Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Show and Tell? No, more like Show and Go!

Light Reading - Strip-Club Scandal CEO Quits - Telecom News Analysis

Now woulda thunk dat a telecom industry rag would be doing such a grind on this story. Nothing like some enlightenment on how business really gets done in the telecom sector. Looks like there was more than just hands shaking to close deals with Savvis. The next thing I am looking to see is who sues Savvis for some form of sexual harrasment. Maybe a female employee who was called in to pitch hit when professional stripper was not available?

Envy Is.............

I envy the crazy people who roam the streets screaming obscenities...............they speak their mind and say what the rest of us are thinking.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A quick guide to financial planning

"I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."

- George Best, English Soccer Player

Friday, November 25, 2005

Why I am starting to like Conrad

- I have never been a big Black fan, but I think I am starting to change. This guy knows how to put on a show.

So the question is, did Radler cave or is Black that delusional? Either way, Black is much more entertaining than Radler.


Ex-press baron Conrad Black predicts 'vindication' - Reuters

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Black on White on Black


Doing a little research on Conrad Black and came across a little piece on him in Slate from 2001. The article contained the following quote in regards to the Canadian character beared repeating:


Here is an old joke about the Canadian character: Why don't you need to
cover a Canadian lobster pot? Because the other lobsters will drag down anyone
that tries to climb out. Black has spent most of his life encouraging his
countrymen to climb out with him. He has waged a gleeful, vicious, and
ultimately unsuccessful war against (what he perceives as) its enervating,
anti-entrepreneurial collectivism.
Conrad Black - The newspaper mogul thinks like an American and writes like a Brit. No wonder he's leaving Canada.



It will be quite interesting to see how Black deals with his US legal problems. Part of me wants to see him go down, but the other part of me wants to see him beat the rap. People may not like his way of doing business, but if everything was disclosed to the board and nothing was hidden or fabricated, I am not sure what the crime is (being a greedy bully is not a crime, even in Canada). Finally something interesting in addition to Portus

Friday, November 18, 2005

Another Cheer


Because people often fall asleep when I explain how financing works, I came up with a second little cheer to make sure people pay attention to the things I say when it comes to outlining the different components of a transaction

Give me an S..............S
Give me an E.............E
Give me a C...............C
Give me a U...............U
Give me an R.............R
Give me an I..............I
Give me a T...............T
Give me a Y...............Y

What does that give you?
Security!
I can't hear you!
Security!
I still can't hear you!
Security!
What are you gonna give me?
Security!

Exactly!

The Priority Song

Had a little meeting yesterday when the issue of priority came up. So I thought I would come up with some lyrics to explain my position.


P - that's the way we begin
R - that's the second letter in
I - that is the third
O- it sound just like the word
R - that's the letter you see
I- it don't rhyme with B
P -r- i -o- r- i- t- y
That's what I need or our deal won't fly

I think I am going to recite this at my next meeting where someone asks me to take a subordinate position.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Canada has its own alleged fraud - But it is still second rate!

-$60,000 for a party...........that is still sooooo second rate compared to the $2,000,000 bash that former TYCO CEO Dennis Kozlowski threw for his wife. Keeping in line with the commonly held assumption that the Canadian market is 10 times smaller than the US, Conrad should have spent at least $200K...............Lady Black got ripped off..........Conrad is an alleged cheapskate!

Conrad Black indicted for fraud - Reuters

Happiness is..........

turning on your computer at 5:30 am and seeing that you have already satisfied some customers' needs and made a few bucks in the process.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

It doesn't get much worse

I have to put on a suit tomorrow

Ack

Hope I remember how to tie a tie

My spelling sucks

But I am not the one asking for money!

Dudes, when you are looking for capital, spend the time spellchecking your work or find someone else who can.

Thsi waht I deos whne I ma olokign fro mnoey.

Same old Song

(sung or muttered to the tune of The Sound of Silence)

Hello overdraft, my old friend,
I need to use you again,
Because my payables are creeping,
And my cashflow, it is sleeping,
And meeting company payroll is a huge pain
It remains.
And my banker, believes in silence.

