In 2015, Inc Magazine ran a story with the headline, "American entrepreneurship is actually vanishing". Last year’s C-19 outbreak certainly did not help matters at all. Steve Hamilton, an economist at George Washington University, estimates that 42,000 US small businesses had closed permanently as of July 2020.
As dark as it may seem, Scott Omelianuk, Editor-in-Chief of Inc. Magazine, is actually optimistic. He thinks that now is a great time to be an entrepreneur. He believes that the “someone’s gotta do it” attitude that legendary entrepreneurs share is what our world needs.
In this episode of Follow Your Different, Christopher Lochhead and Scott Omelianuk dig into the state of entrepreneurship in America and how Inc. Magazine is digging deep to empower American entrepreneurs.
Inc. Magazine, Then and Now
Christopher talks about Inc. Magazine doing a great job in moving to the digital world from its previous analog setup. Which is a huge thing to accomplish and still stay ahead, despite the entrepreneurs that had the head-start in the digital space.
Scott explains that their reputation and credibility have played a huge part in this success. By staying true to their purpose, their following continued to support them, regardless of their medium.
“I would say there are a couple of things that played there. One is that Inc had established a credibility with its audience a long time ago. It did that by having as its purpose, this idea that it would support the American entrepreneur and small business owner. At first, that meant print magazines that told stories of success, stories of redemption, recognized people who are doing well. It's my mission to keep that brand purpose intact, support the American entrepreneur, but not be constrained by the pages of a print magazine, or even a single website. The idea of supporting the American entrepreneur can come in lots of ways.” - Scott Omelianuk
Your Company VS Your Business
Scott continues on to talk about how sometimes, a company might explore other things that stray from their original business. He says that this is okay, and that companies should actually start doing so at some point. The main thing is to not stray from the company’s grand purpose.
He explains that while there are companies who survive with only one business model, it is not always the case. It is better to reach beyond the current status quo, than left behind later on.
“Your company is who you are and what your brand purposes. So that's Inc and that's supporting the American entrepreneur, your business is one time at one point in history, a print magazine, another point in history, a website and maybe adding podcasts to that. We have to be cognizant of the fact that as a company, our lines of business will change over time. If they don't, you are Blockbuster, or Kodak, or a lot of other companies that didn't properly evolve.” - Scott Omelianuk
The State of Entrepreneurship
Christopher then asks about the current state of Entrepreneurship, given the events of last year and today. Scott describes the grim situation that companies are at. From early 2015 to one year after COVID 19 has dealt a heavy hand at various businesses.
Though Scott remains optimistic that entrepreneurs will get through these trials. He says it’s all about finding the right business to pivot in. Furthermore, what's important is that it still plays into the grand purpose of your company.
“Ultimately, it comes down to these characteristics that most entrepreneurs have and taking advantage of those characteristics rather than just sort of pursuing that idea. Getting back to the idea we talked about, there's the business and seeing what businesses could be for you. Entrepreneurs are clever. They're resilient. They can be told no and hit their head against the wall a bunch of times and come bac