The Real Job Creators

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives. Justin Locke

The election is behind us, but a politically charged phrase that took a starring role in the campaign lingers on: “job creators.” Now that cooler heads are returning, it’s time to get past the politics and acknowledge the facts: Capital, by itself, does not create jobs.  Jobs are created by salespeople.

I was confused by the way candidates talked about jobs, as if a “job” is a freestanding entity, totally untethered from our desires for goods and services. 

I have never met anyone whose purpose in life was to create a job.  An employee is an expense.  Nobody wants to create a job, any more than they want to create any other expense.  A job is created when someone who wants a given product or service meets up with someone who can provide a product or service.  It is salespeople who bring those two sides together.  Capital is just a means of expediting the process. 

Venture capitalists have no quantifiable interest in creating jobs.  Their interest is in making profitable investments.  The person with an idea for a new product or service doesn’t create jobs on his or her own, either.  It’s the salesperson who pitches those venture capitalists on that new idea, one that requires employing people to execute it.  Then and only then does the capital flow, resulting in people getting hired.  And eventually salespeople must convince new customers to buy.  If they don’t, there is no job growth.  Capital is, of course, a necessary ingredient for job creation, but it is not the primary spark that makes it happen.

The job of a salesperson is to get people to want things they didn’t know they wanted, or want things they don’t need, or want things that they really do need. But in any case there can be no jobs unless people feel that desire to buy something.  Salespeople, marketers, advertisers... these are the “job creators.”

Back when I was an impresario, I had no money, but I was constantly creating jobs.  I would go up to people with money and pitch noble or useful things that they could do with it.  Once I sold them on a project, the jobs appeared.  Capital, by itself, is inert.  I never hired anyone unless I absolutely had to in order to achieve a goal.  From a capital management perspective, I was always looking for ways to eliminate jobs if I could.

The next time you hear the phrase, “job creators,” just remember: Capital and the people who possess it are secondary players.  While many of them have altruistic motives, they are trying to put their money to work; putting people to work is merely a happy side effect of that desire. And all that money only flows – and jobs are only created – when somebody talks somebody else into wanting something. 

Thank goodness for the real “job creators.”

Justin Locke spent 18 years playing bass with the Boston Pops before becoming an author and speaker.  In his entertaining presentations, he talks management, leadership, and personal growth from an artistic perspective.  His newest book is Getting in Touch with Your Inner Rich Kid, where he discusses how people can very easily fall into “poverty thinking,” and methods for converting to a wealth consciousness. To find out more about how he can help you and your organization, visit his website at, where excerpts from his recent book are also available.

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