Business of the Trump Anomaly: What can we Learn?
T here few among the right minded in the world that think the thought of The Donald Trump becoming President of the free world is not an ideal proposition. But should we be asking why he has such appeal? Is it not an indictment on our society that our leaders have failed to inspire, to lead, to keep us from feeling lost in exasperation over the state of our lives?

His appeal is strange to say the least, but not if you consider what it is that he is doing. His appeal is to a mass part of the US population that feels dissatisfied with their lot in life. They are largely a low income, low education, low aspiration segment of society. If aspiration is perceived as a reality, might they feel like there is a place for them in a meritocratic civilisation?

What is the lesson we can learn here in Europe?

Maintain aspiration and hope for the many to be able to learn, earn and sustain themselves, a comfortable lifestyle, with adequate provision for health and wellbeing. To prevent large masses of society raising up and rioting as it happened in the UK in 2011 because the majority perception was that the haves were making the have nots suffer for their excesses and runaway profiteering.

Whether the above paragraph is a sweeping generalisation and an oversimplification of a complex issue is not the point; the point is this; to keep the majority happy, you have to keep it simple, if its simple enough for a six year old to comprehend then you are more than likely to have the majority on side. Creating opportunities for as many as possible is the way to keep as many as possible as happy as possible.

The engine of our economy is the small business, which may not be sexy, which may not have the big bucks that big business and government tend to cosy up to and make allowances for in what can sometimes seem like preferential tax breaks.

If you take care of the little picture, the bigger picture becomes easier to manage.

What can a small business learn?

Do you want to be controversial? Do you want to upset potential customers or do you want to win customers? Do you want to win repeat business or do you want to just cut and run? Do you want to use the system to win or do you want to use the system when you lose? Is the journey your’e on or about to take for a short, medium or long term win? Are you adaptable enough to manage the rough with the smooth? Are you able to work with difficult circumstances alone or is it best to collaborate with others to achieve a better end? Have you thought about the cons just as much as the pros? If you know your weaknesses, you know where you can get caught out, and begin to haemorrhage money, resources and therefore your bottom line? These are the variables that can change from day to day and more dynamic now than ever before. The game has changed; have you adapted your game enough to work in this environment?

What is a solution for a small business?

Finding friends and allies that buy into your dream, they needn't buy your product, but they might advocate your product or service, build trust and respect with the people you work with on a day to day basis, build relationships that will endure, be honest without giving your soul away; be real about your expectations but also do not shirk on your aspiration. A genuine business will win more custom over a longer term than a fly by night business that is just out to make a quick buck.

Reputations can take years to build but only seconds to destroy! Finding the right partners and suppliers to work with to a long term sustainable end is your key to success.

Is the planning and execution of the USA too short term in order to affect long term positive change for the vast majority of its population? Is it pegged to eight years of two term presidencies? Is the lack of Obama’s success been hindered by the fact that the entirety of his presidency has been mired in a global financial meltdown, from which we still have not fully recovered?

Does it not seem like post Treaty of Versailles without a war and without a treaty? It may not be exactly the same but doesn't it bear a striking resemblance to a situation of blaming everyone but ones own for ones shortcomings?

The Treaty of Versailles pegged a nation to unsustainable level of debt and economic decline, the masses became dissatisfied, a belligerent egomaniac played to an audience of dissatisfied, disaffected population where provision for the poor was not in the plan. He played to their fears and dissatisfaction and blamed external forces as well as the perceived enemy within.

In economic drought ridden times where vast tracts of a nation is mired in, crime poverty, poor access to healthcare and education, with perception of high immigration, low self esteem and a memory of great days of (not so) old, the economy was feeding its population and perceived threats from new players such as China and Russia, a porous southern border with a nation that is an easy target to blame for all or most of its ills, and a religious minority to vilify; is ripe for a speculating, publicity hungry, sociopath to dazzle and command the popular vote.

In the words of the polymath and founding father of the US of A Benjamin Franklin

“If you fail to plan you plan to fail”

We wonder for what will Donald Trump be best remembered?


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