pit bulls & entrepreneurs
from an entrepreneur who loves pit bulls
I am, and have been for the last eleven years, a proud and happy owner of a gigantic pit bull called Merlin. Merlin is now getting along in dog years without losing any of the spring in his stride. In his prime, he weighed a whopping 110 pounds of lean, sinewy muscle, and he was as strong as a buffalo. Leashed, he used to easily haul me and my bulky son for a daily jog. Today, he remains strong and still digs a fun brawl with my little kittens. He also loves peeing on poodles in the neighborhood.
I am also friend to Raju Mandhyan, whom I greatly admire as a professional speaker and a master storyteller—a modern day Scheherazade. He may not have the exotic looks of his ancient Arabic counterpart, but he possesses all her powers of enchantment and can easily mesmerize hordes of jaded cynics. During parties and other business events, I seek his company and want him to keep talking even though I’m always afraid he might start charging me a fee. After all, the man is a much sought-after inspirational speaker in the region.
So imagine my surprise when, one fine day, he calls me to inquire if I knew any owners of pit bulls or associations of pit bull owners because he was writing a book about them. The first thought that flashed through my mind was that the guy had probably lost it. Unlike Scheherazade, he must have run out of stories to share with his audiences and now had taken to scaring them out of their silly skins for a living. A moment later, after he mentioned the words resilience, persistence, and independence in relation to entrepreneurship, the brilliance and the creativity of the comparison struck me and I went, “I love it!”
I know for a fact and from experience that pit bulls are a tough and loving breed. But a few, misinformed, and sometimes malicious sections of the media have unjustly hyped up the negative aspects of the pit bull. Pit bulls are less vindictive and less nasty than all the thumb-sucking, putzy French poodles in the world. Pit bulls, whether small or big, carry within them the genes for the purpose which they had been originally bred—that is to work, to obey, to be responsible, and to love. They will do what their masters will have them do. If you see a ferocious and mean-minded pit bull, then you need to take a look at the human masters. And I assure you that you will find pits of mean-mindedness in them.
Pit bulls are genetically designed to have a singularity of purpose, yet their core is warm and affectionate. My pit bull, Merlin, has never nipped a human being on purpose. The notoriety in the media is undeserved. Given a chance, the pit bulls can easily redeem themselves.
Raju Mandhyan’s thesis is right and timely. Unlike the pit bulls, that breed of human beings called entrepreneurs has been graced and gifted to choose its own destiny. As it is for the pit bulls, it is innate in human beings to want to work, to create, to be responsible, and to love and nurture the communities we live in through effort and enterprise. This book shares the stories of their grit, their gumption, and of the value they add to business and society. If you are an entrepreneur-to-be, then this book will incite you to become a master of your own destiny. If you are already an established and successful entrepreneur, then this book will give you a pat on the back and stoke your passion all over again. In both cases, it will inspire you to leave your mark on the world.
Antonio “Tiny” Defensor, the Master Entrepreneurwith Merlin, the pit bull snoring at his feet