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Greek Lesson


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November 8, 2011 by Robert Koci

I find it strange. When it comes to the finances of your reno business and your personal life, everyone expects you will use a well thought out budget as the core of a sustainable plan. It will include debt and/or investment of course, but it will also include a plan for how the debt will be repaid and how investment will increase revenue to pay for itself.

If your plan is faulty the market will let you know in a hurry. If you fail, you only have yourself to blame and yourself to rescue you. What you don’t have is the ability to send your customers another invoice if you screw up. You don’t have a defined benefit pension to give you a big fat Mulligan at the end of your career if you suck at what you do. You don’t have a job for life. You don’t even have a job for the next three months unless you hussle (and sometimes even if you do). You also don’t have the luxury of forcing the creation of a market for which you can supply services in order to keep you in business.

Yet, you will be asked to pay for the mistakes of governments that have all the luxuries, Mulligans and benefits I mention. Why this is so is all Greek to me. And it will soon be Italy, Spain and Ireland and Canada unless your view of how money should be managed becomes the view of everyone with a cheque book.

I have the feeling sometimes that we defer too easily to minds that seem more educated, more enlightened, more refined than the minds of hard working contractors or trades. We expect the truths we know in our bones to be self evident and beyond discussion. Yet, these exquisite minds seem to have missed the most fundamental truth in the execution of good government; you need to pay you way. Why do we let them get away with it?


Robert Koci

Robert Koci

Rob Koci is the publisher of Canadian Contractor magazine. rkoci@canadiancontractor.ca Tel. 647-407-0754
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