Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

April 7, 2018

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/stocks/11/figuring-out-which-stocks-follow.asp

More than 5,000 companies are listed on the Nasdaq and NYSE. How should an investor cast a wide enough net to not miss out on great opportunities, but keep the workload to a manageable level? It is better to focus on a much smaller list of companies, but go significantly further in understanding them. An investor may actually only need to know a few hundred companies and stocks to get through their entire investing life. The key, then, is for the investor to find a balance between knowing just enough to let good ideas come in through the door without being so distracted and spread thin that they risk “paralysis by analysis.” If the financial markets sometimes behave like a giant circus, then investors ought to consider a three-ring approach. This approach will help investors sort out their priorities, allocate their time most effectively and balance out the need to keep a broad perspective with the equal need to maintain focus and attain a deep working knowledge. It is important for an investor to make the most of the time available for research, and one of the best ways to do this is to research vertically (suppliers and customers) and horizontally (competitors).

If you’re researching one company, it makes sense to research its competitor. As far as deciding which stock to follow, divide them into three categories: closely followed stocks, casually followed stocks, and barely followed stocks. What is your investment strategy? What is your investment strategy for paper assets? Are you cash flow driven, or capital gains driven? Asking these basic questions of yourself will also help you build these categories. Personally, I invest in my 401k, I have a personal portfolio that I build over time, and I will occasionally day trade stocks. If you’re going to invest in paper assets, then create watch lists, and the last step may actually be the most fundamental to the entire process. A disciplined investor needs a disciplined process. Set aside time every day (or week) to do the requisite work — both researching new ideas and keeping up with developments in those names on the watchlist.
When you invest in the paper asset, you must understand that you are competing against hedge fund managers, seasoned investors, and credited investors. Stay calm and follow your strategy. If your strategy isn’t working, then find others to lean on. My lens is eternity and legacy. What is yours?

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/307004

Let’s say you put together a business plan. You did the math to figure out exactly what you needed. You researched your small business loan options, diligently completed the paperwork and even did your little “good luck” dance as you clicked the “submit” button on your application. But then, your worst fears came true: You were denied that small business loan. Let’s face it: There’s almost nothing quite as discouraging for an entrepreneur as seeing your business dreams halted by the decision of a single lender. You might feel rejected, have no idea what to do next and even start to question whether your grand business plans were ever meant to come true in the first place. But here’s the good news: You may abandon your own body, but you must preserve your honour. Of the many entrepreneurs who are denied a small business loan after their first application, most do go on successfully obtain financing with later applications. The key is to figure out why your application was denied, take steps to improve your credit and financial standing and choose the right loan product for your business — before trying again. Don’t let a single denial hold you back from pursuing your small business goals! Here are the five steps you can take right now to ensure that your next business loan application results in a resounding yes. The five steps are: request an explanation from the lender, check your business and personal credit reports, take steps to improve your business standing, consider alternative loan products, and apply carefully the second time. It’s important when you get denied getting an explanation from the lender and understanding what specific concerns a lender has. It’s not only important to manage your personal credit scores with the three major credit bureaus. There are three major credit bureaus for business that you may not know. It’s important to have your vendors, creditors, even your landlords report the payment history to these three bureaus: Experian, Dun & Bradstreet and Equifax.

While your business and personal credit scores will typically be the most influential factors in a lender’s decision process, the internal financials of your business — particularly the strength of your annual revenue, cash flow and business savings — will also be considered. Taking an objective look at these factors from your lender’s point of view may help you to determine what steps you can take to either improve your financial standing or choose a loan product that will be a better fit. The best way to do this? Take a look at what’s called your debt service coverage ratio, or DSCR, for short. This simple formula is the tool that lenders use to determine whether your business has the necessary cash flow to make your loan payments consistently and on time.

Don’t know what a DSCR is? Here’s the basic formula you’ll need to calculate your debt-service coverage ratio, including your anticipated loan as part of your calculations:

Annual net operating income + depreciation and other non-cash charges

Divided by interest + current maturities of long-term debt

A debt service of less than 1 indicates that your business’s debt will exceed available cash flow, meaning your loan will surely be denied. Most lenders look for a higher DSCR — at least 1.25 — with a ratio of 1.5 or even higher being ideal. Even if you’ve been denied a small business loan because of a low DSCR, you may not be able to quickly increase revenue or reduce expenses in order to re-apply.

Working in banking, I know that DSC is the most important driver for loan origination. It answers the question does the Borrower have the ability to repay? Lending is investing in a business. If your business can hit that ideal mark in DSC, then you should seek alternative loan methods, and when you apply for your loan the next time be prepared.

