Over the past month or so I have found a couple of things that I know will really help my business Grow. First is Twitter. I have figured out how to get a lot of followers as yesterday i got into the top 100 Twitters in Austin. Which is pretty good. There are 12,000 people twittering in Austin. I should be in the top 50 By Mid October and into the top 20 by Mid December. One thing that is pretty cool is there are over 100 other twitters finding me everyday.
Archives for 2009
I didn’t get to watch all of the conference sessions. But I am Excited that I will get to read and listen to all of them again. It is so great that the church is up on the technology that makes all of that available. Something I started doing last conference was typing out all the conference talks. I wanted to read and re-read all the talks. And as a benefit I would get to practice my typing. I am closer to 70 wpm know which is the fastest I have been in my life. I still would like to be much faster. I would like to improve about 1 wpm a week. but it is goind slower than that. Maybe 1 to 1.5 words a minute per month. I am still improving though.
I will probably comment more on the talks when they are available and I get to read them.
I got to see my daughter score a goal in her soccer.
This past week I went over the 9000 followers on twitter mark. I am reading a bunch of blogs and looking at what other people have to say about business. it is good because I am not seeing any that are saying that same thing about business that I am saying. I do think it is going to be a long ride to get to the point I want to be. I will just keep pluggin away until I get where I want to be. I have been sporadic at best with my sleeping and working schedule.
I am also trying to get a merit badge workshop going for scout. There are just so many scheduling conflicts. So many people going in so many directions. We’ll see how this works out.
I wish I was more inspired on what to right that may inspire someone. But today is not that day.
There is just way too much going on to write anything decent. I would like to write more but that with all that I have going on; Work, Scouts, Family and trying to get my business going is making things difficult. I am just going to need to write more on other days.
Plus I am not feeling inspired to write very much right now.
This past weekend I spent about 6 hours at a career workshop. With a couple of friends. I picked up a couple of new things from the workshop. The first is that I need to come up with a better. “Elevator Speech” Here is what I have come up with:
I am a business consultant with over 15 years of successful leadership experience. I am successful because I can fix problems and motivate employees. With my skills I have been able to raise profits and increase employee productivity. I am passionate about learning something new everyday. Because of this I have been able to identify and adopt emerging technologies. This has help me to better manage risk and design innovative solutions to problems
We also learned about power statements. I need to work on more. I am creating a google document with more of the power statements. But here is one for an example.
I can work hard and smart. for example I was given the responsibility of turning an office around that was missing deadlines. I worked 12 hour days to design and implement a system that paid people more to produce more. Within two months were were beating our deadlines by two hours. and the average production for each employee had doubled.
I will continue to work on more of these statements.
Here are just a few quick observations of the new social media.
1. Most people are just watching or maybe don’t have time to be involved.
I had one friend on facebook that took over 6 months to respond to question. I have had many that have taken over a month to respond to a question. I have over 300 friends on face book which is not very much. But there is only about 10 15 that I interact with on a regular basis. I have 3500 followers on business twitter account and I have only had a conversation with about 15 to 20 of those folks
2. Some people are broadcasting.
I have a few friends that are constantly posting stuff all the time, where they’re going, what their eating for lunch, pictures of places they are visiting. But when I try to start a little conversation. nothing in response. I realize people are like that and so life goes on. Twitter is the worst right now. There are so many people constantly broadcasting they know the secrets to the universe, about money, products, philosophies. Also one of the problems with twitter is their are a bunch of automated tools that allow people to abuse the broadcasting.
3. Only a few are engaging.
This is the part that I really enjoy. I have always been social, I can blame that on my parents. My mom is always trying to visit and engage with people. I am the same way. So the social media is alluring to me. I love to have conversations and engage with people. I am becoming more efficient at doing this. It’s fun for me I realize there is a bunch more giving and a not much taking. My hope is that I can make a difference. My hope is that with this social media we will all engage more.
There is an article in the Wall Street Journal from September 12 Man vs. God
It is an essay written by Karen Armstrong about Richard Dawkins latest book “The Greatest Show on Earth”
The basic premise of the book is that Evolution is the “Greatest show on earth” And it has thrown a wrench into the concept of religion and the theory of a God. You should read the article. And then come back. But basically they are asking the question is there a God.
I believe this is the wrong question. Because as Ms Armstrong states in the essay. Most people believe there is a God. The people that say there is no God, really are just trying to avoid the another question. “If there is a God, Does he care about me and what I do?”
“Does God care about me and what I do?”
Or another way to put it “Do I need to obey the Laws of God” That may not make sense so lets put it another way. Parents through out the world give there kids rules. Why do parents give rules? Mostly because they care about their children and want them to avoid pain and danger. For instance Parents tell their children do not play in the street, or you can not play outside after dark.
