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Three Rs of Enterprise

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ROI by Frank J. Rich

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Frank J. Rich

 

 

Fewer than 40 percent of graduating high school seniors have mastered reading and math, making the majority of graduating classes poorly equipped for college and real-world life.  This group of students (generally) passes to the next grade—regardless of performance—and is at a serious disadvantage with a higher chance of falling behind and dropping out of college. (National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP] 2015)

Programs such as STEM that encourage girls—who usually do better than boys in most subjects—in the study of science, math, and technology helps, but the majority of U.S. graduates are disadvantaged in the workplace in comparison to many other industrialized nations.

The fallout is evident to most business and NFP (Not For Profit) organizations that must routinely choose among candidates that show promise, if not the skills already in place that are necessary to job performance. While poor language skills are among the most obvious deficiencies in job candidates, most lack the discipline of an everyday job, the resourcefulness that fuels growth and opportunity, and the basic nature in risk taking.

Perhaps, as it relates to our educational system, we are asking the wrong questions. A focus on literacy and basic academic skills fails to identify key elements of success in the marketplace, which also encourage the personal growth and development that lead to ultimate fulfillment—the highest level of personal achievement.

  1. Resourcefulness
  2. Respect
  3. Risk

The three Rs of Enterprise may be a reasonable place to start. Simply, Resourcefulness, Respect, and Risk may offer the opportunity to address the educational deficit noted above and present a more achievable goal for lazy students, encouraging academic participation. Clearly, 60 percent of high school graduates may be unable to outline the elements of international balance of power today in light of the Monroe Doctrine that defined an era of isolationism in America for 100 years. They would more easily be able to describe the ways they repaired a separated doorknob for mom while dad was at work, or the discovery of ingredients for a first omelet when the fridge offered limited options, or the mental calculation used to judge a skateboard stunt, or the deference paid to a disabled person in helping them. On these foundations—common to all—most any could find their way to greater understanding through an informed approach to learning. I think we call this education.

What’s taught in school? Coursework is the answer, for its focus on academics. Missing is the method common to all learning that resourcefulness, respect for the subject matter (in practical terms) and the risk that raises hands with questions, subordinating natural fears, engenders.

Also missing are the business calisthenics so vital to self-achievement. R1 is first among skills. In the end, some part of all things must be done alone—critical thinking, ideation, planning, “what if” analyses, funding, market analysis, pricing models, competitive analysis, facilities plan, staffing, training and personnel development (leadership), and growth modeling. All come into play for household management; something we all need to learn so as not to model the error in governments that practice deficit spending. If we are successful in raising a nation of people better able to find self-fulfillment, we do well to teach and practice resourcefulness. There is no substitute for this ability to find solutions when none are seemingly available.

Respect calms the process, answers the “why” in what we do and in choosing our life’s path. Significantly, R2 models the organizational attitude in whatever place we find ourselves. Respect for the work, the staff, the process, the customer, the community, the industry, end goals, and individual choice, put all peoples, created equal under God, on an even plane to compete cooperatively. If we are better able to see another through the eyes of hope in us, we reveal the path to the most spoken urging of politics and people—coming together.

Risk Management must become an internal model, wholly respected and resource specific for the incomplete logic in all initiatives that finds optimal outcomes. It’s everyone’s job.

  1. Assessing coverage risks—cross-functional flow and cross training. What a 3rd baseman does when the shortstop attempts to field a hard grounder; or a friend does in comforting another after tragedy; or a parent does when their fledgling child rents her first apartment with the fear she won’t be able to manage the financial burden of it.
  2. Raising the quality of customers to serve efficiency and best outcomes, driving prices down, and quality product and service up, which delivers greater profits.
  3. Staff attrition risk management—A measure of organizational reward (liking where we work and what we do), and opportunity assessments.
May 25, 2018 |

Do You Love Whole Milk?

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New research suggests you can follow your heart.

