I remember my marketing professor back in college explaining the fundamentals of Free Enterprise as if it were created at a prestigious university back in the eighteenth century by a group of learned professors. It was not. It is instead a law of nature that came into existence several thousand years ago in consort with the arrival of Homo sapiens on this planet. Furthermore, I suspect it has existed before that on other planets that were capable of sustaining intelligent life.
Isn’t that a weird thought? Consider the following:
As a guy who works with Free Enterprise on a daily basis, I spend significant time analyzing how it works with the idea in mind that I might get a leg up on all the other marketing minds in this great country of ours. We are, by the way, the marketing capital of the world.
With so much attention on Free Enterprise, I naturally began to wonder how and where it came into existence. There are those who would say we, in this country, chose it back in our formative years when we chose capitalism. They say we chose capitalism over a dictatorship, or socialism, or communism, or a monarchy or whatever else was available at that time. Those who chose capitalism back in those days characterized Free Enterprise as the mechanism that makes capitalism work. They would often say, “it’s the engine that drives it.” Again, they referred to as if it was somehow created to accommodate us humans. I suppose there is a modicum of truth in that point of view, but I think, it is to miss the true origin of Free Enterprise.
So, who is responsible for its` existence? Well, I say no one is responsible, but I know who caused it. I give all the credit to two people. They are and shall remain forever nameless.
I say one day, a very long time ago, there was one person on Earth. That was the first person and on that day there was no Free Enterprise. That person roamed around picking fruit, nuts and other food to placate hunger as it occurred. Life was pretty simple. In short order, because this person was intelligent, this person began to collect the food for future consumption. That was very logical and also very simple.
On another day, I’m not sure how long this took, but on another day, a second person showed on Earth. These two soon met and guess what? The second person looked at the first person and said, “you have what I want”. In that instant Free Enterprise was born. It only took two people. It was never going to happen with only one person and it will always be present until or unless somehow this planet once again becomes inhabited by only one person.
As more and more people appeared, they all continued collecting stuff and noticing the stuff of others. Notice how often you and I notice the stuff of others. That fundamental law of nature is the basis of all the “stuff” that we humans collect and exchange. As individuals, we have absolutely no choice in the matter of Free Enterprise any more than we can choose or not choose gravity. In populated areas of the world, gravity is no more prevalent than Free Enterprise. If you think not, try to stop it or try to find a populated place where it does not exist. There is no place on Earth where people inhabit that it does not function. Think about that. Not in prison. Not in a cult. Not in a commune. Not on the street. Or, anywhere else I can think of.
So what is to be learned here? First off, I think it is a great societal equalizer and is in the main responsible for the downfall of Communism, Socialism and all of the other “isms” that do not accommodate or acknowledge Free Enterprise into their systems. It is akin to trying to design and manufacture airplanes without accommodating or acknowledging the law of gravity. It simply can’t be done.
Secondly, I think it is useful to understand that no matter what down trends or, for that matter, up trends occur in the marketplace, the natural law of Free Enterprise will level the playing field. For instance, how far down can the stock market go? Is there a limit? You bet there is. I say it can’t go to zero or anywhere near zero because buyers will appear. They just will. For those of you who are feeling insecure with the current flakey stock market trends, take heart in what you just read.
Here’s the punch line and I suggest you stay present to it as long as you are selling anything (stuff) to anyone. It will serve you well. The ultimate and forever the strongest Selling Proposition is, “I have what you want.” Make sure you communicate, “I have what you want” and you will be successful…I guarantee it.
Keynote Marketing Speaker
Creative Marketing Consultant
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