Will this wrestling professional fight for small business?


One of the most intriguing picks President-elect Donald Trump made for his team is Linda McMahon to head up the Small Business Administration.

The press hasn’t spent very much space reporting on this nomination (as it doesn’t spend very much time on small business issues at all) so you may have heard nothing more than Trump picked the “former chief executive officer of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)” to run the SBA.

First I want to note that I find it fascinating that she comes from an industry known for being flamboyant and expert at promoting…as can be Trump himself. Who knows how these early picks will work out over the long and arduous journey of taming and training this beast we call Washington D.C., but there are a few things I’d like to note about this WWE veteran.

linda-mcmahonMcMahon is consumer savvy. There have been plenty of picks from business among Trump’s appointees, but none really understand the heartland consumer like McMahon. She, her husband Vince, and their WWE team have created millions of rabid WWE fans. And, I have to say that some of the enthusiastic Trump rallies weren’t very unlike WWE events.

McMahon has won in a male-dominated arena. Is there a sport or entertainment more macho than WWE? Certainly, there aren’t many, but McMahon has been able to get in there, rub elbows, be heard, and make crucial decisions despite swimming against a heavy flow of testosterone.

McMahon has been a “have-not.” It’s easy to look are her success today and just assume she was born with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth. That’s not the case. She has worked as a receptionist, been on food stamps, declared bankruptcy, and started WWE with less than 15 employees.

McMahon didn’t stay a “have-not.” This is the message I hope she sends and I hope she couples it with legislation that better enables Americans to start their own businesses and move from poverty to prosperity. Frankly, in many ways our leaders in Washington do not make tremendous societal and economic shifts. When you boil everything down, the decision to start a business rests on our shoulders. However, one of the most powerful tools our leaders have is the ability to inspire, and I think McMahon can tell an inspirational story.

Let’s give the new head of the SBA our support and encouragement. I’ve been pleased to hear many comments from Trump and his team about the importance of making life easier for small business owners and would-be owners. If they follow through, we should be in for a good four years.

Image: Linda McMahon at #FITN in Nashua, NH, by Michael Vadon, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.