The Moral Fiber of Entrepreneurs

Eugene Fernandes   |   June 4, 2018

On his way home after school, high school student Sid illicitly buys a bottle of vodka for his alcoholic mother, of which she drinks her first glass on an empty stomach as soon as she gets the bottle. He implores her to eat first, but there is no food prepared in the dirty kitchen. Sid then puts on his apron, cooks dinner for the both of them, and joins his sobbing mother in front of the TV. This is the daily life of Sid from the 2014 movie Scott and Sid, and it gets even darker.

Scott on the other hand, is adopted, and has ADHD. He still wets his bed, and his foster parents are getting a divorce because of him, and his principle takes pleasure in reminding him how pathetic and useless he will become when he grows older. Like Sid, Scott’s home isn’t a place of flowers and rainbows.

Are entrepreneurs motivated by money? This is hardly the case for Scott and Sid. Scott especially is an entrepreneur because he wants freedom from the social strictures around him: from his pathetic school principle who devalues him constantly, to his adopted father who blames him for their terrible family life. Scott wants to prove his worth to himself, and live a fulfilled life. Sid on the other hand, kind of becomes an entrepreneur out of necessity, but then stays one because he has a knack for cleaning up Scott’s mistakes. In the end, both make money as a by-product of chasing this nebulous perception of a better, freer life. Money is not their goal.

Young entrepreneurs come of age differently than most other people. Instead of the traditional route of going away to university, Scott and Sid instead have a myriad of defining experiences: picking up girls at a bar, buying new clothes, but also helping one’s alcoholic mother into rehab and running a million dollar company. There’s trial, error, and a lot of luck.

An entrepreneur ceases to be one when he stops growing: If you’ve plateaued, and refuse to move further, then you’re no longer a good entrepreneur because there’s no risk, there’s no novelty, and you can feel secure and domesticated. That’s why at the end of the movie Scott and Sid leave their comfortable jobs and go pitch a film when they don’t even know where filming starts.

Some of the best entrepreneurs come from wrecked backgrounds with a whole bunch of different problems baked into them. However, it seems like the entrepreneurial journey is a happy escape from this life. As an entrepreneur, you get to decide how you do in life, and you live right on the edge of safety. Finally, entrepreneurs don’t seem to freak out much about failing: they grow out of their murky predicament when they see their future shining out to them.

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