5 Reasons Humans Win the Battle of Wits: Man vs Armadillo

Man vs Armadillo

Contests and competition are part of human nature, they are part of why we are the dominant species on the planet earth, not considering dolphins who are really on this planet for all the fish! Contests have allowed humans the opportunity to improve, grow stronger, and evolve to a state where we are less concerned with our survival and more concerned with factors that impact the quality of life.

That being said, there are always instances that will force humans to rise to a challenge, even if the instance is something inconsequential such as driving through an intersection while a traffic light is yellow, or consuming a batch of scolding hot chicken wings with the prospect of getting a free t-shirt. There are also the ever popular, but highly entertaining instances of man versus nature which are humorous because they usually involve something funny like a man boxing a kangaroo. So, let me start this story with a question; in a battle between man and armadillo, who do you think wins?

This story starts back a few years ago. I have a friend who recently purchased a new home and spent quite a bit of time, and money, constructing these beautiful flower beds. Each night he would return home from work and spend time on his front patio or back deck relaxing, listening to music, and admiring the beautiful landscaping around his home. After a few months of living in the house things were great!

One morning my friend woke up, he wakes up early to avoid traffic on the way to work, and noticed that his beautiful flower beds had been torn to shreds. Judging by the evidence that was left behind, he assumed the damage was caused by a critter of some kind. The damage could have been caused by deer, it could have been moles, it could have been caused by some of the neighborhood kids who had nothing better to do. Naturally my friend went into action and tested all of the natural remedies, solar repeaters, hot sauce on the mulch, and paprika sprinkled on the landscaping but each morning he awoke to more damage in the flower beds.

Days turned to nights and nights turned into days and each morning my friend had the same problem, perfectly manicured landscaping was turned to horticultural wreckage over-night. The other day my friend woke up and toured his backyard like he does most mornings to clean leaves out of the pool and generally clean off the back deck, his backyard is his sanctuary. As he was cleaning some leaves out of the pool he heard a noise near the fence. Even though it was morning, it was still early and the sun was not yet high enough to shine light on the source of the noise. Curious about what it was, my friend went over to the fence to see what was the cause of the commotion and discovered a small armadillo was sneaking into his backyard.

It was his foe, the cause of all the damage in his beautiful backyard, a little armadillo who was as curious as malicious. My friend positioned himself between the armadillo and his fence and, armed with the pool net, walked toward his pool with the hope that the armadillo would walk away from him into the pool. Then he heard it, “Splash”. He could not quite see it because it was still too dark to see very far, but when he arrived to his pool and saw the armadillo he realized that he now had the upper-hand! The rest of the story is a little graphic so I will summarize it by saying it was an intense battle between man and armadillo. My friend ultimately won the battle but there were some casualties. The pool net was torn, the pole was bent, the pool was filled with excrement, and the armadillo was no more. From what I was told the battle lasted about 15 minutes. There were ups and there were downs, but in the end man was victorious and the landscaping has never looked better! My friend was glad he had finally located the source of his frustration, but now he had the daunting task of cleaning up the battlefield. Cleaning up armadillo excrement and mulch from flash floods is no one’s idea of a good time, but the fact that he can now wake up without his flower beds being torn up brought a smile to his face.

In the fight between man and armadillo, man wins! Here is why:

  1. Man has opposable thumbs and can use a pool brush
  2. Man likes things the way he leaves it. If you mess up man’s landscaping he will find you
  3. Man has read the Art of War
  4. Man doesn’t like rats, especially bulletproof rats like armadillos
  5. Man is awesome!

That is about all there is to it! Check out more blog posts from Paulk’s Pub for more memorable moments!

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The Ultimate Question: What is more Painful, Child-Birth or a Kick in the Nuts?

Kick in the balls

For as long as humans have been on the top of the evolutionary food chain there have been debates over who is stronger, who is smarter, who is faster, and who can take more pain. In this Paulk’s Pub Post I am going to open the discussion on one of the oldest debates in history, “What is more painful, Child-Birth or a Kick in the nuts?”.

This debate is something of a paradox because the miracle of child-birth can only be experienced by women and the agony of being kicked in the balls can only be experienced by a man. So how can it be resolved, Which one is more painful?

I am not going to try to sway your opinion one way or another because women will always say that child-birth is more painful and men will always say that getting kicked in the nuts is more painful. Rather, I am going to tell you a story that was passed to me and I would like you to consider the logic of this story when formulating your answer to the ultimate question of what is more painful, child-birth or a kick in the nuts?

