Fast Company

Confessions of a Radical CEO

Hanh mitakuyapi.  Hello my relatives.

  I realize that calling myself a radical CEO is not going to come as a big shock to at least some of you.  ITI humor being what it is, we've had buttons, t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. for decades that say such things as, "Member - Little old ladies' quilting circle and terrorist society".  When the attack of 9/11/2001 happened, I made sure to buy a new t-shirt with this on it.  I'm sure you're not surprised..

   Because I am a horse-Indn, and for all that I have a majority-culture education, and credentials "up the wazoo"..  the majority culture's financing 'systems' have pretty much eluded my understanding.  I understand equity, collateral, and such, but what passes for common methods of financing today?  For-get-it.  Credit cards are not an option..  No credit score.  I can't say I want them anyway.  They are very-high-interest loans that have to be repaid ASAP, no excuses, no delays, or the interest rates rise like rockets.  "Astronomical" takes on a whole new meaning.  I think I'd have better luck dealing with some street-corner usurer.  But I don't know any so I'm safe.

  I do understand "funding from within", and that's how I've funded all of my enterprises over the years.  I've worked jobs to fund one or more businesses and I've used the funds from one going b usiness to fund another. 

  This has become more difficult to do since I came to Dakota Territory, however.  The bigotry here is endemic, epidemic, and rampant - especially among the people who claim to control the economy in this state.  And there are people here who claim that.  Let's not ever forget that the 2003 incoming President of the ND Chamber of Commerce warned me that I "must get the approval of my business superiors before expressing my opinion, especially if it ran counter to theirs, if I expected to be successful in business in ND".  The story is elsewhere on either this MicroEntrepreneurs blog or my own blog, if anyone missed it and wants to read it..  But the point is, these people really believe they control the entire economy of the state and that they can make or break anyone in business in this state.

  I will never forget the shocked expressions and the dismay expressed by State Senators Randall Christmann and Dwight Cook when they found out they not only had not prevented me from making any living at all, but that it was the Internet that had kept me from starving - and indeed, had provided me with enough of a living to expand my business.

  I absolutely do not believe in coincidence as accidental, so when my web site disappeared off the Internet last Labor Day weekend, and it took me nearly 6 weeks to reconnect with my webmaster, and she told me that the server where her online Indn Community and my business web site were hosted had crashed, and the man who owned that server had died, and she had mysteriously been attacked by one of her dogs and ended up in hospital with over 200 stitches when one dog "just wouldn't stop barking and the other dog went crazy"...

  I knew that if I dug deep enough long enough, I'd find the trail ran back to these thugs in the business community in ND who are supposedly "my business superiors and leaders".  Maybe you can overlook this many coincidental events as 'accidental' or 'happenstance', but numerically and statistically, there is no way that will ever 'wash'.  Just the same, there are otherwise intelligent people here who have actually told me I'm making too much of this, I "sound paranoid", and "it couldn't possibly be" that anyone here would do such a thing.  If there were emoticons on this site, I'd put a raspberry here.... and I think you would, too.

  Most interesting - since my webmaster and  I reconnected for a short time, something else has happened such that she does not respond to any emails or phone calls from me,  and if mutual friends have asked why, she has just clammed up.  Her health is poor - I wonder what they threatened her with.

  What has this to do with "confessions"?  Well, I take no salary from my for-profit, so that any money that comes in goes directly to build the company; and I work temp jobs to make a living.

   GASP!  But in doing this, I have found that it gives me a unique perspective / viewing point on current employment practices - especially as relates to Human Resource Management - in Dakota Territory.  Truly a grassroots perspective.  "Making a living" has taken on a whole new meaning.

  In applying for 'permanent' jobs, and in working temp jobs, I have actually been told such gems as, "We've found out you have a college degree!  We can't have that!  You could understand our patented process for building our products and steal it from us!"  I'm sure I'm: basically dishonest and so is 'everyone' (except them);  going to steal something as expensive as a  patent; magically drum up the money to build the production line; and in the process ignore my own business..  Let's just say I have no interest in working for people with such a perspective.  The unfortunate thing is, it's a common perspective here.

  So are nepotism, "white guy" syndrome, and just about every other negative-ism you can think of relative to doing business.  "Ethics? What are those?" seems to be the common perspective here; and I believe it's similar across the world, of recent times.  Maybe always.. ?? 

  I / We are now within $1500.00 of getting Indian Maid back in one of her markets.  For many of you, this is pocket change.  Or if not, it isn't a relatively large amount.  But if you're a minority, female, "out-spoken(!)", horse-Indn in Dakota Territory, it is..

  Is it insurmountable?  No.  I / We will keep at it; slogging through the swamp and the alligators and the obstacles we come across, the same as we always have.  It will simply take us longer to reach our objective.  Which is partly why I established this group on FastCompany.

  The other part of the reason is, I am not alone in this kind of "pit".  My nickname could be, "Legion".  The flip side of the situation is, if no one ever speaks up about what really goes on in our corner of the not-very-united states, the problem cannot be addressed, and it can't be made to go away. Thank you for hearing me in a good way.

 

 

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