Surprisingly few U.S. presidents owned small businesses prior to their political careers. It’s not hard to figure out why: most small business owners are too exhausted trying to keep their business afloat to get involved in politics, or they’re still waiting to sell enough “widgets” to fund a multi-million dollar campaign. The majority of our past leaders were trust-fund babies, lawyers or military men (or some combination of the three). However, we can learn some valuable lessons from three past presidents who started small businesses before becoming Commander-in-Chiefs.
Two important lessons come from Abraham Lincoln’s small business experience. First, location matters. Second, booze won’t save you when your location stinks.
When you look for that first retail space, it might be tempting to go with a super-cheap, sort of dingy shop in a neglected strip mall. You figure you can always upgrade location later, once you’re making better money, right? The problem with this strategy is that you might not ever have the opportunity to make decent money if you’re in a bad location.