The story goes like this:

Ted, a retired man, finished mowing his yard the other day and after doing so he decided to sit down and have a cold beer. The weather was beautiful, his yard looked outstanding, and as he drank his cold beer he began to slip into some deep thoughts about life.

Ted’s wife walked by and noticed he was in some deep thought and she asked him “What are you doing?” to which ted responded “Nothing”. He responded with “Nothing” instead of saying “I’m just thinking” because he didn’t want to answer the question that inevitably follows “What are you thinking about?” Ted didn’t want to explain to his wife that men are deep thinkers about various topics because he would likely spend the remainder of his afternoon answering questions rather than relaxing in deep thought, enjoying his cold beer.

Ted pondered the age-old question, Is giving birth more painful than getting kicked in the nuts? After another cold beer, and some deductive thinking, Ted came up with an answer to the question. Ted realized that getting kicked in the nuts is way more painful than giving birth, and although he couldn’t really prove it, he developed a conclusion that was pretty convincing.

Ted concluded that a year or so after giving birth, a woman will often say “It might be nice to have another child.” On the other hand, you never hear men say “You know, I think I would like another kick in the nuts.”

As I said before the question is a paradox, something which people can debate but no one can prove. That said, it is difficult to ignore the logic of Ted’s conclusion.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this, I know I have certainly had a laugh writing it!

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7 Questions That will tell you if the Person you are Talking to is a Winner!

The A-Team

Lately, I have been finding myself in circumstances where people are asking me questions about how things work, who they can partner with to get things accomplished, and what advice I can give them regarding how to ramp up their careers. I am always willing to provide advice, but I am not sure whether I am becoming the old sage at work or if people are asking for my opinion because they know I will give them a truthful and direct answer if asked a direct question. Regardless of the reason I am being asked for my opinion, I thought it might be fun unpack the dialogue and illustrate the conversation in a format that anyone can relate to.

In order to succeed in your career, or in life, you need to identify the people who can help you out. I am not talking about the people who talk about helping out or the people who have a dozen “13.1 or 26.2” stickers on their car and at their desk. I am talking about the people who say what they mean and do what they say. When you think about it, there are not many people in the world like this, probably because there are too many excuses that are easily accessible to use when it comes time to meeting the expectations of a commitment. At the end of the day, people can be separated into two groups:

  • A- Team – The Top 5% of all people. These are the people who work hard, go above and beyond what is required, creatively develop solutions to problems, and who are likely respected for their loyalty and work-ethic. A-Team players like to surround themselves with smart people, people who want to succeed and take chances. They generally wish they were the dumbest person in the room so they could learn from the people around them.
  • B- Team – The 95% of the remainder of the population. They typically do their job just well enough to show they showed up, are more inclined to take credit for the work of others when things are positive and are more likely to throw someone else under the bus to make themselves look better. B-Team players are typically worried about losing their job to people who are smarter than they are and generally find themselves thinking about how they are the smartest people in the room while at the same time listing out the qualities that they feel make them smarter.Not the B-Team

I know there are a lot of people out there who think they are on the A-Team, but let me assure you this is a small list of people. Out of 100 people you encounter on a daily basis, only about 5 of them possess the qualities of the A-Team. If you are taking offense to this post already then I think you can guess what team you are on. There are literally dozens of ways to classify someone as being on the A-Team or the B-Team, but to help you in this pursuit I have developed a list of questions to get you started. I am not suggesting you use these questions to segregate people or pass judgement onto people. Rather, I would prefer you use these questions to understand more about the people you are working with so that you can properly establish expectations for yourself and your team!

Here are the 7 Questions that will tell you if the Person you are Talking to is a Winner:

