Civil Dialogue. Positive, Constructive & Respectful of Each Others Opinions.
We created YesIDidBuildIt.com as a Pro-Business website designed to encourage civil, dialogue on ‘Ways to support small business owners and get the American economy going.’
We created YesIDidBuildIt.com to support the business owners we call clients… and those we’ve never even met. We did this because we believe ‘supporting the American small business owner is the best way to get the economy going.’
We’re pleased with the feedback our Advertising Agency is getting from business owners — Democrats, Independents & Republicans. They like that we avoid the political questions and focus on delivering a pro-business message in a positive, constructive tone. They appreciate our efforts to encourage a civil, dialogue about how to support small business owners and get the American economy going.
We agree with FGCU Management Professor Sandra Kauanui’s comment in the article; ‘The good comes when people have dialogue.’
Below is the complete text of Business Writer Laura Ruane’s article, which appeared in The News-Press’ Business Section on Sunday, July 29, 2012.
‘You didn’t build that’ puts spotlight on small business
“Small business has been at the center of a war of words since President Barack Obama’s impromptu “you didn’t build that” comment more than two weeks ago.
Since then, both the Romney and Obama presidential campaigns have weighed in with TV ads on the meaning of Obama’s remark that, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Entrepreneurs across the nation have voiced their opinions. The question for many is whether the remark was taken grossly out of context or actually showed the president doesn’t truly understand their individual sacrifices.
Fort Myers-based adman Earl Quenzel of Quenzel & Associates launched YesIDidBuildIt.com, which I wrote about for Monday’s Local & State section. Quenzel told me that he agreed with “about 99 percent” of what the president said in the Roanoke speech, with the exception of the much-discussed “you didn’t build that” remark.
“All I want to do is to create a positive conversation about running your own business,” Quenzel said of the website, on which business owners may share their success stories.
On Thursday, Quenzel told me that several local news outlets had interviewed him since my initial news-press.com post on the day of Obama’s visit to Fort Myers.
The small business reaction: “We’re getting great feedback for avoiding the political questions, and putting the focus on creating a pro-business conversation,” Quenzel said Thursday.
I asked Sandra Kauanui what good might come from either the pro-business or political volleys. Kauanui is director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and a management professor at FGCU. She also had her own small business before arriving at FGCU.
Small business owners never have been especially enamored with government, Kauanui said. “They feel overwhelmed with government regulations. They don’t see where they’re getting anything out of it.”
That viewpoint long predates the Obama administration, Kauanui noted.
However, in these tough economic times, small business owners “don’t see much concrete help. So they are overly sensitive to anything that’s said,” according to Kauanui.
The more-heated responses from small businesses could mean their owners are unaware of taxpayer-funded assistance available from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Small Business Development Centers, Kauauni said.
And, perhaps small business advocates such as the SBA and SBDCs should take a closer look at whether what they are doing truly meets today’s small business needs.
“The good comes, “ Kauanui said, “when people have dialogue.”
Source: The News-Press | News Article Written by Laura Ruane, Business Writer | Sunday Business Section: Business Scene | Jul. 29, 2012.
To read the article on The New-Press website, please visit: News-Press
“A statement President Barack Obama made in Virginia on July 13 has become the newest talking point in the race for the White House. Mitt Romney claims the president was blasting small businesses. Obama’s team says his words were taken out of context.
“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen,” President Barack Obama said.
“It just felt a little too much over the line to me,” said Earl Quenzel.
Quenzel runs a marketing and communications business so he knows the power of words.
“People look at things through their own personal lenses,” said Quenzel.
Quenzel launched a website to coincide with the president’s visit to Fort Myers called yesididbuildit.com.
“In no way is this site meant to be anti-President Obama. This site is merely meant to be pro-business,” said Quenzel.
It’s a forum for his clients, mostly small business owners, to share success stories.
The president responded this week with a statement about the quote, saying it was taken out of context.
“Those ads taking my words about small business out of context, they’re flat out wrong. Of course Americans build their own businesses,” Obama said in a video statement.
