Month: October 2021

Business 101: Always Collect Ideas

          Part of being a businessperson is coming up with ideas to execute.  This can be done formally by scheduling daily time to brainstorm ideas or holding think tanks with others.  Yet, ideas live by their own rules.  Meaning you never know when you might have one.  You could be exercising or in middle of church service and have a eureka moment.  The best advice I can give is do whatever you can to capture the bones of the idea.  In perfect scenario you could do a quick voice memo and explain it to yourself for later.  In real life, you probably will just have to scribble down a few words on some paper or type a quick memo on your phone.  I say all this to leave you with the charge of never letting an idea go uncaptured.  Every idea isn’t a million-dollar generator, but an uncollected idea is guaranteed to yield nothing for you.

FIRE RANT: No Vaccine, No Problem, Where a Mask though

So, this week I continue my spitting my venom at covid-19 related topics.  I believe that in this country given all the other rights we have been given that its not okay to force citizens to get something injected to their bodies.  I would simply think that folks would act in their best interest and take something that enhances their chances of survival.  However, my assumptions certainly don’t speak for everyone.  My issue is that non-vaccinated folks aren’t holding up their end of the bargain.  People don’t want to get vaccinated BUT don’t want to wear masks either.  I know this because again half the population is roughly vaccinated supposedly but when I go to the grocery store 80% of people are mask-less.  When I view sporting events on TV and see packed stadiums majority of people are mask-less.  Everyone without a mask isn’t vaccinated or covid-19 negative.  If you aren’t interested in getting vaccinated, fine but be accountable and wear a mask!  If you don’t feel you have to do anything but wake up and live, your just selfish as hell.  God have mercy on your soul.  If you get sick I have little to no sympathy for you.

If I Ruled the World – Make Congress Salaries Tied to Government Shutdowns

Like many others in the country, I’m tired of being threatened with a government shutdown because our congressional leaders are too immature to negotiate like adults.  One thing that has irked folks over the years is how the paychecks of Congress folks isn’t impacted by government shutdowns.  In fact, members of the senate and house of representatives used to pat themselves on the back when they relinquished a paycheck while shutdowns were in play.  They basically, wanted to be seen as good people for showing leadership.  Instead of making that kind of real sacrifice a rare and calculated gesture if I ruled the world, I would tie the salaries of members in congress to government shutdowns.  If the common citizen doesn’t get paid because of poor collaboration, then neither would the fools that are responsible for it!  To make it sting even more if the government shutdown lasts more than a week, I would make sure that members of congress don’t get retro pay.  Because one thing people forget is that some folks that work with the government are contractors meaning they only get paid when they actually do work.  So, if they had two weeks of not monitoring a system or doing maintenance work or IT support, they won’t get retro pay.  If I supply 10,000 pounds of food to government every week and they don’t need the food because they are closed a few weeks that 20,000 pounds of food I loss sales on.  Congress’ yearly bickering overspending is discussing and we need to hold them accountable where it hurts.

Business 101: Exterminate Worthless Blog Comments

            This is lesson I just learned several weeks ago when talking to the marketing firm I do business with.  I encountered a situation where I noticed I had over 200 comments on one of my websites.  Most of the comments were spam for Viagra.  Good thing is that I set my site up to require me to approve all comments so none of these comments made it on the live website.  However, the downside is I had to read thru every comment and delete them.  Well, there’s a cheat code for that.  If you add certain words to your filter list, then comments that contain those words will be automatically rejected.  This will eliminate you from having to waste time reading them.  All you have to do is come up with a list of blacklist words to filter and or do quick search online for common blacklist words.  This will have you well on your way to exterminating lousy comments from your website.

FIRE RANT: Booster Shots for What?

So, the big news recently has been the fact that booster shots for covid-19 are becoming available for various citizens in the USA.  However, I have issue with this.  First, we have folks that are vaccinated getting covid-19 multiple times which means the vaccine isn’t some immunity pill.  So, listen double or tripled down on it and get more shots in the arm.  Yes, the vaccine pretty much stops you from dying from covid-19 but it clearly doesn’t make getting it impossible.  Second, they expect the same folks that already got shot in the arms several times to get vaccinated again while we still haven’t addressed the rest of folks that aren’t vaccinated and don’t wear masks.  Essentially, it seems they are trying to back into herd immunity by hoping if they make the vaccinated folks have lower infection rate maybe that compensates for those that have high infections rate.  Ladies and gentlemen, its just math.  100% protection rate in best case scenario averaged with 0% (folks with no vaccine and no mask) the best you will get is 50%.  Weighted average doesn’t matter because I think we’re barely at 50% of country vaccinated so my simple math is directionally correct.  Third, I’m not interested in getting vaccinated when my kids still aren’t eligible.  Maybe instead of trying to figure out they can keep exploiting for shots they should have put more energy to making rest of population vaccine eligible.  So again, not interested in getting vaccinated a 3rd time for incremental protection, not interested in compensating for the non-vaccinated-non-masked folks, and not getting vaccinated again, when my kids aren’t taking care of.