  1. Have you been promoted at least once in a previous role?
    • The A-Team is great at what they do and good managers will pickup on that really fast. The A-Team will quickly prove themselves to be an asset and take on more responsibility to improve their objectives and the objectives of the company.
  2. Have you had to lead a large project in at least one of your previous roles? How did you handle it?
    • The A-Team likes to take on more responsibility over time, not less. Have you been given a large responsibility or goal to achieve right out of the gate because you quickly demonstrated your ability to succeed?
  3. Have you always had the same type of role, or have you completely changed roles?
    • The A-Team loves challenges. The A-Team is more likely to change roles within a company rather than moving from one company to another.
  4. Can you speak about your company, tell someone what you like and what you might change?
    • The A-Team does their research ahead of time. The A-Team will network with people outside of their area, learn from the people who work behind the scenes and they often leverage the experience from prior roles to succeed in the role they are in.
  5. Are you confident without being cocky?
    • There is a fine line to walk here, but A-Team players have relationships where as B-Team has contacts. The A-Team knows their capabilities and will drive to meet the goal.
  6. Are you committed to continual learning? Can you prove it?
    • Anyone can say they are learning something or doing something to continue the learning process. The A-Team loves learning new skills and taking on new responsibilities, and furthermore they can prove how and what they are learning through demonstration.
  7. When listening to other people to do you develop and ask meaningful questions?
    • The A-Team usually understands there is something more to learn. Some words can be said on the surface, but the A-Team tries to understand not only that a problem exists, but how it was created so that they can resolve the problem going forward.

So, Are you on the A-Team or the B-Team? Be Honest!

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15 Things about Men that will help you understand how and why men do the things they do!

Huge Guinness Beer

For as long as I can remember I have heard comments such as “Guys Never…” or “Girls always…” come up in social conversations, usually after consuming a few drinks. Well, after giving it some thought, and a have a few drinks of my own, I thought it would be a good idea to do a series on Rules.

Today I will cover 15 things that will help the world understand how and why men act the way they do. These Man Rules are from the point of view of the Man.

MAN RULES – From the Man’s Perspective:

  1. Men are not Mind Readers. Ask for what you want. Let’s be clear, Subtle hints don’t work, Strong hints don’t work, and Obvious hints don’t work. Just tell us what you want.
  2. Learn to work the toilet seat. Men need it up, Women need it down. You don’t hear Men complaining when Women leave it down.
  3. Yes or No are perfectly acceptable answers to nearly every question.
  4. Come to Men with a problem only if you want help solving it. That is what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
  5. Anything a Man said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In-fact all comments become null and void after 7 days.
  6. If you think you are fat, you probably are. Don’t ask a Man if you are fat. This is a trap and we know it.
  7. Men mean what they say. However, if something can be interpreted two different ways, and one of those ways makes you sad or angry, We meant the other one.
  8. Ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done, not both. We have our own way of doing things, so if you already know the best way to do something and how you want it done, do it yourself.
  9. Whenever possible, Please hold comments or questions until the commercial break.
  10. Men see in only 16 colors, similar to the Microsoft Windows default settings. Peach is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what Mauve is.
  11. If a Man asks what is wrong and you say “nothing”, We will act like nothing is wrong. We know you are lying, but it just isn’t worth the hassle.
  12. Don’t ask Men questions that you do not want the answer to. If you do this, expect an answer you do not want to hear.
  13. When we need to, or want to go somewhere, absolutely anything you would like to wear is fine. Really, it is fine.
  14. Don’t ask Men what we are thinking about unless you actually want to know. If you are not prepared to discuss topics like sports and cars save your breath.
  15. Men don’t need to work-out. We are in shape. Round is a shape!

Thank you for taking the time to look through these Man Rules from the Man’s perspective. I hope they gave you some laughs. If they didn’t, please go to your refrigerator, open it, and grab a nice cold Guinness to get in the right state of mind before reading through them again. Please subscribe to this blog so you can catch the next installment where we cover the Woman Rules from a Woman’s perspective!

Until then, Goodbye, Good Evening, and Goodnight! 

 

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Karma, What Goes Around Comes Around

Karma What Goes Around Comes Around

At one point or another most people have been on the receiving end of a bad experience. Sometimes these miserable experiences are side-effects of the choices we make and other times they are the result of actions produced by self-centered, narcissistic people who have a higher focus on helping themselves feel better by making other people miserable. We are going to spend some time talking about the latter!

Whether or not you are a Buddhist is irrelevant because at some point in your life you have been exposed to a word called “Karma”! The presence of this word is not always used but you can usually find it hidden between the lines of phrases such as “Everything happens for a reason” or “What goes around comes around”. Karma is simply the belief that what you have done in this life will help decide your fate in this life, or the next. Now you don’t need to be a religious person to understand things like cause and effect but you do need to believe in something larger than yourself to conceptualize the cosmic significance of something like fate being at the mercy of a mistake you may have made in this life or a prior life.Keep Calm and Let Karma Finish

I bring this topic to the surface for a single reason, to illustrate the point that there are people, Prime Movers, who have the drive, the desire, and the capabilities to change the way things work. It is important to support these people fan their flames and let them flourish. These Prime Movers are not in it for the credit…they do what they do because it moves them, companies, and society forward. They do what they do to make people better, to make the world better. For those people who are intimidated, threatened, and frustrated with these Prime Movers I have one piece of advice, stay the hell out of the way. Karma has a mean left-hook and if you want to undermine the progress of people who are wanting to improve the way things are done simply because they are younger, have less experience, or just because you don’t understand, then you will one day find yourself on the receiving end of Karma.

