By Raju Mandhyan
I KNOW, I know! Many of you will be a bit taken aback by the comparison and then there will be some who will say, “Oh, yeah!” The chances are those that will be taken aback may be the ones who do not know your dogs and do not know your entrepreneurs. Then there may be some who will go into a state of shock at the mention of the word, pit bull. Well, for those of you who do get taken aback or, worse, go into a state of shock, you have my apologies and my compassion. You also have my invitation to come and stroll through these stories and allow me to help you discover a world of clarity, creativity, conscientiousness and a raging passion towards achievement, self-fulfillment and self-designed excellence. You will see and learn how many of the wonderful traits that make one species ferocious and wonderful make the other rugged and ragingly successful.
Between the pit bull and the entrepreneur there are certain nuances that are similar and different. Placing these two species together highlights the strengths of each and the possible areas of study and synergy for growth, for learning and becoming ferociously effective and brilliantly tenacious as an entrepreneur.
For those of you who went “Oh, yeah!” You know and love your dogs plus hold the pit bull in reverence, then this comparative study will make you smile and revalidate the beliefs you might have had about the secrets behind entrepreneurial success and excellence.
There are several kinds of pit bulls and most all of them are a cross between the English Bull Dog and any one form of the Terrier. The bulldog’s lineage goes back to the ancient, huge and ferocious Mollosian of the Greek era which, like a bull, was a working dog. Over the years, this crossbreed between the bulldog and the terrier traveled to America in the 1800s and were carefully, further, crossbred to increase their speed, their playfulness and, thus, their intelligence. Today’s pit bull, and the one referred to in this piece, could be any one of the several breeds of the American Staffordshire Pit Bull or the American Pit Bull Terrier.
One of the most popular pit bulls was “Pete” from the movie and the series of Little Rascals. Other popular pit bulls were owned and loved by famous people like inventor Thomas Alba Edison, President Theodore Roosevelt of the USA and Helen Keller. Unfortunately and sadly, the pit bull has mistakenly acquired a notoriety that runs up chills and hysteria in many people. On the contrary, owners and lovers of pit bulls swear by the intelligence and gentleness of a pit bull. Statistically, they claim, the French Poodle is more vicious, vindictive and prone to attack human beings than a pit bull. The negative media hype has been created based on the looks of a pit bull alone. The strong, aloof and the independent look of the pit bull misleads and gives no clue to its intelligence, loyalty and loving nature.
The pit bull stands apart from most other breeds because of its keen sense of self-identity and self-pride. It rarely bothers to be moved or influenced by the presence of other smaller animals around him. Merlin, my late friend Tiny Defensor’s, nine-year-old, 140 pound pit bull, had never bitten anyone in its lifetime and it used to allow Tiny’s pet pussycats to swarm all over him all the time. “He cares a cat’s foot for the pussies!” used to exclaim Tiny proudly. Brownie, my friend Pinky Sandoval’s six-year-old, 120 pound pit bull constantly lets himself be bullied and barked at her half a dozen pomerians and chihuahuas. The pit bull’s normal reaction to frenzy and nastiness around him is to stand tall, stand apart, walk its walk and completely ignore the riff-raff that surrounds and nags it. It’s like he’s saying to them, “I know exactly who I am and I am totally at peace with who I am.”
Besides having a high sense of self-image and self-identity, the pit bull of all the known 140 known breeds of dogs in the world also has the rare ability to duplicate the human gesture knows as the “smile.” All other dogs express their joy and satisfaction by barking, jumping or waging their tail excitedly. The pit bull seems to have evolved and stepped ahead of the curve. The pit bull, to express its joy and satisfaction, will raise up and wrinkle its muzzle, display a toothy grin and make his eyes twinkle. This in his imagination is a smile, an expression of approval and happiness. To those that love their pit bulls and know their dogs this is amazing and to those who do not know their dogs this is eerie and terrifying. Yes, you can say pit bulls have imagination. This is a rare ability among a few, rare, individual people who can imagine, duplicate and morph existing facts with new ideas and other non-tangibles. It is for entrepreneurs a rare ability to connect facts from the past with the unseen, unheard and the un-experienced things from the present and create a picture of the future. A future that is possible and filled with productivity, progress and profits for all.
Pit bulls are also known to be really high on love and loyalty for their masters. There are numerous stories about the bond between dogs and man but of all the breeds of dogs, the stories of the pit bull stand out for strength, sturdiness and fierce integrity. Of all the stories about the pit bull’s image, identity, imagination and integrity, the ones that are terrifying are about their fierce tenaciousness and persistence. They say that when a pit bull, if deliberately abused and angered, gets mad and gets a hold of you then it’ll take an army to pry him apart. This is non-give-up-ness is a core trait of a pit-bull. This is a powerful characteristic and the ultimate brand image of the pit bull. There is a lesson to be learned in this for entrepreneurs. This trait of a pit bull, from a positive perspective, is a shining lesson in tenaciousness, persistence and hardiness for entrepreneurs.
Raju Mandhyan is an author, coach and speaker.