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Entrepreneurship

Don't Wait for the Government: Entrepreneurs Are Keeping America Great

Entrepreneurs are helping their local communities by introducing products and technologies for new markets across the country.
Don't Wait for the Government: Entrepreneurs Are Keeping America Great
Image credit: Thomas Barwick | Getty Images
Entrepreneur VIP
Entrepreneur and Connector
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Although popularized by Donald Trump, the “Make America Great Again” slogan goes back to Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign. It's associated with politics, but the idea isn’t about nationalism. It’s about business innovation, which we’re seeing through the recent “made in America” movement.

While the government certainly plays a part in starting a business, the fact is that entrepreneurs don’t put their dreams on hold because of it. Instead, they clear their own path toward not only innovation, but also toward making America great again.

America: Land of the Entrepreneur

No disrespect is meant to the incredible entrepreneurs around the world who are crushing it, but the United States was founded on a platform of entrepreneurship. From Benjamin Franklin to Henry Ford to Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg, the U.S. has a rich history of entrepreneurship.

In fact, as noted in The Economist, “America was the first country, in the late 1970s, to ditch managerial capitalism for the entrepreneurial variety.”

Because of this, it shouldn’t be shocking that the U.S. has been ranked as the country with the most entrepreneurial activity. What’s more, 6.02 percent of the US adult population owns a business.

Because of the close relationship that universities have with entrepreneurship, “America plays a vital role in spreading the culture of entrepreneurialism around the world." Simply put, entrepreneurship is just in our DNA.

Entrepreneurs can fill the political gap.

As Richard Branson told Business Insider, “I think, fortunately, entrepreneurs can do a lot of, you know, the compensating work.” For example, if the government decides that climate change doesn't exist, “then we as entrepreneurs just got to get in there and and fill the gap and and create hundreds of thousands of jobs and make sure that” we’re living in a carbon-neutral world by 2050.

Branson added, “When government is lacking, then entrepreneurs need to step into the breach.” And we’re seeing this across the country. In New York City, Greyston Bakery isn’t just making delicious treats; it's also combating homelessness by hiring everyone, no questions asked.

Southern Pine Company of Georgia is rescuing Savannah’s historic buildings one at a time. Following Hurricane Harvey, the Hotel Ylem in Houston got actively involved in charities and fundraising to help repair the city. And these are just three examples of businesses making America great again by improving their local communities -- with or without the government’s assistance.

On a larger scale, entrepreneurs aren’t just launching new businesses to help their local communities. They’re also introducing products and technologies that are paving the way for new markets across the country.

As Doug Howorko and George Tsougrianis put it so bluntly for Zaggtime, “No matter what politicians say, the old manufacturing jobs of the industrial age are not coming back. Even countries like China, where labor is cheap, are killing jobs because it is cheaper to manufacture products with robotics and artificial intelligence.”

Howorko and Tsougrianis add, “Governments cannot fix all the challenges (not any time soon). You can only rely on one person and that is yourself, and we truly believe that becoming entrepreneurial and starting a business is the main solution to making your country great again.”

Related: Business Leaders Slam Trump's Decision to Withdraw From Paris Climate Agreement

Entrepreneurs can’t, and don’t, wait.

Entrepreneurship is like an itch. Once you've got it, you need to scratch it ASAP.

Of course, this doesn’t mean starting your own business without doing the proper research -- that would be foolish. But you also can’t wait for the perfect time, the perfect product or the perfect service.

You can’t sit back and wait for the government to create a more favorable entrepreneurial climate, like making it easier to obtain a grant or register your business. After all, you never know how long it will take for politicians on both sides to actually come to an agreement.

Here’s the most important thing to remember about being an entrepreneur: There's no perfect time. The longer you wait, the less likely you’ll be able to survive because someone else will corner the market or your idea will become obsolete.

In other words, if you've got that itch, scratch it.

Related: 'The Right Time' Is a Myth. Here's How to Make Every Time Work for You.

Entrepreneurs can control their own fate.

If you’re ready to scratch that itch, here’s how you can control your own fate without waiting for the government.

Finish what your started. Don’t start a business unless you’re committed to seeing it through. Even if you have to pivot or close up shop, successful entrepreneurs don’t start something just to throw in the towel.

Get involved. Whether it’s attending conferences or joining your local Chamber of Commerce, entrepreneurs have to network and build relationships in their communities. Who knows where those connections can take you?

Be dominate. Entrepreneurs are fierce competitors who don’t just want to play the game; they want to own it.

Problems = opportunities. Rather than avoid problems, embrace them. It’s one of the best ways to learn and grow.

Invest in yourself. Successful entrepreneurs are constantly investing in their education and personal development in order to enhance their existing skills or learn new ones.

Be disruptive. Finally, entrepreneurs aren’t content with the status quo. They want to change the world. When they spot a chance to do something better or faster, they leap at the opportunity.

Politics and government aside, entrepreneurs are capable of improving their chances of success. By taking advantage of all the world has to offer -- inconvenient or not, perfect or not -- entrepreneurs can build businesses that provide their communities with products and services they needed and wanted. Taking the bull by the horns may not just make their entrepreneurial efforts strong, but they may also make America great again.

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