Small-business owners, entrepreneurs stand tall

It’s a great day to be a small-business owner or entrepreneur. Even when the odds are against us and some on Capitol Hill feel capitalism and profit are somehow wrong, we charge ahead.

Small-business owners and entrepreneurs possess the best weapon against fear mongering, a growing government and uncertain economic times: Positive thinking and focused action. As an entrepreneur in business aviation since 1994, I have experienced Republicans and Democrats in office, economic ups and downs, frivolous lawsuits and the catastrophic aftermath of 9/11. Often, there is not time to ponder the possible negative forces because the small-business owner knows he must provide sufficient paychecks to loyal employees who provide excellent services to vital customers. The small-business owner stands on her own two feet, always takes responsibility for herself, and cannot afford the excuse of being a victim.

As entrepreneurs it is our thoughts and subsequent actions, and not the outside elements, that control our results. As healthcare reform looms and legislation is crafted, we understand that some policies may be favorable to our industries but most will not. As the backbone of America, employing over half of all working U.S. citizens, the small-business owner must adapt to these changes that impact our business plans and not lay blame on others. Prior to 1929 it seemed that if a man failed he blamed himself — my, how things have changed.

We should all take a lesson from one of America’s greatest entrepreneurs of all time, Henry Ford, who said, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you are probably right.” How you think about your business, the economy and your customers will have a far greater impact on your venture than anything. 

We have control over only one thing in our lives, and that one thing is our thoughts. When we exercise that control and keep our thoughts focused and positive, we can control our actions and in turn, in the spirit of Henry Ford, produce extraordinary results.

Dulles, Va.