This was certainly an election for the ages and, whether you like or dislike the outcome, I think everyone is glad it is over.
I’ve spoken to alot of investors and entrepreneurs on both sides of the aisle and I have a word of caution to them all. “Things are never as Bad as you think the are, and things are never as Good as you think they are.” Meaning, for those that voted Romney and were devastated the next day, it’s going to be ok. I spoke to several Romney voters who were physically sick because they were so depressed November 7th. I had to tell them to “Get over it”! The sun still came up the next day and the same amount of work was still sitting on their desk. They need to get their mind right again and get back to business as usual. The President may have an impact on their business depending what industry they are in, but it is what it is. As an entrepreneur, you need to play the hand that’s dealt and kick ass no matter what. So, to the Romney supporters that are still depressed, I suggest you get over it and make your plan, alter your plan, work your plan, etc. and remember, government is only a small part of your daily life. This is not the end of the world for you!
To the Obama supporters who are celebrating like they just won the Powerball Lottery, guess what? You still have to get up tomorrow and get to work. Just because he won the election and you supported him, your business is not going to run by itself. You too have the same amount of working sitting on your desk waiting to be done. To think you are automatically on “Easy Street” because your candidate won would be crazy, it’s still going to take the same amount of work as before the election. Let your guard down and you will get run over by an entrepreneur who is hungrier than you!
My point again is, Things are never as bad as you think they are and Things are never as Good as you think they are. You are ultimately responsible for your own success and your accomplishments are ultimately tied directly to your efforts…That’s what makes you an Entrepreneur!
Entrepreneurs fail and succeed every day regardless if a democrat or republican is in the Oval Office and Government will always be a part of your life in some way, but ultimately, it’s you that matters most to the success of your business. Focus on your responsibilities and your efforts and you will succeed because of you.
Before anyone reaches success in anything they do, they undoubtedly experience some sort of failure and tough times.
Let me start by saying, I Hate Failure!
I absolutely hate to lose at anything no matter if it’s business, sports, or life in general.
Second Place is Always the First Loser, no matter how many participants! There will never be a day an entrepreneur can be satisfied with 2nd place!
That doesn’t mean I don’t fail, quite the opposite. That also doesn’t mean I’m a sore loser, in fact I’m quite the opposite and nothing but respectful and gracious in defeat to everyone, except myself. All entrepreneurs are like this, with no exceptions! Remember, in business, every single day there are competitors trying to put you in bankruptcy so you are forced to always be on your toes. The day you “accept 2nd place” and accept mediocrity, is the day your business begins its decline.
If you are a successful entrepreneur, without even knowing anything about you, I’m sure you have failed many times on your way to success. The difference is you never quit. In fact, failing isn’t losing, it’s simply a learning experience and a chance to go back at it a little bit smarter. You never lose until you quit because the “game” is never over until you quit. You can’t lose if the game is still going on.
Funny how entrepreneurs can struggle for years then suddenly break through and hit their “homerun” deal or catch a big break in business. To everyone else, it may appear like they got rich overnight, but that’s rarely the case. Their success is a collection of small setbacks that taught them a better way and their motivation was a combination of their drive for success and their dislike for the feeling of failure.
If you never quit, you will never be a failure!
—–> Fear of Failure <—–
The fear of failure is as bad or worse than quitting. You will never know how good you can be until you push yourself to your breaking point. You will never know what you are capable of if your fear of failure stops you from ever giving yourself a chance! Come out of your comfort zone and give yourself a shot at whatever it is you’ve been wanting to do, but been held back by fear. Understand there is a chance you won’t succeed, but you will never be called a failure unless you don’t try at all or quit along the way.
The road to success in anything you do, whether it’s work, sports, or anything else, is filled with obstacles that some call failures. The choice is yours to stop along the way or to keep on pushing towards your goal. Understand that failure is part of the journey and it’s going to happen no matter how good you may be. I’m not saying you should “accept” failure, that should never happen, but I am saying you should learn from it and keep pushing and never let the fear of failure stop you before you even get started. Use it as motivation if you have to, but whatever you do, get started and never give up. If you use that mentality in everything you do, you will always be a winner no matter what it is you are doing.
—–> Persistence <——–
Persistence is the number one ingredient to success! It’s what separates the successful from the unsuccessful in most cases. Ask any successful entrepreneur about their journey and you will likely hear incredible stories of persistence and how they wanted to give up many times, but refused to.
I’ve often compared athletes to entrepreneurs because the work habits are so similar and the strive for greatness is similar. Look at what Terrell Owens just accomplished at 38 years old, which is “assisted living” age in the NFL. After being out of football nearly 2 years and recovering from ACL surgery, he runs a sub 4.5 forty and gets a contract from the Seattle Seahawks. I can’t begin to imagine the workouts he must have put in and the number of people that told him he would never get another shot at the NFL. I’m sure those same doubters will be rooting for his failure, but after going through what he just put himself through, doubters mean nothing to him I’m sure. This is the type of persistence I am talking about.
