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A Message From A Texas Business Owner

allen-tharpAllen Tharp is the Chairman and CEO of The Lion & Rose British Restaurant. He has several locations throughout San Antonio and Austin.Someone asked what I thought about Obama's statement that business owners did not create their businesses, but instead someone else did. I'm glad you ask...

I think that is about as crazy as when Pelosi said that extending unemployment benefits is the best way to create jobs. Or when the liberal Congressman said that we should not send troops to Guam because the island might tip over. Or it is as crazy as when Obama said that his health plan would lower our costs by 3000%. 3000%??? If our costs were lowered by 100%, they would be zero. Lowering costs by 3000% is mathematically impossible. His last statement is about as crazy as when he said he had been selling his plan in 56 or 57 states and still had one or two more left to hit. The guy does not have a clue, yet he is responsible for a $16 trillion economy.

I remember when I was building my first Lion and Rose restaurant; how nerve racking it was to plow that much money in to a new concept I had never done before. I had run plenty of restaurants but not created one from scratch or built one like this before.

I thought I had a good plan and hoped I knew what I was doing but spent many sleepless nights thinking about it. As my investment passed the $100k, $300k, $500, $700k marks, my wife and I could only hope people would come in when we opened. Each milestone in this investment was approached with plenty of trepidation. The cost far exceeded our projections. Many times I seriously wondered what if I build it and no one comes.

Fortunately the first day we opened, we were inundated with people standing shoulder to shoulder in our new pub, as they enjoyed the business I had created. From just a thought in my head only months before, to a tangible and beautiful business that people chose to frequent, was a huge high for me. It was also a good feeling to know that I was providing excellent jobs and careers for so many folks. Jobs that did not exist before I created them.

Then I opened the second Lion and Rose expecting the same reception. I was disappointed. Our second Lion and Rose opened with a fizzle. I lost money there for over two years, but it finally turned around and became one of our best restaurants.

Since then, my wife and I have had other successes and failures as we gambled on new locations and put up our hard earned money to build something we could be proud of. One thing that has never happened is for any employee to approach me and offer to share the cost of losses on the restaurants that did not succeed. Not that I would expect or accept such a strange offer anyway, but it points out how absurd Obama's statement is when he said, "If you have a business, you didn't create it, someone else did."

I'm not taking anything from my wonderful staff and employees. They are the business, and they are much appreciated.

However, One hundred percent of the financial risk for each of my business ventures is borne solely by me and my wife. If a location or concept fails, be assured no one else wants a piece of it.

Cheers,

Allen Tharp

Chairman/CEO

 

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