Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Outsourced Presidency

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Thought of the Day

"Those who aspire to intolerance do not deserve tolerance, and if they exploit the weakness of a free society to undermine it, they ought to be systematically repressed."
      -John Zmirak

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Our liberty is from God not the government; our sovereignty rests in our souls not the soil; our security is through strength not surrender; our prosperity is from the private sector not the public sector; and our truths are self-evident, not relative."

~Thaddeus McCotter

Monday, July 5, 2010

The New Green Eggs & Ham

I do not like this Uncle Sam,
I do not like his health care scam.
I do not like these dirty crooks,
or how they lie and cook the books.
I do not like when Congress steals,
I do not like their secret deals.
I do not like this speaker, Nan,
I do not like this 'YES WE CAN.'
I do not like this spending spree,
I'm smart, I know that nothing's free.
I do not like your smug replies,
when I complain about your lies.
I do not like this kind of hope.
I do not like it, nope, nope, nope!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

G.K. Chesterton Quotes

I've always been a fan of G.K. Chesterton. Here's a site with some of his best quotes.

Friday, June 11, 2010

BP Spills Coffee

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

16 Rules for Success in Business & Life

1. Get and stay out of your comfort zone.

I believe that not much happens of any significance when we're in our comfort zone. I hear people say, "But I'm concerned about security." My response to that is simple: "Security is for cadavers."

2. Never give up.

Almost nothing works the first time it's attempted. Just because what you're doing does not seem to be working, doesn't mean it won't work. It just means that it might not work the way you're doing it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and you wouldn't have an opportunity.

3. When you're ready to quit, you're closer than you think.

There's an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: "The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed."

4. With regard to whatever worries you, not only accept the worst thing that could happen, but make it a point to quantify what the worst thing could be.

Very seldom will the worst consequence be anywhere near as bad as a cloud of "undefined consequences." My father would tell me early on, when I was struggling and losing my shirt trying to get Parsons Technology going, "Well, Robert, if it doesn't work, they can't eat you."

5. Focus on what you want to have happen.

Remember that old saying, "As you think, so shall you be."

6. Take things a day at a time.

No matter how difficult your situation is, you can get through it if you don't look too far into the future, and focus on the present moment. You can get through anything one day at a time.

7. Always be moving forward.

Never stop investing. Never stop improving. Never stop doing something new. The moment you stop improving your organization, it starts to die. Make it your goal to be better each and every day, in some small way. Remember the Japanese concept of Kaizen. Small daily improvements eventually result in huge advantages.

8. Be quick to decide.

Remember what General George S. Patton said: "A good plan violently executed today is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow."

9. Measure everything of significance.

I swear this is true. Anything that is measured and watched, improves.

10. Anything that is not managed will deteriorate.

If you want to uncover problems you don't know about, take a few moments and look closely at the areas you haven't examined for a while. I guarantee you problems will be there.

11. Pay attention to your competitors, but pay more attention to what you're doing.

When you look at your competitors, remember that everything looks perfect at a distance. Even the planet Earth, if you get far enough into space, looks like a peaceful place.

12. Never let anybody push you around.

In our society, with our laws and even playing field, you have just as much right to what you're doing as anyone else, provided that what you're doing is legal.

13. Never expect life to be fair.

Life isn't fair. You make your own breaks. You'll be doing good if the only meaning fair has to you, is something that you pay when you get on a bus (i.e., fare).

14. Solve your own problems.

You'll find that by coming up with your own solutions, you'll develop a competitive edge. Masura Ibuka, the co-founder of SONY, said it best: "You never succeed in technology, business, or anything by following the others." There's also an old Asian saying that I remind myself of frequently. It goes like this: "A wise man keeps his own counsel."

15. Don't take yourself too seriously.

Lighten up. Often, at least half of what we accomplish is due to luck. None of us are in control as much as we like to think we are.

16. There's always a reason to smile.

Find it. After all, you're really lucky just to be alive. Life is short. More and more, I agree with my little brother. He always reminds me: "We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time!"

h/t Bob Parsons.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Monday, May 31, 2010

Success & Happiness

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

-Albert Schweitzer

Friday, April 9, 2010

Picture of the Day

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Derivative Markets Explained

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit . She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around about Heidi's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar.

Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit .

By providing her customers' freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages.

Consequently, Heidi's gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets.

Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics.

Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar. So he informs Heidi.

Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts.

Since, Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy.

The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the various BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds.

Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the Government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Buy, Buy American Pie

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Wisdom of Will Smith

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Purpose of Money

By Richard Roop

Attracting more money into your life is easy when it's purpose driven. Why work at making more money unless you know exactly what you'll do with it?

Making money is always a trade off because it takes your time and attention away from other things that are important to you. That's fine if the extra money helps you pursue and achieve your highest priorities.

So the first question is "What are you going to do with more money?"

The clearer you are on this, the easier it is to attract all the money you want or need.

1) The purpose of money is... to do what you want

Do you need more time freedom? What are you going to do with more time? You can always get more money -- but no one gets more than 24 hours in a day.

