The problem is that many people think they are doing a great job and helping out their companies by being abrasive. They try to enforce rules and take them to extremes to make sure their world stays within these boundaries. The part that really bothers me is the amount of effort they put in to alienate the customers.
Did you know that if you want to work in Disney World or Disneyland, you actually have to take classes on being friendly? It’s not just a 30 minute video on customer service either, you spend a couple of days where you have to learn all about the attitude they want displayed.
In casinos and restaurants, people who don’t give good customer service know it because it directly reflects the amount they are paid. Sure they will have nights where they are stiffed a couple of tips, but overall they get a daily progress report based on the amount they go home with. If it is consistently lower than the other workers then either you give bad customer service or they are lying about how much they are bringing in.
Once a worker in a tipped position realizes they are not providing the right attitude towards the guests, they learn to change it quick. Or they live with a more meager income, or they quit. A person in a tipped position must learn very quickly. Customer service is their livelihood.
But the rest of the world doesn’t rely on tips doesn’t have such a convenient meter to gauge their performance. There is a difference between tips and commissions, the first provides and incentive to perform great service for the customer and the second provides incentive to perform great service for the company.
Although performing great for the company can also create perverse incentives. So much more is emphasis is placed on closing the sale. While that is important for anybody, there needs to be a way to do it without seeing customers as wallets waiting to be emptied.
I’m not bashing salesmen here, they have to do hard work with uncertain results. I suppose I am bashing the reward structure that they have. More emphasis should be placed on retaining customers and making repeat sales. In order to do that, you need to actually learn about the customer and care.
You need to care about what they want and expect. And you need to care about what they are looking for and what kind of day they are having. While it is not the job of the employee to be the therapist for a customer, it is their job to have empathy and try to find the best solution.
While you might not become an empathetic and customer-centric person simply by taking a day long course at Disney World, having companies care enough to set that as a high priority says a lot about them.
I just wanted to share this video with you. This man runs a store called Soda Pop Stop. All they sell is carbonated soda of different types. Colas and Rootbeers of course, but then cucumber soda? Rose pedal and coffee sodas? He’s got them!
Plenty of variety in the sodas. Plenty of passion in the entrepreneur.
Quite some time ago on Aridni I wrote about a dilemma I had in getting a project done. I didn’t have the technical skill to actually write the software myself and I did not have the time to learn it adequately enough.
Now that I am actively trying to restrict the number of projects I’m working on, I wanted to get these ideas out of my head. They are not quite as powerful as they were when the ideas were born, but they might be of interest to someone out there. If you decide you want to take on one of the projects, great! Go for it. I’ll even help you with getting hosting.
The three projects are right after the break. They are ‘Hivemind Snapshot Project‘, ‘Articles of Organization and Operating Agreement Generator‘, and ‘Auto-task generation… thing‘
Hopefully you will find at least one of them useful!
Hivemind Snapshot Project - This project revolves around our beliefs and ideas. Everyone has beliefs and they *KNOW* absolute truths. Often times these truths are in opposition to those of other people. Over time these ideas about the world and it’s workings change. This project would take data and track it over time.
Just a little over five hundred years ago everyone knew the world was flat. It was an absolute truth. Although some explorers, astronomers, and philosophers the truth was different. Perhaps they didn’t know exactly what was going on, but they knew it was different.
What if somebody came along with a website where people could log on and put in their truths, beliefs, and ideas? You could have some sort of structure where users could write and publish an article. Other users would be able to log on and mark which statements on which they agree and which they disagree.
One way to do it would be to ask a specific question every day/week where people answer in essay format. They have a set amount of time to submit their answer. After a bunch of essays are sent in you would drill down and pull out the specific simplified statements and do a poll on them. ie… “The Earth is the center of the universe. True/False/Neither/don’t know”
You could group like minded individuals and identify thought leaders. From there a user would be able to identify users with different belief structures and follow their activity.
One question I’ve gotten is what about the lack of general sciences available for the common person. It is true that a lot of the scientific questions being asked right now are highly specialized with phd toting scientists working on them. If they post something that is true, it doesn’t mean that it is the accepted truth. Over the long run the experts answer on the topic would most likely become more widely accepted as people learn about it. Adding qualifications to the users as well allows you to determine where their core expertise lies.
Until the empirical truth arrives you can’t be certain who is actually correct. For some topics, the truth may never be actually known, but we can observe the changing of minds and take a snapshot of how people view the world. Over a period of a number of years or some cases months you could see how our perceptions of the world are changing.
Sort of a rather longterm scope on this project, but it could be really interesting.
