Saturday, March 28, 2009

Women Roles In Entrepreneurship

Remember when being a nurse was primarily a females job? Now male nurses are in every hospital in the U.S.A. and just as gender roles have changed in that as well as many other occupations, being an entrepreneur was bound to follow suit.

Many of the most respected and successful entrepreneurs in today's society are women which goes to prove that a persons limitations are only defined by that persons drive to succeed. I personally know a female that is owner of no less than five very successful businesses.

I believe that as this economy worsens we will begin to see many more women owned businesses popping up as the need to create income from nothing continues to become a major factor in many American homes. There may soon come a day when you find yourself working for a business that is female owned just as the U.S.A is now for the first time in history run by a mulatto president. Not all will succeed but those that do will usher in a new era where women are no longer considered to be the weaker gender.

As women once entered the workforce and now dominate it, male run companies had better step their game up and learn to compete in a world where women will no longer belong in the kitchen and no longer accept that as their role in life.

Welcome to the 21st century, America.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Re-Value The Dollar

Recently, President Obama has decided to cut federal spending in two ways that I just find so asinine I am in utter disbelief.

Guantanamo Navel Base will be closing and I can not for the life of me understand how this will help, The U.S.A. had it under lease for 99 years at the very large price tag of $1 per year. I myself would have gladly paid that. Russia and China are both bidding for the lease.Cuba is 90 miles from the U.S. , President Kennedy once took us to the brink of war to not allow them to place missiles that close to our borders which in turn would enable them a first strike capability we just can not allow.

Next, President Obama has proposed cutting prolonged health insurance coverage for wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. In short he hopes to save money by allowing these brave men and women to suffer not only their physical wounds but also a financial burden. This is unacceptable in my eyes and any politician that votes yes on this should be immediatly impeached.

Now I would like to mention a few key areas where I see funding should be cut in order to strengthen the economy and decrease the U.S. deficit.

1. End the war in Iraq - It has already cost the U.S. 607 Billion Dollars. About 80% of the soldiers deployed there are single, the act of bringing them home alone would mean mass flow of new money into the U.S. economy every 2 weeks while much of that is currently being banked or spent overseas. As a former Marine I can tell you there is a big boom in car sales each and every time the troops come home which in turn helps out the auto industry as well as the banks who finance the cars. Both of those institutions just recently requested and got approved for bail outs at taxpayers expense.

2. Welfare - Set a 6 month limitation on all government allocated welfare programs. There are families that have lived on the welfare system for years already and will continue to do so until forced to do otherwise. 6 months is sufficient time for anyone that is trying to get back on their feet. In colonial times if you didn't work you didn't eat, they built a great nation by not coddling those too lazy to work.

3. Disability - restructure the criteria for eligibility. There are some very deserving people that are really diabled to the point that they can not work but there are also hundreds of thousands of families recieving checks monthly because their children are diagnosed with ADHD. Years ago ADHD was nothing more than saying the child was a brat and needed discipline at home, parents of unruly children did not get awarded free money for it. ADHD checks should be cut completely.

4. Oil Dependence - The U.S.A. is the largest importer and user of all the worlds oil. As recently as last year OPEC consistently raised the price of a barrel of oil and we all saw gas prices soar. The worst part is that we own the Alaska pipeline and have never used any of the oil it produced. It has been stockpiled in for federal emergencies (W.W. III) Right before President Bush left office he passed a bill to allow the United States to start selling that oil to Japan. Any of President Obamas accountants should be able to sit down with him and explain supply and demand. OPEC raised the prices because we were at war in both Iraq and Afghanistan and war machines demand oil to run. If we simply used the oil we already own and have stockpiled since 1977, we can remove the demand and since we are the largest importer, OPEC would drop prices to whatever we wanted to pay versus what they feel they can get. Any Wal Mart executive could have done a better job on that one.

