I don’t have an entrepreneurial bone in my body. And I’m okay with that.

Let others take the risk (and gain the rewards) of starting new enterprises. Let them have the headaches that come with being in charge. I never want to be the boss.

Of course, I also am not a big fan of taking orders. Which I think puts me a little bit in the same class an an entrepreneur. My impression is they do the things they do because they don’t like to take orders either.

I am always impressed with the entrepreneurial mindset, those who can see opportunity and reach out to grab it. The world is a richer place because they are willing to try and fail. I prefer to play it safe.

These reflections were inspired by the story of Baron Edward Empain, whose palace in Cairo is the location for the pictures in today’s post. The Baron came to Egypt from Belgium to increase his fortune, and was spectacularly successful. He founded 105 companies in 13 countries on four continents. That just boggles my mind. In Egypt alone he started 14 companies, one of which built Cairo’s public transit system. I think it is fair to describe him as a visionary.

It wasn’t just the lure of money though. The man was an amateur Egyptologist. In this case that means it wasn’t his profession, not that he wasn’t knowledgeable or competent. Amateur has taken on new meanings over the years, thanks mostly I think to our views of sports.

He built the palace before the First World War, lived there until his death in 1929, and then his family continued to occupy it until the 1950s. Then it fell into disrepair, and finally re-opened as a museum in 2020 after extensive renovations. I guess that shows that the entrepreneurial gene did not get passed on.

I’m not sure I could ever start a company, unless perhaps a sole proprietorship. That seems easy enough, to be boss and only employee at the same time.

What about you? Would you consider starting your own company? Or 105 of them? And if you did, what sort of palace would you build?

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One comment

  1. pgallan@magma.ca · · Reply

    Starting your own company means you are your own boss?  Partly. Your customers or clients also have important sayOld saying: being self employed means you work half days: if you are lucky, you get to choose which 1e hours (or more) th

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