Many of the skills it takes to run a business lend themselves to running a successful political campaign. One of the major similarities between running a business and a campaign is that you have to establish a brand in both business and the political arena. You also have to have the ability to recognize problems and come up with solutions.
Because running the government and running a business are so similar, there are plenty of business owners who’ve made a successful transition from an entrepreneurship to politics. In fact, our last president built a huge brand before becoming a politician. Continue reading to learn about three business owners who took their talents to the political arena and made an impact.
1. Donald Trump
Okay, you had to know who number one was going to be‚Äîhe’s the business tycoon and politician who’s freshest in our collective memory. Long before Donald Trump was the President of the United States, he was putting his name at the top of skyscrapers. He had his hands in so many different business ventures and investments that he, no doubt, had to entrust his check writing to check printing companies. What else are you going to do when you have more businesses and bank accounts than most people do pairs of shoes, and you’re writing business checks every time you blink?
Even though Donald Trump was a real estate developer and reality television star for most of his career, he was able to make a successful transition into politics. The year 2015 wasn’t the first time Trump had flirted with the idea of running for political office, but it was the first time he had launched a legitimate political campaign.
The first thing that made Trump’s political campaign so successful was the way he used social media to his advantage. He proved that Twitter is a great way for politicians to reach out to voters and constituents and control the narrative.
2. Carly Fiorina
Carly Fiorina is another person who made a huge name for herself in the business world before she began her career as a politician. You might know Ms. Fiorina as the first woman to run a Fortune 20 company as the CEO of Hewlett Packard, or you might know her as the tall woman in the high fashion pantsuit on the Republican debate stage during the 2016 primaries.
With her tech and business savvy, Carly Fiorina would be just as comfortable building political campaign websites or overseeing a corporate merger as she is on the campaign trail. Though both her 2010 run for the United States Senate and her 2016 run for U.S. President were unsuccessful, the mark Fiorina left on both races is indelible.
Carly Fiorina showed that she’s an excellent role model for young women and little girls with aspirations of running a company or the United States. With the grace she showed on the campaign trail, you’d think she spent her career staging high fashion photoshoots instead of corporate mergers. At the same time, she spoke with a sense of confidence and authority that displayed her leadership ability and business acumen.
3. Mike Bloomberg
If you were to Google rich politicians, a photograph of Mike Bloomberg would likely pop up at the top of the search engine results. Like Trump, Bloomberg was a successful New York businessman and billionaire before he launched his political career.
Mike Bloomberg made his fortune by betting his $10 million worth of equity in an investment bank on his own future and launching his own business. Eventually, after amassing a fortune, Bloomberg went on to become the mayor of New York City, and he served in that office for three terms. He also ran for president in 2020, but he lost to the current president.
One thing that Trump, Fiorina, and Bloomberg all have in common is that they put everything they had into their political campaigns. It’s not like at the end of a random business day, each of them decided to become politicians. They saw a need in the political system and crafted political campaigns around their issue. After all, running a political campaign really isn’t that different from running a business.