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

 

 

Why I hit the Lottery…

Lottery-winner_parking_spots_at_the_Atlantic_Lottery_Corporation_(2009)I’ve hit the lottery (see below), but not for the reasons to which our President and his heir apparent, Hillary Clinton espouses. I’m a small business owner. I started a business 27 years ago and we’re still here. According to the president, it must be dumb luck!

The president thinks hard working people who make a lot of money have won the lottery. Obama says, “If we can’t ask for society’s lottery winners for that modest contribution, then really this conversation is all for show,” he told the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit.

This latest on successful businesses, coupled with Obama’s well worn rhetoric, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” referring to private businesses being dependent of big government is daunting to hard working small business owners, to say the least.

Why I hit the Lottery…

I want to get up in the morning.

I have a spouse and family whom I love and they love me.

Through hard work and healthy living we are well and we want for nothing.

I am a Christian, There is a God. I have my faith.

I’m living free, in the greatest country in the world, the United States of America.

I find great joy in giving generously, to charities and other great causes.

I’m proud of my accomplishments. Like most small business owners, I create and grow good paying jobs.

I believe in the human spirit and American exceptionalism. Despite many setbacks over time, there have been more wins.

I believe most people are inherently good.

Job creators, entrepreneurs, and business owners who are successful should not be demeaned by our President. He implicitly associates success with the cause for income inequality and racism.

In a Forbes article as a point of reference, it says small, entrepreneurial firms account for two-thirds of the job creation in the economy. Venture-backed firms contribute 11% of U.S. private sector jobs and 21% of GDP, and high-tech firms are a mainstay of U.S. exports.

As a taxpayer, I’d be much more receptive to Obama’s argument if there wasn’t so much wasteful spending, abuse of power, and inequity in big government. Pick your department. Start with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Electricity Costs Are Estimated to Increase by an Average of $528.67 Yearly.

20140713-122716-44836393.jpg

Proposed EPA Regulations Will Increase Electricity Costs on Small Businesses

NFIB Letter to Congress

National Federation of Independent Business
1201 F Street NW * Suite 200
Washington, DC 20004
202-554-9000
Fax 202-554-0496
http://www.NFIB.com
 

The Honorable Fred Upton, Chairman
Committee on Energy and Commerce

United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

January 28, 2014

The Honorable Henry Waxman Ranking Member
Committee on Energy and Commerce
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515
 

Dear Chairman Upton and Ranking Member Waxman:

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, urges the Committee’s support for H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act, introduced by Rep. Ed Whitfield, during the upcoming markup.

Electricity costs are a prominent concern for small business owners. According to the NFIB Research Foundation’s 2012 Small Business Problems and Priorities, the cost of electricity was ranked number 12, ahead of other major problems like cash flow and poor earnings. NFIB believes the recent proposed rules by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding greenhouse gases emissions from new power plants could cause electricity costs to rise substantially. The uncertainty regarding how the rules will affect the cost and availability of electricity stand to be an ongoing deterrent for small businesses to plan for expansion and job growth.

The proposed rules take a heavy-handed approach to regulating emissions of greenhouse gases. The Electricity Security and Affordability Act is a far more reasonable means of moving forward.

First, the legislation would require EPA to issue separate standards for natural gas and coal-fired power plants. Second, H.R. 3826 would require EPA to subcategorize the coal standard to account for the different properties of lignite coal. Third, the bill addresses uncertainty from the forthcoming rule on existing power plants by requiring Congress to set an effective date before the rule can go into effect.

NFIB strongly supports H.R. 3826 and urges the members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce to vote for its passage in the upcoming markup.

Sincerely,

Dan Danner
President and CEO NFIB

CC: Members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce

 

You Cannot Govern Leadership

individualism

While small business owners are putting up their houses and their life savings to survive, to cash flow their business, to hire employees, President Obama was and still is, greasing the palms of his political donors in the name of greentech failures, spending billions of our taxpayer dollars.

The alarming failure of big government was never more evident than when President Obama publicly and carelessly joked about a trillion dollars (stimulus (taxpayer) money) wasted on “Shovel-Ready Was Not As Shovel-Ready As We Expected.”  Where was the red flag then?  Where is the red flag now?

The only hope I see for this country is individual responsibility, and leadership that creates prosperity, not big government. You cannot govern leadership.   Today individual responsibility, leadership, and American exceptionalism are too often political talking points and empty words. When individual leadership fails, or fails to materialize, it creates dependency.

Leonardo da Vinci said it 480 years ago and he said it in Italian. Here is the clearest translation:  “People of accomplishment rarely sit back and let things happen to them. They go out and happen to things.”

I don’t do what you’re passionate about, but be passionate about what you do.  Don’t follow your passion.  Let your passion follow you.  That’s leadership.

