Category Archives: Business

How to Become an Entrepreneur

A lot of people today would like to be in a home-based line of work instead of working eight to ten hour days in some role. Some individuals are also into franchising; these may seem like good ideas but if you would like to be a successful enterpriser, you do not have to center completely on franchising. You ought to look at other business enterprise models that are available.

Enquiry can be accomplished with simplicity these days, thanks to the great power of the World Wide Web. If you carry on your hunt on-line, you’ll be able to find additional business models that you could use as an enterpriser. Novices will learn a great deal from the data they can find on-line from other’s entrepreneurial experiences.

For of the many business organizational ideas you will be able to find on-line, you’ll often find it arduous to decide on the ones you like the most since there are so many to rifle through and choose from. It is easy to decide if you use your inherent aptitude, or go with what you know. For example, if one business model seems to fit you, observe it but if you have reconsiderations about additional ideas, put it on the back burner for additional research.

As an enterpriser, you ought to enquire more by accumulating as much data as conceivable about the business sector. Admittedly enough, enfranchisement is not a terrible idea, and there are pros and cons to every model. But, by opting to start your own endeavor, you are able to be the chief of your own tribe and you won’t have to pay royalties on your profits.

Notwithstanding, franchises and other on-line business sectors still offer you decent profitability. It’s all about how you run your show and your income/liabilities.

Not all people who hope to run their own businesses can accomplish their goals. Being a business owner is a lot of hard work and dedication, there are many components to contemplate prior to making that giant leap to becoming your own boss. You may have the initial capital to finance getting off the ground, even so; you can’t be positive of success and luxuriously high earnings in the time to come particularly if you do not know how to handle cash flow.

Most importantly, you must be capable of working alone and motivating yourself and your crew. When you are an entrepreneur, you are already freelance, nobody breathing down your neck to get things have to be disciplined and set your own deadlines.

Embarking on a business enterprise from the ground-up demands a great deal of effort. Imagine the business organization that you are close to to opening is additionally available as a franchise, which business sector would you select? Some enterprisers, they’ll already accept franchising as it calls for less work. An accomplished business model is less expensive and less venturous. To make the best choice, you have to be willing to consider all of the rewards in addition to the disadvantages. This is an all important component of deciding on the best business model.

When you have picked out the correct template, you’ll be able to jump into process. In time, you’ll acquire the fiscal profits that you are dreaming about. All of your actions as an enterpriser must be riveted on accomplishing all of your goals and aims of the business organization.

If you would like to go entrepreneur, you must explore as much about the sector of your choice as possible. The World Wide Web can support you a great deal. You are able to get a lot by researching on the net and also by speaking with accomplished enterprisers so that you’ll have an estimation upon what you are about to take on.

Cures for Computer Distractions of the Home Based Entrepreneur

Few home based businesses operate without a computer. While initial enthusiasm may at first inspire great productivity, distractions abound for work-from-home adults banging away on their keyboards. Add to this recipe the infinite reaches of the Internet, and it’s a wonder any work gets done at all. It’s time to transform the home office’s primary fun source into a bona fide work horse.

Start by organizing the computer used for business into a serious machine. Keep the personal photographs as the desktop background, as long as you wouldn’t be embarrassed for clients to see them. The verdict is not so kind for other components of a work computer. All games and unnecessary software should be removed to keep tasks focused on money making endeavors. If the computer is a shared machine, utilize the profile function of most operating systems. Make an account for the business session so diverting programs are not available, but still stored on the hard drive for other family members.

Email is excess communication. Use a business email address and do not give it out to friends and family members. When people disregard your requests for personal email to go to a personal account, block their addresses. Personal email should only be checked on your scheduled breaks, and never for longer than 15 minutes at a time. A simple digital kitchen timer by the desk will help keep perusing periods honest. Business email should not be checked more often than first thing in the morning, and right after lunch unless a particular correspondence is expected. It will only distract you from the task at hand. Make a habit of deleting unwanted messages in the morning, and again before ending for the day.

