Apr 3 • 14M

God, guns, Texas and bow ties. God: How I decided any branding of a business using God is a red flag.

“You show me a guy who tries to sell you a used car without cleaning it, and I’ll show you a loser.”(Paraphrased) - Donald Trump, on an episode of the Apprentice.

 
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Written and voiced by Sean Dowd, CPA.

Warning: The following contains swears, reference to swears, and general mention of trauma. Participant discretion is advised.

What’s this all about?

We had spent a hard week getting them ready. A used car dealership. making its debut in a big used car town. In the car state. Michigan. Mo Town. The Motor City.

But in Kalamazoo.

Yes, that’s a real place.

Something like 30 or 40 jobs. $3,000 - 4,000 in sales retail. To a couple 22 year old kids with a $30,000 personally guaranteed annual rent commitment, that’s a decent bump in business.

Things seemed like they were looking up.

Enthusiasm is contagious. So is pessimism.

Car detailing. A fancy word for car washing. It’s just that you get a wax and a vac. And your dashboard gets really greasy. It’s not supposed to be greasy if I do it, but different strokes for different folks.

“I’ll make a used car smell like a dozen f***ing roses! Two dozen!” - Some guy who was pretty passionate about car washing.

Detailing a previously owned/ used car in good shape takes time. Don’t get me started on how long it takes to clean a minivan with kids as the primary passengers.

With two well synchronized people doing it, Pristine Car Care could do a full inside and outside job on a sedan in about an hour and a half. Three man hours per car. More likely 4. With pickup and delivery that’s about 5 man hours a car.

That’s upholstery steam cleaned and an exterior wax.

I had a guy hug me after I restored the finish on his black import.

I had a lady say F*** you after I told her “Have a nice day.” She still came back again.

People can be weird.

“You show me a guy who tries to sell you a used car without cleaning it, and I’ll show you a loser.”(Paraphrased) - Donald Trump, on an episode of the “Apprentice.”

Used car salesmen.

I grew up thinking they were scum. Not to be trusted. My 9th grade English teacher Mrs. D told me I should become a used car salesman.

I don’t think it was meant as a compliment.

But everyone I grew up with thought being a lawyer was the ticket to prosperity.

Stereotypes are ugly.

Christian Car Company was the name of the new lot in town. Deacon Dave could resurrect your car quicker than any master mechanic. After securing you 20% APR over 60 months he’d throw in a balloon for little Johnny. He reminded me of a young Bill Bonds. If you’re not from Detroit or you don’t know who that is Google Ron Bergundy, and the film “Anchorman.”

High risk financing is a lucrative business.

He was pilfering a few fellow dealers from the Century dealership on Stadium Drive and opening his own shop on the east side of town.

Your boss can say he wants you to succeed, but mention opening your own shop and watch how they’ll lose their minds.

He went to auction and bought at least 40 cars in a few days and needed them cleaned ASAP. Dave got approximately 200 man hours out of us. At the premium rate.

A $1,000 discount given to customers who keep our workers employed and the lights on. The bread of our business. Repeat business.

A solid week of kicking ass and taking names.

We never did business again.

On the telephone, just following up to see when we could pick up some more work I asked him, “Dave, are we okay?”

I could hear him gulp over the phone line.

“Yeah.”

“Okay.” I responded. I wished him good day and hung up the telephone.

God I miss the physical act of hanging up on someone.

One of his other “nice guy” image car dealer disciple partners had a cousin or something who had a bucket and a garden hose who was getting into the business.

Ease of entry into the market is a whole other topic.

The point is, I developed a prejudice. If your business branding involved Jesus, God, or an ichthys fish I immediately decided not to trust you. It’s different to advertise in the church bulletin, if that comes mind.

Faith and business to me are separate things. Or are they?

But witnessing through branding is a hard image to live up to.

The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy.


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That’s the synopsis. Primary sources for inspiration of this post are at the bottom of this thread below the desktop heading. If you’re intrigued, read on.

Thank you for reading.

Please give me the opportunity to be wrong. I’m looking for your help to provide feedback, guidance, and support. Please let me know how this engages you. You can do a thing. I can do a thing. Together we can do great things. Please consider subscribing, liking, sharing, tweeting, texting, forwarding, faxing, printing, snail mail, & airborne leaflet propaganda. It just needs to catch the Forward Flu (go viral).


The Good Stuff:

Anyone who wants to start a business should know it’s not that hard.

What’s hard is making it, “worth your time.”

The greatest gift someone can give you is their time.

You do something for someone or provide them something and they pay you. Hopefully with a fair return on the cost.

Cost is a lot more complicated than you probably think. How much has the Ambassador Bridge “cost” over its life? That includes the cost of the lack of a more efficient crossing. The Gordy Howe bridge will rectify the costs of the bottle neck currently faced at the crossing.

We got us a freedom convoy!

How much has it “provided” over the course of its life?

I think actuaries are experts at estimating cost. They make money when they’re “right.” Or maybe when they’re “wrong” in a good way. As long as we’re making money, does it matter? Yes it matters. But I’m not really sure exactly what they do.

They just can work logical magic. They can perform analysis that is qualitative and quantitative.

Where the rubber hits the road. Where the metal meets the meat.

Accountants are tasked with documentation of historical costs. We also can help with budgeting and forecasts. But primarily we live in the past. Most of our math is simple addition and subtraction with the occasional multiplication. And the consideration of the intangible.

So you want to start a business.

You can start today as a sole proprietor. Or you can get a job.

Getting a job is a business venture. It’s actually harder to get a job than just starting a business.

Why do I say that?

