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The CEO vs. the Hot Dog Vendor

As an entrepreneur, I know I have a unique perspective on the world.

But what I am about to say may take the cake, in your eyes.

To me, there is something very special about somebody who doesn't collect a paycheck from a 'boss'.

And I would argue that the hot dog vendor on the street corner, running his own business, not knowing where his next paycheck will come from, would agree with me.

I have nothing against people who collect paychecks.  It's how most of the world operates.  And it takes a very unique individual to forego that security and strike out on his own.   Even more importantly, it requires a lot of sacrifice.  Starting a company is literally like having a child.  (I haven't had any children myself, but the parallels between me & my friends with young kids are striking:  Neither of us get enough sleep.  We're always attending to someone else's needs, etc.)

As an entrepreneur, I know I have a unique perspective on the world. But what I am about to say may take the cake, in your eyes. To me, there is something very special about somebody who doesn't collect a paycheck from a 'boss'. And I would argue that the hot dog vendor on the street corner, running his own business, not knowing where his next paycheck will come from, would agree with me. I have nothing against people who collect paychecks.  It's how most of the world operates.  And it takes a very unique individual to forego that security and strike out on his own.   Even more importantly, it requires a lot of sacrifice.  Starting a company is literally like having a child.  (I haven't had any children myself, but the parallels between me & my friends with young kids are striking:  Neither of us get enough sleep.  We're always attending to someone else's needs, etc.) My point is this:  I spend my day around people in the commercial real estate industry, and most of them have unbelievably big egos (side note - for an excellent article on egos & how they affect the work place, read this article by Bo Peabody).  And my message to those people is this:  If you really want to try testing yourself, if you really want to see what you're made of, go be the hotdog vendor on the corner, not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from.  And I'd bet that telling you to aspire to being a hotdog vendor isn't something you'll hear from too many people, but that's my point exactly - it's a very special thing to be an entrepreneur.

First Impressions of Panama (Day 2)

On Tynan

We've been in Panama for two days now, but it seems like weeks. There's obviously still TONS to explore around the city, but I'm already comfortable here and it even feels a bit familiar.

First of all, I love it. For me it has the ideal balance between chaos and structure. It's very safe... people are at least as friendly as they are in the US, if not moreso. They go out of their way to help us and put up with our mediocre Spanish. Our hotel right now isn't in a great area (though not a bad one either), and I feel totally safe walking a few blocks to go to a diner.
Even though it's safe, there don't seem to be a lot of minor enforced rules. Taxi drivers ignore speed limits and stop signs. The drinking and gambling age is 18, but I've heard even that's not enforced. You don't get the feeling that you're being overprotected or treated like a child.

The food has been MUCH better than expected. There are several vegetarian cafeterias that we've found already which are incredibly good and cheap. The one we visited tonight was owned by a very friendly Chinese couple (have you ever heard Chinese people speak Spanish?). There were maybe forty different dishes they had, and a serving of any one was only fifty cents. I asked for orange juice without sugar (most fruit drinks here have sugar) and they fresh squeezed it for me for only $1!

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