If you want to know if you are a Prime Mover or not, you only need to step back and ask yourself one question, “Am I making progress or am I standing  in the way?”. To be able to answer this question you need to disregard bias and self-centered tendencies to defend yourself. If you find yourself talking to others about the “Golden Rule” but you rationalize the ways you loosely follow it then you are not a Prime Mover. If you find yourself in the seat of someone who fights every day to do what is right for your customer, your company, or your country, then you are likely a Prime Mover. In either case, Karma has a way of ironing out the details and when the time comes she will let you know what side of the fence you are on.

Let me leave you with this…There are good people in this world who possess the skills and rive to create and to make the world better. They may not have all of your experience, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable. In-fact these are the people you should want to have in your circle, your company, and your family because these Prime Movers are the ones who can pick people up when they fall, turn a “No” into a “Yes” , and make things happen even when the chips are down and everyone else is filled with doubt. Support these people, stop making excuses, get on the right end of Karma and stay the hell out of the way of people who are trying to make a difference.

To see more posts from Paulk’s Pub please subscribe to our blog and view our prior posts:

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Death Before Dishonor, Whatever Happened to the Golden Rule?

The Golden Rule

I would like to believe that when we were all children we learned the value of honesty and virtue, to treat other people the way we would like to be treated, and when it is necessary those who have the ability to bring resolution have a responsibility to bring resolution. We can probably all agree that if ever person was taught the “Golden Rule” when we were children we would not have suicide bombers, snake oil salesmen, and selfish, self-centered human beings who would rather exchange the value of their words for lies. I am not sure where the phrase “Death Before Dishonor” originated, but I certainly wish more people were familiar with it.The Golden Rule

“Death Before Dishonor” is an extreme way of saying that one would rather die than to dishonor a person, a memory, or the value of a word. Before rambling on too much further let me elaborate on the nature of this topic. There have been several circumstances that I have recently encountered, either directly or through a third-party, where people who are in positions of making decisions have gone back on their words, over-stepped their responsibilities, and in some cases neglected their responsibilities. I am not going to elaborate too much on the specifics because it has become clear that there are far too many people who don’t value their “mark” and maybe it is even ironic that these people are in a position of power, a position to steer the boat toward the rocks or into open water without a compass or a course. What I will elaborate on is that putting your “mark” down used to mean something and when someone put down their mark it meant that their reputation was on the line. Perhaps this is something that died when we entered the 21st Century, but I would like to believe that honest people are in the majority, rather than in the minority.

It is an unfortunate truth that many of us work for companies or people who place their own interests ahead of everything and everyone else. This statement is not a conspiracy theory, but rather an acknowledgement that honest people need to work harder and smarter in this life in order to succeed. In every company there are people who work in marketing or human resources, the happiest people I have ever seen, who drink coffee all day fill their calendars with meetings to stay busy, or at least give that perception, and they coast through work without ever having accomplished a damn thing. It is not my responsibility to monitor the actions nor the performance of other people and I do my very best not to judge others. I love it when I see happy people, but in the environment I work in they are happy because they either didn’t have a bad day, or it is because they are blissfully unaware of what is going on around them. To some degree I am envious of both types of people.

This post may have the tendency to drag on so let me wrap it up. I believe in the value of a word and I believe that when a person puts down their mark that it should mean something, not because of that person’s title or where they come from, but because that person has a reputation of being honest, a reputation for following through and saying what they are going to do and doing what they say. Sometime in the last 30 – 50 years humanity began to misplace that value and as a result our governments are weakening, or economies are volatile, and people look at the warranty tags on a product before deciding to make a purchase. Quality used to be the cornerstone of reputation, but it seems that quality has been replaced with convenience.