Well you can get some cups together, some water, and lemons and sell lemonade. You don’t even need a table. Even if a law is in place to discourage you, you can ignore that and do it anyway.

Just don’t cell cigarettes illegally. They kill you for that.

Did you know the Dixie cup was invented because people got tired of sharing water by drinking from a ladle that was dunked in a container?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_cup

We stopped shaking hands for awhile. Connection is the opposite of addiction. Some religious faiths frown on hand holding in prayer.

Start a business. You can pan handle at an intersection.

Or you can get a job. But you need your papers. A US document of live birth, a social security card or US passport.

That’s just to verify people who were born here and their legal employability. Or at least a US citizen.

Imagine you were suddenly homeless and had zero documentation. Without going to someone you know for help, what would you do? Most of us haven’t a clue.

Nothing makes the government angrier than having a paid employee and failing to give them (the government) their cut.

I don’t even want to begin to write on people who aren’t US citizens trying to work in the United States.

I probably can’t go to Canada. Subscribe and maybe you’ll find out why!

A subscriber of mine suggested I write on taxes in a way that’s geared towards generation z. I think I will, but my writing style is confusing to some.

I’m trying to keep your attention by not dwelling on a subject too long. I’m also not trying to prove any points. I’m just sharing my experience, strength, and hope. I trust your intellectual ability that if you’re interested in something I provide, you can rely on yourself to find out more.

But I’ll definitely write on taxes. Incidentally everyone should learn about taxes. But to understand taxes you should have an understanding of the law and basic micro and macro economics.

Supply and demand, duh!

Outside of scripture and other doctrines of faith, the modern law is mostly man made.

Economics to me is a theory of laws that are not man made. They’re either God given, or natural.

Exceptions apply.

But generally speaking, economics doesn’t care if you’re a capitalist, communist, or hybrid. What will be, will be. The theories give good indicators what is happening and what will happen.

You’ve been here before, but you haven’t.

Personally I think treating people well and staying in your raising are the surest ways to have a life of fulfillment. Not everyone wants to hang out with you even if they could afford to.

But I’m still a work in progress.

Begin with the end in mind.

Do I really like the beach?

Read on business organizations: https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/choose-business-structure

Don’t be scared. It’s not that scary. Before you spend all your time and energy on planning an idea from start to finish, talk with some people about your idea. Think of ways to experiment to even think your idea has merit.

Can you give your product or service away?

If not, it’s probably not that great an idea.

But not necessarily. People might not even know they have a problem that you can solve. But figuring out that’s the case and how to solve the problem is the mission of fanatics and idealists.

I had an idea for starting a laundromat. I thought if I could get capital for the building I could persuade my village DDA to provide me the real estate for the location.

I had many “ideas” on why I was right, but I needed proof there was a market for a brick and mortar laundromat.

How do I do that?

Are there mobile laundry rigs?

Yep.

Okay, I’ll buy one and can do market research in a geographic area. I theorize that locations of dollar stores are in underserved (opportunity) markets.

Eventually I came down to this: Why isn’t there an Uber for laundry?

There is: https://sudshare.com/do-my-laundry?gclid=CjwKCAjwi6WSBhA-EiwA6Niok3MIdjOMP0JnOSLHt6M8_cjCtDljaXTDxbDb2JOI9FLkoTVViZN6DRoCKuIQAvD_BwE

It’s still in beta. But its an awesome idea. You don’t even need an app to do this kind of work.

Hang up flyers in your neighborhood.

Problem solving is a learned skill.

But there are plenty of people you tell your idea to who will tell you all the reasons why it sucks. Take their thoughts with humility and patience. There are people who might try to “steal” your idea.

Who cares ? If they beat you to the market, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a piece of it.

There were once thousands of car manufacturers in the rust belt. Now there are three domestic companies.

If you bring God into your brand, people love to point out hypocrisy. We’re all flawed. But something about pointing and laughing feels good.

What did the five fingers say to the face? Slap!

Legalzoom.com


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Leave a comment

That’s the message. Primary sources for inspiration of this post are at the bottom of this thread below the desktop heading. If you’re intrigued, read on.

Thank you for reading.

Please give me the opportunity to be wrong. I’m looking for your help to provide feedback, guidance, and support. Please let me know how this engages you. You can do a thing. I can do a thing. Together we can do great things. Please consider subscribing, liking, sharing, tweeting, texting, forwarding, faxing, printing, snail mail, & airborne leaflet propaganda. It just needs to catch the Forward Flu (go viral).


Desktop:

Most of this work was conducted on my iPhone.

Goal for publish: Blog, podcast. Sunday afternoon.

Currently reading: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, written by: Jonathan Haidt

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/96884.The_Happiness_Hypothesis

Currently listening: Space Oddity, performed by David Bowie

https://music.apple.com/us/album/space-oddity-2015-remastered-version/1039799506?i=1039800298

Currently viewing: Ron's Gone Wrong, starring: Zach Galifianakis, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ed Helms, Justice Smith, Rob Delaney, Kylie Cantrall, Ricardo Hurtado, Olivia Colman.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7504818/

The pursuit of happiness.
Being of use.
Making a difference.
Getting back what was lost.
Eagle scout projects.
Merit badges.
School paper.
School play.
Class officer.
Starting a business.
Without capital, you’re F***ed.
Imagination.
Trauma.
Look up business on Lara.
Success and humility.
Reasons to be cynical.
Reasons to be skeptical.
Reasons to be distrustful.
The trinity.

Links:

The Priesthood of Industry

The Electronic Pack Rat’s Guide to Goal Setting

Death and Taxes

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