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The LoCo Perspective
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Profit isn't a Right or a Privilege, it's a Responsibility!
Published by Curt Bear on November 29th, 2018
Did you know? - The second-largest (behind NRA, duh) and fastest growing gun-rights organization in the US is based here in Northern Colorado. Located in Windsor, the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR for short) was founded in 2000, and has grown to become a very prominent organization, with over 4.5 million members. One of my longtime friends used to work for them, and I’ve met the founder, Dudley Brown. For some reason I always remember one of their old T-shirt designs that proclaimed, “Gun ownership is a RIGHT, not a privilege”. So, as you might guess, their agenda is basically no compromise on individual gun ownership freedoms. It’s a complicated issue, and I’m not here to get myself a bunch of new haters - but I will say that I enjoy the simplicity of their message.  

The point I mean to address is that words have very precise meanings, and something small business owners can get confused about is profit. (As can their employees, and the community at large.) One harmful notion I’ve observed is profit-guilt, where the owner feels guilty about charging enough to earn a reasonable profit. That’s a whole future article - “How to diagnose profit guilt, and what to do about it!” I’ve also known small business operators that seem to think of profit as if it’s a right - they can sit back and work only as hard as they want to, not innovate or develop new services, and expect profit to come in year after year. Darwin’s law usually weeds these operators out pretty early in their journey.  

More common still is thinking of profit as a privilege - like it’s a sought-after goal, but only the privileged few can actually attain it.

Scary Jobs!
Published by Curt Bear on October 31st, 2018
A job I had during my college days was working for the Fargodome - a sports and music venue in Fargo, ND. It was very part-time, always under 20 hours/week, and often late at night or on weekends. About half my time was spent zipping in or zipping out the artificial turf - mindless and tedious work - but it paid pretty good on the per hour, and I worked with fun people.  

The remaining time was spent setting up or tearing down for music shows and other events. Highlight: I met Ted Nugent in the parking lot one day - he was shooting his bow and arrow at animal targets, waiting for his crew to set up the show. He was nice. The role I especially cherished - and nobody else wanted to do - was to climb the trusses behind the stage and adjust where the lights were pointing, and occasionally change bulbs or similar. No safety lines, no training, no hazard pay - but I was an excellent tree climber and have almost no fear of heights - so it was a fun respite from what was otherwise a laborious role.  

But I recognize that for many, climbing up and hanging off a 30-foot high truss system built by roadies would be terrifying! Years later...

On Facilitation
Published by Curt Bear on September 28th, 2018
Only years after founding LoCo Think Tank did I attempt to define the foundations of the business model.  My interactions with business members of Vistage and other peer advisory group models, and later membership in a Trusted Advisors chapter of Vistage, convinced me of the extraordinary power of peer learning.  Likewise, my involvement in Rotary Club - where our motto is Service Above Self - was an obvious element.  The third foundational element actually preceded the others in time - my role as a Discussion Leader within an organization called Bible Study Fellowship when my wife and I lived in Colorado Springs...
On Leverage
Published by Curt Bear on August 31st, 2018
Out with a friend and LoCo Think Tank member the other day, I was introduced to a business owner with whom he was acquainted - an inventor, custom builder, manufacturer, rental business, and online retailer.  Sharp guy, very interesting as you might imagine, with a clearly successful business.  As we chatted a bit more, I learned that his multi-faceted business operation is a one-man band - no employees at all!  Tried it, didn’t work out, so I just do a little bit of everything he says...
Ask of Your Needs, Share of Your Abundance
Published by Curt Bear on July 26th, 2018
Ask of your needs and share of your abundance.  A philosophy of life in fewer than 10 words.  Not THE philosophy of life mind you, but A philosophy of life that I’ve been pondering,  and the first value of LoCo Think Tank...
My business is very like a...
Published by Curt Bear on June 29th, 2018
Many of us remember the old poem about the six blind men of Indostan who happen upon an elephant, and they wish to consider what type of creature it is.  Depending on what part of the elephant their hands fall upon, they find him to be very like a wall, a spear, a snake, a tree, a fan, and a rope.  None of these things are very like an elephant, and the poem does well to demonstrate the weakness of limited perspective... 
The 12 Essentials for Your Small Business Success Story
Published by Curt Bear on May 31st, 2018
One of the things that holds folks back from pursuing any dream is their fear of failure. We hear the stories too often, see the Going Out of Business signs, learn about the loss of nest eggs or family member investments... small businesses do fail. But many succeed, and they create jobs, build wealth for the owners, and add to the vibrancy of the local economy. Small businesses are the foundation of a community in so many ways...
Welcome to the LoCo Perspective
Published by Curt Bear on April 27th, 2018
Welcome to The LoCo Perspective. We're working to build an electronic publication that small business owners, aspiring small business owners, and even regular normal people (anyone know any of these?) - want to send to their friends! If we do it right, the content you find here will be short, simple, and valuable, with a dash of humor and a smidgen of community connection...
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