If you need a financial check-up or prayer be sure to contact me.

This week, I’ve included Motivation To Get Up Early- BE UNCOMMON – Motivational Video from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

March 24, 2018

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/308941

One of the most famous basketball players of all time, Michael Jordan, is recognized for his achievements both on and off the court. As an athlete, Jordan — also known as “Air Jordan” thanks to his slam dunking capabilities — played on both the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards where he was recognized with a number of awards and titles including an Olympic gold medal, six-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, 14 NBA All Star Game appearances and 1988 Defensive Player of the Year, to name a few. In 2016, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama. According to the NBA website, Jordan is “the greatest basketball player of all time.” From product endorsements to even a short stint in acting with his movie Space Jam, Jordan is the highest-paid athlete of all-time and the third richest African American today. Of course, Jordan’s career wasn’t always smooth sailing. With a brief basketball retirement and a short career in baseball, it took trial and error until Jordan realized his true calling was always basketball. There’s much more to learn from the decorated basketball all-star.

I’ve included two quotes:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

“I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

I think Jordan was one of the greatest of all time. He simply would will himself into any situation. He was one of the reasons that I played basketball. I remember watching his final championship game that he won against the Utah Jazz. Even sick with the flu he played that series, and the game winning shot was the highlight of his career. Don’t ever let failure stop you, because when you do then you’ve failed. Always remember to let the hope within you rise and give you the courage and strength to stand and fight again.

http://ideapod.com/buddhist-master-21-rules-blow-mind

Ever heard of Miyamoto Mushashi? If not, he was an expert Japanese swordsman, Buddhist and ronin. He became renowned through stories of incredible swordsmanship, wise sayings and a highly influential book called The Book of Five Rings, which detailed his philosophy on life and how to get the most out of it. His philosophical principles are largely influenced by Buddhist philosophy and he’s said to have mastered the art of detachment, letting go and discipline. In his book, he also revealed his 21 rules of life. Below I thought I’d share them because not only are they insightful, but it explains the Zen Buddhist way of life so brilliantly.

Here are four quotes:

Accept everything just the way it is.

Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.

Do not fear death.

You may abandon your own body, but you must preserve your honour.

Although I agree with Musashi’s quotes, I don’t hold onto his wisdom in all situations. I find that the Book of Proverbs is a good source of wisdom. Even then I seek the inner wisdom that has been given and is given to me. To your own self be true guided by truth and grace. Life is a constant battlefield and it’s made up of work, but we work to live life and not live to work. Have a plan for your future that will impact eternity and legacy.

If you need a financial check-up or prayer be sure to contact me.

This week, I’ve included MONK MENTALITY – Jay Shetty – One Of The Best Speeches EVER | MOST INSPIRING! from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

March 10, 2018

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/309877

You might think celebrities never worry about money or don’t think twice when shelling out for fancy cars and clothes or even basic necessities. But the reality is, many of the most successful entertainers and entrepreneurs didn’t come from wealthy backgrounds. In many cases, even if they did grow up comfortable, they had to survive on their own dime before finding fame or fortune. To help today’s financially anxious young people feel less alone in their money woes, digital investment service Wealthsimple is running an ongoing series called “Money Diaries.” It features candid interviews with actors, authors, athletes and more about their first experiences with money (odd jobs and allowances), scraping by in their 20s, managing an influx of cash when they had their big breaks and more. Many of the celebrities, entrepreneurs and thinkers featured in the series are forthcoming and vulnerable in the anecdotes they share. They don’t take money for granted — they save it and think twice before they spend it. Most notably, many of them acknowledge that money is fleeting.

I’ve included only five quotes:

“After high school, I moved to New York City. That’s what I did. I didn’t have anything lined up, and I started working in restaurants, first as a busboy, and then as a waiter. My relationship with money was very loose. I had no budget, no savings, no credit cards and no bank accounts. I was a cash-only kind of guy. I’d get paid out at the end of the night, spend some of it at the bar, wake up the next day, and check my pockets to see how much money I had left. There was never a budget or any kind of longer-term financial plan.”

-Kevin Bacon

“In cooking school, I’d work weekends in New York as a cook; I think I was paid $40 cash per shift, which was a lot at the time. I made extra money by playing poker and Acey-Deucey, another card game. I may or may not have moved a little product. “I didn’t put anything aside, ever. Money came in, money went out. I was always a paycheck behind, at least. I usually owed my chef my paycheck [for] cocaine. Until I was 44, I never even had a savings account.”

