Category Archives: Education

A Free Business Lesson in 42 Pages

How often does the opportunity come along to learn so much with such little effort?

If I told you that you could gain years of insight and more importantly incredible ideas by reading 42 pages of text – just an hour or so of reading?

Well, what if someone much more successful in the realm of business than I said these 42 pages where the best of Warren Buffett’s career? Don’t take my word on this.

image Bill Gates noted on his blog that of Warren’s 50 annual letters, this year’s is Warren’s best ever. I thought to myself that if Bill spent time to read all 50 and then said this was the best of them all, I’d spend a little time to see what the fuss was all about.

In 42 pages of reading you will get insight into Buffett’s system that has produced one of America’s best business success stories.

If you are so inclined, the 42 pages will also cause you to have more questions that you’ll have to go get answers to, which is a big bonus in itself.

image Take the time to read these 42 pages and really understand the numbers. The thing I find really interesting is that if you look beyond the economic results of Berkshire Hathaway (investor return), how much positive impact has Berkshire Hathaway and Warren’s management system had on the employees and companies that BH/Buffet have influenced?

No one is perfect. However, I believe Buffet’s tenure shows us that a business can be directed by values that when put into practice can create wealth and stability that extend to a great many people and for a great period of time.

Here’s the link to the 42 page letter – http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2014ltr.pdf

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The Truth, The Internet, Common Sense & Intelligence

So what does The Truth, The Internet and Common Sense all have in common?

I’m sure you thought of many commonalities during the pause I hope you took to think about an answer!

Well, first of all each takes Intelligence to find and use! With more than 6.9 billion human beings in existence at this very moment in time, The Truth can be difficult to find. The facts of any one event in time can become easily manipulated and distorted.

With the adoption of the Internet across the planet, people, by their very nature of telling a story slowly change the facts, either by ignorance or on purpose for the purpose of deception.

So, it takes Common Sense to read an email that touts fact and determine if it deceptive or factual.

I find many emails arrive in my Inbox that are partially true and have been cleverly changed to support some persons vision of The Truth. I find that so many people live in “their reality” and they are daily trying to fit the facts and actions of their fellow human beings into “their reality”.

In today’s world, we must use Common Sense and Intelligence to take all the information from The Internet we receive and figure out The “Real” Truth.

There’s this fellow on the radio whose favorite saying is “don’t believe a word I say until you can independently confirm ‘my’ facts!” I say that is a good course of action with all data and information, especially if you get it from the Internet. There are so many ways to cross check information on the Internet. Don’t be lazy!

The Truth is out there!

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Hunters versus Farmers

Every so often a new idea emerges that rationally explains a problem – take for instance ADD/ADHD.

Researchers have been trying to figure out the “cause” of this problem.

Today, while reading Seth Godin’s blog he discussed Thom Hartman’s writing on ADD/ADHD in respect to marketing.

Hartman proposes that what we really call ADD/ADHD is actually the human  being’s “Hunter” genes being dominant in an individual instead of the recently developed (last 10,000 years) “Farmer” gene being dominant.

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Finding Diamonds In The Snow

I don’t know. Diamonds aren’t usually found lying on the ground, in plain sight, in the snow.

But the other day while reading Bob Lefsetz, because I’m interested in the music business, he made a reference to Michael Hedges, who was a huge twenty carrot diamond that apparently wasn’t noticed until it was to late.

But it started me thinking that with the new technological world we live in, we have to re-program our minds to look for diamonds in all the nooks and cranny’s of this world.

With the size of the Internet and the documentation of man’s knowledge seemingly exploding it will become harder and harder to find diamonds. So how do you find better quality information in today’s world?

Simple! You have to find trusted sources on the subjects you are interested in and pay attention to what they are writing about. You have to have an open mind about new information and you have to have curiosity to keep you looking for the diamonds in the snow.

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Ignorance in the Information Age…

For me, accepting the realization that at every moment in time I am not as smart as I think I am has helped me become a better person. You see, rather we believe it or not, we are all ignorant. We all lack knowledge in many areas of life and even when we are “experts” in a field of study, we still don’t know it all in that area of expertise.

Yea, I would like to be Mr. Know-It-All, but that’s not ever going to be a reality I live in. But, the good thing about ignorance is that you can work on becoming less ignorant. It may take a little time and effort, but you can learn and become a better person through the acquisition and application of knowledge.

However, you can’t overcome being stupid. For me, stupidity is the inability to learn or the flat out refusal to learn.

In the information age, as a society, are we becoming less ignorant, and more informed? Yea, I think in certain areas of our society we might be. But I also have a feeling that in very important areas of society we actually might be stupid.

Here’s an interesting video on the subject…

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/alisa_miller_shares_the_news_about_the_news.html

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Learning From People You Don’t Know

On some conscious level, at some point in your life you may realize that you learn a boatload from people you don’t know.

During your formative years, you learned out of school books from people who wrote those books and I bet for the most part you never even had a clue who or where they were from.

For me, I guess it is easy to pick up a news paper or magazine, read something, learn something new and not even think of the person who wrote the article.

Not “knowing” your source is now so OLD SCHOOL.

For you see, with the Internet and BLOGS you have a direct connection to the author. It may take you some time as it has with me to find bloggers that you can connect and understand, but eventually you can find individuals out on the Internet who have knowledge, who share it willingly and from whom you can learn a great deal about life, liberty and the pursuit of your happiness…

Of the seventeen blogger’s that I subscribe to via RSS and read everyday, there are about three that I would say I really often learn something tangible from them.

  • Seth Godin: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/; Seth gives great business insights from the perspective of marketing. Real marketing isn’t show biz and commercials, it is how you talk to customers and tell them about your company’s products and services. This guy gets customer relationship building and management. I’ve been reading his blog for well over two and a half years and never not learn something from his posts.
  • Joel Spolsky: Joel on Software, http://www.joelonsoftware.com/; Joel is a software developer who started his own company that builds software. His blog chronicles his journey through the process of building a software company and his thoughts on how to build “world-class” commercial software. You may think that just because his blog is about software development that it would be boring to non programmers. If you thought this, you would be dead wrong. His thoughts and opinions on how to create software can be liberally applied to creating any product. Learning from his mistakes and journey is indeed a privilege.
  • Zac Smith; Hello-Righton.com, http://www.hello-righton.com/; I have a real, personal connection to Zac. He and I work at the same company and for about two years we worked on the same team. Long before I started reading Zac’s blog I knew he had a spiritual side about him. I started reading his blog about a year ago. As he states in his blog “The purpose of this blog is to SHEPHERD others.”

Who do you really learn from?

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Sifting through the noise of the Internet

Ok, so I got distracted by a conspiracy video about a 911 a little bit. It actually depressed me a lot. So much so that I was going to write a BLOG entry and rant about the absurdity of it all. But then I started thinking and the more energy I put into my thoughts the realization finally came about: it doesn’t matter. Yea, it is that simple. There is so much noise out there. We have 300 million Americans and all of them have thoughts 24×7. Some of them have skills to reproduce those thoughts through video, radio, print and now the Internet. So much of the thoughts are simply noise. Noise that you have sift through.

Sometimes the noise is pretty bad, but sometimes you find something worthy.

And then as fast as I started thinking negative about the “noise” of the Internet I found a new resource – How Stuff Works dot Com.

You just have to sift through the Noise to find clarity sometimes. And I like the donuts!

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