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From country to city, From farm to fireworks…Through marriage & children, Through employment & ownership, Life continues to be an amazing journey…

Thursday, July 31

Small Business Ownership - Government

SMALL BUSINESS OWNERSHIP…what do you think that means? Shouldn’t GOVERNMENT run like a small business? Tonight, I want to rant about some of the things that it means from my heart…my aching heart…but my heart won’t be like the heart of the nation’s majority possibly, sadly; but from the heart of a Conservative business owner. Keep in mind here that we are talking about SMALL business owners, NOT corporate mega-giants, or even the SBA’s (Small Business Administration) definition of small business! I’m talking about the owners of your average privately owned business where you might go to spend your money.

I would think for most people the dream of owning their own business is real. I know I dreamed of it before I did it. I know that as an employee, I always had a thought that if given the chance, I “just might” be able to do as good a job, or even a better job than those that owned the places I had worked for, big or small…corporate giants, or average folks...and yet, we DID…we DO have successful businesses, at least businesses in the black :) Sometimes, be careful what you ask for :)

Business ownership is grand. It brings prestige and a sense of pride that you never thought you’d have. It brings some minute tax breaks, and it allows one to make more money than they ever did as an employee to an extent. STOP HERE. More income does not make one RICH by most people’s standards. Comfortable and free to make your own decisions about ALL the money going out is the length that the freedom of ownership gives. What one might do with that grand freedom and extra cash; and HOW one makes those decisions is the kicker…and the cause of heartache sometimes.

A true small business owner one day has an idea. They “get froggy” and “jump”. They open a new business on a skeleton budget and with a few people they convince to “jump” with them. Those “jumpers” are correctly titled as employees. At first, it’s just a couple of folks believing in your idea and your ability to make it happen. Then guess what? IT HAPPENS! You find out that you DO have the ability to successfully own a business, and you did pick a decent couple of folks to jump (in our case it was three), and the domino theory proves itself. Five short years later, you own two businesses and have 20 or so employees.

With the need for each new employee comes the realization that you are growing. More customers, more vendors, more paperwork, more responsibility. It’s like the earthquake theory…a magnitude 1 earthquake compared to a magnitude 2 earthquake is ten times. Within that parameter, lies the 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc. earthquakes that finally reach a 2.0. In earthquake language, there is literally 30 TIMES THE ENERGY RELEASED just between a couple of tenths. It’s like multiple 30 times energy forces lie within a ten times equation. Crazy sounding huh? but true nonetheless. So goes it with a growing business, and so grows the unbelievable responsibilities of a business owner to make sure all survive and get PAID.

REMEMBER THIS: No matter what you are selling, working for, what you have that you think is OF GREAT WORTH, or dreaming of owning…IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE ACTUAL MONEY IN THE BANK YOU HAVEN’T made a sale, gotten paid for your hard work, owned something that you think is of worth, or finally purchased your dream item. $$$$ is all imaginary until you actually have it or GIVE IT TO THOSE YOU OWE…and in business, it’s a TWO WAY STREET! You owe it, you pay it. They owe you; they have to pay it to you in order to complete the circle.

AND, with each new employee or vendor comes families that are making money/selling a product to support. Spouses, children, grandchildren sometimes; and sometimes even elder parents. So, with each new employee or vendor, as an owner, you become responsible in fact for the livelihood of MANY other people. At 3 it’s pretty benign, but after 20, the exponentiality of it all can become overwhelming, LIKE SUPERFRAGILISTICEXPELADICIOUS! Your employees just think they number 20, when in fact the customer list and the vendor list is at around 200 EACH! Try to swallow THAT EXPONENTIALITY! That’s just the FACTUAL side of an owner’s fiduciary equation...then there is the EMOTIONAL SIDE. Believe it or not, owners do have feelings too…feelings you never see from 8-5.

As things multiply exponentially, and when the shit rolls UPHILL to the owners, (myself & my husband), the demand to perform correctly without fail is sometimes overbearing. An owner is always looking ahead. An owner is always busy like a queen or king bee making sure that all have enough tools, money, work coming in, accounts satisfied, and receivables collected enough to keep the little gears turning and the big picture always complete…complete enough to go on another day, and another, and again year after year. Those employees that get that and keep that going are INVALUABLE, and as allowed, an owner takes care of those bright minded personnel.

