Obama – Take the Pork Away from the Pigs

Dear President Obama,

Congratulations on becoming the 44th president of the United States. Americans have hired you to manage our country and to fix the economic crisis you have inherited. To accomplish this, you need to act like an entrepreneur – not a politician. Entrepreneurs thrive on crisis, knowing that from the center of it huge opportunities arise for growth and profit.

Break the Succession of Bad Ideas

Entrepreneurs witness their executive managers clinging to their ideas – even bad ones. Once ideas are entrenched it is painful to shake free of them, no matter how harmful they may be to the business. I have had to compel executives to abandon projects in which we invested thousands of dollars and uncountable hours. It is a dirty deed, but it is my job to lead the company in the right direction. Your job, like mine, is to recognize and break the succession of bad ideas.

To right the economy, I recommend you start with the worst idea of all – the bloated, loophole-ridden Tax Code that is unintelligible to even the most expert tax preparers, the IRS itself and especially the small business owner. Just keeping up with my equipment depreciation schedule gives me a migraine. On top of that, thinking about the amount of tax I owe on inventory I haven’t sold, and on accrued income from installment payments I haven’t yet collected, plus the reporting and compliance requirements makes me wonder why I got into business in the first place. Entrepreneurship, like the presidency, is not for the faint of heart. Fortunately for the twenty-five people I employ and the Certified Legal Nurse Consultants I service, my entrepreneurial spirit forges on.

Business cannot thrive on outdated systems, nor can successful entrepreneurs afford to make business more complex than it needs to be. To repair the economy, apply the entrepreneurial art of simplicity by eradicating the Tax Code. Replace it with a simple national sales tax, and eliminate all other taxes, including corporate and individual income, payroll, capital gains and estate taxes. This would wipe out layers of bureaucracy and save taxpayers billions of dollars. Give refunds back to lower income families to keep them whole.

Don’t Stifle Ambition

Americans are greedy and that’s not all bad. Entrepreneurs are too. The desire for more and better drives us to innovate, making us the strongest country in the world. Give entrepreneurs their credit back so that they can focus on what they do best – create jobs, generate income and stimulate the economy.

Aspiring and active business owners who have great credit histories are being denied the credit they need to launch and grow businesses. This unavailability of credit is crippling innovation and productivity. America cannot afford to drive entrepreneurs out of business. Small businesses and the people they employ cannot wait six to twelve months for a trickle of credit.

Give some of that bailout money to the entities that are making loans and make sure that it is used towards affordable loans for entrepreneurs with strong business plans and good credit. Small business creates more jobs than any other sector of the economy. Americans will feel safe to go shopping, buy a new car or invest in a home when the companies they work for are flourishing again.

Stop the Stealing

Americans expect to pay taxes, but we are no longer willing to bankroll the government’s mismanagement and self-interest. It is time to stop the stealing – the excessive, irresponsible spending and ever-increasing federal budgets. Do not make a commodity of the American people who struggle to buy groceries and pump gas. Take the pork away from the pigs.

Entrepreneurs all over America are slashing their budgets by as much as 30% to stay profitable. At my company, if a project cannot justify its budget, it is gone. We budget for results – not for a bigger budget the next year. It is time to skip the buzzwords and feel-good phrases. Americans have heard the rhetoric, now we want results. Prove that you can run our government as lean and clean as a successful entrepreneurial business.

Today when you take office, implement a plan to assure the bailout is handled responsibly and with accountability. The kind of behavior that occurred in the lending industry would never have been tolerated or even possible in a small business. Make sure that individuals benefit from the bailout – not just the companies that created the problems. Use the money for what it was intended for and don’t dilute it with unintended uses and handouts to companies on the fringes of the issue.

Every Act Counts

You have brought hope and inspiration back to the people of the United States. You have four years until your first real performance evaluation. That is a luxury few entrepreneurs enjoy. Even so, you have a responsibility to act quickly and decisively. Make every act count. Then we’ll decide whether or not you get to keep your job as head of the most important business in the world.

Vickie L. Milazzo, RN, MSN, JD

7 thoughts on “Obama – Take the Pork Away from the Pigs

  1. Vickie, I enjoyed reading your advice to President Obama. If only you had time to be on the ballot, I’d vote for you as our next president. I was in nursing school when I first heard of the name Vickie L. Milazzo, RN, MSN, JD. At that time, if anyone had told me that one day I would have an office next to you, I would have laughed in disbelief. But, six years later, I have the honor of having an office next to Vickie Milazzo.

    My comments are the reasons you would have my vote for being this country’s next president.

    I’ve made a conscience effort to catch you on an ‘off day,’ just to persuade myself you’re for real. I’ve never caught you on an ‘off day.’ You always expect and encourage the best performance from me, my coworkers and your students and CLNC® consultants. Sometimes I wonder if it’s possible to maintain the same high standards all the time. But I’ve learned from watching you that you only expect from others just small increments of what you expect from yourself daily. The difference is that you already excel at everything you ask all of us to do.