As a small business owner after 25 years it has been my experience, the most important life decisions you make, have to be made on your own.  I built my business and leadership is key.

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 neither do you.  The best way to find out if you are a leader is to deal with life’s biggest challenges when it comes to crunch time.

Decide on your 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.  You are better qualified than anyone or anything to make the decisions that affect you personally and those who depend on you.

There’s a disturbing trend in our day-to-day lives towards dependency on others, big institutions, big labor and big government.  Sweat equity has been replaced by entitlement equity.  People measure success based on what they can get, not what they can give.  

A major new study by Harvard economist Raj Chetty, however, shows things haven’t changed all that much. “Children entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution relative to their parents as children born in the 1970s,” it finds.  “That doesn’t mean politicians can’t improve people’s chances of rising. It’s just that the best way they can do so is by getting out of the way.”  The Foundry

The problem is the more you lean on the government, the more your life depends on government.  You are governed by more  laws, more regulations and more public policy today than ever before.  Who you become, what you do, and how you do it, is shaped by public opinion and the mainstream media.

In this new era influenced by mass media and public opinion, big government is their divined solution to all your problems.  American exceptionalism, entrepreneurship and the multitude of small business success stories that built a thriving post WWII economy, are too often ignored, discounted and discouraged with crippling regulation and  laws that are the new normal.

What if a typical family spent like government?

What if a typical family spent like government?

Individualism and leadership are sorely needed.  People, not big government, can make a difference.  You and I need to step up to the plate.  Our country’s in peril as is our next generation.  Take on the career politicians who have created roadblocks to personal responsibility and leadership.  Our country is on the line. Vote them out in 2014 and 2016.

Career politicians passing laws that control our lives severely curtail the entrepreneurial spirit and small business startups, the little engine that could, that should and does grow the economy.   Consider the cost of healthcare has virtually doubled for small businesses in the past 5 years.  

Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of free enterprise. Their heart is beating for their next customer, for their fellow employees and their families.  Their soul is intact.  They epitomize what comprises the backbone of our country, small business.  In their shadows are the real leaders, the chief cooks and bottle washers; the real risk takers that stand behind their champions, small business owners.  Small business owners are essential to the future success of the US economy.

Entrepreneurs are not the only leaders.  Leaders are people I see when I come to work before dawn.  I see them after dusk, when darkness settles.  They are resourceful.  They don’t think twice.  If you say something to them about the long hours they keep, they will readily commiserate with you, complain if you will, but there is a sense of pride in their voice.  There is a smile on their face.  These hard working people who are the heart and soul of the US economy.

In an atmosphere where people lean more on government, blame others and institutions for their circumstance, we need more leaders. Whether you are a parent, employee, small business owner or CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation; people depend on you for guidance.  You are accountable for the success or failure of others.  You have to make decisions that affect other people for better or for worse. 

In business or in your personal life, when the time comes, no one will 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 a different context.  “If it were me…” “I would have…”  I could have…”  “I would have… Draw on your own experience.  Make your own decisions.

The most important decisions you can make, are made by you alone.  That’s leadership.  You can change the world, change you can believe in.

My “Lousy” Health Insurance Plan

President Obama’s November 14, 2013, news conference on healthcare, was nothing more than him trying to save face by putting a presidential spin on something that has clearly spun out of control.  Mr. Obama’s spin could sound good for those unaware of how things really work with insurance and state insurance plan filings.

Mr. Obama’s come under fire for lying to the American people with his now infamous sound bite: “You can keep your doctor and your health plan.”  We’ve all heard it.  When that didn’t come to fruition on October 1, 2013 (the launching date for ObamadoesntCare), Obama and his spokespeople tried to spin the spin with another sound bite: “well if you had a lousy plan, your insurance company cancelled it” and boy did the people eat that up, giving consumers the impression they have Lousy insurance, which is contrary to:  “If you like your insurance plan you can keep it” promise.

Rosello Insurance Companies

But don’t fret, Mr. Obama has changed his position yet again and is now “allowing” us to keep our “lousy” insurance plan for at least another year. What’s the difference between the POTUS and an insurance salesman?  The POTUS knows he’s lying!

Well let me relate a personal horror story with the latest example of an Obama labeled “Lousy” insurance plan (which has become a reality for many Americans around the country).  We are now a statistic with the other 5,518,000 insured’s who’s insurance plans are being cancelled and losing our coverage.