Stop the file frenzy by eliminating chaotic folder systems. Catching yourself using Search too often from the Start menu? It’s time to rearrange the document filing system. Look for folders with similar names, or titles that aren’t clear about the contents. For example, folders named ‘Financial Documents’, ‘Accounting Files’, and ‘Account Information’ might be confusing if someone is looking for a specific customer invoice. First tier folders should be broad subject matters, such as ‘Money’, and folders nested inside should be as specific as possible, such as ‘Customer Invoices’ or ‘Supplier Invoices’. Each additional level of folder names must be more specific than the last, so a third level in the above example would then be ‘Customer ABC Company’.

Reduce mistakes with file names and watermarks. Multi-tasking is the norm, and nothing is worse than sending a draft, or worse the wrong file to a high profile client. If there will be multiple versions of a file, due to revisions or client input, put a sequential number at the end. File.doc becomes File1.doc, File2.doc, and so on. Never delete drafts of a document or proposal while the project is still in motion. Once a project has been billed and paid, the files may be moved to a back up server if disk space is absolutely necessary. The existence of these electronic files may be needed for reference, proof of work performed, or deliverance from disaster involving loss of the latest revision. Adding a clear identifying watermark such as “Draft” or “Intellectual Property of My Company Name” will further help identify a document when the file name is not readily apparent. Just don’t forget to remove it from the final version prior to printing and submittal.

When all else fails, clock the computer time. Pesky preoccupation can quickly be cured by a simple week long log of computer activity. Store a notepad and pen in a handy location, and write the start time and quick name for each task. When finished, log the stop time and start time of the next one. Notes can be as simple as: “9:12 Email to John Smith, 9:38 Proposal for Project Z, 10:04 Checked email, 10:30 Project Z again….” Startling trends and work habits will glare at you worse than a middle manager from cubicle world. On the positive side, the time log will add insight into better ways to schedule the work day so all obligations are met. Including the obligation to take a breather.

Computers are double-edged swords for productivity. On one edge, the razor sharpness cuts down time needed to process information, collect data, and manage communication. All of this is negated by the other edge becoming dull from aimless Internet browsing, email chatter, and worst of all video games. Moving from the outside work world to a home based business is a tough exercise in balance and personal accountability. Setting up simple parameters and prescriptive business practices, a savvy home based entrepreneur ensures her computer remains a tool and not an obstacle to success.


Tracy Morgan and the New McCarthyism

For those of you who are ignorant of history (an all-too common occurrence these days), back in the 50’s there was a U.S. Senator named Joe McCarthy who really hated Communists. Or what he though Communists were. He ruined a lot of people’s lives with a lot of unsubstantiated claims and character assassination. And he used taxpayer money to fund the witch hunt. Keep in mind that the U.S. Constitution was supposed to protect free speech. Yes, even Commie Pinko free speech. Senator Joe didn’t care and his paranoid ravings were accepted then ultimately rejected by the American populace. Now the term “McCarthyism” is an insult and synonymous with unjust, unsubstantiated persecution according to political or social beliefs.

Which brings me to Tracy Morgan. He is one funny dude. Real funny. There are comedians who are otherwise pretty normal and can BE funny. There are other, slightly-askew personalities who have it in their DNA and breathe and live funny. Tracy breathes funny. The first time I saw a Brain Fellows skit on Saturday Night Live, I knew all was not well within his psyche. And it was good.

Last week in Nashville, he was doing his stand up act. In it were some jokes and comments that were not looked favorably upon by the gay community. There were apparently some sexist jokes in there as well, I’m told, but, women didn’t get up in arms over his comments. Which leads me to conclude that either gays are more politically organized or less tolerant of insults than straight women. Both may be true.

Tracy Morgan has spent every day since then being nailed to a cross. And it’s wrong. Say what you want. The jokes may have been offensive. But isn’t that the point of the First Amendment; to protect speech that is unpopular? It’s not like he was yelling, “Fire!” in the theater or using his pulpit to seriously advocate violence against any group, like the Ku Klux Klan does. He was telling jokes about things which unnerve him.

