My Response to a Statist… (And my philosophy of business)WIT

This post started off several years ago as a post in response to something someone posted on FB, on a friend's wall.  I recently reread it and realized it nicely explains my theory about business and life and government.  If you disagree with the general tone of this article, we likely shouldn't be doing business together…

Enjoy!

 

A friend posted an article on Facebook the other day about the plan our Good and Right Savior, the All Knowing All Powerful President O, the Lord of the Left and the Right, Protector of the Downtrodden, Presider over the Captains of Industry, and Darling of the Wall Street Fascists had proposed to raise the minimum wage…he is after all the protector of the down trodden.

Steve asked me to chime in, specifically, and so I Have tried for now on 3 days. The problem is all my responses just got too long for a FB comment. Sure they might show up but who wants to tread a 6 page response in a FB comment section, even if it is as entertaining as this post will be! So I have responded via this blog post. I hope, hope, hope, the people who have commented will read this and comment here, or back on FB. I hope those reading this, especially entrepreneurs, will seek our Steve Sipress on FB and friend him….it'd be a good idea for your business!

Some of you will see this post as an Ad Hominem attack.  While I am not polite, I have also backed my points up with sound philosophic thought, basically the right of someone to use and dispose of their property (in this case their business) as they see fit and the right of people to enter a contract as they see fit. I am not polite because of the arrogance, the complete disregard for my rights, and the the presumption of the comments I am responding to.  This guy is effectivly, by proxy, coming into my business with a gun, taking money from the till and giving it to my employees.

Since I make my money in trade, I don't abide by thieves, whether they operate by proxy or directly. 

So here is the link to the original article Steve posted:

http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Small-Businesses-React-to-Presidents-Minimum-Wage-Proposal-248650271.html

Here is a response from a FB friend of his:

Given people's perceptions, you may or may not be phrasing the question correctly: it's not necessarily a question of helping or hurting their business, it's a matter of social policy: if free markets were left to themselves, many hard working people, even with 2 jobs, would be liviing close to the poverty line; so the question for many is how much should an individual working 60 hours over 2 jobs, or a couple working 3 jobs for 100 hours a week combined, earn, and what benefits should they have. Also, there is a belief that if the poorer earn more, they will also spend more – benefiting small businesses (how the plusses and minuses work out, I don't know). These added costs would not only apply to small businesses, but also to bigger businesses (eg, Walmart) that prefer to skimp on salaries and benefits. Seems to me that the more pressing problem for small businesses (at least in distribution) is the impact of the Internet: why should a brick and mortar store be at a structural disadvantage to an Amazon.com not only because Amazon pays lower rent per square foot of space, but also because it does not have to charge/pay sales taxes (although that advantage seems to be going away over time, as sales taxes are being imposed). If some of these structural issues were addressed, would small businesses be better able to survive paying higher wages?”

And:

Steve, I don't know if I can address you and Jeff in a comprehensive manner, but here are bits and pieces:

The Ayn Rand article does not get into any specific details about Wal-Mart's pay practices. But see this article:
http://www.forbes.com/…/raising-the-minimum-wage-would…

Places like Costco thrive while paying significantly above minimum wage to even their lowest paid workers – and they have a motivated work force. The article I mention also makes the very important point that a higher minimum wage could result in a lesser need to feed at the government trough. You can't have it both ways – a low minimum wage and cutting benefits to the poor (which is what Paul Ryan seems to prefer).

You assert that many minimum wage people give minimal effort (I don't disagree, but there are many who don't) and I think Jeff says that if they don't like their wages they should find somewhere else to work. Of course, if a business does not like the attitude/effort of an employee, they should fire him/her and find someone else willing to provide more for the same wages. It works both ways. [Also, perhaps employees might be more motivated if you paid them more.]

Where I disagree with Jeff is his complete faith in free markets: let supply and demand set wages. Here's the problem: in pure theoretical capitalist economic models, you have perfect information (everyone knows what others are making/paying elsewhere, what the supply and demand is) and free transferability (it costs nothing to move to a place with better/higher paying jobs). That is not reality. Reality is that there is imperfect information – big companies know far better than small companies and individuals what is out there (although the Internet is lowering that gap) – and no free transferability (it costs lots of money to move from one location to the next). So supply and demand in the real world typically favors the employer (particularly in lower paying jobs), unless you have a unique situation as in fracking North Dakota, where there is massive disequilibrium (both in the labor market and in the housing market) – the advantages of employers in supply-demand equations created a basis for a goverment role to fix some of the perceived inequities. Hence, the welfare state, including the minimum wage.

If you want to minimize the scope of government, then you can't have so many people at or below the poverty line. Leaving it to the goodwill of people to give to charities is not enough; people do not give enough to charities. So, a boost in the minimum wage is one way to address the problem while spreading the burden across the entire population, including small businesses.”

