Along with every other small business person who has worked long hours, borrowed money, worried over meeting a payroll or paying bills to suppliers, and gone without personal indulgences to push a business to success, I'm outraged by Mr. Obama's statement that we owe our success to the government.
We shouldn't be outraged. It's so ridiculous that we should all have ignored it as the rantings of a person who knows nothing about building a business.
He also doesn't seem to realize that if his statement was true, then everyone would be successful. Everyone in America has access to roads, bridges, police and fire protection, and a public education.
Although he didn't mention it, it is true that government helped many in the older generation via the GI Bill. But even then, some took full advantage and made something of themselves while others didn't. The same could be said for student aid and student loans.
As Jim Rohn said, when you offer an opportunity "Some will, some won't."
But he DID make one true statement in that speech. It's been ignored, probably because it isn't what he meant, and "You didn't build it" overshadows the whole message.
That true statement is that none of us has done it alone.
- Someone has either encouraged us or said "You can't" - so that we had to respond with "Oh yeah - watch me!"
- Someone set an example of how to work and live that we either followed or turned opposite to.
- Someone gave us a first job and taught us how to work.
- Someone - perhaps inadvertently - gave us the spark of an idea that we acted upon.
- Someone inspired us or introduced us to a career that was the right one for us - possibly by example. Maybe that someone was a person we knew, or maybe it was someone in a book or a magazine article.
And best of all ...
Someone believed in us and trusted us enough to become our first paying customer or client, long before we had proven our worth.
Just for the record - I do believe there is one government agency that we owe for everything we have. No, not the agency so much, but the men and women of The U.S. Military.
Without our Founding Fathers and all the military men and women who have risked their lives to defend our way of life, we wouldn't even have the freedom to think about being entrepreneurs.
Image courtesy of Dreamstine