April 9, 2012 Leave a comment
Leadership begins with mutual respect. The leaders I respect the most lead by example. Politicians, pundits and the media can go around trying to divide people into haves and have-nots, but there’s really no divide between most of us.
Small business owners don’t have a problem hugging their building custodian. How about the lawn care person, the handy person, the painter, the delivery person; most of all the bug person, who you may feel at risk… to hug? Hug, hug, hug them, anyway. Many of the aforementioned live enriched, fulfilling lives with or without millions; and need not be classified otherwise. Many of these folks are small business owners, too! Like me.
I’m sure there’s a more PC way to describe some of your favorite “small business owners,” but here’s mine. They probably fall off ladders. They are probably mechanically deficient and they’re probably a danger to themselves and others, with a hammer. OK, that’s just me… but most small business owners have a great deal of respect for those who wield a mop or a nail gun.
You’ll find small business owners in and amongst your family, and amongst your friends. People you know and respect. I’ve also come to learn, most small business owners, including me, are generally opposed to big government. To them, big government prescribes life to be easy, convenient, comfortable and mindless. To me government is the voice saying, “Eat your vegetables, go to school, do your homework, go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, retire, play golf, get cancer and die.” I already have parents, thank you. Small business owners know, even if you were to try to live such a mundane existence, government can’t save you. They know there’s no such thing as a mundane existence. There’s always going to be something that requires you to be extraordinary.
Government isn’t extraordinary and it doesn’t make money, you do. Government spends your money. Frankly government spends money you don’t have and you are personally on the hook to pay back that debt. You and your family, as citizens of the United States of America, now stand to own a piece of over $5 trillion dollars in debt in just the past 3-4 years alone. This is the new normal. Are you willing to double down on that much debt?
News flash! For many small business owners like me, life isn’t easy. Like most Americans who are willing, I have to earn every dime. Still no one can speak for those of you who were dealt from a rigged deck, who live a life of marked cards. Your life may include poverty, possibly abuse, neglect or worse. To escape this life you may need or have needed to be extraordinary. To escape you may need or have needed extraordinary luck. To escape you may need or have needed extraordinary help from other people, places including the institution of government and beyond. You may need private investment, support from charities and organizations supported by those who have been more fortunate. In this fashion, there are plenty of small business people, again like me, who support those in need. What small business owners don’t need is more big government, big union and big business getting in the way.
Without free market capitalism, small businesses can’t thrive or even survive. Many people disagree. They think more government is the answer. Where will the jobs come from? Government? Where will the tax revenues come from? Rich people? Hardly! All the institutions that are getting a pass include big government, big union and big business. So where do you turn? Most small business people know how hard it is to make money and to pay off debt. That’s what most small business people do. That’s leadership.
So why are politicians, pundits and the media so hell-bent on dividing this country into haves and have-nots? I say, it’s time to go dish out some hugs! Start with the folks that keep me off ladders and off my roof. Start with people who take away my hedge trimmer and my chain saw, too. That’s just a scary movie to me. You can start with a hug for me. If I am still in one piece, I’ll hug back.
Recently I ran across this open letter to Romney called The First Four Years Are The Hardest… that echoes much of the sentiment conveyed here… a great read…sorry you had to come this far to get to this