Small Biz Boomer

Life Lessons for All Generations

Archive for the category “Business”

Yes, You Should Read This Book

Tony Robbins * Simon & Schuster * February 28, 2017 * 256 Pages I wasn’t very familiar with Tony Robbins until I watched a documentary about him on Netflix called I Am Not Your Guru. Yowza, that thing is crazy! I went from seeing Robbins as slightly weird and cheesy to […]

via Unshakeable (★★★★☆) — bug bug book reviews

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How to Deal with People Who Waste Your Time and Energy

We are all familiar with the genre – Dracula,  Twilight  – all contain fictional characters who thrive on the blood of the living to sustain their lives indefinitely.  This is often done at great cost to their victims  and often death of their victims.

Unfortunately in our business dealings,  we  all too often encounter people who resemble these fictional characters.  They schedule meetings and renege constantly.   They call you for a little advice or  the name of a  business contact.  Often  they are in over their heads with clients who pay hefty sums for your(their)  counsel.   They try to get items or services  for free.  They waste your time with conversations that seem to go on for an eternity.    It’s time to stop these time sucking, energy wasting people in their tracks.  We must learn to say no to people that don’t support our business interests and want to drain our time and energy.   Just say no.

Black Women’s Roundtable Report: Black Women in the U.S.

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Black Women in the United States, 2015, continues the Black Women’s Roundtable’s (BWR) annual inquiry into the challenges and triumphs of Black women across the U.S.  This year’s report, however, provides an even more nuanced examination of Black women’s experiences, not only uncovering broad, national trends, but also taking a specific deep dive into the conditions of Black women in key To that aim, we’ve included a special “Voices” section which shares the experiences and personal narratives of state-based BWR leaders who are on  the  front  lines, addressing every day issues that are central to the Black woman’s experience across the nation. As such, this report is unique. It provides a broad perspective on the conditions of Black women throughout the nation while also giving a  more refined view that allows an authentic reflection of the varied conditions  of  Black women. From the most remote rural areas of this nation to bustling urban centers, this report shares a three dimensional representation of the lives of Black women throughout these United States.

For more information go to http://www.ncbcp.org/bwr

 

For BabyBoomers Sometimes It’s Best to “Listen Down”

Recently I attended  a conference  where I met two young women  who had just attended a workshop for millennials.  One was  a millennial and  the other a Gen-Xer .  Both expressed concern about the lack of clarity and focus of  the  panel.  The workshop, they said, simply did not speak to them.  I asked them about their concerns and found they had some great ideas to what could have been done differently.  We then discussed their workplace situation.  It seems both faced barriers and constant challenges  from baby boomers who were still stuck on how things were done 20 years ago.   The boomers, they said, would not even try to . listen to their ideas.

No doubt about it we  baby boomers are amazing.  I do know and greatly appreciate “AARP” – the American Association for Retired Persons which advocates for us boomers and those older.   We have amazing  role models that remain relevant across generations .  Witness Aretha Franklin,    “The Queen of  Soul,” with a new comeback album that will “cover” the latest hits.   The late  Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Brendan Eich (the guy that invented JavaScript) remain tech industry  and social  icons.   Heck we even can claim a  U.S. President  (Barack Obama).   We are leaders of social change,  news anchors, business owners,  heads of state, corporate giants, authors and  we are  eternally young to boot.   Yet for far too many it has been hard for us  to make room for the generations that  have come after us.  While we have much wisdom and knowledge to pass on,  we have become rather stingy and egotistical about it.  We jealously guard our turf, not wanting to share.  Worst we don’t want to hear fresh ideas from those younger than us.  Yes, we will hire “young” presuming that younger  means cheaper just so long as  our ideals,  our wisdom, our  knowledge will still dominate.  That need, by the way, includes the workplace as well as the simple community event.     So where can we start to bridge the information/wisdom/knowledge gap?   Let’s just start by listening.   Young people have a lot to offer not just in terms of social media or new tech know-how.  Many are also quite wise.  Frankly, if  we #boomers are to really to  remain “forever young,” we have to start listening and respecting what we hear from members of   generations that follow us.    So  next time a seemingly overconfident millennial or gen-Xer offers you advice,  just listen.  It may be the first step in helping you change the world  or at least change your life.

 

One Billion To Win: Warren Buffett’s Lesson for the Rest of Us

Mercer teammates do "victory" dance after defeating Duke in the NCAA season opener

Mercer teammates do “victory” dance after defeating Duke in the NCAA season opener

As  we enter the final days of March Madness 2014 , not much  is  mentioned  in the news media now  of Warren Buffett’s billion-dollar offer to the person who created  the  perfect  bracket  for  the NCAA tournament.   In fact within days of the start of the  college basketball series,  the number of qualified entrants for the billion-dollar contest dwindled from 15 million persons to 15.   With upsets that threw out Duke, Oklahoma New Mexico ,  statisticians and expert sports analysts were left to wonder why  so soon?  Sports pundits took to their blogs and the airwaves to discuss the situation pronouncing it a  fixed proposition.  Perhaps , but it was in good fun, provided some with an additional challenge  and added to the always exciting basketball  tournament.  Besides, there is another way to look at the contest.

