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This is an analogy I learned from one of the best businessmen I've ever met. It has been used at a lot of the business structuring seminars I've been to.


A business is like a milk stool. It has three legs. The owners, the customers, and the employees. If any of the legs gets too long or too short, then the stool falls over.

If you give too much to the owners (running your business for stock and dividends), or to the customers (coupons and specials), or to the employees (yes, some businesses give too much to their employees, in the form of wages that are too high or the hours being too flexible), then the stool falls over. This is important because a lot of businesses forget their employees. Look at the really successful businesses - Nike and Microsoft, for example. Nike has all kinds of facilities that are there just for the employees, and Microsoft gives its programmers free food, or so I've been told.

Of equal importance, if you give too little to any aspect of the business, then the stool falls over. When you screw over your customers, or walk all over your employees, the shit hits the fan. This is important because a lot of new businesses forget their owners. The business is set up so that the owners aren't rewarded enough, and eventually they tire and walk away with their investment funds, causing the business to fold.

Keep all three equal, and the business has that much of a better chance of keeping the farmer from falling on his fat ass.

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