Friday, January 23, 2009

Apparently times are tough..

Thank God for some real job security. While tens of thousands of Puget Sound workers are finding the axe, I'm lucky to not have that worry. Not even a little. While companies are reporting losses for the year, our numbers are way up. Apparently worldwide shipping is a profitable business.

This is where I mix up my 5 year plan a little. I'm keeping the plan intact, however, I'm keeping an open mind on if it happens in 5 years or not. While those that have been shown the door figure out where they want to work or what they want to do, the economy around Seattle is going to slow. Not the best time to take a business live 100%. Rather, it's a great time to just do the planning, the paperwork, the policies needed, then look for some different opportunities and do some part time work for things that come in. When there is a surge of small business and opportunity, then it's time to pull the trigger. Jumping too early means disaster, and who wants to be homeless??

On that note, TGIF! It's Friday.. Nothing really important to note, just another day. I'm definitely going to keep updating my business blog, I'm going through ideas on which things to hit on, like different series based off the day.. Like Management Monday, Tech Tuesday, etc. But I don't know that I'll do one everyday.

OH! One thing I did hear on the way in to work that made me wonder about is how there are so many stupid men out there?! One of the ladies on the radio show I sometimes listen to was bitching because her husband didn't call her back after her ultrasound. Even after she sent him pics. Apparently, 4 hours later he finally called back. This is their first kid btw.

HOW?! If that's your first kid, how the hell are you not at the ultrasound with her to begin with?? If it's the 3rd or 4th, ok, no problem, I understand that it's "old news" in a sense. But you'd still call afterwords to find out the sex, make sure it's healthy, etc. How does a guy who's married and wanting kids with his wife just pass it off as though she was just trying to tell him about her breakfast? (I was going to use the BB analogy there that S² uses, but really, who calls to tell about that?!)

I'd be excited as one could imagine. I'd be open to go to every doctor appointment. It doesn't matter if it's just a checkup. This is your child, your DNA, your future. If you're not excited about the idea, then you needed to think about that before taking the steps to have kids.

I know, he's scaaaared.. Please. Being scared doesn't mean you're going to ignore your wife after the most important event with your first child. I don't know, maybe I just don't understand because I could never fathom ever being like that. But then again, I'm also the guy that has no problems running in to buy tampons either.

Still. Not good if you ask me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And the ball is in motion.....

That motion, is like a snowball... as this ball rolls it's traction gains, it's goals emerge and life changes..

Thus the new business blog is up, things are flying and away we all go.. Where we stop, no one knows.. actually I know, because I have no plan of stopping..

And I present to you the Business Blog: Maximum Dollar.

Business & Businesses

There's a reason I have a 5-year, million dollar plan. This isn't a in 5 years I'll have made a million, but rather within 5 years my company will be bringing in a minimum of a million that year. As I talk with friends about the companies they own, work for, or work with, I come to realize just how easily this task will be to work. The only part I am still hammering out is just how far I want the company to dig into business inefficiency.

I like blogging about business, because in 1-, 2-, 3-years down the road I can pull it up and take a peak at what I was thinking now, to see if I was under estimating the problem or to see if I stuck to the path I had already envisioned out. Maybe I'll create another blog just solely on the business process & where I'm at with that. Maybe I'll do that here later today even, copying this blog into it as the first official post.

I was chatting with a friend a couple nights ago about the company he works for, who I've done some work with on many fronts. He was asking me about some new policies that were put into place very quickly and not implemented over time like most. He was interested in my secret to accomplishing this, as change never moves that quickly. I explained not only the technical reasons on why the policies were put out there but the efficiency it offers over their old way of doing it. While he understood all that I was saying, he couldn't understand how easy it was for them to make the change, because in most businesses not only is change feared, it's usually slow to implement, and here in less than an hour, his company had a TON of change.

What can I say, I'm just that good. Now that I'm done stroking my ego, I'll share a small amount of why I'm that good.
  1. I have experience to back it up. I know what I'm doing, period. It doesn't matter if you're a software company, an insurance company, an accounting firm or a lawyer's office. I can walk in, see where you're efficiency is failing and ways you can turn it around.
  2. Once I see how your office is backwards, I can provide the financial incentive to make any owner/CEO/president suddenly think, "Change is AWESOME!".
Now, with point #2, don't think I go in there and pay them to change. They pay themselves to change. I just show them the approximate amount of money they save by just making a few changes: whether it be processes, software changes, computer hardware changes, or a combination of all of the above. When you tell a CEO that in this tight economy that I can save them approximately $200,000 a year without losing any staff, they sit up straight in their chairs and hang on every word coming out of my mouth. Plus they then are more than willing to give me a percentage of that to get that efficiency.

