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Work Like You’re Scared

By Beacon Staff

While live-blogging the US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Summit, Brad Peck (US Chamber of Commerce official Twitter blogger) said this during Joe Scarborough‘s talk:

Annoyed by the “scared” comment, I responded:

I don’t know a single business owner that’s scared.

Annoyed? Sure. Aggravated? Sure.

But scared? Not. A. Single. One.

If Brad believed what Scarborough said, I’d wonder why he’s working at the US CoC, but he agreed with my angle on things.

I don’t believe for one minute that an entrepreneur would decide not to start a business because they’re scared that someone in Washington was talking about new taxes.

Hand-wringing by the numbers

My guess is that the Scarborough speech’s goal is to stir people up about government intervention, regulation, taxation (or some such) in order to boost his TV ratings, get votes or whatever.

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t worry about those things on a day to day basis.

Sure, I’m aggravated by higher taxes combined with government waste.

And yes, it annoys me when a politician votes for final passage of poorly written legislation and later speaks as if they are an opponent of the law (Rehberg on the CPSIA lead law is a fine example).

That doesn’t mean I sit around wringing my hands about it.

I believe that the best “revenge” is success.

While you might get some satisfaction out of waving at your competitor from the driver’s seat of your new F350, speedboat or 911 Cabriolet, that’s not what I mean by revenge.

To me, the real “revenge” is being successful enough to do *exactly* what you want to do – and none of that has anything to do with fear of what happens in Washington or Helena.

Real satisfaction
If you follow folks like Bill Gates (and you should), you’ll find that the big screen movie theater in his home might give him enjoyment, but wiping out polio via his $350MM+ donation to Rotary, or his new sustainable energy business is what really excites him.

No one – including Bill Gates – likes paying taxes. Like you, he’d rather use that money for something else.

Suggestion: Focus on making substantially more than you need, and don’t get trapped by the zero-sum game folks.

More net than you need means that you can do the things you always wanted to do, including helping folks that you always wanted to help. Or maybe it just means a new boat. Whatever.

It isn’t always about that million dollar donation or the new bass boat. Little things like being able to help a neighbor mean a lot.

Work like you’re scared, but don’t BE scared

If the government puts a regulation in place that impacts one of my clients, I enjoy spending time (and yes, earning fees) helping them profit *despite* the regulation.

Sometimes a competitor whines, writes a letter to the Daily Bugle to complain, then fades slowly out of business rather than working around it.

The point is that real business people don’t have the luxury of sitting around and hand-wringing about what Washington or Helena are up to – only talking heads like Morning Joe have that luxury.

Government does what it does without asking me too much. While I strongly believe that you should make every effort to right the wrongs (if not fix them in advance), that isn’t enough.

You’d better be working twice as smart /hard as everyone else in your market in the meantime.

All of the stuff that government does affects us, but we have a lot more control than most of us believe. Let the scare mongers worry someone else.

Want to learn more about Mark or ask him to write about a business, operations or marketing problem? See Mark’s site or contact him via email at mriffey at flatheadbeacon.com.

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