I love working with owner-operated businesses competing in the free market. They develop an idea for a new product or service and then take it to the market, where it’s either accepted (like the iPhone) or rejected (like the Ford Edsel). Recently I finished reading Defending The Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy, by Rev. Robert Sirico. Fr. Robert is a Catholic priest, and he’s also the co-founder and president of The Acton Institute.
Before I lose you, bear with me.
From 1998 until 2012, Barbara, my partner, and I led more than 30 humanitarian mission teams all over the world. We visited the continents of Africa, Asia, Central America, Oceania, and South America. Our teams provided medical services, worked on construction projects, offered an educational program, and conducted a children’s ministry and marriage enrichment classes. As we looked forward to what we now refer to as our “Last Life Marathon,” we decided we were going to invest our time in a combination of work and mission. If you check out our website, you’ll find our Mission Statement: “Doescher Advisors was founded to help businesses increase profits and jobs through practical and sound advice.”
As our economy changes due to innovations, the industrial jobs that once provided wonderful standards of living for so many hourly workers for almost a century no longer exist. Barbara and I are committed to assisting business owners find success so they can provide good jobs to these workers.
To make this point really clear, let me tell you a story. We had a client who found himself in the middle of the perfect storm. As we assessed the situation, we believed we could help “right the ship,” so to speak, but we also realized the client was in no position to compensate us for our extra assistance. We decided to help, anyway. I went to the business owner and said, “I think we can help you through this situation. I understand you won’t be able to pay us now, but we’ll keep track of our time and you can decide what you want to do when we get through it.” You can imagine the gratefulness of the client. I acknowledged his comments, but then I pointed out toward his shop floor and said, “I’m doing this for those 40 families. I cannot effectively help them, but I can help you. And if we’re successful, everyone wins.”
In my next blog, I’ll provide some of my takeaways from Fr. Robert’s book.