First, I am going to leave this guys name a mystery. If you go find the post you can read it there, but I'm getting ready to tear him apart here on the blog, and I see no reason to point out who made this ridiculous statements.

You see, there are just so many mind-numbed (read brainwashed) assumptions and unsubstantiated leaps in logic in this guys response I hardly know where to start. So I will just go through and address each thing on a point by point basis. Enjoy!

Given people's perceptions, you may or may not be phrasing the question correctly: it's not necessarily a question of helping or hurting their business, it's a matter of social policy:

********* No it's not you collectivist twit! It's a matter of their business and ONLY their business! When the government sets wages, etc. for GOVERNMENT employees it is, arguably, a matter of social policy (although it shouldn't be.) The government, representing the people in a society, arguably has other things to consider when it sets wages for it's workers and contractors. (BTW, that is one of the most important reasons why Government should do as little as possible. Things like ROI, efficiency and long term cost/benefit analysis give way to 'buying votes' for the next election.)

If the idiots pushing for a minimum wage increase, or a minimum wage at all, want to help people make more money, let them open up a business and pay the workers more. Once they get big enough the wages around that business will go up as a result of natural market competition. Of course, they don't want to do that, they just want to use guns to force others who have worked their asses of to give away more money…and it is giving away more money, make no mistake. If I'm an employer and I have a job to do and that job is worth $5/hour, but you force me to pay someone $7-8/hr plus take 15% on top of that, and force me to comply with a whole host of regulations, all of which have a cost, guess what…that job is left unfilled or I just make someone else in my business do it. If you'd like to see more people employed at higher wages, stop using your fucking guns to force me to overpay and stop making it so expensive to have employees.

If you want to give employees all those protections and all that good pay, start a business and do it! Stop acting like a coward and using guns, by proxy, to force others to do it, just because you think it's “the right thing to do.”

BTW, the using guns statements are the reality of government. If you don't do what the government tells you to do, eventually men with guns come and take you or your stuff. Each and every law you encourage the government to pass, each and every dictate from any level of government, is backed up by a gun! If that makes you feel uncomfortable you should reconsider your position, not ignore me for pointing it out. You are no better than a common thief…worse really, at least the thief has the courage to use the gun himself.

if free markets were left to themselves, many hard working people, even with 2 jobs, would be liviing close to the poverty line;

***********This is one of those brainwashed assumptions I told you about. It's simply NOT true. We didn't have a minimum wage in the US until 1938 and believe it or not, employees weren't dying in the streets of starvation. As a matter of fact the market was improving conditions for workers rapidly! Sure it started off pretty bad, but the market corrects all problems…including employee mistreatment or underpayment.

The numbers are clear, employee conditions, wages, etc were rapidly improving. The minimum wage, among other things, just allowed the government to take credit for something that was happening already.

so the question for many is how much should an individual working 60 hours over 2 jobs, or a couple working 3 jobs for 100 hours a week combined, earn, and what benefits should they have.

************And the answer is: They deserve to be paid some percentage of the money their skills produce for the business they work for. If their employer is willing to pay $1 an hour for those skills, and the employee can't find anyone willing to pay more, they deserve $1/hr. If they want more, find someone for whom their skills are more valuable OR get new skills.

The entirety of your comments on this point suggest workers and their value are static, immovable, and they can't make themselves more valuable. If that were true, you might (MIGHT) have a point. However, just because someone refuses to make themselves more valuable by going to school, or the library, or Google, or finding a mentor or any other of a 1000 ways to lean new skills, doesn't mean I am obligated as a business owner to pay them more. This is about personal responsibility, period. You either believe adults are responsible for themselves for you believe they are incapable of taking care of themselves. There is no middle ground. Either the ball is in their court, or you believe they are helpless without you, which is pretty damned arrogant of you as far as I'm concerned.

Also, there is a belief that if the poorer earn more, they will also spend more – benefiting small businesses (how the plusses and minuses work out, I don't know).

************* Maybe true or maybe not (I suspect not) but irrelevant either way. This is not a matter of collective well being, it is a philosophic matter of the right someone has to dispose of their property and handle their affairs in the way they see fit. You don't have the right to tell someone what kind of car to drive or how much to pay for it. Telling them how much to pay their employees is the same kind of intrusion. Their business, their property (a business is property), their rules. If no one will work for the business, they'll have to change the rules or go out of business. If they offer terms that are too 'skinny' the best workers will go elsewhere and their business will not survive, or thrive. On the other hand, the folks paying the most for the skills they need, have an advantage over the rest of the market. These are business decisions that should be left to business owners and prospective employees…not decided by idiots with guns in ivory towers!

These added costs would not only apply to small businesses, but also to bigger businesses (eg, Walmart) that prefer to skimp on salaries and benefits.

**************** The yearly revenue number doesn't effect the moral implications of your argument. And, arguably, large businesses should pay less than small business. There's much clearer opportunity for advancement, your job is far safer, etc. If you work for Best Buy you're less worried about the company going out of business and you're more likely to have advancement opportunities than if you work for the local computer shop. There is value to that and that value means it might be worth taking less money in your envelope today.

