Turn Your Industry Knowledge Into A Consultancy Business

When you’ve gained a lot of experience in a particular field, you may find yourself looking at companies and thinking, They aren’t doing things the best way. Then you probably have a good laugh at your own arrogance, thinking how unlikely it is that they’ll ever ask your opinion about it.  Maybe you should stop laughing and consider turning your industry knowledge into a consultancy business.

It may not be as unlikely as you think. Many of the decisions made by businesses and government are driven by the input of consultants. These mysterious people swoop in, dig through the entity’s operations, and then provide a report on what’s going right, what’s going wrong, and how to go the right direction in the future.

Could that be you? Could you be one of those corporate mercenaries who come in and right the ship? It’s a possibility.

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Ross Perot Was 25 Years Ahead Of His Time

I can’t believe it’s been nearly 25 years since I voted in my first Presidential election, which featured the very first and only true opportunity by a third-party candidate to potentially win, at least in my lifetime.  I knew Perot because my father, at the time, worked for EDS, which Perot had founded and had run for many years.  So, the name was very familiar in my house.

The 1992 Campaign

When he went on TV one Sunday night and pulled out all of his charts and sat down and explained why America could not continue down the path it was on, and why his was a better path, people were intrigued.  In fact, it went a bit further than that for awhile, as he actually led in the polls for a short time against the major candidates, President George Bush and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.

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Who Took The Worst Of The Great Recession?

Have you ever thought of what generation took the worst of the Great Recession?  I guess first we have to agree on what generation people actually fit into!

The other day, my wife announced that she was a Millennial.  I originally disputed her on this, but then I looked it up and it turns out that she is right.  My error came in the fact that I had thought she was part of Generation Y.  Then I found out that this generation really doesn’t exist anymore!  Apparently, they’re now part of the Millennials.

The Active Generations In the Workforce

The first thing to do is identify the different generations.  Surely, we’ve all heard about them by now but so we’re all on the same page, and for purposes of my discussion, I’m using the following:

  • Baby Boomers – Born between 1946 and 1964, so anybody between the ages of 52 and 70.Should I stay or should I go?
  • Generation X – Born between 1964 and 1982, so anybody between the ages of 34 and 52
  • Millennials – Born between 1982 and TBD – so anybody younger than 34 but probably not older than 18

Read moreWho Took The Worst Of The Great Recession?

9 Random Things On My Mind Or Going On – What’s New With You?

It’s a good thing that the days get longer in summer because you need every minute of light and then some.  It’s funny because I have found my ‘falling asleep before bedtime’ spot, which happens to be on one of the couches in the living room.  If you see me heading to that couch anytime in the evening, it’s a sure thing that I’m going to fall asleep.  Here are some random things on my mind that I wanted to share.  Let me know what you think and what’s going on with you.

  1. The mad rush of special events is coming to a close.

    -Starting with Mother’s Day, it’s one opportunity to celebrate after another, which doesn’t end until Father’s Day (which is often delayed from a celebration standpoint).  In between those two we have my wife’s birthday and both kid’s birthday, plus we also have a lot going on with the end of the school years, dance recitals, and everything else.  Don’t get me wrong, we love celebrating every single milestone, but when they come so fast and furious all at once, we have to remind
    ourselves to stop and take a breath so that we can really enjoy and make the most out of each special event.

  2. Orlando.

    What to say about the tragedy in Orlando that hasn’t already been said?  I think one thing that many people need to realize is that there’s not one thing to blame that we can grasp and use as a fix.  It’s not just an ISIS thing.  It’s not just a guns thing.  It isn’t just a mental health thing.  Shutting down the borders or taking away the guns or re-opening the institutions are not individual solutions.  In our complex world, there are so many variables with seemingly new ones popping up all the time.  And, what’s scary is that the ever growing polarization is not going to get us closer to figuring out how to stop these events from happening.  I’m dreading the day when we have to try to explain this to our kids.  So far we’ve been able to keep them insulated, but at 7 and 5, we’re running on borrowed time.  This thought gives me sadness on so many levels.

  3. The Costco credit card switch is almost upon us.I have never seen so much publicity over a credit card, but the days are nearly here.  We’re pretty much prepared.  I think there are just a couple of small automated payments that my wife needs to redirect, and I’m also thinking of creating a laminated cheat sheet that we can carry in our wallets to direct us on what card we should use to maximize our rewards.  We have a few different cash back cards, now it’s just a matter of maximizing our value!
  4. A possible culprit in my battle against eczema.

    -The other day I went to take a load of clothes out of the washer.  All would have been well except it never got ran.  When I reached in for the clothes my hands came in contact with Oxi Clean, which we use as a supplement for our clothes.  It wasn’t even five seconds in and I felt the familiar burn.  I’m thinking that maybe this is some pretty harsh stuff, and maybe even coming into contacts with clothes, sheets, and towels that have been washed in it have been aggravating my skin.  Perhaps it’s time for a ban?

  5. Amazon price matching policy

    Here’s a tip, if you want Amazon to adjust a price, don’t use their online chat capability.  Technically, Amazon does not have to match a deal if you find a better price after you make a purchase, but they often will as a courtesy.  No such luck when I found an item, on their own site, $20 cheaper less than a week after I made the purchase.  I had two online agents refuse to help and one even ‘hung up on me’ or whatever the equivalent would be for an online chat.  Not to be deterred, I initiated a phone conversation, and this went much better.  They didn’t give a refund, but we have a $20 credit on our next purchase.  That’s good enough for me!

  6. Basketball dreams

    Our son wanted a basketball hoop for his birthday.  These things are something else to put together.  I started, and am about 1.5 hours in.  I figure I have at least another 2-3 hours of work.  Then once we get it in place (it’s one of the portable models), we have to determine how to anchor it.  They want you to fill it either with sand or liquid (it’d be antifreeze in our case) but many people weigh it down by piling sand bags or something similar on top.  Filling it looks better, but piling stuff on it is easier, plus I’d think that emptying it would be a royal pain.  So, we’re not sure on the approach yet.  Any ideas?

  7. Homeowners association

    I served on our board for the last two years but declined to run again.  There’s a very cliquey group of people (think high school) that love to ‘run the show’ from a social standpoint, yet they refuse to run for the board.  It bugs me that they make many requests of the board, yet never include the board members in the social events, so I decided to take a break for at least a term.  I am still working on updating content on the website, which nobody else really knows well.  Since it’s WordPress based (like my blog) this is pretty easy.

  8. Anyone else nervous about the stock market?

    The market had a pretty nice run after the beginning of the year crash.  It seems like the market really loves the low interest rates that are seemingly now just standard policy.  But I’m a bit nervous, as I can’t imagine that will last forever.  Plus, the debt that all of the Central Banks are creating are injecting money that is being used to push the markets higher,mb-2015-06-fire but it’s still debt and what happens when that needs to be paid back?  Or does it? Who knows?  But in any case, it’s a bit scary to me.  It seems like we’re in a situation where everything is hunky dory….until one day it’s not.  I’m not going ‘bearish’ but I’m definitely keeping a watchful eye.

  9. Camping season is upon us.

    One thing that we’ve settled into is our routine for camping.  This is our fifth year with our trailer, and we now have a pretty good routine going.  We did one trip for Memorial Day, and we have another trip coming up this weekend.  After that we have two weeklong trips and a few more weekend trips.  Summer is short in Michigan so we try to pack it in!

Read more9 Random Things On My Mind Or Going On – What’s New With You?

Eating Healthy for Less Money In 6 Easy Ways

Eating healthy is all the rage.  As fads go, it is an especially beneficial one. From college kids to busy moms, people everywhere are thinking about health.  It seems pretty straightforward in theory, yet obesity and diet issues are on the rise. So, what’s the problem?
 
Well, there is a widespread belief that it is too expensive to make healthy eating a lifestyle. Chain health food stores and boutique markets are partially to blame for this belief.  Those heavily marketed, expensive diet programs are part of the problem. Whatever the source of the rumor is, it has got to stop. You can eat well just by using what is available in your regular supermarket. Here are a few ways to do just that.

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How Parents Can Teach Their Kids Not To Be Rapists When They Grow Up

I was out of the loop on a lot of news stories at the beginning of last week, so the first I heard of the frenzy regarding convicted Stanford rapist Brock Turner was a report where his father suggested that even the six month sentence, basically the minimum possible, was too harsh.

I read that story and went backwards, catching up on everything, and my opinion ended up seeming to match the majority, was that Turner got off way too lightly.  Way, WAY too lightly.

The Defense

mb-2016-06-newspapersThe father argued that his son shouldn’t be punished that harshly for an act that took 20 minutes, completely setting aside that the victim, while maybe unable to remember those 20 minutes, has to live now with what happened every single day for the rest of her life.  Yeah, even six years, which I think was the maximum sentence, is too light.

Read moreHow Parents Can Teach Their Kids Not To Be Rapists When They Grow Up

Preparing for Retirement in Your Early 20s

Having a stress-free retirement with more than enough money to retire with should be what we all strive for. When it comes to investing and saving, millennials have some advantage over other age groups, as they have more time to save up. However, a study revealed that millennials have unrealistic retirement plans, where 15% thought winning the lottery was a viable retirement strategy while 11% expect to be gifted retirement money. You need a strategy to plan for retirement in your early 20s.

mb-2016-06-retire

This is a proof that people in their 20s are not adequately prepared for their retirement, even though they are the ones known to struggle with retirement savings. In this post, we will highlight tips on how you can get started in saving up for your retirement as early as now.

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15 Summer Activities For Kids That Won’t Break The Bank

Summer isn’t here officially but the weather says it is.  We have one kid who has finished pre-school and already started summer break, and our other will be done in less than two weeks (he’s counting down the days *lol*).

It’s important to keep kids entertained, active, and engaged, so here are some things that we are planning to get us through the summer.  Not only are these fun, but many of them are free or very low cost!

  1. Flying Kites In The Park

    There’s a lot of parks nearby, but for some reason there’s one that we tend to go to when it’s time to fly a kite.  The kids love it and we will hopefully get to do it more than once or twice!

  2. Go To The Beach

    There’s a nearby beach that we can get into for a $35 annual pass.  On warm days, this is used A LOT!  This summer will be fun because there are two sides to the lake, a shallow side and a deeper side, and I suspect that our kids may want to be in different ends.  Fun!

  3. Cheap Baseball Tickets

    A new baseball stadium was built about 10 minutes away.  It’s not even a minor league team, but is instead an independent league of three teams that take turns playing each other.  Nobody will recognize the players, of course, but with tickets starting at $6, this is a no-brainer! And if there are no teams nearby, you could always get a glove or two and throw a ball around yourselves!

  4. Taking Care of the Vegetables

    The kids each got to pick out a vegetable at the farmer’s market this year.  They’re planted and growing, and they’re looking forward to seeing them grow and yield veggies!

  5. Playing In the Water

    We have a small pool, a water table, sprinklers, and water guns that are great for a few hours of fun on a hot day.

  6. Playgrounds and Play Dates

    We have a few great playgrounds at parks that the kids love, and are still interesting enough even for our older child (who is 7).

  7. Reading

    Our 7-year old son loves to read.  He has a few different series of books already and I know he’ll enjoy some downtime with a book in his hand…just like I remember doing at that time!  Our youngest isn’t old enough to read yet, but hopefully we can continue to steer her that way by getting her books she can look through and that we can read to her.

  8. Camping

    We have camping reservations throughout the state at different times across the summer.  The kids are definitely building memories that they’ll carry with them for life.

  9. Visit the Zoo

    The Detroit Zoo is one of the favorite stops for our family and we just renewed our annual membership!mb-2016-06-beach

  10. Stop at the Museum

    We have a great museum called The Henry Ford that has an indoor museum and an outdoor museum, so we can go year round.  We just renewed this as well!

  11. Visiting Grandparents 

    Our parents both love having the kids over, and hopefully our kids will get some well deserved time to be spoiled and loved in ways that only grandparents can deliver!

  12. Vacation Bible School

    -Our son went last year and really enjoyed it.  This year, both kids will be going and will both be in classes that contain people they already know!

  13. Activity Camps

    Each kid has an activity camp that lasts a week for a few hours per day.  Our daughter is going to a dance camp, and our son will be doing a robotics camp.  This one steps outside the bounds of frugality more than many of the others, but these are the things that they look forward to for months in advance.

  14. Making Crafts

    The kids both love art.  It’s good to have some stuff to do indoors on really hot or rainy days.

  15. Doing Nothing

    -I’m a firm believer that kids need a good deal of unscheduled time, so they’ll have some of that!

Read more15 Summer Activities For Kids That Won’t Break The Bank

So The Item You Need Is Out Of Stock…Or Is It?

I had an a-ha moment at Home Depot the other day, and it made me want to share the experience.  I learned that an out of stock item might not be all that it seems.

Need: A Second Window Fan

We have a window fan in our bedroom that works pretty well, but it occurred to me that we need a second one.  We have windows on two walls, and our room also heats up in the late afternoon and early evening as we get full sun.  I figured that adding a second fan would give us some cross breeze, which would help cool things off faster in the evening.

Read moreSo The Item You Need Is Out Of Stock…Or Is It?