Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A Raw Entrepreneurial Story: Holding On And Looking Ahead

Alexis at Dance, and Abby
 I borrow the term, "fighting in the trenches", because it closely represents a constant struggle to press on.  Some of the challenges I have faced and endured I would not wish on even my most ardent nemesis!
To say that our past does not have an impact on our existing behaviors would make us, well, delusional.  There is no question that some of the crisis and problems I lived through had an impact on my thinking and responses.  An almost crushing pressure of constantly balancing several variables, financial obligations, people and serving customers makes for a constant struggle to learn 'right responses'.  Several times, I would find myself coming into work in a daze, overwhelmed and feeling like quitting is the only relief to the constant barrage of pressures.  Once we came out of the recession, amazingly, stronger then ever...I felt a massive weight come off my shoulders. I gave the analogy, "it's like your in the middle of the ocean with a boat that has holes in it.  The ship looks as though it is sinking...and my job is to work like a maniac, unceasingly, to scoop enough water from the boat to keep it afloat."  Can you imagine how I reacted when I heard the news, 'Relax Ryan, all the holes are plugged, the boat is a float and fine!'?  I went on to explain to people, that it's like I turned into jelly and just blobbed onto the chair and existed.  The boat is fine, I can stop frantically scooping water out. The war has ceased...I can come out of the trenches and relax.

When I took a self inventory, I realized a few major 'themes' that disgustingly existed within me.  I observed a paradigm where I interpreted events as a victim.  Woe is me!  Oh how hard did I have it...always giving, serving and being battered in the process!  My friends caught this language and pointed it out.  I saw it right away.  I also noted I was unintentionally speaking about myself in the same terms I criticize left leaning policy: oh the helpless victim.  Trust me, I am working on this aggressively.  I am not a victim as my past does not determine my future. 

Secondly, I realized a theme of laziness...not using my time wisely...after all, I deserved a rest after warring so hard and so much.  Horribly, I even apologized to my wife Abby for coming home with a mindset that said, "I can't give my all with lots of energy to my two young girls, because I am so whipped at work".  What a terrible lie I victimized myself into holding to! Again, the victim mindset is propping up this incredible belief.  To remedy this, I have filled my schedule with productive items so I can better serve our customers, I have decided to eat healthy and speak peace over my body: so I can get good sleep.

Being a victim is not a 'left wing' condition.  It is a human condition.  I realized the world did not rush to coddle hold me and rock me to sleep.  The powerful lesson I had the joy of learning is simple: people who love me served me well by 'calling me out, then calling me up'.  They pointed out how my actions were not serving me.  They offered remedies for change.  They directed me to channel my frustrations and pain in the right places: so progress can be made.  In effect, they picked me up, dusted me off and sent me on my way.  What a gift.  Oh how tragic if they would have joined my pity party (membership was free) and talked about how indeed I am the victim and I am owed something as a result of being unfairly treated etc!  We love to have others see our perspective and join us in articulating our view of reality, don't we?  Rising above 'myself' has been an incredible process.  Learning to live a life of being a victor and not a victim was not a 'switch' that went off, but rather an ardours process.  Learning that my future is not determined by my past was a 10 year journey to work through.  What I have concluded is that my future is determined not by my past, but by the 'now'.  What am I choosing to do NOW to advance my future, to make it look like what I want?  I desire a future of excellent relationships with family, friends and even customer, suppliers and employees.  Relationships matter to me more then anything in the world.  I am 'getting over myself' so I can better serve my family and loved ones.  I trust this note has encouraged you today.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Let's move past the belligerent surface of Congress and the sitting President and for a moment consider the actual health of the US economy in practical terms. The picture tells a 1000 words.  How could any normal thinking human question the downgrade of US credit? No,  Take the comparable family budget above to the bank, and how much do you think they will loan you?  Running a business this way will lead to a massive drain of cash...or for most of us, bankruptcy.  Yet the championed budget cutbacks represent only a fraction of what is required to get their financial house in order.

Speaking of financial houses not being in order, Ontario's debt currently stands at 200+ billion: STUPID

Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan released updated deficit figures on Monday.
Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan

Bone-headed comment of the month award: Mr. Dwight Duncan, "
"I've not got solid numbers upon which I can make those predictions right now (when the deficit will end), and frankly, having been finance minister through 2008 and 2009 I've learned perhaps better than most how volatile revenues can be," the minister told reporters at Queen's Park.
It's your job to know.  It's your job to anticipate budget shortfalls Mr. Duncan.  I've not got my thinking cap on, but I can still figure out your performance is not good enough to get you re-elected (not withstanding voters less educated then you rallying behind your foolishness...after all, you got there in the first place).

We need somebody who does not turn into a train-wreck at the sounds of 'budget shortfall'.  The quote should have gone, "I have created 3 scenarios for eliminating the deficit based on cuts and revenue fluctuations.  I look forward to debating these items to move our province forward".  Simplifying seemingly complex political matters is difficult for politicians.  Keep your job simple: take responsibility and get your financial house in order. Check your excuses and ego at the door.  Acting stupidly is the only reasonable explanation for some of these decisions we are seeing from today's politicians. What the Federal US and Ontario politicians need is a little jolt of reality. 

Increased Taxes and Increased Unemployment: Who Knew?

Despite a record amount of Americans in poverty, Obama continues to beat the drum of higher taxes on those 'who can afford it'.  The change towards a Canadian/European style nanny state is something I believe in, Mr. Obama: but not agree with.  Incredible personal and government debt + higher taxes + increased government spending continues drag your economy down!  Taxing the rich hurts the poor, as I indicated some time ago in a previous blog entry.  It is sad this simple reality has to be exposed via real life stats with 46 million Americans living in poverty: the highest the census has recorded since it's inception 50 years ago.

The message is simple: left leaning policy does not work.  It's not 'kinda good'. It's not 'well, if it was ever used correctly, then it would be effective'.  It is inherently destructive to wealth, and therefore, the rich gets taxed and the poor stay poor due to left leaning principals taking their affect.  We were built to create and take ownership.  Attacking those axiomatic basic realities does exactly what we see: people of all income groups alienated, in the name of 'compassion' or worse yet; fairness.

I warn you America (as if they will take heed...if they won't take heed to 14 trillion of debt, a credit downgrade, then how will I fit in?), your path will lead to your bankruptcy.  Do we need the US to become another Greece?  PLEASE Mr. Obama, it's better to take heed then the fat of rams...

Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain