The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. That means eternal. That means you never stop watching.
There are only 3.6 million small businesses in California and there's me and my assistant. We need constant feedback so this office can be as effective as we can be given the fact that we are not even a tonsil in the body of government.
I have faith that we can get away from the lip service that says small business is the backbone of our economy and then turn away and put a crushing burden on top of you.
Balance is an inappropriate image. A more appropriate image is a gyroscope. You're trying to get it moving at the same time you're trying to keep things balanced. It's always in motion and it's weaving back and forth.
98% of firms in the state of California have 100 of fewer employees. The vast majority of enterprises are small, no matter how you slice it.
Part of what I want us to do is challenge us to stop thinking about small business the way we think about it. We live in a global economy. We live in a world where a kid in Grass Valley, CA composed music, posted it to his web page and was contacted by a Japanese company who has hired him to compose music for their video games. So he is composing music for people he's never met and they're transferring money electronically to his bank account.
If we're going to survive, we have to think differently. And not only that but I have to think differently more often.
No one can exist alone any more and the problems that you are facing are the problems that other people are facing. Energy is all of our problem. Water is all of our problem. We need to think about these things differently, to think about them stronger.
There is power in all of us one guys and gals getting together and doing something.
1.1 million of small businesses have employees. Sole proprietorships can generate wealth but that is multiplied when more people are involved in generating wealth.
When I ask the question, 'What do you need to grow the business?' most people don't have a ready answer. Begin to think about the answer: what do you need from government to grow your business, you should have a 5 point answer ready. The next question is what other businesses need those same things? If it is just petroleum marketers that need those 5 things, that's not going to happen.
Regulations are a lawyer's game. And that means most people aren't in the game because they can't afford the legal fees. In order to get the kind of expertise you need to do business you need to be well funded. The government stacks the deck against you.
We created government for us, not the other way around. Have you read the Constitution lately? I recommend you do this at least once a year.
When we put people in government, they are us. But they are in a completely different situation than what we are dealing with in life. They go out and fine you for a completely ridiculous thing and they think they're doing a good job.
The minute we go toward pain and agony, what is our life like. Is it possible to create win-win? Why not? We have to think differently.
We have to start working in a larger community of interest than we're used to dealing with.
We don't want any businesses going out of business. We want businesses going into business.
We have to be prepared for disasters. You need to have up-to-date disaster recovery plans. This should be part of your daily business. If you prepare for the IRS and you prepare for the EDD, you should prepare for disaster.
In 1995, in Washington, DC the President hosted the White House Conference on Small Businesss. After much wrangling, we've agreed to get the Governor to host a California Conference on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. It will be the 3rd week of November, 18 and 19th of November in a hotel by LAX. We want to have it down south because that's where most of the people in the state are.
It's an exciting time to be alive. Do you know within 10 years the genetic engineering we have created in the past 10 years that we can design wellness programs for each of us based on our genetic profile and we can prepare ourselves for longevity based on our specific genetic profiles. Not only that, all of the nanobiology being developed, using cellular tools to go in and prepare the heart and the liver, means that we are standing at the edge of a whole new technology. Our kids and grandkids are going to have life expectancies into the triple digits because of this new technology.
Did you know if Facebook were a nation, it would be the 7th largest nation in the world?
There is no excuse for small businesses not to be linked in with people and small businesses around the world. There is no reason any more for small businesses to be disorganized and fragmented.
Ultimately, we're going to have to prioritize as to what we want to do, in concert with others, going forward.
If there's anything we should have learned it is that we cannot deal with these huge agencies, these huge policy steamrollers, alone. The challenge is that 'we' have to make that happen, not me.
Our forefathers sat around talking about taxation without representation and blah blah blah blah blah. And they could have sat around and talked and we'd still be speaking with a British accent. They could have said that you can't take on the King. We come from a country who says who cares if that's the way it's always been done. That's our heritage. If we decide today to do business as usual, we are going to lose. Because the Chinese and the Indians and the Malaysians and the Europeans are doing business differently. We, in the United States, have to decide how we are going to deal with this global world. Humanity has faced things forever and decided how to deal with it and come out ahead. If I could hold up a mirror to all of you an tell you the knowledge and wisdom and morality of what you've done is enough, you're still here and you're still fighting, that takes guts. I want to honor you for that. I challenge you and I ask you to take all that leadership and expertise and make the whole thing better. The only thing that could hold you back is if you choose to hold yourself back.
People in China and India want what you have. You can sell your expertise to them.
I have faith that the men and women have more than enough brains, more than enough talent, more than enough morality and more than enough passion to take care of these problems.
I think history teaches us the answer to questions. It's never the majority that makes changes. It's a hard-core group of sons of bitches who won't take no for an answer and who have the morality to hang in there.
Things will happen that you don't expect that will come and help you. The rule of the universe is when you put your positive intentions into the fertile void, as my father would say, the universe will respond. It won't always respond the way you want it to, but it will respond.
The power is in the network. Who is in your network? If I'm alone, this world we're living in is way too complex and big. The difference between the richest and the poorest and the smartest and least smart is greater than it's ever been. But the power is in the network. It's a new concept and I urge you to test it. Having a bigger network will never fail you over having a smaller network.
How do we keep government accountable? We don't. The only accountability mechanism we have is elections. And that means the real issue is fundraising.
As Small Business Advocate, you have to tell me what you want me to advocate. I have no power. I have no money. But I can advocate. Tell me who you want me to approach and what you want me to advocate. Keep me informed. What I look for is where is the appropriate place for me to intervene.
The challenges in the economy are not fully understood at the level of government yet. The government is the last to get it. As you see how the current crunch is affecting your industry, it is important that you communicate that to all important policymakers. While people in the government know that something really dramatic is happening, they don't have the details. It helps to have the details.
Always be looking for what is the opportunity and what is the potential 'win' for the person you're asking something from.
They're in Sacramento and there are 32 million people in California humming through their day and there are 100 people that know what's going on with a piece of legislation that is going to affect all 32 million people in the state. It's not democratic. It's not democratic in its practice. The fact that nobody knows what's going on much less read it much less impact it. We need to turn it around and we need to make this a major cause because it's not going to happen overnight.
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