Seems to me that the more pressing problem for small businesses (at least in distribution) is the impact of the Internet: why should a brick and mortar store be at a structural disadvantage to an Amazon.com not only because Amazon pays lower rent per square foot of space, but also because it does not have to charge/pay sales taxes (although that advantage seems to be going away over time, as sales taxes are being imposed). If some of these structural issues were addressed, would small businesses be better able to survive paying higher wages?

************* You are now going way afield of the discussion. I will point out though, the buggy whip manufacturers would agree with you. Business advances and the marketplace advances and when it does it leaves behind those who will not keep up. Just like the employee who has been outsourced or his job replaced by a robot and he was fired for his lack of skills in other areas of the business…the company that will not adjust to trends will die, and deserves to die. The marketplace is only interested in people and companies who serve it. Changing laws and interfering in that evolution only, ever, hurts the consumer.

Places like Costco thrive while paying significantly above minimum wage to even their lowest paid workers – and they have a motivated work force.

***************** So what?!  Wal-Mart should pay more because Costco does?  You are truly proud of your ignorance aren't you!  How dare you start making sweeping decisions for a business you don't own and have no in depth knowledge about because a completely different business has a different pay scale, at least based on what some reporter in one magazine article told you.  Piss off!  If you're so damned smart, why aren't you a Wal-Mart exec fighting for high pay for the employees? Or, you could put YOUR money where YOUR mouth is and open a business and pay YOUR employees anything you want.  Of course you won't do that, because like most statist pigs, you'd rather just take from those who produce in order to see your theories tested (by the way they have been tested over and over and they have failed again and again.  Of course that doesn't fit into your narrative of the world, so you ignore the failures and just keep using guns to impose your beliefs on ME!)

The article I mention also makes the very important point that a higher minimum wage could result in a lesser need to feed at the government trough. You can't have it both ways – a low minimum wage and cutting benefits to the poor (which is what Paul Ryan seems to prefer).

*********** False choice! I call bullshit!!!!! This is a favorite technique of you statist assholes who want to control every part of my life. Your suggestions that the government is the ONLY entity that can help the poor is complete and utter bullshit! And your implication that if the minimum wage was done away with all the poor would lose everything is bullshit!!!!

The truth is ONLY 4.7% of the workforce are paid minimum wage. If the minimum wage was raised, even with the ripple effect, it wouldn't effect that many of the workers. To the businesses it effected, it would be devastating, but it isn't that many businesses.

The issue is an issue of the right to use and dispose of your private property…it is an issue of philosophy. It is your philosophy that has torn down every great nation and is killing our right now.

You assert that many minimum wage people give minimal effort (I don't disagree, but there are many who don't) and I think Jeff says that if they don't like their wages they should find somewhere else to work. Of course, if a business does not like the attitude/effort of an employee, they should fire him/her and find someone else willing to provide more for the same wages. It works both ways. [Also, perhaps employees might be more motivated if you paid them more.]

Where I disagree with Jeff is his complete faith in free markets: let supply and demand set wages. Here's the problem: in pure theoretical capitalist economic models, you have perfect information (everyone knows what others are making/paying elsewhere, what the supply and demand is) and free transferability (it costs nothing to move to a place with better/higher paying jobs). That is not reality. Reality is that there is imperfect information – big companies know far better than small companies and individuals what is out there (although the Internet is lowering that gap) – and no free transferability (it costs lots of money to move from one location to the next). So supply and demand in the real world typically favors the employer (particularly in lower paying jobs), unless you have a unique situation as in fracking North Dakota, where there is massive disequilibrium (both in the labor market and in the housing market) – the advantages of employers in supply-demand equations created a basis for a goverment role to fix some of the perceived inequities. Hence, the welfare state, including the minimum wage.

************* Nonsense! The truth is supply and demand is often tilted in favor of the worker. It's just a matter of a worker approaching his skill set the same way a business approaches it's products and services. Sure, if you're only skill is flipping burgers then supply is far greater than the demand and it's tilted in favor of the employers. However, if you have taken control of your destiny and learned to be a truly skilled chef, the balance flips in your favor.

I happen to know a 22 year old high school drop out who trained himself as a DR Copywriter who makes min $150,000 a year and is a up and coming star in the niche business he works in. The same is true for a whole slew of skills, but if someone refuse to find out what those skills are and then learn them…that's their fault. And I should not be made to pay them more then they are worth because of it.

Someone unskilled workers need to a “living wage” doesn't put a lien on the profits of my business….period!

Your statement above shows a dramatic lack of understanding of the marketplace. It saddens me that you get to elect people who use guns to make producers pay unskilled idiots more than their menial jobs are worth because you're too ignorant about the functioning of the marketplace to understand how wrong you are. You have no business sticking your nose into employer employee relationships!

