Two Words For Barack Obama – Guess Which Two?

So, Barack Obama doesn’t think business owners did it on their own.

Really?

Well, here is a largely incomplete list of the things I did and do every day to run my business. And lemme tell you something – I didn’t get a God-damned bit of help from anyone.

Things I DID NOT Get Help With To Start and Run My Business:

(Don’t miss the bit of commentary at the end – you won’t want to miss it.)

  • Spend thousands of dollars on government bullshit just to set up the business.
  • Worked for no pay while I was starting up.
  • Cashed out 401k and savings to cover my start up costs.
  • Attended as many business networking events as I could find.
  • Cold-called businesses trying to find new sales.
  • Learned how to build my own website.
  • Wrote all the content for every page of my website.
  • Figured out how to run Internet ads on Google.
  • Paid for Internet ads for Google with a credit card.
  • Went to sleep every night wondering how I was going to pay the mortgage.
  • Completed the production work for all my clients.
  • Figured out how Quickbooks works and how to use it to track accounts payables and receivables.
  • Set up company bank accounts and corporate lines of credit.
  • Learned how to use outsource service providers.
  • Take calls from (sometimes) angry customers.
  • Figure out how to make angry customers happy.
  • Set prices for all the products.
  • Learned what it’s like to lose money on a product.
  • Work on client campaigns every Saturday and Sunday morning in my pajamas.
  • Drive hundreds of miles for single sales calls.
  • Drive hundreds of miles to handle a few hours of consulting.
  • Read, re-read and re-read contracts, hoping my decisions were the right ones.
  • Signing contracts the bind me to years of obligation, without knowing if I’d be able to meet those obligations.
  • Convinced my wife that what I am pursuing is real, and that it will work eventually.
  • Found and attended speaking engagements at industry events.
  • Wrote and delivered speeches to industry and peer groups.
  • Created order forms and customer contracts.
  • Created social networking profiles for the business and used them to get new customers.
  • Wrote informative blog posts for the business blog.
  • Took out ads in the local newspapers trying to get new business.
  • Created the ads for the local newspapers to run.
  • Wrote press releases for the business.
  • Learned the basics to dozens (hundreds?) of other industries in order to serve those industries.
  • Had hundreds of conversations with wife about how the monthly cash flow is shaking out.
  • Built a business process using no employees.
  • Re-built business processes using technology partners.
  • Learned how to use offshore technology help.
  • Created over 80 websites for other businesses, individuals and non-profit groups.
  • Handled well over $2 million in online advertising budgets for businesses of all sizes.
  • Sacrificed college funds for my kids in hopes that I’ll make it back.
  • Learned email marketing programs and helped clients use them to further their business goals.
  • Developed training programs for various marketing programs.
  • Advertised training programs to businesses across the globe.
  • Worked with business partners in the USA, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Spent every night for 6 months from 10:00 pm to 11:30 pm on conference calls with business partners on the other side of the world.
  • Spent hundreds of hours working on new products only to discover they are not market-ready and had to scrap them.
  • Figured out how to monitor expenses so that we can pay bills, eat and pay taxes.
  • Set up a billing system to automate payment processes and improve cash flow.
  • Engineered five of my own company website re-designs in 3 years.
  • Learn how much harder it is to look at myself in the mirror when I screw up, versus having to tell a boss I screwed up.
  • Figured out how to use virtual office space to handle customer meetings.
  • Pouring over spreadsheets completing margin analysis to see if I am going to make a car payment in a given month.
  • Creating job listings for Monster and Craig’s List.
  • Conducting job interviews with prospective employees.
  • Setting up partnership agreements with other marketing companies.
  • Learning that people – customers and business suppliers – will not always tell you the truth.
  • Over-delivered on as many projects as possible.
  • Watched family members shake their heads at me when I start talking about a new business idea…another business idea.
  • Spent hundreds of hours reading books by Seth Godin, Tim Ash, Tony Robins, Napoleon Hill, Robert Kiyosaki, Steven Covey, Frank Kern, Perry Marshall and so many others I can’t begin to list.
  • Flying high when customer receipts are flowing in.
  • Crashing in depression when a few customers bail at the same time.
  • Waking up at night doubting every decision.
  • Figuring out how to leverage every dollar of cash flow to grow the business.
  • What it means to take action.
  • Struck up conversations in coffee shops to explore new business opportunities.
  • Bought business and entrepreneur magazines 5 at a time in the search for new ideas.
  • Create budget plans in durations from one week to 5 years.
  • Learned how to create sales projections that are accurate.
  • Learned the hard way that some clients should never have become clients.
  • Made business decisions that affected other people’s lives.
  • Let help go when the revenue and margins could not support the headcount.
  • Spent days, nights and weekends tweaking spreadsheets containing product definitions.
  • Negotiated contracts with service providers.
  • Went on joint sales calls with white-label partners.
  • Accepted negative-margin clients hoping they would buy something more in the future.
  • Managed the return-on-invertment (ROI) for countless marketing and sales schemes.
  • Spent a 100 degree summer afternoon moving offices from one space to another – alone.
  • Did one office move with the help of another small business owner (Thanks, Greg!).
  • Did NOT get paid during those office moves.
  • Learned to handle the frustration that when I don’t work, I don’t get paid. No Paid-Time-Off (PTO) or family leave crap for the small business owner.
  • Had a logo designed and printed on T-shirts, pens, hats, then just gave it all away.
  • Created flyers for businesses and found kids to hand deliver them.
  • Accepted that my fancy car was an expense I could not afford.
  • Learned how to focus on money-making activities instead of busy-work.
  • Learning to run a business and still find time for family, wife and kids (still learning).
  • Seeing the goal, envisioning the future and taking action to get there.
  • Feeling the thrill when I sign a huge new contract.
  • Waking up at 4:00 am to complete a project that the client needs first thing in the morning.
  • Handling the phone call when a client’s credit card is declined.

