Being a businessperson and an entrepreneur does not solely qualify a person for elected office. I have voted against businesspeople in the past and will continue to do so if they are unfit for the office which they seek. Still, there is much that is positive that businesspeople and entrepreneurs bring to the table. A candidate with a business and entrepreneurship background who has displayed these positive attributes deserves full consideration.
I am supporting Pete Snyder for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia because he is a successful and creative entrepreneur, understands the needs of Northern Virginia, and is not afraid to think outside of the box to solve any problem.
As a self-employed businessperson myself who is on the brink of serial entrepreneurship, I have learned that entrepreneurs (distinguished from businesspeople who manage businesses but never started anything), think differently from regular employees. It is a type of much needed thinking and attitude very few would understand from the outside. Once you tap into that hidden reservoir of thinking in the recesses of your mind, your outlook and attitude is transformed. Your creativity reaches new heights and there is not a problem in the world anymore. There are only opportunities that lead to freedom and independence.
As a former college football player, I know that successful college athletes possess a very rare and raw desire, diligence, and determination to accomplish great feats. People from the outside will never understand what it is really like from the inside. That is why I am partial to politicians who sport collegiate and even professional athletics on their resume. I have supported Congressman Jack Kemp (R-Buffalo Bills), Congressman Steve Largent (R-Seattle Seahawks), Congressman Tom Osborne (R-Nebraska Cornhuskers), Senator Bill Bradley (D-New York Knicks), Congressman Heath Shuler (D-Washington Redskins), Mayor Cory Booker (D-Stanford Cardinal), and Congressman Jon Runyan (R-Philadephia Eagles). It does not matter what party they represent. The fact that they are accomplished, intelligent athletes is evidence of all the tangible and intangible qualities I seek in a leader.
Pete Snyder created an internet marketing company when such a market for his services did not exist. His creativity and vision helped launch an industry. Pete Snyder is a former college wrestler. Wrestling is one of the world’s oldest and most difficult sports to master. Pete Snyder is a successful entrepreneur and a former college athlete. I’m sold.
Furthermore, Snyder is from Northern Virginia and he understands what life is like in Northern Virginia. He understands that we need improvements and investments in public transit and roads in order to keep the economic engine of Virginia running. He is not afraid to formulate BIG ideas to solve big problems. After all, entrepreneurs do not succeed by applying the same solutions over and over again. Entrepreneurs succeed by finding new ways and better ways to solve problems. That kind of creativity is absent in today’s government run by people who remain steadfast in their ways at the expense of American creativity and ingenuity.
Finally, Snyder makes the miserable life of a campaign fun and entertaining. This is no small positive character trait. The life of a politician in a swing state is not glamorous contrary to what you may see on television. Politicians in competitive districts are relegated to a life of a traveling door-to-door salesman and a life of a cold-calling telemarketer. I know. I have been in the trenches with these campaigns. Knocking on doors and cold calling people everyday to earn or protect your job is a miserable, sad existence.
Snyder manages to make a miserable existence fun. His team-building skills from his days as a college athlete and from his entrepreneurial experiences translate well to the political arena. His Pete ’13 team is as tight-knit a group as I have seen in politics, complete with #13 jersey t-shirts with cursive baseball fonts on the front. Every campaign event turns into a tailgate with his “Pig Rig” fostering fellowship and camaraderie. Word on the street is that the Pig Rig might see new menu additions!
Snyder’s advertisements display the effective creativity we expect from an entrepreneur who not only started his business, but created a market for his services where no market has existed previously. The stories and the humor used are greatly effective. What is more significant is that Snyder is not afraid to be criticized by the stodgy old guard for his outside-the-box advertisements.
It takes one to know one, but every entrepreneur has had to wrestle with self-doubt punctuated by the doubt foisted upon them by the people who question the entrepreneur’s audacity to succeed on his or her own terms. While most people spend their lives working for the Man either in the private sector or public sector, entrepreneurs are the ones who purge conventional thinking and shut out the voices of the detractors to forge their own path. If they succeed, they gain freedom and independence. If they fail, they try again. What separates an entrepreneur from the timid masses who never dared to play the game is the fact that they do not fear failure. Failing is an opportunity to learn an important life lesson and formulate new business strategies. For Snyder, failing is losing all of his money in his business venture and creatively turning $100 into millions of dollars.
Too many politicians play it safe because they are afraid of criticism from the media, their opponents, and even their own supporters. Snyder throws caution to the wind and picks prime opportunities to do things differently to see if they work better than other strategies used in the past. If those new ideas succeed, that is great. If those new ideas flop, he will try again.
The only failure in athletics, business, and life is the person who gives up and resigns himself to a life of security and known expectations. Pete Snyder never gave up in athletics, business, or life. Pete Snyder will never give up on Virginia.