It’s 4:55am and another terrible night of sleep. I go to bed late wishing for more time, and wake up early because of the things I forgot to do yesterday. My family is growing – another one on the way so add the problem of space to a whole slew of issues I’m going through.
I can’t believe I wrote that post two years ago. I followed some of the advice, which helped, like sleep aids and peer CEO groups, but these are merely band aids. I never would have thought things could get worse.
Every day, I know I’m working harder to make less and it’s frustrating because I am not doing anything different except putting forth more effort. Yet in the past couple of years my income has gone down close to 30% and my wealth has decreased by more than 15%. The thought of having to take on more to try to get back to where I was frightens me because my body can’t even take the current pace. But I have to try - I have no choice.
It's impossible to get away from all the bad news. I'm not talking about the negative news from my day to day operation that comes with the territory of running several businesses, like the increased number of fines from the increased number of inspectors, or the settlements from frivolous exhausting lawsuits, or the legal fees I was never prepared for, or the consulting fees to explain murky gray laws, or the higher insurance costs for my business and at home, or the rate of higher expenses compared to slowing or flat revenue. All this was enough to take away more than 50% of my profits in the past two years. FIFTY PERCENT gone!!! This bad news I have become accustomed to and I’m trying to deal with it like a new line item on a budget. At least now I know how the past two years will dictate my future. But this isn’t what is keeping me up nowadays.
The bad news that really scares me now comes from the people who supposedly represent me in the city, Albany, and in DC. Certain politicians have sided with employees and have waged war on business owners. This game of promising social initiatives to the masses that are employees at the expense of us, because we are now expected to carry the new burdens, is infuriating to me. The politicians who are begging to keep their jobs are suckering employee voters to believe if the government takes more from our businesses and personally from owners through various new initiatives like higher taxes, Obamacare, paid sick leave bill, and higher minimum wage, the government will magically make sure others less fortunate will all of a sudden do better and have more.
I recently read in the paper that a mayoral candidate, de Blasio, wants to raise taxes on New Yorkers making $500k or more. This on top of the Obama and Democrats wanting to raise taxes on businesses and individuals and families who make more than $200-$250,000 a year. This is on top of being forced to pay for all my employees’ health care or a $2,000 per person fine since I have more than 50 employees. This on top of a new NYC paid sick leave bill sponsored by Gale Brewer that would force me and all owners to give 5 to 9 paid sick days a year per employee. This on top of talks of higher minimum wage both for regular employees and cash tipped employees.
It’s hard enough to run businesses totaling 500 employees. It’s hard enough dealing with all the changes that have halved my business with profits. Now they want it all.
It aggravates me that these social initiatives to distribute more of my and my businesses’ wealth will only backfire on the employees they set out to protect. I have no option but to change the way I run my business and change my personal life.
Don’t they realize we entrepreneurs are in this to make money, and if you try to take it all away from us, we will have no option but to do whatever it takes for survival? Or, we will simply leave the industry and do something else that will hire less people.
Should I profit $0 for Obamacare or should I break up my companies to make sure I have less than 50 employees in each, and pass the $2,000 fine to my middle class young workers basically to them as a 5% tax?
Should I have a magic number of full time employees that puts me in categories of paying for health care or mandatory paid sick days or should I give less than 30 hours a week to most of my employees and under-employ?
Should I stay in New York City and pay these new “millionaire” taxes on earnings of hundreds of thousands, or will I move out of city? (I’m already looking in NJ.)
Should I stay in my industry and stay as an employment bank with tiny margins and profits or should I start to look elsewhere and employ less but make more?
Bottom line, I will need to do what it takes to make sure my family and I are okay and everyone else comes second. Why are they making me think this way? Why can’t they realize that if I have confidence and you don’t try to rob me, I will grow and hire more? All they are doing is making me focus on worrying about my business getting smaller, then running my business to grow it. Why are they, in one breath, saying they are friendly to small businesses—then you hear things like, “You didn't build that,” or “Business owners always complain about regulations no matter how much they make in profits,” or making small businesses carry all the burden of new social initiatives?
I am no longer motivated, nor am I going to go to work for people who wait on the sidelines to turn me upside down to empty my pockets. Sorry, but I think paying 44% of my money living here in NYC is paying my fair share and when I accumulate wealth and then invest in others, I think 15% capital gains tax of those profits after paying nearly 50% in taxes before on this money is also paying my fair share.
All the bad news from the past two years to halve my business in profits is enough to keep me up at night. But now, there is a new extreme problem that is pitting employees against their employers. My employees have been fooled into believing that those who are in power who side with them actually care about them, but when decisions are made to help just the employees at my expense, all this does is hurt us all. The more you ask me to carry, the more my back will curve towards the earth. Now more than ever, politicians smell the blood of those less fortunate who lack wealth and success and they use me to get or keep a job. They don't have solutions. In fact, their platforms will put us further behind. Their one mission: simply to get a job for themselves which will in turn put leave more people without jobs.
It’s 5:32am now and I am wide awake and wondering why the hell am I frightened about politics instead of focusing on the growth of my business. It’s been two years since I wrote that last post and I find myself in a more vulnerable position. This is the last thing those in power want from what used to be a hungry, young entrepreneur. Good luck to the work force.