As an Independent Agent, we represent a number of different insurance companies writing health insurance for small and medium businesses in Florida.  Our own agency group health insurance plan is presently written through United Healthcare.   Here is a brief description of what Obama defines as a “Lousy Insurance Plan” since United Healthcare is discontinuing/cancelling/terminating:

My Current Plan that was canceled due to ObamadoesntCare: ACA Approved Insurance Company Proposed Replacement Plan: Now when I attended school, we learned under old math:
$1,000  In-Network Deductible $1,700  In-Network Deductible $1,700 deductible is 70% higher than a $1,000 deductible
100% Co-insurance after the deductible 80% Coinsurance after the deductible
 $1,000 total out-of-pocket expense for the year $4,000 Out-of-Pocket expense $4,000 Out-of-Pocket Expense is 400% higher than a $1,000 Out-of-Pocket
$25 Primary Care doctor office co-pay & $30 Primary Care Doctor office co-pay $30 doctor copay is 20% higher than a $25 copay
$50 copay for a Specialist visit $70 copay for Specialists $70 Specialist copay is 40% higher than a $50 copay
Remember this is what Barack Hussein Obama refers to as a “Lousy Plan” in an attempt to cover his tracks from his “You can keep your health plan” sound bites. Group monthly savings for the “Replacement Plan” =  $158  per month Save $444 per year in premiums and pay more than $3,000 in out-of-pocket expenses per year

My out-of-pocket expense will sky rocket under the replacement plan, costing me thousands of dollars more per year.  Hey, but at least my individual monthly premium savings will be $60 per month or $720 for the year.  What an investment, save $720 per year in premiums and pay more than $3,000 in out-of-pocket expenses per year.

So much for the “Lousy Plan”.   Wonder if things could sound better if we can use the new politically correct Common Core mathematics equations, and see if we could arrive at percentages for the massive out-of-pocket increase, that would seem a bit more palatable, giving the appearance that $720 annual premium savings, is much better than having to pay more than $3,000 out-of-pocket expense?

My money is on Mr. Obama laying blame on insurance companies for cancelling health insurance plans (having to comply with ObamadoesntCare rules and regs) and Obama will double down on the “LOUSY” Plan narrative.  When Americans learn insurance companies cannot go back and reinstate those discontinued insurance policies because of state laws, it will be the evil insurance companies fault and not the genius in the White House (and I’m not talking about Valerie Jarrett or Jay Carney).

Sadly, the President’s Executive Order does absolutely nothing (but makes for a great sound bite – something Mr. Obama seems to be good at) for the 3 million people who have already lost their health plan, which is 2,924,000 more than enrolled in ObamadoesntCare for the same time period.  Insurance companies cannot do anything to remedy except re-file and unless the states are put on notice to streamline and approve the re-filings, it will take months upon months for the re-filings to get to the consumer.

Good news for Floridians, the state insurance commissioner will comply with the executive order and reinstate the cancelled policies.  However, I believe 9 states, including the State of California, have indicated stated they will not be reinstating cancelled health insurance plans. So much for being able to “keep your health plan”.  In the meantime, Obama will have the luxury of telling Americans he’s doing all he can (such as bypassing Congress and issuing Executive Orders) and insurance companies are just not responding fast enough and this has been the problem with insurance.

Obama and the Democratic Party have managed to dismantle and throw into chaos, a healthcare delivery system that successfully covered 85% of Americans, in order to cover 15% of the uninsured. 

Obamacare regulations 3-12-2013

Could health insurance companies have tweaked health insurance plans and made them better, absolutely.  They could have done it without the federal government issuing 3,000 new pages of laws and spending billions of taxpayer money by getting into the health insurance business!  Billions of dollars of taxpayer money the United States does not have!

Ideally, allowing business to purchase health insurance policies on an association basis and across state lines, would have helped increase the purchasing power for small business around the country.  But purchasing insurance through an Association and breaking down state barriers is a threat to the federal government’s quest to socializing America’s health insurance delivery system.

Being able to broaden the purchasing power of business, as labor unions are allowed, would have given business the opportunity to bring insurance rates down and to cover more of the 15% of the uninsured having a hard time qualifying for insurance.  Labor unions have the luxury and privilege to purchase their insurance across state lines, pooling union members.  Business is not allowed the same privilege.

It’s clear, Mr. Obama’s goal is to have the federal government takeover 1/6 of the U.S. economy.   There was no reason for the federal government to spend over $600 million of taxpayer money in reinventing the wheel, when insurance companies were already set up to underwrite and deliver insurance.  I cannot reiterate enough; the federal government disrupted and has ascended the U.S. Healthcare system into chaos to cover 15% of the uninsured, while inconveniencing 85% of covered Americans! Why?  It makes absolutely no sense!

Tom Rossello
tom@fmi-ins.com
 Florida Independent Insurance Agent

Small Businesses in Florida Are HIT by Another Tax

Who's affected?

Who’s affected?