That's all the easy part. There's nothing in any of that process that makes me nervous to do it. The question is, however, how deep do I want to go. Do I keep it to technology, or do I go down the business management side of it as well. I hate to use the analogy of Office Space, but there are some really dumb management types out there. As such, the people that deal with them on a day-to-day basis don't understand or fail to see it. That's where a third wheel comes in, evaluates the business on a whole, the IT staff, the sales manager, the HR director, making sure that the company is running at it's peak capacity. Where the flaws are found, multiple solutions can be presented. Move inefficient manager A to department Z. Move efficient senior employee B to department D to turn it around and lead it to profitability. Sometimes those closest to the situation can't see the solution sitting right in front of them.

Each person has strengths and weaknesses. That's human nature. The question is, can that weakness be fixed or is it something permanent. If it's permanent, how can you work around it and make use of what that person is great at. That my friends, is what makes a great manager. The ability to make people succeed. Because in the grand scheme of business, a great manager can't be selfish. It's not about you, the manager. Your success comes when you're employees do great things. If you smother your employees and not allow them to succeed, you're working too hard at micromanaging. When you're salesmen bring in a monster quarter because you allowed them to do what they're good at, when you shuffled people around to get their strengths out there, delegated the projects and customers in a way that utilized every person to the peak of their potential, THAT is when you get your recognition. Because you're the boss, you enabled it. Senior management will see what you were able to perform and you will be rewarded as such.

"Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. "
-George S. Patton

To bring sports into it, a great leader or manager (yes, they are two different things; not every great leader can manage & not every great manager can lead but there are those who can lead & manage) is a quarterback. You can be the best QB ever, but if you don't have the right staff around you, who's going to catch your passes? Who's going to deflect the defense to allow you to create magic on the field? If you think you can do it all yourself you will fail and as such, you will not only be demoted to second string, your salary will suffer with it. Bring your teammates up and along with you, you will fly, breaking records, winning games and creating that nest egg that we all want financially. Most importantly, you'll keep teammates. No one wants to play with a selfish leader who can't complete passes and fumbles all the time.

That works the same in management. Employee turnover hurts the bottom line. Being an efficient department isn't easy when you're constantly training new people. But as a leader or a manager you must look into what is causing the turnover. There are usually 2 main reasons... A) You chose the wrong employee to hire or B) Your management style doesn't fit the people in place. As a manager, people sometimes have way too much pride in that they can't admit that they don't know how to deal with their people. That's where maybe you're a better leader, but a really crappy manager. That's OK, but you must own up to it, and your management or leadership must recognize this and utilize your strengths at the benefit to the company. If it's option A, well, then as a company you've got to sit down and look through why you're hiring the people you are. You know the old insanity joke.. the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result each time... Well, hiring the same type of people over and over again while expecting something different each time is, you guessed it, insanity.

There's a reason I have about 15 different management & leadership books, each by a different set of authors. Some are prize winning, some do seminars that sell out in each city, some are just the theory & psychology of business management and leadership. Mix that in with experience, common sense, & some business savvy thoughts, and you get me. Yes I've lead people, I've managed, hired and fired. I've had one person quit on me in all my years of a manager. ONE. While that looks like turnover, it was a calculated move on my part, getting him to quit as we did not have a firing policy at the time. With that, I was the highest requested manager to work for. Imagine that. Work hard for me, I've got your back. Slack off and I'll mentor you, find your strengths and make sure you do what you're good at so we all win. Sometimes I do agree that there are cases where you can't win, that employee is impossible to reach. Sometimes as a manager you have to admit to your mistakes and realize that keeping that person is a bad choice & thus showing them the door is the only way to go. That's not a bad thing. It helps keep you grounded.

I will end this long winded blog right about here. I only brushed the surface on a number of little things going through my head. I could take each paragraph and turn it into a blog about this size and help change businesses. At one point I probably will do just that, with a business blog. In the meantime, the overview of my company is set. There's far too many companies out there that fail, not for lack of a great idea, but for a lack of direction. It's time to provide them the compass.

For you managers, leaders, and management hopefuls.. remember, it's not going to be easy, you have to accept fault in yourself, you have to work hard and you have to do it in a way that gets results. Work smarter, not harder. Otherwise you could find yourself here instead.

The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
-Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Mother fucker! Two times my mouth just bypasses all filters in speech or typing... 1) when I'm exhausted. PB can attest to this after last night, given Sunday night's circus -or- 2) when I get fired up because of people that I just truly don't understand.

