It doesn’t matter if you can’t yet say ‘President Trump.’ A lot of people are depending on you to keep the business open, whatever the next four years brings.
Your candidate lost, and you’re really, really upset.
You thought she was going to win. You believed in the polls, the pundits, the experts. You were preparing for her to become President. You were (and still are) a big supporter. You gave to her campaign. You put signs on your company’s front lawn. You told your employees you were voting for her and even gave them extra time off to go out and vote too. You accepted her flaws. But you were certain she was going to win.
But she lost. This is reality. So here’s some advice.
You can complain. You can whine. You can punch the walls. You can scream into your pillow. And all of those reactions are understandable and even recommended…at least as therapy for a short while. But then, if you’re like all the other successful business people I know, you’re going to stop doing all of that. You’re going to go back to running your business. And you’re going to do it knowing that, at least for the next four years, Donald Trump will be your President and for the next two years his party will retain control of both the House and the Senate. And you will pay attention. And think about it. And make your plans.
Your job as a business owner is to profit. Your business must grow. You are the leader. You have many that rely on you: your employees, customers, suppliers, partners and of course your family. These people are looking to you for their livelihoods. They understand that you’re upset, that you didn’t vote for this president, that this is not the way you wanted things to be. But they will have little patience for your emotions. They want leadership. They want to know what’s in store for the future. They want to profit too.
And here’s what’s in store the next few years: significant disruption. Battles in Washington, even within the controlling party. Posturing. Demands. Debates. Deals. Hopefully compromises too. Donald Trump wants to significantly reduce taxes (a good thing) but his plan could add trillions to our national debt (a bad thing). He wants substantial increases in our military and infrastructure (a good thing) but the spending may also significantly increase our national debt (a bad thing). He wants to secure our country through tighter immigration laws (a good thing) but these proposals may cause problems with our neighbors and allies (a bad thing). He wants a more level-playing field with our largest trading partners (a good thing) but his proposals may cause a trade war (a bad thing). He wants to address rising healthcare costs and diminishing services (a good thing) but his desire to completely repeal the Affordable Care Act could cause significant disruption to 20% of our nation’s economy (a bad thing).
There’s a lot of good, a lot of potentially bad and a lot of uncertainty.
How will these policies affect your company? What areas of growth will Trump create? What problems will you need to be prepared to deal with? How will his administration affect your customers, your markets, your trade? You run a business. You are a leader and people will be looking to you for answers and direction. Donald Trump is now President. You didn’t support him. But none of that matters. You cast your vote, and the rest of the people in this great country cast theirs. You must now put aside your emotions and lead by the facts. How will you profit?
We’ve been through this before. Our elections are always close. Lincoln and Kennedy were hated by almost half the country. Reagan won the 1980 “landslide” with 50.5% of the votes tallied. John McCain received 46% of the vote in 2008. The election results in the end don’t matter. For a successful business owner, it’s your plans to profit from these results that do. Put your emotions aside and lead.