    Running this country would be such a natural fit – Here’s why:

    1. Your miraculous work ethic. You know every detail about every Institute department and know each person’s responsibilities in that department. My conversations with you on a Monday morning sound like this: “Carrie, where are we with the so-and-so project? I looked at it over the weekend and we need to…” Man, I’m busted. This weekend I looked at the back of my eyelids a whole bunch and then watched movies. Not a productive weekend. Vickie, you work hard to accomplish your goals and you lead by example.
    2. Even though you work hard, you fit in lots more in your life. After a focused, hard day’s work, I have learned that you will reward yourself with occasional dinner dates or take bike trips to add balance to your life as a CEO. I’ve even seen you in action at the bowling alley. You’re a killer with those strikes! Following your lead makes me aware that I don’t always deserve a play break unless I actually accomplish something.
    3. You take time to workout. When I see you give the marketing director a high five for a killer idea, your clearly-defined biceps are evident. I find myself secretly trying to flex my bicep under the guise of writing a note. “Oh geez, I think to myself I just pulled something.”
    4. Note to self: “Go to the gym and consistently workout, then I will have results like Vickie.”

    5. Your eating habits. It seems like no one can eat that healthy every day, but you do. I see you bring your lunch daily and it is always a healthy, home-cooked meal. Never fast food.
      Note to self: “This is where Vickie gets her endless energy. Eat a well balanced meal so I can reap a long productive day of work.”
    6. Your organization skills. You are so organized. You always know exactly where things are whenever you need them. I notice this gives you immeasurable time for productivity. While I am searching for notes on a contract, you’ve already completed your next project.
      Note to self: “Create better systems and be dedicated to keeping them organized.”

    So, from an insider’s perspective, and for all CLNC® consultants out there, let’s be on top of our goals, schedule in some fun, workout daily, eat healthy and get organized! And, vote for Vickie for President!

  2. Thank you, Vickie, for such a great blog today. Thank you for putting into words so eloquently what is in so many of our hearts and minds.
    (I would vote for you as President too!!!!!!!!!)

  3. I have often wondered what goes through a person’s head when they decide to run for president of the United States. Have they lost their mind? Are they hallucinating? After all, they can’t know everything they need to know to run the most powerful country in the world. Surely no one’s really qualified to run this country before they actually step into those shoes.

    For the last month I, like many other Americans, watched Obama assemble his team of experts. He knows that his legacy depends on the powerhouse of knowledge he is able to assemble. He needs the best and brightest advising him. But ultimately he will make the final decisions and this is where the real risk happens. He runs the risk of making bad decisions, and he will. He runs the risk of doing this very publicly, and he will.

    These are the reasons most people don’t pursue the dream of being president of their own company. They are afraid to take these risks, especially where others can witness their failures. Such a fear didn’t stop Barack. Why should it stop you?

    Obama must have learned the very important skill of assembling a powerful team at Harvard. Although Obama went to Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School bases its first year around this concept. Each student works with a team of fellow students to analyze case studies – real companies with real problems. The student teams collectively come up with a solution for the problem and often recommend a new business model be implemented to resolve the company’s problems.

    It’s this very concept I wish more “entrepreneur wannabes” realized up front. Stepping into a new business venture is scary. Most don’t have a degree from Harvard Business School to guide them or the Harvard brand to open doors for them; however, the best entrepreneurs like Barack Obama learn how to assemble a solid team.

    Vickie, I have watched you become the master at building a team. I am inspired that you used subcontractors outside of your expertise to advise you from the inception of your legal nurse consulting business.

    Certified Legal Nurse Consultants know your story by now. And you’ve achieved so much because you did not let the lack of knowledge about being the president of your own company stop you from realizing your lifelong dream… Kinda like Barack. Pretty cool.

    You recognized on your own what students pay Harvard thousands of dollars to learn… if you have a dream of owning your own business, you don’t have to be an expert in business, you just have to know how to assemble the appropriate resources to help you realize your dream. The payoff…you get to create your own legacy.

    Obama needs more advisors like you, Vickie. I hope he’s listening to your terrific advice.

  4. Vickie
    I like the plain speaking and forthright tone of your message as it is exactly what the entire country seems to need – Let there be MUCH more!

    I suppose you’ve read Edward de Bono’s book “Six thinking Hats”? – I suggest that the juvenile behavior of certain leaders could be remedied with some of this type of training in parallel and lateral thinking skills…maybe President Obama has it in mind?

  5. Hi Karin. I really enjoyed writing this piece of advice to President Obama – glad you liked it. I’ve not read “Six Thinking Hats” but I will consider adding it to my reading list. I look forward (hopefully) to following President Obama’s path as he leads our country back to prosperity.

  6. How blessed am I to be part of such an empowering, encouraging and humility filled organization.

    I am learning so much about business, intentions, gratitude and hostmanship! I’m 45 years old but just getting started to put it into high gear.

    Thank you all for sharing your wisdoms and your insight.

    With much appreciation –
    Melissa

  7. Hi, Vickie. I second your sentiments in this powerful statement to the new president. I would love to be able to add my name in support of your thoughts here. My husband and I have talked for years about becoming entrepreneurs and starting our own business. Having some of these items instituted would definitely give us more hope in making that dream a reality. Thank you for sharing this.

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*The opinions and statements made by Vickie Milazzo, the founder of Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc. are based on her experiences and expertise, should not be applied beyond the specific context provided, and do not guaranty or project actual results. Vickie Milazzo is no longer involved in the operations or management of the business, but is involved as an independent education consultant.

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