As I sit here trying to figure out all the ways I need to stay connected during our upcoming vacation, I am asking myself a lot of questions.  How many Apple “world adapter kits” do I need for six Apple products?  Will the WiFi work as well as it did last time we were in Greece or do I need to research Internet cafes?  What time of the day is best for me to plan to check in every day – late night so that my U.S. clients are still in the office or early morning after they’ve had a chance to review whatever I sent that day?  Is my back up fully informed on what is going on in case I’m temporarily out of touch?  Can I really take the weekends off while away or should I check in then too?

And those are just the first five of 105 questions racing around my brain.  I bring this up in light of the president’s now instant classic “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that” speech. I’m no political junkie. In fact I hate politics because of the drama, the divisiveness and vitriol that comes with it.  But I do take issue with this concept. Grammatical error of “you’ve got” aside, this statement is simply offensive to anyone who, like me, took a chance to start his or her own business.  In my opinion, if you aren’t offended by this, you probably aren’t working that hard at building your business.

So with that in mind, I bring you a counterpoint to the president’s statement.

If you have a business, you…..

  • Probably took a huge risk, like quitting what everyone called a “great” corporate job (like me).
  • Most likely put some money on the line.  Savings, a business loan, something….
  • Endured the raised eyebrows and crooked smiles of friends and neighbors when you told them you were launching your own business.
  • Bite your lip every quarter when you write that tax estimate check to the government and wonder how in the world it is possible that you are paying significantly more tax than you did when you were a corporate drone.
  • Never completely disconnect. Ever.  (see above)
  • Bring business to others.  Often.  Whether it’s a subcontractor helping you with a writing project or a web designer creating a new look for one of your clients, you bring business to others who have different skill sets – but further fueling the economy.
  • Treat every new business presentation like your life depends on it because your entrepreneurial life probably does.
  • Told your significant other or kids that you couldn’t do something like join them for a Sunday brunch because you needed a day to catch up.
  • Gotten a big surprise (positive or negative) that has made you completely adjust your schedule and priorities for a day, a week, a month or longer.
  • Love every minute of it.

Personally I wouldn’t change my decision to launch my own business for anything. Even the perceived negatives on the above list are generally a joy compared to the corporate life – well maybe everything but ditching the family and paying the higher taxes.  But I continue to be driven by the fear that I will someday have to go back to an office setting and so far that’s working for me.

If you have a business, you took the risk, you launched it, you built it, you nurture it and its success or failure is solely up to you. Period.