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You Come Last

I generally don't like business books because they are typically telling me stuff I already know...  Treat your customers well.  Duh.  Make a plan, but be flexible.  Really?  Here's why I was so successful.  Whatever.  

However, a couple years ago I read a book called "The Highest Calling" by Larry Janesky.  It was so dang good that I read it in one day while at a volleyball tournament.  It's more of a story about life and owing a business.  Certainly not a textbook.  Anyway, I liked it so much that I get "Think Daily" from Larry Janesky (, which is just a short, daily thought about life or business. Below is from this morning (3/21/14).

When you are building a business, don't expect to make money for a while - maybe a long while depending on how long you keep expanding.

You come last.  Take care of your business needs first, pay your businesses bills, and invest in the business (team, equipment, vehicles, place, receivables, inventory, and marketing).  It will likely take years.  Then, if you have done a good job and made the right decisions, you will be rewarded.

Financially, you come last.

Man, how true that is!  The first 3-4 years we were growing but bleeding cash.  I was putting  money into this business...all that I had and more.  The next few years were cash flow positive but not profitable from a tax perspective.  Recently, we have actually had taxable income (we are an LLC and income flows to the owners), but the problem is that we have not had the cash to make distributions to either put in my pocket or to cover any tax liability assigned to me.  Typically, when you borrow money from a bank like we have, any money owed to the owners is subordinated to the bank so we can't get paid back until the bank is paid back.  It sucks!

Larry Janesky nailed it this morning.  Everybody gets their money before the owners do, especially for young businesses and entrepreneurs.  

I'm not looking for sympathy.  I knew (kind of) what I was getting into.  I just resent the tone of "you didn't build that" or "you should pay more taxes because you're a rich business owner" or other rediculous crap coming out of some people's mouths.  My advice to politicians that utter that garbage is "grow a pair and live in my shoes for a day...or 10 years!"

My next blog will have some humor or poop references in it.