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Min Wage: Real World Story
I work with a lot of small business owners. Let me tell you a story about one. She’s amazing.
A legal immigrant from Mexico, when her children were very young, her increasingly unstable husband shot her.
She recovered from the wound, and when healthy enough, she packed everything up that she could stuff in a neighbors car, took her children and fled from him. It took some time but she finally got a divorce while he was in jail.
She took odd jobs wherever she could. Minimum wage, part time jobs. Mostly cleaning jobs. A few friends rotated watching her children. She was determined to make life better for her family.
She found a part time night cleaning job with one of my former small business owners. Worked very hard, asked for more responsibility. He raved about her. Clients loved her. Before he knew it, she was his 2nd in command overseeing his accounts.
All this time, she was saving and saving. Taking care of her children and working as much as she could.
And then the day came when, her “Boss” and she came to us and said, they’d come to an agreement, he was going to sell his business to her and retire to the good life. She was beyond excited.
So now... she’s the Boss. It took her less than 8 years, from min wage to Business Owner. And that was 20 years ago.
She didn’t stop there. She took a large business she purchased and more than doubled it. Customers come to her now, asking for her specifically, that’s just how good she’s made her team.
I’m proud to say she’s one of the largest small businesses that I work with. She’s infectiously excited about everything. She beams confidence and positivity.
She mentors other business owners, teaches ESL classes, helps those looking to study for their citizenship, which she got along the way also.
“The Legal” way she proudly says with a beautiful smile.
She hires, trains, motivates and mentors hundreds of people, every year, who work for her only initially at min wage. If they don’t succeed to get their first increase at 90 days, they don’t stay on her team.
She says her goal is to help people succeed. There is joy and pride to be had in a job well done, you just need to be willing to learn and work hard.
She’s a “dream” example of a success story, that all sides should want to tell. Yet, when you ask her what her challenges are, she’ll tell you as she recently did our Gov. in a Biz Roundtable.
Stop dictating to me how to run my business. Why do you think you know better? I know best. I take care of my people. Get out of my way.
I asked her, what was his response. She laughed and said, he talked for about 10 minutes and in the end, I had no idea what his answer was. Politicians are all the same.
So what does this have to do with Min Wage? Several things.

1) You’re not supposed to stay in that min wage level in skill or pay. If you can’t move up, you’re not trying.
2) Arbitrarily raising the min wage for a political purpose, hurts those who need low skilled entry level jobs, they become priced out of the job market.
3) The competition for good employees alone drives wages. Companies compete for the best people when you leave the market alone, and it don't pass higher labor costs along to the end consumer.
So, given the extremely low unemployment rate, there are multiple jobs to choose from out there for people. Stop artificially messing with the market and let people succeed! #MinWage is crippling those who need the help most.
Lastly, with hard work, everyone can succeed.
*doesn't. ugh.
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