An Open Letter To All Entrepreneurs & 1%

Dov Baron, writes an open leader

One thing I have said many times, is that leadership is often about standing up, saying and doing what most often other are afraid to do… Therefore, I feel a responsibility to be a “leader”.  As such, it's time for a little rant (feel free to jump in at the end)

Just to be clear I enjoy making money and the lifestyle it brings. I am not in favour of any system that creates dependancy. Well before I graduated high school.  I like you, am someone who proudly considers them self to be an entrepreneur and business person.

Clearly I believe in doing what it takes to be the architect of my own life. That we are all the creator of our own reality (financial or otherwise). That being said: As a business person, it seems to me that in a time of an ever widening gap between the “haves” and the “have not's”, it is both narrow minded and short sighted to ignore the poor.  This may be true even for the most selfish reasons. Because as that gap widens many who think “it'll never happen to me/us” will find themselves on the wrong side of that gap.

Let me start off by saying that I believe whole heatedly in personal responsibility. However, telling someone to pull themselves up by their bootstraps when they don't have any boots, let alone straps, is both ignorant and cruel.

For example; telling someone who is trying to feed their family while living below the poverty line to; eat healthier, is at best narrow minded. When families struggle to barely afford the governmental subsidized, nutritionally negative, highly processed, GMO, fast food their welfare check can buy, eating healthier is not an option… (ah, but that's a whole other rant). Thinking it is an option is not just discompassionate and ignorant, it's cruel!

Now let me be crystal clear I personally know (and often work with) folks who fall into the 1% financial category. Many of them, actually most of them are; outstanding human beings who deeply care about humanity.

This open letter is not to them, it's speaking about/to those who have no real understanding of what it's like to be financially scrapping the barrel. Those who have no idea what it feels like to take the handout/charity being given. They have no idea that for many every handout feels like they lose a little more of their self worth, and if it goes on… their very soul.

How do I know? 

As a child I grew up poor, with a mom who did anything and everything to make sure her kids never went to bed hungry, and we didn't. However, there were many times when there wasn't enough to go around, because my mom's door was always open to others who needed food. As a result we were told to “fill up on bread”. The cheapest food available, that nasty white bread that clogs the colon faster than hairballs in a u-bend. Back when I was a kid if someone would have said: You need to eat healthier, we wouldn't have even known that healthier even existed.

I can clearly remember the shame of showing up on the first day of high school in what were obviously second hand cloths. Having to take my shoes off to play soccer for two reasons: I only had one pair and I wasn't allowed to scratch them and two, because they were second hand they didn't fit properly. They would crush my wide feet and if I played soccer in them my feet would go numb.

So, to those of you who believe the rhetoric you are feed by the right wing media.

Please take a moment. Step off your high horse, take a step back and consider this: Wherever you are in your life right now, you, me or anyone we know didn't get here on our own. Everyone of us had someone(s) along the way who gave us a leg up, and a helping hand when we felt defeated and or financially depleted.

Listen folks, I know it's easy too stay on that high horse shouting about ending welfare and entitlement programs for the poor from the comfort of our warm comfortable homes, with our full bellies. However, we better be sure that we are not a kettle calling the pot black ass.

What I mean by that is; everyone of us who is in business and has an accountant, an accountant who is making sure we get some kind of government subsidy. And believe me no one is more subsidized than giant corporations…(do the research)

In conclusion and in my not so humble opinion, we do need capitalism, but what we need even more is compassionate capitalism!
Anyway that's my rant for now, feel free to add your two cents worth.

I realize that this letter may have pissed some folks off. However, I trust that it at the very least made you think about who assisted you when you needed it. If so then hopefully you found this valuable, if so feel free to send this to your friends.

Please share, like and comment below!

With gratitude,

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One of Inc. Magazine’s Top 100 Leadership Speakers to hire, Dov Baron is a leadership advisor to the United Nations (UN), a bestselling author, the world’s only Corporate Cultural Momentum Strategist, and a top-ranking podcast host. He is also the leading authority on Authentic Leadership, and Leadership Succession or, as he prefers to call it, “Full Monty Leadership.” Try his Authentic Leadership Matrix for free: