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Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

Ayn Rand and Me


As I stated in my previous Blog entry about Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged is like Shakespeare for the businessperson. /1

I read Atlas Shrugged for the first time when I was 20 years old and a sophomore at Radford University. Professor Nick Pappas put that book in my hands, and I never saw business, or the way it impacted peoples lives the same. Dr. Pappas knew I was entrepreneurial. I had lost my Cross Country scholarship and was selling moonshine out of West Virginia to pay for school.

I was intrigued.

The book is long and epic. It took me over six months to read it – mostly because I was fascinated by how the characters viewed the world, business, and their roles in the fabric of the business community. They made me think in terms of why things happen, and how we can influence events in small ways with big outcomes. Shortly before graduation, I wrote Dr. Pappas a letter having decided that the book was a dissertation on “how smart people used uncommon fundamentals to shape successful business”. I relished every moment with each page. I am self-absorbed and a perfectionist. So, I saw myself in every word and changed by each paragraph. I started to envision what it would be like to run my own business. Atlas Shrugged made me want to create an organization that reflected my ideal; my self image; my perfectionism.

Every company I owned or operated focused on customer service. My father had been an officer in the Air Force, and we moved every two years. So, I understood the customer experience. I also “gave” 15% of the company to all of the employees. I sold that business for over five times what I paid for it.

I had decided that no matter what business I was involved with (operator, investor, etc.); I would give my clients the absolute best experience or result. I always offered my hand, and guaranteed the result.

To this day, most of my clients know that we guarantee our work. Some don’t think in those terms. But, even if they don’t know or care about my guarantee – that’s okay; because I know it.

I was also deeply influenced by how the “bosses” in the book treated their employees. This made me ask the question:

“Am I responsible for my people”?


I had the epiphany that each employee, if enabled (and, inspired), is responsible for generating superior product to keep a job at the company. The company does not exist to put food on their plates.

The objective it to SERVE, and be part of the solution. /2

I believe we have a moral obligation to pursue our own happiness and also help people. Maybe this is what Granddad meant, in part, when he taught me to:

“Follow dreams and stay true to friends”.

When you are happy and fulfilled, other people are drawn to you and inspired. This enables you to help them. I think this means, in part, invest in ways to help other people.

This set the stage for every business and enterprise that I have been involved with.

Isn’t it ironic that the law of natural selection is often based on what the market decides? That is pure Ayn Rand (and, I hope, Brian Cork).

A step in the path to being a “Love Kat”.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork
1/ “Why Ayn Rand Was a Visionary.

2/ These words; in this combination; with this context evolved after I became a Volunteer Fire Fighter. Battalion Chief Chuck Schmidt challenged us all to be “Part of the solution, not the problem”.

6 Comments to

“Ayn Rand and Me”

  1. Avatar December 28th, 2007 at 10:30 pm My Mom: Story 5 - Pain and Strength « The Unsinkable Brian Cork Says:

    […] Brian Patrick Cork _________________________________________ 1/ To put this into perspective, read my Blog entry “Ayn Rand and Me” at […]

  2. Avatar November 17th, 2008 at 12:18 pm Going Back and Leaning Forward, Part I « The Unsinkable Brian Cork Says:

    […] consider two previous Blog posts entitled:  “Why Ayn Rand was a Visionary”, and “Ayn Rand and Me” that will certainly help set the stage for this […]

  3. Avatar November 17th, 2008 at 12:22 pm Going Back and Leaning Forward, Part I « The Human Capital BLOG Says:

    […] consider two previous Blog posts entitled:  “Why Ayn Rand was a Visionary”, and “Ayn Rand and Me” that will certainly help set the stage for this […]

  4. Avatar December 25th, 2008 at 8:17 pm Question everything and accept nothing « The Unsinkable Brian Cork Says:

    […] […]

  5. Avatar October 29th, 2009 at 1:18 pm there be Zombies! « The Unsinkable brian cork Says:

    […] that, one of my favorite books World War Z (Seriously… But, I’m not comparing it to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged or Edmund Morris’s The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, mind you) is in film […]

  6. Avatar July 14th, 2011 at 10:58 am Ayn Rand, Nick Pappas, Radford University …and me « Says:

    […] it matters to you, and others reading this exchange, I can add some meat to this bone if you read: Ayn Rand and Me. Do […]

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Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

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All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

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