Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


It's a struggle, creating a business.

Even if you have a wonderful idea, who's going to believe in it? Who's going to look at it and see what you see?

Who's going to give up their career in order to help you create yours? Who's going to participate in your risk?

And who's going to take one look at you and think that you really should gather a search party, as you've clearly lost your head?

You turn to successful people for guidance. You read Inc. and self-help books in order to find nuggets of advice or even hope.

What are you worried about? Why are you winding yourself up to such a degree when there's a far simpler solution to all of your concerns?

I bring you this because I've been sitting at the feet of brilliant entrepreneur Donald Trump. Actually, I've been sitting nearer his mouth, waiting to see what glories might slip out.

As CNN reports, the Republican presidential candidate was in a town hall meeting when he described the tough times. Yes, the tough times that he personally went through in order to build his empire.

We all want an empire, don't we? There's something soothing about describing ourselves as an emperor or empress.

So Trump explained: "It has not been easy for me, it has not been easy for me. And you know I started off in Brooklyn, my father gave me a small loan of a million dollars."

One might speculate that this was around 1968, when Trump started out. If you wanted to get that same small amount today, you'd be asking for $6.8 million.

You now have your instructions. Go to your dad, sit him down, soften him up with his favorite sweet sherry and say to him: "Dad, can you lend me $6.8 million?"

It's likely that your dad will agree but only, I suspect, if he has $6.8 million lying around earning very little interest. Which most dads surely do.

After all, Trump explained that once he began empire-building he had to pay his dad back with interest. He added: "A million dollars isn't very much compared to what I've built."

It's always good to maintain a sense of proportion, even when you're a huge success.

Some might feel perturbed, however, that their parents don't have $6.8 million to offer as a startup loan. They might even privately berate their parents for their lack of such money. How dare they make things so hard for their children?

In such a case, though, what do you do?

You crawl around asking friends for favors and loans. You even go to banks, having dressed up to look significant, and get told that they want to own every last one of your assets before they grudgingly slip you $10,000.

You put your life at stake, in the hope that your idea will be well received and that you can actually run a business.

Still, let's not decry Trump's success. It's clearly real and vast. Unless, that is, you believe reports that say it's "grossly exaggerated."

But whether you feel admiration for his achievements or mirth that he believes he's had it tough, his example is quite sound. It's been proven many times before to work and work very well.

To start a business you need one thing above all: Other people's money.