Precipe

Hi Mom

Echoes of the past,
Haunting me.
Steps alone.
Steps in the driven snow,
Only I can follow,
Only I can know.
A path ill forgotten.
The journey, a pause,
Takes my breath away.
Reaching back to the life,
I’ve been given.
Breathing life back,
Back to the future.
Where only I can,
Know who I am,
Alone.

Successful business people stand on ground that is “crumbling beneath their feet,” Joseph Schumpeter

The Dangers of Alone

We’ve all heard it’s lonely at the top. The real danger is being alone in your convictions.

As a leader of a company or an institution, you can be surrounded by the best people with the best intentions, yet be alone in your convictions. Your “best people”, be it a perception they’re doing the best thing for the company or institution for whom they work, there’s is a conviction they’re right.

They think they know more about the issues. Maybe they don’t know enough about the issue to tackle it on their own and are afraid to ask for help. Maybe their ego clashes with your own. Maybe there’s a personal bond between you and a key person that has been broken. In any or all of these cases, as their leader, you’re left alone.

The irony is you may start down the same path, initially want the same things but lose somehow, one or the other person(s) loses their way.

The danger is, if you are left alone in your conviction your decisions will be undermined. You will experience outright rebellion, where its obvious where you stand. You can deal directly with the issue and the person or persons who oppose you on the issue. The danger is the person(s) may be a valuable asset and leave, or simply refuse to work with you on the issue.

Compromise is by far and away the best alternative. The less desirable alternative is to replace the person(s). This will result in all sorts of new challenges let alone delays, even if in the end, you get the results you need and want.

The person(s) who think they know more about what’s best on an issue, may say “Yes”, do nothing, or stall a process to keep the initiative from moving forward. Basically, they’re blowing smoke up your behind. The danger is the stall. Delays will doom an initiative to fail. This is also the case when they are in over their head and are afraid to admit it.

Ego is always a danger in as a leadership issue. If you have someone you depend upon who’s ego gets in the way, it’s a complex situation. It could simply be personal, a matter of respect. The person(s) believes they’re the smartest person in the room and there’s no room for anyone else’s opinion. Worse it could be jealousy or contempt which boils down to a lack of respect.

To deal with most if not all of these issues, first look retrospectively into your own objectives, and communicate with the person(s). Be honest and forthright in your convictions and your own doubts. A compromise may be the result. Be honest about your concerns about the person(s) motives outlined here as well. Considering the resolution is to move forward in your convictions you have to make decision, regardless.

Do you get a “yes”, a commitment to move forward with your initiative? Great. If you get the affirmative, but see there is a lukewarm reception towards moving forward, closely monitor the results. If there’s a bigger issue, a lack of the skills necessary and most likely an ego clash, you need to find someone you can trust, someone capable of carrying forward your initiatives.

If you feel like there’s a problem with the person(s) leadership skills, I recommend enrolling the person(s) in a Dale Carnegie leadership/management course and recommend they read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey.

Finally, if is a personal bond broken between you and another person(s), quickly mend the fences. This may require great personal sacrifice. You acquiesce through humility and forgiveness on your part. If there’s no healing salve, find an exit strategy for that person(s) as quickly as possible.

The alternative is, at the very least lack of focus at the very worst, a chasm amongst and between you and anyone whomever supports that person(s). If that person(s) is otherwise a great asset to the company or institution, you have to decide what’s best all concerned. If you let someone else drive a wedge between you, your people and the business, all will suffer.

And that my fellow leaders, are the “dangers of alone”.

Successful business people stand on ground that is “crumbling beneath their feet,” Joseph Schumpeter

In Life, the Most Important Decisions Are Made Alone.

It’s easier to make the tough decisions if you know someone has your back. Loyalty is earned, not deserved.

We are experience!

My experience from a flailing and fledgling salesperson to the owner and CEO of a successful software company, the most important decisions you make, you make alone.

I’m not a life coach.  I’m not a marketing guru. I’m not a motivational speaker or social media guru.

I have nothing to gain by sharing my personal experiences, so I will spare you any hype. I just want to reinforce my own beliefs, that people can make a difference, if they are willing to open their minds and hearts, without prejudice.

Whether you are a family man or woman, a CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation, if people depend on you for guidance, you are held accountable for the success or failure of others.  Therefore, you have to make decisions that affect other people for better or for worse. That is my definition of a leader, plain and simple.  You don’t have to be Bill Gates to shine or suck. Worse, you probably have less to gain by making the tough decisions, at least from a monetary perspective.

