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Herman: Yes, you built that!

Contrary to what Obama thinks, building a business is hard work.

When President Obama arrogantly said "you didn't build that" during one of his many speeches, businessmen and businesswomen all over America were offended and outraged. It was crystal clear at that point that the president of the United States of America was clueless as to how a business is started and how a business survives. 

The principles for start-up and survival are essentially the same in business. Some Democrats don't know these principles, and many others simply ignore the principles in their quest to win votes, because they know a lot of voters are uninformed and others are gullible.

For example, since the president and the Democrats forced ObamaCare down the throats of the American people based on lies and a severely flawed understanding of health care, businesses and families have been the ones suffering the negative consequences. Democrats and the mainstream media choose to just not talk about that. They believe that many uninformed and gullible voters will forget about the topic and the lies by Election Day.

Or, when government mandates an increase in the minimum wage, some businesses are pushed over the edge and people lose their jobs. Uninformed voters think businesses resist the mandated increase because business people are just greedy. No, they are trying to save jobs and operate their businesses wisely.

But successful businesses, as well as start-up businesses that survive these attacks by the force of law have at least three major things in common.

First, they have a good idea!   

The basic concept of a business "finding a need and filling it" is timeless. People don't need a product or service they already have. You may be able to carve out a small amount of success by offering a better price for the same product or service, but price alone will not allow you to succeed long term. Of course there are exceptions such as Walmart, which has consistently achieved a good balance between price and quality.

So one of the first things to do in starting or growing a business is to analyze the market and the competition to assess the potential opportunity. The more competitors there are already in that product space, the more difficult it will be to get some long-term traction.

This does not mean hiring an expensive market analysis firm like many well established large companies will do. It means doing as much homework as you can on the Internet, on foot, or even on premise of a future competitor. 

My favorite example is when someone asks me what they should do to open a new restaurant concept. My answer is to go and work in a restaurant and learn what to do and what not to do while getting paid to learn. The restaurant industry is a mature industry, which means the successful survivors have refined their "recipe" for success. 

Secondly, stay focused!

Too many people try to do too much, too fast, with too little resources. That was the problem with Godfather's Pizza, Inc. when I became its president in 1986 as it was spiraling into bankruptcy. We refocused the company on the original product quality, simplified the operations, and emphasized service at a much higher level.  It is still around today in parts of the country even though I moved on in 1996 to other challenges. In other words, do what you do best first, before you tinker with other stuff.

Staying focused also means that is where you direct and spend most of your time and talent. I've always put family first, but beware of distractions from other people and other things that do not contribute to the success of your business. Helping others is fine, and I have often done it, but you can't help everybody, especially if you are struggling to survive or start a business.

Thirdly, plan for the unexpected!

For many businesses this means accumulating enough capital (cash) to withstand a business "slow start" or "slow down". Failing to do this is often called under-capitalization. Some people may be able to start or grow a business on a shoestring budget, but that's the rare exception rather than the rule.

You should also plan on some mistakes in hiring people. Some people can sound good and look good, but they can't deliver results or consistently do their job. As the well-known management "guru" Peter Drucker once said, when you realize you have made a people mistake, fix it quickly. Don't make a knee-jerk decision, but carefully analyze that person's performance. Remember, you are not in the career rehabilitation business.

There are obviously a lot more specifics to starting or growing a business, and a lot more to the specifics of a particular business. That's why it is also advisable to develop a detailed business plan to help measure success and systematically make changes as needed, and there will be changes, so try to make sure they are smart changes.

But from 50,000 feet (some call it a strategic perspective), if you fail to consider one or all of these principles, then don't expect a soft landing. It will be painful and costly.

And when you do succeed, you took the risks! You made the investment of time and money, and you turned sweat equity into success!

Yes! You built that!

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  • ATHENS – It’s a picture that if anyone actually sells it will make a killing. The four seniors who stayed, with the postgame hoopla of a 42-13 blowout swirling around them, pulled over to have someone capture the moment. No one would have blamed Nick Chubb and Sony Michel for taking the NFL’s money. Running backs live short lives. College running back is a pretty tough way to earn a scholarship. Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy had to consider if another uncertain season was the best move. Because guys who hit NFL quarterbacks have nice houses too. This was one of the moments they thought was more valuable than turning pro. Those four players standing together for a photograph that will probably be on their walls forever. They don’t have senior days in the league. Tonight was the proper end for the Class of 2017 that very much deserve it. “What a great honor it is for these guys to go out on top,” said coach Kirby Smart. “To do something no Georgia team has done before. Win the SEC East and go undefeated in the East.” It hardly seems like it was four years ago when this class walked into Sanford Stadium for the first time. We were more focused on guys like Gurley, Mason, Wilson and Herrera. But it was that night we saw a few glimpses. There was Aaron Davis, playing as a walk-on because, well there wasn’t many options, getting an interception in his first game against Clemson. He had another interception in his last game. Michel was the best running back in his class. He was the speedster from Florida with the cool name. The backfield was loaded then. But Michel was actually the Dawgs second leading receiver that night. This night, he scored three times. And of course, Chubb. Remember this. And this. This kid had a point to make and we took notice. Now Nick Chubb is a soon-to-be Georgia legend (or maybe he already is, but there’s games to go. “He’s won the hearts over of a fan base that will never leave,” said coach Kirby Smart. “What he’s given to this place through injury and toughness, it’s just tremendous.” It cannot be overstated for Chubb has accomplished here. There is only one back that’s had more yards and more touchdowns than this kid from Cedartown. He’s the clear second best to Herschel Walker and that’s about all anybody can be. “Man you hope that you have many more as good as (Chubb),” said Smart. “But you know these guys don’t come around very often.” With the talent in this backfield, Chubb hasn’t been the workhorse that he had to be when Todd Gurley got busted four years ago. Remember his first starter? 38 carries. That’s still his career high. A week later it was 30 more against Arkansas. Whatever has been needed, Chubb has delivered. With no flash. No style. Just stud. Yeah, Nick probably could be a Heisman contender but that’s not what’s best for this team. And frankly Chubb running the ball for free 30 times a night is not what’s best for him either. So instead he and his buddy Sony split the load (with another freshman chipping in) and everybody is a star “They complement each other so well and they get along so well,” said Smart. “It will be a long time before you coach a pair like that again.” I don’t know any of these players personally. They are college kids and I’m a guy that sticks a microphone in their face. But I don’t think I’ve ever rooted harder for a player on any team that I have for Nick Chubb. I thought his career was over that afternoon in Knoxville three years ago. It was bad. Last year, I thought the old Chubb was never coming back. Knee injuries are no joke. But there’s never been any complaining. Any showboating. Anything that would take attention away from everyone in Red and Black. Tonight, Chubb got his reward. His best performance of the season (151 rushing yards) and two more TDs. Despite the reduced workload, Chubb is over 1,000 yards for the year. The only season he didn’t do, his knee nearly blew up. There’s only one other UGA back that can say that and he goes by one name. It’s a fitting send off for this entire senior class, but man am I going miss watching No. 27 in red. “What a great honor it is for these guys to go out on top,” said Smart. “It’s their leadership that’s led us to this point.” A lot has happened in this football program since that muggy September night against Clemson four years ago. A couple of head coaches, a bunch of coordinators, some bad losses and lots of doubt. Tonight, there is little doubt that this Georgia team is very, very good and can do some special things. So hopefully for these 21 and 22 year old, there will be more pictures to put on their walls with some nice trophies next to them. But at least tonight, they have the moment they have rightfully earned.  