Psychologically speaking, one’s sense of humor is a coping mechanism. Something that helps you deal with issues that can beat you down in this life. That’s why some of the funniest comedians are often the most disturbed. Maybe Tracy has had issues which brought him to arrive at his unpopular opinions. And whether or not you like it, his opinions are protected by the Constitution. And who are these critics who think the Constitution doesn’t apply to them?

However, Mr. Morgan is getting thrown under the bus by many, including some of his contemporaries. Tina Fey, yes the same Tina Fey who made a career renaissance out of looking somewhat like Sarah Palin and ridiculing her and her Down’s Syndrome daughter, is crying foul. To me, that is the height of hypocrisy. I usually find Tina Fey funny. I didn’t get upset over her jokes and I don’t get upset over Tracy’s. Whether or not their opinions amuse or enrage me, they have every right to speak their minds. And I have every right to change the channel or walk out of the venue. But that’s it. For me to call for their public flogging, like what Tracy is going through now, disrespects the man apart from his jokes, disrespects the artistic license of performance, and disrespects the intent of the First Amendment.

The pressure that political groups, the public and his co-stars are assailing him with is the sort of political witch hunt that Senator Joe made famous all those years ago. If you boil it down to its core, he persecuted those whose views were different from his, period. And it’s happening today under an illusion called Political Correctness.

Being PC is perhaps the biggest obstacle we have moving forward sociologically. It’s like putting a band-aid on a sucking chest wound. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that the N-word has beed stigmatized and shamed. But do I feel that “Black” and “White” are insensitive terms that should be parlayed into “African-American” and “European-American?” In two words: Hell, no.

All that this posturing does is push the racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia underground. It puts a happy little spin on the language, but does nothing to address the racial and ethnic schisms in our society. I’d rather know how someone feels up front than have them use non-offensive terms to my face and be closet haters. Get it out in the open. discuss it. Expose it’s flaws and eliminate it. Changing the word does little, if anything to fix the problem. And the problem is that large numbers of Whites and Blacks and Hispanics generally don’t trust each other. Gays and Straights don’t understand each other. Women and Men probably never will, but that doesn’t mean that these opinions, however invalid and offensive you find them to be, shouldn’t be protected by the Constitution and be out in the open for public debate.

Once they are out there, I’m sure the level-headed people in the world can educate the prejudiced people and we can all hold hands around a campfire. More likely, those who think they are right and holier-than-thou will find out that all of us are equally distrustful, petty, and screwed up. Then acceptance and healing can truly begin. We need to cut the legs off some people’s high horses.

Tracy Morgan is probably not right about some of the things he says. But he has every right to get people to try and pay to see him spout his views. Any of you who want to run him out of town on a rail should take a closer look at yourselves and your prejudices hidden under a veneer of political correctness first. Find and expel the demons in your own heart before you tell someone else what the can or cannot say. You may find that glossy terms are keeping you from confronting your own realities about what you believe, and some of those beliefs may not be popular either. But they are yours and they should be protected and they should be debated so that we can all acknowledge, expose, and thereby expel the hidden fears in our hearts.

It’s time to abandon this Politically Idiotic mode of thinking. It is nothing but censorship with a bow on it, designed to make us feel better about being hypocrites. It’s a mere illusion of civility that does nothing to dispel the deep-seated prejudices that should be discussed, not hidden by inoffensive buzzwords.

Tracy Morgan needs to say what he feels he needs to to be funny and prosperous. Tina Fey should say whatever she wants to as well. Even if I want her to shut up for being a hypocrite. Even if I want all those going after Tracy to pipe down, they have every right to say what they want to. But they should be ashamed of trying to crucify him. The best way to expose a hypocrite is to keep them talking. After the exposure, the education can begin. That’s how we evolve.

BP Oil Spill Promotes Green Jobs Through Oil Cleanup Effort

The April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion killed 11 workers and resulted in a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst spill in United States history. Millions of gallons of oil have leaked into the Gulf, and over 78,000 square miles of fishing area have been closed. One bright spot amidst this tragedy is the increase in green jobs needed to clean up the oil and to figure out how to stop the leak. Environmental activists are hoping that the push for renewable energy as a result of the spill may create longer term green collar jobs.