Articles of Organization and Operating Agreement Generator - This project would help people to construct the documentation for starting their own business. The idea being that users would be able to cut the expensive costs of having a lawyer draft the documents without getting a pre-made cookie-cutter document that doesn’t apply to your business.
A user would start out by entering the basic information of your new company (Company name, Address, phone, industry, entity type). This information will be used to create the simple Articles of Organization your business would need to file with the state.
Next the software would help out with your Operating Agreement. Generally speaking they are used in LLCs and LLPs and sometimes partnerships as well. This document states how the business will be run. How are the different interests in the company split up? What are the voting privileges? How will profits and losses be divided up? How is the thing going to be managed? What happens if somebody wants to buy in? What if somebody wants to sell their interest in the company? What happens in the event of illness that prevents someone from working?
There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed for your company, and the Operating Agreement is exactly the place to do it. This is an internal document for your members, so naturally they will naturally receive a copy. When opening up a bank account, they will probably want a copy of your operating agreement. Some businesses extending you credit might want to look at it or take a copy.
A user would be able to go through different sections and select exactly which items they want in their document. If they chose to add membership information first, they would be taken to a page with 3-4 pre-written segments and a blank text-box. Choosing one of the segments would bring it over to the text-box with the users company data inserted where relevant. The user would then be allowed to customize the text further. When complete just save the section and move to the next.
After the user gets through the different issues that are commonly addressed, they would be given the option to add their own sections for any special needs they would have. When everything is complete and the user is happy, the document is generated as a .pdf file and given to the customer.
I imagine you could charge somewhere between $25 and $50 for this service and do well. Some of the very cookie cutter documents are in this range and offer no personalization. Having a lawyer draft the documents for you would easily cost hundreds of dollars.
Companies such as LegalZoom have began simplifying the process online, although I am under the impression that the costs are still high. So if you start, you will have some competition already! With this you would most likely need to set up an affiliate program or pay for traffic to get customers. If you are ambitious enough, then go for it!
Auto-task generation… thing - This project is all about getting things done. The basic idea is a program that emails out automatically generated tasks and tracks if you do them or not.
I mostly want this one just so I can use it myself! I have multiple websites that I own or help people with. Each one needs many of the same things done to it. It could be anything from coding and design to contacting advertisers, updating the content, and checking stats. Just quick little tasks that will take between 30 seconds and 10 minutes.
The program would take two lists and randomly combine a piece from each one each day. We would have a list of websites and a list of tasks, and every day an email would show up telling us the days project. If an email read, ‘Set the peralinks for project quicksilver’ I would be off to do that. The email could also give me a link for when the task was complete. I would mark it as complete and leave a comment if needed.
The next day a new project would be automatically assigned and emailed out. Or if I was feeling particularly productive I could go to the site and get a new task to work on right then.
The program would allow me to keep track of my projects and what needs to be done on them. I’m sure someone else would find it useful as well!
There is quite a bit more that you could do with this project as well. Scripts could be set up to determine if what it is emailing out is a valid task, or to verify that it was done. You could track the response time between sending the email and having the task complete to determine which tasks take longer. Perhaps multiple users per project so different tasks could be sent out, then you could really get things done.
Just writing about these different projects is getting me excited about them! I think I’ll have to go back and read my post about not taking on to many projects. You are welcome to take/borrow/steal these ideas if you want, and hopefuly make something out of them. Let me know what you do with them.
Last summer I was doing some work for a store with a lot of walk in traffic. It was interesting how diverse the people who came in were, but aside from grandparents, adults, and teenagers coming in as customers we had another group as well. People trying to sell us things.
They would have these ‘opportunities’ for us that could usually be described as ‘hemorrhaging money from the company.’ This is clearly not the best thing to do, unless you are trying to show a loss for they year. Yet still we would have a couple of people per week who had no idea about the business come in with plans that offered little to no value.
To be fair, there were some legitimate ideas and a couple were even worth taking up. For the most part they were a waste of time.
One particular company was basically putting together a local web directory. To be in the directory you had to do a little interview so they could write a paragraph about your company. Then they would let you be in the directory to try it out for 90 days. After that time was over, you needed to shell out some money. $100 bucks per month.
While $100 a month isn’t a whole lot for online advertising, there are much better ways to spend it. Especially due to the fact that our store’s web page had higher search engine rankings and we were able to track the minimal amounts of traffic that their site brought in.
There is some value in their business model; however it is not quite balanced. The value that they provide is having another link to your website, presumably marketed to people living in or traveling to the area. One of the bigger problems about this site was that it was to new. It didn’t rank well in google for local terms and not a lot of people knew about it.
