Two back-to-back events this year have enhanced some business energy toward our goal. The first was the Small Giants Summit in Denver encouraging us to no longer apologize for being a 20-year startup because Small Giants demonstrate that culture matters. The next was the NFIB Washington Fly-in where business owners interacted face-to-face with actual legislators.
Nothing brings more steam from the ears of business owners than government restrictions that go well beyond public shelter. Presently we are immersed in a period of regulatory over-reach and it’s time to push against the tide. No need to speak here of mamsy-pamsy “let’s save the earth” agendas (hey, our services save forests by eliminating mountains of paper although that is the result of sensible business practice and not the drive). Let’s instead speak of real disruption to routine business methods enhancing the business climate, creating real opportunities and saving the economy!
It is apparent when speaking to elected officials the mention of being a business owner quickly gets attention. Our voice however is only heard if we use it. Having spent a corporate career with Marriott and a student of Marriott history, I can attest that Bill Marriott Sr. took on regulators during his startup when required water sanitation temperatures were shattering most of his root beer glasses.
Uber is our modern example as an outside the box launch. Their competition ran to regulators crying foul and begging for a shut down. Uber leadership refused to sit back and take the hit. Instead CEO Travis Kalanick recruited Bradley Tusk and went to legislators as well as the public demonstrating the public good of the service forcing the regulators to retreat from hammer-hard positions.
I will admit that going against the status quo is what gets me out of bed each morning. I suspect that most startups believe the same. Our voice is only heard if we use it.
Disrupt! Speak out! Fight back!
READ MORE: If you like this article, you should read “On Earning Success”
Jim Mullaney is President and CEO of Edoc Service, Inc. a “Fast 55” virtual company based in Cincinnati, Ohio.