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There are over 25 million businesses in the United States. 97% of these businesses generate less than $100M in annualized sales with smaller privately held businesses representing the overwhelming majority. It’s important to distinguish when considering the Fortune 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average (representing only 30 of the largest industrial publicly traded firms) are much of what generates media attention. Considering that an estimated 3% of our 25M businesses generate in excess of $10M in annualized sales, that leaves a largely untold and incomplete story for the over 24M+ entrepreneurs in America today.

Business owners take on large risks with 6 out of 10 startups failing within their first 18 months of operations. But for those with the emotional fortitude, enough cash, a great idea, and willingness to sacrifice for the greater good, it is a noble pursuit. For the uninitiated, or potentially misguided, we’ve outlined some brief entrepreneurial principles:

‘We, the privately held entrepreneurs of the United States, in an attempt to identify opportunity, uncover unmet needs, create markets, challenge paradigms, and capitalize on innovation, hereby establish some core entrepreneurial principles for those seeking greater insight’

The entrepreneur shall:

  • Be paid last, after our employees, the gov’t, our core suppliers, and investment capital reserves we must leave within our company for future growth.

  • Adhere to a complicated tax code, work through layers of governmental bureaucracy, and maintain additional costly overhead to pay the world’s highest statutory corp tax rates.

  • Re educate our workforce to reignite the systemic lack of critical thinking skills often left untaught by our schools.

  • Invest in our current medical model and pay annual double-digit premium increases for medical coverage with decreasing benefits for our employees.

  • Have the honor of being lumped into the same category as some of the large publicly traded executives who defrauded Wall Street, tainting the very hard and honest daily work we do.

  • Sign personal guarantees for loans, equipment, investments, and resources needed to become more competitive putting all of our personal assets at risk.

  • Challenge passivity and mediocrity against the rising tide of an increasingly reliant mindset.

  • Continuously improve to create better and more efficient ways to positively impact our customers in an increasingly global, wealth, marketplace.

  • Take full and ultimate responsibility for failure while giving our team full credit for results.

If these aforementioned bullets create discomfort then you get the point. While it’s a true a small minority of business owners don’t exhibit honorable behavior, the vast majority are driven to make our world a better place. If the bullets above stimulate something deeper you may have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Private business ownership is a noble profession. Owners, and their executive leadership, increase the sum of human welfare by creating jobs, unlocking potential, innovating markets, paying taxes, and expanding our economy.

This isn’t intended to somehow discredit our workforce and suggest that an individual employee doesn’t act with honor, manage adversity, or strive to make our world a better place. The point is to better understand the realities a business owner faces day-to-day.

None of us has the right to wealth, happiness, position, or respect. Being an American gives us only the opportunity to PURSUE these ideals. Regardless of your chosen path, having an “owner mindset” affords a balanced perspective in our collective effort in creating something larger than ourselves.

Contact us at to catalyze change and create an ownership mindset within your organization.

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