-Anthony Bourdain

“Every once in a while I treat myself with a special purchase. The most extravagant I’ve been is when I bought a Tesla not too long ago. I like the way it drives, and I really like the idea of reducing my carbon footprint. But often, I’ve found, the least expensive things can be the most personally rewarding. Take my wedding, for example. The whole event cost a total of $500.”

-Woody Harrelson

“Over the years, even as I’ve had more money available to me, my relationship with money hasn’t dramatically changed. I’ve never been the type to say, ‘Oh, look, I just made all this money. Now I can go spend it.’ One day, I’ll step out of the spotlight, I think, and just live a normal life. And just because I have money now, doesn’t mean I’ll always have money.”

-Kylie Jenner

“[Because I didn’t have money] I used to eat peanut butter out of the jar for lunch … In four days, everything happened for me. I was at the right place, right time. Now I eat fancy almond butter, but still out of the jar.”

-Aubrey Plaza

As you can see, even celebrities have money concerns. It’s ok to have money, but make sure that money doesn’t have you. Money is a neutral vehicle, but there is a spirit that drives it. Be a good steward (manager) of your money.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-you-need-to-know-before-signing-a-hush-agreement-2018-03-08

Stormy Daniels is suing President Trump, claiming that she isn’t subject to a hush agreement. A hush agreement reportedly barred Daniels, an adult film star — real name: Stephanie Clifford — from disclosing details regarding her alleged relationship with President Trump. The Wall Street Journal reported in January that a nondisclosure agreement or NDA was negotiated between her and Trump’s lawyers in exchange for a payment. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, has since said that he paid Daniels out of his own pocket. She now is seeking to argue that the settlement is invalid because “David Dennison,” allegedly the alias used for Trump, never signed it. Daniels used the pseudonym “Peggy Peterson.” But even before Daniels came into the spotlight, a number of women claimed that they signed confidentiality agreements as part of settlements made with Harvey Weinstein. And Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney signed one as part of a settlement following sexual abuse by USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, recently sentenced to up to 175 years for his crimes. Here is what consumers need to know:

These sorts of agreements can go by many names, said Donna Ballman, an employment lawyer and author of the book “Stand Up For Yourself Without Getting Fired.” “Nondisclosure, hush, confidentiality — no matter what you call it, they are probably the same thing,” Ballman said.

These types of agreements keep one or more parties from disclosing terms of a settlement. These agreements will disclose what information can, and can’t discuss to the public, and over what period the agreement can be discussed.

In some cases, hush agreements will include non-disparagement clauses that bar someone from saying negative things about the other people who formed the agreement, Ballman said. While recent examples have predominately involved instances of sexual harassment or assault, they can be used for a variety of settlements. Ballman said consumers were most likely to encounter them in product liability settlements or as part of severance packages. Start-ups and inventors may use these agreements to prevent them from revealing proprietary information, while researchers may employ them among participants in studies. Public figures may use them for domestic staff, including housekeepers and even babysitters.

If this agreement is ever broken, then there are more than likely financial consequences. In certain cases if an NDA is in an employment contract, it can be grounds for being fired, and in even rarer cases, it can result in jail time if a court finds that the breach constituted theft of proprietary information. The Weinstein scandal has prompted many to question the use of nondisclosure agreements, particularly in the context of sexual harassment.

Consumers should be aware of their rights before signing such agreements. The National Labor Relations Board believes that non-disparagement provisions that prohibit employees from criticizing a company’s executives publicly are an unfair labor practice. And federal civil rights law supersedes settlements that seek to prevent someone from filing sexual harassment charges, which means you may still be able to file a sexual harassment lawsuit even if you’re signed an NDA. Ultimately, a consumer should seek legal counsel and carefully weigh what information would have to remain confidential under such an agreement and what effects that could have. “Contrary to NDAs that permit parties to do business together or protect proprietary rights, NDAs that hide harassment withhold crucial information from the profession and the public,” Annie Hill, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, wrote regarding the Weinstein allegations.

As the article states, when it comes to any type of legal matter be sure to consult with an attorney, before signing any legal documentation. If you’re interested in learning more about having access to the legal system be sure to contact me. I also will add this thought. What culture says is right may not always be right. Culture constantly shifts and changes, if internally in your heart you know it doesn’t line up with your moral system, then it’s possible that it may not be correct. Be mindful of the company you keep and reach out to them for their thoughts. Don’t do life alone.

