The other day I was talking to one of the girls at the office and she said, “Boy, running for office, that’s a big deal. What makes you think that that’s something that you’re qualified for? How do you practice to be able to do that?”
I said, “Well, I’ve never been a politician before, so that’s brand new to me. But I have run a small business for the last 20 years and I think that’s a great training ground for what I’ll do at Idaho State House.”
As a small business owner, I had to work with budgets all the time. I had to make sure I earned more money than I spent. I always had enough for payroll and that was key. Being financially responsible is a huge role for our representatives down at State House.
Another thing that I did as a small business owner all of the time was listen. I had to listen to my employees, I had to listen to my accountant, I had to listen to my managers, I had to listen to my customers, and then I had to understand what they were saying and make decisions based on that information. It was sometimes conflicting but I had to do the best I could with my business based on the information that I had listened to.
I think I’ll do a lot of listening at the State House as well as I learn and get good at making decisions.
Then the third thing that I think a business owner is prepared to be a state representative is just that I solved a lot of problems. If you work in small businesses, it seems like there’s a problem every time you turn around. You have to be able to brainstorm, get all the information, see if you can think through solutions, think outside of the box. I did a lot of problem-solving. Everyone knows that our politicians could use a little bit of problem-solving help.
With that, I’m hoping that my small business experience, practice budgeting, practice listening, practice problem-solving will make me a great legislator here in January. Thanks.