If you want to minimize the scope of government, then you can't have so many people at or below the poverty line.

****************** The truth is, even Bono from U2 admits (Who is not known as the most business friendly chap in the world) nothing – not subsidies, not government, not giveaways – comes close to raising people out of poverty like entrepreneurial capitalism. By definition, the MORE government involvement, the LESS entrepreneurial capitalism…which translates to more poor people. More government interference means more poor people, which, according to you, means more need for government interference!

Your ignorance is painful!!!!

Leaving it to the goodwill of people to give to charities is not enough; people do not give enough to charities.

****** That's because they're taxed to goddamned much you Statist PIG!!

So, a boost in the minimum wage is one way to address the problem while spreading the burden across the entire population, including small businesses.

******* You're an idiot, and your blind confidence in your ignorant talking points is offensive. If you want to pay people more, start a business and stop using guns to impose your theories on me…ASSHOLE!!!

The laws you beg your politicians to pass (and enforce at the point of a gun) effect my children, and that pisses me off! I'm the one who worked 70, 80, 100 hours a week to build this, you didn't! I'm the one who spent in excess of $100,000.00 on mentors, education material, travel to business seminars, coaching groups, masterminds, etc to learn how to build a business, not you and not my employees! I'm the one who has laid awake at night worried about how I was going to cover my bills because revenue wasn't what we projected, not you and not my employees…who get their money whether I get any or not!

Who do you think you are to suggest you have the right to decide how much I pay MY employees in MY business that I BUILT (no matter President O things), you arrogant, ignorant fuck!!!

Tax me all you want…it doesn’t matter!WIT

I know you're likely confused by that title,
especially considering my rabid hatred of the
government sponsored theft that is taxation.

I happen to agree with Ayn Rand on this point, and
many others, if the government is so good, let it get
it's funding my user fees and donations. That'd
solve most of the insanity in Washington because
people could keep them in line directly by just giving
or retracting donations.

Don't like the war, don't donate to the government this
year.

Don't like the police abuses, don't give the local
government any money.

You want more government involvement, give more
and encourage others to do the same.

HA! Can you imagine?

You're likely wondering how I can reconcile the subject
line of this email with what you just read… it's easy!
They are completely unrelated. The fact is I do think
running all the levels of government based on user
fees and donations would be wonderful…I also know
it doesn't matter how much they tax us, and by us I
mean those of us who are committed to Money Getting
and entrepreneurialism.

The idea gelled for me a few days ago when I was
listening to Porter Stansberry's podcast. Porter is that
“End of America” guy. You likely saw his video salesletter
a few years ago. He owns and runs a financial newsletter
publisher, Stansberry and Associates, which is the largest
and most successful financial publisher in the country…
maybe the world.

Porter knows his shit when it comes to investing, and he
is a very smart man politically. I know he's smart because
his political ideas are almost exactly the same as my
political ideas! Lol

Even though we hold VERY similar ideas about taxation,
he commented the other day that it doesn't matter how
much the government taxes him because he'll go get it
all back plus some.

Interesting!

After I noodled it for a while, I must admit, I agree. I agree
because I've seen how the successful behave and I've
seen how the poor behave. And I've seen what happens
when the poor start acting like the rich…and what happens
when the rich start acting like the poor.

And indeed, Porter is correct…it doesn't matter how much
the thieving bastards steal from you…there's always a way
to get it back plus some!

So get to it, like Daymond John, of FUBU and Shark Tank
fame, says…Rise and Grind!

If you're going to out earn the bastards you'll have to…

Keep On Hustlin'
Everte

One of the Three Most Powerful Sales Tools Brilliantly Demonstrated!WIT

I guess I really pissed a lot of people off the other day with my sympathy email…oh well! Such is life. If you were offended this email will make up for it, promise. If you weren’t offended, good for you…you’re one of the smart folks on the list!

A couple of days ago I was reading through some back issues of newsletters I receive, highlighter in hand, and note pad by my side in order to take the important information out and put it into an implementation plan.

The boobtube was on in the background when a commercial came on that grabbed my attention.
(BTW, do you remember when TV’s actually had tubes, and yes the commercials grab my attention, the mindless dribble going on during most shows is easily ignored. I often watch for the commercials. It’s the only reason to watch the Superbowl, although I’ve been disappointed lately.)

It was a fund raising commercial for a charity called Child Fund, used to be Christian Children’s Fund. Watching it a tear came to my eye…

…not for the pitiful little urchins they showed, although I did feel for them, but a tear came to my eye because I was moved at how ruthlessly this kind and gentle charity was using guilt to sell the viewer on donating.

It was FABULOUS!! I laughed out loud at the end when….well see for yourself, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1sHd3SHLNU.

Notice the little girl wiping a tear out of her eye at just the right moment. Chin up little soldier!