This week, I’ve included THE WAKE UP CALL | You Will Stop Wasting Any More Time from the Video Advice YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

February 24, 2018

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

https://www.entrepreneur.com/video/309438

Have you ever wondered how people earn money making videos on YouTube? Talent manager and content producer Reuven Ashtar sat down with Jessica Abo to discuss how his Never Napping clients, ranging from The Sorry Girls, Molly Burke and Amanda Rach Lee to The Icing Artist and Aydian Dowling, became YouTube stars, and what it takes to be successful. People make money through YouTube by having followers watch their videos or through brand deals. Other streams include live events or merchandising. Reuven represents a team of strong content creators, and spends his time managing them and assisting them in creating material. He best describes the Youtubers as individuals that make two short films a week. For the new Youtuber, Reuven advises you ask yourself some questions:

Is it your captive audience you’re trying to please? Are you trying to get a new audience and how can you win? You build an audience over time. You don’t just create one thing.

It’s about consistent growth, and subscribership growth.

The author points out that coming from a journalism background she assumed that it was about 80% on production and 20% on marketing, but in the YouTube the opposite is true. With the power of the Information Age, you can spend your message globally for free. What is your impact on legacy and eternity?

https://www.entrepreneur.com/video/309083

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Brian Tracy breaks down seven simple techniques you can use to improve your memory. Whether you just want to make sure you nail your next presentation or need to have a long-term system, these techniques can help you have the most important information in your hip pocket when you need it most. All of the techniques Tracy cites to improve memory are fairly simple, but many of them require dedication in order to be effective. For example, Tracy’s first piece of advice on how to improve your memory is to over-learn the material. If you are overprepared, then even if you forget tangential points, you will have such a firm grasp on the fundamentals that you won’t need to worry about remembering. Brian states that there are 5 proven strategies that can maximize your retention, and in this video, he states seven techniques. One strategy is reducing the amount of interference around you. Interference is when the information you’ve previously learned is interfering with the information you’re currently learning. To limit interference, he suggests over-learning the material. if you recall the information without a pause for thought then you’ve over-learned it. Other strategies include making the information meaningful and using four color pens. Using colored based inks allows you to use color image-based techniques to anchor images with memories. Also space out your study sessions, and practice whole and part learning. Read the material all at once quickly and then go back and ingest it in parts. You can also recite the material that you’re trying to memorize, and this technique was used by Abraham Lincoln himself. Finally use a study system, have a game plan and act on it. Your incredible brain can take you from rags to riches, from loneliness to popularity, and from depression to happiness, and joy if you use it properly.

This week, I’ve included SELF DISCIPLINE – Motivation for Daily Discipline (Video Advice) from the Video Advice YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG


Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

February 10, 2018

For the sake of consistency, posts will start in the month of February, and be bi-weekly.

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/307049

Whether you’re in the steel industry, fashion or IT, selling is integral to your company’s success. A good sales team, though, does more than just sell product. Sales roles are customer-facing and interact with prospective customers, too. They’re responsible for bringing in and keeping a steady stream of business. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that your salespeople have the potential for greatness — potential you can use strategically to your advantage. At our company, the value of a good sales team has come into sharper focus with every passing year. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, there’s an urgency like never before. Businesses must stand out with a unique and clear value proposition. Having a great product is one way to rise above the crowd, but it’s far from the only way — or even the best. Here are five things your sales team is selling besides product, whether they realize it or not. And if they don’t already, it’s important they begin to ASAP. Those five things are: Your story, your culture, your team, your processes and services, and the truth. For me the order is important, so it’s worth noting that the author stated that the first of the five things is your story. As the first people who speak with potential customers, your salespeople are front-line brand ambassadors for your company. They’re selling your reputation. Even more important, they’re telling the story behind who and what you are, how you got there and where you’re going. It’s important for the sales team to be able to be story tellers. The story of the company should be deeply ingrained into the person’s mind. If the person is passionate about where he works, then he will easily share the company to others both on and off the clock. Even if the person is new to sales then the team should take it upon themselves to educate the person and help the person become comfortable about telling the story of the company. Personally, when I went to interview for a job I wanted, I researched the company and was able to tell the hiring manager everything about the company itself. Last — but certainly not least — it’s vital that sales teams are honest. Too many teams use fabrications and hyperbole to bring in sales. Their people don’t consider the consequences of these tactics until after the fact. Think about it: If you sell someone a lie, especially in today’s digital age, it will come back to haunt your company. It could be in the form of a bad online review or even a lawsuit. This year I’m re-building my life around the Principle of Honesty. It’s not that I was dishonest before, but I will say when you live out this principle, it gives you a level of energy you didn’t realize you had before. Whatever is in the darkness will eventually come to light. Don’t be a slave to the numbers but be true to yourself and your own integrity.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/02/apple-co-founder-steve-wozniaks-simple-formula-for-happiness.html

When Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was young, he defined a successful life for himself — one that, despite its radical simplicity, has worked for almost 50 years. “I thought out my philosophies when I was about 20 years old … How do you do in life? … How do you become a good person?” explains Wozniak, speaking at the at the Nordic Business Forum in Stockholm on January 24. He continues, “It if I died and had all this wealth and yachts and all this stuff, would I be as happy as when I laugh? And I thought about pranks I played and jokes I had told and music I would hear that would make me smile, and I came up with my formula that life is about happiness.” Yes, a formula. Always the engineer.
His simple formula is Happiness equals smiles minus frowns or H = S – F. Woz describes the best way to decrease the number of frowns by decreasing how much you care you are going to frown. When bad situations happen, let the situation go. In these situations, complaining or blaming others is just going to make things worse, says Wozniak. So will judging other people. “And don’t argue. Don’t argue! You don’t win an argument, you just walk away unhappy,” says Wozniak. “You only have to convince one person in life, and that is yourself. I think that he consistently forgives or releases others in a way that allows him to smile more. It’s this attitude that drew him into computers. It wasn’t the money. “I was never into money in any way — finance — to this day I have never used Apple stock app, I don’t buy and sell stock,” Wozniak says. In fact, Wozniak sold virtually all his bitcoin holdings when the price shot up so he wouldn’t be compelled to watch the price yo-yo. “I don’t want that kind of care in my life. Part of my happiness is not to have worries.” Of course, Wozniak is worth millions, by one account as much as $100 million, so perhaps that’s easy to say. But there is one thing that makes him mad, he says: illogical, counter-intuitive machine user experience. Your core values and principles will drive your personal and professional life. I recommend using these values completely. Let who you are in private be who you are in public. Let there be no division, so you can truly experience happiness.

This week, I’ve included Most Powerful Speech Ever Given! – TD JAKES Motivational Speech [MOTIVATION 2018] from the Motivation Archive YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG


Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

December 30, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

https://www.inc.com/damon-brown/why-self-sacrifice-is-ultimate-leadership-failure.html
Study after study shows that sacrificing your health, sleep or relationships to get ahead will ultimately destroy you – and any short-term progress you make will be lost in the commotion. Today’s startup culture romanticizes “crushing it” at all costs, but one of the wisest takes comes from the old-school, recently deceased speaker Jim Rohn. Here he is in his classic program, The Art of Exceptional Living:

The best contribution you can make to someone else is self development, not self sacrifice. Self sacrifice only breeds contempt. Self development earns respect… If I work on myself and become more valuable, think of what that’ll do to our friendship.

Self-sacrifice is obviously caustic to you, but it is even more harmful to what you create and who surrounds you. As a leader when you take on a self-sacrifice point of view then you tell those underneath to follow that point of view. In this case, you are willing to sacrifice a long-lasting contribution for a short burst of potential success. Don’t be surprised if others follow your lead in all their work decisions. Self-sacrifice puts more pressure on those around you also. The best way to change this path is to take time for yourself, build an accountability group, and start healthy habits now. It’s important to take these small steps and surround yourself with others that you can communicate honestly and openly with. Not just your business, but your personal life also. It’s even better to have someone you can tell your deepest and darkest areas of your life. Having just one person will release the burden off your consciousness.

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-11/how-softbank-s-son-bounced-back-after-the-dot-com-crash

At the height of the dot-com bubble in late 1999 and early 2000, Masayoshi Son’s net worth was surging by $10 billion a week. For three days, he was the richest person in the world, Son said. But before Son had a chance to tell anyone, SoftBank Group Corp. crashed. The company’s shares plunged 75 percent in two months and were 93 percent lower at the end of 2000. The business almost went bankrupt. Son lost much of his wealth. “Somehow, I survived,” Son said in an interview on “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations.” “At that time, I said, ‘Now is the time to go next stage, which is the internet will become mobile internet.'”

This hyperlink includes the video interview of Son. The important lesson to learn is how to survive, and how to learn from your past failures.