Challenge yourself to the limit in anything you do and stick to it even when you want to quit. The pain is temporary and the success will feel so much better if you keep pushing yourself. Surround yourself with people with the same mindset for support and don’t ever quit.
Congratulations to every entrepreneur, athlete, parent, and everyone else that continues to push themselves beyond what they thought they were capable of.
I think the majority of people watching the Olympics just sit back and enjoy the competitions and root for their country to bring home the gold without taking a minute to think about how great they are just to get to the Olympics!
As an entrepreneur, I also root for Team USA to bring home the gold, but I also can’t help but look at each athlete and understand the amount of work, dedication, and incredible sacrifice they must have gone through to get to that level. The early morning workouts, the countless hours and grueling days of practice with the goal of becoming the greatest athlete in the world at their sport. They’re not trying to be great, or even really great for that matter, they’re trying to be the best in the world! Imagine being the best in the whole entire world at what you do…Incredible! Any Olympic athlete, whether they won the Gold or finished dead last in their competition, has pushed themselves to the limit and sacrificed more than you could ever imagine and is mentally tough as nails. If they use that type mentality to pursue business success, nothing will stop them!
To be a successful entrepreneur, you must also put in alot of work and sacrifice if you want to bring home your Gold. So many people underestimate the amount of work it takes to succeed in business and think just because they are skilled at something they can make a business out of it. A good cook does not guarantee a successful restaurant owner.
Dig deeper the next time you see an entrepreneur and try to understand the amount of work it takes to succeed in business. Don’t simply view the wealthy entrepreneur as the “final product”, think about the sacrifice that went into that final product. The next time you see a wealthy entrepreneur, instead of assuming they got “lucky”, take a moment to consider how hard they must have worked, how many times they may have fallen and gotten back up, and the sacrifice they likely went through to finally achieve success. I have so much respect for any entrepreneur whether they are ultra-successful or still fighting to get there. It takes alot of courage, risk, and effort to travel the road of an entrepreneur and success is never a guarantee no matter how hard you try.
The same for goes for any and all Olympic athletes no matter what place they finish the race. They want the Gold worse than you can ever imagine because they are the ones that sacrificed and worked so hard just to get there. Lets recognize their effort and cheer their hard work no matter if they are standing on the podium receiving a medal or not.
Cheers to all the entrepreneurs and Olympic athletes, you are all heroes in my mind!
Don’t get caught looking at a couple of numbers and think they tell the whole story, you have to look at the full picture. The news media constantly reports a headline with an astounding number that will get your attention because it makes news, but if you look deeper you will find much more to the story.
For example, in 2006/2007 when you read headlines you would see in bold print, foreclosures up 250%!! No kidding! Up 250% from the previous year, but take into consideration the previous year was a booming market so there were very few foreclosures making it pretty easy for them to be up 250% at the start of the correction! Get my point?
Now fast forward to 6-9 months ago. Media reporting the number of new foreclosures listed for sale has dropped dramatically, could this mean the market has changed for the good? Have we bottomed out? There were many reports of a decrease in homes available for sale as high as 30%+ hinting the inventory was shrinking and we bottomed out. They failed to mention that the lawsuits filed against certain banks meant the banks involved, including Fannie Mae, were not releasing any foreclosures. If the banks were not releasing foreclosures, the number of available homes would obviously decrease…common sense. But, they sold papers and people bought into it.
Now lets look at today’s numbers and lets look deeper into the real picture. New listings are lower, days on market are down, but median prices are up, new home builders and permits for new homes are at highest point in several years, new home sales are obviously up as a result, and home inventories are down across the US, especially noticeable in some of the hardest hit areas. Correction over? I say “yes” with an “IF”. The “if” is, IF the banks continue to be patient and strategically release foreclosed homes at a slow pace as to not flood the market. If they do that and they can keep the supply and demand levels steady, my opinion is we will continue to have a positive real estate market. Couple that with inflation, which always makes real estate worth more, and you can see why we have been working the buy and hold strategy and will continue to do so.
Fact is, banks are making record profits right now. Refinances are keeping them very busy, but new loans are doing well too and credit card fees are making the banks more money than ever. If the banks would loosen up a bit, this market would take off in my opinion, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon, they are making a boatload of “safe” money as it is. The reason I don’t see the banks dumping foreclosures is because the market (they created) is getting more firm so the longer they hold, the more valuable their REO’s become.
We’ve said this for years and it is worth repeating…The banks are the smartest people in the business, don’t ever forget that. Yes, greed may have helped create the housing correction, but the banks generally are the smartest in the game so it’s not likely they will do anything to reverse the course the market is in right now.
One last thing. The rental market is as strong as ever because so many people cannot buy a home due to their credit being hurt over the past few years and those that were foreclosed on will have to wait at least 3 years to get another Fannie backed loan. If the banks credit guidelines remain strict, this rental demand will stay strong because renters won’t be able to buy a home. In plain English, this means it is very likely the correction will remain slow and steady and not a quick boom like some people think. Yes some markets are thriving and always will because of their location, but overall, it will be a steady correction and a great market for buy and hold investors. If you are able to get a loan on an investment property right now, your leverage will be fantastic because the rental market is so good. Let the renters pay the mortgage, even if it takes 5 years, then reap the appreciation benefits. While you are collecting the rent, you also have the many benefits and write-offs of home ownership such as depreciation etc.
Just make sure, as an investor, you keep your eye on the “if” and keep track of what the banks and builders are doing. Banks releasing too many foreclosures and builders being too aggressive with new spec homes are the 2 things that can create a stoppage in the correction because they will skew the supply and demand levels.
Last word. We say get out there and invest now before you are like the millions of others that will be kicking yourself 5 years from now. In the not so distant future, people will be saying wow, I could have bought that property for $195,000 and now it’s worth $300,000!! Why didn’t I take action!!
As an entrepreneur of any level, you must always be learning and making yourself better in life and in business. The day you stop trying to be the absolute best in your industry is the day you will get steamrolled by your competition! There are alot of fantastic business books that are available and many that I would list as a “must read” such as, “Think and Grow Rich”, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, and “The Millionaire Mindset”. Most all successful entrepreneurs have read some or all of these books, as well as many others and make it a point to continue to learn no matter what their financial status is.
As an entrepreneur of over 25 years, I still learn alot and get extra motivation by other, and more successful, entrepreneurs such as the ones on the hit show Shark Tank. Even if your mindset is on point and you are self-motivated, there is always a tip or two that can be taken and used to help you make more money in your business. The following books were written by the successful entrepreneurs on Shark Tank and are books I have personally read and highly recommend.
Daymond John, Founder and CEO of FUBU. Daymond started his business on the streets of New York and built it into a billion dollar brand. He shows how he made his company a powerful brand with very little capital and by doing so, made his company look much bigger than it actually was in the beginning. His first book was “Display of Power” and his second and newest book is “The Brand Within”. Daymond is the epitome of an all-around entrepreneur and shows how hard work and tireless effort can create huge success no matter the industry. He made his fortunes in the clothing industry, but has also diversified into other industries such as tech companies and is the leading expert on marketing and branding. Entrepreneurs must always change with the times and stay relevant and Daymond has not only grown multiple successful clothing lines, but has also gotten involved in multiple businesses outside the industry, which proves that, if you are truly a great entrepreneur, you can take most any good idea and create a successful business out of it. There are only a small percentage of entrepreneurs that can do this, but he is definitely one and you will learn alot from his books. I was fortunate enough to meet with Daymond in his NY City office and got some invaluable advice from him on marketing and branding for one of my companies.
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and many other companies, shares his wealth of experience and business savvy in his first published book, “How to Win at the Sport of Business”. The book is only available as an e-book, but can be downloaded for only a few bucks so you have NO excuse not to read it. Marc started, built, and sold his company broadcast.com to Yahoo for $5.9 Billion!! He is a no-nonsense entrepreneur that built his fortunes from hard work and major sacrifice! Using material from his popular Blog Maverick, he has collected and updated his postings on business and life to provide a catalog of insider knowledge on what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. He tells his rags-to-riches story of how he went from selling powdered milk and sleeping on friends’ couches to owning his own company and becoming a multi-billion dollar success story. I never get tired of hearing how a billionaire like him started with very little and love to see the sacrifices and obstacles that had to be overcome on the way to success. You will start this book and not put it down until the end, guaranteed!
Robert Herjavec has lived the classic “rags to riches” story. He is the son of immigrants from Croatia and started with only $20 in his pocket and barely understood the English language! His book “Driven: How to Succeed in Business and in Life” is at the top of the “must read” list. From delivering newspapers, waiting on tables and launching a computer company from his basement, he has built and sold several companies including a computer security company to AT&T and a technology Company to Nokia for $225 Million. Anytime I hear people whining about how tough it is to get their business started I think about Robert’s story and tell them to quit whining and get back to work. No disrespect to them, but starting and running a successful business is tough, but so what…there are always people that had it much tougher than you or I. Robert has amassed incredible wealth through pure hard work and determination. There is no way you can read his story and not feel his pride and emotion and get yourself motivated by the road he had to travel on his way to success. Inspirational to say the least.
