Small Business Ideas
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A dream is like a crow bar, some use it to open things - others drop it on their toes.

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Friday, April 28, 2006

The Start Of

This time the Speculation Rules web site is for real.

I'm sure many of you have noticed the Speculation Rules blog.

There has also been a neglected web site at

Well the neglect is now over, at least to a reasonable extent.

I've established a new set up and frame work that should make it much easier to navigate.

I'll be adding lots of information and tools to the site, and a bit of magic too.

If you fall somewhere between enthralled and deathly afraid of investing - there should be something for you at Speculation Rules.

Visit us frequently, there should be lots of change over the next few months.

This is a great chance for you to tell me what you want or need in terms of investment knowledge. It is to our benefit if we please you.

Drop on in, work is still in progress, but the concept now makes some sense.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

If You Are A Leader - Display Leadership


I heard a director of a company talking with authority about something I'm sure he didn't believe - if he thought about it.

There had been complaints about poor communications between management and workers in his division. His response was "I'll spend more time in meeting so my managers will have more time to spend with their people."

He had to know better than that.

His managers will do what they see him doing.

Now they are justified in avoiding their "people" to attend meetings - so their direct reports can spend more time with the people. Their "people" of course will follow suit.

I think what the director was really saying is that his job security comes from hanging out with other executives - to heck with his people.

If he really wanted to improve communication he could take his managers on walks to talk with the workers - and even try to catch the workers doing something right so they could congratulate them.

Most of his meetings are probably a waste of time anyway - in terms of business effectiveness. He has at least one worthless manager that talks intelligently and plays politics well - he could assign them to attend the meetings.

Meeting and inspiring his division would require leadership - that director is obviously satisfied being a bureaucratic manager himself.

Wasting your life in meetings sounds like a dead end way to spend 70 hours a week. The only upside is his ego knows he is an executive cog in a huge organization, even if he is not quite high enough to use the corporate jet.

His own frequent comments about it being "lonely at the top," and his hair turning gray and falling out show that he feels stress - not pleasure - from his chosen route.

Ya gotta feel sorry for the guy - he could have had his own business instead - and enjoyed his life. He could have sought, developed, and shared his passions with people that would appreciate his contributions.

That would require thought and leadership.

Instead he has a business card featuring the business founder's name - and in much smaller print his own name and title - and no life of his own.



Saturday, April 22, 2006

As We Enter The Greater Depression ---

It is good to realize that it has been government intervention in the economies of the world that will cause it - not business.

The 1930s depression was likewise caused by a few overzealous egotists using central monetary planning for their own ends.

"The elementary truth is that the Great Depression was produced by government mismanagement [of money]. It was not produced by the failure of private enterprise." – Milton Friedman

The statistics provided by government are not dependable, but you would be safe to guess that both real unemployment and real inflation are now over 10%. As George Orwell said "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."

As to the exact timing of the next step down into depression - I don't know - no one does.

That the collapse is inevitable is easy to recognize if you make a dispassionate study of the world, but when is at best a guess.

Inevitable is not the same as immediate. (Speculation Rule)

The cause though is apparent - government intervention in supposedly free markets.

The blame of course will be affixed by government and taught in government schools as "someone else."

Blame all of government - it is too big to control or dissect.

One good hope.

The Federal Reserve that was created in 1913 and helped ensure the depths of the first depression - may be disbanded after their assistance in creating the greater depression we are now entering.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Leadership Or Management

I put this as a comment on a blog that asked if commanding was a management function or a quality of leadership.

I realize I rewrote their question in a way the discloses my opinion. Here then was my comment:

I would put commands as an administrative function - management.

A real leader seldom commands, except at highly charged moments where concise direction is immediately needed.

One reason is a real leader has developed his team to make them leaders also.

To me a manager is focused on performance and controls, a leader is focused on people and goals.

If you are more concerned with the efficiency of the operation than the direction of your team - you are a manager.

If you are primarily concerned with the direction the team is moving - you may be a leader.