This week, I’ve included IT’S TIME TO MAKE BETTER CHOICES – 2018 New Years Motivation from the Basquiat Picasso YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

December 23, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

https://www.inc.com/matt-given/this-1-quote-from-kobe-bryant-is-all-you-need-to-know-about-his-success.html

On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers retired two jerseys. Magic Johnson emceed the ceremony before a standing-room-only crowd at the Staples Center in the heart of downtown L.A. As the two jerseys, numbers 8 and 24, were hoisted to the rafters, the adoring Laker fans showered applause on the Laker greats who wore them. For this storied franchise with a long list of Hall of Famers, it was a fitting tribute. There’s only one twist to this fairy tale. Both numbers were worn by the same man. During Kobe Bryant’s 20-year career, he elevated a Laker franchise that had already seen the likes of Jabbar and Magic. His record wasn’t without its smudges–he was arrested in 2004 in connection with a sexual assault complaint in Colorado, and while the charges were later dropped, his reputation was tarnished. Even so, he remains one of the very early success stories of players who came right out of high school to the NBA. “Those times when you get up early and you work hard,” Bryant said during the number-retirement ceremony. “Those times you stay up late and you work hard. Those times when you don’t feel like working. You’re too tired. You don’t want to push yourself, but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream.” Bryant’s career has mirrored the path many entrepreneurs travel. By any measure, he has made it. But, don’t be fooled: Understanding his approach to the process is the lesson for any entrepreneur. It’s Kobe’s legendary work ethic, which has possibly landed him a position in the NBA Hall of Fame. Even during the run-up to the 2008 Olympics, Kobe would do pre-dawn workouts prior to official practices starting. Now out of the league, Bryant appears to be shifting his attention to the business and entrepreneurial world. He has been known to text successful business friends at all hours of the night and cold call others who catch his interest via a tweet or article.

Bryant told Bloomberg Businessweek:

I’ll just cold call people and pick their brain about stuff. Some of the questions that I ask will seem really, really simple and stupid, quite honestly, for them. But if I don’t know, I don’t know. You have to ask. I’ll just do that. I’ll just ask questions and I want to know more about how they build their businesses and how they run their companies and how they see the world.

It’s this work ethic and intensity, which will accelerate his business experience.

 

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-where-we-are-in-the-life-cycle-of-crypto-currencies-2017-12-22

A few months ago, I had lunch with a former trader who told me: “This is my third asset class. I have traded commodities, then derivatives and now it is crypto. However unlike the precedent waves, Wall Street is late to the party and early investors are very different. They are very technical and sometimes often see crypto/decentralization as a religion. They don’t want a yacht or a Lambo; They want to hodl their tokens.” I think he was right. We are at the birth of a new asset class. As Andreessen Horowitz puts it, “cryptocurrencies are a new asset class that enable decentralized applications”. Or something like that. Some much smarter people than me like Chris Burniske and Adam White already wrote about the birth of the new asset class few years ago. In this post, I highlight the different stages of the birth of the crypto asset class through a simple framework of technology adoption. In a second post (to publish on Medium during the last week of December), I shall discuss why institutional investors are keen on crypto. Finally. I address the adoption challenges for institutional investors.

Paradigm shift->Believers->Converts->Speculation->Retail FOMO->Institutional money->BURST

The first adopters are believers. According to this article as of December 2017, cryptocurrency is in the speculation phase. It should be noted that two advanced projects are still considered to be in “beta mode”

  • Bitcoin: It has become expensive and slow to transact. Even though the number of transaction grows, it is very far from being able to be a real medium of exchange. The recent forks try to provide alternatives and new updates such as lightning aim to enhance the network capacity.
  • Ethereum: The only disruptive-use case ethereum has brought so far is token launch/initial coin offering. It has somehow disrupted early-stage financing. But that’s pretty much it. When people starts to trade/purchase too many “cryptokitties” (a pokemon-style game run on ethereum), the network clogged. Yes. I know. Awkward. But cool updates like lightning, sharding etc.. are soon coming to market.

The author believes there is possibly even more money that can be poured into this asset class. Personally, I do own cryptocurrency, however these articles remain my objective review of topics that are interesting, and I encourage you to do your own research.

This week, I’ve included Best Motivational Video 2018 – Speeches Compilation 6 Hour Long – Motivation By Mulliganbrothers from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

December 16, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-inventor-of-the-401k-says-he-created-a-monster-2016-05-16