Notice the script, gentle and caring but the underlying message…you should be ashamed of yourself living and raising your children in such opulence while these poor children live in filth and poverty and disease and pain!

And when the little urchin at the end asks, in a different language..translated in a child’s voice, “Will you be my sponsor?”

Notice it wasn’t translated in a man’s voice, or an adult woman’s voice. Undoubtedly an adult, whether man or woman, translated what she said, but they had a little girl do the voice over. Why? Not nearly as effective in an adult’s voice! They did it to drive MORE donations…to make more sales.

Everything in this commercial was done for one purpose and one purpose only, to maximize sales/donations…period!

Now, before you call me a heartless jerk, remember, I’m not the one who exploited these children’s hardships for money…Child Fund is. Their motivations might be noble, but their CEO still gets a salary, as does everyone in the marketing department….and their tactics are nothing less than hard core, take no prisoners, close the prospect, direct response marketing to get sales.

You gain nothing by refusing to learn from their ruthless, “unwavering from mission” approach.

If most entrepreneurs sold this hard, everyday, and didn’t piss their money away, they could retire in 5 years…period.

The problem is too many people pull their punches, maybe they they don’t believe 100% in their product or service, maybe they feel sympathy (you know where to find that…if not look at yesterday’s email) for their prospect, or maybe they have a problem with having too much.

No matter, whatever the problem, they don’t sell this hard, and they should be….you should be!!

Whatever problems with selling you have, get over them! You need to foster and develop that killer closing instinct, especially in our current marketplace. Used to be you could make money despite yourself, but those days have been gone for 6 years now.

Time to get to work, and time go after the sale with the same ruthless determination Child Fund goes after it!!

To your Success!
Everte Farnell
www.CopywriterInAKilt.com

“You’re either ALL IN or ALL OUT on everything aren’t you!” She said.WIT

Just about an hour ago, while writing this I had a conversation with my beloved, Her Majesty Queen Rachel.

We are seriously planning on immigrating to Ireland in the reasonably near future…likely within 2 years. Before we go, we thought it would be nice to go see some folks we’d like to reconnect with and see some sites here in the States.

Rach has wanted a camper FOREVER and it made sense to combine the 2 visions.

She proposed we spend some time on the road, traveling….RV’ing really.

Now that I’ve shed my “real” business and can be mobile, it seemed like a good idea, so after some thought, I agreed wholeheartedly, excitedly…I flat got fired up about the idea!

Now when I agree to something like that, I’m all in. I’m like, “Let’s go! Sixty days and we’re on the road. Find a pull behind camper and let’s get started!”

Rach on the other hand, is more on the plan for every contingency program.

If it were up to me we’d be hitting the road next week!

At the end of our conversation she said to me, “You’re either all in or all out about EVERYTHING, aren’t you!”

To which I answered, “YES!”

Let em tell ya, life’s too damned short!!

My father died when he was just 54 years old…hel, that’s middle age by today’s standards.

For a long time I forgot how short life can be. I forgot to do what I loved. I had a family and I fell for the ol’, “you gotta do what you gotta do” bullshit!

For years I walked with one foot on the practical side..the side where I was good at what I hated and did it because it paid the bills. I made forays, dabbles into the other world…the world in which my dreams reside, but I was scared to make the leap because “I gots responsibilities!”

I made the leap in January and it cost me everything I had work to build for years.

It all collapsed. The business I built, all my net worth, everything…gone!

And I can’t remember when I’ve felt more free and happier!

I am solidly in the place my dreams reside now, doing what I love with the people I like working with.

There’s one or two more things for me to shed, but that’s just around the corner. When I was “dipping my toe in,” I never found success in this world, now that I’m committed…opportunities are opening up left and right.

For years I called it sucker speak, the whole “do what you love” thing. I was wrong!

I was blind but now I see!

If there’s part of your life you don’t like…you don’t love, shed it! It might take some planning or maybe not.

No matter what, if you’re not “All In!” then get hel out!!

To your success!
Everte Farnell

PS. Make sure to go to CopywriterInAKilt.com and like my Facebook page. This URL is redirected to Facebook, so you’ll show up there when you click it.

Until tomorrow my vinr (friend!)

Dig a well? I’m not a well digger!!WIT

I’ve gotten a ton of emails the last few days asking where I’ve been the last coupla months.

Well, I guess not a ton, since emails are technically electrons and it would take a seemingly infinite number of electrons to weight a ton…so I don’t really mean a ton but a whole lot of them.

Well, honestly I’ve been very busy…you folks very wonderfully responsive when I started taking on clients again at the beginning of the year, and at the same time I landed some large contract jobs with significant financial publishers.

So I did what everyone does, which is a stone cold rookie mistake…I had a ton of busness so I stopped marketing.

I know, I know…D-U-M-B!

It was dumb, and I know it was dumb, and know it was dumb, and everyday I didn’t contact you I told myself I was being dumb, and I still was “too busy” to make sure I continued to dig the well before I needed water.