If they would have also had a deal along the lines of, “If you link to us as well, we’ll give you x% off each month.” Then they could build up the amount of targeted local traffic to their site buy leaps and bounds. The more people that link to them, the more valuable their links become.
Any business wants you to provide value to them. If all you have is a team of salesmen then where does the value come from?
If you are going to pitch your product or service, make sure it benifits enough to justify your pricetag.
Have you been wondering if now is a time to start your new business or quit your old project? Right now is a great time to get going with your new business. There are plenty of opportunities out there and with so many people focused on the recession or the depression or whatever you want to call it, there is a perfect distraction away from what you are doing.
Building something amazing.
It is interesting that this company is selling phone services, but still they made a great video. So get out there. and get focused. Get determined. And when the economy is running full steam again, you will be ready.
Something has dawned on me over the past couple of months. I might be a packrat for ideas. By ‘dawned on me’ I mean it has been smashing me over the head with a hammer.
Over the last couple of years I have had so many projects that I wanted to get done. And new projects and million dollar ideas were sprouting up all of the time. Some of them were online, some of them off.
These ideas were across a broad range, everything from building a chess board, building a giant ‘colony size’ ant farm, to creating a program that sent out lottery numbers after every draw (And most of them were just as dorky sounding!).
It’s time that I start retiring a couple of projects of mine. When I get ideas, I want them to happen, so I’ll begin. The problem is that new ideas come and I want them to happen, so I’ll begin. Of course there hasn’t been enough time to complete the original project before starting on the next. This basically means the old project is doomed.
Soon there is another great flash of inspiration and a new project emerges and another becomes doomed.
My final stance is I’m officially closing down some projects. A big problem is that juggling so many things, none of them ever got completed. It’s time to start filling that filing cabinet with those ‘million dollar ideas‘ and start focusing on fewer and fewer.
I’ll be posting quite a few ideas and one-day projects. By one-day projects, I mean “one day I’de like to…” Hopefully there is someone out there that can benefit from some them.
This last week, Aridni has had some server issues and we lost quite a bit of data.
We are restoring backups; however, the layout of the site is being restored and might take a little while. So please pardon the mess.
There’s no denying that selling your house can be a stressful decision. Many factors may have led you to this point. You might be ready for something bigger or need something smaller. You might have an amazing new job in an amazing new city. If it’s a question of sizing up or sizing down, you won’t be pressured to sell within a set amount of time. On the other hand, if you need to start your new job in three months, the pressure will be on to sell as quickly as possible. Knowing how to navigate the ins and outs of the real estate market takes a little ingenuity, but with the right resources – including a competent real estate agent – you’re sure to be looking at a “SOLD” sign in your front yard before too long.
Timing Is Everything
Well, timing may not be everything, but it’s important. If you’re not pressured to sell your house quickly, consider yourself lucky. Feel free to skip ahead to the next section. If, on the other hand, you’re faced with a pressing situation, like a new job that requires you to relocate, you’ll need to act quickly and efficiently to get the ball rolling.
As soon as you even suspect that a transfer or relocation may be possible, get in touch with a real estate agent and hammer out details like what a reasonable asking price might be. If the relocation does, indeed, happen, you’ll be that much further along in the process, and listing your house will just mean filling out some paperwork and keeping the place picked up for showings.
As a new employee about to relocate, you’re well within your right to contact your new employer to request a deferment of your start date by a few months. If your new job is set to start in the middle of the winter, for example, you’d be much better off waiting a few months to relocate to try to sell your home when the real estate market is at its peak in the warmer months.
Wait for the Warm Months
People buy houses when it’s nice out, not when there’s snow and ice on the ground. Showing a house with a lush, green front yard and trees full of leaves is a boon to real estate agents everywhere. When the sun is shining and the grass is green, potential buyers have an easier time imagining their new life in the house.
There’s no getting around the fact that winter is a terrible time to put your house up for sale. Viewers will traipse in and out with slush covered boots, the trees are bare, and everything is gray and overcast. If you can wait for the warmer months, you absolutely should. Also, potential buyers are much more open to discussing how much things like property taxes, home insurance policies, and general upkeep will cost them when they can hear birds chirping and brooks babbling.
A Special Note About the Current Real Estate Market
If you can avoid selling your house right now, you should. With property values at record lows, the current market is nowhere close to being in the seller’s favor. Upside-down mortgages (when the balance of the mortgage exceeds the value of the property), short sales (when a seller is forced to sell the house for less than the balance of the mortgage), and foreclosures are an increasing reality. Buyers certainly have the upper hand in the current real estate market, and can make demands that, even just four or five years ago, would have been considered insulting to the seller.
