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Just what is the Fargo Phantom?

Publisher’s Response

Fargo Phantom is a collaboration of local professionals, financial advisors, entrepreneurs, educators, physicians, farmers and what many may refer to as a “crackpot.”

All writers have selected a “Phantom Name” due to the controversial content and editorial mission of the publication. The decision was made to help protect their professional standings in the community.

This underground newspaper is dedicated to seeking truth and justice and revitalizing the role of the free press as a guardian of liberty. We remain faithful to the traditional and central role of a free press in a free society – as a light exposing wrongdoing, corruption and abuse of power. This is why we are not accepting advertising for this venture. This is why we have assembled a arsenal of writers from all walks of life and income status.

Fargo Phantom is also designed to stimulate a free-and-open debate about political ideas facing the Red River Valley. Through educating and advocacy, we will continue to promote democracy. One constant motivation is the old-fashioned notion that the principal role of the free press in a free society is to serve as a watchdog on government - to expose corruption, fraud, waste and abuse wherever and whenever it is found.

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North Dakota Politics

Sunday, June 8, 2008

North Dakota: The Politics of Small Business BLOG

A few months before I started Cedarcrest Capital LLC in 2004 I sat down for lunch with a college buddy who founded E-chalk, a company which supplies a technology platform for schools to link parents, students, and teachers online.

Eager to start my entrepreneurial career, I quizzed him about what founding a company felt like. I think I expected him to tell me about his then four-year venture using words like “Freedom!” “Excitement!”, “Satisfaction!”

Instead, the main word I recall from our lunch was “Ignorance.” Specifically, he related to me a cautionary tale: The best talk he’d heard at a conference on business start-ups he’d recently attended focused on ignorance as the key to entrepreneurship. What the conference speaker meant was that if the average entrepreneur truly knew how hard it would be to build a company, nobody would ever begin. It takes ignorance to want to start a company from scratch.

My friend’s weary look, four years after founding his company, told me he wasn’t kidding. In all my excitement to begin, I’m pretty sure I had no idea what he was talking about.

Shortly after that lunch, I walked into my attorney’s office to begin the process of creating Cedarcrest Capital LLC.

Before I even sat down, he commented to me: “You’ve got the grin of a guy who just quit his job and is starting his own company.”

“Yup!” I said, smiling widely.

He said, wisely I now understand, “You’re going to lose that grin. But hopefully, some day, you’ll be able to get it back.”

The optimism of that meeting has not left me in the subsequent years, but I have certainly had the smugness challenged. Four years since founding my own company, I’ve come to appreciate their thoughts even more.

North Dakota Politics

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North Dakota Politics

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