Value Less selling-out is becoming a new American Standard and tradition. We can watch as businesses that have grown over 40 or 50 years into excellent success stories of American Value are bought up by Financial Investors whose pulse is a military drum circulating cash.
Investors know how to make money At any cost. The sellers of great businesses know how to take money with no concern for cost. Where did the sellers forget the pride, the hard work, the dreams, and the love that they poured into creating their success story?
If I can make an observation It appears to me that forgetfulness begins With getting closer to death and losing value for this world. It is sensing your mortality and making a decision to do everything that you think money makes possible before you die. Of course there is another choice; staying on the path you have followed with pride and doing what feels right as you enjoy the rest of your life peacefully with self satisfaction.
Unfortunately a good number of business owners do the former. So I recently watched one local business called the Mae Volen Center Change its name To The Volen center Distancing itself from its founder. Then I noticed That the buses bringing senior citizens to and from the center where more recently labeled Adult Daycare, yet in a small corner small corner words still said “Volen Center” (but small enough to be missed).
My mother-in-law had gone there for years and years to spend time with other seniors like herself. She entertained them as well as being one of them and they all had a great time. Functional but aging seniors forgot they were old there! But now it sounded like a place for people who are incontinent and needed care like little children. All I could picture when I saw the new name “Adult Daycare” was adult diapers. I don’t know if they have new owners but I suspect it’s a near happening. Why else would you take away such a good name that meant so much to so many people and bury it in a depressing generic title? Will it be one of the casualties of valueless sales?
Then early yesterday, I saw on the news that Amazon bought Whole Foods. What will this become? Amazon Is the marketplace takeover of the century. They are rapidly becoming a worldwide Monopoly for the sale of nearly any item, in my impression. They turn the supplier, creator or manufacturer into meaningless junk as they dictate the price by stomping on competition. Do you think this is good long term? If you do look at what has happened to America! Jeff Bezos is the genius Of taking over the market By losing money until you put your competitors out of business. Investors would call it earning market share. I do not see him as a great businessman. I see him as another tyran soldier who goes to war and wins by killing off enough of the “enemy,” competition. He now rewrites history by having his name plastered in the history records Of tyrants Who are now called Heroes Because of their power, influence and money.
What will happen to Whole Foods under Jeff Bezos? Let me guess he’ll hire a lots of employees give everything a personal touch and be sure we have the finest quality food just as Whole Foods started out to become and even at better prices…… surprise me Jeff!
I don’t think you’re going to buy that Story And neither will I. Who knows what he will do with it. It certainly won’t be what it was or what it could have become. Not that I think Whole Foods Is the best thing coming or going; It is too expensive for most people unless you live in one of the wealthy neighborhoods that it tends to locate to. However, it was a positive dream that drove people to think less toxins and better health!
So what is missing in these two business transactions? I think it is a fact that businesses start with a great idea, are inspired by love, pride and soul and if they keep running that way they become a success. I have been down that road. Success meaning that all people benefit and the business owner finds himself or herself reasonably profitable.
But, why do they have to sell their soul when it’s time to sell? How did they forget all that inspired them, does money make that happen? I think it is the fear of death and the desire to buy as much cocaine like living as you can before death comes to visit. To me it is pathetic and a sign of the downward spiral that America is going through. However there is always hope in youth and the rebirth of expectations fueled by the belief in invulnerability and immortality.
Perhaps the cycle of business and life Is tied together In ways that only years can make visible. Perhaps there’s a better way. If there is, most don’t see it. A majority of frustrated Americans trusted in that vision when they voted for Trump. Right or wrong most believed he had too much money to be concerned with its accumulation. They hoped that here was the dreamer who wanted to achieve something good, something spectacularly good filled with pride, something filled with greatness, something he had not achieved solely by making money. Let’s hope that the dreamers are right and not the people who sell their success stories for one last futile dream they believe money will buy before they die.