Others will pontificate as to what a leader is, what a leader must do and how a leader must act.  I don’t have time for all that and if you’re like me, neither do you.  The best way to describe how to deal with your life’s biggest challenges is to rely on your past experiences and your gut. Do something!

When it comes to crunch time, a leader must decide on their own and act accordingly.  You’ll no doubt, get plenty of advice, but no one is going to know better than you, what to do.  So there is nowhere to turn.  Ultimately you are the most qualified to make a decision that affects you and your loved ones.

You must make the most important decisions in your life, and make those decisions on your own.  Sorry Doctor Phil.  This isn’t a TV show.  This is real life.  The same holds true in business.

When the time comes no one wants to make the important decisions for you.  Don’t get me wrong.  You will get plenty of advice.  “If I were you…” “You should…”  “You could…” “You might…” Later on, after the decision has been made, you will summarily receive the same words, only in different context.  “If it were me…” “I would have…”  I could have…”  “I would have…

I am sure you have heard these expressions as well, “It is lonely at the top.”  It matters less your stature in life.  It matter most, the decisions you make based on the challenges you face.  Trust me, from a person of experience, the most difficult decisions you have ever made and the most important decisions you will ever make, will be your decisions alone.

We are experience.  Small business owners are the lifeblood of free enterprise. Their heart is still beating.  Their soul is intact.  They epitomize what comprises the backbone of our country.  They are the chief cook and bottle washers; the real risk takers.  Small business owners are essential to the future success of the US economy. 

Small business owners are the spine that stands up and remains strong in the face of diversity, against ever increasing government regulations, against subsidies to big union, subsidies to big businesses and big government.  Small businesses must prevail if we are to remain strong and maintain our leadership position in the world economy. 

We need to lift our voice above the fray.  We need to unite. We need to be heard, above the voices of the mainstream media, the politicians, above the voices of divisiveness and hate, above the voices of fear and doubt. It is time to come together.  The future is now.  The future is no longer an individual choice and your choice alone.  We need to unite. Let’s make some noise.  Let’s take a stand.  What are you doing to preserve the American dream?  Email me: ideacapiltalists@gmail.com

 

 

Small Business Owners – Making Millions, of Jobs That Is…

Obama - Biden Entreprenever_edited-1President Obama, you coined the phrase “middle class economics” as one of your latest “camplaign” appeals.

I coined the phrase “Entreprenever” for you.

Mr. Obama, you have never been an entrepreneur.  You are successful beyond the imagination of most people’s dreams.  You are obviously a highly talented and intelligent person. You have a loving family.

You have a loyal and caring following… then here comes the but, at least not until, and unless, you are willing to walk in a small business owner’s shoes, you’re politics hurt small business owners.

I’m an entrepreneur.  I’m not a millionaire, but job growth is a constant in my business. There are a lot of small business entrepreneurs out there earning millions in taxable revenues for their small businesses, who aren’t millionaires.  They’re making jobs, not millions.  Why not millions of dollars? Too many regulations, too many taxes, too much big government getting in the way.

Small Business Owners make millions of jobs, not millions of dollars! That’s what I call “American Exceptionalism.”

Mr. President, if you truly want to help the middle class, help small businesses grow and hire more people.  They’re your middle class economy.  There are many up and coming millionaires that are making products, providing services and creating jobs.  They should be paying less taxes, NOT more, than they do today.

Small businesses want to invest their income in products, services and jobs, not squandered on meeting meaningless regulatory bureaucratic “make work.”  Call it unintended consequences, but I don’t think you really care, or you care more about bureaucratic jobs than you do about free enterprise jobs?  Free enterprise better defines “middle class economics” than big government any day!

Free enterprise defines middle class economics” better than big government any day!!

Small businesses that file their taxes as individuals need lower income tax rates, even at the top income brackets, so that we receive a fair return for the risk we take to grow our businesses.  In my case, growing a successful business from 1 to 40 FTEs required; cashing in all my savings, a second mortgage on the house, personal loans from friends and family, 12-14 hour days, no PTO or vacations for the first 10-12 years. The mortgage on my house was $100K when I bought the house.  Twenty-five years later after loans, it is still over $200K.  If I’m not successful, that will be my legacy to my children, not your children.

Before you insert your platitudes about every American giving their fair share, you’re too intelligent to believe our current entitlement society, including illegal immigrants choking our medical, educational and government resources, is fair to hard working legal US CITIZENS.

The failure rate for small businesses like my own is one success in five failures.  So where is your reward at the end of the tunnel?  Higher taxes.   You don’t care, but higher taxes on small business owners prevent further investment in their business,  reduces the chances of paying off outstanding loans and lost income due to lack of cash flow.