(Family Features) New research suggests “good” fat may be good for your cholesterol. Whole milk may help raise “good” cholesterol and could be considered part of a healthy diet that’s also good for your heart, according to a new study from the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”[i]

When adults drank two cups of whole milk every day for three weeks, they had higher levels of good cholesterol that promotes heart health (HDL) and similar levels of LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar (risk factors for heart disease) as when they drank the same amount of fat free milk for the same period of time. Based on these findings, researchers concluded whole milk can be part of a heart-healthy diet as long as calories are taken into account.

This study adds to a growing body of research that suggests whole milk can fit within a healthy diet, and some studies suggest it may have additional benefits for both adults and kids – including maintaining a healthy weight and getting enough vitamin D. Researchers followed more than 18,000 healthy-weight women for nearly a decade and found those who consumed more whole milk and full-fat milk products (1.3 servings every day) were less likely to become overweight or obese compared to women who didn’t consume any full-fat dairy at all, according to a study from the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”[ii]

Whole milk may also give kids a vitamin D advantage, according to another study from the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Kids who drank whole milk had higher blood levels of vitamin D than their peers who drank low-fat milk, even when the total amount of milk they drank was the same.[iii] Researchers believe this might be because milk fat helps kids’ bodies absorb vitamin D more efficiently.

Experts agree milk plays an important role in a nutritious, balanced diet, and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three servings of low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products each day. Many people are surprised to learn whole milk has the same essential nutrients as low-fat and fat-free milk, so no matter which type of milk you choose to pour in your cereal bowl, use in your smoothie or fill up your glass, you can rest assured that all dairy milk – from fat-free to whole – is simple, wholesome and naturally nutrient-rich.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

 

 

[i] Engel S, Elhauge M, Tholstrup T. Effect of whole milk compared with skimmed milk on fasting blood lipids in healthy adults: a 3-week randomized-crossover study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2018,72:249-254.

[ii] Rautiainen S, Wang L, Lee I, Manson J, Buring J, Sesso H. Dairy consumption in association with weight change and risk of becoming overweight or obese in middle-aged and older women: a prospective cohort study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2016;103:979-988.

[iii] Vanderhout SM, Birken CS, Parkin PC, Lebovic G, Chen Y, O’Connor DL, Maguire JL, TARGet Kids! Collaboration. Relation between milk-fat percentage, vitamin D, and BMI z score in early childhood. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2016;104:1657-1664.

May 23, 2018 |

Food Idioms and Their Origins

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Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

 

 

One summer many years ago my husband’s cousin visited us from Germany. She was single at the time and her visit would entail staying with our three young children and us. Seeing what it was like living with three active children during school recess was a new experience for her. Cousin Ilse spoke fluent English and it was a pleasure having her visit.

One hot summer day we planned to go to the beach and told the children we’d leave when they finished breakfast, picked up their toys and got dressed. Packing lunch and keeping after them as they dawdled was a bit chaotic. When the children were being silly and not listening to my instructions, I turned to Ilse and said, “They are going bananas because they are excited about the beach.” Ilse looked puzzled and asked, “What do you mean about bananas?”

American idioms often make no sense to people in other countries. She got such a kick out of my explanation that to this day she uses the expression herself. During our phone calls she will answer my question about her job with, “It is so busy and we go bananas every day trying to finish all the projects.” She loves that phrase and probably would enjoy these other frequently used idioms about food as well.

Spill the Beans

This term is often used in old gangster movies when they describe someone who is divulging the plans as “spilling the beans.” In other words — to give out information that should be secret. Recently I watched a series on TV starring Dustin Hoffman regarding the life of the Italian Medici family. In one scene, the ruling members of the court voted on an issue using different colored beans, white for yes and black for no. Each member put in one bean, the container was shaken, and then the contents were poured out. The yes and no votes were counted to see what the judgment on the issue would be. Hence, “spill the beans” means to divulge the answer.   This practice was said to have started in ancient Greece with the votes being counted after they spilled from an urn.