Warren Buffett is seen by most of us as a  genius investor. Biographers, columnists, self-help gurus tried to decipher how  the “Oracle of Omaha”  does it.  Bridge player,  father  (who gave his children money to start  foundations to serve the greater good) and supporter of ObamaCare, he is in fact of this earth.  Yes, he gets the market, but he gets us too.    Buffett is not only a shrewd investor, he is a man who though an agnostic,  understands the human condition.   We are after all creatures of emotion.  We have good days and bad days.  While it easy to look at stats, to analyze , to judge the appearance of things, people and information ultimately  we are all products of God.  We cannot predict and ultimately can’t control  outcomes.   In today’s data driven society sometimes we forget that – but Buffett who is credited as an investor for all times always remembers.

 

Dean Kamen Talks Leadership and Failure With Guy Kawasaki

Social media guru, entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki interviewed Dean Kamen, inventor and founder of FIRST Robotics competitions at SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin.

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Leading Others to the Path of Reinvention: PR Guru Dwain Schenck

Dwain Schneck, author of "Reset: How to Beat the Job-Loss Blues and Get Ready for Your Next Act"

Dwain Schneck, author of “Reset: How to Beat the Job-Loss Blues and Get Ready for Your Next Act”

When Dwain Schenck lost his job in 2012 he was in denial for six  months. He had never been out of work and had a long, successful public relations career. He in fact was in many ways a pioneer in the public relations field. Now he is a leader in another arena – personal reinvention – as the author of a new book, “Reset: How to Beat the Job-Loss Blues and Get Ready for Your Next Act”

Dwain’s career path included  being  director of public relations for AmeriCares and director of communications for Quantel.  He also had his own public relations consulting business for many years before taking a job as Vice President of Communications for a Fortune 500 corporation. It was that job that would lead Dwain to his latest path of reinvention when he was let go. “I have found there are two kinds of ways people deal with losing a job in this economy: there are those who look at it as a market reality and are practical about the situation and say to themselves ‘it’s just a bad economy, it’s not my fault’ and they move on and usually find a new job or a source of income and satisfaction, ” Dwain said. ” Then there are those on the other side of the ledger: those who are emotionally devastated from their job loss and feel like they’ll never work again. I definitely fell into that category,” he said.

In his book Dwain describes his own journey after his firing which included a furtive and depressing job search. Throughout that time period he confided in friends including MSNBC”Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski who herself had gone through a devastating and public job loss at CBS. Dwain remained depressed and it was Mika who pointed out to him his unique  communications style and candor and suggested writing the book—for no other reason than to help others learn how to keep their sanity through their job search.  After some rumination he began to rebuild his life and now, in addition to writing the new book and making speaking engagements and media appearances he has formed Schenck Strategies LLC (www.schenckstrategies.com), a boutique corporate communications agency.

Still, his greatest passion is helping other people who have suffered the pain of job loss.  Indeed, “Reset” is a road map for those who need to quell the initial shock of being fired , forgive themselves before moving on and  to take that next steps in their careers and lives.  Dwain and his business associates have created a web site that serves as a resource and offers an open discussion platform for the suddenly unemployed to get moral support on an ongoing basis (www.resetyourfuture.com).ResetCover

“If you live long enough and have the ability to step outside yourself once in a while, you realize your problems are not unique – say from your neighbor’s problems,” Dwain said.

Breathing Steady

In this Information Age, there is well a lot of information. It can be tough just trying to keep up. The phrase never stop learning has never been more true. If one is to reinvent one’s self. One must participate in a lot of learning, reading , growing, social media maintenance. television watching – not to mention keeping up with the regular demands of one’s own life. It can be exhausting. That’s why meditation have to be a part of one’s routine. Breathing is the key to life.

Fail, And Then Fail Again

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the participants delve into topics related to politics, culture, nutrition and life with spirited conversation. I often disagree with some of the opinions but I almost always enjoy the banter. Today, the main hosts, Former Congressman Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski reflected on their personal pain brought by failure. Joe extolled the virtues of hard work to overcome the tough breaks (amen brother) while Mika dealt with her departure from CBS News and being told it was the best thing that could have happen to her. I don’t disagree. Failure can bring enlightenment and peace. Failure can restore you to your reset point so you can get your life back. Failure has built amazing television talk show hosts, business leaders, tech legends, social rights movements and great fried chicken.

Failure is not without pain but it can be a source of inspiration. If you have dreams build them, ignore barriers. Just try, why don’t you? All you can do is fail which might be the best thing that could ever happen to you.

From 50 Years Ago : Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” Speech

Last weekend started a series of activities to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.  Here is a video of the iconic speech given at the march by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

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