As a society I hope we can find honor again so that our words are not just empty phrases. My children will learn the value of honesty and honor, even if they are among the last to do so because it is far better to go through life as a person who does what is right than a person who coasts through life doing what is convenient. The rewards will be vastly different, but my children will be capable of understanding their abilities and the impacts of the decisions they make for their generation. My children will have the ability to do something about it and so they will have a responsibility to do something about it. The will be honest, trustworthy, courteous and kind. They will love god and their neighbor because that is what is needed to make the world a better place. They will understand “Death Before Dishonor”

I certainly hope this post has been enlightening, or at the very least entertaining! Please refer to other Blog Posts for more Entertainment Value!

If you are interested in sites that take a more serious outlook on life, whether to earn money blogging or educate you on fantastic food and drinks I would recommend the following:

  • Common Sense of Common Cents – great blog that talks about ways individuals can earn extra income from home. There are blogging tips and measurable tactics that can be used to supplement and in some cases replace your income!
  • Provisions – a great food, drink, and product blog that discusses product reviews, specific recipes and how to cook them, as well as outstanding drink selections that can be paired with any meal.
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Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way…

Thomas Paine Common Sense

I have heard it many times, always in a different context…”In this life you can be many things, all you need to decide is whether you want to lead, follow, or get out of the way”. Some people who think they are leaders are actually followers, some people who think they are followers are actually getting out of the way, and some people who think they are getting out of the way are actually leaders. How is it possible things could be that messed up and why am I talking about it?

Things are that messed up because many people use the wrong metrics to define leadership, and the reason I am talking about it is because I see through this charade every day. Truth of the matter is that things such as a title, pedigree, awards, and accolades are not things that make you a leader, these are things that limit our perception. We perceive that because someone is a Vice President that they are a leader, we perceive that baseball Common SenseUmpires know when to call a ball or a strike, and we perceive that people with money are wise enough to spend it. In reality, there are a lot of Vice Presidents who know as little about leading and developing people as Hobbits know how to stay out of trouble, Umpires sometimes have no idea what call to make because they are busy sweating their balls off under a lot of padded equipment in 98 degree weather, and people who have a lot of money are often too frivolous, out-spoken, and self-centered to keep themselves off of reality TV where even someone with a small amount of sense can tell the difference between a fox and a faux.

This world needs leaders, not people who want to make a lot of money possessing a title, but actual leaders. This world needs people who will identify opportunities for growth, capitalize on those opportunities and using their charisma, intellect and wit keep things moving forward! This world also needs followers, not people to do the bidding of the leader, but people who believe in the leader and will assist, and in some cases grow to lead, in efforts that support the cause of progress. This world does not need impediments, people who want to stand in the way of progress for the sake of being territorial, unwilling to change, adapt, and unwilling to fail. To these people I simply ask that you get out of the way, read Common Sense by Thomas Paine, and make a decision to either follow or stay out of the way because if you are not leading or assisting in moving things in the right direction, then my friend you are pushing things to the left…getting my humor yet!

For the sake of being clear I would like to leave you with this thought…

  • If you favor yourself to be a leader then ask yourself what you have done to help your people move and progress. Are you giving them clear direction? Are you setting clear expectations? If the direction and expectations are clear, and your people are not motivated to change are they getting out of the way?
  • If you favor yourself to be a follower then ask yourself what you have done to develop yourself and the support the direction of your leader. Do you believe in the direction? Are you starting to lead others? If you are doubtful in yourself or your leader have you engaged in dialogue to explore resolution?
  • If you are not a leader and you are not a follower are you staying the hell out of the way?

Please read Common Sense, written by Thomas Paine. I read it 20 years ago and I am about to read it again because the more i learn, the more i start to realize how uncommon sense is in the world of today.

 

 

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The Death of Capitalism

Sad Bald Eagle

What is the American Dream? I believe everyone has their own idea of what the American Dream is, but at it’s core the American Dream is about having the opportunity to make your life better, regardless of where you live, your social or economic status, your religion, race, or overall status in life. In a word, the American Dream is “Capitalism”!

I wanted to talk about capitalism because it is something we are slowly losing in the economy of today. Sure, it is still possible to buy a home or create a business from the ground-up, but there are more obstacles to accomplishing today than any other time in the past 50 years. In part we can thank the self-centered, greedy people involved in the real estate and financial scandals of the 21st Century. Their actions have imposed processes that force the working-class people of America to battle the contradictions of risk-averse controls, some of which are excessive measures in what is commonly referred to as CYA (cover your a**). I am not suggesting that we do not need controls, specifically in in processes that involve the exchange of money, but I am suggesting that the controls be imposed at the correct location in the process. The consumers were not the ones who got us into the financial crisis, it was the financial institutions who loaned the money and sold off the bad debt to other companies engaging in one of the largest scale games of “hot-potato”. So, who wins and who loses?

