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January 31, 2024: The True Value of Time: A Lesson in Business Ownership

January 30, 202416 min read

Newsletter Sent out today:

The True Value of Time in Business: Lessons Learned

Good morning! Today, I want to share a story that truly surprised me and highlighted the importance of time in business. As an engineer by trade, I understand that the most valuable asset of any project-based company is its people. The success of a business is heavily reliant on the expertise and commitment of its employees.

Recently, I heard an intriguing story from a friend who works for an engineering firm. The firm's owner had been in talks with a potential buyer for the company. Negotiations were underway, and a valuation had been done. However, one day, without any warning, two strangers walked into the office. My friend and her colleagues were called into a conference room, only to be introduced to these new owners. The staff, including key employees, had never met or even been aware of the buyer's existence. The business had been sold behind their backs, and they were completely blindsided.

This incident raises concerns about trust, transparency, and the value of time in business transactions. The previous owner of the engineering firm deceived the buyers and denied them the opportunity to speak with the staff or get to know the inner workings of the company. This deceit resulted in disastrous consequences for the new owners. Within a week, the business collapsed, and key employees left, taking valuable contracts with them.

This cautionary tale highlights the importance of thorough due diligence and open communication when purchasing a business. It is crucial to establish trust and build relationships with the existing employees and understand their role in the company's success. Obtaining insight into the business's operations, relationships, and potential risks is vital to ensure a smooth transition and sustainable future growth.

In project-based industries, such as engineering, it is especially crucial to value and invest in human capital. Unlike product-based businesses that can be replicated, projects require skilled and talented individuals to execute customized solutions for clients. Neglecting the importance of the workforce and focusing solely on systems and processes can be detrimental to the success and longevity of a project-based business.

To mitigate such risks and create a positive work environment, incorporating employee ownership into the business model can be an effective strategy. Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are a popular method of granting employees a stake in the business's ownership, aligning their interests with the company's success. By providing employees with a sense of ownership and shared prosperity, businesses can retain valuable talent and create a positive company culture.

In my opinion, businesses should prioritize their employees as much as their customers. Employees are the backbone of an organization, and their satisfaction and dedication directly impact customer satisfaction and company performance. Neglecting the needs and concerns of employees can lead to disengagement, turnover, and even the collapse of a business, as witnessed in the story of the engineering firm.

Every business has two core products: what they provide to customers and the ownership of the company itself. Unfortunately, many small businesses overlook the importance of nurturing their core business, focusing solely on their product or service offerings. Building a strong and inclusive company culture that prioritizes employee well-being and growth is equally essential for long-term success.

The true value of time lies in the decisions and actions of the business owner. As the owner, it is crucial to make choices that prioritize the interests of all stakeholders, including employees, customers, and the community. By fostering a positive and empowering work environment, businesses can ensure that they retain top talent and establish a strong foundation for growth and success.

Furthermore, the value of time is also influenced by consumers and societal choices. As consumers, where we invest our money and support determines the fate of organizations. Recent developments have shown that mainstream media is increasingly losing public trust, leading to significant layoffs. This change is a direct result of societal decisions and evolving preferences.

In conclusion, the true value of time in business cannot be overstated. It is imperative to cultivate strong relationships with employees, invest in their development, and construct a business model that prioritizes shared ownership and prosperity. By doing so, businesses can position themselves for long-term success while creating a positive and productive work environment. Remember, everything in life is a choice, and it's up to us to shape our businesses and our future.

Daily Podcast Journal:


Daily Video Journal:


0:00 - Introduction

0:55 - Story of Deceptive Business Sale

1:01 - Importance of People in a Project-based Company

2:10 - Blindsided by New Ownership

3:00 - Advice on Purchasing a Business

4:22 - Implosion of the Business

5:00 - Value of Time in Business

11:07 - The Core Products of a Business

9:14 - The Risks of Sole Business Ownership

9:33 - The Importance of Employee Ownership

12:30 - The True Value of Time

13:19 - The Power of Consumer Choice

13:36 - The Role of Mainstream Media

14:58 - The Need for Change

15:11 - The Nature of Politics

16:44 - Self-Control and Empowerment

17:57 - The Importance of Choices

17:59 - Goal of Creating Tax Problems

18:46 - The Vision of America's Holding Company

19:30 - Musings for the Day

19:58 - Conclusion

Daily Journal Transcript:

Good morning. Good morning.

Good morning. There's our flag, guys. Let's do this.

