Everyone is perennially concerned about jobs or, should I say, the lack thereof.
In the United States and around the world, unemployment is a problem whose intensity ebbs and flows, but refuses to go away. The number of jobs is a problem (not enough of them); the quality of jobs is a problem (too many low-level, low-paying ones); and there is a discouraging lack of opportunities for people who are capable and want to work, but have been pushed out of the job market (veterans, people over 55, people who lack a college degree, people with disabilities, to name just a few).
I've had some stimulating conversations over the years with all sorts of people who rant about jobs and the economy.
Many point to the government in their quest to find a fall guy for the unemployment problem. Although I agree that many government policies have stifled economic growth by sucking the "growth enzyme" out of small business (yes, I am certain there is such a biological fact as that!), the government is not the main culprit.
Others point to poor education, the cycle of poverty, global competition, or the rapid rise of technology. All contributors, to be sure, but still not the keys to the real solution.
The more I find myself immersed in this question about jobs, the more apparent it becomes that it's not, in fact, about jobs; rather it's about entrepreneurship.
The lack of meaningful jobs springs from an appalling lack of entrepreneurs--true entrepreneurs--the entrepreneurs who are enterprise growers and, therefore, job creators.
The true entrepreneur starts with an inspiration, an innovative or transformative idea for a business, and is driven by the prospect of growth and reinvention. Contrast this true entrepreneur with the person commonly (and mistakenly) given the moniker, simply by virtue of the fact that he or she has started a business, even though that business delivers a product or service in much the same way it is already being done, undistinguishable from others in the same industry.
Once you understand the difference between the two, you'll understand why we have the economic problem we suffer from--the lack of jobs, the lack of meaningfully productive work, for the vast majority of us. And that brings us face to face with the real opportunity--the opportunity of true entrepreneurship.
The world needs more and more and more true entrepreneurs, what I have come to call New Entrepreneurs, to be inspired to create, to be inspired to innovate, to be inspired to build a completely new world. A world in which inspiration fuels innovation fuels inspiration fuels a continuing spiral of innovation to grow new things, in new ways, for new reasons.
So, are you one of the New Entrepreneurs?
What innovation have you pursued lately?
How do you go about transforming how you do what you do, every single day in your company?
How have you contributed to the transformation of your economy and to the growth of meaningful, rewarding jobs?
Because the cure for unemployment is not more jobs, it's more true entrepreneurs.