Is Unemployment Un-American?

| September 28, 2011 | 0 Comments

Unemployment has become a major topic of concern and debate here in America. My worry is not about the people that use unemployment to get a new job or better yet use the opportunity to start a business. My fear is creating a sub-class of people that expect to be taken care of, with little or no work on their part.

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” – John F. Kennedy

It used to be that Americans prided themselves on a “can-do” attitude and a willingness to get the job done. That is still true for many, but more and more we are seeing people who have fallen under the sway of the “gimme” attitude. You know the kind: gimme my benefits, gimme my food stamps, and while your at it, gimme my big screen TV and Wii so I can play my games.

 

We see the numbers day after day: national unemployment hovering around 9% and California’s up around 12%. Moreover, if we add in those who are underemployed (15%) or have just given up looking (6%) we have some very disturbing numbers. We hear people regularly speak about how we need to help those unfortunate enough to be unemployed by providing unemployment payments to them. Payments that now run as long as 99 weeks under Congressional edict. We also hear people saying that denying continued benefits to the long-term unemployed is “Un-American” and cruel. “We can’t just let them drop off the edge,” these people say.

 

Well, what if we have been cruel by extending unemployment benefits to unimaginable lengths? What if we are creating a crutch for people, giving them an “excuse” to continue being unemployed? Yes, there are many out there who have worked hard to find jobs, but with no success. On the other hand, there are those out there who are putting in the bare minimum of effort to “find” a job, just so they can continue collecting the easy paychecks.

Let’s inspire the solution…

The media likes to report the unemployment rate but rarely in the same breath states the solution of expanding existing small businesses and starting new businesses. While starting a new business is not for everyone I think that supporting new businesses should be. But starting your own business does not have to be a daunting and terrifying task. In fact, ask yourself, what is more terrifying, being broke or doing what it takes to get a business that will support you for life off the ground?

How do you start a business?

How do you start a business? First, ask yourself what you do well. Some people say you should do what you are passionate about, but what if you are not good at it? You have to find what you can do successfully – and what you will enjoy enough to put in the time it will take to get a business up and running. You might have to put in 14-16 hours a day, seven days a week at first. But if you do it right you will eventually have a business that creates wealth for you while you can take time for life.

What else do you need to know about starting a business? That no matter what your business does, what you do is sell. You sell yourself; you sell your ability; you sell your talent. You have to make sure that people know what you do and how well you do it. And you have to make sure that people know what you are worth. Too often entrepreneurs under-price themselves in the hope that they will pick up enough business. “I can always raise my rates later,” they think. However, once you are known for doing a service at a certain price it can be difficult to increase your price. Better to set a value on your time, talent, and effort and never back down. You may lose some business, but you will gain respect and higher-end clients.

Anyone who has studied wealth creation knows that THIS IS THE TIME to build a business because the economy is down. It’s value will increase as the economy grows. Many of our most successful companies were started during times of down economies: Hyatt, IHOP, Burger King, and GE among them. Perhaps your business will one day be counted among them.

So back to our original question, “Is unemployment Un-American?” No matter what some say about unemployment “helping the economy,” the only real way to improve our nation’s outlook is by hiring people – and the only way to do that is to have businesses that are looking to hire. When we focus on the negative, that’s what we see. When people are unemployed they begin to feel down on themselves and the country. Rather than perpetuate the negativity, we need to inject some positive attitude into the mix. Americans have historically been the doers and movers of the world, and now is a great time to return to that legacy. So, perhaps what we should say is not that unemployment is Un-American, we should say that unemployment is “Unlike American.”

As an SBA Loan Broker who has worked in the field for over 20 years, I have helped facilitate over 2500 loans for over a Billion Dollars – that’s 2500 businesses that all created jobs. I started my own business with $25,000 and the knowledge that I could provide an important service to other small businesses.

As a business owner and banker who has been through times like these before. I would hope that these words are not inflammatory but a bit inspirational. Let’s get back to work people, When I think of being American I still imagine hard workers…Let’s work hard and smart.

Craig G. Francis is the owner of Francis Financial and  SBA Loan Store. He has been a top producer of SBA Loans since 1981, and has worked with Dun & Bradstreet and Bank of Commerce. Craig Francis has the expertise to steer clients through the often confusing rules and regulations associated with SBA Loans, having helped over 2,000 businesses acquire over a billion dollars in loans. He can be contacted through CraigGFrancis.comSBALoanStore.com, on LinkedIn, or at 888-666-9722.

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Craig G. Francis is the owner of Francis Financial and The SBA Loan Store. He has been a top producer of SBA Loans since 1981, and has worked with Dun & Bradstreet and Bank of Commerce. Craig Francis has the expertise to steer clients through the often confusing rules and regulations associated with SBA Loans, having helped over 2,000 businesses acquire over a billion dollars in loans. He can be contacted through CraigGFrancis.com,SBALoanStore.com, on LinkedIn, or at 888-666-9722.

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