From the time the very first person ever walked the face of the earth, our lives have been, are, and always will be, economic lives.
That's not to say our lives are solely economic. But the economic part of our lives is universal and necessary.
Because it is only through economics that we are able to acquire the majority of things we need and want: food, shelter, clothing, medical care, transportation, entertainment, you name it. Even emotional needs rely, to some degree, on economics.
Contrary to what most of us have been led to believe, economics is not difficult to understand. The basic formula goes something like this:
- You want an apple.
- You invest the capital required to buy an apple tree.
- You invest the time and effort required to plant the apple tree, care for it, wait for it to grow and bear fruit, and finally harvest the fruit once it's ripe.
- Finally - probably years down the road - you have your apple!
Your desire for an apple, whether for survival or for enjoyment, costs you capital, time, energy, and commitment.
It also costs you the capital, time, energy, and commitment you might have spent producing a different outcome, say, building a table or knitting a sweater.
Because, if you want to eat an apple, you either must grow it yourself, as I just described, or bargain with someone else who had grown some apples, while you went through a similar process to produce something else that the apple-grower wants.
And so it is that each of us gets the things we want and need by exchanging something of value that the provider of those things wants or needs.
This, then, is the economic reality of our lives: In order for each of us to get what we want and need, we must commit to an investment time, energy, and capital.
And to maximize our ability to get what we want and need, we must maximize the time, energy, and capital at our disposal.
It is my contention that entrepreneurship is the most fruitful means of producing that very result - that creating a small, growing business is, in fact, the best way to create the time, energy, and capital to grow one's economic capacity.
Creating a business allows you to continually grow it, thereby growing the time, energy, and capital at your disposal.
The alternative is taking a job, which, of course, is what the vast majority of people do. A job, however, only affords one the time and energy of the individual in that job, and the capital - aka the salary or wage - that the marketplace has defined for that job.
A job is generally static and cannot grow beyond the limits of the individual in that job.
A business, on the other hand, can grow exponentially as it leverages the time, energy, and capabilities of all the individuals within the business, continually creating new value that generates new capital.
That is why I say that there is no more effective way for anyone to expand his or her economic capacity than by creating, launching, nurturing, and growing a small business.
Isn't it time you got started?