  • The company accused of negligence after a 5-year-old died at the Sun Dial restaurant had no comment Friday about a lawsuit filed against it. >> Read more trending news “Due to the pending litigation, we are not commenting on the matter,” Marriott International, Inc. spokesman Jeff Flaherty told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an email.  The parents of Charlie Holt, who died from a head injury after he was caught in the rotating wall at the restaurant atop the Westin Peachtree Plaza, filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming negligence against the restaurant and hotel.  The lawsuit alleges the restaurant failed to prevent a “longstanding safety hazard” that led to the child’s death and disputes initial claims the boy wandered away from his family.  Marriott International, Inc., which owns the Westin Peachtree Hotel and the Sun Dial restaurant, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, LLC were named in the suit.  “The Sun Dial had no protections to stop children from getting close to the pinch point or to stop the rotation of the floor if a child became trapped in the pinch point,” the lawsuit states.  Charlie Holt was visiting Atlanta with his parents, Rebecca and Michael Holt from Charlotte, North Carolina, April 14 when he was caught between a wall and table as the dining area rotated. The family was seated near a window, but Atlanta police said the boy wandered away from the table.  Westin security staff and employees freed the child, police said, but he later died at Grady Memorial Hospital from a crushed skull.  The Holt family’s attorney, Joe Fried, said Charlie did not leave his family, contrary to police statements.  “The family was leaving the restaurant together after paying their bill,” Fried said in an email to The AJC late Thursday. “They were walking to the exit, following the same path that the hostess used to walk them to their table and that they used to walk to and from the restroom earlier. Charlie was only a few steps ahead.” Fried said the path was blocked when a booth rotated near a stationary interior wall, trapping Charlie between the booth and wall.  Rebecca and Michael Holt rushed to help Charlie, but he was stuck.  “By the time someone could manually stop the rotation, it was too late,” Fried said. “Charlie’s head had been pulled into the narrow pinch point and he suffered catastrophic head trauma, right in front of his parents.” The lawsuit alleges there was no guard to prevent people from getting trapped and no emergency stop button on the wall or automatic safety cutoff. The family is seeking unspecified punitive damages and a trial.
  • A plant mistaken for marijuana led to a Butler County couple suing their police department for a wrongful drug bust. >> Read more trending news Audrey and Edward Cramer talked about that incident on Thursday as they announced the lawsuit. The Cramers said it all started when their insurance agent came to their Buffalo Township home for a property damage claim and took pictures of hibiscus plants. The agent thought they were marijuana and gave the pictures to police. Audrey Cramer could not hold back the tears as she described how three Buffalo Township police officers pulled her out of her home on Oct. 5 wearing only her underwear. 'I was not treated as though I was a human being. I was just something they were going to push aside,' she said. “I asked them again if I could put pants on and he told me no and I had to stand out on the porch.' The Cramers say that police thought they were growing marijuana in the backyard of their Garden Way home. When officers got a search warrant and went to their house, the Cramers say their home was ransacked and they were handcuffed and forced to sit in a police car for four hours. 'Sometimes I think they look for a crime where it doesn't exist in order to justify their existence,' Edward Cramer said. Edward Cramer says he tried to explain that the plants were hibiscus flowers. The couple's attorney, Al Lindsay, filed a lawsuit today on their behalf. 'I cannot understand the frame of reference that was on these police officers’ minds, what were they thinking,” Lindsay said. The Cramers say they never got an apology. Audrey says she has severe emotional trauma. 'I don't sleep at night,” she said. “And you don't leave me at the house by myself.' Channel 11 reached out to the Buffalo Township police and the township manager but they have yet to respond.
  • Channel 2 Action News has exclusive access to the planning, and the best view during the demolition. Channel 2's Chris Jose spoke to one of the people in charge of this big job Sunday night. Richard Adamo is the president of the Adamo Group, the company in charge of the implosion. 'Execution is everything. It's no different than being on the football field. We've done everything humanely possible to take into account, all of the little details, from fugitive dust to the neighbors across the street, the evaluation of the MARTA,' Adamo said. RELATED STORIES: WSB-TV has partnership to broadcast Georgia Dome implosion LIVE MARTA announces alternate service plan for Georgia Dome implosion Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be protected when the Georgia Dome comes down Georgia Dome implosion set for Nov. 20 at 7:30 a.m. The difference between between an implosion and a football game is practice. The implosion is just one shot. 