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Make a Bigger Pie

Make a Bigger Pie

By Greg Kozera

Growing up in Pittsburgh we had a big family. I have 5 brothers. On Sundays, we always had a big family dinner. Mom would cook all afternoon. We all sat down for dinner and said grace together. I wish there had been video back then so I could see what it must have looked like. As soon as we said “Amen” the race for food was on. My mother always claimed her three hours of cooking was devoured by us in 5 minutes. Leftovers was not a term I understood until later in life. Mom was still eating when someone would ask, “What’s for desert?”

Deserts were special since we didn’t get them all the time. We knew there would be a desert after Sunday dinner. My mother’s homemade pies were incredible. I especially loved her apple and lemon meringue pies. Desert was different than the rest of the dinner. Everyone got a piece of pie. The pie was always carefully divided into 8 equal pieces. To feed her hungry horde Mom knew she had to make the biggest pie possible.

Because of the public speaking I do, almost 20 years ago I joined the National Speakers Association (NSA). I wanted to get better at speaking and learn the business of professional speaking. Cavett Robert founded NSA in 1973. It is an organization built around the values of mutual support, shared success, and giving back. Cooperation, not competition, helps to “build a bigger pie.” I was amazed to see the process at work. Members who compete against each other for business willingly help each other to improve their craft and share ideas. I know that I can approach any member for help in any area of my business and they will go out of their way to help. Members also know they can come to me for assistance. The only thing we can’t talk about is fees.

This weekend I’m in Houston for our National Speakers Association (NSA) Winter Conference. I am the President of the NSA Ohio Chapter. ALL of our members help to grow the pie bigger and more opportunity for everyone. We work together and hold special events like speaker showcases to promote our members. We are doing the same thing in Shale Crescent USA. Our goal is to create a bigger pie by bringing industry back to the Region and helping local companies to expand. We can create the world’s first sustainable manufacturing and petrochemical hub.

I came a day early to Houston so I could meet with one of our Asian prospects. We are going to hear a lot about socialism this year. The governments of many countries are socialist and don’t openly promote capitalism. What we see is the good jobs and economic growth in even those counties come from capitalism. Our prospect is an entrepreneur who owns a petrochemical company that is growing and providing good jobs in his country. He is also a part time university professor that teaches entrepreneurship in his country. They understand the importance of capitalism and private enterprise even in that country.

My friend’s company has a solution to the plastic waste problem by using technology to create bio degradable single use plastics like the plastic bags we get at the grocery store. There are people whose solution to the plastic waste problem is to ban single use plastic bags. These “antis” haven’t calculated the cost and environmental damage of the replacement. They also don’t understand what a ban would mean to people around the world. My friend said in his and many other countries people buy things like rice, grain, meats and other products in bulk from the market and use plastic bags. Paper doesn’t work well. A reusable bag would need sanitized. A biodegradable bag helps the environment and gives people the benefits of plastic. His process helps the environment and is cheaper than the current plastic bags in use.

Shale Crescent USA is where most of the converters who make plastic products are located. My friend wants to bring his manufacturing process to our Region. He will create good jobs, reduce costs for converters in the Region and will improve the environment globally. In the USA, we keep plastic out of the environment because we collect waste and recycle it or land fill it. Over 90% of the plastic in our oceans comes from 10 rivers, all in Asia. People in many Asian counties use rivers to dispose of their trash. Banning plastic bags and other products like the “antis” want doesn’t fix Asia. They will continue to produce and use plastic bags. We can’t regulate Asia. If we are going to clean up our oceans we need to help the Asian countries. Our Region can be part of creating a biodegradable solution and create high wage manufacturing jobs.

All things are possible. Our Region is in a unique position to change the world because of our energy and feed stock advantage. We can work together to create a bigger pie, a cleaner world and good jobs in our Region. Socialism has failed in these countries. Capitalism and creativity work. There are no limits to what we are capable of.

Thoughts to ponder.

© 2020 Shale Crescent USA

Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering who has over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert and the author of four books and numerous published articles.