Introduction

Photo Dan KennedyWhen John Cohoat approached me about his new book, the topic grabbed me, because I was well aware of the problems in Elkhart County Indiana and the rest of our Country. I live just a few hours east of Elkhart County and had noticed the problems of the Recreational Vehicle (RV) Industry, especially with all the sensational coverage by the Liberal Media. Like John, I was disturbed seeing President Obama staging events in Elkhart to tell them and all Americans why his Stimulus Plan was the answer to their woes.

In my 30 plus years of working with tens of thousands of businesses, I’ve never found one whose success strategy was to rely on any governmental entity for its sales and profits. John contacted me early on in his writing process and I encouraged him to move forward quickly. And, he did. I knew he had recently become an Independent Business Advisor with Glazer Kennedy Insider’s Circle (my main business) and there is a tremendous amount of work and training to get his local chapter started. But, frankly, I thought the need to tell the story of Elkhart County entrepreneurs was even more important. We don’t need more people sticking their hands out looking for someone to bail them out. Many of our politicians off er all kinds of assistance and essentially paralyze some of our fellow citizens who think there is nothing to do but wait for the State or Federal government to come to their rescue. This thinking is dangerous, because there is no way such a strategy is sustainable, at least with the lifestyle and opportunity we have been used to in our United States.

In the last several months, John has successfully recruited members for his chapter, while at the same time interviewing the companies featured in this book and writing their stories. As a first time author, John has done a masterful job. A Midwest guy myself, I can tell you John has captured the essence of Midwest entrepreneurial spirit. I didn’t personally know any of these companies before I read John’s book, but now I feel a real connection, much as I do with many of my clients who share the same values and hard working mentality. I’d love to work with the businesses featured in this book because they display the “can do” approach that I look for in my clients.

What we teach at Glazer Kennedy is really blocking and tackling of marketing and business strategy. Really there is nothing overly complicated about what our thousands of members do….it’s just that they’re willing to learn, master and implement. So, while many of the stories in this book are fascinating and the challenges faced have been huge, the stories are universal and repeated all across the United States (with the possible exception of California. I have no idea what’s going on there.) The point is we need to be reminded of these stories and realize that small businesses and people rolling up their sleeves every day are what really matters. Government never really helps. They just get in the way and make the entrepreneur’s job that much
tougher by taxing them, regulating them and interfering in their free markets. How we get our politicians to realize this is the challenge of our generation.

The theme of this book is not so much a repudiation of the socialist policies of the current Obama Administration, but rather evidence why the capitalist economic system really works. And, it works even in tough times, because the basic good in each individual, a desire to succeed and ingenuity are the formulas for success. This is the way we’ve been approaching the Recession with our members. Our 2009 SuperConference had the theme “Recession Rescue” and I’ve been giving my observations about how to respond to the Recession in our newsletters, weekly faxes and many speeches this year. John has been paying attention and asked if he could compile some of my thoughts into a special report as a bonus for his book.

So, chapter 14 is just that. There is a collection of my essays, articles, speaking notes and more that has been gathered together for your review. You already have some great examples from the companies in this book, but I’m pleased to share some of my thoughts. We realize that the current economic situation has affected us all….I’ve adjusted my approach, lost a few clients, but gained some others. We changed some things at Glazer Kennedy Insider’s Circle. Know that we have continued to grow and our conferences still are setting records while many business conferences have been canceled or had dramatic drops in attendance. Many of our members are having banner years, because of good marketing, sound strategy and a willingness to plow forward when everyone else is sitting on the sidelines. My hope is that John’s book and this information from me will reinforce what you are already doing or shift your mindset if you have settled for waiting out the Recession. Opportunity is still all around us. You just need to find it.

As you dive into this book, prepare to be inspired and to remember what is great about our Country. Do what you can in your personal lives and local businesses to fight on in tough times. And, get involved with the political process, so our leaders know what you are about and, if they don’t get it, vote them out.

Dan S. Kennedy

Dan Kennedy is a serial entrepreneur, adviser to business owners, sought after speaker and author of 13 books. He writes a weekly political commentary for the Business and Media Institute, www.businessandmedia.org. More information about Dan can be found at www.NoBSBooks.com, and a free collection of his business resources including newsletters and webinars at www.DanKennedy.com.

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