I know some business owners who don’t think thy’re in the well digging business….I can assure you we all are!!! And if you don’t dig BEFORE you’re thirsty, you might be able to dig when you are.

So why am I starting again? Am I thirsty? Do I need water all of a sudden?

No, not yet, but I havenoticed some of my influx of new business slowing.

Luckily, I was aware enough of my mistake that when I noticed my current reserve of business dwindle I started digging, well before crisis time.

Unfortunately, I see far too many business owners make this mistake and them drink every drop of water they have before they start digging again.

It’s easy to do…I council against it in businesses and therefore I should know better, but I still made the mistake.

Imagine how easy it is for someone who’s business isn’t to teach this stuff!

And recovery from the mistake can destroy the business, or keep you in a cycle of constant catch up which never allows you to really sp[read your wings and fly to the clouds.

The comfort of some money in the bank and lots of business rolling in today has been the sirens song for a business owner.

So if things are going well right now for you, and business is in an upswing, good! Grab a shovela nd spend and hour or two a day digging another well.

If things are slow, start digging FAST!! Right now!!

And don’t stop until you have several wells all producing water.

I remembered before I hit the wall…let’s make sure you don’t hit the wall either!

Until tomorrow!
Everte Farnell

PS. Make sure to shoot over to Click Here and like my brand new Facebook page for some exclusive content and some substantial interaction!

Your Long Lost Marketing Guru!WIT

How’s things been going? Well here. I apologize it’s been so long since I said hi, seems like I’m here today and gone tomorrow sometimes.

I sincerely hope things have been going well for you!

I was thinking yesterday about something that happened to me about 13 years ago…right around the time I was divorcing my first wife (the, thankfully, former Mrs. Farnell) and before I met my current wife, the love of my life.

I had a friend named Michael. Michael and I were about the same age and spent a lot of time running around in bars, etc before we were married.
We got married about the same time, and the, thankfully, former Mrs. Farnell became close friends with Mike and his wife. So much so that we spent New Years Eve of 2000, you remember Y2K, at their house.

A few months later the, thankfully, former Mrs. Farnell and I were going our separate ways, and I dropped off the face of the Earth with virtually everyone I knew, including Mike

He tried to call me, left me messages, emailed me, even sent me a letter via snail mail. I was too much in a funk to respond. His life was wonderful and mine was falling apart…I wasn’t jealous, I just didn’t want to bring him down.

Once I shook off my funk, I was, honestly, too embarrassed to call Mike. He had been a good friend and I treated him like a leper. He didn’t deserve it, clearly. I was just too broken at the time to stay in touch.

Years later, I ran into Mike at a restaurant. It was good to see him. We were past being close friends but I had a chance to apologize and explain. He understood, and there were no hard feelings.

By that time our lives were too divergent for us to remain close friends…I was single and trying to build a business, he was married and established in his life. We talked a few more times on the phone, but it was clear we were just in different places.

The important thing to note is, if we weren’t in such dramatically different places in our lives, we’d have been just as good of friends when we ran into each other in that restaurant as we before I disappeared. He understood and there truly were no hard feelings.

Same thing happens in marketing. Sometimes you get busy, side tracked and you don’t stay in touch with your people as often as you should…(my face is a little red right now!)

I find folks understand, and if you reach out, they’ll be there to hear.

Thanks for giving me a minute and don’t forget, there’s a customer or prospect you haven’t talked to in a while, so pick up the phone or send an email right now!

Talk to you soon!
Everte Farnell
The Copywriter in a Kilt!

Justin Bieber and Rascal Flatts?WIT

OK, I was on Youtube earlier today to listen to a song I hadn't heard in a while. While there I saw another song that I liked so I clicked on it.

Then on that page I saw an advertisement about a new release for Justin Bieber featuring Rascal Flatts.

Let me write that again, Justin Bieber FEATURING Rascal Flatts.

Even if you're not a fan of country music or pop music you'd have to be living under a rock not to know who these people are. Justin Bieber is the pop sensation who got his start on Youtube, and Rascall Flatts has been topping the country charts for 11 years with sappy, silly, girly love songs. Think Air Supply of the Country world.

OK, so they are doing a duet, but for Justin Bieber to get top billing seems….it seems…it just doesn't seem right. I mean really, Rascall Flatts has been topping charts since Bieber was 6 years old. SIX! So why are these guys willing to play second banana to a kid who's still wet behind the ears?

The answer is because they're brilliant.

Now I understand why Rascall Flatts has been on the charts for so long with such an obvious lack of talent. (No they aren't my favs. I should say I don't like Bieber's stuff either but I find his story inspiring. To see what can happen when you just won' t give up and won't take no for an answer and are willing to work hard, well let's just say my kids are getting a copy of his movie when it comes out on DVD for sure. )

See, Justin Bieber has an entire market he has become VERY popular with. A fan base he owns. And Rascall Flatts knows they can get very real and penetrating access to that fan base by singing back up on some stupid love song for Bieber.