I think I could do this all day… so how about this…

There is no body – NOBODY – who did this for me. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I got more negative encouragement than positive. My parents were worried sick about how I would do. My siblings thought it was okay, but I could sense the skepticism. My wife supported me, but there were many days when (I’m sure) she wished for a corporate paycheck.

Teachers? Ha! I was a crappy student in high school and college and had maybe 3 teachers worth even having a conversation with. I am successful now in SPITE of my teachers.

If anybody did anything for me it was my Mom and Dad.

My Mom always believed in me, even when I was making a bad choice. She told me when I was being an idiot, but she always encouraged me. Always. My Dad was a shining example of what a Dad should be. He got up every day and went to work. I once asked him if he had any career regrets…he said no. He worked his tail off to provide for his kids and his family. That type of example has a way of rubbing off on a kid. It taught me what you are supposed to do – work, and work hard.

The government encourages receiving unemployment – I never received a day of it. The bureaucracy in the way of merely starting a business is overwhelming. The system is set up to dissuade people from taking the leap.

Yet I, and millions like me, take the plunge every day. Against all odds we sacrifice our time, our savings, and risk our livelihood – and that of our families – in an attempt to create something that will last. A business that will generate income. One that will allow us to reach the goals and aspirations that we lay awake at night and dream.

And along the way we have paid our taxes.

We pay for the stupid stickers for our cars. We pay the 5% sales tax for every coffee, newspaper and tank of gas we buy. We pay thousands of dollars for accountants to make sense of our business receipts and spending. Then we write the check to pay those taxes. We then pay taxes again when we scrape up enough to buy some stock here and there. We pay and we pay and we pay.

So, we risk it all and we pay our own way.

Then this son-of-a-bitch has the audacity to tell me I didn’t do it alone!?

I have two simple words for you Barry.

Anyone want to guess what they are?

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Comments

  1. I’m fairly certain I know the two words of which you speak. I won’t repeat them, but I wholeheartedly agree with your commentary and your thoughts about the government. If anything, they are in the way, not helping.

  2. Way to take Obama’s words ridiculously out of context. He was referring to the roads and bridges when he said that “you didn’t build that.”

  3. I’m sorry, Tom – would you care to point out where I did anything? I didn’t quote Obama anywhere in the post. If by “taking out of context” you mean posting a link to the ENTIRE comment by Obama…I guess you’re right. Maybe you commies are the only one’s who really understand what he means…us hick, bible-thumping gun toters couldn’t possibly understand the words that came right out of his Marxist mouth.

    But that’s okay, I get it…

    You liberals are twisting and turning and getting yourselves tied into pretzels trying to excuse this abomination of a President.