This doesn’t mean that all hope is lost, though. If you still decide that you want to sell your home, prepare yourself to be patient, and hold off listing until the weather and time of year are on your side. Needless to say, the best time to sell is when you can, at the very least, recoup your initial investment on the property. Give yourself as much time as possible, which will prove to be the most important factor to selling successfully.
Birthday cards are expensive. There’s no question about it.
The problem is that a fancy card doesn’t hold a whole lot of value for the person receiving the card – especially if that person is a child. Every year, we’ll spend a couple of dollars to buy kids a card. Why not make them a simple little card and put the $3 you would have paid for a commercial card into the envelope instead?
I know that $3 doesn’t seem like much for an adult. But to a kid, money is money. They can do a lot with $3 that they can’t do with a card, especially if everyone who usually buys them a birthday card hands them a handmade card and $3 instead.
It’s just something to think about.
I buy most of my things online. Books, boardgames, an ipod, a replacement car door handle, a dvd, a pdf download, and of course more books are just some of the items from the last six months. In the next six months, I’m sure that I’ll have more online dealings. Perhaps not quite as much given that Christmas fell into the last six.
Most of those items came from one place, Amazon. I’ve also ordered from Barnes and Noble online, the Apple store, and a couple specialty shops. The specialty shops unfortunately didn’t do an excellent job and won’t be named.
Amazon remembers who I am. It’s not hard to grab my email address and set a cookie on my computer. When I go to Amazon, I see all kinds of different things. I see what is recommended based on previous purchases. I can see what is in my shopping cart from last time. I can even check out the recently viewed books and other items.
At Barnes and Noble’s online site, I can log in and there is nothing. Nothing is unique to me. There is ‘My B&N’ their social network. It is completely blank for me. You can add your favorite books, or what you’re currently reading. But it is absolutely blank. Why not add suggestions based on my recent purchases. Instead I can add new titles by searching for them in a sea of millions of books.
When I go over to the Apple store, it doesn’t matter if I have ever bought anything. It doesn’t matter if I am logged in or not. At their site I’m going to be looking at the same thing either way. Nothing is linked together and there are no recommendations for me. They could easily say, ‘we see you’re using Windows, isn’t it time to upgade to a Mac? Here are a few suggestions…’, or how about ‘Upgrade your iPod shuffle to an iPod Touch and get -some incentive-’ They know what products I have purchased and they know what I am using to check the site.
As for now, I’m going to keep shopping at Amazon. They may be a big giant evil company (or something) but even more importantly they know who I am. They know what I want to buy and they help me do it. Most of the time, Amazon knows what I want before I even do. They are not cramming merchandise down my throat. Instead they are giving me suggestions based on my browsing and spending habits.
While it might be hard to do as well as Amazon for you and your company. The competition is very clear. You can easily tell what they are doing and honestly it’s not a big secret.
Great Service = Loyal Customers
Whereas mediocre products and services leads to
Mediocre Service = Indifferent Bargain Shopping Customers
When you do a better job of knowing me, I’ll spend my money with you.
Malcom Gladwell’s latest book has been out for a couple of months now, and I’ve got to tell you that it’s great. He has a really easy to read writing style. He mixes ideas with stories so seamlessly that really build and support his conclusions.
One important part of the book is having 10,000 hours of any activity to become truely proficiant at it. It doesn’t matter if it is writing programs and designing software all throughout software like Bill Gates, or if it is playing night after night nonstop in seedy establisments like the Beatles did.
Getting in that many hours would mean that whatever you wanted to completely master would have to be something that you absolutly loved doing. It would have to be a complete passion of yours.
Malcom Gladwell is very good at making things interesting, even if they normally wouldn’t be appealing to you he is great at crafting his words together.
This is a great book and I highly reccommend it; however I do believe that his previous two books Blink and The Tipping Point were better reads overall. They had more information that could be applied to life situations. In this book there are a lot of moments that will make you think “Oh, that’s cool.”
I haven’t been dissappointed by any of Malcolm’s books yet, and this one certainly lived up. I would also reccommend the audio versions of his books, you can load them up on your ipod and listen to them. Being read by the author, they have the inflections and dramatizations added to them percicly where Gladwell wanted to emphisize.
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Here is a simple, yet thorough, explanation of the current credit crisis. If you had any questions about what was going on in the economy right now, this is a big player. Why is the economy so bad right now? Watch this video and find out.
