There has been a lot of huffing and puffing in the media
about entrepreneur Tareq Salahi and his pretty wife Michaele crashing President
Obama’s first State Dinner.
We have to question the sincerity, or at least the
consistency, of much of the outrage: after all, when a journalist threw a shoe
at Mr Obama’s predecessor in office, the general mainstream media reaction was
somewhere between amusement and admiration.
Given that there is no evidence that the Salahis intended
any assault with footwear, they are far more deserving of that admiration.
Indeed, they may – if only in this respect – be role models
for the rest of us.
One of the greatest problems we smaller players face is
gaining access to the big players. We know in our hearts that we have
propositions that will benefit them as well as us, if only they would hear us,
but getting to them so that we can pitch our ideas is very difficult.
It is meant to be. Our own propositions are, of course,
beneficial to all concerned, but powerful decision makers do not know that yet.
Meanwhile, they are bombarded by thousands of other suggestions, most of which
are useless. So we can hardly blame them for surrounding themselves with
elaborate systems of “gate-keepers” to shield them from people with unwanted
The gate-keepers should be viewed as no more than an
initiative test, the first step in proving to the decision maker that we are a
cut above the crowd of time-wasters.
We need to learn to use our ingenuity to get past the
gate-keepers. More than that, we need to learn to be unafraid of rejection. In
most cases, the consequences of failure are no more than a little embarrassment
– but, strange to say, the threat of a minor humiliation is enough to put most
people off trying. Those who persevere are those who prove themselves worthy of
The Salahis may face sterner sanctions, given that anything
involving the federal government usually involves overkill. Yet the enterprise
they demonstrated, at least on this occasion, is what built America – and is
still America’s best hope for the future.