The president was talking about how government can spark business. The sentence before the quote adds some context.
“Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business. You didn’t build that.”
“Whether that’s actually what he meant or that’s spin on it afterward, I have no idea,” said Quenzel.
So why did the president wait so long to clarify what he said in Virginia?
Last week the president’s team said he planned to clarify the statement during his trip to Fort Myers on Friday. That didn’t happen because of the movie theater massacre in Colorado.”
Source: NBC-2, Fort Myers, FL. Reporter: Chad Oliver. Aired: July 25, 2012.
To view the video on NBC2.com, please visit: NBC-2
“First, I just want to make 3 points clear. First, we are not political activists by any means. We’re just an advertising agency that works every day to try and get its clients more customers.
Second, the website is absolutely not anti-President Obama. In fact, we agree with 90% of what he said in his speech about how fortunate all of us are to live in America and to have the opportunities that we do as Americans.
The website… what it is however… is very ‘Pro’ what we consider to be the Real American Dreamwhich is Owning Your Own Businessand Running Your Own Business.”
As an Advertising Agency, we work with business owners every week to help them compete and grow their business. We see the hours they put in, the sacrifices they make and the things they do to make success happen.
There’s been enough business bashing the last 18 months. We believe that the key to America’s economic recovery lies with encouraging small business owners… not demonizing them.
Business owners know that their growth depends on hiring as many of the best people they can afford. That’s why jobs get created. And, the jobs they create create more jobs.
That’s why we believe supporting the people pursuing the American Dream of running their own business is the best way to get the economy going.
For some reason, we’re receiving eMails suggesting this website is anti-President Obama. It’s Not. This website, initially launched to support 13 business owners our Florida Advertising Agency knows and works with, is simply very Pro-Owning & Running Your Own Business. To be perfectly clear, we agree with most of what the President said:
The President: ”There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back.”
Our Viewpoint: We Agree.The majority of business owners our agency works with want to and do give something back.
The President: “They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.”
Our Viewpoint: We Agree. There are a lot of smart people out there. There is a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. There are even a whole bunch of smart and hardworking people out there. (However, while it’s mostly true that all successful entrepreneurs are smart and hardworking people. Not all smart and hard-working people are entrepreneurs. Starting your own business and making it successful requires something more than smarts and hard work. There’s a frightening leap of faith that you have a better idea. A faith so strong you can’t help but make it happen.)
The President: ”If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.”
Our Viewpoint: We Agree.The business owners our agency works with all got some help along the way. A parent, a spouse, a brother, a sister, a friend, a business associate, a mentor and a teacher or two for sure.
The President: “Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.”
Our Viewpoint: We Agree.The business owners our agency works with deeply appreciate the courage of the 56 delegates that signed the Declaration of Independence, which started the American System. From the War of Independence to today’s War on Terror, the business owners our agency works with respect and honor the sacrifices of those that served and fought to make the American System… a reality.
The President: “Somebody invested in roads and bridges.”
Our Viewpoint: We Agree.The business owners our agency works with understand and appreciate that they stand on the shoulders of giants. Better than most, the business owners our agency works with understand the role and the risks that the early explorers who ‘opened-up’ the country took. They understand the roles and the risks that the early inventors who led the Industrial Revolution took… and how those risks created a new and better America… for all Americans.
The President: “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Our Viewpoint: We Disagree: As a Full-Service Advertising Agency, we work with a wide variety of business owners to help them grow their business, every week. We see the hours they put in, the sacrifices they make and the things they do to make success happen.
We think there’s been enough ‘business bashing’ the last 18 months. We believe that the key to America’s economic recovery lies with encouraging small business owners… not demonizing them.
Business owners know that their growth depends on hiring as many of the best people they can afford. That’s why jobs get created. And, the jobs they create, create more jobs.
We believe supporting the people pursuing the American Dream of running their own business is the best way to get the economy going.