You see, most of last year, you could say that the Canadian dollar was falling because of falling commodity prices. Since Canada exports so many widely used commodities like oil and lumber, when prices fall, so do their profit margins. It costs them about the same amount to produce the product but what they can get for it in the market is determined by where those commodities are trading at the time.
USD/CAD Pushes Towards 1.30 Once Again!
Last Year the Commodities Crash Killed the Canadian dollar. This Year it’s the U.S. Economic Crash that’s Killing Them!
So that was what hurt them much of last year. Now we roll into 2009, and they get killed by another dynamic: the increasing slowdown of the U.S. economy!
For three months in a row now, the U.S. economy has shed around 600,000 jobs or more back to back! The unemployment rate seems to be going somewhat parabolic at this point. It jumped from 7.6% previously to 8.1% now.
On top of this, to buffer the blow of the slowdown, Canada’s central bank had to lower interest rates once again (to 0.50%) which put it at the lowest their interest rates have EVER been!
While this is a dynamic that will eventually be good for their economy, it hurts their currency right now for sure.
They also stated that they may implore “Quantitative Easing”. What the heck is that? Well, in simple terms it means that they will print money out of thin air and load up the banks with so much excess cash that they are more likely to lend money and thus spur economic growth.
While that may eventually give their economy a boost, it kills their currency. Why? Look at it this way. Anytime something becomes more abundant, it becomes worth less. Anytime something becomes scarce, it becomes more valuable. (This is why a Corvette in the 1960’s may have gone for $3,000 then and would sell for $30,000 to $60,000 today. These days, they are scarce…yet they weren’t back then).
So when the market is flooded with more money (Canadian dollars), that money gets devalued and is worth less. Therefore it takes more (Canadian) dollars to buy the same amount of goods.
The U.S. is Printing Money too, but Right Now they are Saved Because they are the World’s Reserve Currency (and thus a “Safe Haven”).
Now, you may say but isn’t the U.S. doing the same thing? After all, their economy is slowing down. They are printing money too.
I would say, while I won’t deny that point, the U.S. dollar presently benefits from what is called the “safe haven bid”. What does that mean? It means that investors all over the globe are running to the safety of the U.S. dollar because it’s the world’s reserve currency right now.
In other words, if there’s one currency on the face of the earth that you are most likely to keep and continue to use, it’s the one that most of the goods are priced in all over the world. For example, gold, oil, wheat, soybeans, lumber, etc. are all priced in U.S. dollars.
Therefore in crazy times like this, it enjoys the benefit of being the world’s reserve currency. However, once the global economy finally does return to normal, then this “benefit” will suddenly go away and the dollar will just have to stand on its own fundamentals once again. We all know that once that happens, the buck doesn’t have that much to stand on. Therefore, the “dollar party” may come to an end ONCE the global economy normalizes.
In the mean time, Canada’s currency (and economy) will continue to suffer as the U.S. lays off more workers and continues to slow down. Remember, they derive about 79% of their exports from the U.S. That’s huge! In fact, it’s so huge…it’s the largest trading relationship between two countries according to Canada’s trade department.
This really is huge, because the U.S. hasn’t had three back to back months of layoffs this big since they started keeping records on it back in 1939. So from at least as far as our records go back, this has never happened on this scale before!
So when you add all of this up, you come up with the fact that the U.S. dollar has a high probability of continuing to rise against the Canadian dollar. So with that said, I think you may find the USD/CAD rate to break the 1.30 barrier in the coming weeks to months.
Therefore, if you would like to take advantage of this situation and profit from the pressure on the Canadian dollar, then take these three steps:
- Get Educated about Currencies and What Makes them go up and down: You can get your an online education here that comes with live instructors that are there to answer your questions.
- Get a FREE demo account here that comes with REAL TIME quotes and charts. This way you can learn how to place trades before risking one cent of your money in the currency market.
- Then once you’ve gotten educated over the course of 8-10 days in your course and you are familiar with your demo trading station, then open up your live trading account here. If you start with a micro account, then I would suggest putting in $300 to $2,000 in the account. Start small. If you choose to start with a mini account, then you might fund your live account with $2,000 to $10,000. Start with enough capital to be practical while trading only 1-2 lots per trade at first.
Sean Hyman is today’s guest writer, he is the head instructor at MyWealth.com
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This past year, one of the few financial instruments in the world was headed to the moon. Which one was that? The yen!
Yeah, the carry trade unwound which caused money to flow away from high yielding currencies and back into low yielding currencies like the yen.
Investors became risk adverse with their money. They poured it into things that had been beaten down for years because it seemed to be a safe place to run to. Thus the yen was a huge beneficiary during this ultimate “fear factor”.
However, recently I started talking to you about a possible turn coming in the yen and that the yen party was about to come to an end soon.
Things go from “Bad to Worse” in Japan
Since then, things in Japan have continued to unravel. They’ve had a 12 percent slide off in their GDP. The yen has risen 23 percent against the dollar which is killing their exporters. Toyota, Sony and Honda are all either doing layoffs or are about to do layoffs. In fact, Honda has even mentioned that if the yen stays at 100 to the dollar or under, that they may be forced to move some of their operations out of Japan. So this is serious stuff!
If that we’re enough, when the Japanese Finance Minister showed up at the latest G-7 meeting in Rome, he was accused of being drunk and unable to properly participate due to his inability to understand the questions being posed to him.
This caused him to have to step down from power just days later. This makes several finance ministers that Japan has gone through in just a short time. Governmental instability is never good for a currency. So these were all of the reasons lately that have surfaced as to why the party may be ending for the yen (in particularly against the U.S. dollar).
120 Billion Reasons to Sell Short the Yen and Stop Shorting Other Asian Currencies!
But now there’s a new reason to close out any long positions in the yen and to reverse course by shorting it. Why? 13 Asian nations announced on the 22nd of this month that they were forming a $120 billion currency pool in order to defend their currencies.
This is a powerful alliance as these countries team up together. This should send a building wave of confidence across these Asian countries as they see governments teaming up and banding together for the support of their own currencies.
Japan, China and South Korea will provide about 80 percent of the funds for the pool and the other 10 countries will fund the remainder.
While many of these currencies have weakened significantly and funds may have to be used to buy their currencies, the Japanese could always use any extra resources to sell their strong currency.
With these countries banding together in such a strong, united way…it shows that the story may be about to change. Formerly in 2008 and up until now, you’ve had most of these currencies across Asia weakening unduly and the yen having an unreasonably high strength.
I think you are going to see this tide turn. These things happen like ships turning and not like speed boats. However, I think the yen is starting its turn even now and it won’t be long before these other Asian currencies start to strengthen once again.
I also think this massive currency pool could help to prevent another Asian contagion like happened in 1997-1998 as many of the Asian countries used of most all of their foreign reserves trying to defend their currencies and had to finally turn to the IMF for help.
It was a horrid problem that ended up causing a ripple effect all around the world. So they are being very preemptive this time around in trying to stop something like this before it gets that far.
USD/JPY “Prepares for Takeoff” on Yen Weakness!
Therefore, I think the sentiment is going to shift away from a strong yen while other currencies finally start to strengthen. You will likely see the yen weaken across the board but I’m most confident in the prospects for the USD/JPY exchange rate going up overall throughout the remainder of the year due to this new vote of confidence and also due to all of the previous problems plaguing Japan.
At the end of the year, I think you will find that the USD/JPY is back up over 100 and headed higher. This will help Japan’s economy, especially its exporters that are such household names here in America.
So get ready for more yen weakness and dollar strength against it. Also, it won’t be long before other Asian currencies start to strengthen as the yen starts to weaken.
Today’s Guest Writer is Sean Hyman the head instructor over at www.mywealth.com
Once upon a midnight dreary as I pondered weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of accounting lore,
Seeking gimmicks (without scruple) to squeeze through
Some new tax loophole,
Suddenly I heard a knock upon my door,
Only this, and nothing more.
Then I felt a queasy tingling and I heard the cash a-jingling
As a fearsome banker entered whom I’d often seen before.
His face was money-green and in his eyes there could be seen
Dollar-signs that seemed to glitter as he reckoned up the score.
“Cash flow,” the banker said, and nothing more.
I had always thought it fine to show a jet black bottom line.
But the banker sounded a resounding, “No.
Your receivables are high, mounting upward toward the sky;
Write-offs loom. What matters is cash flow.”
He repeated, “Watch cash flow.”
Then I tried to tell the story of our lovely inventory
Which, though large, is full of most delightful stuff.
But the banker saw its growth, and with a might oath
He waved his arms and shouted, “Stop! Enough!
Pay the interest, and don’t give me any guff!”
Next I looked for noncash items which could add ad infinitum
To replace the ever-outward flow of cash,
But to keep my statement black I’d held depreciation back,
And my banker said that I’d done something rash.
He quivered, and his teeth began to gnash.
When I asked him for a loan, he responded, with a groan,
That the interest rate would be just prime plus eight,
And to guarantee my purity he’d insist on some security—
All my assets plus the scalp upon my pate.