"Hello, is this Prescott Thackery?"

"Yes it is, how may I help you?"

"I was looking for some financing for my business"

"Ok, tell me a little bit about your business"

"Well, it is just getting up and running. We operate a dog bakery."

"Oh. Haven't the dogs heard about the Zone? I thought they had a Zone for Dogs book out now."
Silence

"Well as much as my Vizsla, Rex, enjoys his baked goods, this isn't a venture we can finance. I am sure that Rex would be quite interested, except all of his money is tied up in T-bones."

When people ask you silly questions, you give them silly answers. I know there is an old adage that "the only dumb question is the one which isn't asked" but let me tell you, a lot of the time, silence is golden.

Double Take!

Is this for real? Shouldn't this happen more often? Should CEO's have clauses like this in their contracts?

Pay cuts follow Tokyo Stock Exchange IT trouble - IDG News Service

My Clients


I have decided to start naming my clients and my associates or renaming them I should say. I think the monikers' of the seven dwarfs is a good place to start. But rather than stick with the standard seven (Bashful, Sneezy, Sleepy, Happy, Grumpy, Dopey and Doc), I thought I would incorporate a number of the rejected names (Wheezy, Puffy, Stuffy, Burpy, Jumpy, Baldy, Nifty, Gabby, Stubby, Deafy, Awful, Dirty, Flabby, Shifty, Woeful, Lazy, Crabby, Biggy-Wiggy, Biggo-Ego)

Just for reference, I am Crabby.

One of the lawyers to whom I once sent a prospective client is Biggo Ego. He thought that re-writing our contract was a good place to start of a relationship. It is unlikely that I will hear from him again. So Biggo Ego could still be had.

More to come.

Dumb Fucks?

or just fucking dumb?

Young, Assured and Playing Pharmacist to Friends - NYTIMES

Delving in to my past life as a voodoo doctor, I always cringe when I hear about physicians talking about the wonders of medicine. In my mind, less is more, in most cases..........especially in the area of psychiatry. So when I read crap like this from the NY Times, it makes me wonder if people are actually getting dumber.

Oh, and just for clarity sake, from my point of view, about the only thing more useless than most of mainstream medicine is all of alternative medicine.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Yes, the government does help.

Came across a need little download from Ontario's Ministry of Government Services.

Apparently November 7-13, 2005 was Ontario Consumer Awareness Week. The week was dedicated to raising consumers' awareness about their rights and responsibilities. This is the first I have heard of it, but rather than criticize, I decided to lend a helping hand, even if it is after the fact, and do a little blurb about it here.

The ministry put out its 2006 Fraud Free Calendar provides consumers with important tips on how to protect themselves from fraud and scams in the marketplace, as well as a directory of consumer protection resources.

I thumbed through it myself and it is a pretty useful little tool. Get it here

Monday, November 14, 2005

Another Day, Another Song

I need a line of credit so my profit will turn black.
Without a line of credit, my cash will never come back.
I see my customers walk in and with them my profit grows
I have to pay my bills or else my company goes.

I see my cash flow statments and want them to turn black.
I read my income statement and want it to turn black
I see bankers turn their heads and quickly look away
Cuz we are a young company, it just happens every day.
(sung to the tune of "Paint it Black" by the Rolling Stones)

Spin Much?

-Sometimes, you just can't spin things enough.

Martha Stewart not invited back to 'Apprentice' - Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - NBC hasn't told lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, "You're fired." But to borrow from her own genteel phraseology, she "just doesn't fit" into the network's future schedule, either (continued...)

-It would be easy to take a pot shot at Martha Stewart, but she proves the point that in order succeed, one must fail. Gotta hand it to her, she knows how to fail in public.......and that takes balls, even for a woman.

A frat boy's wet dream

Building a better mouse trap is so cliche. Building the better beer tap, now that is golden.

Fast Beer Tap Maker Markets Home Kits - AP

MILWAUKEE - The company that sped up pulls of draft beer at sports stadiums around the country with its Turbo Tap nozzle is bringing the technology to rec rooms across America.

Laminar Technologies LLC has outfitted six sports arenas including U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago and some 30 Chicago bars, receiving fawning media coverage. Time magazine lists the gadget as one of the coolest inventions of 2005 in an issue that hits newsstands Monday (continued...)

-Here is proof that all the beer that engineering students drink while in school is just good research.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

"Um, ya we are going to be a little tight next week......

is there anything we can do about it?" my client asked during a leisurely weekend phone call.

"Yes, there are two things you can do about," I responded. "Either generate some more invoices or start collecting some of your outstanding ones. In fact, forget the first one. Go out and collect some cash that you are owed. Just because we are financing your invoices, doesn't mean you should start forgetting about getting your invoices paid. I am not your father and we are not talking about giving you an advance on your $20 a week allowance here. I am sitting on like $40,000 worth of holdbacks to you guys. I assume that $40,000 in your pocket would make you a little less tight. No?

Now pick up the phone, call your clients and tell them you want your fucking money. Because if you don't do it, I will. And for what ever reason, no matter how polite I am with someone's clients, feathers always get ruffled."

Getting Fucked


Get your mind out of the gutter. This isn't a post about how I used to pick up chicks before I was married, its about a few of the ways that people will try and seperate you from your money.

I rented The Prime Gig last night. It was a Vince Vaughan flick about a telemarketing boiler room operation. I am not going to tell you that it was the best movie ever, but it was a great example of the way that people get seperated from their money. Its really quite simple, offer them something for nothing. When it comes to money, most people don't think about the risks when they cut a cheque, they just think about the upside, they ignore all of the clues and indicators that this just "ain't a legit" opportunity.

Remember folks, a bad liar lies 90% of the time, a good liar lies 10% of the time.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Reporting on Business Ain't What it Used To Be.

Thought these two little tidbits were quite, well, um interesting. Seem that reporting on business is becoming a less profitable business

Dow Jones losses mount [The Guardian] and Financial Times editor Gowers resigns [Seattle Post]

-Those who do, do. Those who can't, write? Where does that leave me? I am afraid to ask.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Another example of the golden rule in action

ACE Aviation shareholders approve C$300 mln payout - Reuters

-I wonder if they gave the employees and any creditors who took haircuts during the restructuring any KY before making this announcement? Could there have been any left in Canada after the restructuring?

Another Poem for the Business Man

Hey Mr. Banker man, can you write a cheque for me,
My customers are slow but I swear they will come through.
Hey Mr. Banker man, can you write a cheque for me,
When my customers pay I'll gladly give it back to you!

Though I know my business empire returned to the sand,
Cash vanished from my hand,
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping.
My weariness amazes me, can't afford anything too eat,
Still got payroll to meet,
And the taxman's long hand is still reaching.

(chanted, sung or muttered to the tune of Mr. Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan)

What's your box? (for me, its really more of a cubbyhole actually)

I remember the first time I heard that question from a banker. I wasn't quite sure what he meant. He clarified himself, what size transactions do you like.

My response, "Oh, I really don't have much of a box, more of a cubbyhole actually. I like small deals. Preferably under $100, 000."

The banker laughed at my response.

Why do I like small? Because small is good training for large. When you are working on small deals, you have to develop the skills (and mentality) to do things within a budget. There is no endless trough of public company funds for lawyers and consultants to munch on. There is no closing "dinner", just a closing "latte" and maybe a closing "biscotti", but that is about it.

We've learned to run a tight ship, a one room whore house if you will (No fucking overhead!) so that when we do grow, more money will flow back to our investors.

On an up note

So it looks like one of our clients has landed a decent sized order from a large Canadian retailer.

Hopefully he can stop sweating soon :)

Feel free to ask about his experiences in dealing with all of these companies that put on a friendly "we love you, our customers are number one" face to the consumer and then turn around and screw their "partners". It turns out that at the end of one transaction, he actually owes them some money because of all the rebates they took.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Baby Sitter

That is how I feel sometimes.

I babysit grown people, men mostly (Damn, I wish I had some female clients, they are probably smarter than the guys). I use to tell people that when it comes to entrepreneurship, the dumber the better, that way they stay blissfully ignorant to all of the potential risks they are facing. I used to think the saying went "Too smart for your own good", now I think it should be "Too dumb for your own good". I have answered my own question, yes, you can be too dumb. I guess like all things in life, there is a happy medium somewhere. Maybe I am the happy medium? The jury is still out on that one as I too could be "too dumb for my own good"

It is frustrating. Not looking for pity, just stating a fact.

Every entrepreneur goes through rough times and cash crunches. Multiply that by the number of companies we finance, and that is the number of times, I go through it. Most of the time I can handle it. Sometimes I get shaken.

The problem is that it is the small things that set you off. It's not the numbskulls who don't understand there are only 100 cents in a dollar, you have to keep your patience with them, although sometimes yelling is the only way to get through. It's not the fabricator who can't seem to get a schematic diagram right, despite the fact that this is part of their job. You just keep harassing them until they get it right (yes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease). It that annoying dog that your partner insists on bringing to your office or even worse its your spouse, who has just asked you for a little help around the house that sets you off.

One of the problems with all of the "information" about running and growing a business is that it is all glammed-up bullshit. It leaves out all of the nasty interpersonal details, the screwings, the lies, the conflicts and that is just from your friends :) You read the average "entrepreneurship" magazine and if you have any experience starting and running/building a smaller business, you would swear that whoever they were interviewing and whoever was doing the writing was smoking crack. From time to time, people ask me if there are any books they should read about improving their business. I usually tell them to read the Bible (New or Old testament, doesn't really matter). They ask why. Because sooner or later, every business owner has to pray.

On a lighter note, have you ever wondered why bank guards and armored car personnel (Brinks trucks et al.) carry guns? I mean after all, these guys probably make close to minimum wage, transport/protect money that isn't theirs to keep and all of the money they do protect is insured against theft. Would you pull a gun on someone if you were a bank guard and all they wanted was money?

No, I am not contemplating bank robbery, just silly things I see.

Here's a tip..........

the ink is already dry.

Democrats Don't Want Libby to Be Pardoned - AP

You think that anyone is going to let Libby talk? The pardon will be issued on the grounds of "its a matter of national security".

Mark my words.

Wednesday News Briefs

  • The French (well some of them) are revolting - France invokes emergency riot powers in main cities - [Reuters] - We already knew that, tell us something new for a change.
  • What do you want to bet that this is just payback for the whole Plame Affair? - GOP Leaders Urge Probe in Prisons Leak [WaPo] - What are the odds that if they do nail someone, he or she is identified as a Democrat?
  • I wonder how what is going to happen when someone finds out about all of the bad loans sitting on the books of Chinese banks? - Anxiety Drives Chinese Fixation on Frugality [LATimes] - This family is right to be worried and is probably doing good by saving, however, they would probably be better off sticking the money in the fireplace, covered with gasoline than putting it in a Chinese bank.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My friend, Mr. Taxman

One of the companies we are financing found themselves in a little bit of a pickle, well ok a lot of a pickle (Can you have a lot of a pickle, yes, yes you can) with the tax department.

We had promised our tax friend that we would be making a payment (mid to low 5 figures) on our client's behalf. When we delivered the money to him, he said he was surprised. He didn't think that he would ever see a dollar from us.

We then managed to get our client's monthly payments shaved down by a few thousand dollars a month. This was good.

We were then told that client was still delinquent in their payment plan. This was bad.

We then asked our tax friend for an account statement. He said it would take 4 to 5 weeks. This was, well a little bizarre given the fact that I believe the government stopped using an abacus to calculate taxes at least five years ago.

Next up for these characters, the tax fairness committee, to get some of our, I mean our client's money back.

Tomorrow, finish up an other deal (god willing).

Following in your father's foot steps?

Rumor has that Al Franken is considering a run for the senate in 2008. Following in the steps of his father, the late senator Paul (there is no Art) Simon.

Can somebody say paternity test?


What have I created?

Lil' Guy went to bed tonight clutching two rolls of pennies.........what have I done? The kid wants to go to sleep with money. He must get that from my mother-in-law. She sleeps with my father-in-laws credit cards.

The First Year (so you thought the grass was greener on the other side)

And you went out on your own,
Out of choice?
Out of necessity?
Out of insanity?
To build a business.

You've sweated the sleepless nights.
You've pondered where the next client will come from.
You've thanked god that your spouse isn't a moron like you.

You weren't one of the chosen ones,
anointed with free money to build the next technological Hindenburg,
Every cent you've gathered, you've paid for with your blood.
Every day, you confront the possibility of death by a thousand paper cuts.

You were a metal cutter, a die maker, a good old fashion salesman or maybe someone with dream,
To be their own person, to be their own man.
To go through life standing on their own two feet,
Never needing a sycophant's plan.

You tried the corporate thing, you put your time in for someone else.
They promised you security in return for your soul, but you didn't fall for it.
You didn't drink the corporate "Kool-Aid".
You were so smart. Right?

So somehow you made it through your first year.
Yes, your credit card bills are high,
But that is a only a short term problem you tell yourself.
Until next month they get higher.

Sometimes when you are standing in the shower,
You stop and think, am I fucking crazy?
And then you read things like this,
And wonder, "am I the only sane person?"

You try to remember,
Short term pain,
Long term gain.
But that short term pain keeps rolling over,
Much like those credit card balances.

And you meet with your lender,
That coward,
"Get out from behind that desk and try running a business", you think, as you grind your teeth and say "thank you".

Every time you close your eyes,
You have this image of yourself, 10 years down the line;
"How did you do it?", they all ask to your face.
But you hear the comments behind your back,
You didn't deserve success, you were just lucky.
And you long to be bad-mouthed.

Most have no clue about the risks you took.
They just see the rewards.
Most people went they easy way,
Took the "great" job early on.
Bought the car, the house,
Now they are a victim of their lifestyle,
But it doesn't stop them from trying to knock you down.
You look at them and laugh.

They didn't want to know you when you were poor,
When you were hungry, when you would do anything to survive.
But now you are rich, you can afford morals and ethics.

And to those few who helped you out along the way,
The friend who lent you $10,000,
The supplier who let you slide a few extra days,
You offer your thanks.

But to the rest, the people who slammed the door in your face,
Lacked the courtesy to return a phone call.
Fuck You!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Oh, I've never been asked to do that before!

No darling, I am not asking you to sleep with me on our first date (beyond the fact that my wife would get a little angry, I just don't find you that attractive), I am asking you to send me a sample of your product before I buy a bunch of it. I'll even pay for it..................get your mind out of the gutter!

Geez, you would think that people who are in the business of selling stuff would actually want to sell some of it.

Yes, I am running in to some trouble sourcing a product.

Ever see a company act like a dumped girlfriend/

Merger and acquisition (M&A for those in the know) deals usually have break fees built into them in case one of the betroth get cold feet on the way to the alter of corporate union. Some deals even have clauses to compensate the involved parties in case the marriage doesn't work out as planned (a corporate prenuptial if you will).

But I am not sure how often it happens that one company sues another on the basis of buy me or else. Having been on the end of a buy me, I mean marry me or get out (I chose to get out) proposition, I can understand a "buy me now or its over" situation, but I can't understand a "marry me now or I will sue you" ultimatum.

So I guess we will have to see where the Guidant Sues Johnson to Force Buyout situation ends up, but the question is, if this deal goes through, how will husband and wife ever share the bathroom.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sunday Morning News Scan

Proof that even commodity traders don't fully understand risk diversification - Lifting the Lid: Rogers' banner year threatened by Refco [Reuters] - Dude, you kept all of your funds at one brokerage? Let this be a less to all of you, risk comes in many flavors. There is market risk, operational risk........yes, Mr Rogers, operational risk.

Wanted: Policital Viagra - Conservatives soar in poll after Canadian scandal [Reuters] - So anyone think the "Tories" can keep it up? Truth is, I am not a Liberal fan, but I dislike them less than Stephen "Pasty White Hope" Harper.

I wouldn't worry about people finding lower prices, I would worry about them finding out how you treat suppliers. - Just Googling It Is Striking Fear Into Companies [NYTimes] - Walmart soils itself over Google's ability to make infromation free (I am now on their hit list for this post- Ed.)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

An important word


Lil' Guy learned an important word today.

"Mine"

As in "That is mine" and "This is mine"

Keep saying "Mine" kid, cause the more you say it , the more that will be yours! Trust me, it works.

Retirement?

No, not mine. In fact, I can't see myself ever "retiring" in the traditional sense. Slow down, yes, but what I don't really understand is our culture's fascination with "retirement".

Let's face it, most people who retire are not flush with enough cash to travel the world year round and enjoy the finer things in life all of the time. In fact, most (yes, most, not all, most) people I know who are retired or close to it are constantly looking for ways to scale back. I am not talking about people who spent their lives working as assembly line workers or mid level management at some faceless corporation/government department, because they usually have(or at least had pensions a la Enron). I am talking about the well paid professional/bureaucrats who may still own a cottage or a condo in a warmer climate who probably don't have enough saved to maintain their current lifestyle (part of the problems with this group of people is that they think they deserve a certain lifestyle, regardless of if they have earned it........they should try owning/running a business......you learn how to stretch a dollar pretty quick)

What brings the topic of retirement to mind is the fact that the Globe and Mail runs a weekly personal finance article on the topic of retirement/personal financial planning in which they dissect the financial situation of a couple/person and how they are/aren't accomplishing their retirement savings goals and if they don't get their house in order soon, they are going to end up whittling their golden years away working as a Walmart greeter.

My question is, who wants to retire? I get antsy spending a day at home if I am sick. My grandfather hasn't worked worked for 30 years. He had heart surgery in the early 70's and the prevailing logic at the time was that if you have heart problems, you have to take it easy for the rest of you life. Let me tell you, if you think running a business is hard on a marriage, try 30 years of retirement.

So what is my point? We besides saying that marriage is always hard (which it isn't really), I think that the concept of "retirement" is outdated and misguided.

Friday, November 04, 2005

A great example of effective, yet tastefully obtuse branding

Mr. Happy Crack


No it's not what you think. These guys fix cracks in cement foundations.........no really they do. Mr. Happy Crack, and his slogan“A Dry Crack is a Happy Crack!” become so popular that people started wanting apparel with the logo.

Now I am no one to tell someone when they have gone to far, but where do you go after you bring out your own thongs?

What are friends worth? (yes, you can put a value on friendship)

Contrary to popular belief, I do have friends, in fact I even have some from my MBA program (about the only thing I got out of the program other than a piece of very expensive rolling paper).

Every now and again, usually about 2 times a year, most of us get together for dinner and contrary to most "reunions", I don't feel any need to get uptight or find a reason not to go, unless there is a legit reason. One of the great things (unless I am oblivious to it, which could always be possible) is that there isn't this overhanging sense of hyper-competitiveness to see "who has done what" or "see what I have". While this could be a case of "we are all miserable failures" I highly doubt it, as at least one of us is bound to accomplish something.

The impetus for these get togethers is usually one of us sending out an email announcing a job promotion, career move or sex change (Just kidding).

