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When Arthur M. Blank talks about entrepreneurship - what it takes to create, build and grow a company - he talks about principles. And, when he talks about principles, he talks about giving back.
Although HandR Block had always been philanthropic, Henry Bloch wanted to establish a company foundation truly committed to the needs of the community as opposed to furthering corporate objectives.
In the two years I have been writing a column for Forbes, no piece has received more responses than the one published just prior to the last presidential election. In it, I made nine predictions regarding the impact an Obama administration would have on the legal landscape, especially with regard to small businesses.
Now that we are at the beginning of a new decade, as well as the president's second year, I thought it would be interesting to see how I did. For those keeping score, I nailed all but one.
I'll admit I like being right. Too bad prescience often comes with a price.
In the introduction, I noted that the triumvirate of President Obama, Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi would be "potentially one of the most liberal governments the country has had in decades." I was wrong: This government may be the most liberal in the history of the United States.
Adam Coomes is a prime example of an entrepreneur who has seen the best of times and the worst of times. He has been a part of several startups and has gone through the peaks and valleys of these experiences. They've consisted of fast-paced ventures and ventures that have been put on the backburner. He has never worked in the corporate world and never intends to. Adam will always be an entrepreneur.
Baby boomers are micromanagers, work hard, do not understand technology, are stubborn and want to destroy the planet. Millennials are lazy, entitled, tech savvy, want to save the world and don't know how to communicate in person. Although the generalizations of baby boomers and millennials vary, they do share one similar characteristic, they both share particular entrepreneurial characteristics. Millennials crave freedom and earning potential. Baby boomers have a desire to build something.
I have spent the majority of my adult life investing my own and other people's money in entrepreneurs. That's why I know the U.S. has a serious problem on its hands.
Although the stock market has tentatively rebounded, funding for the one area in which America has a distinct competitive advantage--that is, new company formation--is in scary decline. That may be a familiar refrain by now, but that doesn't make the ramifications any less real. Or less dangerous.
Learn how a clearly defined brand identity can help build your business, even in the face of fierce competition.
OK, let me get this straight: The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy reports that 27 million small businesses in the U.S. account for 50% of the Gross National Product and employ over 50% of the workforce, and Washington figures $30 billion in loan support and some tax credits will get things done.
What's that, $1,100 per company? Wow, where do we sign up!
Our fearful leaders gave $50 billion to General Motors, and $185 billion to AIG. According to the Congressional Budget Office publication, The Budget &amp; Economic Outlook: An Update August 2009, big business has been showered with more than $10 trillion (that's a "T") in funding and commitments, including: $1.3 trillion disbursed by the Federal Reserve, with another $2.8 trillion committed (including aid to AIG, Citigroup, Bank of America, Bear Stearns; $800 billion from the Treasury, with $3.6 trillion committed (including guarantees for Money Market Funds and TARP); and over $2.1 trillion committed by the FDIC (including increased depositor insurance and more Citigroup guarantees).
Um, does $30 billion to small business make a difference?
When it comes time sell your company, one of the toughest issues is communicating the process to employees. One positive way to do this is to establish a company culture rooted in honesty and openness, which can allay employee anxiety during a potential company sale.
Richard Caruso considers success less a matter of financial accomplishment than of meaningful personal contribution. He's managed to do both.
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