An entity that didn’t exist now does.
An employer is born.
A workplace comes to be.
This little idea of yours becomes tangible. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, it becomes Real.
But then, it develops a mind of its own. As demand grows, business booms, and customers multiply, your rental business can switch from being your Freedom-from-The-Man-Dream-Come-True to a tyrannical monster that demands every waking moment of your life (and lots of moments you should be sleeping as well).
Where did all that freedom go? What happened to the glamorous idea of being your own boss? Where are all those half-day Fridays with girlfriends you imagined? Why are you always setting up for events on Saturdays instead of being the “snack parent” for soccer games?
Bruno Cucinelli’s employees never work after 5:30 pm. This incredibly successful fashion mogul forbids mobile devices in meetings. Emails at his company are never sent to more than one or two recipients.
It isn’t accidental that his company also donates 20% to charity and pays its employees 20% more than the industry average.
How is all this related? Cucinelli is deeply committed to preserving human dignity. It impacts the materials he sources, the processes he uses in production, and his employees’ everyday lives.
Cucinelli’s ideology seems to be the opposite of the newly-named “yuccie” generation who’s mantra could be summed up as “the conviction that not only do we deserve to pursue our dreams; we should profit from them.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for pursuing passion. But passion can be an insatiable master.
Many of today’s entrepreneurs strive for their work to be so fulfilling and immersive that it becomes totalizing. Their passion ignites their work but then can take over all areas of their life in the meantime. In contrast, Cucinelli says of his employees, “I do not want to be liable for intruding into your private life.”
Instead of demanding that his employees be available 24/7, be “all in,” and take “pride” in being busy, he says, “Let’s try looking after our soul while working.”
Whether you are a one-woman-shop or have 1,000 employees, this rental business you’ve created threatens to swallow you up. As you create this business, this entity, this living thing, may you be mindful of the intrusion or contribution it makes to the world and also