As my 11Yr old Elliot and I watched on in silence with tears rolling slowly down our cheeks at the local village Armistice Day Parade last week, my mind wandered to the sacrifices of others. Some risk and lose life and limb to protect us by fighting our wars in foreign lands, some heal the sick as nurses and doctors, while others dedicate themselves to future generations as teachers.
When your son asks you what you do that is of any worth as a business entrepreneur, of course you want him to be proud of you. As I was seeking to justify myself, I heard words come out that resonated with the pair of us and generated a nice big hug. A life-memorable moment.
“Well son…… I could say that every day surgeons save lives under the lights daddy designs, and I’m proud of that. Or I could say that lifeboat crews put to sea in the knowledge that they can trust their lives to our lights in the worst of storms, because I’m proud of that too. Or I might add that the same is true of Astonauts a long way from their loved ones in Space and the crews of Nuclear Submarines in the darkest depths of our Oceans, because I’m proud of that as well. Every business contributes something that others value, or they would not have a business.
But the thing I am most proud of is that everything we all hold dear from hospital baby incubators to the tarmac on our roads has to be paid for by someone, and it is our entrepreneurs who foot the bills. SO, I’m proudest of 35 families who are free to experience great lives because of what they earn from what we do, of the £50m in taxes that we have paid in our time, and of our contribution to, and impact on our local community, which would not be the same without us. A healthy business community is the engine of our prosperity, the foundation of our Public Services, and the heart of our dreams.
And now, in the face of an economic tsunami, more than at any time in our lives, everyone else is depending us, although most don’t even realise that we pay for everything. We few. We lucky few. We band of entrepreneurial brothers and sisters. Blessed are the Wealth Creators…for we shall inherit the bill……..