    You know EXACTLY what the President said. If you need to whine and cry that the mean conservatives just don’t understand The One, have at it.

    What always strikes me is the lengths you leftists will go to in order to cheer on your own subjugation; the lengths you’ll go to defend authoritarianism; the lengths you’ll go to defend anti-capitalism.

    If it weren’t so serious it’d be funny.

  4. For the benefit of my dear readers, confused by Tom’s cry of foul, here are the few sentences before the money phrase:

    “There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

    If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. ”

    So tell us all, Tom…How did I get this wrong?

    Don’t bother. We all see the pathetic attempt to distract us from what Obama said. We all got the context exactly right.

  5. Your debate skills are unparalleled. How can I possibly match or come back at someone calling me a commie? Pretty brilliant. You should be in politics.

    As for whining .. maybe your candidate Mitt should stop complaining about Obama attacking him on Bain and demanding apologies for that.

    The basic point, which any true Conservative should be able to understand, is that private enterprise and the free market do not exist within a vacuum. Things such as market regulations, consumer protection laws, the SEC, and the physical infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc) as well as the police, fire departmetns, etc, are provided by local, state, and federal government. These are all part of the system that benefit small business owners (such as myself) and entrepeneurs. If you are a successful business owner, well of course you “built that” and you should be proud of it. But don’t act like the government never did anything but get in your way. You benefitted from a stable market and from being in a stable country, due to the laws and government that we have in place.

  6. Oh please.

    Make no mistake. This is not a debate at all. I’m just pointing out how sadly mistaken you are. You clearly don’t understand what this is about.

    This has nothing to do with whether or not some municipal fire department has ever helped me. (None has yet. Moreover, fire departments have nothing to do with the federal government, but that doesn’t keep you socialist apologists from tossing it out there anyway.)

    This has to do with a President who not only has no idea what it means to be a business owner, but also has a view of the role of government that is anathema to the structure and philosophy of our founding.

  7. Yours is the typical conservative response. “Well I haven’t had a fire yet .. no fire department has helped me.” (And my point was about the benefits you get from government at all levels, not just Federal). Let’s take it further .. your expressed point on this site about Social Security being a scam and doing away with it. So fine .. let’s say that you can stop paying taxes for Social Security and you won’t get it. Then you’ll be demanding your Social Security one day if you need your retirement saving suppliemented. Along with that and Medicare, you’ll make sure that the Commy Leftwingers in the federal government keep their hands off your Medicare and Social Security!

    It is true that Barack Obama has never run what you would strictly call a corporation. I’m going to give him some experience points for running a very large and successful campaign, and then a much larger entity called the Federal Government.

    Please present some hard evidence that the President has a view of the role of government that is anathema to the structure and philosophy of our founding as stated in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the preamble to the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. Also, please tell me why the Founders should be thought of as infallible in the first place. They wrote slavery into the Constitution – so yeah I think they were capable of a mistake or two that needed correction.

  8. Hehe – you still think you’re getting social security? It’s BROKE! Or did you miss that?

    (Chris Plante likens combating a liberal to chasing a squirrel around the yard with a tennis racket. That is precisely what this thread is like, but I digress…)

    Hard evidence….

    Compelling citizens to buy things from other citizens, under threat of punitive taxation. How’s that for starters?

    Ahhhh… and there we have it! The founders were racist! So funny…

    The Constitution should be ignored because the founders had slaves! Typical leftist self-loathing. Or is it America-loathing? Or how about self-righteous America loathing. Yes, that’s it.

    We’re spending too much!

    Racist!

    The government has too much power!

    Racist!

    Spending $780 Billion on unions and pet projects violates Article 1 Section 8!

    Racist!

    Affirmative action is bad!

    Racist!

    Taking over the health care industry is unconstitutional!

    Racist!

    Obama is bad at…..fill in the blank!

    Racist!

    Typical, predictable and very good for one thing…. This attitude prompted the biggest conservative uprising since 1980. So, thanks for that.

    Now, back to your original point…

    You come here and accuse me of painting Obama out of context. I point out that I included the FULL context both in the linked video and added the text transcript just for you.

    What do you do? Change the subject into a dozen different areas, and make all the tired leftist excuses we’ve all heard a million times.

    At least your consistent.

