Business and The Fourth of July

It is that time again the fourth of July, a day when every year we shoot off fireworks and cook out on the grill and just hang out with family and friends. At every event like this over the last 20 years I always heard the following words “Rob you work too much.” I think every entrepreneur I have ever met has heard this exact same thing. The fact is most entrepreneurs never get rich, and heck most of them can barely pay their bills.To a large extent owners work till they are completely worn down and burnt out.  I remember one week I was at over 100 hours in a week. I was so tired that I couldn’t even read a medicine bottle to give my grandmother her medicine before I went to bed. So if you have to work so hard to make it, why would anyone want to become a business owner?

What a great question?  I am going to use my best Independence day metaphorical expertise.
In 1776 The United States was a colony of England. They paid taxes and essentially became an employee of England. England and its Monarch, King George viewed its employee as an arm of the it’s ever increasingly large company, but King George was a bad boss. He back charged the employee every chance he got, and offered no benefits for working for him. Eventually after awhile the U.S. became tired of this treatment and decided that the need to feed his family was more important than stupid King George and his company.  The U.S. didn’t leave right away instead they said “Dear King George, can you please make this intolerable situation better. We want to feed our families; we want to have an equal opportunity to succeed.”

King George responded with “Shut up and get to work!!! ”

It was only at that point did the employee leave, beaten, broke, and  they struck out on their own.  They penned a resignation letter that’s opening line read “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.” Most were afraid of what the future would hold for them. It seemed like the the whole world was against them and no one even took them seriously.  The U.S. was undeterred and decided that they would build no matter what it took. Eventually the U.S. became a powerhouse company and through it’s revolutionary approach to both growth and leadership (see how I snuck that word in there..let me say it again revolutionary)  they were able to cultivate some of the top companies the world has ever seen. If companies are metaphors some of those countries include “China, Russia, Japan, Modern day Germany, and many others”.
In many ways business owners are like Minute Men or Revolutionary War soldiers fighting to gain independence
In many ways business owners are like Minute Men or Revolutionary War soldiers fighting to gain independence
I think that story resonates with me and a friend of mine, RODNEY KOOP  (The Founder of The New Flat Rate and author of the book Why Won’t They Pay Me What I’m Worth” (I wanted to make sure I gave him credit on this blog post.))  were talking about this very thing and he said to me.  “I would have never gone into business for myself if my boss had just paid and treated me right.” The U.S. never would have went into business for themselves if their boss had just treated them right. So when you are thinking of saying to your employee, “Shut up and get back to work!” remember that you are a part of a team, and remember that England would be by far the strongest nation in the world if King George had just said “Lets work together and solve these problems.”   

Check out the Chapter in the Book “Be a Service Ninja” where we discuss leadership, not friendship. And as always That’s how a service ninja does it.