More money gives you new choices how you spend your time.

If money was no object, how would you spend your week or your month? What does your perfect day look like? These are questions that only you can answer.

If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do? Sometimes you need more free time to do what you want. Sometimes you need more money to free up that time.

2) The purpose of money is ... to free up your time

You could make your own clothes, build your own house or grow your food. But that would take a lot of your time.

Instead, most of us invest our time making money so we can simply buy what we want.

For example, entrepreneurs invest marketing dollars to attract new customers. Knocking on a hundred doors or calling a hundred numbers takes more time than buying an ad read by thousands of people.

Spending money on systems, investing in tools or hiring help frees up your time. I don't want to do my taxes, but I want them done. I don't want to take all my calls, but I want them answered. If I ever decided to cut my own lawn, I want a riding mower -- turbo-charged.

3) The purpose of money is... to have what you want

What do you want to have or own?

Everyone needs a home. Do you need a better home? Would you like to live in a better neighborhood? Would you like to live closer to where you work or play? Wouldn't anyone want a home that allows you to live with more comfort and convenience?

Everyone needs to get around. You can save money traveling across the country by bus to visit friends and family. Or you can save time flying in style -- if you have the money.

Even though it's encouraged by our society, the habit of buying what we want without having the money first puts our freedom at risk. The danger here (which far too many people have experienced) is becoming enslaved by debt.

The smartest use of borrowing is to invest in services, people or things that generate more income and profits. Borrowed funds can also be used to save you time, allowing you to then reinvest that time making money -- more than you originally borrowed.

Consumer debt comes from using credit to buy things you do not need. Or from borrowing money without a profitable payoff. Debt can be used to consume or to produce. Avoid consumer debt. If you're carrying any of it now, set a goal and make a plan to rid yourself of it -- as quickly as possible.

Do you want a new computer? I use computers for both business and entertainment. Use your money to buy anything you want -- but you don't need a computer to play. So don't buy one just for fun until you have extra money not earmarked for something more important.

On the other hand, I need a computer for making my business more efficient and profitable. It's a great tool for increasing productivity and saving time. I'll pay extra for a top-notch operating system, high-speed internet connection and the best software. I can even justify borrowing the money to buy it since it's an investment.

4) The purpose of money is... to be spent

Saving for a rainy day is good. Putting money aside for taking a family vacation is fine. But what good would $10 million in the bank be if you were not allowed to spend it?

Money can do a lot of positive things when used wisely. It can cloth the poor and feed the hungry. You could volunteer your time teaching life enhancing skills if you didn't spend all your waking hours chasing after more money.

Accumulating money is fine -- as long as you plan to spend it at some point.

Giving is great and just another type of spending. Money should flow. It does no good unless used. So use it to take care of yourself, and your loved ones. Avoid being a burden to society first. Then become a pillar of society.

5) The purpose of money is... to live your preferred lifestyle

Money allows you to pay off consumer debt, invest in a business or quit a dead-end job. It allows you to spend your time doing whatever you want. It allows you to give back or make a difference. What you want is totally up to you.

And it's not money you want. It's what it can do for you.

So know what you want. Blueprint your ideal life. Everyone deserves more then they settle for. Dream bigger -- and use your time and energy pursuing those dreams.

What would your life be like if "money was no object"? What would you become?
What would you have? What would you do each day?

Answering these reflective questions is a key step to living out your dreams.

Don't be concerned with the "how" yet. Start with the "what" and the "how" will reveal it itself. Collecting $50,000 in cash in 90 days is real specific. That's an outcome. How you achieve it is more flexible because there are an infinite number of ways to do it.

6) How to Make MORE Money

Most people are employed to do work. They make a living by earning a wage, providing service to a company. They trade their time for a steady paycheck. The way to make more money at a job is to work more hours or increase your hourly pay.

Professionals make money offering needed products and services. They make more by selling and delivering more. They can also earn more by reducing costs or charging higher prices.

Entrepreneurs promote a business of their own. The purpose of any business is to generate profits through the sale of goods or services. The more value a business can provide to the marketplace, the more profits it can produce for its owners.

The entrepreneur is the leader of the company but also performs all the work not handled by systems, staff and contractors. Entrepreneurs can make more money by hiring additional help, increasing their promotional activities and automating as much of the operation as possible.

They can also make more by offering products and services with higher profit margins.

Investors or speculators make money getting a return on their capital. They invest money to own assets which appreciate in value or produce income. Money can be made from the equity in a business, real property or various commodities.

"Real estate entrepreneurs" make money operating a business that involves buying, selling and financing real estate. They earn money solving problems for buyers, sellers, tenants and investors. And there's plenty of demand for this type of help with today's economic climate and continuing credit crisis.

Real estate entrepreneurs can make more money today cherry picking only the very best deals and avoiding unnecessary risks. They don't invest capital for a return on investment. Instead they leverage themselves investing in marketing, tools, people and systems that help grow the business and increase the income.