Tuesday, September 24, 2013

take a stand

Last week I was in Paris, and I was on the lookout for a certain kind of business: one in which the owner is visibly taking a stand. Businesses that exist because of love, passion, curiosity, the need to make the world better or to right a wrong.

The potentially wonderful thing about starting a bar or a bookshop is just that, you get to take a stand. These are not undertakings for people who just want to make money. If you just want to make money, working for someone else seems to make a lot more sense. (Which is not to say you can't take a stand in someone else's employ.)

Selling books or serving drinks is a platform for making a reality that you believe in very deeply. Everyone doesn't have to like it. You just need enough people, the ones Stendhal referred to as "the happy few."

How many people would be enough? I guess that's different for every business, but a rough number would be the number that allows you to keep taking your stand.

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