Hunter Baker | Obama and Bob Brunton the Small Businessman

When I heard President Obama’s comments about people who start businesses, how they didn’t do it by themselves, how they aren’t smarter, and how they don’t work harder, I thought about Bob Brunton.  When he started his drug store, Bob had to take all the financial risk of failure.  He had to stay open long hours each day and worked weekends, too, for years until he had a solid client base and could afford to work fewer hours.  But even when I was there, Bob was putting in a lot of time.  He didn’t take off for lunch.  He just heated a little container in the microwave and kept going.

Over time, he extended his business to include a local branch of the Roche medical labs.  Bob managed his drugstore and the medical lab at the same time.  Each day, some of the medical lab work would come over to the pharmacy and we’d stop and pitch in on labeling containers and sorting.  He was very shrewd that way.  He knew the big drug stores would continue to cut into his business and took steps to protect himself.

Bob Brunton worked hard.  Bob Brunton took financial risks.  And Bob Brunton was smart about the way he conducted his business.  I’m sorry to say that Bob didn’t live all that long after he retired.  He had given a lot of himself to his work.

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