If I Ruled the World – 3rd Party Home Showings

When it comes to home appraisals it’s not hard to read or hear about horror stories where people didn’t get fair value on their home due to discriminatory practices.  Situations where if an Asian man shows his house to an appraiser versus his white friend doing it the home value calculated by the appraiser differed $30K.  Folks, that’s straight forward discrimination.  In an ideal world, home sellers wouldn’t have to worry about terrible and predatory practices like this.  However, this is America and we’ve learned in the post Obama days that discrimination and racism is as alive as it’s ever been in some instances.  Therefore, we are either putting the burden on home sellers to home they get an honest appraiser, hope they have a white friend to show their house, or just deal with under appraisals.  Well, if I ruled the world there would be another way to combat this.  I would require someone that isn’t the home seller to show the home when it get appraised.  It would be the responsibility of the realtor or some new company that works with realtors to show homes.  The money to pay for these folks would just become part of the home selling process.  I think the small fee it would take to charge someone to provide this service would be nothing to the thousands of dollars that would be added in value from fair home appraising.

Business 101: No Shame in Diversified Work Experiences

              Continuing the topic from last week I will share more tips on the benefits of operating outside your comfort zone.  This time from a professional lens.  In my life, I’ve had the privilege of working across many different industries.  Prior to college my first official regular job was a housekeeper at an assisted living facility.  In addition to that, I launched my own lawn service and did odd jobs around the neighborhood.  I held all 3 jobs until I went away for college.  During college, I did engineering co-ops and internships in construction, composites, pharmaceutical, automotive, and paper industries.  At the same time, I worked on campus in catering, cafeteria, coffee shop, gym janitor, and as a resident assistant.  I even put out a rap mixtape and sold copies of that.  Present day, I’ve been working in food industry for years and have blogs, apps, a book, and podcast as my side industry hustles.  Each industry and job I held gave me something I can carry with me later in life.  Whether it was the strength of composites versus regular steel, importance of commitment when cutting lawns, surviving in a dying paper industry, or how everything that is produced requires packaging in my automotive co-op.  The varied experiences have allowed me to have versatile core and provided me confidence in jumping into unfamiliar opportunities.  I challenge you to learn about different industries.  Furthermore, I encourage you to not turn people away when hiring or interacting with folks that don’t have similar experiences to what you are used to.  We don’t learn much when everyone around us and the people that work with us are all the same.

FIRE RANT: Urban Meyer Bar Scandal

I’m not sure what the big deal is with the Urban Meyer bar scandal.  After losing a football game on Thursday night a few weeks ago he went out to bar and sat in a chair while some chick danced on him.  Secondly, he was later in another video trying to put a finger up the same girl’s butt at same bar.  Yes, Urban Meyer is married and what he did was wrong.  However, we have celebrated celebrities for doing worse.  Whether its artists in music videos, award show performances dancing immorally or being too explicit or public affairs, some athletes and other entertainers engage in.  We sometimes even get excited when one celebrity takes another person’s significant other or spouse without demanding apologies. Not sure why this has been news going on nearly several weeks now.  The coach felt the need to apologize multiple times in public, apologized to the owner, and the players of the Jacksonville Jaguars several times. The most outraged person should be his wife which would be a public matter.  Yes, the incident was disruption for the football team.  However, it’s growing as a distraction mainly because the team keeps talking about how many folks got apologized to.  We don’t watch football or any kind of sport or entertainment because the people on the screen are great human beings and have the highest of morals.  In fact, when I think about some of people I like musically or from sports perspective I probably wouldn’t keep their company in real life.  We fall in love with a character someone plays on the screen or the image the present in their art or sport and think that’s their identity all the time.  Newsflash, it isn’t.  Urban Meyer lusted and sin like some of us do when we go to a bar, game, work, or grocery store.  We just don’t have someone video taping it for a quick buck.  Move on and chase the next ambulance.

If I Ruled the World – Give All Community Budgets Equivalent Funding for Public Services

One of the biggest struggles in the country is the disparity of resources between various counties, cities, and communities.  Seems that some cities have everything figured out and needs are being met while others experience the opposite.  If I ruled the world, I would try to get more balanced results for things like crimes, fires, amount of homeless, etc.  I would do this by looking at the cities that have some of the best results in those areas and use them as benchmarks.  Essentially, I would start by having similar spending percentages and staffing and see how that drives results.  I would then monitor the results and make adjustments under the advisement of some of the gurus from the benchmark cities.

Business 101: Network Outside Your Background

Over the past few years, I’ve made efforts to start networking in the city of Milwaukee.  Now that I lived in the city for years, established professional career, and am looking for additional business opportunities I started looking for ways to put myself out there.  I started out with organizations like NAACP and NSBE but also stumbled on WAAL (Wisconsin Association of African American Lawyers).  I liked the idea of getting to know professional individuals outside of my immediate engineering background.  I encourage everyone to not be siloed to your familiar background.  At worst when you interact with folks that differ from you, you have a contact in a different industry and learn something.