Most religious men find the answers to their prayers in scripture. Ted Benna found them in the U.S. tax code. Fed up with clients only interested in getting the maximum tax break for themselves while doing as little as possible for their employees, he began to feel he could either remain a workplace benefits consultant or a Christian, but not both. In fact, just weeks before his life’s eureka moment came in September 1980, he thought about leaving the Johnson Companies, his suburban Philadelphia firm, to take a job at a local Christian college. Instead of quitting, Benna, 74, helped turn a little-noticed new subsection of the tax code into the least likely of household names: the 401(k). With a 401k you can put aside pre-tax earnings with a company match up to a certain percentage into a retirement account. This retirement account is managed by a financial services company that will invest your money into the stock, and bond market and overtime build your retirement. This process would replace the typical pension plans that companiess had used for years, and put the financial responsibility on the employee to take care of their retirement. In fact, the original purpose of section 401(k) was to limit the use of executive cash-deferred plans. The Johnson Cos. administered 50 401(k)s in 1982, mostly to its own employees. Today Americans have some 50 million plans holding roughly $3 trillion in assets. Benna’s firm earned its money on the record keeping for the plans (with the help of a $65,000 Wang computer), but outsourced the actual investing component to the Vanguard Group, back when the future mutual-fund giant was still in its nascent days. “Ted was the moral standard within the company and thought it was a conflict for us to also handle the investments,” Wright said. “He believed in doing the right thing.” But like many critics, in recent years he began to think 401(k)s might not be the right thing. He’d created “a monster” that should be “blown up,” Benna lamented in 2011. The 401k plans themselves have grown so complicated. They’re filled with hidden fees, and have so many opportunities for bad decisions that the financial industry benefits more than the savers. “For all its issues, the 401(k)’s biggest value is that it turns spenders into savers,” he said. “Not that I spend much time basking the glory of the 401(k). What matters most to me now is spending time with my grandchildren and my horses.” I think that this forced process of making spenders into savers by the government can be risky, and there needs to be a re-examination of what components are missing from the public education system. Financial education is topic that should be, but isn’t often talked about in homes. In my profession, I see a lot of people that don’t understand the importance of managing credit and risk. I believe a person should look to build multiple streams of income, and not be 100% dependent on their job and the government to take care of them. It’s about taking personal responsibility and learning, and not just handing your money over to someone.  Personally I do have a 401k, but I also look for opportunities to build my income producing asset column, and fight to lower my own consumer debt. I do these things with two things in mind: legacy and eternity. What’s your why?

https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/use-self-made-billionaire-ray-dalios-2-minute-rule-to-radically-improve-your-meetings.html

Why do so many of us hate meetings? There’s no shortage of reasons, from wasting time in entirely unnecessary get togethers, to overlong scheduling, and meandering conversations. But somewhere towards the top of nearly everyone’s meeting pet peeve list is oafish meeting behavior. I’m sure you’ve experienced the type of thing I’m talking about – the spotlight hogging, endless interrupting, and under informed bloviating that can make getting together with colleagues about as much fun as watching paint dry. So how do you ensure everyone gets a turn to speak, but that the loudest of the group don’t monopolize the meeting and drown out other good ideas? Ray Dalio, founder of $160 billion hedge fund Bridgewater Associates and self-made billionaire, has a simple rule that can ensure everyone gets their time in the spotlight. On the TED Ideas blog recently Dalio shared nine rules for meetings from his new book Principles: Life and Work . The entire post is definitely worth a read if your organization struggles to keep meetings under control, but one idea stands out as both exceptionally useful and dead simple. Dalio calls it “the two-minute rule”:

The two-minute rule specifies that you have to give someone that uninterrupted period to explain their thinking before jumping in with your own. This ensures everyone has time to fully crystallize and communicate their thoughts without worrying they will be misunderstood or drowned out by a louder voice

This concept isn’t new, and it was instilled in us at an early age. But these two minutes of freedom will allow a person to express his thoughts without interruption. You may need to enforce this time constraint, but make sure you know your team knows this constraint is in force going in. if you’re in leadership/management role, give it a try and see if it changes your work environment. The purpose is to ultimately bring the team together, and find the areas that can be improved together.

This week, I’ve included The 13 Truths – Matthew McConaughey [MOTIVATIONAL SPEECH] from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

December 9, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

https://www.inc.com/tom-popomaronis/the-scientific-7-step-formula-that-will-transform-anyone-into-a-morning-person.html

Do you wish you could get up in the morning with ease? Sure you do. If you haven’t been able to crack the morning code yet, there’s a scientifically-backed recipe to help, thanks to behavioral psychologist, Jo Hemmings. Hemmings shared with Mail Online that she specifically crafted the steps to shake up the body. So, prepare to have some serious ammunition that is guaranteed to win the morning fight naturally instead of grumbling and downing java for energy. The seven steps are: sleep on the left side of the bed, wear yellow, set your alarm to an upbeat song, exercise, do a headstand, take an [ice-cold] shower, and eating breakfast (slow energy release). These seven simple steps are worth trying to see if it can change your morning routine. The morning is how you face the day, and it’s good to try new things that will help you power through the day.  Those quiet moments as you face the day are your moments. Cherish them and squeeze every opportunity out of them.

https://www.inc.com/adam-robinson/at-my-first-startup-i-lost-120000-couldnt-meet-payroll-heres-what-i-learned-about-staying-afloat.html

