When I started in this industry, I was a 25-year old business owner with almost no money. I was seated in my ridiculously small office, a 10-foot by 12-foot portable building, located in Dad’s backyard. I was talking to a recent college graduate about coming to work for me in my little landscaping company. I had a nervous feeling in my stomach as we talked about the company, the job and money. I did pretty well that day, because I convinced the young landscape architect to join my company.
He bought the idea and accepted my job offer of low pay and incredible future potential.
I think back to that moment in time, and my decision to hire the landscape architect as a turning point in my entrepreneurial journey. Even though my company was small, even though our office had no restroom, even though I provided zero employee benefits and even though I did not offer any special training or signing bonus or company perks, I hired that man. I had no idea what the future might bring, with that decision to hire someone with a college degree and special industry training. But I hired the landscape architect anyway. He was employee #1.
Little did I know just how special I was becoming, by having the courage to hire an employee and create a job for another human being. I have since learned that people who create jobs and hire employees are a rare breed. Let me explain.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 324 million people in this country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 157 million people are employed. This means that 48.5% of our population is our current U.S. workforce. Conversely, 51.5% of the population is not employed.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) data shows that the U.S. has 28 million businesses. Think about this: just 28 million businesses have to provide all the jobs in the land of the free and home of the brave. If one business equals one business owner, simple math reveals that if you own one of the 28 million businesses from a population of 324 million, you are in a pretty elite group. Just 8.6% of the population owns a business! Are you feeling special yet?
Look at it this way. When you made a decision to start a business, you joined an elite fraternity of 8.6% of the population who are often recognized as self-reliant dreamers and risk takers. Many of us are known as ‘self employed’. We’re proud; we’re independent. We are courageous! And we take care of our families while we scratch and claw our way toward financial independence.
But within this special group of 28 million business owners, there’s another category of extraordinary business owners who become leaders. We join this more exclusive fraternity of business owners when we make the decision to hire employees. Allow me to explain the details.
When you dive into the SBA data on the 28 million businesses, you’ll discover less than six million of them have employees. That’s right. Just six million businesses across the entire country provide 100% of the jobs in the good old’ USA. If one business equals one business owner/employer, and you happen to be an employer—one of just six million in a total population of 324 million people—just do the math. Six million business owners divided by 324 million in total population equals 1.9%.
Think of it like this. If you go walking down the street of Anytown USA and introduce yourself to every single person you encounter, there’s a 1.9% chance you’ll meet an employer. There’s a 98.1% chance that you won’t meet an employer. Are you feeling special now? You should feel very special!
That’s why I like to give credit where credit is due. It’s my opinion that employers are the single greatest asset on the balance sheet of America. We create 100% of the jobs. Along the way, we create opportunities for economic gain for those we convince to join our teams. We contribute huge amounts of tax revenue to our government. We collect taxes from the employees we hire and deposit those funds into the appropriate accounts of the federal, state and local governments.
So the next time you consider hiring a person or creating a new job in your company, and you get that nervous feeling in your stomach, think of that feeling as personal pride that you are an asset on the balance sheet of America. You’re special. You’re in the 1.9% Club. You’re an employer. You’re a rare breed of humanity that must be willing to learn and do things that 98.1% of the population will never do. And I want you to know, even if you never hear it from an employee or the government agency you support via your tax dollars—I’ll say it right now. I’ll say it from the heart: Thanks for what you do! Thanks for being special! God bless you and God bless the USA.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Tony Bass is the author of seven books including 50 Ways To Find, Recruit, Hire and Retain Super Star Employees.
He provides wealth creating consulting and business coaching services to owners of landscape companies. Schedule a 20-minute strategy session at www.superlawntoolkit.com.