Only this, a standard rate.
Though my bottom line is black, I am flat upon my back,
My cash flows out and customers pay slow.
The growth of my receivables is almost unbelievable:
The result is certain—unremitting woe!
And I hear the banker utter an ominous low mutter,
“Watch cash flow.”
Herbert S. Bailey, Jr.
Source: Reprinted from the January 13, 1975, issue of Publishers Weekly, Published by R. R. Bowker, a Xerox company. Copyright 1975 by the Xerox Corporation.
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Has anyone joined Yaro’s Blog Mastermind Mentoring Program? Katie and I were talking about joining it, but we just wanted to see if anyone has any thoughts on it.
There are two different options that he offers. Blog Mastermind runs at $497 and the second package is the Blog Mastermind as well as a newer program of his, ‘Membership Site Mastermind.’ The bigger package runs for $997.
I think that Yaro has done a great job in the past. He provides a tremendous amount of value on his sites and through his email newsletter.
Just wondering if anyone had any thoughts before we make the plunge here.
Thanks To Our Sponsor: Pod6r Media Network Blogging pods are about to take on a whole new name.
Oil is cheap. Stocks are cheap. Have you been into a department store recently? They’re selling everything for cheap right now. You can bet that guys like Warren Buffet are out buying up stocks right now. And why not? Compared to the past five years we are seeing everything sold at rock bottom prices.
Although just because something was selling at $25 a share, does not mean that today’s sale at $15 per share is a good bargain. It might not make it back to it’s previous price point. Nothing is certain, especially when open markets are concerned, but the savvy investor can now pick up some great value deals.
Take a look at the PE ratio, take a look at the current asset holdings, study up on the industry a bit, do all the research that you normally do when buying stocks. When the economy recovers, and it will, the money will return. Credit will be extended, money will flow back into the stock market, and acquisitions will be made.
If you have money to invest, now is a great time to do it.
If you have a business to start, now is a great time to do it.
Times will be tough when you start off, but if you can make it now you will be able to soar when business picks up.
I am very optimistic about the future.
We vote with our dollars. Every time we spend our money, we aren’t just getting a hamburger or pretty new sweater. We’re saying, “I support the way this product was made. I support the way the animals and humans involved in the production of this thing were treated.” Each dollar is a nod of approval to the practices that go into the production of these items.
I know we don’t really think this way when we’re doing our shopping. But as we turn more and more to cheaper products as the economy worsens, now is really the time to be thinking of where our dollars are going.
A few easy adjustments in the way we shop could make a few small strides.
First, consider buying locally made foods at your grocery store. If your grocery store doesn’t offer local products, ask them why. Why, for example, can’t I buy tortillas made at a small local business but I can get tortillas from huge factories thousands of miles away? Or why can’t I get handmade ice cream made in the next town over, but I can get fifty selections from the other side of the country? I try to make an effort to ask these questions. If businesses don’t know what the customers want, they won’t change.
Second, you may consider some Christmas shopping at these sites where individuals sell their homemade products. I was recently given an apron here. It cost the same as the apron I would have chosen from my favorite purse maker except it was made by an indiviual. I knew that the profits were going to her and not a CEO who doesn’t even touch the sewing machine. There are prints, sculptures, holiday cards, decor, clothing, gifts…
- etsy.com “Your place to buy and sell all things handmade”
- dawanda.com “Products with love” and “DaWanda is the place for unique and individual products and people. Buy handmade and hard to find goods, share your discoveries with your friends and create your own collections.”
Quite a few entries in this Festival of Frugality, and not quite all of them made the cut! But here are some of those that did make it. Next week’s host is going to be Mighty Bargain Hunter. Enjoy.
Cash Money Life believes that Your Credit Score is About to Become More Valuable
Ready for the holidays? R presents Reining in Holiday Spending and Stress
Speaking of holidays, Ashley presents A frugal Halloween: homemade costumes
And since Halloween isn’t here yet, FFB presents Before You Buy That Halloween Costume.
Squawkfox presents Recipes: Gross, Easy, and Frugal Halloween Foods for Kids
The days are getting shorter, and the nights colder so Kelly from Almost Frugal presents Stay Warmer in Cold Weather: Five Frugal Tips.
What exactly is quality of life Daphne Lim asks? Three Times As Good, One-Third As Much.
Check out Cade Krueger’s offering to learn How Do I Find And Choose A Good Franchise Business Opportunity?
Ready to axe some taxes? Sam presents How to Lower Your Taxes
Amy @ The Q Family presents 13 Ways to Save on Gas to help you be more efficient with your fuel consumption.