It was early on a Monday morning when I received the call.  It was Marcy, one of our consultants, and she sounded a bit concerned. “Adam, I didn’t get paid today.” I told her that I’d investigate and get right back to her. When the customer service rep from my payroll provider told me that the bank declined our payroll debit, a lump formed in my throat. Frantic, I logged in to view the company’s bank account. The balance: $0.00 On Friday, there had been over $120,000 of cash in that account. Monday morning, the account was empty. I was stunned. What in the world just happened? I was a first-time entrepreneur, and had I been asking myself the tough questions about our business along the way, I would have seen quite clearly that a freight train was bearing down on us. Here are the six questions I should have asked: Do I have the right relationship with my bank?, How many days can I run this business without new cash flow?, Do I have a customer concentration issue?, Do I have the right business model?, Is everyone on our payroll delivering tangible value?, and Do I need to be spending money on that? As a credit analyst, whenever I’m looking at a business loan request, I’m also asking two of the questions that the author asks. How long will it take for the borrower to receive their accounts receivable? If a business’s accounts are stretching out paying the business from 30 to 60 days to 90 to 120 days, then the business may be having issues collecting from its customers. Another factor I look for is the customer concentration. If a borrower has two accounts that make up over half its revenue, then the company is a risk in my opinion. If you’re looking to save or improve your business, then ask yourself these questions, and be aware of the following lessons: Once the stuff hits the fan, it’s too late to make friends with your banker. My weak collections process created major cash flow problems. I hadn’t built a predictable model for landing new business. Running a high-growth, receivables-based business with low profit margins is a recipe for disaster.  Had I rightsized my organization sooner, I would have had sufficient cash to cushion the impact of a slowing economy, and Little expenses add up to a big cash drain.

This week, I’ve included NEVER GIVE UP – Motivational Video – BEST MOTIVATION FOR 2018 from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

December 2, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-blockchain-how-does-it-work-explainer-2017-11

From a ‘castle’ full of bitcoin millionaires to the initial coin offering (ICO) craze, it’s hard to escape the chatter about how some people are building their fortunes off the new world of cryptocurrencies. But behind those cryptocurrencies sits a technology called blockchains, which some people believe could fundamentally rewrite how transactions are handled online. With analysts at UBS estimating that blockchains could be a $300 billion to $400 billion global industry by 2027, it’s clear that regardless of what happens in the bitcoin bubble, blockchain technology is here to stay. Here’s what you need to know about blockchains, the technology that’s set to disrupt the world of contracts, finance, shipping and countless other industries. This article is filled with detailed information regarding blockchain technology.  A blockchain is a digital ledger that is distributed across the internet. This ledger is linked through cryptography, and are bound in a way that can’t be edited. Inside each block is transaction history for every transaction that’s ever occurred on the block. Blockchains are good for two things: recording events, and making sure that record is never erased. Blockchains in essence can remove the middle man through a smart contract or a self executing contract. What makes the blockchain unique is that the network is distributed as illustrated above. With a distributed network there is no one central server to attack. Ethereum is popular with startup companies, and Hyperledger Fabric allows large corporations to create blockchain projects. This article is a pretty in-depth analysis of blockchains, and I believe this technology will ultimately end up changing our future.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gingerdean/2017/06/30/3-ways-to-start-living-on-half-your-income

Living on half your income. Impossible? No. Daunting? Yes. How do we accomplish this? With willpower made of steely determination and making major sacrifices. Add to that a dash of honesty, and you’re on your way. Easy, right? All joking aside, the obvious first step is to cut back on your spending, and the way you do that is by taking a hard look at your expenses. But first, let’s take a look at why anyone would want to save half of his or her income. The author advises that if you’re married pick one income stream to live on or save half of your combined income. If you’re single you’ll want to save half of your income. Three steps to take are: track your spending for 30 days, go on the no spend diet, and automate your savings. The no spend diet involves spending money on only the essentials, and not spending money on anything unnecessary. Should do this diet after tracking your spending for 30 days. After doing the first two steps, automate your savings to deduct bi-weekly or monthly. The author also recommends examining the amount spent when it comes to home, car, and children. Doing little steps can have big returns in the end. It’s important to manage your finances, and it begins with knowing how much you get paid per month, how much you have to pay, when you have to pay it, and how much is left over. When money comes in, go ahead and have a plan for it. What is your long term goal? Does it line up with your vision? What does retirement look like for you?

This week, I’ve included Wake Up Early|End Laziness|Motivational Speech Compilation |Morning Motivation|Success Motivation from the Be Inspired – Daily Motivation YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG