“If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Title is quote from Barack Obama, speaking in Roanoke, Va., July 13, 2012
Are you kidding me? What a silly, uninformed statement to make! Wouldn’t you think that one of the jobs of the President of the US is to encourage those whose companies create most of the jobs in our country?
1. He assumes correctly that most successful entrepreneurs have had an outstanding mentor or teacher that had a big impact on their lives. But…so did every successful big company manager, labor union leader and politician. Successful people recognize the value of mentors!
2. Then, he assumes that the government deserves a share of success – for building roads, operating a post office and defending our freedom. Good jobs for governments – establishing a climate in which entrepreneurs (and all other citizens) can succeed…and fail. But, entrepreneurs have been thriving, and creating jobs, in America for more than a century, long before our federal government even acknowledged that entrepreneurs had a significant impact on job creation.
Let’s enlighten our President:
Risk: Entrepreneurs risk their financial futures by starting companies. Can the same be said for government employees? Of course not! Entrepreneurs have no government safety net and don’t want one. Government does not pick them up and dust them off and give them an encouraging word when they fail. Government doesn’t even know they have failed until they suddenly don’t file a tax return for the year after they go out of business.
Alone: Much of what first-time entrepreneurs do is learned on-the-job. Engineer entrepreneurs must learn selling. Financial entrepreneurs must learn product management. Very few first-time entrepreneurs have experience at running all aspects of a business. And, they have no one to turn to for help. Successful entrepreneurs find advisor and mentors, but learning when and how to use advisors take time – time that is perceived as necessary to run the business. And, of course entrepreneurs hire employees. They must select the best possible team to get the job done. Once on board, the entrepreneur must manage those employees to effectively grow the company. Growth in revenues and profits enables the company to hire more employees (job creation). No one is there (especially no one in government) to “make it happen,” Mr. President.
The US is suffering from the lowest rate of job creation since the great depression. And, it is an established fact that new companies create most of the new jobs in this country. It is time for the leaders of our country to recognize who creates jobs in America and take supportive action. Encourage entrepreneurs! Don’t impede company formation! At a very minimum, just get out of the way and let entrepreneurs “do their thing”!