entrepreneursI ended my last post with a nod to the entrepreneur: “They DID build it.”

In my admittedly biased opinion, an individual who takes the risk and puts in the effort matters more than the conditions. Luck is important. Luck can even be the dominant variable in an entrepreneur’s ultimate success. BUT, none of it happens without the entrepreneur.

S/he may be the tiniest drop, but the entrepreneur is the catalyst that becomes the driving force. Nonetheless, once s/he becomes successful, success looks like a foregone conclusion, so it can be easy to miss all the spent blood, sweat and tears.

Why does it matter so much to me “why” an entrepreneur is successful? Not just because I count myself as one of them.

It matters to me because our society is currently engaged in an argument to determine who “deserves” the outcome of productivity, as anyone paying attention to the antics on Capitol Hill this week is well aware.

Most folks I know can agree that we all benefit from the creation of an iPhone or a better/cheaper paintjob. The iPhone has enabled more new technology applications than anyone imagined and a new painting contractor has made the experience a nicer/cleaner one and saved me a few dollars, so I can buy the new iPhone X for my wife.

For the more liberal among us, the fact that so many favorable conditions support our productivity means “we didn’t build it.” Therefore we should appreciate our opportunities and be fine with a higher tax rate that can help sustain these favorable conditions down the line.

For the more conservative among us, the fact that we saw a need, took the initiative, innovated aggressively, and produced something of value to others means that “we did build it.” Therefore we should be able to keep more of the income we earned through our productivity.

Can both points of view be right? I have to believe there is a middle path we can walk together. Sure, everyone wants lower taxes, but I am not sure everyone needs them – including successful, hardworking, productive entrepreneurs like me. Don’t be surprised if I have more to say on this tomorrow!