I Believe in Entrepreneurialism. I’m thankful that I live in one a country where the people are free to pursue their dreams.
Where anyone can wake up in the morning and begin fresh. Creatively take a shot. Aspire to be all they can be. When we are THIS blessed, I can’t imagine NOT pursuing the desires of your heart. I can’t imagine NOT making every effort to use your gifts. I can’t imagine NOT trying to do something meaningful. Of course, it has to be within the bounds of what is legal. And Ideally it should be morally right.
Here’s where I have a serious issue with Bill Ackman’s approach to capitalism. This guy is obviously talented. You don’t become a billionaire without some talent and gifts and a massive amount of hard work. But what he is doing right now is what I would consider Capitalism Gone Wrong.
Mr. Ackman is the man who is on a crusade to destroy the company Herbalife. I have no involvement with Herbalife and I am not a stockholder, so his crusade has nothing to do with me personally (actually by definition my business competes with Herbalife…although I don’t see it that way because what they have doesn’t hold a candle to Lifeplus…just saying:-). So whether he succeeds or not will not make any difference in my life. The issue is WHY he is doing it.
Mr. Ackman’s hedge fund has a one Billion dollar short bet against Herbalife’s stock. If the company fails, he makes a Billion dollars. He is standing on the platform that Herbalife is operating as an illegal pyramid. Of course, this is for sensationalism and media hype. He knows that will cause public image problems for them, and scare away some of their customers and distributors. This mission’s platform stems from a federal investigation into some of the companies practices (which don’t seem to be pyramid allegations). Which when its all said and done, will turn out to be field practices that the company probably doesn’t endorse (but likely is aware of), they will get fined, and then they will continue on as usual.
Again, I am not taking a position for Herbalife. I am taking a position against trying to destroy something as a way to derive personal benefit. I have written before about being a “builder” or a “wrecker.” Mr. Ackman is traveling the country, using his position as a respected investor, trying to convince other investors to sell their Herbalife stock, so HE can get a Billion Dollars richer. And he is doing it under the pretense that they are a bad company and their collapse will be better for everyone. He is being a wrecker.
Give me a break. He could care less about the well-being of anyone else. It is a transparent grab at a Billion bucks. If he truly cared about others, he would be thinking about all the ditributors that could be harmed, all the employees that could be affected, all the stakeholders in communities and vendor relationships who would be affected…if he were to win the bet. Which he likely won’t.
The world doesn’t need any more wreckers….be about building something and improving things.