Barbara Corcoran is a fireball and is as energetic as anyone you will ever see. She makes it very obvious she loves life and loves what she does every day. According to Barbara, after failing at twenty-two jobs, she borrowed $1,000 from her boyfriend, quit her job as a diner waitress, and started a tiny real estate office in New York City. Her newest book tells how she grew up in a small house in New Jersey with her parents and nine brothers and sisters. She says they had few luxuries, but were blessed with a mother who taught her to have self-confidence. She also says her mom didn’t know much about business, but she understood how the world works, and how to make the most of what you’ve got. You know you are a great motivator and organizer when you run a household of 12 people, 10 of them being kids! Any parent and/or entrepreneur will agree, that must have been tougher than running ANY business in any industry! Barbara used the lessons she learned from her mom and built her real estate company, The Corcoran Group, into a $6 billion dollar business and eventually sold it for $66 Million! Her book “Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business” shows exactly how she did it. This book was written so well you will find yourself not wanting to put it down. It is easy to read and goes back and forth between her home life in NJ to her business and how her moms lessons were used to navigate issues or problems she experienced while growing the Corcoran Group. She took her moms “life lessons” and turned them into “business lessons” that all entrepreneurs can learn from. In addition to “Shark Tales“, she has written “Nextville” and “If You Don’t Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails”. Catchy! Barbara invests in many industries now and still claims she invests more in “people” than the actual business. I will personally vouch for one of her newest partnerships, Daisy Cakes…The carrot cake is amazing and is my “diet killer”, but worth every calorie!
Kevin O’Leary shares invaluable secrets on entrepreneurship, business, money and life in his best-selling book “The Cold Hard Truth on Business, Money, and Life”. If you know Kevin from Shark tank, you know he is abrupt, to the point, and is all about the money…or at least pretends to be on TV…”Mr. Wonderful”. Fact is, in his book he describes how he worked pretty much 24/7 on his business and expected his team to do the same. If they weren’t willing, they were gone; those that stuck it out, got rewarded handsomely! He shows what it takes to succeed and what extremes entrepreneurs must go through to finally make it. He started his company in his basement with a $10,000 loan from his mom and eventually sold it for $4.2 Billion!! I love the direct advice Kevin gives, entrepreneurs need to have thick skin and if they can’t handle it, they might as well stop pretending to be an entrepreneur and go get a job somewhere. After reading what he went through building his business, I don’t blame him for telling it like it is. People are asking him for his hard-earned dollars, or soldiers as he calls them, and expect him to fork them over just because they are “nice” and they think they have a good idea. It doesn’t work that way in business so get used to it and embrace it. That doesn’t mean quit when someone thinks your idea is bad, but considering the source, you may want to at least ask how he thinks you can revise your product or service to make it better. Kevin is currently the Chairman of O’Leary Funds, a $1.7 billion investment fund company, a shark on Shark Tank, star on Dragons Den and the new show Redemption Inc. Get this book and read it, more than once! Read the book, it’s to the point and full of “what it takes” to be an entrepreneur. When you are done reading it, you will know if you have what it takes or not.
Kevin Harrington was a shark in Season 1 of Shark Tank and is an ultra-successful entrepreneur. Kevin has been in the Direct Response business for over 25 years and is considered the pioneer and principal architect of the “infomercial” industry. He’s launched over 500 products resulting in $4 billion in sales and 20 products that reached individual sales of over $100 million. Kevin wrote the Book “Act Now, How I Turn Ideas into Million-Dollar Products”. The amazing lengths Kevin took to make his mark on the industry were incredible to read about and if you want to see how sales works, read the book! He is definitely the king of the infomercial and his sales and marketing strategies revolutionized the entire industry. It’s a great demonstration of having an idea and taking action on the idea to bring it to market. I’ve personally met Kevin at his office in Tampa and he and his entire team were extremely accommodating. The positive energy in his office was awesome. Read the book!
There are no shortages of business books available, but they are not all good, trust me I’ve read plenty. Many of the books are ghost-written and give you nothing but recycled information and waste your time. If you have an idea, product, service, or existing business, do yourself a favor and read any and all of the books listed above and let me know what you think.
I watch very little television in a week’s time for a couple of reasons. Number one, there’s no time and number two, it seems most of the shows on TV these days are of negative influence and are an insult to any resemblance of intelligence! I can’t think of any programs I personally liked enough to rearrange my schedule so I didn’t miss an episode…Then comes Shark Tank!
I was immediately interested because it included very successful entrepreneurs such as Daymond John, Kevin Harrington, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, Marc Cuban, and Lori Greiner. Anytime you get a chance to listen to a group like this, you stop what you’re doing and listen to what they have to say.
If you haven’t seen the show, it allows budding entrepreneurs to “pitch” their business to successful investors (Sharks) in hopes of one or more of them having an interest in investing in their business. Having a business partner like any one of the sharks is an invaluable asset to you and your company! Getting one of the “sharks” to invest in you may not guarantee success, but it’s definitely a huge boost to your personal knowledge and to the immediate sales of your product or service. The capital injection is certainly a great help to most of the entrepreneurs, but the guidance and exposure the sharks provide is what’s invaluable! The sharks have all experienced huge obstacles, difficult times, and devastating failures, but still achieved incredible success and that experience has taught them lessons you cannot learn from a college class.
