RUSH: To Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. John, welcome to the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Good afternoon, Rush. I never had a chance to meet you but it’s a privilege to speak with you.
RUSH: Thank you very much, sir.
CALLER: In our area here, we have quite a few people, I myself included — it would be nice if you could be of assistance, Rush, but — I’m out of work with Masters and PhD degrees. It’s not that you’re electing to be, and it’s not definitely that you’re sitting back waiting on a handout of any kind. It’s just that a lot of the companies in our particular area who are doing some hiring are reaching out more to our overseas brothers and sisters, if you will, than to people within our own communities.
CALLER: I don’t know. That’s a solvent I haven’t been able to come up with. Maybe the labor factor is cheaper. You know, there could be many reasons why. However, in my situation, I’ve been going out and obtaining opportunities to teach in academia. Getting full-time in that particular region is kind of tough, though.
RUSH: Yeah, but hey, look: How much work are you getting there, part-time teaching in academia?
CALLER: Not much. Maybe one, two classes at the most.
RUSH: A week, a day, what? How much?
CALLER: A week.
RUSH: And what are you teaching?
CALLER: I teach in the business curriculum. I teach training and development.
RUSH: Oh, man! Now, you have a masters or PhD in one of those two?
CALLER: I have an MBA, yes.
RUSH: Oh, man. You know what? I’m going to be selfish here. You don’t know what a godsend this is for your students. Even if it’s just one or two classes a week, do you realize the perspective they’re getting from you?
CALLER: Oh, yes. I definitely do, Rush. I realize what they’re getting, but on the same token it would be nice if you could be able to extend that to touch their lives in the future full-time, you know?
RUSH: No, I understand. I understand what you’re saying. Where is Cranberry Township? What’s it near in Pennsylvania?
RUSH: Near Pittsburgh. So are you talking about colleges and universities are hiring people from out of the country to do their work?
CALLER: No, I’m talking about people who want to do something… A lot of people will take teaching jobs part time. But conversely what they’re doing is looking for full-time work in corporate America, and a lot of our facilities here… You know, there’s a lot of quota systems and, unfortunately, that’s a cross to carry but what are you going to do? You can’t stop an asteroid on a dime, you know? So unfortunately that’s what you’re caught up in.
RUSH: So what do you want to do?
CALLER: Well, I have a very good operations management background, Rush. I would like to be somebody who’s guiding and leading companies to meet the strategies that they’re coming out with. And helping to achieve their goals, to continue their life cycles in the market. That’s something I would like to do and also continue teaching, you know, more or less… Like I said, a lot of my friends who were working full time, some of them have lost their jobs as well. To be working full time —
RUSH: Why don’t you do this? You gotta start small, and this is probably as productive an idea as anything. Find one company somewhere and offer yourself as a consultant.
RUSH: I guarantee you that everybody in this recession is looking for ways out of it.
RUSH: If you can find a way for company X — as a consultant. You know, negotiate a consulting contract. Be an independent contractor. Don’t go on staff. Just get one company that you are consulting. Consult them on positive ways to ramp up, to grow, to get out of the problems they’re in. You keep doing your teaching thing at the same time, and then you can write your ticket.
CALLER: Yeah, I’m sure. We’re in a small market here, Rush. I realize that a lot… Like a lot of people, like I said, I am myself —
RUSH: Wait a minute. How close to Pittsburgh are you? Pittsburgh’s not that small.
CALLER: Well, it’s smaller than what you thought. We lost a lot of population here, and when those demographics have changed over the last several years, a lot of companies went with it.
RUSH: Yeah, but you still have businesses. I’m not talking about major corporations only.
RUSH: You’ve still got any number of businesses — small, medium, large or whatever — I guarantee you, most of them need help. Frankly, I have been amazed over the last ten years at the number of companies who go outside to find advice and consulting.