Worker bees don’t always see it that way. They THINK they do. Worker bees a lot of times get caught up in their own little worlds of responsibility or simple personal drama and don’t see the big picture of the whole hive. In order for an entire hive to thrive, every bee from the king/queen to the bottom baby bee has to view the hive as a team. A lot of really great and funny bees just get complacent. They don’t realize that each bee HAS TO HAVE A SENSE OF URGENCY and a sense of tomorrow. They also don’t understand that a small business doesn’t run like the government or sometimes even like their own households. Worker bees above all don’t understand the wish and hope of a king/queen bee that WE could just relax and have drama.

Everybody has drama, but business owners are forced by live/die standards. Owners HAVE to keep their drama contained to a boring minimum in order for the entire hive to have a chance. Therefore, business owners just have little bursts of drama that explode from time to time usually in the kitchen at home, or in the privacy of an occasional private cell phone call, fax, or e-mail. Otherwise, they appear straight faced and a positive spirit is the call of duty...or we drink on a fair regular occasion…

WORK isn’t a party. However, if you have a good beehive with common minded bees, then work becomes a labor of love, and sweeter honey is produced, even with much laughter and good times.

Worker bees sometimes also forget that while their owners seem to be having a good time, they are always present with a finger on the pulse of the ENTIRE HIVE even if they seem to be away, or not looking…and silently have a finger on the trigger.

It’s not easy when a bee has to go away. In five years of business, we’ve been forced to shoo away a few really likable bees, and some hated flat out loser bees; but no matter the case, it was always a bee that just couldn’t see the big picture or fly their way into a smoothly operating beehive. Shooing bees is never pleasant. It’s NEVER personal, but after watching exponential results…it’s necessary.

I don’t know how our government, my lacking vendors, employees, or customers don’t see the same. One plus one will always equal two. Effort, understanding, and mental grasp are all vital to a small business, or even a mega-corporation. Adding two ones to get two is NOT ROCKET SCIENCE! Lord knows if we can do it with not a college degree between the two of us, ANYONE CAN!

True losers are never surprised when they get fired. However, bees just lacking the quiet understanding of the big picture can NEVER UNDERSTAND why an owner let them go. And IT SUCKS to be the owner when that happens. It SUCKS to shoo away a bee that on a personal level you really like, but on a business level is just not “that bee”.

Today’s political correctness disease that is mandatory sometimes keeps an owner from just hauling off on someone to really point out all the bee shortcomings in a person, but DAMN…after you “suggest”, or TELL someone enough times things in normal conversation, they should just get it. If they don’t, then little bee…fly away. If you are as great a bee as you think you are, then you’ll have no problem taking over a new hive in short fashion.

I cannot grasp the abhorrent fact that our current government is like a bunch of badly guided worker bees in control of the nation’s checkbook. I look LONG and HARD before I shoo a bee. I even carry cool bees sometimes far too long before I kick them out of the beehive. HOW IS IT that our country and many of YOU operate your lives at NEGATIVE? If me, the small business owner ever gets my bank account down to ZERO, and I have no vision in place to correct ZERO TO POSITIVE within 30 FREAKING DAYS, then I’m done…and so are the 20+ families I’m responsible for, not to mention the 400 combined customers and vendors that rely on my services/payments. Therefore I DON’T! I would shut my doors before I would default any of the above!

I sure wish my government could think of ME and MINE the same way they think of the government and their policies. I wish my government got stomach cramps and actually shed TEARS every time the bank account got low enough NOT to have a month or so’s money in advance. I wish THEY could realize that if they don’t pay their bills, then it’s OVER! IALSO WISHED THAT THEY CHASED AFTER THOSE THAT OWE THEM the same way I have to chase after customers or employees that OWE ME! I also wish my worker bees understood the same. It’s only my worry for THEM THE PEOPLE that causes me to make decisions I make. I wish all my bees understood that they should think about their business owner the same way their business owner worries about them.

Although with much angst, I can FIRE, or SHOO AWAY my lacking bees…why can’t we SHOO AWAY WASHINGTON’S BAD BEES??? Most of them were rich by normal standards before they went into office, who are we to think that they would have our best interest at heart in the first place?

To all my past and present bees…fly straight and with intent for business; personal, private, at work, or at home…or we will shoo you away! The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, it will always remain so in my businesses…so should it remain true with our government, or for you in your personal lives.