Is it really so bad?

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It seems very fashionable to complain about how bad things are. Facebook especially is depressing. If you read Facebook, you get the idea that the end of the world as we know it is imminent for any number of reasons ranging from gun control to postmodernism to super viruses.

The problem with that kind of negativity is it starts to change our perspective. We start to wonder why we should care about our God-given roles in this world if the world is clearly going to pot. We start to see ourselves as victims with no control over our circumstances.

If I have learned one thing in four decades, it is that one’s perspective is very important. Talent is important and so is discipline but the driving force is the right perspective. Guard your perspective. Protect it from the rampant negativity you see everywhere.

One place we see negativity is in the area of finances. Many people have clearly given up. As we struggle to get out of our current financial nation-wide funk, you don’t have to look far to see people excusing their situation because of circumstances that they can’t control. Sometimes they are right but more often they are not.

My first counsel to those people would be to change what they are reading and who they are listening to. For example, I would encourage them to not read articles like this. (OK, go ahead and read it…)

The author of that article admits he is a real-life capitalism novice. As an academic though, he read a lot of financial books. Apparently, that made the Wall Street Journal consider him worthy of publication.

That article is like a ice cream sundae for those who are looking for excuses to stay financially destitute. It makes them feel better about themselves but does them more harm than good.

As a person who has started a lot of businesses, let me offer a different perspective than that academic author. It may indeed take over a year to get a sophisticated export business off the ground (as he claims). But it really is not difficult to start an average business in the US. Yes there are rules and forms to fill out, but they are manageable. I live in that world and I can assure you that it is not a big deal to operate a business in the US. Nor has it gotten substantially more difficult for businesses in the past ten years.

So if you want to own a business, ignore the naysayers and go do it. Don’t get me wrong; if you start a business on the town square that sells electronics, you are going to get creamed by Amazon. If you start yet another restaurant selling fried food down here in the south, you are going to hate life and go broke.

But on the other hand, if you start the right business and run it intelligently, you will be just fine in spite of what they are saying on Facebook. If one starts and fails, he will not legitimately be able to blame his failure on rules and regulations. The reason most businesses fail is because they are going against tough competition.

Yes that competition exists. There are a lot of businesses that are thriving. You will not find them moaning about the sad state of the US economy and regulations. They have great management and good ideas, but most of all, they have an above average perspective.

Go be like them.