So, this morning, I was thinking of this beautiful verse that is spoken so many times by complaining professionals in Punjab about the pathetic and pitiable situation of their jobs:
ਉੱਤਮ ਖੇਤੀ, ਮੱਧਮ ਵਪਾਰ, ਨਖਿੱਧ ਚਾਕਰੀ
This verse literally translates like this: Farming is superlative; business is good, but servitude is waste.
Why they keep reminding themselves about this is because of the fact that employee satisfaction is not the prime concern of the companies or institutions where they happen to work. Though, only a handful and small-scale companies have their offices in Punjab, but lots of Punjabi professionals are fed of their employment and want to do something or their own.
In the present time, this verse may sound like too harsh but so do lots of sayings said by lots of great thinkers of the past. Consider, for instance, Chanakya. He is branded as the male-chauvinist and sexist because of his harsh comments and controlling advice about women. Misunderstanding and wrong interpretation has not spared even Saint Kabir because of his couplet where he advises that women should be controlled by beating. (!)
My point is that we should try to focus on the real meaning of these sayings and try to find out what message and practicality they do have in the present time too. So, about the thing that Guru Nanak Dev Ji said, let’s not debate that he did not like working for somebody or whether he condemned people who are employees. Let’s talk about how he praised farming, which is nothing else but entrepreneurship. Why? Let’s find out.
Farming is entrepreneurship
So, when we say farming is entrepreneurship and not a business, which was not considered as superlative, what omparison and equation we have in our minds?
Farming is like a new idea for every season and every time the farmer sows the seed in the land. Tilling and ground preparation is the beta version of developing an idea. The land is like the incubator where the entrepreneur is trying his idea. The rain and season is like the funding that will enable him to make his idea come to life. Rain Angels and Weather Capitalists will make sure that he gets full support.
As the seeds sprout, he will have to take care that he gets the crop, which is like testing and debugging and troubleshooting of the service/product is developed and made ready for the market.
Finally, when it is time to reap the harvest and sell it in the market, the real value of the entrepreneurial idea will be cashed. There is nothing better to explain this when the entrepreneur is ready for the market. If his crop (idea) is good, he will get better value; and if it happens to something inferior, he will have to suffer loss.
What I really like in the concept of farming being entrepreneurship is the element of uncertainty. You don’t know what you will encounter as you grow your crop (idea). You test yourself as you move along.
Why it’s not business because you do farming on your own. It’s not a product or a service that somebody else has manufactured and you are earning profit by being the middleman or an agent. It’s your baby and your idea and you will lose/gain based on your own endeavor.
Share what you think about this idea and whether you agree to this point or not. I will be happy to know how well I have been able to correlate these two. 🙂