So if God has enacted Laws he cares about us.
So the atheists out there really are just saying “There is no God!” The second sentence however remains silent in their thoughts “Because there is not a God, I don’t need to obey his Laws” Most of these atheists state because you can not prove to me or can not show me a God I will not believe. Using science as a crutch is a very weak argument. Through out history, especially in the last hundred years, science is constantly proving itself wrong. about 10 months before the Wright Brothers first flight one of the worlds renowned scientist said “Man will never be able to fly” and basically said that all people engaged in the pursuit of flight were wasting there lives. Bill Gates even laughs at his statement “who will ever need more than 64k of ram” Like I said science is such a weak crutch to stand on.
Remember, just because you say there is no God and say you can’t prove there is a God. You can not prove there is not a God. Neither can you prove he does not care.
Onc really weak points in the book is that if God does exist? He doesn’t have anything to do and is not involved because evolution is taking care of everything.
Lets look at Few things a tree, a bee, and the sun. We must admit there are physics that govern the growth of the tree, the flight of the bee and the energy of the sun. We can observe all these things everyday. There are two popular theories of how these things came into exsistence: One is evolution, the other is God created them. If you are an evolutionist you say, we don’t know how that happened, but someday through science we may find the technology of out how these things work and may be able to do it ourselves.
Lets just say God knows the technology of how to create these things. His technology is definitely way beyond what we have now. How can we sit here on earth question his methods when we don’t really know how a photosynthesis works, how a bee flies and how the sun continues to burn. Only pure arrogance is going to try and explain why God does what he does. You may think, we know how that stuff works. Do some research, we can make weak attempts to explain how the things work. but we can’t recreate any of that technology. it is way beyond what human technology can reproduce.
So “Does God care about you and what you do” is really the question that should be asked.
Do you really want to know the answer? Overwhelmingly I believe the world is too afraid to find the answer. Because if the answer is “There is a God and he cares about me and what I do” That means giving up what I want.
It’s much easier to say, There is no God, and I can do what I want.
The question that should be asked is which path is going to bring me the most amount of peace and happiness in my life.
Look at the decisions you are you making in your life. Are you happy? Do you feel peace? If you can answer yes to these things. No change should be made.
However, if you are not happy or do not feel peace. You need to change. Are you strong enough? Are you brave enough to make that change?
Labor day was hot in Texas. Our stake fasted and prayed for rain on Sunday, because Austin is in a drought.
Last week it rained twice and two of my freinds said their kids asked them “because it rained, do we still need to fast”
I also saw one thing that was cool yesterday. Apparently a truck had stopped on the road and the driver and the passenger were pushing the truck. It was cool because two other vehicles had stopped and were helping the guys push their truck into a gas station.
Having worked with boy scouts for a while and the boy scout slogan is “Do a Good Turn Daily” I like to see people helping other people out.
There were a couple good testimonies in church Today.
First there was a woman, named Taylor Hartley, her Husband is James. They just recently moved into the ward. I am going to write down what she said. I probably should ask here to tell her story. I am writing this down in case I never get her to write her testimony This is what I rember .
She grew up in Phoenix Arizona. She had LDS friends but she didn’t think she would ever join the Church. At 18 she moved to LA to get onto a TV Show. But when she saw the script she didn’t want to portray the character to young women. Her mother told her “Sometimes you just need to do things to get ahead.” She said she felt that sometimes she was the mother and her mom was the daughter.
So she was feeling pretty bad because she had just quit her job and didn’t know what to do. She was talking to one of her girl friends, from Phoenix that was LDS, on the phone and she said that she had sent a care package with a book of Mormon. As they were talking on the phone a couple of missionaries knocked on her door, they had a Book of Mormon to give her. The first thing she told them was “I am not going to join your church” But I want to learn more. She said the missionaries were great and really nice. So they started having discussions. At one point the missionaries asked her if she would pray to find out if the church was true and if she should get baptized. She spent a couple of days praying and she didn’t get an answer. So she called the missionaries and said “I don’t think it’s true, I haven’t gotten an answer” They said find can we still come over for dinner. She agreed. When the missionaries came over they asked her “If when you were praying the Savior had come down and told you the church was true would you get baptized?” She told them “I would not” she said she hadn’t really prayed sincerely. The missionaries ask if they could pray with her then. They asked her to pray and knelt down together. She said that night she had a dream that her family was yelling at her and saying all sorts of mean things. This was very disturbing and she was laying on the ground crying. At this point her family had left. Still laying on the ground her friends mother put her hand on shoulder and said its time. At this point she was dressed in white clothes and was baptized.
She said when she woke up she knew the church was true. She then called the missionaries and asked when she could set a date to be baptized. At that point she didn’t know that here family was going to disown her.
