As we return to work today after celebrating the most uniquely American of holidays it may be easy to take many of the benefits American business owners and professionals enjoy for granted.
As we return to work today after celebrating the most uniquely American of holidays it may be easy to take many of the benefits American business owners and professionals enjoy for granted. This is especially true in light of current economic conditions and the relentless barrage of bad news and negativity on all economic fronts we are presented with on a daily basis.
Many of you reading this have lived and worked in other countries or perhaps your family is still new enough to the United States that you still remember what it was like in the “old country.” This is a partial list of the advantages we enjoy and a simple reminder of how much power each of us has in capitalizing on these benefits as part of our individual success.
1. Freedom - A broad term, to be sure, but the freedom to pursue one’s dreams and passions, pick a profession and choose the level of effort we are willing to direct towards that goal is still more attainable here than in most other countries. There are many places in the world where need, quotas, family connections, or a single aptitude test determine if you are going to be surgeon, soldier, or coal miner.
2. The Rule of Law - The U.S. is unique in terms of the level of legal sophistication that we have achieved and the number of laws we have on the books. While much of our previous discussion through this column has focused on exposures and abuses in our legal system that affect your wealth, that same system can be used to your benefit and you have the right to “opt-out” of the lawsuit system proactively as we have discussed. The things that make our society and economic system run, like the concepts of liability, property, contracts, and accountability still do not exist in any meaningful way in more than half the world.
3. A Culture that Supports Excellence -Americans love a winner and we love excellence. This means that any business, including a medical one, can exercise its power and freedom to excel and build a loyal following. If you decide that you and your business are going to be better, faster, kinder, and more efficient than the shop next door, they will come.
4. The Power of Marketing and Technology – The number of experts and free and low-cost resources available to the American business owner is staggering. The ability to communicate your value, services, and knowledge is key to supporting the culture of excellence; it’s no good being great at what you do in your office by yourself, people need to know about it. There is no business culture in the world that has our resources in the area of marketing and communication, one thing we certainly still lead the world in. Skeptical? Take a look at whatever you think the biggest social media companies in the world are and I’ll guess all of them are American companies, started here, and adopted by the kind of people that make your practice run.
5. A Stable Economic and Political System - Yes, really. I know the hour may seem dark now, especially to those of you who are seeing the country in its greatest period of crisis in your lifetime. However, if you have travelled extensively or follow world events closely you will quickly recognize that the stability we enjoy is unique, even among so-called Western Democracies. This is a place where you can make long-term plans, build a future for your family, and be relatively free of fears of drug gangs, the complete collapse of your currency, and the validity of your property rights. Even our closest neighboring countries don’t all have these benefits. Yes, we have serious problems; we also have one of the largest machines in the world at work on those problems twenty-four hours a day.
This list is far from complete, I’m not sure it ever could be, but I’ll keep working on for myself and the benefit of those I work with. Please share your thoughts on these issues and remember what is perhaps the most important and uniquely American trait we all share, the power of our determination to succeed based on our desire and efforts as one united nation.
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