Green Jobs Available in Several States

Since the spill, BP has hired over 25,000 workers to assist with oil clean up efforts. States such as Florida, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi have set up specific websites for residents looking for spill response work. Approximately 400 positions have become available in Florida’s Walton and Okaloosa counties alone.

Job positions include anything from marine scientists, to field technicians, to coastal modelers. Employers include state and federal agencies, but also private engineering and construction firms, oil and gas companies, and emergency response firms. Some universities are also starting to expand research opportunities to study the impacts of the spill on wildlife and the economy.

Florida’s Monroe County is preparing for any spill impact on the Florida Keys by recruiting up to 300 unemployed residents to become Qualified Community Responders (QCRs). Coming from all parts of the Keys, these workers will receive paid QCR training on hazardous waste management. Over 500 QCR’s are being trained in five other Florida counties.

Hazwoper Certification Needed for Many Oil Spill Cleanup Positions

Many employers are willing to train on the job. One major requirement to work on remediation sites is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazwoper certification. Hazwoper stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. It corresponds to an OSHA standard that considers oil cleanup and containment an emergency response activity.

Workers that receive the Hazwoper training gain valuable skills. Topics of the training cover essentials such as toxicology, hazard recognition, medical surveillance, air monitoring, emergency procedures, and other areas. Workers who are temporarily visiting the oil spill site can do a 24 hour training; workers who will be on site everyday (considered general workers) must complete a 40 hour training.

Renewable Energy Cries Might Spur Green Collar Jobs in the Future

According to the green collar job advocates, Green for All, green collar jobs are ones that improve the environment, promote clean energy, and lift lower income individuals into the middle class. The oil spill has moved renewable energy advocates to pressure the government to address the dangers of relying on non-renewable sources and to expand the clean energy industry.

One long term goal for organizations like Green for All is to create a green economy. Currently workforce development programs exist to train youth and those currently unemployed or underemployed to work in green industries such as solar and wind energy production and energy conservation.

President Obama unveiled a plan to promote more clean energy jobs in January that would create 17,000 jobs. In his Oval Office address to the nation about the oil spill, he concluded by discussing America’s need to transition to using green energy sources and the jobs that are becoming available.

BP Oil Spill Brings Green Jobs and New Found Urgencies for a Green Economy

BP’s oil spill created a spike in job creation around the cleanup effort. Job websites post thousands of positions, many of which offer on the job training. Green energy activists are urging politicians to act now on moving towards a green economy with the hope that future employment growth can be in the green collar job sector.

British Petroleum Has More Than One Oil Spill to Contend With

British Petroleum–BP–has its hands full these days with the major oil spill that continues to flow in the Gulf of Mexico. Another oil spill, this one in Alaska that occurred in May 2010 also involves this corporate giant.

An 800 mile stretch of pipeline happened at a pump station in Fort Greely, located approximately 100 miles south of Fairbanks, Alaska. 100,000 gallons of oil were spilled during a scheduled pipeline shutdown. Problems with a main system power failure caused the pump system to go to its back-up battery power. But the battery-powered system malfunctioned, causing a relief valve not to close.

The pipeline is owned by various oil companies, but BP holds the largest chunk at 47 percent ownership.

Workers at the site were evacuated, with no injuries occurring. A report. by an Alaskan State Department of Environmental Conservation on-site spill coordinator indicated that the spill was confined to the pump station’s containment area (Huffington Post).

In September 2009, a natural gas line owned by BP exploded, sending shrapnel flying across the landscape. The recently formed Alaskan state Petroleum Systems Integrity Office (PSIO) determined that corrosion of the pipe was the reason for the explosion. Although no one was injured or any material leaked from the pipe, there was a potential for the occurrence to have had more dramatic consequences.

The PSIO had been less than pleased with the response by BP to this explosion, and as recently as February 2010 was still seeking appropriate documentation from the oil company about the incident and preventative measures for the future. The agency’s hands are tied by-and-large because it has merely an overseer position; it cannot impose penalties or enforce laws/regulations.