Cup of Tea

Have you ever invited a friend to go to a movie of a certain genre (i.e., science fiction) and the person replied, “No thank you. It’s not my cup of tea”? Or asked a person if they’ve ever been on a cruise and heard the reply “not my cup of tea”? The English love their cup of tea and that’s where the term originated. Back in Edwardian times, the slang term “cup of tea” meant something pleasant and agreeable, as a nice cup of hot tea is relaxing and soothing. To reverse the meaning for something you don’t like, the phrase “not my cup of tea” became popular. This explanation was written by famed journalist Alistair Cooke in his 1944 Letter from America. You might remember Mr. Cooke as the distinguished, original host of Masterpiece Theatre.

 

 

 

May 23, 2018 |

Brunch Made Easy

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In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) Gathering friends and family doesn’t need to be fancy. With its prime positioning between breakfast and lunch, brunch is a more casual and lighter alternative to the typical dinner party.

When charged with hosting a mid-day gathering, a little pre-planning can go a long way toward ensuring your brunch get-together is as simple as it is scrumptious.

Get creative with decor. When prepping your tablescape, think outside the box. Opt for unexpected serving dishes such as tartlet tins and vases, and transfer syrups and jams from their everyday containers to glass bowls or creamers. Fresh flowers and produce can add natural pops of color to the table and a bowl of fruit can make for an eye-catching centerpiece.

Plan a variety of dishes. Make sure you have a mix of both sweet and savory dishes on the menu that can please a wide variety of palates. Earmarking some recipes that can be made ahead, like pastries and casseroles, can be a simple way to avoid waking up extra early to prepare. Save the morning of your event for dishes that are best served fresh, like this Herbed Spanish Omelet, which features potatoes; fresh, spring herbs; and red onions, and packs protein, B-vitamins and cancer-protective phytochemicals.

Serve it buffet-style. Setting your spread out on the counter and allowing guests to help themselves not only makes it easier for the host to mingle, but it allows guests to customize their meals as they wish and gives the gathering a more casual vibe. Try themed stations, such as a coffee or mimosa bar, parfait bar or bread bar, in addition to more traditional dishes to let guests take the customization to the next level.

For more brunch ideas and recipes, visit Culinary.net.

Herbed Spanish Omelet

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research

Servings: 4

1     pound potatoes, peeled and diced or shredded

water

2      tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2   cup diced red onion

2      cloves garlic, minced

4      large whole eggs, lightly beaten

2      egg whites, lightly beaten

2      tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

2      tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

2       tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

salt, to taste (optional)

fresh herb sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Place potatoes in large pan. Cover with water. Bring to boil and cook, uncovered, 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain well.

In deep, 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and garlic. Cook about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and cook 5 minutes.

Combine whole eggs and egg whites. Stir in parsley, basil and chives. Season with salt, to taste, if desired. Pour mixture over potatoes in hot skillet. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes, or until bottom of omelet is golden.

If desired, brown top under toaster oven. Garnish with fresh herb sprigs, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving: 260 calories; 12 g total fat (2 g saturated fat); 28 g carbohydrates; 11 g protein; 2 g dietary fiber; 106 mg sodium.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

May 23, 2018 |

Colin Schmitt’s 6th Annual All American Hot Dog Roast

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Make sure you save the date for Colin Schmitt’s 6th Annual All American Hot Dog Roast (Get tickets here). This is our sixth year hosting this relaxed family friendly event (always all you can eat!). Buy your tickets early. Looking forward to seeing every one again this year! Spread the word!

Saturday, June 16, 2018
1 – 3 PM

Pond Area Pavilion, Thomas Bull Memorial Park
State Route 416, Montgomery, NY 12549
(parking in tennis courts/boat house parking lot)

$25 per person
$60 per family

Sponsorships:

Friend Sponsor $100
2 tickets and event recognition

Victory Sponsor $250
5 tickets, event recognition, signage

Patriot Sponsor $500
10 tickets, event recognition, signage

Event Sponsor: $1000
Unlimited tickets, event recognition, signage

Star Sponsor: $4,400

**An individual or entity may contribute a maximum of $4,400 per election cycle to Assembly Campaign Committees. Contributions to Schmitt4NY are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.**

May 21, 2018 |

The #1 Investment

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ROI by Frank J. Rich

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Frank J. Rich

 

 

In my life I have mulled over the number of calls from those asking me to consider an investment of one kind or another. They were usually imbued of a unique product or service, market space, or potential in the thinking or use of something. Not least, there were always stocks “of extraordinary value” in the offerings, in both rising and falling markets. Admittedly, it took dozens of stock flips, educational and environmental schemes, and new bond initiatives, before my penchant for a quick fix to wealth building rested in wisdom’s tranquility. Despite the variety of investments offered and the creative approaches that attended them, all had one thing in common; they required nothing from me but money.

A quick review of the ways and means of accomplishment, no less self-esteem, revealed the gray around my temples—and frankly, none too soon. The cost of this outside-inside view of opportunity was a false hope in others and other things, and the artifice that steals real opportunity from enterprise and enterprising people. Desire, it seems, has deep roots, a grand view, and few obstacles. Only the doing blocks the way; thus, any opportunity with the promise of great wealth “while we sleep” almost always looks like the missing puzzle piece to a perfect picture. We’ve all heard the sage advice to let our money work for us. Perhaps, the confusion is in thinking it means that we don’t have to.

After giving in to a number of investments, I discovered a few things. I couldn’t shake myself of the motion sickness of a growing belief in impossible dreams and the notion that “nothing comes from nothing,” which is all that I was putting into these ventures. Sure, I studied the markets, made plausible conclusions, and dutifully ignored the nagging question over how much more invested others were in my dreams than the money I gave them to chase the gravity beneath me and cause high fives all around the office—theirs!

I anxiously awaited the news that each investment had delivered on the promise, chalking up to experience those that failed, even those that drifted into space with endless excuses of external imponderables. The brilliance at the end of most every one of them proved to be glitter, not gold. Not coincidentally, they ended as they had begun, with more promise than progeny. Clearly, after the risk is factored in, most such investments usually lose their appeal.

Hidden in Plain Sight

Like Alice, the simple girl in a dream of fancy, I discovered the truth in wealth building—an investment in myself, in my own business, always resulted in an ROI greater than any I had learned of or experienced. Consider the investment we make in education, whether in a trade or so-called higher education. We might spend $50 – $200,000 on it—a healthy investment by any measure. Not even a $500,000 home requires more than 20 percent down, only half of our investment in a top-school education. But the difference in income earned by those with and without that education is as much as $2.7 million over their work life. Should one retire at 65, the average annual return on a $100,000 investment is 8 percent, and that’s in simple interest. Compounded over 44 years on the job, the ROI is staggering.

Why then, don’t we see the opportunity in ourselves and make the obvious investment? Simply, it is FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). Greatness, it is told, is achieved only after one having reached the crest of the wave endures against the sheer force of it, and overcoming, meets up with it.

Statistically, a $1 investment in yourself—your education, a business, new equipment, or a new product—pays between 2 -10 times the ROI. (US Census, DOC, 2005). A quick example illustrates the point. In 1990 I started one of the five companies I founded over the years. My work in Silicon Valley had earned me a reputation for helping build electronics startups into superstars. The news that I had started a new company brought five clients to me on day one. But my new company and I, and its first day, had the same number in common—one. How was I to serve five clients alone, all needing personal attention, and a lot of market work? I could schedule their start dates but risk losing them to the urgency in their need for help. Or, I could stretch myself as though I were Plastic Man. I decided to gather competent others in a team capable of handling the client load. As one, I could have taken a bigger portion of the fees, but limited my revenues in the tradeoff. As seven we were able to multiply revenues by 4x, and that was in the first month of operation. The decision netted our little company near a half million dollars in the first year.

Consistently over time, I have applied this valuable lesson, and with equally consistent results. An investment in oneself, one’s business, is better than 95 percent of the alternatives. There are over 50,000 new businesses started in the U.S. each month. Not surprisingly, small businesses employ 52 percent of the private workforce (more if adding non-profits) and roughly 60 percent of the nation’s sales, including jobs for the young, old, and women; 67 percent of new jobs; and 55 percent of all innovations.

When thinking about where to shop this season, consider where it is going to do the country the most good, and find your local small business. Happy hunting!

 

 

May 18, 2018 |
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