I didn’t have a 401K or savings account for over 10 years.  I don’t have a huge stock portfolio, a second home, fancy cars or take Alaskan cruises… well OK,  I did take an Alaskan cruise with my wife,  It was awesome!  Should I thank you Mr. President?  Higher taxes is how you, our President rewards hard work, ingenuity and innovation.  That’s why I coined the phrase for you, President Obama, Entreprenever.

Yes, I’ve seen the news stories about this small business and that small business, who obtained and SBA loan or some other government handout.  Good for them!  That’s great theater.  That’s great politics!  You’re the best!

I’m not going to get into the weeds on excessive regulation and the politics here.  There are plenty of people capable of doing so.  Of this I am certain.  You’ve never run a business, certainly not a small business, and certainly never had to put your life’s savings on the line for a small business.

Mr. Obama, you’re ticket’s already been punched.  You’ve already made millions.  You stand to make millions more.  Maybe you already have, so what’s my point?  My point is you can never say you are for the little guy, the small business owner, end of story.

For all the Rich and Famous liberals out there that make millions and billions, mind your own f$$$$n” business!! If you want to raise taxes on people, think about small business owners versus our government’s track record in making money.  You’re pretty good at it, why don’t you get it!!!

We’re $18 Trillion in debt.  You could let big government spend more money on the backs of hard-working small business people, as well as, their employees and their families.  You could push for lower taxes on small business owners or you could just put you money where your mouth is…

Send your contributions to:

Gifts to the United States
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Credit Accounting Branch
3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
Hyattsville, MD 20782

Much obliged!

Sincerely,

The ideacapitalist

Small Business Owner

Uber – Sign of the Times, Ride Sharing Boosts the Economy

DeLorean time machine provided by Uber

DeLorean time machine provided by Uber

Ride Sharing Boosts the Economy Letter to the Editor – Tampa Bay Times – Small businesses are the engine of our economy. They create jobs, generate revenue, and embody the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in cities across the country. And that holds true right here in Tampa where small business plays a vital role in our future success and driving the city forward. Our transportation ecosystem—which is in serious need of improvement—is one example where innovation and entrepreneurs can have a real impact on bringing about positive change and greater options for consumers. Competition in the marketplace results in better products and services, lower costs, and more choice. We should embrace competition and new ride sharing services like uberX that expand transportation alternatives, offering safer, more reliable and affordable ways to get around town. More and better choices for consumers is a win for the city. Beyond the clear benefits to riders, Uber is also contributing to the local economy by providing new and greater opportunities for residents to start their own business, make a living, and pump money back into the market. Uber gives Tampa residents one more opportunity to leverage technology to be entrepreneurial, build a career and increase earning potential. The company is already creating 20,000 new driver jobs every month—we should welcome opportunity like that and offer the people of Tampa one more way to earn a living. The New Yorker – Just a couple of weeks ago, Uber (which also runs services allowing you to book livery cars and cabs) disclosed that it had raised more than a quarter of a billion dollars in venture-capital funding, most of it from Google. The flood of new money into all these new businesses feels like a mini-bubble in the making. But beneath all the hype is a sensible idea: there are a lot of slack resources in the economy. Assets sit idle—the average car is driven just an hour a day—and workers have time and skills that go unused. If you can connect the people who have the assets to people who are willing to pay to rent them, you reduce waste and end up with a more efficient system. James Surowiecki, a staff writer at The New Yorker goes on to write, “If these companies become more established, they’ll have to reach some kind of accommodation with regulators, perhaps along the lines of rules that California’s Public Utilities Commission recently proposed, which would let Sidecar, Lyft, and Uber operate if they implement certain safety and driver regulations.” The Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission should put consumer choice and opportunity first—to embrace safe, reliable transportation alternatives like Uber. Restricting competition and limiting options for Tampa residents will only inhibit future growth and economic success. Modern technologies require modern regulations. The PTC should take a common-sense approach to regulating ride sharing and signal to the rest of the state that Tampa is indeed an innovative and forward-looking city. Peer-to-peer businesses like Uber are nothing new.  eBay was the firth peer-to-peer business which has exhibited an extraordinary capacity to self-regulate.  eBay’s success is built on their on-line reputation of reviewing and commenting that rewards good behavior and outs the bad.  The same will be the case for the ride-sharing industry. Innovations like Uber will solve many problems politicians and regulators refuse to face.    With internet start-ups able to self-regulate, stringent laws to govern start-ups such as Uber and Lyft are unnecessary. Next up, driverless cars and RoboTaxi whereby a fleet of self-driving cars will pick-up commuters on demand.  It’s time to get with the 21st century.  Technology waits for no man. 