A popular topic this week, RC continues with How to Save Money on Gas- Fact vs. Fiction
Redd Horrocks-Maier presents Frugal Food - Three Ideas for Frugal Dinners
Heather Levin presents some great Tips to Lower Your Monthly Bills.
Along the same vein, FIRE Finance presents 12 Tips To Lower Your Heating Bill
Sam presents 10 Smart State Income-Tax Saving Strategies.
Michael Bass presents a sneaky little trick How to get a cell phone with no i.d., no passport, and no credit card.
Tiffany Washko presents Helping Each Other During a Recession.
The Shark Investor lets us know how to Build Wealth By Moving Away.
Terence Gillepie presents How To Sell Your House Without Using A Realtor.
Lise gives us her results from a study on female frugality with The results: women spend more on personal appearance.
Check out this project from fwp DIY clothesline from (past) hobbies
David G. Mitchell wants to give us some perspective on how to Change Your Eating Habits to Save Money
Frugal Dad presents Being A Full-Time Parent Has More To Do With Sacrifice Than Luck and helps us take a look at what is actually going on with parenthood and money issues.
If you’re going to rent movies, you might as well be smart about it. Cash Money Life presents Blockbuster vs. Netflix
There are a lot of useful things that people leave by the curb side in the hopes that someone else will adopt them. Shadox presents Curb-Side Freebies
Wenchypoo brings us Frugality as a Recession Fighter and Depression Killer (L-O-N-G) over at Wisdom From Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket.
Save On Travel: When and Where To Go for the Cheapest Travel Rates is brought to us by The Smarter Wallet.
Super Saver presents Finding Lower Gas Prices
J. Money shares his tale about how Bananas and Hair Spray tought me everything on inflation
It’s not just a fad! LAL presents Growing up frugal
“Wouldn’t it be great if, just like a fat-cat banker on Wall Street, you and I could call up the Secretary of the Treasury and say “Well Mr. Secretary, it seems like the risk analysis I ran for the cost of my child’s college education was WAY off, and gosh, thanks to that forecasting error, the amounts I reserved to cover tuition and other costs just aren’t going to be anywhere near enough. So… how about one of those bailout thingies you guys are so good at?” Tushar Mathur presents Looking For A College Fund Bailout
Jim presents Butcher Your Own Chicken.
Sun presents Keep My Money Safe and Let It Grow.
Ready to get a good deal on something? Free Money Finance presents Six Times It’s Easy to Ask for a Discount.
Rich Leverage presents How Much Does Your Money Matter to You?
Ryan Suenaga has a heck of a manual, The Internet: Repair and Do it Yourself Manual for Everything
Dorian Wales reminds us that The Credit Crisis Presents a Rare Opportunity for Learning and Experience.
sherin asks us How do you prepare for losing your job?
At one point or another, everyone needs to know How To Save Money As A Student.
Kris who happens to be in the know tips us off to Five Ways to Save on Wedding Food: A Guest’s View
Need to get out of the house? Aryn presents 9 Frugal Fall Entertainment Options
Until Debt Do US Part lets us know about how Renting is better than buying and here’s why
Mercedes wants you to know that living frugally and cheaply are entirely different things. So with that, here is Please Don’t Call Me Cheap
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Those of you who clicked www.makingthishome.com after my last post when I told you I lost the address may have been a little confused. In Part 1, I told you someone else had purchased the domain name when enom central placed me on their fraud alert and canceled my domain purchased. But I got the name back, and the website is running.
HOW I GOT MY DOMAIN NAME BACK BY PICKING UP THE PHONE
I hate to admit it, but I had become attached to the idea of calling my blog “Making This Home”. It sounded perfect, and it was tough to believe that someone else would have thought of the exact same name only four days after I had. So I decided to call the man who had purchased the name.
“I was wondering what you were planning on doing with that domain name,” I told him.
He laughed nervously and said, “Umm. Make some money?”
The interesting thing was that he had no idea which domain name I was talking about, though he seemed open to the idea of selling it back to me. I launched into my sad story instead. It didn’t make sense to pay the guy for something neither of us had invested anything into.
He took a little time looking up www.makingthishome.com on his computer and said it hadn’t been making him any money. It didn’t seem like his goal was to sell the website. I almost wondered if he was seeking profits from residual traffic. I really have no idea. But he was very kind to me and said that he would give up the domain name; I could have it back.
The next morning, just as he promised, the domain name was available again. I bought it, and now www.makingthishome.com is mine, and I do hope you’ll come visit me!