5.Katrina - So many years and New Orleans is still not rebuilt, focus government spending there. It will not only bring back one of our most historic cities, rebuilding it will means jobs for so many construction workers which in turn lowers the unemployment rate but also strengthens the economy as these workers start spending their paychecks. Its not just the construction workers that benefit either, lumber mills would have to increase production to meet the supply of materials, the same with door shops, window plants, concrete suppliers...the list goes on. Any item purchased with money earned from these new jobs also has to be made someplace and shipped. Everything is like a set of dominoes where the first effects the next.

6. N.A.F.T.A - This was a stupid idea from the start, in the old days a company that imported a product to the U.S.A. was taxed heavily on the product before it could be sold on U.S. soil. N.A.F.T.A. allowes these companies to import these products for free so in turn U.S. companies started moving their factories and plants overseas and into Mexico as a way of obtaining cheaper labor. When the products are brought back into the U.S. the prices are still the same as what they were had the products been made here. In theory the companies figured a cheaper cost to produce yet can still be sold for normal prices = winning. Wrong Answer! More and more companies fell for this way of thinking and more and more Americans lost their jobs that were now being outsourced, hence less people able to afford the products when they arrive back in the U.S.A. The simple act of withdrawing from the N.A.F.T.A. treaty will force these companies to return jobs to U.S. soil or face strict taxes for failure to do so and let's face it, If we can decrease unemployment the economy gets stronger as this new money is spent.

There are 6 simple solutions that would help strengthen our economy. If given a few days to write this post I could have named 60 more. It is time to take our heads out our asses and look at the big picture Mr. President. Every action will influence our economy and saving $1 a year for 99 years is not the solution.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Want My Bail Out Mr. President

Freddie and Fannie, Banks, Auto Dealerships, and now AIG? Can anyone explain to me just wtf is going on when our leaders that are supposed to be looking after the interest of our nation so readily fund billions of dollars for people that have already proven they have no idea how to handle money?

As a small business owner I find it an insane practice. If I go screw up my money I would be forced to close my business and either get a real job or simply do without yet if a company is making and throwing away billions through bad money management they can now simply request a do-over from congress. I understand that President Obama and congress as a whole are struggling with finding a way to balance our budget. I understand that if many of these businesses closed it could be a devastating blow to America as a whole with jobs being lost by the tens of thousands. That much I get.

What I dont get is why we so readily hand over billions in taxpayers money to these same people that have already shown either a lack of common sense when it comes to spending or a general inability to control their habits. God forbid they not be allowed to take their private jets everyplace they go or have to cancel their monthly visit to the Virgin Islands. I say before another bail out is allowed to take place our leaders must institute some kind of check and balance system to account for where and how the money will be spent. Any company that requests a bail out should immediately be placed under financial control of the government, all of their company officers and board of directors removed from any decision making power and their personal salaries adjusted accordingly.

Just as I will not give my hard earned money to the alcoholic standing next to the outside of a convenience store (I will buy him food if he asks), America should not expect taxpayers to fund unregulated bail outs of the super rich and their out of control spending habits. Save the companies? Yes, Their collapse affects too many american jobs. Support the habit? Hell No!

It's time we as Americans inform congress that continued misuse and misappropriations of taxpayers funds will not be tolerated. I urge you all to write your congressman and if necessary next election vote someone new into office.

Oh and Mr. President, in case you somehow stumble upon this blog, I am serious about a bail out. As a small business owner, I think a few million will suffice. I will even give to your re-election fund if you can grant that.

Tune in next post as I explain to the powers that be my own plan to balance the budget.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Views On Todays Economy

As more and more people are finding themselves laid off as America's economy continues to slide, we see more and more of the entrepreneur spirit coming out of people. Necessity being the mother of invention, people are now finding that when they can no longer find employment, they must invent ways to earn cash. Some do this through odd jobs while others have embraced the internet as a way to make and sell everything from their own thoughts in ebooks to home made jewelry.

It does not appear that President Obama is the savior he has been perceived as and things will get worse before they ever get better. While I do not blame the President for this, I do recognize that he was hyped up way beyond what any single man can accomplish and has a hard row to hoe to bring America through this crisis. He will make some mistakes, hopefully not too many. We as a people must learn what is within each of us to invent our own hustle just to survive and not be dependent upon our government to bail us out as if we were Freddie and Fannie.

