Rathbun: To succeed, we need more leisure timeWritten by Gary Rathbun | | GaryRathbun@PrivateWealthConsultants.com
All to often lately, all of the articles and commentary we read, hear on the radio, and see on Television, is very negative and somewhat depressing. The news generally revolves around how one party or the other is screwing up this country and if we don’t act soon we all doomed. I have done it also. It is easy to do and it always has some rational behind the commentary. That being said, let’s look at something positive that needs to be done and has always been done in the past.
A few weeks ago on “Eye on Your Money,” I had the privilege of interviewing Professor Harry C. Veryser author of “It Didn’t Have to be This Way,” and one the comments he made stuck in my mind ever since. He said that in order for entrepreneurs to do what they need to do and create things, we need to have more leisure time. It is leisure time that allows the entrepreneur to create and experiment. I hadn’t really ever thought of an entrepreneur needing to have leisure time in order to think about a new product or service.
It makes sense, since we are usually going 90 miles an hour most of the time and don’t just think about new services or products that the marketplace needs or wants.
Ludwig von Mises explained the crucial function the entrepreneur plays in the economy:
The driving force of the market process is provided neither by the consumers nor by the owners of the means of production—land, capital goods, and labor—by the promoting and speculating entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs have long been honored in America. Thomas Edison and the light bulb, Eli Whitney and the cotton gin, Steven Jobs and Apple computer, Charles Goodyear and the process of vulcanizing rubber, Henry Ford and the V-8 motor. These and countless others have shaped and reshaped American life with their innovations and inventions.
Jack Hitt recently wrote a book called, “Bunch of Amateurs,” where he tells the stories of several self-invented tinkerers who are working on ideas from solar-powered cars to space elevators to a woman who is trying to splice a fish’s glow-in-the-dark gene into common yogurt. Why you would want yogurt that glows in the dark is beyond me but at least she is working on something new and probably will discover something totally different from her original idea
The point is that all of these people, you and I included, need more leisure time to think of things to try and the time to try them. Today leisure time is more likely categorized as playing golf or watching American Idol on television. Not that I dislike golf but the only thing I have created on the golf course is frustration and a job for someone to fill in divots.
The number of small business’ being started in this country is at an all time low and we need to change that right away if we are going to expand the economy in the future. Entrepreneurs need to be encouraged and developed from elementary school forward.
According to Hitt, “America is now poised to pioneer at another frontier that will lead, one more time, to the newest version of the American dream.” I agree. Entrepreneurship is a prerequisite of prosperity. We need, more than ever, individuals who are willing to think and create something new. Government cannot foster this and providing money in the name of innovation only creates fraud and wastes additional resources that we cannot spare.
I offer a challenge. Start taking some leisure time and think what new product or service we can use and let me know via e-mail. I will share some of the ideas in future columns and hopefully inspire more people to start the process of innovating. Always remember Edison create thousands of ways not to make a light bulb before he create the one way to make it. Only with failure and destruction can you eventually succeed and create something.
Gary L. Rathbun is the president and CEO of Private Wealth Consultants, LTD. He can be heard every day on 1370 WSPD at 4:06 on After the Bell, everyday on the Afternoon Drive, and every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening at 6 p.m. and Monday through Friday at 10 p.m. throughout Northern Ohio on Eye on Your Money. He can be reached at (419) 842-0334 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.