A manager is more likely to exist in a bureaucratic organizational structure, a leader in an entrepreneurial one.



Sunday, April 16, 2006

Blog Explosion - Blog Mad - Traffic Swarm

I did a review on these three traffic exchanges about a month ago and wanted to do an update.

Traffic Swarm - this is the review that needs some refinement. Trafficswarm's attributes remain the same - you can list any site - it is very easy to build a significant number of credits. The detractor is the same - way too many get rich quick sites.

What is different is that I have discovered that it uses a queue similar to Blog Explosion. If you decide to try Traffic Swarm - separate your similar pages or headlines in the queue.

To separate your pages put in your first page, then wait a few days to add the second - this will allow other pages to be added in between. frequently you see several similar sites next to each other, diminishing their value.

Blogmad - Still new, but it seems to be getting more visitors and more blogs. I'm slowly releasing my saved bank of credits. Everything seems to work most of the time - and they are very responsive to suggestions.

Paul from Blogmad even left a comment on my review - mentioning the listing on Blogmad as a page rank bonus for users - see his comment for further information. This bonus would also apply to the next traffic exchange.

Blog Explosion - The grand daddy traffic exchange, it is full of features. The surfing ratio is not as bad as it seems, they are very generous with bonuses. I have received many 25 to 100 credit bonuses.

I have almost stopped with Blog Explosion though, for now. I still go back and earn a few credits once in a while, but that is just a short surf to see what is new. I do find their blog rocket feature quite efficient - I usually get 3 to 6 hits for the one credit it costs.

In short these traffic exchanges have value - but the value diminishes over time as you keep playing to the same audience.

In a year or so I may re-crank up Blog Explosion for a while, there will probably be a lot of new characters.

If you have not used these three -
Traffic Swarm - BlogMad - Blog Explosion - they are worth investigating.

Try them for a month or so - then follow your own opinion. You will gain a couple of high PR directory links from Blogmad and Blog Explosion - so your time registering will have results regardless.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Jet Charter, Private Jet or a Corporate Business Jet?

Tough question - do you charter a jet or do you purchase your own private jet?

A private jet or a chartered corporate jet is a bit of a stretch for most small businessmen.

The concept is is a valid one for comparing purchase versus rent decisions - even if most of us won't have to apply the concept to business jets.

In speculation there is often a timing issue where components of a purchase decision are subject to market volatility. In business there is (sometimes) only the bottom line of profitability.

If you are in a position to charter a jet or purchase a jet just for your ego's sake - it is again divorced from a business decision - get the best you can afford without compromising your wealth.

For a business jet however there are some considerations beyond monthly payments that may enter into the decision.

Michael Eisner may have overstayed his welcome- and his contribution - with Disney. Disney however had floundered and almost been split up after Walt Disney died as no one seemed willing to make hard decisions. Michael was brought in to save the company and drive up the share price - he did.

One of the parts of the Disney offer that attracted Eisner for those first successful years was the benefits package - which included a couple of company jets.

Eisner made a lot of money for the shareholders, and for himself. At the level he was being paid - a corporate jet saved money by cutting delays and allowing him to work while in transit.

Eisner might not have turned down the job if he would have had to fly commercial -- but his ego and decision making capacity was probably enhanced by status symbols, including the jets, that came with the position.

Chartering a jet occasionally versus purchasing a private jet or corporate jet can be reduced to numbers - but so can renting or buying your house.

Often the decision will come down to benefits that are hard to put on paper, but are impossible to ignore. Is it going to be a Lear jet, Gulfstream, Aztec jet, or perhaps an airbus or other commercial use jet? Each type of personal jet says several things about the owner, although even the man in the street knows Learjet.

You can charter a jet to investigate the idea, or just contact a seller - although you probably won't get the benefits of a long distance test from a seller.

For a weeks vacation - charter a jet. A private jet or a corporate jet is far more difficult to justify - or deny.

Now - do you really need that much truck for your small business?


Friday, April 14, 2006

Discover Personal Freedom Today

Start your own business.