  9. You couldn’t do it without your customers support. That is what he meant and that we all should have an attitude of gratitude and we stand on the shoulders of others. Just say you don’t like him and that is the real reason you are angry.

  10. Belly laugh of the day! Thanks!

    Try to untwist yourself from the knot your in trying to defend this guy…. He wasn’t talking about customers! Did you even listen to his clip or read the transcript? Evidently, you did not.

    Why the hell should I show gratitude to you or anybody else? You didn’t do jack for me.

    But maybe you’re right…. I mean, all of the unconstitutional power grabs, the heavy taxation, the regulations, the taking over of various industries and major companies, the demonization of success, the class warfare… It’s not that we have a problem with those things…. It’s just that we don’t like Obama. (Shhhhhh…. he’s black, you know.)

  11. Belly laugh?! Why are you so mad? What has he done to make your life miserable? Or has he not given you enough handouts… I mean tax cuts?

  12. The belly laugh is that you think he was talking about customers. Ha! You’re either very naive, or so blinded by leftist ideology that you can’t comprehend what he said.

    You’re damn right I’m mad. I busted my ass to build my business. The government does nothing but get in the way. Paperwork, taxes, licenses, bureaucracy and on and on. I succeed in spite of government.

    And this clown stands there and tells me I couldn’t have done it without…what…without government?

    Moreover, keeping money that you rightfully earn is not getting a handout.

    I bet your one of those leftists who thinks “tax breaks” cost money. That’s another hoot. Right…I keep more of the money I earn and you think that’s a government expenditure. Only the terribly ignorant or terribly naive would believe in such a notion.

  13. Open your mind, quit being bitter. God bless you. From a fellow business owner!

  14. There is no bitterness, Tina.

    This is a point in history when we may lose the USA as it exists. The government was never intended to have the power that it has claimed. We were never supposed to live under the strict guidance of a federal (national) bureaucracy.

    Conservatives like me understand what we are facing. The authoritarian leftists will stop at nothing until they control every aspect of your life.

    My mind is wide open. I will not, however, sit idly by and watch one power grab after another. Watch debt heaped upon my kids. Watch the national government use it’s power to coerce private citizens into contracts with one another.

    If you do not see the danger in these things, we’ll have to disagree.

    Do you think you would be free to open and run your business in China? Cuba? How about Venezuela?

    Or how about Greece, where the people have become so dependent on government, the entire country is collapsing?

    You need to open your mind.

    Lofty notions of Utopianism are fantasy. They don’t exist.

    Ever wonder why Obama constantly talks about bring the mean rich people down instead of poor people becoming rich? That’s because he doesn’t believe anyone should be rich, except himself.

    If you’re really a business owner, you need to wake up to what is going on around you.

  15. Derry Lasch says:

    If you’ve got a successful attack on innocent people at a movie theater, you didn’t do that. Somebody else made that happen. Consider the roads, the Internet and whatnot. It’s time for felons to give their fair share. Lots of others who helped along the way also want free housing, food and medical care. Why not donate four years from your sentence to Obama, it’s the only way he’s going to get them.

  16. Another Tom says:

    You’re right–you didn’t learn “crap” at school. Especially argumentation. You write, “Do you think you would be free to open and run your business in China? Cuba? How about Venezuela?” That’s one of the other posters’ points. People are dying today in Afghanistan to ensure American safety. In short, you disagree with your opponents in part by stealing their argument. Bizarre. This culture of idiocy has to stop.

  17. @Another Tom – I think “incoherent” is the best way to describe your little comment.

    First, this is not a debate forum, it’s a conservative blog.

    Second, what the hell does Afghanistan have to do with anything?

    I guess the validation is a good thing…. in common fashion you do what liberals do best, run around the point and address everything but the relevant issue. Again, discussing anything with a liberal is like chasing a squirrel around the back yard with a tennis racket.

    Well done.

  18. Wayne Morgan says:

    If Mitt would use your blog in the debate with Obama he would bring to light the very points that p–s me off. The late night bills that have been passed without the consent of Congress, and all the other points that you mentioned. Why go over the same old crap we have heard heard from day one. And his TV ads, “If you can’t trust him here , how can you ever trust him here?” Shot of the WHite House. Please! Mitt if your looking for material to throw Obama off guard hire Harry . You could do much worse.

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