Elizabeth Warren will tell you, “You didn’t build your business.”

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Warren, epitomizes progressive America.  Warren, has never worked in the private sector.  She was Special Advisor for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (2010–2011). In no small measure, because of the CFPB, there will be no more de novo banks and community banks are disappearing. I consider community banks small businesses. They can’t afford the regulatory pressures imposed by the CFPB.

Elizabeth Warren will tell you, “You didn’t build your business.”  What she fails to consider is that those of us that build businesses also pay the lion share of the taxes so ALL citizens and non-citizen’s alike in this country can enjoy our roads and bridges, including Elizabeth Warren and her progressive anti-business rhetoric.

Progressives are systematically redefining success in America. If you created a business in America, “somebody else made that happen.” If your business succeeded and if you make a good living you are now demonized by the left.  Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren will tell you, “You didn’t build your business.” Consider the source.  In spite of all the advantages Elizabeth Warren and Barrack Obama espouse to provide for small businesses, they cater only to big government.

It is our money, our time, our family’s sacrifices and our ideas that built our businesses.  Our tax dollars built the roads, the bridges…

It’s impossible for a small business owner to fathom how a taxpayer of any party can come to the conclusion, our government builds anything without taxpayer dollars.  Liberals need to wake-up.  The government doesn’t make money, they spend it!

More recent details on Elizabeth Warren here.

ROMNEY to OBAMA in 2012 Presidential debate: “you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers”

ROMNEY to OBAMA in 2012 Presidential debate: “…you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers…”

romney

Romney – click on Romney to hear video

Romney said i n the debate, “And in one year you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world. Now, I like green energy as well, but that’s about 50 year’s worth of what oil and gas receives and you say Exxon Mobil, actually this $2.8 billion goes to small companies, to drilling operators and so forth. If we get the tax rate from 35% to 25%, why that $2.8 billion is on the table.  Of course it’s on the table. That’s probably not going to survive to get the rate down to 25% but don’t forget, you put $90 billion, like 50 years worth of breaks into solar and wind to solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and I had a friend who said you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers. This is not the kind of policy you want to have to get America energy secure.

While the Obama Administration’s Eric Holder and the DOJ is investigating an illegal $20,000 contribution by Dinesh D’Souza, fierce critic of the President, who has been indicted the Justice Department, you might wonder why the DOJ doesn’t investigate how millions in green energy money got funneled back into Obama’s reelection campaign?

President Obama’s taxpayer-funded trillion-dollar spending spree –– spent over $90 billion earmarked for clean energy.

Harry Reid “led the passage of the $814 billion stimulus bill and worked to include the loan guarantee program to help finance clean-energy projects.

Now the Obama Administration Is Taking Another GO at the FAILED Program That Funded Solyndra.  This must be stopped!

Here is Obama’s GREENTECH FAIL list WHICH HAS LAID WASTE ON TAXPAYER DOLLARS!!!

37. NEW – With the news of another tragic FAIL, Abengoa which received a $1.4 billion loan guarantee in 2010 to build one of the world’s largest parabolic trough solar plants near Phoenix, Ariz.  The following year it received another $1.2 billion in loan guarantees to build another solar plant in California’s Mojave Desert.  The following year it received another $1.2 billion in loan guarantees to build another solar plant in California’s Mojave Desert.

36. NEW – Smith Electric Vehicles – Despite $32 million in federal stimulus funds and status as one of Obama’s favorite “green” companies, the firm has halted production, having built just 439 of the promised 510 vehicles.  Bright Automotive (electric delivery vans)Carbon Motors (clean diesel-powered police cars)Aptera Motors (three-wheeled electric cars)Coda Automotive (inexpensive electric sedans), all bankrupt or near bankruptcy, applied for Government funds but didn’t win the lottery.  Tesla Motors, on the other hand has met with growing success.

35. Ecotality, an electric car charger maker, who won a $99.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy four years ago filed for bankruptcy.

34.  GreenTech Automotive is owned by Capital Wealth Holdings, an investment company incorporated in the tax haven, the British Virgin Islands.  GreenTech president and Chinese businessman, Charles Wang, owns the investment company.  Wang is an expert on the EB-5 visa program and has coached other U.S. companies on how to effectively make use of it.  Virginia Governor, Terry McAuliffe is involved in electric car company.  The U.S. Securities and Exchange commission currently is investigating GreenTech’s use of the federal EB-5 visa-investor program, which raises funds from foreign nationals in exchange for U.S. green cards.

33. A $50-million loan previously award to Vehicle Production Group LLC (VPG)through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program (ATVMP) has gone unpaid. VPG, a maker of compressed natural gas-powered wheelchair-accessible vans, shut its doors in May after running out of cash.

