July 17, 2012
By Rob Miller
If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.
And of course, since you did nothing to build your business, it belongs to "the people" -- along with any wealth or profit derived from it. Pretty much what Lenin had to say about the matter, if you recall.
The president is obviously clueless about what it takes to start a business from scratch, having never done anything remotely like that, since his career has consisted entirely of suckling at the government teat.
But having done it myself a few times, perhaps I should take a stab at enlightening him, and those who unfortunately think like him. The process is quite different from being a well-connected campaign donor who tosses together a green energy scam like Solyndra and can depend on government largess to fund it as a kickback for services rendered.
First, you need to take a look at the marketplace and develop a skill, a service, a product, or an idea that people are willing to pay for. Some people obtain these by working for others, figuring out how to do what the company they're now working for does better, saving up some of their hard-earned money, rolling the dice, and stepping off into space without the safety net of a guaranteed paycheck. Others develop something over time as a part-time income until they feel they have enough business developed and enough of a rep to go it alone, or in partnership with others.
No matter the case, it involves risking all of your assets in exchange for a shot at financial independence. People deny themselves as they squirrel away capital, hit their credit cards, or borrow the money, usually on their homes.
It is one of life's solemn and sometimes scary moments when someone pushes a loan application or an equipment or office lease at you, and you're wondering if you're going to end up being a failure.
You'll always wonder in the beginning whether you did the right thing.
If the business is to be successful, you work long, hard hours, with no guarantee that anything will come of it. If you run a store, you have to be concerned with things like inventory, shoplifting, and cutthroat price-cutting from your larger, already established competitors. If you run a service business, you work with no guarantee you'll be paid for your efforts until the deal closes and your client's check clears the bank.
In the beginning, unless you start out with a boatload of money, you do everything, and if you screw up, it comes out of your pocket -- no one else's. Aside from the actual day-to-day work your business entails, you do the books, you keep the records and pay the fees government requires, you answer the phones, you make the decisions on advertising and marketing, you chase down new business, you deal with vendors and do the ordering (an art in itself), you deal with sales reps seeking to sell you things you usually don't need, you pay the bills, and you sweep up.
In exchange for these fun-filled 15- to 18-hour days, you might make a profit after a few months and be able to start paying your bills out of the proceeds.
If you do all these things well, your business is one of the minority that survives its first year, and you've made enough money to expand a bit, you may be able to hire employees. Yes, at that point you actually might need to supervise and direct others aside from yourself. Make the right hiring decisions, and ideally, you begin to make more money as you put a business team together. Make the wrong one, and aside from losing money, even coming in to work can become hell.
Aside from taking on new jobs like payroll accounting, paying the taxes, paying for worker's compensation insurance, and filing the numerous reports and paperwork government requires, you also take on the job of human resource head and complaint department. Some of your employees will be a joy to work with, and it will be a pleasure to reward them appropriately. Others will simply have you shaking your head in disgust.
In the end, after a few years, if you didn't make too many mistakes at the outset, if you picked the right kind of business at the right time and place, and if fortune favors you, you may have a successful business that provides you and your family a comfortable living.
You'll still work a lot harder than the average 9-to-5 employee, but by then it will have become second nature to you, and you'll be a lot more comfortable walking the tightrope. Usually, you'll wonder why you didn't go into business for yourself years earlier than you did.
Moreover, you'll have the reward of knowing you gambled and won, that you built something with your own hands that belongs to you -- something that you may be able to leave to your children. And that's something no one can take away from you.
Unless it's a wannabe commissar like Barack Obama...who resents you, deep down, because you had the courage and ability to do something he could never have done in a thousand years.
The only way a Barack Obama can get what you have is to steal it. Which is exactly why he's telling people it doesn't belong to you in the first place.
Yes, it really is that simple.
Rob Miller writes for Joshuapundit. His work has appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The San Francisco Chronicle, American Thinker, Andrew Breitbart's Big Peace, and other publications.