The Management of Things, People and Money

“History reports that the men who can manage men manage the men who can manage only things, and the men who can manage money manage all.”

- Will Durant, The Lessons of History

Ever since we were young, we were taught to study hard and get good grades. This is something that a lot of people can agree with if not everyone. We were told that we should study hard so that we can go to university and study engineering, medicine, or law. The hypothesis was that by learning these principles, you can provide services to other people at prices that allow you to live a good life. You can buy that house, get married, have children, save a bit of money for a vacation, and retire comfortably. This is the direction we were all told to take, and we have followed it blindly. However, when you look at the most successful people in the world, this is not always the case. You hear stories about how people dropped out of college or how they started from the bottom with nothing. How do you reconcile this reality with the fact that most people who go through school will not achieve their dreams? There is something wrong with the model that we were taught. It is not just about doing things for people such as coding, video editing, interpreting the law, and performing surgery. There are other things in life that one must master in order to become successful in this world. This is what I will explore in this essay.

The most successful people in the world are often measured by the amount of wealth they have, the power they hold over other people, and the impact they have had on the lives of others. By comparing a doctor to a president, it is clear that the president is more successful. Why? Because the president's decisions affect the lives of millions of people every day. He has a visible impact on the world, and he has worked his way to having such influence. However, the doctor can only perform 5 surgeries or meet 50 patients a day, quite miniscule in comparison. The stark contrast can only be explained by one simple concept. The doctor is the one who does the work, but the president gets other people to do the work on his behalf. A typical clinic can have 10 employees who support the doctor, but a president needs over one million or more people to support him to run the government of a country.

The skills that are required to coordinate a large group of people like a company and a government are mostly people-centric. The elusive terms of leadership and management that are used to describe this, but at the core, it means that you work on people just like people work on things. One cannot run a government all by themselves; we have limited time and energy to perform this feat. But with people, one can coordinate them to do what one person cannot. In fact, they can even find people who are more capable at a task than they are and get better results from that department, especially if that person is working on it full-time. This is powerful. Only by mastering the coordination of people and knowing what needs to get done, one can do the work of 100 years in just 1 year. Instead of spending time learning and executing, a person can simply hire someone to join the team and hit the ground running. This creates a great reinforcing effect on work and results.

This is why entrepreneurship is so important as one of the factors of production in an economy. Entrepreneurs are the innovative individuals who take the initiative to coordinate the labor, capital, and land and turn them into valuable goods and services that add value to society. Since I have talked about how successful people manage people, it is also good to note that they manage resources as well. They are good at managing capital like machines but also finances. Those who can control money rule all. They are the ones who put things on paper and build the structures that allow the people managers and the skilled labor to produce the goods and services that are of value to the public. They ensure the contracts are in place, they ensure that operational funding is available, they hire the best managers based on a budget, they acquire the most effective machines, and they close the biggest deals. They are the ones who keep the lights on and a roof over the heads of those who really do the work. They are capitalists.

I have been listening to this amazing podcast called Founders, and it has been music to my ears. The world of venture capital is good, but it is not for me. I don't want to be talking about a portfolio of companies that I have invested in as I sit back and write advice in an email. I want to do more with my life and my time. The stories of James Dyson, Bugatti, John D. Rockefeller, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Sam Altman, and so on are the stories that I like. I like the advice of Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger, which can be useful for my work, but I want to be a builder and create things. That's what I want, and no one is going to take that away from me. I want to build this company called Shukran, and once it is successful, I will build the next one. I just want to build and leave a trail of impact as I go. My story is not just about some middle-class kid who hopes to change the world. My story is about a member of the human race who cares about making a difference by using the opportunities that he has been given. It is not just about sitting around and enjoying the wind in my face and a margarita in hand. It is about doing the things that make life worth living. It means doing the hard things, pursuing a life of purpose, helping people along the way, making a great impression, proving people wrong and showing myself the work of my hands. That is pure bliss. That's what life is about. Chasing that feeling of knowing that I don't have everything figured out, but I know that I can do something about it. Feeling the power of holding the world in one's hands and claiming it. As they say, I want the world to be my oyster.

In order to achieve this dream, I must learn the art of managing things, people, and money. Let's make it happen. Let's make Shukran successful!