Sorry… was out of circulation.

Cleaning up a few things and getting items accomplished.

The trucking business is feast or famine these days. The economy does seem to be improving which is a good thing! I have been moving freight and that’s an even better thing.

Although I love the trucking industry, how it operates, its individuality, its accessibility… my first love is aviation. Oh, if I could only get the two together! It would make beautiful music. It could take the form of air freight, hauling aircraft parts, whatever… I am looking for just such an opportunity.

There is a big push with the new Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) category to ‘democratize’ flying. Making flying more accessible than ever. Aircraft that can be parked in a garage and taken out much like boats are today. It’s still expensive, but look for the price to come down as research and development costs are paid for.

It may be time to resurrect my mechanical skills in regards to General Aviation aircraft. I do miss being around airports and all of the ‘comings and goings’ at these crossroads of the air.




Relationship Marketing

I have taken notice lately of the relationships built up in certain industries especially in local areas. I spoke with my auto mechanic this morning and learned that his sister is married to my neighbors brother (the neighbor owns a car dealership). Our other neighbor works for the dealership that the first neighbor used to work for. They all seem to know who I am, so I was at something of a disadvantage in the conversation. This seems to be the case with barbers and beauticians, farmers, and restaurateurs. In our quest for meaningful relationships we seem to have turned to our world of work to find them.

Most of my meaningful relationships have come from the church, but lately work has been so busy that the interaction with coworkers and acquaintances are resulting in friendships. These friendships are just that – friendships. I read an article lately on how business relationships that have real financial payoffs in addition to friendship are being sought after as never before. However, you don’t come across those opportunities every day.

My freight brokerage business seems ideal for just such an approach. How do you develop something like that with a manager that may be in another state? The phone is a non-starter, I would think…


Profit Matters Part 2

I have worked in the government world and the private sector. My experience has taught me the stark differences between the two. There will always be a sort of tension in the world views of believers in either type. Whether they want want to admit it or not, they are as dependent on one another as husband and wife. One simply cannot exist without the other. Well they can, with pure government always becoming a completely ruthless dictatorship that resorts to all sorts of atrocity in the thirst for power. The pure capitalism of the past has ruined the lives of countless millions as their labor was used to make products without regard to health or safety.

Government can not exist without the tax revenues generated by the private sector just as the private sector would destroy itself without the rules and regulations set forth by the government. The balance is difficult to achieve, but the balance is there just the same.  However, today this balance is tipping toward government as it has been given too much power. The capitalists have tried to appease the government monster whose appetite for money knows no bounds.

World map showing countries by nominal GDP per...

World map showing countries by nominal GDP per capita in 2008, IMF estimates as of April 2009. Sbw01f’s work, but converted to an SVG file instead. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the private sector, it doesn’t matter how great your idea is, if you can’t ‘make money’ from your idea it will be considered a failure. If a profit can’t be made, the idea will die unborn or very young. Even a business concern that has been in existence for years will fail if the profit requirement can no longer be met.

Government spending

Government spending (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

Not so in the government world. You need only to ‘justify’ your idea, needs, or budget to someone who controls the purse strings. Looking at the stunning failures and bankruptcies rising from the ‘green energy’ industry is proof that a good idea that cannot create profit is doomed to to failure even with massive government assistance. Simply put, government does not understand the struggle to create profit. They think it’s about money. Government thinks that money creates wealth… they are wrong. The money that you have made is representative of the value of your labor. You created it by working. If you get money without working, the value was extracted from someone else. Either by theft or government program (Some don’t see the difference). If people are paid more than the real value of their labor, costs run too high and are unsustainable. Like the occurrence of the ‘Automobile Bailout’ because Union Labor is too expensive. Those costs were picked up by the government, and therefore paid by taxpayers.

Wealth is created by people doing stuff and making things (products and services). Money is only the exchange of activity. As stated in my previous post, you must create value in excess of cost to sustain any activity. The problem that government creates is that they do not input nearly as much value into their services as those services cost. The government has to make up the difference by printing money and borrowing from the private sector to keep it afloat. If the government didn’t have the unique ability to print money and borrow, it would have been over long ago…

The only answer to the current problems of runaway government deficits and high unemployment is to promote the growth of the private sector. This is done by reducing the tax burden and stabilizing the business environment by dialing back the weight of regulation. Why Washington is doing the exact opposite right n0w is beyond me. It’s either that or reduce the size and scope of government… good luck with that!



Look over your shoulder…

big rig

big rig (Photo credit: J Jackson Photography)

I spent this past weekend driving on California Highway 99 and Interstate 5. I see drivers do something all the time that I found out is my #1 driving pet peeve. When some drivers are ‘ramping on’  or merging on to the highway, they do not look over their shoulder. I saw two close accidents because these drivers didn’t see the big rig in the right-hand lane. One guy was texting as he merged onto the highway. The big rig driver sounded his horn as ‘texter’ dropped his phone and may have wet his pants.

It’s really common sense. The ramp is where you accelerate to highway speed. Accelerate! Not daydreamily speed up like you’re on a city street. Wake up! There’s a world around you that can hurt or kill you if they’re paying as much attention as you are. A simple glance over your shoulder is a great way to ensure your safety. The life you save may be your own.


Profit Matters

My college economic classes and experience have taught me this: That an entity (person, organization, company, etc) has to produce value in excess of its cost to be sustainable. This ‘value’ in excess of cost is called ‘profit’.

For example – The company you work for likely has a job description for your position. They have decided that when you fulfill the requirements set forth in the job description, they will be receiving the value of your efforts represented by your compensation package. If you decide to be lazy by not doing the job, or for whatever reason cannot meet its terms, your ‘cost’ rises. You become a liability.

When you buy a car, you expect it to perform at a level commensurate with the amount of money you pay for it. You say that you ‘got a good deal’ when you pay an amount less than it’s perceived value. If you were able to purchase a Lamborghini for $5000, the difference between what you paid and it’s market value ($500,000) would be considered profit.

Nobody expects to go to work and produce for free. Volunteer work is an exception, but in reality is a donation of ‘value’ to an organization. It’s not sustainable. At some point, through the sale of labor, you have to make money (profit) to pay your way. The trick in all of this is to pack as much value into your labor as possible, then utilize leverage to create large profits.

Profits are important because this ‘extra’ can be used in a discretionary manner. Profits can be used to invest and grow a company in the hope of realizing more profit in the future. Profits can be donated to a worthy cause to enable social improvement. Even then, donations are unlikely to be made if the value of the social improvement is less than the amount of donations.

Far too many people today see profit as evil. They see the wealthy spending profit on themselves rather than making ‘social improvements’. Indeed, many wealthy people irritate me. I find them selfish and fearful, willing to destroy others, sacrifice children and marriages in the process. The problem is that the wealthy are absolutely necessary to society as a whole. The fact that the wealthy exist means that the opportunity to be wealthy exists. Simple as that.

The truth is that many poor and middle class people irritate me too. In their pursuit of wealth they are, many times, worse than people that are already rich. Instead of creating wealth, they steal it through government programs and unearned money, but I digress…

I don’t want to be like them though. If I have to be selfish and fearful to be rich, they can have it! But my sense of it is that it doesn’t have to be that way. If my personal needs are met, I have no need of a car that costs half a million dollars that does the same job as my $30k car. I would rather see that money go where it will do the most good. I don’t begrudge anyone their money (as long as it isn’t stolen) and what they do with it so long as it’s legal. Being envious of the wealthy is selfish and fearful too. It’s two sides of the same coin. I certainly don’t envy the poor, but I will say that it is better to be poor at peace with oneself than rich and selfish.

Now if I can just find some like-minded people, I might have something here…


Sometimes It Looks Like…

People want to think and do ‘outside of the box’. However, when a person steps out that direction people want to go back to the same old way of doing. The maverick is celebrated when he or she succeeds, but that success doesn’t come cheaply or easily. Entrenched ways of doing don’t change overnight, but they must change to realize the kind of success that dreams are made of.

Seemingly unrelated activities can join forces to create something entirely new. Quite like a married couple producing another human being that is like no other. This new person brings a unique perspective to the world and a set of talents that solve problems and hopefully, makes the world a better place.

We can do similar by creating new ways of doing business that brings a unique perspective that solves problems and hopefully, make the world a better place.


Non-Profits and funding.

Here’s the situation – I am passionate about the mission, vision, and business models of non-profit organizations. However, when I look at my personal situation I find that I lack the time for volunteer work. Being a transportation professional, my work always ‘transports’ me to places other than where I would need to be in order to volunteer on a regular basis. So, I simply don’t volunteer because those kinds of commitments are impossible. I could likely fit some time in on ‘one-time’ gigs, but that won’t do because my vision is so much bigger than that…


Money! (Photo credit: yomanimus)

Over the last year I have been pondering this question: How can one person with somewhat limited resources really help a non-profit, several, or many non-profits continue their mission? One person is limited by time and space. Even if I worked for an organization full time, I would still be limited to how much can be done.

The realization that I came to is this- By applying my time and talents to developing my for-profit business I would be able to create funding for many worthy organizations. Not just one, but many. I read a book on philanthropy during my ‘pondering period’. In short, I found out that non-profits are most in need of -and most want- ‘unrestricted funds’. Funds that come as the result of grants are great, but those grants usually come with some sort of strings attached. Besides that, the time and talent of a grant writer must be employed. A grant writer may be a volunteer, but many are paid, taking away scarce resources from the organization. Wouldn’t it be nice if a non-profit could employ their network in such a way that they could have a source of unrestricted funds without the tediousness and hoop-jumping of classic fundraising?

In my next post, I will outline exactly what I am talking about. I believe that my idea will benefit everyone involved and see a lot of good work go forth…