Obama the antichrist? Really? FUCKING really!? He's been our president not even 24 hours. People lay off right after the election as if it didn't happen. Now that it's a reality and in their face, it's time to start that topic again. Facebook/myspace messages of "Here comes hell!", "Down the gutter goes our country", etc, etc.

Asking an acquaintance why her views extend the way they do in terms of that, she mentions "signs" and how she doesn't want to be the religious preacher when it comes to talking about how if she's right, life is going to suck because of his Antichrist status..

Now let me get this out of the way first and foremost as I didn't want to do a political blog, nor a religious one. I voted for GWB in 2000. In 2004, I voted for him again as really, there was no better choice and really, he couldn't do worse than he had done (wrong there for sure). I was a supporter in 2000, indifferent in 2004, and a hater in 2008. MANY people other than me believed the same. Hint why Obama was elected.

He wasn't elected because of his race, it was because he was the best speaker offering change that could sell it. He's the type of sales man that shows leadership, picks the right people, smart people, that will bring about change. He doesn't have a dad and strings inside politics, people are/were tired of that, which is why GWB is leaving with the lowest ranking of any president... EVER. 43rd president, meaning in ranking he was 43/43. I know that like in sports, unless you're first it doesn't really matter. To be dead last however, says a TON. But I digress. Big time.

As for this particular person, she mentions signs she sees. So I ask, probably the dumbest and most obvious question any one person would ask... "Like what signs? I don't see him asking to be worshipped in place of God" Not to mention I mean he goes to church. That church doesn't have a pentagram and sacrifice small animals or virgins. He's not asking for people to worship him, so I am waiting for a smoking gun or some kind of something that gives people this belief. Because really, to believe such a HUGE thing, one would think it requires something, ANYTHING, that points to this. Her answer? "I can't really explain it to you, one would need to have a very big, very deep relationship with God to understand..." Wait, wha.... ? So because apparently God and I aren't dating, I wouldn't understand nor be able to research these "signs" that someone sees (and apparently can't explain to a peon like me).

This is where she then goes off on how she hates how people claim religion while doing the opposite. I listen (or well, read) this argument while throwing morsels at her to keep her on her rampage just so I can laugh and get fired up while I throw more at her to see how deep this goes in her belief system. She goes off about how people judge and shouldn't and how she tries to live by God's word. .... wait, didn't she just judge me and what I believe earlier? Does she know what I know nor have any idea of my religious views? Hmmm, I must remember to use to check the official definition of judge or judging. Because I think I'm confused.

What signs are these people seeing? Obama wasn't elected because he was black, he wasn't elected because he goes to church, he was elected because he advertised the change that people are desperately seeking. Yes, he may not have as much experience as McCain did, but at this point in time, people didn't want the experience. They wanted to shake things up. Bush came from a family of politicians full of experience. Here we are.

He's not been president 24 hours, yet people are already foaming at the mouth just waiting for the failure or hell on earth. Sadly, in 4 years, it still won't be here. If he does just a fraction of what he was aiming for, this country will finally start doing things we should have been doing years ago... Will that be a failure? Nope. Even funnier will be the new supporters. Those same people that claimed he was the Antichrist or that he's the beginning of the end of the world will suddenly be a fan, trying to cover up their original feelings "I was just saying the whole time I hoped I was wrong... since I am, yay! Go Obama!" At which those that tried to get you to open your mind a little, to give it a chance (do you have any other choice, he is the elected president now), we'll be the ones looking at you, seeing that your closed minded beliefs are why people look at you the way we do.

Do I think Obama is the save all? NOPE. Do I think he'll do everything he promised on his way to the White House? NOPE. Do I think he's the reason the world will collapse? NOPE. Do I think people need to relax and let time take it's path? YEP. Nothing will happen over night, nor would we want it to. I just want people to keep an open mind as things go on. I'll be the first one to say I was wrong if shit hits the fan. I'm not naive enough to think that there's not a chance of that. I know there's a chance of that. There's also a chance I could hit the lotto. There's a chance that anything can happen. But if I sat around and just talked about it's only a matter of time and everything coming out of my mouth was gloom and doom, how good would my life be? Really? I'd lose my friends, my career would stall out, and I'd be single. I'd have to get a cat who'd claw the shit out of me for being a loser and then want to hang myself from my stairs.

I understand people are pessimistic. But with things already shitty, how about looking towards a little positive, as we're at the start of a little change. Not all change is negative.

As obvious, this was a rant on people. I'm open minded to understand other's views. When they can explain them. When they have valid points. If you don't have the points, that's ok, naive people can have an opinion too. Just keep them to yourself.