It's not a fan base they would otherwise have access to, and they get access with the endorsement of Bieber, a BIG thing to his fans.

They're big enough to demand billing and smart enough to be willing to play second fiddle to a child. Shrewd…very very shrewd.

If your not catching on to the genius, allow me to say it this way, Bieber has a group of customers Flatts want to get too. They understand they have to constantly be “out there” constantly expose themselves to new customers, constantly make connections with other artists and their customers. (we could go into changes in the music business that makes this critical but that for another post)

Flatts knows the old idea of just making records and getting play on country music radio ain't gonna cut it for long, and they obviously want to be around a while.

Flatts has credibility with their market and Bieber wants that (We haven't even talked about that yet. Again, for another post, perhaps.)

The way Flatts gets exposure to Biebers market is to sing “back up” for him on a song. They get billing to his market and low and behold their record sales go up!

This falls into the category, do you want to be right or rich?

You have to choose. I choose rich personally!

Flatts obviously have their ego tied to record sales and money earned, not tied to some self limiting prideful idea about “who they are.”

You know the story about the waiter and the keynote speaker at a convention. The speaker wanted more mashed potatoes, the waiter said he couldn’t have more, the speaker proudly told the waiter he was the star of the show and the waiter reminded the speaker he was the guy who controlled the mashed potatoes.

Flatts understands what it takes to make record sales, and as such they rarely have trouble finding companies to produce their records.

Bieber is managed by Usher, who is a hard working SOB himself, so I can only assume he is getting a real education about how to stay famous.

So who has access to customers you could be selling to, who could give you a real and powerful endorsement, and who would be willing if you were willing to put your pride aside and play second fiddle?

The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil?WIT

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Anconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

"When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears not all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor–your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money, Is this what you consider evil?

"Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions–and you'll learn that man's mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.

"But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made–before it can be looted or mooched–made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced.'

"To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss–the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery–that you must offer them values, not wounds–that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men's stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find. And when men live by trade–with reason, not force, as their final arbiter–it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability–and the degree of a man's productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?

"But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality–the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.

"Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants: money will not give him a code of values, if he's evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he's evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

"Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth–the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

"Money is your means of survival. The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men's vices or men's stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment's or a penny's worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you'll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?

"Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?

"Or did you say it's the love of money that's the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It's the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money–and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.

"Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

"Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another–their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.

"But money demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich–will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt–and of his life, as he deserves.

"Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard–the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money–the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law–men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims–then money becomes its creators' avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they've passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

"Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that is does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.

"Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked, 'Account overdrawn.'

"When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, 'Who is destroying the world? You are.

"You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of the greatest productive civilization and you wonder why it's crumbling around you, while you're damning its life-blood–money. You look upon money as the savages did before you, and you wonder why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities. Throughout men's history, money was always seized by looters of one brand or another, whose names changed, but whose method remained the same: to seize wealth by force and to keep the producers bound, demeaned, defamed, deprived of honor. That phrase about the evil of money, which you mouth with such righteous recklessness, comes from a time when wealth was produced by the labor of slaves–slaves who repeated the motions once discovered by somebody's mind and left unimproved for centuries. So long as production was ruled by force, and wealth was obtained by conquest, there was little to conquer, Yet through all the centuries of stagnation and starvation, men exalted the looters, as aristocrats of the sword, as aristocrats of birth, as aristocrats of the bureau, and despised the producers, as slaves, as traders, as shopkeepers–as industrialists.

"To the glory of mankind, there was, for the first and only time in history, a country of money–and I have no higher, more reverent tribute to pay to America, for this means: a country of reason, justice, freedom, production, achievement. For the first time, man's mind and money were set free, and there were no fortunes-by-conquest, but only fortunes-by-work, and instead of swordsmen and slaves, there appeared the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being–the self-made man–the American industrialist.

"If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose–because it contains all the others–the fact that they were the people who created the phrase 'to make money.' No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity–to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words 'to make money' hold the essence of human morality.

"Yet these were the words for which Americans were denounced by the rotted cultures of the looters' continents. Now the looters' credo has brought you to regard your proudest achievements as a hallmark of shame, your prosperity as guilt, your greatest men, the industrialists, as blackguards, and your magnificent factories as the product and property of muscular labor, the labor of whip-driven slaves, like the pyramids of Egypt. The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between the power of the dollar and the power of the whip, ought to learn the difference on his own hide– as, I think, he will.

"Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns–or dollars. Take your choice–there is no other–and your time is running out."

 

-Ayn Rand through her character Francisco D'anconia in Atlas Shrugged

Will You Sell Your Soul For Money?WIT

I am going to open the door today and invite you in my home. As I write this it is exactly 2 days after the Packers won the Superbowl, though it's likely a few months after when you are reading it. That makes today the Tuesday after Superbowl Sunday.