32. SoloPower, the startup pitched as the most innovative player in Oregon solar manufacturing, will suspend its Portland operations.  State officials, too, were working to get in touch with the company, which has received a $10 million loan and a $20 million tax credit.  It also is in line for a $197 million federal loan, meant to help fund later stages of growth.

31. Rentech Incorporated For most of its 33-year history, Rentech Inc. tried to make money on green fuel development. But like its plans to sell synthetic diesel to major airlines in 2009, those efforts never really left the ground.  Rentech received $23 million from the DOE for a Colorado refinery turn wood into fuel.

30. SunTech Power, a China owned solar company struggling from a downturn in photovoltaic solar panels, benefited from a combined $84 million in Energy Department tax credits.

29. SolarWorld, a German company received more than $100 million in state and local tax incentives – only to see companies like SolarWorld in Hillsboro and SoloPower in Portland struggle in the wake of fierce competition, especially from Chinese companies. Source: Oregon bet big on this emerging technology

28. VESTAS, A Danish wind turbine company whose subsidiaries received over $50 million in U.S. stimulus dollars. Vestas also reported a net loss of 62 million euros, or $83 million, for the second quarter, compared with a loss of 8 million euros in last year’s comparable period. Revenue declined to 1.2 billion euros, compared with 1.6 billion euros a year earlier.

27. COMPACT POWER Plant that received $150M in taxpayer money to make Volt batteries furloughs workers.

26. CH2M HILL, is embroiled in atime card fraud scheme that took place between 1999 and 2008 when CH2M was servicing a DOE contract worth $2.2 billion, and at the beginning of 2013, it was discovered that CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC) “provided inaccurate cost data to support a multi-billion-dollar federal nuclear waste cleanup contract, “reported the Washington Free Beacon. Despite their history of legal and workplace safety violations, in 2009 an additional $1.3 billion was awarded to a different CH2M subsidiary to go toward the Hanford cleanup.

25. Bankrupt Amonix.

24. Bankrupt Babcock & Brown.

23. Bankrupt A123 Systems.

22. Bankrupt EASTERN ENERGY

21.Near Bankrupt 5N Plus The State of Wisconsin handed over $500 thousand to a Canadian company to open a solar panel recycling plant near De Forest.

20. BANKRUPT Fisker Automotive–was awarded a $529 million loan under an Obama admin program designed to spur production of advanced tech.  Fisker drew about $193 million of the Energy Department loan to engineer its Karma luxury plug-in hybrid. AL GORE!  Now the Chinese benefit from our hard earned taxpayer dollars!!!

19. BRIGHTSOURCE — President John F. Kennedy’s nephew, Robert Kennedy, Jr., netted a $1.4 billion bailout for his company.

18. Bankrupt Solar Trust for America.

17. Bankrupt Energy Conversion Devices.

16. Bankrupt Raser Technologies.

15. Bankrupt First Solar – of course GE’s in the mix.

14. Bankrupt NEVADA N.G.P.

13. ENN Mojave Energy LLC – linked to Harry Reid,

12. Bankrupt Ener1—

11. Tonopah Solar – linked to Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Crescent Dunes

These 10 failed projects ALONE, cost $3.4 billion in taxpayer funds AND COUNTING!

10. Bankrupt SolarReserve,

9. Bankrupt Beacon Power,

8. Bankrupt Geo Thermal,

7. Bankrupt Sempra Energy

6. Bankrupt Evergreen Solar, Inc.

5. Bankrupt SpectraWatt

4. Bankrupt the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project.

3. Bankrupt Abound Solar of Loveland, Co. $400 million from Obama

2. Bankrupt SunPower: Twice As Bad As Solyndra.

1. Bankrupt SOLYNDRA

Families will have less disposable income as they spend more to light and heat their homes, with seniors, families on fixed incomes and lower-income Americans being hit the hardest.

NOTE:  I agree much needs to be done (more practical examples abound, like passive shading) regarding pollution and the reduction of CO2 emissions but this post  is about pure politics, corruption and an abusive waste of taxpayer money.  I am not a climate change denier so don’t report me to the good professor.  I still do believe the jury is out on the all the reasons climate change advocates attribute to climate change.  Rather than panic and spend billions MORE of taxpayer dollars on failed Greentech technology, I believe in a pragmatic, limited government approach, such as that espoused by Bjørn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It, to lower CO2 emissions.  I believe existing and new technology such as driverless cars will do much more to reduce emissions than government backed wind and solar.  Let the private sector do it’s job, which is to innovate, create jobs and grow the economy.  Let government get out of the way.

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