Fellow Floridians.  Here’s some info on the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) and how it will affect “taxpayers.”   When I say taxpayers, I mean middle income people, earning a decent wage, including small businesses, to boot.  

Someone has to pay for Obamacare, the future king of entitlements.  Big business and insurers aren’t going to suffer.  They’re going to pass through.  Any tax burden is going to be on to us, the consumer.  So who’s going to pay for Obamacare?  One way or another, there’s going to getcha….getcha, getcha, getcha… I feel a song coming on!

How does the impact of the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) as part of the Affordable Care Act, affect small businesses and consumers?  HIT will be applied to almost all health insurance policies in Florida beginning in January 2014.

According to the NFIB, a  provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates a premium tax on all health insurance policies beginning in 2014 called the Health Insurance Tax, or HIT Tax.  This tax will exceed $130 billion nationally in assessments in the first 10 years. It is collected by health insurance companies, but paid entirely by consumers in the fully insured marketplace, where nearly all small-business owners, employees and their families purchase their coverage. This will result in higher insurance costs for nearly all Floridians.

The tax rate is not yet set for 2014 – it is expected to be announced by HHS on or near October 1st. It will be adjusted annually to meet a specific revenue schedule.  Experts predict the actual tax rate will be between 2% and 2.5% of the premium. NFIB estimates that the HIT Tax will collect $114-157 million in Florida in 2014.

This HIT Tax is in addition to the tax that the state of Florida already assesses on health insurance premiums, the state premium tax, which is set at of 1.75% and has been in place in Florida for decades.

The HIT Tax will impact all health insurance policies, except large group self-insured policies.  The HIT Tax will also be levied on Medicare Advantage and Medicaid Managed Care policies.  It is a 100% pass through from insurers to consumers.  Most group health insurance premiums in Florida are paid by both the employer and the employee.

This tax will hit both families and small businesses directly.

Immigration Reform: Message from the National Federation Independent Business (NFIB)

Last Tuesday, the U.S. Senate agreed to start debate on S. 744, the immigration reform bill—also known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

NFIB sent a letter to Senate leaders, members of the bipartisan group (known as the gang of eight) who drafted the bill and all Senate offices that emphasized concerns that some provisions in the bill would weigh down small businesses with mandates and regulations that favor Big Business and Big Labor. A brief summary of our key points from the letter is below.

Call your Senators now at 202-224-3121 and urge them to keep these small-business concerns in mind as the immigration reform bill is considered!

Small-Business Concerns with Senate Immigration Bill:

  • Creates “The Bureau” – a New, Independent Agency Lacking Oversight – The Bureau of Immigration and Labor Market Research (“The Bureau”) will be a new independent agency that is self-funded through fees collected from employers participating in the new W visa program.
  • New Department of Homeland Security Authority is Duplicative – DHS should not be given new authority to establish enhanced penalties for violations of wage, hour, and workplace health and safety. The Department of Labor currently holds this authority, so DHS enforcement would be unnecessary and duplicative.
  • Construction Industry Discriminated Against – The bill specifically caps W visas for the construction industry at 15,000 per year.
  • Penalties Excessively Punitive for Small Business – Some of the penalties associated with e-verify (which is a Web-based system that compares employee information from Employment Eligibility Verification Forms (I-9) against federal government databases in order to verify workers’ employment eligibility) could be especially egregious for small businesses.The civil penalty section of e-verify legislation does not take into account the size of small business. While these penalties may serve as a deterrent to large corporations, they could shutter the doors of a small business.
  • Safe Harbor Protections are Critical – The e-verify system will not be error-free. There should be a strong faith/safe harbor provision that protects businesses that are attempting to comply with the law.
  • Financing of Mandatory Training Not Defined – Under S.744, employers must undergo mandatory e-verify training, but the bill does not specify how this will be paid for. Small businesses do not have the resources to finance yet another undefined mandate by the federal government
  • Clarification Needed for Independent Contractors – The bill does not clarify that employers will not use e-verify for independent contractors. NFIB supports the inclusion of language to ensure that employers and contractors are not liable for hiring or the continuation of employment of an unauthorized alien by a subcontractor.

The bill is expected to be considered on the Senate floor for the next three weeks. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hopes to complete work on the bill by the July 4th recess.

Some amendments will be offered over the course of the next few weeks; some of these amendments could possibly pertain to and address our concerns. Our policy team will closely monitor the progress of these amendments and advocate strongly for those that address our concerns with the proposed legislation. We will keep you updated as this bill continues to progress through the Senate, and we urge you to contact your Senators as issues arise that could address the small-business concerns with this bill.

Stay tuned to NFIB.com/immigrationbill for updates and additional information.

Sincerely,

Lisa Goeas
NFIB Vice President, Political & Grassroots
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