Now let’s talk about a scenario that is a little closer to home. Someone I know, we will call him Ted, has recently begun to explore the possibility of starting his own business in the form of a retail store and as it is with most things these days, this process has been a bit more complicated than it really needs to be. The process began with exploring the products that Ted wanted to sell in his store. Ted wrote a business plan, ironed out details on the financial feasibility of his business and began making calls to the brand-owners and manufacturers to explore the potential of buying their products at wholesale prices to re-sell to consumers. The initial communications went extremely well, but as Ted began to approach the time where he wanted to start his business, the brand-owners began to waffle on the idea of Ted selling their products because Ted did not yet have his retail location set-up. So, Ted began exploring locations in which to set up his retail store…

Ted explored commercial real estate all over town, locations off of main roads, locations on the outskirts of town, and locations a little off the beaten path. At one of the potential locations Ted received questions from the developer regarding the type of business Ted was planning on opening, normal questions considering developers and landlords like to know what type of business will be in their properties. Ted answered the questions with enthusiasm and resolve, but the response he received from the developer were that of concern. The developer was not concerned that Ted would succeed or fail in his business venture, but rather he was concerned that some of the products Ted was planning to sell could potentially compete with other businesses in the retail center. Imagine that, Ted was going to be competing with other businesses! Since he was not keen on the idea of this developer telling him what he could or could not sell, because it would be competition, Ted decided to explore a retail location in a different part of town, one that would not fault him for the products he wanted to sell, one that would not try to restrict his ability to succeed. Ted finally found a piece of real estate that met all of his needs, he ironed out a letter of intent to occupy that was predicated on his ability to lock-in the agreements with the brand-owners of the products he wanted to sell, since thy did not want to sell him their products before because he did not have a retail location.

Now that he had the retail location ironed out, he re-engaged the brand-owners and began the process of, once again, setting up his accounts to buy and resell products. This time, the brand-owners realized he was serious and as such they setup some time with Ted to tour his retail location before setting up their account. This being a little bit of a game of “What comes first, Chicken or the Egg?” Ted agreed to meet with the brand owners to discuss his business model and the potential of his business to meet a need in the community where was looking to establish his store. The brand-owner met Ted at his store and they discussed the store concept. Both the brand-owner and Ted were very enthusiastic, but upon conclusion of the discussion the brand-owner indicated that he had “concerns”. At this point, the thought running through his mind was “CONCERNS….I have been talking with you for months about my business, where I was planning to have the store, and what I was planning to sell, and you have CONCERNS!!!”. Ted simply asked, “What are the concerns you have?”, where he was met with the response, “The location you have selected appear to be good and the model you have setup sounds exciting, but we have other successful stores that sell our products within about 10-15 miles and we are concerned you might compete with them.” “Again with the competition, why are people so afraid of competition?” was the only thought going through Ted’s mind. To respond to the brand-owner Ted simply said, “go talk with your boss and let me know whether we can setup an account for my store to sell your products and if your decision is NO, then I need to know what will make it a YES.”. After that discussion the meeting was over and Ted was asked to await feedback as to whether his store would be able to sell the brand-owner’s merchandise. At this point in time Ted’s store still has not opened…

The thing to question here is what has happened to capitalism? There was a time when people who were interested in buying and people who were interested in selling could work together to get things done, but now it seems bureaucracy and maintaining status quo takes precedence over productivity and capitalism. I am not sure of what has caused this to happen and I am not sure when it started. What I am sure of is that when we stop fostering competition, it will compromise our ability to be the best whether it is in sports or in business. Competition and struggle is what this country was built on, our desire for freedom to succeed or fail, and our ability to reach for our dreams is what made this country great. I am not saying we should revert to the ways of the past, after-all times have changed, people have changed, and the world moves at a much faster pace today than it did 200 years ago. What I am saying is that we need to open our eyes and open our minds. Competition is what holds us back, it is what sets us apart, it is what makes us great. Capitalism is competition, and competition makes us stronger, faster, and smarter! There will be a day….Ted will continue to pursue his dream, progress will mark his every step, and capitalism will kindled! However, for now Ted is going to have a beer!

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