RUSH: McKinsey is huge. I mean, I’ve been stunned at that. I used to work for the Kansas City Royals. They looked outside for certain kind of marketing and business advice all the time, and you ask, ‘You’ve got people on staff. Why are you adding to your expenses by going outside when you already have people here?’ but they’re doing it. I know I’m making it sound easy, but it’s your business. You know how to pitch ’em and you’ve got some experience here, and you can identify the ones that are in trouble. I’d go for it. Get one of those in your tank that you’re helping and you can write your ticket.
RUSH: You know, even Alan Greenspan, of all people, on Meet the Press Sunday, and Henry Paulson, they both said tax increases are the worst thing we could do right now. And Greenspan said: (paraphrasing) ‘When I heard that the Senate placed Social Security off any austerity budget cutting programs, I know we’re not serious, we’re not serious about cutting anything.’ And you’ve all heard the news now that Social Security is officially paying out more than it takes in because the recession has caused people to retire. Folks, I can’t imagine how bad this could get. In fact, I want to save the discussion of that for another day. I want to stay focused on something positive here. I’m going to go back to this guy, John in Cranberry Township and consultancy. I have mixed emotions about it.
Now, I, ladies and gentlemen, am in broadcasting. Let me for a moment focus on television for a minute, local television. Recently one of the most important figures in local television news passed away. His name was Frank Magid and he was from Iowa. Frank Magid had a giant consultancy firm that advised local TV stations on how to do the local five, six, and 11 o’clock news. And Frank Magid Associates would be brought in by all these local TV stations to meet with the talent, to study them, and to make suggestions on how they wear their hair and how they speak and how they read the teleprompter and what color clothes to wear and all. To me, as a broadcaster, I always thought it was insulting. And I’m telling you that most people — and I may be speaking out of school here — and this is not to insult Frank Magid or his company, please don’t misunderstand here if you’re with the Frank Magid company. Most people, when they were told by management that the Magid people were coming into town, it was hunker down ’cause you always thought, ‘Man, I might get fired. Is some consultant going to say I don’t have it, somebody who’s not in the market, somebody just perusing ratings data, will I get canned or moved to some graveyard news shift,’ or whatever.
I’ve known my fair share of people in local news, and when the Magid people were coming, it was, you know, head for the bunkers. And frankly I always wondered why in the world this was. I thought the people who owned and operated TV stations were the experts. Somehow this Magid guy set himself up as knowing more than any of them. He convinced them, and how he did it, I mean, I don’t know for a fact but I’m sure that he had a couple of stations he consulted, and bam, their local news ratings shot through the roof and since everybody in entertainment, news, whatever, is a copycat, they had to have him. So John in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, all you need is one, all you need is one consultancy that gets on the map, and, John, you know where you ought to go? There’s a company out there, John, that has no idea what to do. They have never encountered the kind of problems they’re having. The company’s called Toyota. They have the US federal government lined up against them because the federal government owns their competitors, GM and Chrysler.
They just today had to add Lexus — they own Lexus — they just today had to add Lexus hybrids to the recall list. Lexus is their huge, top of the line brand. They are recalling hundreds of thousands of Priuses and then you have the other Toyotas that have the braking problem. Not the Prius. The hybrids have the braking problem, the other Toyotas have the accelerator problem. These are all software glitches and massive, massive recalls. The Toyota CEO is all over the place personally apologizing, which is what in the Japanese culture happens. This company has a chance because people have voted with their pocketbooks, they love these cars, and I think they’ll be very accepting of this, but it’s still a challenge for them. John, you’re probably hearing this and, ‘Toyota? I mean you’re talking about a multinational corporation. How in the world do we get –‘ I don’t know. But you’re the consultant. You got the MBA. You’re the guy that might have an idea for them. You just gotta be careful who you give the idea to doesn’t steal it if it’s a good one. But Toyota’s one example.
Let me share with you this story from Reuters: ‘The outlook of small business owners remained bleak at the start of the new year, according to a survey released on Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business. ‘Small business owners entered 2010 the same way they left 2009 — depressed,’ the group said, noting its Small Business Optimism Index reading for January was still below the 90 mark, the dividing line between positive and negative outlooks. But the group also said that seven of the index’s 10 components rose, indicating conditions could soon improve. … Swelling inventories have largely contributed to the recent growth in US gross domestic product. But small business owners said they continue to liquidate inventories, and with weak sales trends, have little incentive to replenish their stocks.’
Now, for whatever reason, human nature being whatever it is, it is now, I don’t know universally accepted, but with times as tough as they are, these people are looking for any idea to get themselves out of this mess. And they realize, John, that their biggest obstacle is what they don’t know yet, and that is what of Obama’s agenda is gonna pass. You put together a plan to help them deal with whatever it is on a contingency basis, you got an MBA, how to operate if health care happens, how to operate if the tax increases happen, whether to operate. They’re looking for answers out there. Everybody is. You’ve got the MBA. And the consultancy business, you know, if you travel 30 miles, you’re a consultant. You might come up with what country to move your operations to, if A, B, and C of the Obama administration happens. Should you go to Germany? Should you go to Mexico? Should you go to Costa Rica? The ideas, the options, the suggestions you could make are limitless, and there are people looking, small business, especially.
You know, small business people comprise the gamut. A lot of them are just creative, they just have a passion for a service or a product. The business side is something they have to learn. There you go. I’ve often said, and I maintain it to this day, that even in a circumstance like this, meaning this deep a recession, most of the limitations that people face are those they place on themselves. Now, we’re in a tight battle, because Obama is a huge limitation on everybody right now. In normal times — I don’t mean to harp on John here, but he’s the last caller, he’s in Cranberry Township, which is near Pittsburgh. If anybody, if any of you are unwilling to move, fine, but understand that is a self-limitation. You’re limiting yourself to opportunities available where you happen to be if you’re going to work with local people. To give you an idea — I’m going to let a big cat out of the bag. I don’t know this to be true. This is just a wild, wild guess. You know the people that own these fractional corporate jet deals where you can buy a quarter share or a half share of a private jet with a whole bunch of other people and when you need one you call ’em up and they send a jet to your place within four, six hours, and take you where you want to go. But it’s never the same jet, it’s never the same flight crew, you buy a quarter share in a type of airplane so it usually is the type of airplane you bought into, a Hawk or what have you.
The people — they’re going to hate me for doing this — the people who run these businesses, who started it, you know why they did it? To keep track of competitors. Well, who is it that signs up for quarter shares? Who does not want to buy a whole airplane, they buy for a quarter share? Businesses. So if you own one of these companies, you can see who’s flying to where, if they’ve cut back on how much they’re flying, and if they’re increasing their flying and then where they’re flying. You can keep track on what they’re doing. As the owner you have access to all the flight manifests and records and so forth. It’s a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant thing. It’s entrepreneurism at its best. You’re providing a service for people who don’t want the cost of a whole airplane, and if you want you can find out trends, business trends before they happen ’cause you’re witnessing it. So there’s all kinds of opportunities out there, John, there’s all kinds of opportunities for anybody. Let your passion be what guides you. Your passion combined with your expertise. Even in Obama’s America there is opportunity. In this case, unlike in normal America, in this case you’re going to have to find it. Opportunity is probably not going to knock on your door as often as it would in normal economic times. But remember there’s no such thing as luck. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.
RUSH: Help me stay focused on this small business thing for just a second. I don’t want to embarrass John out there but he’s the most recent call about all this and I’ve got ideas just exploding inside my little cranium here. John, you teach business school twice a week. Look at what you have there. You can combine your own project with education for them. Have them do a research project on small business companies (of, say, a hundred employees or fewer or 50 employees or fewer); find out where they are and how they’re doing; and bammo! There you’ve got your call list, and your students are learning things. At the same time, you kill two birds with one stone — and it’s free labor, John. The students are free labor and you’re not going to have to cut ’em in on anything. Now, for the rest… (interruption) It’s not exploitive. That’s how it happens, Snerdley. It’s not exploitive at all. It’s ‘exploitative,’ and it’s not exploitative.
If he wants to cut ’em in, raise the grade from a C to a B. (laughing) Now, now… (laughing) Whatever! Look, I’m just the idea guy here. This is not even my business. I’m just… Now, the rest of you in this audience unemployed or with a small business if you’re in trouble. I know you listen to this program every day. You hear people advertise on this program. We are sold out. You hear them advertise here. Does that not tell you that some businesses are succeeding out there? And I’m not going to jump into ego-ville here and say it’s because they’re associated with me, although it is. But they are working. The point is that even in the midst of all this, there are people who are enjoying success, even in this depressed market. There’s no reason that can’t be you. We just got a new advertiser. We just got a new advertiser. These people came in to see me three weeks ago and they brought their product. They’re located in Sacramento, in fact.
It’s called Shari’s Berries. They are the biggest chocolate-covered strawberries I have ever seen in my life, and they are hand dipped, and they come in boxes of 12. They’re all different patterns, even though they’re hand dipped. And they come delivered to you cold because you gotta refrigerate them because you don’t want the chocolate to melt. They are huge! I don’t eat much sugar for a whole bunch of reasons. I don’t have that big a sweet tooth. But of course I tasted a couple of these, and they were just delicious. They came in hoping I would accept the product, and I did on the spot because it’s ideal for Valentine’s Day. This is something that will melt in their mouths: Hand-dipped strawberries from Shari’s Berries. They’re just $19.99. They’ve sold over 50 million of these things. They’re taking it out national now, and who did they choose to do it? (Ahem!) Now, if you want to do this for Valentine’s Day — and this is a twist. I mean, a lot of people give candy on Valentine’s Day, but here’s a chocolate covered strawberry, 12 of them.
You have to see these, and you can do it on a website I’ll give you here in a minute, Thursday is the last chance to get these delivered by Valentine’s Day: $19.99 is the lowest price that these enormous strawberries have ever been, and this is an offer exclusively for you. it only lasts until Thursday. So here’s what you do: Call 866-FRUIT-02. That’s 866-FRUIT-02. For those of you in Rio Linda: 866-378-4802. Or we have a website, www.RushBerries.com. That’s www.RushBerries.com. Just take a look at them. You’re going to wish you could taste them when you look at them. But here’s another small business joining the roster of successful people here on the EIB Network. So the signs are everywhere, folks. It’s tougher, obviously tougher, with what’s coming down the pipe and what’s already come down the pike but it can be done. In times like this, it’s always the ingenuity and the entrepreneur that finds because around this stuff. We’re Americans, and we’re always going to be Americans despite this administration’s attempt to redefine who we are and what we do.
Who’s next? Tony in Edmonds, Washington, nice to have you, sir, on the Rush Limbaugh program. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. I just want to make a point. I’ve been in business… I’m an architect. I’ve been in business for myself since ’94. After the downturn… I used to have… We peaked at like six employees. I’ve had to lay them off, everybody but myself right now. Yet if I were to hire people back, the State of Washington will require me to pay into their unemployment pool to the tune of 42 cents an hour ’til that person is paid $35,000, after which I don’t have to contribute to the unemployment pool. They penalize you for like two to three years. I laid off some guys back in, you know, ’02 and I was paying a higher rate for probably two-to-three years after they were laid off into this pool.
RUSH: So they’re penalizing you for hiring people, in essence.
CALLER: Right. Right. I haven’t even looked at the federal unemployment rate. Frankly, that’s been rather low and it’s been a minor payment.
RUSH: Okay, given that reality — it’s a reality you gotta face — what’s it going to take for you to have your business expand and, despite all this, hire people back?
CALLER: Well, one of the possibilities is change the name of the company and re-up with the state and come in as a different entity. I haven’t talked to my accountant about that but I’m wondering if there would be restrictions in the ability to do that.
RUSH: So you’re starting fresh, in other words, on the amount you have to pay in the unemployment fund?
CALLER: Right, right. I’m really joining forces with a larger firm out in Tacoma — I’m up north of Seattle a little bit — and marketing with them. So it’s looking at different options but —
RUSH: Well, but still. All right, fine. This is a great example. This guy hasn’t thrown in the towel yet. He’s looking for ways around all these stupid, statist regulations that are obstacles. Good luck, sir, and stay in touch. Let us know how it goes.