Friday, July 6, 2012

Hang in there Areti Georgilis and Nikos Drandakis – we are pulling for you

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Hang in there Areti Georgilis and Nikos Drandakis – we are pulling for you
In the last four years I joined an exciting group of folks that have one thing in common. That one thing is the starting up and running of a Business. That group is generally entitled “entrepreneurs”.

It is one of the most exciting and yet nerve racking groups that I could ever have become involved with.  Talk about a stretching adventure to say the least.

In South East Asia I had met people like this as they sat on the street corners and sold whatever they could.  They took the time to fetch the product that someone might want to buy and then they stayed on a street corner and waited until the customer came by. They were available.

My dad was an entrepreneur as well. He started the “Lincoln Motor Repair” in Regina and ran this business through his working years and well into retirement from the other jobs that he held.

A number of years after he died people were still calling to see if he could repair an electric motor for them.  The business was very successful to say the least.

How can it become successful?  What is needed to make a go of it?  Do all businesses succeed?

I am not sure that I have good answers for all of these questions but I work on them all the time… trying to find an answer for them.

Yesterday’s Newspaper Article…
In the Toronto Star yesterday was a story about Areti Georgilis who lives in Greece. She is the owner of a Book Store called “Free Thinking Zone” (My English Speaking friends will need to click on the Translate Button on your Browser to read their Blog)

The story by Daniel Dale is a good one to help all of us entrepreneurs see what others go through when tackling some of the obstacles to make our businesses go ahead. The Article is entitled “Greek economic crisis: Entrepreneurs face Olympian hurdles”

There are times when I feel that I am the only one that faces obstacles the way that I do.  But in contrast to the situation in Greece for Areti Georgilis and Nikos Drandakis – I have it very easy.  I feel for these people.

As I read Daniel Dale’s article I could start understanding better some of the issues that the Greek People are facing.

Our Newspapers have been filled with accounts of the Bale Out plan that everyone had been working on to help the country of Greece. From my Canadian entrepreneurial place in life I simply had a hard time wrapping my head around what was happening.

I wonder how could anything get to the state that it is in Greece.  Daniel Dale along with Areti and Nikos have helped me to understand better.

Can you believe it – the Government – local and near local plus the National Governments have it so tied up with Red Tape that very little can take place to make a go of it!

You need to read how it took Areti two weeks of working through her different levels of local government and regulators to be able to have her store stay open for 3 extra hours one night!!!! Can you believe that???!!!!

You need to read her story of what happened. Daniel Dale did a great job of capturing the difficulties that the local business person’s challenges.

Daniel Dale writes of Areti Georgilis, “Every start-up faces the same issue,” said Georgilis, who left her career as a public relations executive to open the Free Thinking Zone with her savings. “Much paperwork, much bureaucracy, much time consumed. I spend 70 per cent of my time working on silly idiot bureaucratic issues and not in my shop creating ideas.”

In the case of Nikos Drandakis, who operates an interesting business entitled “Taxibeat” – he is crippled by the fact that he has to pay so much to his Government in taxes.

Daniel Dale writes, “Taxibeat’s expansion has been slowed by a tax system that discourages hiring. Drandakis said he has to pay the government 800 euros for every 1,000 euros he pays a new employee.

“You really cannot afford to hire talented people. Because talented people are expensive. And we want to pay. But when the state asks for double their salary, you think about it twice,” he said.”

Can you imagine paying that much and trying to make the business grow.

Yet Greece needs a bailout from other countries. There just has to be a major flaw with the way the country is being run!

And the days that I think that I am having trouble I will think of Areti and Nikos and the work that they do – and the problems that they face doing what they do.

I have regulations that I must follow and things that are a problem at times in my business. But compared to this country and these fellow entrepreneurs – my business is easy and moving ahead.

Maybe if nothing else this article and its posting will draw attention to our fellow Entrepreneurs in Greece.

Hang in there Areti Georgilis and Nikos Drandakis – we are pulling for you from where we are.

~ Murray Lincoln ~


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