By Kenneth Krogue
President & Co-Founder
I grew up in a Republican home. My business partner, our CEO Dave Elkington, grew up in a Democrat home. He is extremely intelligent and I can hold my own. We are the two founders of InsideSales.com. We are opposites in almost every way. But this opposing yet complementary balance has been powerful in the extreme.
We have been blessed, or lucky, or we have simply outsmarted our competition, depending on your frame of reference.
Yet, sometimes I wonder how he can be so dumb! How could he possibly believe that? He often credits the same idiocy to me.
We have worked together for eight years. We debate everything. By my calculations, we have spent slightly over 2,200 hours debating, arguing, or discussing hundreds of issues. Granted, most of it is our philosophy of business, but it often drifts to our philosophy of life, religion, and politics.
He comes across harder on the surface than I do, yet he’s a softy. I am soft-spoken, yet I can be much more harsh than he is. He’s much better with money, technology, and getting lots done. I’m better with people, techniques, and getting one important thing done. I love working with him, but when times are hard, I don’t always like him. And conversely, I know I drive him absolutely nuts sometimes. He is almost always right about what to do today, even if it is a hard choice. And I have a way of always knowing what is going to happen in the near future.
He is educated in philosophy and computer science. He plays basketball and speaks Japanese and Hebrew. He loves science. I’m educated in English, statistics, and I can speak Southern Drawl. The most life-changing college course I ever took was philosophy, and I know football is the only true sport.
He married Alese, a physician’s daughter who grew up liking extreme snowboarding. They have two kids. I married Crystal, a farmer’s daughter who grows things; we have five kids.
We have learned one thing: Truth tends to lie in the middle.
Our spotlights of opinion merely seem to shine on the opposite sides of the same issue. Together we see more than either one of us.
Last election we were on opposite sides of the fence. Now we both are concerned that this is the most important election of our lifetime. More hangs in the balance than we realize.
Both Dave and I have abdicated our roots. I’m not a Republican, and he’s not a Democrat. But we are both Americans. We are both entrepreneurs.
We agree we will vote as entrepreneurs, and our 140 employees and their families will probably do the same (beyond this, these opinions are mine, and I don’t speak for Dave. He may choose to respond himself).
True entrepreneurs are the statesmen and stateswomen of business. They are owners.
One hundred years ago, Americans were 90 percent owners. They owned farms and ranches and shops. Now we are 90 percent employees.
Our schools used to teach us how to think. Now they teach us what to think, and when to think; these are employees that entrepreneurs have to teach how to think.
Entrepreneurs build things. They create jobs out of ideas. They are alchemists who invent computer chips out of sand. They fix things. They think. They ask why. They ask why not.
They are skeptical, but not cynical. Their heart hopes, their mind believes, and their body takes intense action.
They test what actually works. When they find what works, they throw everything they have behind it. They stop doing what doesn’t work.
They know that positive cash flow solves all problems and that borrowed money never means profitability. They fire finance people who can’t balance a budget.
They pay people based on results. They don’t carry the loafer; they educate and manage them into productivity or fire them.
They always look for lower costs and higher profits, but they realize the only way they can grow the company is to grow the people. And if they don’t pay them what they are worth, they will leave. They hire people who are scrappy, competent, productive, and dependable. They don’t care where the people come from, but where they are going.
They take care of their own and are ruthless with the competition. But without competition they get bored quickly. They never lower their guard or lessen their preparedness. But their abundant mentality realizes there is more than room enough, and for all. When you create jobs and money out of nothing, you know that with innovation and grit and help from Divine Providence, all is possible.
They also know that luck is fickle. They make luck. They overcompensate for lack of luck.
The best of them give back along the way. They have a magnificent obsession with a secret: do good and good comes back to you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.
They volunteer at the soup kitchens, they rebuild the shelters, they encourage other entrepreneurs to join them to help others now, when it will do some good.
Entrepreneurs have a practical approach to political issues. For example, our welfare system should be modeled and run by entrepreneurs, not bureaucrats.
And I carefully weighed my alternatives this election. I knew this. I’m not a Democrat. I’m no longer a Republican. I’m an entrepreneur, and I vote.
To read more of Krogue’s article on Forbes.com, click here.
About Kenneth Krogue
Krogue co-founded InsideSales.com in November 2004 and currently leads its marketing, business development, consulting, education, implementation, and support departments. He has more than 24 years of experience in sales, development, and marketing in both domestic and international markets.
Prior to joining InsideSales.com, Krogue was one of the original founders of UCN, now inContact (NASDAQ:SAAS). Prior to inContact, he built and directed the inside sales division at FranklinCovey (NYSE:FC), a leading provider of time and life management training systems. He has received many industry awards including being recognized among the Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professionals in 2010 and 2012 by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP).
Krogue is a weekly contributor to Forbes.com and an active thought leader in the inside sales industry. His blog is the top-ranked blog in the world on the topic of inside sales. Krogue attended the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and earned a BS in Psychology from the University of Utah.
For more information about Krogue and his company, visit InsideSales.com.