Today -January 1st, 2010 - the first day of a brand new decade full of promise and hope. But as an entrepreneur, we have a very dangerous and stark reality to face. This reality is that entrepreneurs are being challenged more than ever to weigh the decreasing benefits of starting a new business versus the always present and growing risks of starting one, which has been the very source of economic lifeblood in this country since meaningful trade statistics were kept.
The facts are very clear. In the past 15 years, 64 percent of all net new jobs in the United States were created by small business. Many of these businesses were formed during times of bear markets and recessions. Small business employs over half of all US workers, and make up 99.7 percent of all employer firms. If you look at the vital role that entrepreneurs play in starting, building and growing new ventures into sustainable, economically viable entities, we need to make sure these essential individuals are not only encouraged but supported.
However, this is 2010, the era of “no child left behind” - but now on steroids. It just isn’t enough to provide equal opportunity to those who have been legitimately disadvantaged or oppressed, but also for those who complain that they want equal opportunity too, but do not take a bite of this apple when presented the opportunity, no matter how far we lower the bar. In fact many times, these same people don’t even show up. They simply voice their dissatisfaction to encourage the government to further lower the bar until it becomes imperceptible to even the least productive society members, perhaps until all individually driven, economic initiative has been erased. Soon we will all be sitting at home in our government subsidized housing, waiting on our personal bailout packages in the form of monthly checks and complaining about who has the biggest block of government provided cheese.
Entrepreneurs must have more courage than ever to begin their ventures. Not just for personal economic gain (which history also shows us is not a bad thing whatsoever – seeNobel Prize Winning Economist Milton Friedman’s classic dialogue on this very concept, and a MUST SEE if you have not watched this clip in the past year… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWsx1X8PV_A ), but also to help this country restore its clear path back to sustained, economic prosperity.
If you are an entrepreneur, you need to be more than vigilant than ever to seek business relationships and economic partnerships with the right people and organizations. More than ever, there is little time to be wasted in disingenuous partnerships, false friends and those relationships who think government intervention programs is the means to economic end.
Good luck to all entrepreneurs in 2010. Dreamers (who are unwilling to be doers) need not apply!