• Do you maintain business confidences?

    19 Jul 2019 | 12:00 am

    King Solomon wrote, "He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets" (Proverbs 11:13 NASB). We may have confidential information, such as future business plans, pricing, or that a colleague may be dismissed. Keeping your mouth shut is a key[…]


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Category >> Personal Development
Jun 29

Become A Professor?

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Teaching at a local college is one way to establish yourself as a leader in your field of business while earning extra cash.  Very few people take this path; more should. Here is why.

First you become known as an expert, recognized by the school as expert enough to teach others.  In the past I advised “Ken,” who struggled to build a tax and accounting practice, to teach at a local community college.  After he began teaching night school one or two days a week, he was able tell prospective clients that he was an adjunct professor at his community college. This raised Ken’s status because his other competitors weren’t teaching at college. Community colleges teach a number of career advancement classes. Some focus on granting degrees, while other are more specialized.  For example, Ken taught a course on Excel and QuickBooks, something every small business owner needs to understand. Schools offer classes like this for many fields. A contractor could teach “How to Build Your House.” The key is to have the college act as an endorser of your expertise in your field.

May 08

Do You Need the Spotlight?

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You’ve watched the contrast.  Some people become so famous it seems the world tracks their every move.  Others may have a large impact and become wealthy, but no one knows who they are.  Most people have heard of Warren Buffett, but who recognizes the name Charlie Munger, Warren’s number two person.  Buffett’s net worth is estimated at $70 billion; Munger’s net worth is more like 1.75 billion, hardly chump change. Munger has made a fortune by working with Buffett.   Warren gets the headlines, the upfront role, and even more money.  But what can you do with $70 billion that you can’t do with $1.75 billion? Charlie Munger has been content to stay in the background. He may not be famous, but he is rich.

Apr 17

Attending Conferences

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Generally there are two types of conferences, the one-day and those lasting two days or more. How to get the most out of each conference is different.

For the one-day conference, understand who will speak.  Buy their book and read their blog postings to develop an understanding of the material to be covered.  If you spend several hundred dollars or more for a conference, the cost of books and the time to read them is minor.  In these conferences, focus on getting one to three ideas from each presentation that you can implement.  Take notes and create action items to implement. Develop a few well thought out questions to ask if you have the opportunity.

Apr 06

So, You Can’t Get To Work Today?

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

At one time in my business career, I reported to a man raised on a dairy farm.  He still had the habit of rising at 4:00 a.m. and getting to the office between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. He lived 45 miles from the office.  Even when snow storms came, he would be there early to answer the phone. As an employee, you couldn’t just call in and say you couldn’t get in to the office because of snow; because he was already there.

The Detroit Free Press ran a story about James Robertson, a Detroit resident who worked in the suburb of Rochester Hills, 23 miles away. When his old Honda Accord finally gave up, he started taking a bus and walking. Each day he walked a total of 21 miles. James never missed work and was a model employee. On his $10.50 wage, he couldn’t afford a car.

Mar 18

Cut Back on TV

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Watching TV excessively can be a great time waster. When a business person tells me they don’t have time for a side business or to do what it takes to grow a business, I ask about their TV time. Often a person can free up 8-12 hours a week for a project without impacting family time.
For those who get caught up in too much TV, I ask them to try a simple tactic. Place a jar or piggy bank next to your favorite chair. Put $2.00 in for every hour you watch TV. Every three months take out the cash and write a check to your church, church mission board or a favorite charity. This will drive home how much it costs to watch TV.
Basic economic law teaches when the price rises, less is demanded. Putting a price on TV watching may be enough of a catalyst to reduce TV watching by 50%. If it’s not, raise your price.
I have nothing against TV, golf, fishing or other recreational activities. We all need time away and time off. Paul instructed, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time (Ephesians 5:15-16a, NASB) Appropriate use of time for recreational activities is fine. Just don’t allow the TV to dominate you.

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