You can start your journey to freedom now.

Roots are dangerous things, they trap even majestic oak trees. Almost everything you have learned is directed at making you a target for the bulldozers.

"Don't let schooling interfere with your education." - Mark Twain

The world is changing in a dramatic fashion, and you need to be ready to move.

The only thing God is taking off this world is people. If you root, root in relationships, not into things.

The risks and the rewards from creative entrepreneurship are greater, and of far more value to society, than illusions of security enslaving human cogs in the social machine. - Allan Wallace

Be very careful of who or what or where you give your loyalty. Do not be more dedicated others, a job, a party, than they are dedicated to you.

Escape the slavery others would have you serve - dedicate yourself to relationships between you and yours.

Move toward freedom.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Attitude And Habits - More Important Than Knowledge

Practice what you want to make permanent.

Make a good attitude part of your daily life.

I subscribe to a free daily motivational quote service.

Every couple of weeks they offer a Big Deal as part of the package. I usually read the bi-weekly offer as well as the daily quotes. There is usually good motivational material in the offer -- and the offers are good value also.

here is an example from this weeks Bid Deals opening paragraphs:

Super Success Coach David Herdlinger has made an interesting observation about attitude. When most people are trying to get a raise or get started in a business, they spend their time and money developing their knowledge and skills. But most job terminations and business failures occur because of a person's attitude and habits.
Understanding that concept makes these words by Jeff Keller even more powerful: "Once you start building a more positive attitude, life will throw some incredible opportunities your way! Your attitude is a choice you make - and there's a lot riding on that choice."

Most folks I know with a bad attitude are proud of it saying "I am just honest." What they are is irritating and annoying - out loud. Honesty is important - but we need to be honest with ourselves also.

A solid work ethic accompanied by a can-do attitude is of value to any business -- especially our own business.

A good attitude and can be very honest too.

A person with a good attitude is fun to be with - life takes on a special zest.

Which attitude would you rather work with?

With which attitude would you rather do business?

If your attitude is a choice -- who do you want to be?

Check here for more on those free inspirational quotes.


Monday, April 10, 2006

No-Cost Information For Prospective Work At Home Moms

Work At Home Mom

Can you put family first and still create a successful home business?

Four moms that work from home have written a quick book for moms that want to work at home.

They describe how they found success - and were still able to put their family first.

This is not a get rich quick scheme - it will require work, time, and thought - the rewards however can be great.

Read this quick book and you may find you can work at home -- mom.

If you are interested in becoming a work at home mom - click the button below for more free information.

It will cost you nothing to look.

You will learn a great deal about developing an at home income from these successful business women and happy moms.

This is not some kind of scheme with silly promises - this plan of action will become your real, enduring, profitable, business.

(If you do want a "scheme" with lots of interesting promises - one that you can try for free - click here.)

The knowledge you gain for free from this quick e-book will be yours to keep and use.

Read the information about the moms and their real businesses - then decide:


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Calvin Coolidge On Being Persistent


I think most of us see ourselves in something other than the persistent category.

A review of this is sometimes all it takes to remind us of what creates success.

  • Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.

  • Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

  • Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

  • Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

  • Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

  • The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

President Coolidge was looking at a bigger picture than most of us.

Before we can solve the problems of the human race - we need to solve our own problems.

The solution is the same.

Press On!


Friday, April 07, 2006

A Bit Of My Philosophy - At No Charge

I have had the following statement at the bottom of the old Bastiat Free University start page for quite some time.

Many folks now miss this little statement as they encounter one of the other BFU distance e-learning start pages instead.

It is not particularly clever, but it does state how I feel.

It is also not particularly necessary, except perhaps for a sensitive educationist or two.

Unless stated otherwise we will avoid the modern confusion with pronouns by using whatever sounds or feels right at the moment.

There is no intention to relegate anyone to a secondary role. Any use of (wo)man, he, him, her, person, or she can be read however you wish.

One of the nice things about the Internet is that we do not see each other. You may be a one eyed, one horned, flying purple Umpa Lumpa; as long as you assist us in achieving our goals - we don't care.