Seems like a number of people did not see the President’s remark that led to the launch of this website. It also seems some people think we’ve taken the comment ‘out-of-context.’ Here’s the video, you decide:
As an Advertising Agency, we work with business owners every week to help them grow their business. We see the hours they put in, the sacrifices they make and the things they do to make success happen.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat, an Independent or a Republican… if you’re a business owner, you know what it takes to start and make a business successful.
We initially launched this website to support 13 business owners our Florida Advertising Agency knows and works with every week. Today, July 23rd, we decided to open-up the website to all business owners that want to share why they started their own business and how they make success happen.
Business owners can register & share their pursuit of the American Dream to own your own business simply by filling-in the form on the Tell Your Business Story page or by clicking the Add a Business Now, button on each page.
The ‘Why I Started My Own Business’ section makes for interesting reading about why people take the risk to pursue the American Dream.
In the ‘How I Make Success Happen’ section business owners’ share tips for success, which those in similar industries or those thinking about starting a business may find helpful.
We believe that the key to America’s economic recovery lies with encouraging small business owners. We think there’s been enough ‘business bashing’ the last 18 months.
We believe supporting people who pursue the American Dream of having their own business is the best way to get the economy going.”
Agency principal Earl Quenzel enlisted local business owners to post their personal stories of how they built their own enterprises.
“It’s not a political thing,” Quenzel said, although he acknowledged the president’s visit was part of his motivation.
“I’m a business owner who works with other business owners,” Quenzel said, noting: “We wanted to create a better dialogue about what it takes to build a business.”
In his July 13 campaign speech in Roanoke, Va., Obama prefaced his “you didn’t build that” remark by alluding to the role teachers play in people’s lives and how government pays for roads and other public amenities on which businesses depend.
GOP opponent Mitt Romney jumped in to blast the apparent slight to entrepreneurship, using the president’s remark in a campaign ad.
Obama’s words drew different reactions from at least two of the local business owners who contributed their success stories to Quenzel’s website.
“It stung me, big time,” said Mark Loren, jewelry creator and founder of Mark Loren Designs.
During the economic downturn of the past five years, “I just know how hard I’ve worked, and gone into personal debt, to keep my staff,” Loren said.
Loren, a Democrat-turned-Republican, said he read a transcript of Obama’s remarks, and was convinced they weren’t taken out of context. He voted for Obama in the last election, but said he hasn’t decided what he’ll do this time around.
Steve and Doris Colgate own the Offshore Sailing School. In their web posting, Doris Colgate wrote: “Steve & I made this company what it is. However, lots of good people working for us also helped make it so successful, and we had lots of help along the way.”
Some of that help came from banks, some of it came through a federally-funded program for women entrepreneurs, Doris Colgate said on Friday. She plans to vote for Obama, and believes his comment about small business was taken out of context.
The website isn’t likely to change people’s opinions about Obama or his policies, said Peter Bergerson, a professor at FGCU.
Today, July 20th, we respectfully launch this website in honor of our Advertising Agency’s clients, the business owners we know and work with every week.
We launch today, just about 48 hours after we saw a need and an opportunity in the marketplace. After all, that’s what entrepreneurs do, right? We see opportunities and jump on them right away. (Mostly, because we can hardly think of anything else but making that idea a reality.)
The inspiration for this website sprang from three things:
1.) President Obama’s remark at an event last week: ”If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
As you’ll see, he starts by making several remarks with which both Colleen (the Founder, President & CEO of our Advertising Agency) and I agree. In fact, I suspect most American business owners would agree.
2.) The ensuing media attention around the President’s remark, this week.
The Need. We saw a need for better understanding of the time, money and effort expended by people that start and run their own business.
The Opportunity. We saw an opportunity to support our Advertising Agency’s Clients by providing them a platform to share why they started a business in the first place. We saw an opportunity to help other business owners learn how to make success happen.
We saw an opportunity to share our belief that supporting the American small business owner is the best way to get the economy going. And, we saw an opportunity to demonstrate our Advertising Agency’s Creativity and nimbleness (We went from Concept to Conclusion in about 48 hours.)