When all is said and done I personally believe that a shift of economic power will happen mainly because the rich do not know how to "do poor" making the poor and middle class better able to handle the current crisis through our own survival methods of inventing the hustle. Just like the collapse of the stock market in 1929, the rich are more inclined to commit suicide than to face life where they may actually have to work.

Respect The Hustle!

Why Education In America Sucks!

If I had to speak on education in America I would call it mediocre at best. Sure, school taught me to read and write, add and subtract. It also taught me how to follow a structured societies rules and regulations to the point of changing classes when a bell rang. In this sense school in America prepares us all for corporate America and working a 9-5 job.

Continued education is not much better, it teaches college kids to do well and be competitive so that they can take their degrees and move into better paying jobs with fortune 500 companies but still how to become a slave to the system.

School does not foster free thinking that is a necessity in the entrepreneur world, it merely teaches our students to all think alike and the person with the most correct answers in the test of life will get the better paying jobs.

As an entrepreneur, I find that I think outside the box and this works for me as I am happier creating my own goals and dreams than in following those set before me by society as being what I can achieve given my high school diploma and average grades I attained during high school (I partied a lot, sue me).

When I first tasted success as a business man I used to wonder when business would top out, according to society and school standards I am not supposed to be doing this well or earning this much money. I have since learned the answer to that, contrary to what I learned in school, I control what I can achieve, I set my own limits and I do not see an end to what I can accomplish.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Social Networking Site for Entrepreneurs

Any budding entrepreneurs should go check out Venture Biz Kid and watch the videos about how some millionaire teens made their money. It is very interesting to say the least.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Budgeting for an Emergency

Whether you are a small business owner or just the average housewife in Ks. trying to budget a household, this post may help get you motivated towards living a more frugal lifestyle. In either situation, you will face unexpected expenses from time to time and the better you prepare yourself for these things from a financial point, the faster you will be able to recover from them.

This starts with your emergency fund or as I like to call it the cushion of comfort as it is what you will rely on to catch you when life tries to knock you down. The emergency fund is often the hardest thing to set up when budgeting as many questions often accompany the very act of starting it. I am going to answer some of these questions to the best of my ability right now.

How much should you set aside?

It doesn't matter if you set aside $10 a week or $100 a week as long as you continue doing so until you have at least 3 months salary.

When is your emergency fund large enough?

As mentioned above, you will want at least 3 months salary, more is better, it all depends on how large a cushion of comfort you want.

What constitutes an emergency?

An emergency is a situation in which you or your family would suffer. It can be a health issue, vehicle problems, natural disaster, anything that is both unplanned and at the same time something you just can not live without. It should not be confused with everyday wants and desires.

What do I do if I have a genuine emergency and simply must go into my emergency fund?

As soon as is feasible, you should treat the emergency as you would any other bill, turn it into a loan that has to be paid back. Make your payments both realistic as well as timely while continuing to contribute however much you normally would have. I would never suggest robbing Peter to pay Paul so do not let other bills slide to do this. Instead I suggest looking for things around you that you can eliminate that are not needed. If you rent movies every Friday, cut back to every other Friday. If you have Starbucks every morning, buy a coffee pot and make your own coffee. Who needs to spend $8 on a coffee anyway?

The Debt Free Life

I have a very good friend that has just entered debt free status after 6 long years of working on it.

First, congrats go out to her, I knew she could do it. For others still struggling to reach that point, I want to send out encouragement, it isn't always easy to do and for some people it is harder since we don't all have the same bills however with the right amount of time and discipline, Anything Is Possible.

To anyone just starting on the journey towards being debt free, know it can be done, even in today's recession. You just have to set your goal and stay focused.There will be set backs along the way, that's just life happening. Don't allow a set back to make you give up. In need of more encouragement? There are a ton of blogs dedicated to this very niche, just remember the best ones are the ones you don't have to buy information from (usually in the form of an over-priced E-book).

If you are on your way to being debt free or have already reached your goal, please feel free to drop a comment sharing your story or a link to it.