Did you watch the presidential debate? I should have watched Shark Tank reruns instead.

Sooner or later, every presidential candidate is asked is “Why are you running.” They give their focus group answer.

In all the years you have voted, has your vote changed the course of the economy in a material way? Has it really mattered?

An American Entrepreneur

Maybe it is time to ignore politics, instead vote for the American Entrepreneur.

I do not mean any of the existing candidates, I mean engage with the quintessential american ethic. The stump speech goes something like this:

Many of us know what a prosperous economy looks like. People who want to work have no problem finding jobs. People who want to build careers can accumulate the necessary work experience over time. People who want to start their own businesses can tap into sources of committed finance enabling them to get their firms up and running. When the work has been done, careers have been built, and businesses have become going concerns, the prosperous economy yields a distribution of income that most people regard as fair. The prosperous economy has a large and stable middle class, with hard-working and dedicated people finding opportunities to climb up the economic ladder. The intergenerational expectation is that children will do better than their parents. And after several decades of remunerative work, their parents can retire with enough savings to at least remain in the middle class for the rest of their lives. — William Lazonick

If the U.S. were growing at 4% annually, debt, defense, healthcare, education, and most all other worries would fix themselves. Because,innovation consistently delivers unexpected returns.

But that’s not happening.

Did any of us realize on June 29, 2007 that the iPhone would forever transform communication?

Would Jimmy Carter have died if investors had not backed his immunotherapy drug?

Entrepreneurs see opportunity when no one else can. Entrepreneurs fuel the innovation that transform our lives.

The second before Sam Walton, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or many others step in the limelight, we know no better. The second after, the answer is obvious.

Innovation is not limited to the few big successes like Microsoft, Google and Apple. In the 50s and 60s, the U.S. grew hand over fist because in every corner of the country, entrepreneurs fueled by the depression and WWII sought something better.

Human beings have a restless edge, an impulse to tinker, to do things in a different way. And that fact is a huge and vital thing. Mankind is capable of original ideas, concepts that have not been conceived before — and those who attempt to suppress this create a prison of the mind and spirit. It is good to have books to read and a Rubik’s Cube to play with, but a prison it would nonetheless be if people couldn’t follow their own instincts and conscience. If they couldn’t leap into the unknown. — Edmund Phelps

Over the last 25 years, virtually all private sector jobs were created by businesses less than 5 years old. Between 1988 and 2011, companies more than five years old destroyed more jobs than they created in all but a few of those years.

Net Job Creation

Entrepreneurs deliver more real growth, faster, with less resources than any other part of our economy. It is time to harness them.

Backing a New Candidate, But Not for President

How do you vote for the American Entrepreneur?

Do you need a government issued ID? Does Congress need to pass a bill? Perhaps a Presidential Executive order? Is the Supreme Court split along partisan lines? Is there a domestic terrorist in the way?

No, you don’t need permission. You can start right now.

  1. Be a Customer: What does every startup need? A customer — so buy from a company that is 5 years or younger.
  2. Invest: Across this country there is at least a $8B/yr shortfall in startup investing. Closing that gap, alone, would drive 4% annual GDP growth. Accredited investors hold more than $10T of investment assets. Investing in startups is a bit complex, so things like iSelect Fund provide the guardrails to reduce risk. Ask your financial advisor to work with iSelect to protect your own retirement while fueling the American Entrepreneur.
  3. Pay it Forward: If you are a successful entrepreneur, get out and find local startups. Help them win.
  4. Go local: Silicon Valley is the peak of entrepreneurial efficiency, focus elsewhere. Every other big city in the US has expertise in AgricultureHealthcare, Logistics, Retail, Animal Health, Materials, Automotive, Aerospace, etc. Let’s get St. Louis, Cleveland, Memphis, Kansas City, Detroit, etc working like Silicon Valley.

If you want prosperity, engage in something different. Support the American Entrepreneur.