We hope to assist the family of man; it does not matter which gender, or with which tribe our ancestors traveled. Our goal is for each student to become sovereign in, of, and for themselves.

If this offends you; leave.

I now have it here, where it will be easy to reference if I need it.

We will get back to business as unusual with the next post.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Start Your Business Today - Right Now


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

You know what you love, you probably know how to make a profit pursuing your passion.

So start your business today.

The easy way to start a business is on the Internet - there is low overhead and little regulation.

You know what to do to start - figure out the rest as you go.

Learn as you go, you will encounter problems, seeking solutions is a great and rewarding learning experience.

Avoid that future statement what if?

Do it.

Start your business now!


Monday, April 03, 2006

True Apple Macintosh Poker - iMac Poker - Full Tilt Poker Does Mac Right

After you are a success - maybe it is time to please most people - even Macintosh owners.

play online poker
Play Online Poker

In the previous post I talked about how if you try to please everyone - your project will never get done -or your vision will never get started.

I made a point that Apple Macintosh may have to wait - it usually is worth finding out if the idea works before you port to everyone.

Here is an example of a poker site - Full Tilt Poker - that developed user friendly software first. They then satisfied their audience, and now they are moving toward that goal of universal access. If Full Tilt Poker's goal is to be the best online casino or online gambling site a quality incremental approach makes sense.

A big step is they are the first poker site with a fully functional and compatible Mac interface.

I like poker - although I haven't played in a long time. What works in poker works in speculation.

  • keep your bets small
  • cut your losses quickly
  • if you are right - maximize your profits
  • protect your chips
  • you can't win if you don't play
  • you can't play if you go broke
And much more - but enough about poker.

If you have an Apple Macintosh, an iMac, Mac Mini, or any Mac - click that button - let me know if it works on an Apple Lisa or an Apple IIe.

There is a lot of free Mac compatible stuff at Full Tilt Poker, games, forums, information, and lots of cool offers to get you involved.

If you wintel types are feeling left out click here.
play online poker
Play Online Poker

More importantly for you Macintosh users - the wintel group sees everything - including the flops (pun kinda intended).

Once the bugs are out and it works right - you get to play with it on your fast and pretty Mac.


Sunday, April 02, 2006

You Can't Please Everyone

I was consulting with a start up Internet venture, and there were complaints that both the Opera browser and Mac users were having some glitches.

As a very small outfit, they had to make some choices.

Their inclination was to make sure everyone could access the software before they proceeded.

I asked what would we do if we were contacted by a frustrated user. If that user was having problems with a commodore 64 hooked up to his television set, should they stop everything and re-write for him? (we did cure the opera faults - we put the Mac on the back burner)

My point was - let's get it running and see if people like it first. If we only reach 60% of our eventual audience to start we will soon discover if it is worth expanding our reach. We may also discover that we missed the market - and universal access was a moot point.

Another side to the same issue.

I read some blogger advice that suggested using the Arial font might cut out as much as 4% of the online population. The suggestion was to catch every potential reader you need to use the default font.

Lets focus on the 96% instead. The default font looks like every other site. If you keep readers around longer and happier due to a better experience with your content - it may be worth losing 4% of total readers.

I'm bald - and have been for quite some time - it's me. If only 10% of women prefer bald guys, and for 10% it doesn't matter - I've limited my choices. If however almost all bald guys buy rugs and get farm hair, true bald guys may only be 2% of the population. That's ten gals for each of us - my odds now look pretty good.

Even if I'm not pretty it's good looking odd.

This blog is not pretty, but if the content draws some readers - I can put some lipstick on the pig next year. Think of all the folks that invest time and money in super skins, and then stop blogging after a few months.

That's called putting the question on its head.

Back to your business.

In Internet parlance - a long tail of demand indicates that specialization in huge markets has great potential.

I saw a poster that sums up the you can't please everybody strategy rather nicely.

In the life span of every project - there comes a time to shoot the engineers - and continue with the project.


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