06 Oct Manifesto for a Post-Brexit UK Business
I was originally going to publish this just after the Brexit vote, but there was such a deluge of opinion that I wanted to wait.
Not only did I want to wait until the dust had settled on the decision itself, but I wanted to see how things would unfold before I put this out there. In short, I wanted to consider the decision to publish this as much as I considered the Brexit vote itself.
You see, I woke up the morning of Brexit, and I’ll be honest, I was really surprised. I didn’t think that the vote was going to go the way it did. I don’t think it’s the best decision for us entrepreneurs and small business owners. I am still saddened, and frustrated.
I’m conscious that 52% of the population voted to leave, so I know that there will be some of you reading this who wanted to leave as well.
I think I made my feelings pretty clear. I was an “in” voter, but I also made it clear that I wasn’t 100% in.
I could see the arguments for leaving; that we don’t have enough say or control over Europe, and we spend a lot of money. For those of you who voted to leave I do understand at least part of your reasoning and I respect your decision.
But my reasons for wanting to stay in are really simple. I’m about inclusion. I’m about freedom. I’m about choice. I’m about collaboration. I think that we are a better world together.
It’s not just that we are better in Europe, we’re better together as a united nation and world, and in supporting each other.
Whilst it saddens me that this is our decision, I respect the political process and I respect the political vote (even if it seems to be taking ages to actually happen).
What we have to do now is move forward.
There is a difference between those who voted out because they had sane and sound political and economic reasons for doing so, and those who voted because of Nigel Farage’s rhetoric. And I do think we have to be respectful of the people who voted out – even if it wasn’t your choice or my choice.
So what’s next? What does this mean for us?
One thing’s for sure, the world economy doesn’t like uncertainty and we are in a period right now that is immensely uncertain, even as the politicians hold up the process.
But it is early on in the Brexit process. So I do want us to put this into perspective and I want us to remember that as entrepreneurs we are the very people who bring our economy out of difficult times.
As entrepreneurs, we are the people who are best placed to always be able to make the most of the market no matter what happens.
After this decision we live in both interesting and uncertain times. So we have to keep on doing what we’ve always been doing…
We have to hustle harder, we have to communicate, we have to be open, we have to be honest, we have to share our feelings.
The things that immediately went through my mind were: ‘Are we going to go into recession? Should I lock down my interest rates now? Maybe I’ll save a bit of money. We might get impacted in parts of our business because maybe people won’t invest themselves anymore. If the value of our properties fall, we stop spending money – particularly in this country. If we stop spending money, we will go into a recession’.
But then I thought – the most important thing we can do is to stay calm.
The reality is we have to trust in other people and we have to lead by example. We need to show greater leadership and greater compassion because it is clearly lacking in the government.
We need to look beyond just the UK
The UK’s decision to leave the EU made me think I really want to scale up this business. I’m not going to retreat. I’m going to move forward and in moving forward I’m going to grow.
I’m going to employ more people, stretch my territories, become more global, and reach more people. I’m not going to keep my focus on the UK – as much as I love this country – we are part of a global economy and we have to look beyond our borders for where we do business. I think this is absolutely crucial.
Now is our opportunity to look beyond our borders. To recognise that this is a decision that’s been made and that we’re going to make the most of it through collaboration.
And let’s be grateful for what we have. Let’s be grateful for the opportunity that this has given us to wake up and recognise the world that we live in. Let’s be grateful for the fact that we live in a time and country that allows us to trade internationally.
Let’s work together.
The saying was “we are stronger in.” I think now we have to recognise that we are stronger together.
All of us working together for a brighter future. A future that’s based on collaboration, looking outside of our comfort zones, one that’s based on love and humanity, and understanding that our intellectual property will set us free.
So, whether you voted in or you voted out, I urge you now to stay calm and to dig deep into those entrepreneurial spirits of yours and to push forward, to not allow this country to enter recession or to be hit by the decisions of politicians.
If we all work together, we can all be stronger.