'It's got to count. What we're relying on is experience and the fact that this project has been vetted,' Adamo explained. 'We have 4,800 pounds of dynamite total. 4,300 pounds of TNT, and 300 pounds of linear shaped charges. the linear shaped charges are gonna cut the ring. and the tnt is gonna do the rest on the concrete columns. The implosion is expected to last about 12 seconds. Adamo will be the one to push the button. WSB-TV is partnering with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority for a LIVE broadcast of the Georgia Dome demolition. WATCH Channel 2 Action News This Morning starting at 4:30 a.m. for LIVE Team 2 Coverage.  
  • Ryan Seacrest pre-emptively denied an accusation by an anonymous E! hair stylist who said the entertainer acted inappropriately. >> Read more trending news “Recently, someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E! News, came forward with a complaint suggesting I behaved inappropriately toward her,” Seacrest said Friday. “If I made her feel anything but respected, I am truly sorry.” Deadline said she was trying to shake him down for money but he declined. “I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result,” the “American Idol” and “Live with Kelly and Ryan” host said in a statement. “I treat all my colleagues with kindness, dignity, and understanding, as this is a principle that’s core to who I am. Throughout my 25 years in the entertainment industry, the majority of my co-workers have been women, and I’ve endeavored to foster a positive work environment of mutual respect and courtesy, as that’s how I believe it should be. I’m distraught that anyone or any situation would call that into question. I’m proud of my workplace reputation, and believe my track record will speak for itself.” “I’m an advocate for women. I will continue to support their voices,” he said. Seacrest hosted E! News from 2006 to 2012.
  • President Donald Trump on Sunday expressed more doubts about a new policy allowing trophies of African elephants shot for sport to be imported, appearing to question whether 'this horror show' would actually aid in the conservation of any animal.The trophy policy was among issues Trump cited in a series of tweets. He also insulted Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and branded as ungrateful the father of one of the UCLA basketball players jailed in China but freed after Trump's intervention.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has argued that encouraging wealthy big-game hunters to kill the threatened species would help raise money for conservation programs. It announced Thursday that it would allow such importation, drawing criticism from animal rights advocates, environmental groups and some GOP lawmakers.Trump decided Friday to delay the policy until he could review it with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. However, on Sunday night, Trump tweeted that he would announce a decision in the coming days 'but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.'The Fish and Wildlife Service said in a written notice issued Thursday that permitting parts of elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia to be brought back as trophies will raise money for conservation programs. The change would override a 2014 ban imposed by the Obama administration. The new policy applies to the remains of African elephants killed between January 2016 and December 2018.In another tweet Sunday, Trump said he thinks Flake won't support the Republican tax overhaul in Congress as he insulted the Arizona Republican two days after Flake criticized him. Flake's spokesman responded that the senator was 'still reviewing the tax reform bill on its merits. How he votes on it will have nothing to do with the President.'Flake, who announced last month that he was not seeking re-election, was caught on an open microphone Friday saying the GOP is 'toast' if the party follows Trump and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. It was not a surprising sentiment given Flake's previous criticism of Trump.In the Sunday tweet, Trump fired back: 'Sen. Jeff Flake(y), who is unelectable in the Great State of Arizona (quit race, anemic polls) was caught (purposely) on 'mike' saying bad things about your favorite President. He'll be a NO on tax cuts because his political career anyway is 'toast.''Trump also tweeted Sunday that he should have left three UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting in China in jail. That remark came after the father of player LiAngelo Ball minimized the president's involvement in winning the players' release in comments to ESPN.Trump tweeted: 'Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!'He revisited the matter in another tweet: 'Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!