In my many talks on leadership and entrepreneurship, I often encounter people who tell me, “Being an entrepreneur is not for everybody.” I beg to differ. Although everyone is not born with leadership skills, those can be taught. However, I do believe that we are all born creators. The burning desire to create something new, something that’s ours, is an innate characteristic in all of us. You can chalk this all up to motivational speaker talk but consider this: It’s projected that small businesses will add 3.8 million jobs nationwide in 2011. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to start a small business, remember that you might just be saving our economy.
If you decide to make a run at a small business, you wouldn’t be alone. People in the United States are starting new businesses in record numbers. This could be attributed to various reasons such as incentives and tax breaks. However, there seems to be a growing sentiment which I feel is the true positive in what seems to be a negative economic climate. The struggling economy has turned up the volume of the voice inside the heads of potential business owners that says, “What do I have to lose?” The excuse of job security given by employees as the reason they never started a business has been disproved by the current recession. An untimely firing has awakened many to the fact that nothing is guaranteed, and loyalty doesn’t exist when it clashes with corporate profits. So instead of taking another job they can’t stand and may be pulled out from under them anyway, many are taking a leap into the entrepreneurial world.
Another group that has seen the writing on the wall is graduating college students. According to The New York Times, only 56 percent of 2010 college graduates had a job by the spring 2011, compared with 90 percent in the 2006 and 2007 classes the spring after they graduated. For new graduates, this is a decidedly stark statistic. Some may judge these numbers as negatives, but I choose to look at this as more of an entrepreneurial revolution. These students are learning a very hard lesson early on: In this life, you make your own safety nets. No government and no corporation can be counted on to guarantee your future; it is in your hands and your hands only. The usual deterrent for starting a small business, level of risk, has now shifted in the other direction. It might actually be riskier to go work for a corporation that could cut off your income on a whim, rather than build something you can control. This could be a very timely revolution for the United States for three reasons…jobs, jobs, jobs. We need job creators and a rise in small business could be our answer.
[Image: Flickr user .frank]