The first presidential debate was a spectacle, to be sure. From a silver-lining perspective, at least more American citizens are taking interest in this country’s politics in spite of the incredulity of this election, or perhaps because of it. However, despite the growing political interest in America, most of my entrepreneur friends and I find these political discussions absolutely useless. The sad truth is, many entrepreneurs don’t care (and won’t care) who wins the election, despite how serious it may or may not be for the nation as a whole. The crux of this matter is a simple case of “macro versus micro” — and in the entrepreneur’s case, it’s a micro-world in which we live.
From the entrepreneur’s perspective, “foreign policy” is a concept that takes its name from the fact that it is indeed “foreign” in relation to the entrepreneur’s business. While macroeconomic trends sway nations, create global conflicts, impact the environment and wreak havoc on the equities markets, we entrepreneurs toil away in our little havens trying to make payroll, win new clients, save wayward projects and manage cash flow. In fact, the entrepreneurs who survived the Great Recession did exactly that through several white-knuckle years of fallout within the past decade. That’s why when people ask me, “How will the upcoming election impact your business?” I respond, flatly, “It won’t.”
Here’s why: No matter who wins, we entrepreneurs still have to contend with the daily realities of managing our whirlwind ventures. Sure, if I’m an entrepreneur sourcing goods from China, the election will have an impact. Certainly, if I’m an entrepreneur who gets funded by government subsidies, the election will have an impact. But for the rest of us bakers, consultants, marketers, techies, accountants, brewers, fitness gurus and restaurateurs, our daily entrepreneurial challenges will far outweigh any macroeconomic challenges we face from this election. That’s just the way it is for a group of people that, by and large, lives in the gritty depths of entrepreneurship where the sun of the big picture can tuck behind clouds for weeks at a time.
Even if the world comes to a metaphorical end, there is one element that gives entrepreneurs proverbial armor against a cataclysm: We entrepreneurs are ambitious optimists by nature. No matter who wins, we’re still going to go out into the world and figure out how to overcome whatever obstacles are placed in front of us. After all, that blissful ignorance of potential doom is a large part of what makes us entrepreneurs in the first place.
So for those entrepreneurs whose ventures don’t weigh in the balance of this election, let’s put our heads back down and get to work. The lives of our employees depend on it, and focusing on politics can be distracting. Let’s hope that whoever wins has a soft spot for entrepreneurs; otherwise, I might just run for office myself next time.
An entrepreneur for president… now that would be foreign, indeed.
A version of this article originally appeared on the author’s blog.