Posts Tagged ‘business’

How To Survive a Sociopath Boss

I once had a boss who is described in this article. But the crazy thing was, I really liked and respected him. I even defended him when coworkers would vent. Have you ever had a boss that everyone else in the office hated?


10 Things You Should Know About Goals

Excellent article that I may just have to make into a sign to hang over my desk.

Hurricanes. Wild fires. Earthquakes. Floods. An exploding gas pipeline in the neighborhood. For years, emergency preparedness has been advocated and advised by emergency responders, government agencies, and insurance companies. So are you ready? I’m not.

Excuses for not being prepared for an emergency:

  • The supply list seems so long and funds seem so short. Why spend money on something you don’t intend to use?
  • Where to store it all. As someone who moved from 1400 sq ft to 900 sq ft, this issue is very real.
  • Isn’t that what the Red Cross is for?
  • Lifestyle. Why should a single apartment dweller be worried about such a thing? Why not just get in your car and leave the stricken area?


While this seems like a strange topic for a personal blog, it has long been on my mind. And since September is National Preparedness Month, I just had to jump in to the fray.

As someone who has prepared emergency response plans for businesses, I have often thought that employers should get involved in helping workers prepare for emergencies. Why? Because when it comes to a business resuming operations after a disaster, their most valuable asset is their employees. Moreover, they can buy supplies in bulk and reduce the cost to each household.

Solution to acquiring the items on the supply list:

Break the big list down into smaller shopping lists. Get storage containers first, then stow items in them as they are purchased (Big Lots has big, clear plastic containers for about $9 each). Make a 12-week plan. Why 12 weeks? Because 3 months is a good length of time. Most of us break our income into monthly periods, so it’s easier to budget these purchases this way. Take 6 months if you absolutely need to do so, but 6 months makes it a long-term project, more likely to be abandoned before completion.

Depending on where you live, some of the things you need may be big-ticket items. Safe rooms in tornado alley, impact-resistant roofing in areas assaulted by hail and wind, and so on. Those may, in fact, require some longer-term projects and planning. But check with your insurer and your accountant. You may be eligible for tax and premium credits/discounts or even grants for purchasing these important building improvements.

Where to store it all:

Despite my own lack of space, I know I can find room in a closet or in the single-car garage for two or three large plastic containers. So can you. It’s important. Make room.

What the Red Cross can and cannot do:

The Red Cross does an excellent job of responding to disasters. They offer food and temporary shelter when possible. But don’t expect them to be knocking on your door within two hours after the earthquake or the river overflows its banks. In fact, the Red Cross says that it may be two to three days before assistance is near enough to help you. You need to be prepared to be self-sustaining in the interim.

Driving away from a disaster may not be possible:

Having survived many earthquakes in California (Sylmar, 1971; Whittier Narrows, 1986; Northridge, 1994 – my favorite – I had surgery scheduled that morning), I can tell you that gas stations may be shut down, ATMs may not be operating (do you keep emergency cash on hand?), or roads may be impassable. Your car may be in 4 feet of water, crushed under a garage roof, or sitting on top of a roof across town. If you live in an area where evacuation in advance is possible and probable, this may not be as much of an issue. But keep in mind that the worst non-subduction zone earthquakes in U.S. history occurred in New Madrid, Missouri (1811-1812).

If the most likely event is one that will require evacuation, begin disaster season in your region with a bag packed for each person in the household. You need to be able to fly out the door. Wouldn’t it be a good thing to have a clean change of clothes or two?

So let’s get started. Get your home ready. Get your business ready. Talk to your employer about getting the entire staff prepared, especially if your company is one that people will need after the disaster. Break the tasks into manageable pieces, but keep moving forward.

Here are some resources to help us get started:

A good list of tax credits, insurance discounts, grant programs available for specific states:

This is a one-stop site for households and businesses. Hosted by FEMA, you’ll find a lot of good information here, including the supply kit shopping list and ways to prepare children and people with special needs for emergencies.

If you’d rather buy than build your disaster survival kit:

Of course, the American Red Cross provides information about disaster preparedness. And after you think you’re ready, you can sign up for a first-aid class or to volunteer to help others:

ADD this site to your phone’s browser favorites. You’ll get information after a disaster, including their twitter feed and phone numbers you’ll need if you require disaster assistance. They also have your kit shopping list so you have no excuse for not having it with you.

Now make a commitment to yourself. Buy stuff you hope you’ll never need, but need to have anyway. Let’s get this done!

“He tried to hit me with a forklift!” (for today’s Daily Post)

Submitted to Daily Post:



Have you ever heard of the six degrees of separation? The theory that every person is just 6 steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on earth? Oh, go ahead and click the link. It will take you to a Wikipedia article about it.

I don’t know if it would actually work. I guess it depends on how many people you know. But I do think that, with the Internet, we are all six steps or less from finding anything we need to know. If we follow rabbit trails.

Rabbit trails tend to meander, lead nowhere, and generally, get us lost (look what happened to Alice). But sometimes, we find something worth finding… Nerdy Girl says it doesn’t take much to amuse me. She’s right.

1. I signed up for an Intro to Marketing class in which…

2. I had to write a paper about e-publishers charging a subscription fee for news. It’s been successfully done, but I had to do some research which took me to…

3. The USA Today website where, in their effort to get people to subscribe to the e-paper, offered to show me a sample. That sample happened to be their 30th year anniversary edition in which…

4. There was a special section at the back filled with articles on what business people and innovators foresee the next 30 years to bring. And there I found an article about the future of education, including quotes from Sebastian Thrun, a Google VP and Stanford Research Professor. Thrun sees education as something that should be accessible and free… He has started a company called Udacity offering just that..

5. I was curious about the kind of classes they might offer and ran a quick search which took me to They only have 14 classes so far, but one of them…

6. How to Build a Startup: The Lean Launchpad is offered. From watching the preview, I think I’m about to unlearn much of what I’ve learned in Intro to Business…

FOLLOW RABBIT TRAILS! You don’t have to have a goal or an objective. Just a bit of curiosity.


/ˌɑntrəprəˈnɜr, -ˈnʊər; Fr. ɑ̃trəprəˈnœr/ [ahn-truh-pruh-nur, -noor; Fr. ahn-truh-pruh-nœr], plural en·tre·pre·neurs /-ˈnɜrz, -ˈnʊərz; Fr. -ˈnœr/ [-nurz, -noorz; Fr. -nœr], verb noun

1. a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

2. an employer of productive labor; contractor.

I’ve been taking college classes online. Accounting. Business. Marketing. I’ve still much to learn, but I want to start a business. Rephrase. I want to see my ideas come to life. I’m not talking about a small retail shop or a one-person service business. I’m talking manufacturing. Probably under contract at first, then maybe someday in our own facility.

For now, I’m going to start putting together a business plan, do some marketing research (a lot of research, actually) and ferret out every possible source for financing this endeavor. I’m writing about this because, if you have an idea too, I’d like to invite you to join me. I’ll be posting links to resources and information I discover, and hope to find a few kindred spirits along the way so that we may encourage one another.

I’ll confess, part of my motivation is family. The past few years have been lean for us and we’ve all exhausted retirement funds trying to get by. Also, I have a daughter, a nephew, and a brother who are brilliant and talented and like most geniuses, don’t fit well in a world that doesn’t understand the personality quirks of extreme intelligence. So I want to build a business where genius can be celebrated.

Come along. Subscribe to my blog. Hold my feet to the fire. I won’t let weeks go by without working toward this goal and I’ll write about it here. This will be fun!