It is January 31, 2024. It is a Wednesday morning. Last night, I took Scarlett to dance, and some of our old, some friends of ours have their daughter in the dance class at the same time.

So we were out waiting and talking, and we were catching up, and they told me a story that blew my socks off. And I wanted to share that story today just as something to be aware of. So, engineer by trade engineering firm.

In an engineering firm or any project based company, the asset of the business is the people in the business. It's the people who actually do the work. It's the people who own the relationships from those who have hired them to do the work.

It is the human capital that you are buying. You are not buying a building. You may be buying some systems and processes and some contracts, but those contracts are only as good as the relationship with the people providing and doing the work on those contracts.

So she had been talking to the owner. One of the key people in the organization had been talking to the owner about potentially purchasing said company, and they'd been going back and forth, and they'd been negotiating and got evaluation done. We're going through all the steps.

Well, came into work one day, and all of a sudden, two random people walk in. She gets called to a conference room by the owner, who introduces these two new people as the new owners of the organization, and then walks out. They've never met each other.

The buyers had never met any of the staff. The staff had no idea a change was coming. Everyone was blindsided except the seller.

So I think the amount of deceit and deception the seller went through is insane. They took a scenario that could have easily been win win, new buyer, seller, and the current employees finding a way where everyone wins. Instead, they, the old owner, sold it for four times what the value was established to be to these new buyers without ever letting them talk to the staff or anything like this, which, by the way, if you are purchasing a business, I would never, under any circumstance, purchase it without talking to the people running the business, ever.

Period, bar none. Huge red flag if someone's trying to keep you from talking to their people, in my opinion. So, transaction went down, and within a week, that business had two employees left.

I don't know if it was a week or whatever. I don't know full details. But the business imploded.

The key employees moved on to other companies that day. Well, that week, she said she walked out that day and had a job by the end of the week, which is awesome. And to me, this is a great example of the true value of time.

If you are buying a business, the most important asset in that business is how production gets done. In a product based business, it's not as critical as in a project based business because a product is designed to be repeated over and over and over. A project is designed to be done once, it's designed to be custom, and it's designed to fit the needs of the client.

All of that requires incredibly talented and smart people. So, long story short, this buyer overpaid by four x on a business that imploded the week they bought it because they did not do good due diligence. Well, I don't know what their due diligence looks like.

I'm assuming it is not good because they never met any of the employees and had no idea what was going on with the staff that actually run the business. And when those employees left, they took a number of the contracts with them. Well, they didn't take them with them.

The contracts followed the people. This is the other thing you'll see in project based businesses. When you leave one organization and move on to another organization, you'll bring the assets and the tools with you that you like to work with.

Right? And so that's exactly what's happened. And this is one of the obstacles. If you are a business owner, this is one of the obstacles you need to be aware of.

If you are looking to transition to your company, how are you doing it? Why are you doing it and who are you looking out for? The story I just shared, the only person the old owner was looking out for was himself, period, bar none. There is no way that deal should have gone down that way. There is no reason everybody wasn't on the same page and aware of what was going on except people trying to take advantage of someone else, in my opinion.

So I just heard that story and I wanted to share it with you guys, because at the end of the day, everything is dictated by the owner of time. Everything. So if you look at our society, the reason Apple, Amazon, Google, these huge organizations are so successful is because we, the owners of time, have gotten comfortable using them.

We like the interface and we don't like change. And so regardless of the other options out there, once you're embedded in a system, changing becomes very difficult. And so you need to look at, as a business owner, how can you make staying with you the easiest decision anyone has ever made? To me, you do that through incorporating esops.

You incorporate employee ownership into your business model. I believe the riskiest business on earth is a business you own 100% of, because that means you get all the rewards and all the liability that comes with it. And so that's where it's like, how are we structuring this? How are we building this? Not only to take care of the customer, but also to take care of the employee, because the employee takes care of the business.

And if you don't take care of the employee, then the owner has to take care of the business. I believe every business has two core products. The core product of what they do.

At Kitech Automation, our core product is packaging automation in food and beverage factories. That is what we do day in and day out. Our second core product is the ownership of the company that does the work.

Now, most people don't look at ownership of their business as a product, but it is, and it's the most important product you build if you are running a business, because that's the product that turns the time investment you're making on a day to day basis into an investment. That's what you sell. The core product of your business is your systems and processes.

It's your people. It's the software you pay for. It's the environment you have created.