BP spokesman Steve Rinehart acknowledged the September 2009 incident by stating, “This had the potential to be a more serious event, and we are taking it seriously” (Reuters). Additionally Rinehart stated, There was not a recording method in place sufficient to make sure that this spot got onto the to-do list to inspect when the snow was gone. Now there is.”

It is frightening to consider if a company as large and experienced as BP had no plan in place to inspect their lines, snow or no snow, what other details have been overlooked.

Petroleum Problems

I try to make it a point to avoid the news. Beyond whatever headlines catch my attention when I log on each day, I ignore the reports of hardships and sorrows the world over. I have enough right here that I fail miserably at dealing with, I really don’t need to try to take on the rest of the world’s problems. Even when I was told that BP turned away aid from others, I chose to be silent in my dissatisfaction. Enough is enough though.

I owned my own business, I understand that, in order to maintain any business, one must be cost efficient. The bigger the business, the more decisions must be weighed against the good of the company verses over-all good. If the company fails, there is more than the owners or shareholders out of a livelihood. When it comes to a business involved in current technology, such as the fuel for the cars Americans cannot figure out how to use responsibly, decisions have more variables to consider. The same people who are complaining about protecting the wildlife, are going to be complaining later about the high price of the fuel they use to get to their rallies. It becomes imperative to weigh the effects of cost and time through the course of normal business.

But there is also a responsibility in conducting business. It may have been legal for me to put whips and chains in the front window of my lingerie store located in a small town with Southern sensibilities, and it may have even been good for business with the kinds of secret lives people lead, but it wouldn’t have been a good choice. It likely would have made me more money, if only because controversy creates advertisement, but it would not have served the greater good of the community itself.

Maybe it’s easier for one person to make a good choice than it is for a corporation like BP. There are a great many people who have to think like-minded all at once, which is often a problem in any environment. Corporate responsibility, not that of the corporation itself, but the responsibility of each individual within the corporation to the corporation, can cloud judgment. The individual finds themselves attempting to adhere to a set of corporate objectives that were written, not for a specific situation, but to cover many different types of decisions. Often those include a primary objective of being fiscally responsible. Even safety is more about not increasing the company’s insurance over insuring the health and well-fare of it’s individuals.

Perhaps that is why the officials at BP made such serious errors in judgment. IN spite of several quotes from various records revealed throughout the investigation, the problems of this spill cannot be laid upon one person. We all know that one person can stand up against what they know to be wrong, and can risk their job-their family’s well-being-to do the “Right” thing. That’s a tough call to make, and in this uncertain economy, a dangerous one.

So who is responsible then? The company. Just like H & S and Wal-mart being held responsible for the destruction of unsold seasonal clothing several months ago, I am holding BP directly responsible for this disaster. There should be no question of cost; absolutely everything that can be done, should be done to rectify this situation. If they cannot, the American government should step in, even inviting known terrorists to participate in this clean up if they are available and willing. Life isn’t nice and neat; sometimes you have to lie with the enemy to serve a greater order.

Serving the greater order also means holding others responsible for their actions. There is sure to be no end to the twists and turns revealed in the investigation, and it is just as probable that it will be continued beyond necessity. I have seen enough myself to have assurances that the company British Petroleum, neglected reasonable suggestions by individuals with appropriate knowledge, contributing to the current disaster. They are also unwilling to accept this responsibility as well as unable to resolve the issue. The American government should immediately stop all BP drilling on American lands and give them a set time to remove their drilling equipment before confiscation. Will this create a diplomatic issue? Only if the British government decides to be unreasonable. BP is a company, not a country.

Not that I expect the US government to take my advice. I do, however, expect the American people to do so. Our government is only as good as the individuals who support it. If you continue to purchase anything from BP, you are supporting their position. Do you really believe they are doing their best effort to clean up their mess, or do you think they are trying to save their butts? Do you believe they could have prevented such a catastrophe by listening to the advice of their own people, or do you support fiscal responsibility above the environment? There is a balance to all things, but that doesn’t mean it is always even. The scale has been tipped in a way I find unacceptable, and I intend to do something about it instead of just complain. What’s your stand?