It’s so great to see entrepreneurs come in and be so passionate about pursuing their dreams and it reminds me how lucky I am that I chose to be an entrepreneur many years ago. Here you see actual people and hear their stories of blood, sweat, and tears and working 100+ hour weeks or starting their business in their garage in hopes of hitting it big and you find yourself rooting for most of them and really hoping they make it. I will confess that I’ve bought things I didn’t even need from several of the “pitchers” just to support them!
Anyone can enjoy and learn from this show because it lays out for you exactly what VC’s are looking for and there is always a “mindset” or piece of advice that is thrown out there by one of the Sharks that you can apply to your own personal life or business. Even my kids at 9 and 14 picked up quickly how the sharks value a company and start to analyze a pitch and a business or idea and see how worthy they feel it is. It gets them thinking about business and gets their minds working like no other TV show has ever done. They interact with the TV and shout their ideas out loud and armchair quarterback the pitch, which I think is great. This is what TV should be, very entertaining and informative at the same time! Seems so many shows get their ratings through negativity or sex because it sells, but what it does is manifest a negative mental attitude in everyone watching it, especially our kids. You have shows that film family members and close friends telling a bride to be how horrible she looks in a potential wedding dress!! How is that entertaining or good for anyone to see? If you get entertained by watching people get emotionally hurt, you need to take a good hard look at yourself.
What we need is more people, of all ages, to garner their inner entrepreneur and pursue their dreams of owning a business! I’m not saying you will instantly be successful if you watch an episode of Shark Tank, but it will get your mind moving in the right direction and may motivate you to act on an idea you may have had for a new business, product, or service.
Daymond John says in his book “The Brand Within”, “you are what you wear, you are what you drive, where you live, what you drink, how you vote, what you stand for, how you love, hate, and dedicate”, but you are also what you watch. Stop wasting your time on negative-based shows and make shows like Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den part of your weekly schedule, you will be surprised how you may start thinking differently. Sit down and watch with your kids and get their minds trained to work hard and let them see what type of sacrifice it takes if they want to achieve success in business. A show like this should be part of a high school curriculum and all students would be much better off for it.
As you probably know by now, the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or better known as “Obamacare”.
I am not about to get one bit political because I’m more interested in entrepreneurial success than I am about getting into a political rant. In fact, I’m sick and tired of hearing so many arguments between democrats and republicans that are based solely on someone’s political preference. How about we just do all we can to make our great country even better and let capitalism continue to work.
I just want to take a moment to look at the impact Obamacare may have on entrepreneurs and how it may ultimately come back and bite us all in the butt.
First understand that the law will make it mandatory for every individual to have health insurance. If you do not have health insurance, you will be taxed/penalized.
It will also require all business owners to offer health insurance to their employees and if they do not, they will face a penalty/tax. This tax/penalty is called “shared responsibility payments”.
Insurance companies must also provide coverage for all people with pre-existing conditions and allow people up to 26 years of age to be on their parents’ insurance plan. On the surface, these sound like pretty good things, but someone is going to have to pay and it won’t be the insurance companies!
The actual health care bill is over 2,700 pages long so we won’t get into details, but lets look at the 3 items listed above and how they will ultimately affect entrepreneurs.
- Everyone must have health coverage: That on the surface sounds like a great thing and I for one am all for every American having proper health coverage. In a country as great as ours, there should be nobody that has to suffer one bit because they cannot afford health care. I simply don’t think it’s our government’s job to force people to have it.
Alot of people try to compare this to the fact that you MUST have car insurance, but that’s not a valid comparison because you are not forced to have car insurance. If you don’t have a car, you don’t have to pay car insurance!
Imagine living in NY City and not having a car, but being forced to have car insurance anyways? That would be called “shared responsibility payments”. So, even though you don’t own a car, you would be forced to pay car insurance so those with cars could better afford it…Sound good?
Now imagine it from the insurance company’s perspective. In addition to covering health emergencies such as hospitalization or broken bones, heart attacks, etc., they must cover wellness visits such as birth control, physical exams, etc. Imagine your car insurance company having to do the equivalent. In addition to supplying insurance coverage for accidents, they must also provide preventative maintenance. This means they must provide oil changes, tune-ups, front-end alignments, etc. to everyone. If that were the case, what do you think would happen to the price of car insurance; would it go up or down? Do you think these companies would “hire” more people or “layoff” more people to be able to afford the extra costs and still maintain profitability?
- Now, lets pretend you own a small business. Many of you may already, but if you don’t, lets assume you own a restaurant and have 50 employees. You work 7 days and 100+ hours per week and, because of your hard work, you make an above average income. Now, you are forced to provide health coverage for your 50 employees. Your costs just went way up, but your income stayed the same, which means your profits just went way down. All your employee salaries stayed the same, but your personal wallet was directly affected in a big way. In order for you to maintain the same lifestyle and keep it financially worthwhile to assume the risks of being a business owner, you need to keep your salary in tact. What this will ultimately mean is, you either lay a few employees off to make up for the additional expense or you take a heavy pay cut and dramatically change your lifestyle. Remember, you still must work 7 days and 100+ hours per week, but your pay gets whacked. Are you taking a pay cut or are you laying off a handful of employees to make up for the additional expenses? Answer honestly.
- If an employer has 50 or more employees, they can sponsor a health plan for 100% of their employees or they can face a $750 tax/penalty per worker, to the government. It’s my opinion that many employers in this position may do away with employee health coverage altogether because it will be cheaper for them to pay the annual tax/penalty of $750 per employee than to pay for their health insurance. Now these employees, who may have previously had employer health coverage, will be forced to pay their own insurance or face a tax/penalty.
- Now lets take one more look at how it will affect insurance companies. I for one do not feel sorry for insurance companies…they make a ton of money and it seems, when you need them, you have to fight them for your coverage. I am however concerned with how it will affect me and my wallet. Consider this, not only are kids up to the age of 26, which is not a “kid”, allowed to stay on a parents policy, but the company MUST accept people with pre-existing conditions. Again, I love this policy on the surface because far too many people have serious issues and get rotten care because they don’t have health coverage. Something needs to be done to help these folks for sure. But again, lets take a look at what will no doubt happen. Lets pretend YOU are the insurance company and I am the new policy holder. I come to you and say, I have diabetes and have had heart problems. I am already on heart medication and now you, my insurer, will be forced to pay for them as well as cover all the costs of my diabetes care. I will pay you my monthly fee of a few hundred dollars and you will pay my medical expenses of a few thousand dollars, thank you very much.
Fortunately, not everyone has pre-existing conditions, but remember, you are the insurance company and YOU cannot turn me away no matter what my pre-existing condition is. What will you undoubtedly do to the prices of all your policies across the board? If you want to remain in business, you will be forced to raise them. Now, everyone else will have an increase in their premiums to “share the responsibility” for those with pre-existing conditions. I personally don’t mind helping those in a situation like this, but there are many people out there that are not in a comfortable financial position and they too will be forced to pay higher premiums and may not be able to afford it.
So, at the end of the day, more people may be covered, which is a great thing, but at what cost? Insurance premiums will increase and more people will likely be unemployed.
More unemployed people is not what our economy needs and, if unemployed, they are now “forced” to pay for their own coverage or face a tax/penalty when they can least afford it.
Other Additional taxes / Costs that will be passed on to consumers:
The Hospital Insurance Tax portion of the payroll tax will be increased from 2.9% to 3.8% for families earning $250K per year or more and is also applied to investment income for the first time ever. A 3.8% surtax on investment income is a tough hit to take.
The Health Insurance Provider Fee is an annual fee on health insurance providers based on each company’s share of the total market. This totals a $60 billion tax hike between 2014 and 2019. Do you think insurance companies will “eat” this or pass it along to us policyholders? In addition, there is a “Cadillac” tax, which imposes a 40% excise tax on the better, and more expensive health care plans. Again, do you really think an insurance company is going to “eat” these costs?
Prescription Drug Fees. This has put an annual fee on manufacturers and importers of branded drugs based on each individual company’s share of the total market. Between 2011 and 2019, this will amount to a $27 billion tax increase. What do you suppose this will do to the costs of prescriptions? Do you think companies will absorb those fees or pass them on to us?
Medical Device Tax. There will be a 2.3% excise tax on medical device manufacturers. This will raise taxes on patients needing medical devices, who will ultimately pay the tax through higher prices.
I’m going to stop right there even though there are many other forms of increases because I think you get the point by now.
Fact is, health care providers and insurance companies will be forced to raise the price of coverage’s to maintain their profitability, they will not simply “eat” those added fees and reduce their profits, you can count on that.
Another fact is, employers will be forced to reduce their staff by dumping employees and reducing their payroll in order to maintain their profit margins and maintain their profitability no matter what industry they are in.
Entrepreneurs and capitalism is what makes this country so great and so strong. This indeed is the land of opportunity and, as an entrepreneur of 25+ years, I love the fact that the harder I work, the more money I can make and I love the fact that there are plenty of opportunities for those that look for them and take action.
But, I must say that I strongly disagree with “sharing responsibilities”, but that’s just my opinion.
I agree 100% that health care needs reforming of some type, but not by forcing people to have it. The fact that our government is getting bigger and more powerful every day scares me and should scare you as well. It scares me that our government can force me to buy a particular product or face a tax/penalty. What is the next thing we will be forced to buy?
The answer to that question can go a long way to knowing if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Lets not mistake “working smart” for “the easy way”, there is a huge difference.
There are many people that do just enough work to get by…meaning, if they can work less and still pay all or most of their bills, they are good with that. They don’t care to work more in order to have a few “comforts”, even if the opportunity presents itself. If they are playing a game of any kind or a competition of any kind, they would rather play inferior competition because it’s easier and they are more likely to win. By the way, there is nothing at all wrong with this, it is simply a lifestyle choice. Folks like this appear to be non-motivated to entrepreneurs, but the fact is, they may just have different wants. When they have a choice between a challenge or an “easy way out”, they will always choose the easy way.
An entrepreneur however will always seek the challenge. If we have an opportunity to achieve more in anything, we don’t just take it, we pounce on it. If it’s a game or sport of any kind, entrepreneurs will always choose the best competitor. Personally, I’d rather fall a bit short against the best competition than win against the worst. If I have the choice between an easy task or difficult one, I’ll take the difficult one every time because it feels better once you’ve accomplished it.
There is no great feeling of accomplishment in anything if you are never personally challenged!
Challenge yourself and push yourself to or beyond your limits, it’s the only way you can ever know what your limit really is. If you never push yourself, how will you ever know what you are fully capable of?
I am challenging you right now to push yourself beyond your limits in everything you do, whether it is family, sports, work, etc. If you are up for the challenge and seek the best competition you can find, you likely have the DNA of an entrepreneur. If you think that sounds crazy and simply want to take the path of least resistance, you definitely do not have the DNA of an entrepreneur. Neither is right or wrong, you simply know what category you are in.
If the challenge excites you and you have the work ethic and burning desire to succeed, you are already 80% of the way to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Now all you must do is “plug yourself in” to the right investment vehicle, and start your business. Now is a great time to get started. You cannot achieve wealth if you are working for someone else and have a financial ceiling.
I know our government wastes billions of dollars every year and this post is by no means political in any way, shape, or form, but I am really sick and tired of seeing our hard-earned taxpayer dollars being spent trying to prove an athlete cheated at his or her craft.
Our government spends enough of our money on things I’ll never understand, but why stick their noses in sports? Is it arrogance on their part, thinking they are so great and powerful that they should get involved, are they disgruntled sports fans trying to get back at a rival athlete, or are they just looking for attention and to make a name for themselves?
After researching some of the things us taxpayers are funding, it may be none of the above? They may simply have the brain the size of a BB and think our money will never run dry.
Just for fun, here are a few of the things our taxpayer money has recently funded:
- The National Institutes of Health was given $800,000 in “stimulus funds” to study the impact of a “genital-washing program” on men in South Africa.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the University of New Hampshire $700,000 to study methane gas emissions from dairy cows…The effects of cows passing gas!
- A professor at Stanford University received $239,000to study how Americans use the Internet to find love. So far one of the key findings of this “research” is that the Internet is a safer and more discreet way to find same-sex partners.
- The National Institutes of Health spent approximately $442,000to study the behavior of male prostitutes in Vietnam.
- $1.8 Million of U.S. taxpayer dollars went for a “museum of neon signs” in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center utilized a portion of $592,527 in federal funding last year to discover the origins behind chimpanzees and their desire to throw food and feces at people passing by. I can’t make this stuff up.
- The University of California-Riverside was awarded a $198,000 grant to research whether social media programs such as Facebook and Twitter make people happy.
Why can’t I find a job like some of those listed above? If someone wants to pay me $1 million for some internet research, sign me up!
While all the examples above are true and ridiculous, I find it just as crazy that our politicians feel the need to waste time investigating whether Barry Bonds used steroids! Lets say for a moment that they proved their case and a jury found him guilty…who cares? The guy was an amazing talent and, as a fan, I loved seeing him blast a 500 footer into the bay!
If you are a baseball purist and you hate the fact a baseball player used steroids, it’s your right to quit following baseball. If you think Bonds and Clemens cheated by using steroids or other performance enhancing drugs, stop watching the game, don’t vote them into the Hall of Fame, put an asterisk by their statistics, do whatever makes you happy, but STOP wasting taxpayer dollars to investigate something that has no impact on the economy. There are much bigger concerns than athletes enhancing their bodies so fans can see a bigger and faster product!
They took over 8 years and spent over $75 Million on the Barry Bonds investigation to prove, or at least try to prove, he took steroids. News flash, we all knew he took steroids! After all that hard work, they got an “obstruction of justice” verdict. Great job! His sentence was 30 days of house arrest…Have you seen his house? He got “castle-arrest”! Someone please punish me to 30 days in Barry Bonds house!
Now Roger Clemens…Millions more spent to prove what? Nothing apparently. Another several million down the drain. Whether you like him or not, spending 5 years and millions of taxpayer dollars to prove he used PED’s is a bit over the top in my opinion.
The Mitchell report alone cost US taxpayers $60 Million!
I know of plenty of guys that have taken steroids and I can guarantee you not one of them could throw a 90 mph fastball or hit a 90 mph fastball so I am very sure there was more “real” talent than illegal substance. Maybe Bonds homerun would have only gone 470 feet instead of 500′?
The verdict on any of these trials and investigations means little as far as I’m concerned because it doesn’t affect my life in any way. The time and money spent trying to prove they cheated does however and I hope you get as irritated as I do. Seems people these days go out of their way to make someone else look bad. Haters being Haters. I wish people would use the same amount of energy on positive things as they do trying to make others look bad.
Next up…Lance Armstrong. Retired cyclist. Cancer survivor. 7-Time Tour De France winner. Father of 5. Founder of the Lance Armstrong Foundation which has raised tens of millions of dollars for cancer research and cancer patients…Yep, sounds like a great target. Forget the fact that he has been given over 500 blood tests and passed every single one of them, and forget the fact that they already spent over 2 years and more of our money trying to prove he cheated before, only to drop all charges, but here we go again.
Lets say they have a “smoking gun” and prove he did take an enhancement that helped him ride faster…what’s the worst that can happen? They strip his 7 Tour de France titles and ban him from competing again. How does that help our economy or our unemployment rate, or anything for that matter? He was the greatest cyclist of all time, period! If he was using blood enhancers, I’m pretty sure everyone else was too, they just didn’t have the crazy talent that went with it.
My point is, other than sheer frustration, people should stick to what they do best and focus on their job, career, life, etc. and stop pursuing things that have no impact on them. They should focus on their goals and not someone else’s success or failure.
If they still feel it is their duty to cleanse a sport by making sure there are no steroids, blood enhancers, bounties, etc., do it on their own dime, not ours. I work too hard for my money for someone else to spend it like a drunken sailor!
I’ve helped alot of entrepreneurs make some well above average returns on many different types of investments, but I can proudly say, an ATM in their kitchen was never one of the recommended strategies!
Let me start by saying, DeShawn Stevenson has made over $25 Million in the NBA and has busted his butt to be a great player. In fact, anyone in the NBA has likely worked harder than most do, just to make it to that level. So, however he wants to spend his money is his business. He’s earned that cash, it’s his money, so he is free to spend it any way he pleases!
That being said, I’m hoping he put an ATM in his kitchen as a conversation piece and NOT as an investment. If it was an investment, DeShawn, I am begging you to seek some financial advice…I’ll help you for free!
Since I love numbers, lets take a closer look at them:
The ATM machine was said to cost $3,500 so lets assume that is true. He is also said to charge a fee of $4.50 for each transaction. That means he needs 778 people to use his ATM machine before he even breaks even, just on the cost of the machine! Let me remind you, IT’S IN HIS KITCHEN! DeShawn, how many people do you invite to your kitchen?
It’s also reported he put’s approximately $100,000 per year in the machine so lets also assume that is true. If he invested that same $100,000, he could safely and easily make at least 7% – 8%+ return on his money, which = $8,000 net profit.
So he needs to make back the cost of the machine and lost ROI from what he could have made on his $100,000, which totals $11,500.
That means he needs 2,556 transaction fees, which is 213 per month, JUST TO BREAK EVEN. Again, let me remind you, IT’S IN HIS KITCHEN! DeShawn, how many people do you invite to your kitchen?!!
Not all financial advisers are good and certainly not trustworthy…ask T.O., but someone needs to help DeShawn out a bit on his investment advice! I’d love to say it was more of a “convenience” for him and a funny conversation piece, but he said he thought the idea was “genius”…REALLY? Dude, please don’t tell me you are taking investment advice from Rudy Ruettiger and Lenny Dykstra. You thought it was Genius?
Athlete’s, Rock Stars, Movie Stars, and other famous wealthy people who make their fortunes from their talent rather than investment skills, seem to throw money at some terrible investments and ridiculous things. Most also think they could never spend all their millions, but take advice from TO, MC Hammer, Kevin Costner, Mike Tyson, and a laundry list of others, it can happen real quick.
I’m not suggesting at all that DeShawn Stevenson is, or ever will be, part of that list, I’m just saying investments are risky even when they look good, but the ATM idea could never have looked good from day 1. If anyone, and I mean ANYONE, told him it was a smart investment idea, de-friend them, dis-own them, fire them, whatever you need to do, but for your own sake, please NEVER take financial advice from them.
I’m going on the assumption it was a fun and cool idea, not a means to make money. A dude that works as hard as he does and gets to the position he is in, can’t be that crazy. We spend alot more money on things we “want” than things we “need” and most things we buy are for our convenience and enjoyment and not an investment so I’m going with that
But just for fun, lets take one more look at the numbers…Even if he had 50 people use his ATM machine every single day of the year, that still only comes to $82,125, which he could make a hundred different ways in a month. 50 people using your ATM per day is alot, even if you had the machine in a busy place, but in case I didn’t mention, his ATM machine is IN HIS KITCHEN! DeShawn, how many people do you invite to your kitchen?!!