If you tell him it can't be done, he will show you it can.

Friday, January 23, 2009

From A Boss Who Tells it Like It Is

I received this from a fellow business owner. This person has a great point and makes you think. Some not all of it fits our situation but something to think about and I am sure many can relate.

To All My Valued Employees:

There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good new is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.

However, let me tell you some little facts which might help you decide what is in your best interests.

First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside, you've seen my big house at last years Christmas party. I'm sure all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life. However, what you don't see is the back story.

I started this company 28 years ago. At the time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.

My diet consisted of Ramen noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business--hard work, discipline and sacrifice.

Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50,000 a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars, lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the designer store for hot fashion items, I was trolling through discount store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9:00 a.m. mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5:00 p.m. I don't. There is no "off" button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have that freedom. I eat, breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old with special needs. You of course, only see the fruits of that garden--the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations, you never realize the back story and the sacrifices I've made.

Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people who didn't. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for.

Yes, business ownership has its benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not with battle wounds.

Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why:

I am being taxed to death and the government think's I don't pay enough. I have state, Federal, Property, Sales and Use, Payroll, Worker's Compensation, Unemployment Taxes. Tax on Tax. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On October 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,00 for quarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country.

The fact is, if I deducted 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy.

Here is what many of you don't understand--to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employee would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't fibrillate and shock his thumb into thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you fibrillate his heart? Business is the heart of American and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep.

So where am I going with this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I will fire you. I will fire your co-workers. You can then please with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your children's future. Frankly, it is not my problem any more.

Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire. You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.

So, if you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy, it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through the country, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and who no employees to worry about...

Signed, Your boss

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009 Off and Running

Well we made it through the 2008 year and David is off and running again. It was nice to be able to take some down time and enjoy time with family during the holidays get some maintenance things done But now it's back to the daily grind for both of us.

Getting the year closed out and ready for the next is always a time consuming issue but over the years we have it down pretty well. Streamlining is always my goal each year and being able to spend less time on paperwork, filings and updating never seems to end. When you are dealing with government and its endless regulations and rules your days are always filled with neverending things. I would hope someday that they will get it working in a more timely manner so that we can at least try to understand from a transportation point of view. Truth be told I don't think they will ever get it to where everything runs smoothly. I guess that's just job security. Take it from a former government employee. We love those paper trails.