The sequester, the federal government’s forced reduction of more than $85 billion this year (part of more than $1 trillion in cuts over the next decade), appears ominous. No matter how those cuts affect Americans, small business owners need to put the situation aside.
Sequestration will not kill the small business owner. It will not. There, I said it.
In my many discussions with small business owners in the last few years, I have noticed that many enjoy the griping, complaining and bellyaching about any real or perceived bad news.
Want to know what’s probably the most frequent topic of a networking event? Complaining about anything or everything from what I see.
Complaints have a way of taking control. My fear is that sequestration will become the latest excuse for owners of businesses that are not growing.
When business is slumping, it is easier to blame an external force, something like sequestration over which they have no control, than to look at the real problems. Before business budgets became tighter, companies could blame their worst employees. But those folks are no longer drawing paychecks, leaving a void for some business owners.
This complaint mentality can affect us all. I have had to catch myself a few times when I want to blame my business progress on an external force. “Businesses just want to see what sequestration will do before committing,” I told a friend not that long ago
These complaints and – worse – the false perception that they are hurting business can come one after another to those seeking them.
Before sequestration the list could have included rising gas pricing, the housing market, loss of retirement funds, global economics, the wars, over-regulation. Each of these excuses has a long shelf life, while others like people shopping more on the Internet, “people unwilling to sign contracts,” and the role of the president, whomever that person happens to be, remain evergreen favorites.
External forces can affect business, but it is the responsibility of the business owner to respond accordingly. Small business owners must seek out new directions, new opportunities, new ways to do business.
It’s often easier to blame things beyond our control than admit to the reality. The reality now is that businesses can’t afford to rest on their laurels at all. Change and evolution are mandatory; they need to be built into the fabric of organizations.
The sequester may hurt some businesses and it might help others. How it affects your business is entirely up to you – not Congress, President Obama or anyone else. Businesses that succeed in the long-term have to weather these storms, making them into rain showers, not hurricanes. Otherwise, the owners of small businesses really don’t have much at all.