I have a couple of friends that like to share their opinion. They generally do this by forwarding emails that show the opposing side (the side they do not agree with) in a compromising position. However, when I do my due diligence, I often find the 'facts' they are sharing to be false. Occasionally I bring this issue to their attention. They are almost always disinterested, preferring instead to cling on to the false information because it molds to their own set of beliefs.
As I contemplated this, I realized that the same thing is happening all around us as we try to make decisions. Should I use sugar or sweetener? Or - Should I start a business or get a job? Ask your friends and they will have an opinion. Some might say, 'I once had a friend that started a business and people say it did not go very well.' Another might say, 'My uncle is an entrepreneur and I think he is the wealthiest guy I know.' So, what do these statements have in common with the false junk mail that is constantly being passed around? Well the most obvious similarity is that they are both completely devoid of fact. Neither one should have any value in regard to establishing your own opinion.
Now, more than ever, the world is full of opinions. False information is not created by accident. It is purposefully created by people who want to sway your thinking. It is your job to determine the difference between opinion and fact. Successful people do not cling to false information because it fits their preconceived ideas. The only way to make great decisions is to be open to learning. The only way to be open to learning is to accept the fact that you might be wrong. Learning is not accomplished by taking to your friends, family and neighbors and asking them, 'What do you think?' Learning occurs by putting in the hard work that is required to separate fact from fiction. It is not easy. It requires a game plan. It requires stick-with-it-ness. It requires vigilance. It is called due diligence. However, once you have the facts, then you will know what the right course of action is. By doing this you will separate yourself from the average person and stack the deck in your favor.
I am going to leave you with a saying that is attributed to Mark Twain -
'If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.'
Have a great March
| U.S. Median Household Income Up 4% At End of 2011|
After falling steadily since the recession began four years ago, household income appeared to turn the corner by rising sharply the last four months of 2011.
Inflation-adjusted median household income increased 4%, from $49,434 to $51,413, from August to December, according to a study released Thursday by Sentier Research. That's the biggest jump since the start of the recession in December 2007, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by the economic research firm.
The rise coincides with stronger job growth, modest wage increases, a longer workweek and easing inflation. "We seem to have had a turning point," says Gordon Green, co-author of the report and a former economist at the U.S. Census Bureau. ....
Go to USA Today, Click Here
Why More Pro Athletes are Scoring Franchises After Sports Fame
From the NBA to the NFL and NHL, star athletes are aiming to win big in business as they look to their financial futures following sports.
Jamal Mashburn had everything an athlete could dream of. During his 12 years in the NBA in the 1990s and early 2000s, "Monster Mash" was instrumental in turning around the Dallas Mavericks; he also set several scoring records and was even selected for the All-Star Game while playing for the New Orleans Hornets. But despite all that success, he couldn't stop thinking about briefcases.
Now, six years after his last layup, Mashburn has a briefcase full of contracts for 37 Papa John's, 34 Outback Steakhouses, three Dunkin' Donuts and the largest Toyota dealership in Kentucky. "I think I was a little bit of an anomaly, because I was thinking about my exit even when I entered the league. Most guys don't start thinking about that stuff 'til their seventh or even 10th year," he says. "They've been in the basketball industry since they were a young kid. It's all they know. And now they have to find something else, another passion."
| SBA Lending Returns to Pre-Boom Levels
A steady flow of new loans backed by the Small Business Administration in the Washington area is helping some institutions return to the pace of lending that was common in the pre-boom years.
Through the three months ended Dec. 31, the start of the agency's 2012 fiscal year, 126 loans totaling $43.4 million were made to local mom-and-pop shops, comparable to loans issued during the early 2000s, according to the SBA. The volume is still below the soaring numbers from 2006 and 2007.
"We are seeing numbers back to the pre-recession pace; we're off to a start that can lead us to project a really great year for 2012," said Bridget Bean, who oversees the Washington region for the SBA. "It's a great sign that we have the infrastructure and the economic ecosystem here to support this kind of lending to our small businesses."
Go To Washington Post., Click Here
| Borrowing for Your Business
Peter Drucker, the famous writer and management consultant, said that business all boils down to two things: innovation and marketing. Innovation does not mean you have to create a new widget that nobody has ever seen. Innovation can mean - and for most successful businesses normally means - adding value to an existing product or service. Marketing is obvious. If you have the coolest widget but nobody knows about it then your business with the cool widgets won't be around very long. So let's not turn this into rocket science. According to Drucker, business is quite simple. So does that mean he's saying it's easy? Absolutely not! Think about your business being all about innovation and marketing and you'll not only make Uncle Pete happy but you'll simplify your business and make it easier to make decisions about goals, direction, and daily practices.
If you ask most business owners today if they need some cash to start, build, or grow their businesses and the vast majority of them are going to give you a quick "Heck yeah" answer along with a look that says "what kind of question is that buddy!"
Go to Score, Click Here
The Educated Franchisee
|The Franchisee Workbook|
There is a reality in life. Greater knowledge drives better decisions and better decisions reduce business risk. Franchising is all about risk reduction but not all franchises are low risk. Our books are designed to empower you. By following the advice and guidance presented in our books you will recognize high quality franchises and confidently pass over those that are not.