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“That’s Not Working.”

June 9, 2013

I remember once the worst insult that I ever received from someone that I care about very much. That insult was “That’s not working.” The reason that they said what they did was because I was not getting compensated financially for my work. To this day when I think about that exchange I bristle.


At the time I had been putting in 14 to 16 hour days — seven days per week for over three years. Yes, as God is my witness you read this correctly. A person is either a self starter or they are not. So since no one has exactly been beating down my door to offer me a job — I work anyway. What am I doing? Entrepreneurial projects — because three of the jobs that I had in the corporate world were created for me based on ideas that I had presented to them. My reasoning was that since no one was beating down my door to offer me a job, I could turn one of the ideas into a opportunity to save me, those I loved and also those who needed work themselves. It was done out of necessity — never out of greed on the hunt for the Almighty Dollar.


I always worked hard and was always teachable. I also sought out and worked with the best mentors. As a result, I have a number of great competencies. It might surprise you to know that I have performed over 600 consulting projects for companies large and small — including companies like Anheuser-Busch, Inc, Union Pacific Railroad, Bank of America, Arthur Anderson and Abraham Lincoln Hospital. I have also performed a number of projects for small banks, law firms, accounting firms and businesses in general. What where some of the areas? Employee theft prevention, workflow optimization, building great teams, records retention, records and data storage, disaster recovery, time management, employee management and areas under business development.


But, I was just as competent in executive level strategic planning (I played a lot of chess and love strategy game.); business development, sales & marketing, product branding, developing marketing & sales manuals, managing employees and training employees and managers. As I previously said — I always had great mentors and always loved to learn! But again, since nobody is beating down my door offering 150K to 200K per year jobs (If you read through the previous couple of paragraphs, this is what a person with this kind of experience is worth to a corporation. In fact, in the New Economy — companies are not even offering half of this. In an Employer’s Market, employees come cheap and they are used and abused.) I am going out on my own. Again, not because of a love affair with the ‘Mean Greenback’ — but out of necessity to save myself, those I love and many who need work.


My ideas have made and also saved millions for companies over the years. One company alone has saved over 114 million dollars over the past 20 years. Another company has been in business over 15 years. Yes, my ideas have longevity. I also know that some of my ideas have been stolen and used by others to make money. But you know what? While I should be angry about it I am not. For me, that is a form of complement.


It has been a horrible three and a half years — but I was willing to stare the Great Recession in the eye and say — give it your best shot you old goat! But after three and a half years I am still standing — barely, but still standing. I have been pile-driven, steamrolled, body slammed, crushed and pulverized more times than I care to count. Each time though it might be painful, I get myself up, dust myself off and continue moving forward. The only way that I can and will be stopped is if my old heart gives out — but I don’t think that is likely….it would have already done that a long time ago. I think it is just as determined as my soul (and my backbone) to ‘finish this’.


I have been encouraged by a few people to ‘think small’. Sorry, I cannot do that. I know a fish taco stand in Ensenada can generate between 6K and 10K per month and I can live out my days in paradise. But you know what? This is the problem with our country — in fact, our world. We only want to think about ourselves and maybe even our families. This is wrong, wrong, wrong — and will never create a better world! Many turn their back on those who are hurting and are oppressed regardless of the ‘lip service’ that is given to our religions. The truth is, there is not a religion on the planet that advocates turning our backs on those who have less and going your merry way. So what gives me the right to think small? Yes I have to save myself and those I love. But in the process — I am going to do my very best to save the world too dammit!


In several weeks I will be 54 years old and do not have a ‘pot to piss in’, as they say. I made some very poor decisions about 12 years ago. But, in that process my eyes were opened to a whole new world that did not really exist for me before — the 75% of mankind that does not have a ‘pot to piss in’ either. Since that time, everything that I have tried to do has been about ‘we’ instead of I’. My attitude has been: If we win, we all win; if we lose, we all lose — but I will lose the most. Over the past 12 years — if I had just thought of myself, I could have turned myself around easily. But, I was never in a position to do that — and it was not the major lesson that I learned. It had to be ‘we all win or nobody wins’. You know what? This is also one of the lessons of Christianity. Did you ever watch Jesus Christ around his disciples or around groups? When Jesus fed the 5,000 — he did not need to do that. He could have retired by himself to eat or gone off to eat with his disciples — and left the others to ‘fend for themselves’. This is the lesson that are world teaches! People look at the miracle of feeding 5,000 with a few fish — I look at the lesson under it: we all win or nobody wins. Stories like this are found in every religion that you care to name — so dig deeper….and learn the deeper truth.


I worried that because it has taken 3 1/2 years people look at me as a laughing stock or wonder about my credibility. Honestly, this was the last insecurity that I finally let go of — yesterday in fact. My conscience is clear….I am marching forward to build something great — whether it takes me four years or ten years….and with God’s help I will damn well do it! So I will ask once again — I would love for anyone that thinks in ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ (I defined as me, me and my family or only those I care about) to climb on board and work with me. The current project I am working on is potentially worth many millions of dollars and will provide awesome livelihoods for many thousands of people around the world. You see, one of the lessons that I learned over the past 12 years is that we can take that Almighty Dollar and make it our servant — instead of chasing it and being a servant to it.


And to my dear loved one who told me that ‘I was not working’ because I wasn’t making money — there is a higher level to strive for: Pouring ourselves into an ideal and turning the ideal into a great reality to the benefit of all — or at least, as many people as possible! It is the right thing to do!


Anthony Cota

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