So what is my point? These seven friends are each worth about $2857.14 to me, or what it cost me to do my MBA (I got in when tuition was cheap). You thought I was going to say something mushy didn't you. :)

Happiness is:

  • Being cash flow positive;
  • Standing in line at the bank waiting to deposit a cheque (check for you American readers);
  • Standing in line at the bank waiting to deposit a cheque (check for you American readers) when the cute girl next to you start chatting you up; and
  • Standing in line at the bank waiting to deposit a cheque (check for you American readers) when the cute girl next to you start chatting you up and she hands you her number before you get a chance to tell her you are married (Don't worry darling wifie, it went straight in the garbage).

No, you can't have more! (aka - get your hand out of my pants)

You know what I love about entrepreneurs, they are just like teenage boys (or any boy over the age of 12 or so) and being a boy I can relate.

Now you are going to ask, how is an entrepreneur like a teenage boy? Well, they are almost always trying to get more. More of what you ask? Ask any teenage girl (especially one with a boyfriend) what any average teenage boy is trying to get more of and they will probably all tell you the same thing.

A word of advice guys, be happy getting to second base.........Especially on a first date.

So how does this relate to me? I am always asked by entrepreneurs for more money, much like this:
Entrepreneur: Josh, we are working at an 85% advance rate right?
Josh: MMMM, no, we are working at 75%.
Entrepreneur: Well, we can move to 80% pretty soon right?
Josh: We just started working together. Be happy that I let you cop a feel! Now stop wasting time talking to me and go back to work. You have giant bills to pay!

Warping Young Minds

Just got back in from a short little lecture/sermon I gave at Ryerson University (my brother in law went there for engineering, but I won't hold that against the school) on bootstrapping your own business. Yes, I explained to them what invoice discounting was (I have a book that I send out that does that much better), but more importantly, I tried to impress up this group of eager little beavers, that, like most things in life, things are easily said and not easily done. Ideas are simple, mechanics are simple, execution is a bitch. If you do not have the stomach for a real life horror story, it is not the life for you.

Starting your own business is possibly the dumbest thing you can do. The only thing dumber may be slaving away for somebody else in a job. In other words, making a success of yourself is not easy.

The most important thing that anyone who wants to be successful in business (and something that I am still learning to be comfortable with) is how to manipula.....I mean contro............I mean influence people. Some people are born with this skill, others must practice it.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Lawyers have great blogs

Take a read of the Anonymous Lawyer, its biting, it's cutting, but alas, it is anonymous. It would be funnier if he at least put his name on it........now that would be risky. I have to start writing more about the people around me. The only difference will be that I actually put my name on it. One of the advantage of running your own show.

But hey, it all comes down to what you like more, pain or drudgery. While often confused, there is a big difference. If you need it explained to you, then you have
only experienced drudgery.

So, yes, I will start insulting my clients, but more than likely I will be cutting up the potential clients, like the guy who told us he would like to borrow money from us, but because he has a limited liability corporation, he will not guarantee it. Or better yet, the people who call me up or send me an email asking me for money like I am a charity.................I am not a charity!

None of you are safe........

Brought to you by the letter H

as in Hypocrisy

Spell that with me now children H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y

There's plenty of hypocrisy to go around in Washington The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News


...
Michael Moore, the biggest mouthpiece of the anti-hypocrite left, constantly denounces Republicans as racists for opposing affirmative action. Schweizer reports that Moore almost never hires black people. Moore insists, "I don't own a single share of stock." He denounces clever Enron style schemes to conceal wealth and rails against Haliburton as the Mother of All Evils. He told C-Span's Brian Lamb in his best prolier-than-thou voice that he wanted nothing to do with the stock market. "That's the rich man's game."

Well, it turns out Moore's got another game going. As Schweizer reports, Moore told the IRS his home is the headquarters of his tax-free foundation, to which he contributes some of his millions for the write-off. The foundation, in turn, not only bought stock — its holdings are a Who's Who of "greedy" corporations, including Halliburton (continued...)

-Hell, I consider myself a liberal, but this is funny shit:)

Opinionistas

Not sure what to say about this chick, other than that she is a fucking riot and shares my contempt for many things in real world.

Her blog is definately worth a read

Opinionista

Yes, she is a lawyer, but don't hold that against her.