And so there's these two core products every businesses have. Most small businesses neglect the most important core product, which is their actual business, not what they do in their business. So that's our goal, is to come in, and right now, I'm full time w two at Kitech Automation.

If that changes, that changes. I'm still going to have to feed my family. And so that's why I do everything I do is because my core product is my holding company.

If people want ownership in what I create with my time, they join my holding company. Besides that, everything else is fluff to me. And this is my mindset.

This is why I create content like this. I want people to understand how I think and how I look at the world so they can make their own judgments on whether or not they want to learn and operate that way, too. Life is all about choices.

We all get to choose what we do and how we do it. So make sure you're creating a system that people will choose to want to stay there, because you will never know when you've lost the true value of time. To me, anyone can lose it.

And that's when the owner of said time decides, you know what? You are no longer part of my 40 year plan. You'll be part of my six month plan or my two year plan, it doesn't matter. You'll never know.

They'll know. And that's the true value of time. The owner of the time makes the decisions.

It's our decision as a society what companies exist and what companies don't. Through where we pay, through where we invest our money. It is our decision.

Look at the mainstream media and everything going on right now inside mainstream media. All the layoffs and everything. They're happening because as a society, we are saying mainstream media is lying to us, has been lying to us.

They've been the gatekeeper of information. And until Elon Musk bought Twitter, that was fine. But now that people are really getting to share thoughts and opinions and see what's happening in the real world, everyone's realizing mainstream media is a farce.

It is propaganda. It is designed to control what we think, how we think, who we think about, what people put in front of you is designed. What people report on is designed.

And it's all designed by the holders of the checkbooks. That's one of the reasons I believe we need change so bad, is because we need to come in and say, hey, this is not right. Same with politics in general.

There is a reason I tell people I am not republican and I am not a Democrat. I think Republicans are dumb. I also think Democrats are dumb.

I also think I'm dumb. The idea that anyone knows anything is laughable, in my opinion. I think we as a society are making this shit up as we go through time, day by day.

We're figuring it all out. Everyone is, even the leadership. They're getting advice and told what to do of the nation, of companies, of all these things, but they don't know how people are going to react to the things that they do.

Great example of this is Bud light. Bud light gave, I don't know the full story, but the Dylan Mulvaney can destroyed the brand value of Bud light. Destroyed it.

They lost the true value of time and there's nothing they can do about it. Someday, maybe, but now they have to live with the mistakes they've made. And that's the true value of time.

You cannot control anyone except yourself. So that's why I don't try. I don't try to control anyone.

I don't try to control my kids, don't try to control anyone I work with. I make suggestions, and I empower people to live the life they want. And hopefully the life they want includes doing their job to maintain their job with us.

And if it doesn't that's their choice and I'll let them go. This is life. It is all about choices.

You are owed nothing. I am owed nothing. Freedom is fought for each and every day.

And that's why I get up and I work under that flag. I love the american flag. I love the opportunities America has given me.

And I am so honored to be on this team with everyone. Anyone who pays taxes is part of my team already. I just don't have to do anything for the result.

That's why my goal is to create tax problems for everyone except myself. Help everybody else make money. Guess what? I'll be fine.

I'll be taken care of. And we're working on paying down that freaking $34 trillion of debt. We got to increase our tax, but we don't need to increase it through increasing taxation.

We need to increase our tax through our monetary system and we need to pay back that debt. Stabilize the dollar. Back the dollar by physical real world assets.

And that's my idea behind America's holding company is we operate on the US dollar only and we will always use the US dollar. And every subscriber is guaranteeing that in the next 50 years I'll still be using the US dollar. That's all we're saying.

All we're saying by being a part of America's holding company is we see this future. We don't know how we're going to make it work. We don't even know that it will work, but it might.

And that zero 1% of success is worth the risk of failure to me. If I can create the impact or part of the impact that I want to create, it will be a wild home run. So that's my musings for the day.

Anyways, I hope you guys have a fantastic day tonight. I've got it all set up to go live at 06:00 p.m. It's like 15 minutes.

I did it last night at the dance before I started chatting with my friend. So the audio quality is probably going to be pretty bad. But you know what? Don't matter.

This is all practice and that's what people don't get. We're going to spend the next two or three years practicing telling people about America's holding company. Then after that we'll spend some time actually trying to sell people into America's holding company because we got all the time in the world.

Anyways, have a great day.

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Justin Stephens

Justin Stephens is a husband and a father of 3. He is always looking for ways to create the impact that he is chasing, changing the way employees are compensated in America.

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