Over the past few decades, life as we know it has changed considerably. The tech industry exploded, the internet became a necessity and social media is now a part of our day to day lives. What many didn’t see coming was how the growth of these industries would affect, not only us personally, but the greater world that we live in. Suddenly, the voiceless have a voice and the powerless gained power. One major scene in which this was abundantly clear was in the 2016 Presidential election. The result of our ever-changing world shifted the political landscape in this country, altering it forever. Now, anyone with a message can stand up and be heard. There is an appetite for change and a desire to move our nation forward in a way we have never witnessed. With change comes uncertainty, but one thing is certain: now is the time for entrepreneurs to dive into the political arena.
Since the beginning of modern day politics in the United States, we have become accustomed to a two-party system. A system that, in order to be heard, you had to work the ranks, climbing the latter to be elected into a position that gives you a voice. That is all we have ever known. But with the advent of social media and advances in technology, these rules changed, opening a door for entrepreneurs to step in and thrive.
Only during the all-too-long election cycle last fall we witnessed this door being kicked open even further. It became abundantly clear that people are tired of the traditional politician. They are exhausted of their elected officials spouting ideas simply with the hopes of obtaining votes and pleasing donors. People want real change and action and entrepreneurs are the best equipped to bring that to the table. They are well versed in adapting to the changing times, they have knowledge in finance and trade and most importantly, entrepreneurs have their finger on the pulse of what people want and are experienced in delivering them those goods.
With their expanded audience, thanks to social media, entrepreneurs also have a unique opportunity to creatively raise awareness and deliver their message to these masses by having the ability to construct a unique platform for what they are attempting to accomplish. Whether they are promoting themselves for office, raising awareness for refugees in Syria, or trying to gain a tax break for small businesses, entrepreneurs can now apply their skill set in building blogs, creating non-profits or even launching startups with their political message at the helm. Entrepreneurs are experts at starting at the grassroots level and growing an organization into the mainstream. It is part of their DNA. And as we witnessed in Obama’s first election cycle, when people crave change, they jump behind grassroots efforts. It is not easy to create that buzz, but entrepreneurs have the mind and drive to do it.
Some may argue that there is a certain skill set that is required to survive the political world. That being an entrepreneur is not simply enough. And to some degree, they may have a point. There are avenues of the political world most may not know, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be learned. And to be involved by no means, means that you have to run for a local position. Entrepreneurs today aren’t the businessmen of old. Owning a business is no longer about pumping out a product and selling as many as possible. In today’s world, your customers are not only interested in what you are producing, but where you stand socially. They want you to ‘do good’ in addition to making a top-notch product. So when it comes to being involved in politics, entrepreneurs can be a voice in the ear of those creating legislation and making changes to how we live. We are seeing it currently with CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. They man their own ships, but are attempting to dive into the political pool in order to share their message and expand their audience, even if it is through another politician.
We have never witnessed a time like what we are currently living in. The idea of ‘business as usual’ is gone. It’s been flipped on its head. For some, it’s concerning, and they may have justification in their nerves. But we can also take advantage of this opportunity that lay before us. Never in our nation’s history have the people craved a new voice like they do today. They want to hear new takes on how we should operate around the globe, as well as here at home. They want to charge forward, taking the United States to the cutting edge of politics. And it’s entrepreneurs that can lead them there. Climbing up on our soapboxes to deliver our messages, our audiences have never been bigger, nor have they ever craved to listen to what we have to say so much. The time to make a difference is now. Get out there. The people are waiting.