Lion in the Wild

August 18, 2009 at 12:10 pm

One of my favorite articles is by Paul Graham, entrepreneur, investor, founder of Y Combinator. I quote it often and I wanted to give it a shout out.

It’s called ‘You Weren’t Meant to Have a Boss’

Paul likens an entrepreneur to a lion in the wild. He says:

“I was in Africa last year and saw a lot of animals in the wild that I’d only seen in zoos before. It was remarkable how different they seemed. Particularly lions. Lions in the wild seem about ten times more alive. They’re like different animals. I suspect that working for oneself feels better to humans in much the same way that living in the wild must feel better to a wide-ranging predator like a lion. Life in a zoo is easier, but it isn’t the life they were designed for.”

My interpretation:

It’s much tougher to be out in the world of the unknown. It’s wild. It’s scary. And on any given day it can eat you alive.

But… it engrosses you. You love it, because of one thing – you are free. Or as Paul Graham says “Ten times more alive”!

Humans weren’t designed to be corporate machines, slaving (voluntarily) away to build someone else’s dreams, to feed someone else’s family. You may not know if you’re going to eat the next day or not, but it’s your choice, not someone else’s rationing to you.

Being wild, free, undaunted and passionate amidst daily challenges are characteristics of both the lion and the entrepreneur.

Human beings were meant to experience life by being alive. Ten times more alive.

Kudos to the entrepreneurs!