Thursday Morning Musings

  • Why I swim in the shallow end of the financing pool - Huge Flood of Capital Spurs Risk Taking [WSJ - Subscription required] - Some financial pundits (well ok, maybe just me) have claimed that we have moved from the industrial age to the technological age and now to the financial age, where the only thing you need to have to make money, is money, so some smart people, playing with huge amounts of other people's money, are starting accept higher risk and lower returns - proof that sometimes you need more than money. Are we looking at another bubble? Aren't we always? Aren't I always saying this? Oh well, a broken clock is right twice a day, which is more than most people are. The moral of the story - stay on message, it will eventually sound good.

  • Another cram down in action? Troubled Maker of Heart Devices May Lose Suitor [NYTIMES] - Could see a $10-$15 per share cut in J&J's offer just because of a few little legal issues. Who would be worse off than Guidant shareholders? People who have Guidant cardiac devices implanted in their chests. Wow, if you fall into both of those categories...........just wow. Let's just say if I were you, I would stay inside for a few days, for fear of an anvil or baby grand piano falling on your head or some other unlikely twist of fate.

  • Someone is not paying him enough, either that or no one has threatened his family, not sure which - Libby expected to plead not guilty [Reuters]. In a scenario that seems almost cannibalistic, you would think that no one in the current Bush administration would want this guy to sing, but rather cop a plea, cut a deal and Libby writes another book when he gets out of jail and goes on the lecture circuit

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Does anyone else

find it funny when politicians, or worse yet, political pundits, critisize one another (or anyone for that matter) for playing politics? Case(s) in point:

Goodale accused Canaccord Capital Corp., of playing "partisan politics" and following the wishes of Opposition Conservatives with its call for Canadians to lobby their MPs to fight Goodale's plans to reform the sector: Income trust complaints partisan, misleading: Goodale [Montreal Gazette]

In typical partisan and Monday morning quarterback fashion, Senator Reid proclaimed: "We know that there were no [weapons of mass destruction] now in Iraq. We didn't know it at the time. We know now that we didn't know at the time that there was no Al Qaeda connection. We know now that we didn't know then that there was no 9/11 connection. We know now that they had no plan for winning the peace. We didn't know that at the time: Senate Democrats: Past Shameless, Near Seditious [MichNews.com]

What is politics if it is not partisan?

Isn't this a little like critisize some for doing their job?

Maybe I am simple.

Just a thought

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

From the "Glad it's not my money" Department

  • So, I just bet my rent on this 2 legged horse to win the Kentucky derby - Settlement Reached on Motorola - Zafirovski Lawsuit -[Nortel] - "The terms of the settlement provide that Zafirovski cannot disclose Motorola trade secrets or confidential information, and Zafirovski and Nortel have agreed for a specified period to refrain from hiring or recruiting Motorola employees under certain circumstances. The settlement also includes restrictions, until July 1, 2006, on Zafirovski's communications with certain specified companies, some of which are Nortel customers, and limitations on his ability to advise Nortel on competitive strategy or analysis relative to Motorola for a defined period. Zafirovski will also repay Motorola US $11.5 million, which is part of his separation payment from Motorola, and Nortel has agreed to fully reimburse Zafirovski for this repayment. " - so for the next few year this guy is a pretty expensive janitor.

  • UAL Reports $1.8 Billion Loss [CFO.com] - another example of why being a supplier to large, poorly run companies sucks. Future suppliers should also take heed of this portion of the story: "UAL — whose restructuring is 'largely complete,' according to chief financial officer Jake Brace — is reportedly forecasting a profit in 2006 for the first time since 2000. The AP observed, however, that this forecast assumes that crude-oil prices will average $50 a barrel — more than $10 below the current price." - I am pretty sure that this doesn't need any additional commentary.

  • I bet he joins the Carlyle Group - Russian president won't seek third term [Seattle Post]- either that or he just decides to "take" a third term, Hosny Mubarak "President for Life" Style.

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