There are two Americas right now. There’s the part of the country that is almost paralyzed by the longest government shutdown in history. And, there’s the part for which it’s just a passing news story.


I suspect you’re mostly in the second part. You have compassion for the people who are being harmed: Government workers going without paychecks, low-income folks wondering if their federal food benefits will come through after February.


And maybe you’re dealing with some after-effects of the shutdown: longer lines at the airport, maybe a government certification or action you need to move forward on a project.


But unless your business is a government contractor, life is likely proceeding for you, mostly as it normally would. That makes this a moment for you to take stock.

Because chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve started a business. Maybe quite a few. Or perhaps you haven’t launched one yourself, but you’ve been a business leader. At the very least you aspire to it. You’re not the kind of person who willingly allows other people, other institutions, to control your destiny.


Right now a lot of people are learning a brutal truth. They thought there was security in government, and they’re seeing that’s true — right up until the very moment that it isn’t.


Have compassion for them. Offer help when you can. And thank God you’ve chosen a different path.

By Bill Murphy Jr.Contributing editor,

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