Marketplace Op-Ed Series: I chose to rely on myself, not become a statistic

by  Lynsi O'Dell

This story originally appeared on TheBlaze.com

This column is part of our ongoing series of op-eds this election season from small business owners working with The Marketplace by TheBlaze. We often hear politicians talk about what small business owners want, and if elected, what public officials could do to help these entrepreneurs. But we haven’t heard enough from small business owners themselves. This series will feature small business owners discussing their business, ‘how they built that,’ and what it has been like trying to sustain and grow their business over the last 4 years. 

 

My name is Lynsi O’Dell and I was stereotyped to fail.

In 1997 my husband and I became teenage parents. Based on statistics, our marriage would end in divorce and I would end up depending on the “System” to survive. This is not an op-ed to confirm our failure, but one to confirm our success, built on true American values; hard work, dedication and resilience.

In 2007, my husband suffered a brain hemorrhage at the age of 29 that kept him from working to provide an income for our family (as a Journeyman Electrician) for months. I operated a state-licensed daycare, but after he became dependent on my care, I could not continue. I found a job working as a server in a Bistro to make ends meet. I was five months pregnant with our fifth child.

I started making my own laundry soap to save money. I enjoyed it and the sense of accomplishment it brought. Our family suffers from eczema and other skin sensitivities so I began a quest to alter this recipe to become natural. For nearly a year I tweaked the recipe, tested it and began again until I found the perfect ratio of natural ingredients that not only cleaned exceptionally well, but were also cost-effective and safe for the environment. A friend that I worked with asked to purchase the finished product. Our business was born!

Nothing about running a small business has been easy. I don’t have a college degree. I have taught myself every step of the way–from writing a business plan, to understanding profit margin, to product development and patent law. I have made plenty of mistakes but learned from them as well. I have sat at round tables surrounded by all men and had offers thrown my way to purchase a percentage of my business from people trying to make a fast buck. I have also had individuals attempt to reproduce my product without success and some who believe in the products so much, they want to sell them too.

I manage 5 distributors across the state of Michigan, where the meaning of unemployment is very well understood. With their commissions they provide food for their families, diapers for their babies and gas money for their minivans, which they use to transport their children to and from school.

My business is debt- free and self -sustaining. I haven’t received any grants nor partnered with any financial investors. I operate my business with the same values I was raised with (that I also teach my children). I am self-reliant, honest and hard -working. While working 16 hour days, fitting in a parent-teacher conference and a soccer game is nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, I also serve as the Fundraising Coordinator for my children’s elementary school and teach the preschool class at my church.

In recent months, my business has received national attention because of its success. It is growing quickly and has experienced a 38% sales increase since May alone. The need to expand to meet demand is evident.

Our president made a statement earlier this summer. ““If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. “

I respectfully disagree.

Many Americans would argue that it is the government that helps businesses to thrive through services like roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. But business owners pay back government support in the form of income taxes, business taxes, property taxes, gas taxes . . . Maybe it is business that built government?

I had a choice. I could’ve been a statistic. I chose to rely on myself.

Time after time, Americans have taken to the streets to defend our constitutional rights, whether it was our livelihood at stake -- or our lives. But, what was the point of all the civil rights movements that came before, if we're about to let the government take our rights away now?

On his Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck argued that Americans are tired of having our rights trampled by "tyrannical" leaders from state and local governments who are ignoring our unalienable rights during this pandemic.

"Our nanny state has gone too far. The men and women in office -- the ones closest to our communities, our towns, our cities -- are now taking advantage of our fear," Glenn said. "Like our brothers and sisters of the past, we need to start making the decisions that will put our destiny, and our children's destiny, back into our hands."

It took less than two months of the coronavirus tyranny to make America unrecognizable, but some Americans are fighting back, risking losing their jobs and businesses or even jail time, as they battle to take back our civil rights.

Here are just a few of their stories:

After New Jersey's Atilis Gym reopened in defiance of the governor's executive order, the Department of Health shut them down for "posing a threat to the public health." Co-owner Ian Smith says somebody sabotaged the gym's toilets with enire rolls of paper to create the public health "threat."

Oregon Salon owner, Lindsey Graham, was fined $14 thousand for reopening. She said she was visited by numerous government organizations, including Child Protective Services, in what she believes are bullying tactics straight from the governor's office.

77-year-old Michigan barber, Karl Manke, refused to close his shop even when facing arrest. "I couldn't go another 30 days without an income," he said. But when local police refused to arrest him, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's (D) office suspending his business license instead.

Port of Seattle police officer Greg Anderson was suspended after he spoke out against enforcing what he called "tyrannical orders" imposed amid coronavirus lockdowns.

Kentucky mother-of-seven, Mary Sabbatino, found herself under investigation for alleged child abuse after breaking social distancing rules at a bank. After a social worker from child protective services determined there was no sign of abuse, he still sought to investigate why the Sabbatino's are homeschooling, and how they can give "adequate attention to that many children."

Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail after she defied the state-mandated stay-at-home orders to reopen her business.

Watch the video clip from Glenn's special below:


Watch the full special on BlazeTV YouTube here.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

It took less than two months of the coronavirus tyranny to make America unrecognizable. Leaders from state and local governments across the U.S. have flattened the curve of some of our most basic constitutional rights, but some Americans are fighting back — and risking jail time or losing their businesses.

On Wednesday night's GBTV special, Glenn Beck argued that we're witnessing the birth of a new civil rights movement — and it's time to build a coalition of common sense to keep America as we know it free.

Watch the full special below:

Use code GLENN to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck sat down with chief researcher Jason Buttrill to go over two bombshell developments that have recently come to light regarding former Vice President Joe Biden's role in the 2016 dismissal of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

"Wow! Two huge stories dropped within about 24 hours of each other," Jason began. He went on to explain that a court ruling in Ukraine has just prompted an "actual criminal investigation against Joe Biden in Ukraine."

This stunning development coincided with the release of leaked phone conversations, which took place in late 2015 and early 2016, allegedly among then-Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Ukraine's former President Petro Poroshenko.

One of the audiotapes seems to confirm allegations of a quid pro quo between Biden and Poroshenko, with the later admitting that he asked Shokin to resign despite having no evidence of him "doing anything wrong" in exchange for a $1 billion loan guarantee.

"Poroshenko said, 'despite the fact that we didn't have any corruption charges on [Shokin], and we don't have any information about him doing something wrong, I asked him to resign,'" Jason explained. "But none of the Western media is pointing this out."

Watch the video below for more details:


Listen to the released audiotapes in full here.

Use code GLENN to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

A recently declassified email, written by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and sent herself on the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration, reveals the players involved in the origins of the Trump-Russia probe and "unmasking" of then-incoming National Security Adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn.

Rice's email details a meeting in the Oval Office on Jan 5, 2017, which included herself, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Barack Obama. Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, fully declassified the email recently amid President Trump's repeated references to "Obamagate" and claims that Obama "used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration."

On Glenn Beck's Wednesday night special, Glenn broke down the details of Rice's email and discussed what they reveal about the Obama administration officials involved in the Russia investigation's origins.

Watch the video clip below: