Archive | April, 2012

Caine’s Arcade

17 Apr

It’s never too early to own your own business and start a career! Check out this inspiring story of a 9 year old who started his own arcade in his father’s shop with nothing but some cardboard, tape and a lot of ingenuity.

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Loving Your Job

16 Apr

Here’s a question right off the top: Have you ever been in a restaurant and seen a waitress wearing one of those shirts that read, “I love my job.” Inside, you probably laugh a little. She may like her job, or making good tips, but does she truly love her job?

Forbes.com released a list of the top 20 happiest jobs in America. Newsflash: Some people really do love their job. Here are some that caught my eye, and I’ll end with a challenge.

Topping the list was Software Quality Assurance Engineer. This is a well-paying job that is vital to the success of software manufacturers.  Tied for second were Executive Chef and Property Managers. Following these on the list were quite a few more involving software developers and technicians, while some were common jobs such as electrician and accountant.

Some on the list were management positions, which would make you think, “Of course they’re happy, they’re making good money.” But that might not be the whole story.

Consider this: “Many of the happiest jobs have some component with working with people,” Heidi Golledge, CareerBliss’ chief executive said. “Folks who work with others tend to rate their happiness higher on our site.”

While working with people, they likely possess certain gifts, traits and skills that made them a great fit. Essentially, they’re doing something that they were made to do. You can’t replace passion and genuine desire to do a job.

Can you say that about yourself? Maybe not yet, but what about your studies and degree plan? Are you studying something that you know you were meant to do?

If so, great. Continue to follow and pursue it so that you can hopefully make money doing what you enjoy. If not, what will you do about it? Changing careers is one possibility. First, do a self-examination to see if there are other things that could affect your happiness at work.  Then look at your job in a new light, and try to highlight the characteristics that attracted you to work there in the first place.

Not all of us will go around wearing t-shirts bragging on how much we love our job, but that doesn’t mean its not something to strive for.

Small Business vs Corporate America

5 Apr

Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re a basketball player and it’s the fourth quarter with three minutes left on the clock. Suddenly, you realize you’re the only player on the court and every shot you take keeps bouncing off the rim. Out of nowhere, the Miami Heat comes charging onto the court. You take the position of power forward, and your shots plunge seamlessly through the basket before the final sound of the buzzer. Now, note how your success was achieved. Did you win the game as a hot shot rookie by yourself, or did you win by joining an already established franchise?

The moral of that story? Team up with someone who’s already proven they know how to play the game. Let’s be a little honest about our economy right now. This isn’t its finest hour.  To those of you who will graduate with proud faces and a degree in hand, the world is about to transform into a scary place. Many people think that by creating a small business they will be more inclined to their own financial achievement and security. Well, not in today’s economy. To even start your own business you’re going to need money. A majority of future CEOs and managers borrow the funds they need to upstart. In comes the small business loan. A small business loan, given by the federal government, includes interest rates at seven percent and a repayment period that may last up to twenty years. Also, if your business fails, you still have to repay what you borrowed, plus interest. Recently, The JOBS Act passed through Congress, which could alter the relationship between small businesses and the federal government. This legislation is meant to give some breathing room for small businesses and provide easier ways of financing. Don’t expect immediate relief though. The JOBS Act has many distinct holes. Some come from resting on the foundation of crowdfunding, which isn’t even entirely legal. A Forbes magazine article by J.J Coloa called the Act, “. . . a regrettable amalgam of loosely related ideas and reforms . . . that dubiously ride the coattails of a worthy intention.” Loosening the regulations on how companies raise capital leaves too many liabilities.

Lloyd Chapman, a small business advocate, contributes to various publications regarding the dilemma small business’ face. In his most recent blog, he stated that billions of dollars per month in federal contracts, which legally should be awarded to small businesses, have been diverted to Fortune 500 firms in the U.S. and some of the biggest companies worldwide. This process is a part of capitalism. Capitalism is when production and distribution are privately or corporately owned. Small businesses have  been built up as a poster child for an American’s individuality and creative freedom to prosper. Corporations are depicted as brutal factories that inflict upon their workers long hours and small wages. However, some of the top corporations in America are necessary for us to live. Corporate America has become our backbone. Top companies such as Wal-Mart, Exxon and Ford are used by Americans every day making them necessary to our standard of living. Companies like these give their employees better health benefits than a small business, because they can actually afford to. They have little to no risk when it comes to the possibility of going under. Isn’t that a better future investment?

Corporations are the biggest donors to charities and environmental causes. They pump immense amount of income into our economy and keep our capitalistic society flowing. When it comes to your future, you need to take into consideration the most reliable options. At the end of the day do you want to be standing alone on the court or do you want Lebron James and Dwyane Wade scoring your goals?