Now, I will tell you that the reporters at Inc. Magazine are some of the most fastidious I’ve ever come across. I had to submit and resubmit our corporate information at least three times, plus three different people contacted me to verify the accuracy of the information — and some of the information I submitted was our audited financials! Plus, I’ve fielded at least 3 phone calls on top of all of that. Maybe they should call it the “Inc. 500 Questions” award? I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, for it is very impressive on one level, but it is very annoying on another. I think they now know who my 4th grade teacher was, the uniform colors of my third Little League team and name of my next door neighbors’ dog when I was growing up. WHEW! If you need to check the facts on something, call the people at Inc.!
Additionally, I’ve participated in at least two different surveys and other Q&A sessions with the good folks at Inc…. so far. I thought you might enjoy looking over my shoulder at some of the more interesting questions I’ve gotten and my answers to them. But, before reading any further, I’ll warn you that the more “sensitive” you are, the less you’ll probably like what you’re about to read. Continue if you must, but don’t say I didn’t warn you – let’s just say, I’m a bit opinionated, and they asked, after all:
Have you ever considered running for political office?
Yes, but it costs too much and seems like such a waste of my valuable time. I’d rather focus on running my businesses better and creating wealth for my investors, employees and my family. The highest and best use of my energies is to keep contributing to the national economy and growing our profits. Politics hasn’t attracted the best our society has to offer since JFK inspired a generation. It’s sad, but I think you’ll find it’s true. Entrepreneurs are doers, but that doesn’t work in the slow, gridlocked, modern political process, so successful entrepreneurs are figuring out ways to go around the politicians to achieve their goals. They’ll end up accomplishing much more because of it, too. As an example of this, think what the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will do in this world over the next twenty years (and what it already has done), especially with Warren Buffet’s wealth as well. It’s a bit staggering, and it kind of makes the U.N. even more pitiful by comparison, doesn’t it?
Have you ever run for political office?
No. I’d be considered too much of a renegade. My ideas aren’t too far outside the mainstream, but they would be enough to disrupt the current order too much — they’d be threatened by me. Democrats like the dependence their policies breed. Republicans have lost their way. Neither party impresses me much. And sadly, I’m an “informed voter.” Kind of makes you wonder if we should really let any American Idol voters submit ballots ANY November, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s time to use technology to institute a quiz system (on historical and current events, plus economics) to be allowed to vote. It may sound elitist, but I’m the first in my family to go to college and a first-generation, upper-middle class individual originally from a small-town, working-class background. I KNOW what I’ve done to get here, how hard I’ve worked, how little work most Americans will do to attempt to get even close to where I’m at. We’re a society of a few, self-reliant individuals — those that are, usually have a great shot to succeed and make up the top 5%. Those that don’t, well… they long ago abdicated responsibility when they gave up on initiative. But, I digress…