I guess the date isn't really important, I am just trying to set the scene. As it turns out I had to take 2 days off this weekend, I normally only take one, so Monday was REALLY busy. On top of that My beautiful wife, Rachel, had dinner done 30 minutes earlier than usual. Ouch!

She came in my office at 5:30 (I usually work until 6:00) and told me dinner was ready. Then she said the most wonderful words, “If you're not done yet don't worry about coming out.”

YES! Score, I can work a bit later and catch up!

I can tell you, that was a mistake. It became obvious she was very stressed hearing her trying to get the kids through dinner. I stopped working and went out to help get things under control and the kids to bed.

By the way, I should mention my children are very well behaved. That said, there are 4 of them, one only 4.5 months old. Handling that many children by yourself, even if they're well behaved, can be stressful. Anyway, back to the story.

During the time I was out with the family it became abundantly clear I had made a bad decision in working late. Well what's done is done. I tried to be in good humor, but it just wasn't going over. We got the 3 older kids to bed and Rach took Amber (4.5 mos) in the other room to feed her.

I got my dinner out of the refrigerator and heated it up. One of the hints she's mad at me is when she puts dinner away before I can get some. If she's not, she'll leave it out or make me a plate before she puts everything away. Then, following my bad decision with a good decision, I decided to go back to work. (When my beloved is mad it's far better to leave her alone to calm down for a few hours than to insist on trying to make things better.)

While I was in the office working, Rach came back and proceeded to let me know about all the mistakes I had made in the last few days. I had asked to her take care of petty cash for one of our businesses, but not given her any information about what to do, and I was spending to much time working on non-profit generating businesses, instead of the business that's “paying the bills.” I should spend more time with our contracting company and not with this consulting/publishing business I am working on.

See, on December 8th, 2010 I woke up, got out of bed and walked into my bathroom in my 3500 sqft “McMansion” and looked at myself in the mirror. When I did I thought, “I don't want to go to work! I don't want to talk to insurance adjusters, deal with the unreasonable customers who I am married to until the job is finished. I didn't want to get a call from a subcontractor, like I normally do, telling me they couldn't get to the job because…oh I don't know…they lost their keys. (No joke that was one of the excuses one time.)

I saw myself in the mirror and I knew our business was sucking out my soul. I hated it, hated what I did for a living, and I was starting to hate the people I employed-who are good people and don't deserve it. I was getting to the point where I saw them as mooches showing up every other Friday with their hand out. I hated it!

Just to be clear, my feelings about that are completely unfair to the people who work for me. They're hard working, smart, dedicated people who deserve better than to be seen in the light I was seeing them in.

I was becoming a grump at home, I was miserable to live with, and my life was headed to a bad place. It all slapped me in the face when I looked in the mirror that morning.

That morning I got out of the contracting business. That morning I became a publisher, a consultant, and a business philosopher.

Of course I had been doing all these things, just as a side line. On December 8th, 2010, they became my profession.

So when my wife said I should be paying more attention to my contracting company because it was paying the bills, I thought to myself, “I will not sell my soul for money!”

It occurred to me, it's not us entrepreneurs that sell our souls, it's the working stiff. The employee. The person who hates their job and goes to work anyway. The person who lives 5 days to take off 2.

The person who relates to the song, “I don't have to be me 'till Monday.”

I didn't act irresponsibly. I got together with my employees and told them my decision. They decided they would like me to train them to handle what I did for the company, and I am. The contracting companies are still going at this point. Some adjustments are in order, and a few people are unsure, but all in all they're bringing in money and I don't have to be there.

In the meantime I am setting up systems so I don't have to work in the business. A couple of hours a week in meetings and handling the marketing (which I like anyway) and I can focus on what I love, helping entrepreneurs do better in their business.

It is not we entrepreneurs who will sell our souls for money, it is they who do. We, entrepreneurs, more than anything else, protect our soul. No we're not whimsical, no we don't act impulsively (or at least we try not to) but we do protect who we are at our core. If something is making us miserable, if we are selling our souls for our business, we quickly claim back our soul and go on to the next thing.

Funny thing is, those who sell their soul for money do so for just a pitiful sum compared to our financial rewards.

Next time someone scowls at you for making decisions in your business for financial reasons, reasons that benefit you, just remember, they're the ones who have bartered their soul for a pittance of money dripped in each week. We're the ones who protect our souls and therefore are richly rewarded.

Make your decisions without guilt and without remorse. You're the more moral creature, you still have your soul!

PS. Today, the day after my late night, Rach is her normal wonderful self. She was last night before bed. I got her to laugh a few time, though she tried not to. A few hours to relax and a good night sleep and she's the Love of my Life again. Just thought I'd let you know. Until next month! Oh yeah, she was mistaken about the non-profit generating business as well, but I saw no reason to point out her mistake at the time.