posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 04:40 PM
Here is a letter I received in my in-box from a friend who no doubt passed it on from a friend.
In three parts, Part one:
Given the uproar about the simple question asked you by Joe the plumber, and the persecution that has been heaped on him because he dared to question
you, I find myself motivated to say a few things to you myself. While Joe aspires to start a business someday, I already have started not one, but 4
businesses. But first, let me introduce myself. You can call me "Cory the well driller". I am a 54 year old high school graduate. I didn't go to
college like you, I was too ready to go "conquer the world" when I finished high school. 25 years ago at age 29, I started my own water well
drilling business at a time when the economy here in East Texas was in a tailspin from the crash of the early 80's oil boom. I didn't get any help
from the government, nor did I look for any. I borrowed what I could from my sister, my uncle, and even the pawn shop and managed to scrape together a
homemade drill rig and a few tools to do my first job. My businesses did not start as a result of privilege. They are the result of my personal drive,
personal ambition, self discipline, self reliance, and a determination to treat my customers fairly. From the very start my business provided one
other (than myself) East Texan a full time job. I couldn't afford a backhoe the first few years (something every well drilling business had), so I
and my helper had to dig the mud pits that are necessary for each and every job with hand shovels. I had to use my 10 year old, 1/2 ton pickup truck
for my water tank truck (normally a job for at least a 2 ton truck).
A year and a half after I started the business, I scraped together a 20% down payment to get a modest bank loan and bought a (28 year) old, worn out,
slightly bigger drilling rig to allow me to drill the deeper water wells in my area. I spent the next few years drilling wells with the rig while
simultaneously rebuilding it between jobs. Through these years I never knew from one month to the next if I would have any work or be able to pay the
bills. I got behind on my income taxes one year, and spent the next two years paying that back (with penalty and interest) while keeping up with
ongoing taxes. I got behind on my water well supply bill 2 different years (way behind the second time... $80,000.00), and spent over a year paying it
back (each time) while continuing to pay for ongoing supplies C.O.D.. Of course, the personal stress endured through these experiences and years is
hard to measure. I do have a stent in my heart now to memorialize it all.
I spent the next 10 years developing the reputation for being the most competent and most honest water well driller in East Texas. 2 years along the
way, I hired another full time employee for the drilling business so that we could provide full time water well pump service as well as the well
drilling. Also, 3 years along the path, I bought a water well screen service machine from a friend, starting business # 2. 5 years later I made a
business loan for $100,000.00 to build a new, higher production, computer controlled screen service machine. I had designed the machine myself, and it
didn't work out for 3 years so I had to make the loan payments without the benefit of any added income from the new machine. No government program
was there to help me with the payments, or to help me sleep at night as I lay awake wondering how I would solve my machine problems or pay my bills.
Finally, after 3 years, I got the screen machine working properly, and that provided another full time job for an East Texan in the screen service
2 years after that, I made another business loan, this time for $250,000.00, to buy another used drilling rig and all the support equipment needed to
run another, larger, drill rig. This provided another 2 full time jobs for East Texans. Again, I spent a couple of years not knowing if I had made a
smart move, or a move that would bankrupt me. For the third time in 13 years, I had placed everything I owned on the line, risking everything, in
order to build a business.
A couple of years into this, I came up with a bright idea for a new kind of mud pump, a fundamentally necessary pump used on water well drill rigs. I
spent my entire life savings to date (just $30,000.00), building a prototype of the pump and took it to the national water well convention to show it
off. Customers immediately started coming out of the woodworks to buy the pumps, but there was a problem. I had depleted my assets making the
prototype, and nobody would make me a business loan to start production of the new pumps. With several deposits for pump orders in hand, and nowhere
to go, I finally started applying for as many credit card as I could find and took cash withdrawals on these cards to the tune of over $150,000.00
(including modest loans from my dear sister and brother), to get this 3rd business going.
Yes, once again, I had everything hanging over the line in an effort to start another business. I had never manufactured anything, and I had to design
and bring into production a complex hydraulic machine from an untested prototype to a reliable production model (in six months). How many nights I lay
awake wondering if I had just made the paramount mistake of my life I cannot tell you, but there were plenty. I managed to get the pumps into
production, which immediately created another 2 full time jobs in East Texas. Some of the models in the first year suffered from quality issues due to
the poor workmanship of one of my key suppliers, so I and an employee (another East Texan employed) had to drive across the country to repair
customers' pumps, practically from coast to coast. I stood behind the product, and made payments to all the credit cards that had financed me (and my
brother and sister). I spent the next 5 years improving and refining the product, building a reputation for the pump and the company, working to get
the pump into drill rig manufacturers' product lines, and paying back credit cards. During all this time I continued to manage a growing water well
business that was now operating 3 drill rig crews, and 2 well service crews. Also, the screen service business continued to grow. No government
programs were there to help me, Mr. Obama, but that's ok, I didn't expect any, nor did I want any.
[edit on 10/31/2008 by TheRooster]