She also talked about Joseph Smith and how that was hard to except, but now it seems so logical that God would choose a 14 year old boy to start the church. Because he picks the weak and simple things to make a difference.
She also bore her testimony about missionary work and that she knew how important it is to warn our neighbors.
It was a very powerful testimony. I really felt the spirit bear witness to the truthfulness of the things she said.
Another good testimony was Brother Doug Leininger.
He basically stated that he was having some trials in his life, but that his testimony and faith remained strong despite his trials.
As I struggle through life I am glad to see and feel other peoples testimonies that help me.
Yesterday on Twitter a good friend of Mine Jayd McFerson posted the question
Can anyone link me to a solid breakdown of what elements are causing healthcare costs to increase faster than inflation? Legal? Tech? Drugs?
I believe the way the industry pays people is the reason health care costs have gotten out of control. I actually sent this message to Jayd on Facebook first. but I thought I’d put it up on my blog with a little more explanation.
The basic premise here is, “If you don’t have to pay, out of your own pocket, for something you don’t really care what it costs, and costs will get out of control.”
At first before people had insurance they paid their doctor directly. The doctor if the costs were not reasonable people would stop using his service.
Then, when costs were low, companies started to offer health coverage as a way to attract the best workers. Now people cared less about how much the doctor was getting paid because It didn’t come out of their pocket. I imagine the insurance companies are the ones that first presented the idea to businesses. They knew that they could cover way more people than would be using the services. So they started taking in money from companies and paying doctors for services.
The insurance companies had a huge pot of money. Because the doctor wasn’t asking the patient directly for money he could be a bit more bold and charge a bit more and when no one complained he charged even more, and more, and more. The insurance companies weren’t paying attention or pushing back. All they cared about was the money coming in. If the costs increased a little from doctors they just increased the cost to the company.
At this point and am going to change the perspective.
Because I not responsible for the bill I keep going to the doctor. When I went for a check up and the doctor said “I think we need to check your blood.” I say sure, what do I care what it costs. My health insurance will cover an unlimited amount of care. Right? I have no idea what that blood test is going to cost. The doctor knows he can probably get $2500 from the insurance company to run a bunch of tests on my blood. It’s only going to cost him $200 to get the test from the lab. That’s a pretty decent profit. The doctor justifies it. I spent 12 years in medical school and every other doctor in my town is charging the same thing. I deserve the $2300 for the 15 minutes it took my staff to take your blood and get it ready to ship to the lab. Plus I have to pay my $15 dollar an hour nurse to package all the stuff up. Eventually the lab finds out the doctor is billing tons and says that is not fair we are doing all work and the lab raises prices. The insurance company looks at the bill. It looks pretty close to every other blood work bill and goes ahead and pays it. But at the end of the year they have make 8% less than less year. Okay says the insurance company we are going to nead to raise premiums by 11% to cover the increases.
At some point someone pushed back but it was too late and everyone is making big money.
It seems pretty logical to me this is the way things go. The motivation is ,as it is in all free markets, to charge as much as you can for your service. If people pay then that’s what you charge and the whole time you increase the price until someone says no.
For instance I lost my insurance when I got laid off a couple of years ago. We had been going to a doctor near our house because of convenience. With insurance we had a $20 co-pay. With out insurance we went back and got charged $250 for a visit. My wife called a couple of other doctors that were close, and that were in our old list of doctors from the insurance book. There was another doctor right around the corner from our old doctor who only charged $70 for an office visit. We went to the other doctor and got basically the same service. The funny thing, under our insurance, we have have been charged the same $20 co-pay to go.
I believe a simple solution to the problem is have people pay their own insurance. Give the insurance companies the chance to make there massive amounts of money by offering catastrophic plans where every thing over $10,000 or $20,000 is covered by insurance. Then everything under that is covered by me. I get a tax free medical account that I see coming out of every check, and I see the balance go down when I go to the doctor.
It’s funny to note this sort of plan exists now and has for a long time.
But I have gotten used to the plan where I don’t have to pay attention to what the costs are and I get a little upset when my company makes me pay more for my insurance, but it was only $45 more a month than it was last year. I guess I can deal with that. And so it goes.
But like the tree falling in the forrest, I make my case in vain. No one really cares if it makes a sound.
I am too lazy to try to make a difference anyway. Plus I don’t really have the time, I have to work an extra 30 minutes a day to pay for my new health plan.
And one more strand of the flaxen chord is strung around my neck. The few that are there already aren’t that uncomfortable, not a big deal.
As I have been writing over the past couple of weeks I have been seeing myself type “Owner Thinking” much more. I am going to try to own that phrase on the internet.
The reason I want to do this is because that is the philosophy I am trying to push as a compensation/pay-for-performance strategist. I want everyone in a business to think and act like an owner. hence the term “Owner Thinking.”
I will see how things go and I will report back