Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Little Extra

"I'm putting in a double receptacle with its own 20amp circuit.  This is the front desk and they will probably need the extra coverage.  And I want them to feel like they are getting a little more for their money than they expected."

The Electrician Guy

A doctor friend of mine asked me to stop by and have a look at his new office as construction was still going on.  I did it as a favor.

The electrician was working on another receptacle but the circuitry had already been finished and wired.

When I asked him if he was putting in something previously forgotten he said, "Oh no.  This is extra and the plans don't call for it.  It just struck me that they might really need this here.  The doctor will appreciate it when I explain what this is for."

This is a small businessman, with a small company and doing what small business does best.  The company is composed of himself and his brother.  This is their bread and butter.  They want to do an exceptional job.

Why?

Because, like Adam Smith's butcher, baker and beer maker, they are operating out of self interest.  They want future business through referrals from their clients and people like me.

These brothers are their own capital, offering a service, and wanting to provide the best they can. 

They have probably not read it, but they are operating exactly as Adam Smith suggests in his 1776 book The Wealth of Nations, and in a former blog of mine.  Click here.  

The Electrician Guy doesn't need to worry about what is said about him on the consumer websites because if he does his best they will reflect it.

The Electrician Guy doesn't need to worry about being paid because if he does his best the money will come.

The Electrician Guy doesn't need to worry about schmoozing his client because he knows that what he is doing will be appreciated.

And The Electrician Guy understands that when clients feel like they are getting a little more for their money than they expected they will come back, and send others to him.

The Electrician Guy is operating out of self interest and the desire for profit.  He is a capitalist!  He is a free enterprise businessman!

I assure you that not every business I come into contact with in my business (home and commercial inspections) understands or practices what The Electrician Guy understands and practices.

How did this come out?  I returned to the doctor's office to have a look at the final product.  I asked those at the front desk about the extra receptacle there.  They loved it and were using it!  You can see in the photo that it is full of plugs.  It is convenient and, they said, they have never "blown a fuse."

Fortunately The Electrician Guy is representative of small businesses all over the place.  Those businesses that are trying hard to provide a good product, a memorable service and a great customer attitude are out there.  We need more of them!

And what did I do with The Electrician Guy?  I got his card!  And have referred him ever since. 

He did a little extra.  The very essence of free enterprise.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

To Be The Highest Mountain

“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy. ”

Og Mandino (1923 - 1996)
From The Greatest Salesman In the World,
"The Scroll Marked IV"

The thinking in this quote should be the focus of every individual, student, employee - everybody!

It is certainly the underlying thinking of every free market, free enterprise capitalist.  It must be.

If it is not strived for by every entrepreneur, small and large business owner, or corporate executive, then, as the rain will eventually come the competition will grind that person out.

Rest assured that someone, somewhere in your business, is desiring to become the highest mountain through strained potential and end up as the biggest kid on the block.

I understand why dictatorships must squelch that kind of thinking and tear it down.  But why do gubments in "free market" economies do so?

Why do gubments pick sides, stultifying one business in favor of another?
Why do gubments regulate one business while allowing another to slide?
Why do gubments "invest" (meaning divert your money and mine) more into one industry and less into another?

The key word in free enterprise is FREE!

But doesn't that mean that ugly, greasy, unfair capitalists will grind down the poor and take advantage of "the masses," using them and bleeding them until there is nothing left to give?

Get real.

The FREE MARKET will grind out such businesses.
The FREE MARKET will police itself better and more efficiently than any regulation or law any bureaucrat can create.
The FREE MARKET will divert resources more cheaply, more quickly, and more productively than any bureaucrat can regulate.
The FREE MARKET will produce goods and services that are more responsive, thoughtful and desirable than any bureaucrat can pick sides.

How does the FREE MARKET do that?

Through profits!  The fabled better mouse trap!

Profit is merely the money in the market responding to what good or service a business has to offer.  Money and interest flow toward what satisfies need.  The market, any market, has needs.  Goods and services proliferate and thrive because the market needs them.

Can you name a ubiquitous free-market good or service that exists without the need for it?

If one business does not satisfy those needs, or does so in a way that is unkind, scamming or unfair, the market for it, any market, will go elsewhere.  Sure, some might get injured in the short run, but NEVER in the long run.  The free market grinds those parasites out.

And the business good or service that tries to strain its potential to satisfy those needs in the most efficient and inexpensive way possible (thus garnering more market money and profit)

WILL BECOME THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN OF ALL AND THE BIGGEST KID ON THE BLOCK!

The FREE MARKET does not discriminate between patrons - it says to come one and come all.

Let's encourage that, in every aspect of our economy.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The "Free" Lunch Is Not Natural

"The necessity for struggle is one of the clever devices through which nature forces individuals to expand, develop, progress and become strong through resistance.  We are forced to recognize that this great universal necessity for struggle must have a definite and useful purpose.  That purpose is to force the individual to sharpen his wits, arouse his enthusiasm, build up his spirit of faith, gain definiteness of purpose, develop his power of will, and inspire his faculty of imagination to give him new uses for old ideas and concepts."

Napoleon Hill (1893 - 1970)


There are a couple of words that stand out there as regards this idea of struggle.

One word is NECESSITY.  The other is NATURE.

What he is saying is that it is natural for mankind to struggle and that we actually have the need to do so!

If we do not, if we are allowed to lay around and not provide for ourselves, rely on others for our keep, or encouraged to act in any way contrary to the NATURAL NEED to be the opposite, then we will not, as Mr. Hill says, "expand, develop, progress and become strong."

He says that this NATURAL NEED helps us toward a useful purpose.

What is the useful purpose to be encouraged, by gubment, parents, friends, or society in general toward anything opposite that NATURAL NEED? 

The phrase that abuts the quote above very well, a fraternal twin in some ways, is this:

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH!

If what appears to be a "free" lunch is always provided, rest assured it is not free.  It must be paid for somehow.

If what appears to be a "free" lunch is always provided, rest assured it is not in your best interest.

If what appears to be a "free" lunch is always provided, rest assured it was taken from somebody else first.

If what appears to be a "free" lunch is always provided, rest assured it will not provide the nutrition needed to, as Mr. Hill says, "expand, develop, progress and become strong through resistance."  It does not "inspire the faculty of imagination." 

Why?

BECAUSE A "FREE"LUNCH IS NOT NATURAL!  THE "FREE" LUNCH DOES NOT SATISFY THE NATURAL NEED TO STRUGGLE!  THE "FREE" LUNCH DOES NOT HELP ANYONE TO PROGRESS!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

We Will Have To Work For It, However

"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true.  You may have to work for it, however."

Richard David Bach
From the book, The Bridge Across Forever:  A True Love Story

Most well known for his book Jonathan Livingston Seagull, I have always been intrigued by the Richard Bach quote above.  So much so I have it hanging in my office.  It is a photo, brilliantly yellow and orange, of a man flying with a hang glider toward the sunset.  A modern Icarus.

While it sounds like something Jonathan would say, he did not. 

But Jonathan was also about soaring, personal growth and development, achieving a higher level and forever bettering himself.  And these processes never end as one can never "arrive."

These concepts all indicate the basics of capitalism and free enterprise. 

When allowed such freedom, an unfettered dreamer will always find a way to fit into the market that most allows his individualism and abilities to soar.  The Invisible Hand will take over, and this individual, or individuals together, will step up and take their place in the vast heirarchy of the marketplace.

This marketplace is inifinite.  It never arrives.  It is never finished.  It has the ability to always expand, to always innovate, to always find product differentiation, to always create substitutes, and to always reduce costs and therefore price.

AND THIS IS TRUE FOR GOODS OR SERVICES!

When policies and regulations force innovators and producers to have to find ways around this or that to make something happen, the policies and regulations are not helpful.  A way will always be found!

And the wrong headed will create further policy and regulation to try to prevent that from continuing, forcing another creative way around that!

Wouldn't it be better for all society, and lift all boats, if the tide of creativity was instead put into thinking, development, production and distribution of whatever the good or service that will make lifestyles easier, cheaper, more interesting and time saving?

Economics is not driven by demand.  It is driven by supply.  Economics is supply side!

Why can I so confidently say that?  Because the demand for a good or service has no economic attraction until it hits the market!

Is there a demand for unending and cheap energy, say cold fusion?  Such that, like the car in the movie, we could find some garbage like a banana peel and throw it into the "gas" tank and be able to float to another place really quickly?

OF COURSE THE DEMAND IS THERE!

Is there any economics in that regard?  None.  That energy source does not exist.  There is no supply.

No supply, no economics.

Can we get there? 

Not if we are spending our time with gubment taking sides and forcing money into this politically-correct product or that one! 

If those products earned market-driven profits they would be more than self sustaining!  They would be in demand!  And money would flow from the marketplace, and greater supply would be encouraged.

Profit is merely the market responding to the supply of a good or service it wants or enjoys!

And so, if we want a cheap, unending energy source, or astounding medical breakthrough, or an education system that creates graduates who critically think for themselves, or whatever the amazing good or service that will change the world - how do we get it?

With policies that encourage the thinking, development, production and distribution of those kinds of things!  

We must encourage free enterprise!

We really are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true.  But, and there is always a but,

we will have to work for it, however.