Loaded Emails

When I sat down to write this piece, I was still steaming mad from an incident which occurred earlier that day. Basically, a whole slew of individuals, including me, who were working with a certain company, were summarily and abruptly dismissed via a very general email. In addition, the email dared to accuse us of engaging in practices which would definitely not be considered very decent, practices of which I was never guilty.

In a heartbeat, we were all cut at the knees, without any true explanation. Mind you, I had worked with this company for a number of years, put up with their frequent bait-and-switch tactics, and found myself fighting to stay in the game when the powers that be kept showing how fickle they were. It was one of those situations in which someone would suddenly get cut, then a few months down the road, someone else would suffer the same fate. It was obvious that loyalty didn’t matter to them, because they had no loyalty towards the people who worked for them.

How have I dealt with the sudden kick off the gangplank? I have cleaned house, cut out the fat just like they did. Since all the work I did over the years wasn’t appreciated, I had no problem deleting them from my life. I guess business is business, and no one’s feelings matter. Done deal.

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Make Your Goals BIG Ones

big-goal-mountain-steps1

We should all have goals which we set for ourselves, because they make us grow as individuals. We may fall a bit short on reaching our goals at times, but the journey and struggle involved in pursuing our passions keep us moving forward. That is why I honestly believe that we need to set big goals, with clearly defined blueprints which keep us focused on the finish line.

A timeline ensures that your intentions are filled with purpose, and keeps you from falling into irrational, delusional thinking. It isn’t unreasonable to reach for the stars, because you never know what you may accomplish over time. Let’s say your ultimate goal is to be the leader in your industry. Perhaps you have just launched a start-up company in which you began making products at home, and you strive to be the industry leader. Why not have that as your end goal? Who’s to say that you can’t attain the pinnacle of success in your business? There are countless businesses which started out in the same way, out of a kitchen with a shoestring budget, and which are now huge successes.

Read on to learn more about businesses which started out very small, and are now considered industry leaders:

Burt’s Bees – This company has become a huge name in natural skin care products, but it started out in an abandoned one-room schoolhouse. Burt Shavitz and Roxanne Quimby founded Burt’s Bees in Maine in 1984, and rented an abandoned schoolhouse to make candles with the excess beeswax from Shavitz’s honey business. Quimby also began crafting homemade skin care products from the wax. Burt’s Bees became incorporated in 1991, and by 2007, it was bought out by Clorox for $925 million.

The Yankee Candle Company – This company was the brainchild of an enterprising teen named Michael Kittredge, who created his first scented candle in his Massachusetts home with melted crayons. By 1975, the first store opened, and the business spread thoughout Massachusetts. There are currently over 500 stores across the United States, and a wholesale network of over 20,000 stores is in place.

Apple – The vision of Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniack and Ronald Wayne resulted in the trio establishing a business in 1976 out of a garage space in Cupertino, California. The Macintosh line was introduced in 1984, causing their business to explode. Apple has established its unquestionable foothold on the world of technology with revenues of over $14 billion yearly.

Google – Another brilliant trio created this household name in 1998 in a garage in Menlo Park, California, indexing web pages, and developing their search algorithm. The following year, they moved into what is now known as the Googleplex. Today, Google has made an indelible mark on the world of technology.

Mattel – Though Mattel is known as a toy maker giant, it had humble beginnings in the 1940’s making picture frames. Ruth Handler began taking wood scraps from the wood used in making those frames and crafted doll furniture from them. The doll furniture was so popular among customers that the company decided to shift their focus to toys, and by 1959, introduced a doll which they called Barbie.

Now that you have some inspiration, now is the perfect time to dream big and reach for the stars! Good luck, and may great success ensue!

Powerful Women

This is a repost of a recent article on MSN Money which showcased 13 newcomer women who made it onto the list of the richest self-made women in the United States. The original article can be found by clicking the link here, but I have also copied and pasted the body of the article so you can read about these extraordinary women here.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/savingandinvesting/13-newcomers-named-richest-self-made-women-in-us/ar-BBtKKOC?ocid=spartandhp

13 newcomers named richest self-made women in US

Forbes’ second annual definitive tally of America’s wealthiest, most successful self-made women includes 60 trailblazers – 10 more than last year – who have crashed ceilings through invention and innovation. These women, who are worth a combined $53 billion, have created some of the nation’s best known brands, such as Gap, Spanx, Proactiv and Vera Bradley. A number of them have also helped build some of the most successful companies in tech, including Facebook, eBay and Google, while still others got rich entertaining millions through their music, books or TV shows.

These women have achieved unparalleled success through invention and innovation to create their own fortunes. ABC Supply’s Diane Hendricks (No. 1) tops the list with a net worth of $4.9 billion, followed by Oprah Winfrey (No. 2), worth $3.1 billion. The Gap’s Doris Fisher and Founder & CEO of Epic Systems, Judy Faulkner, are tied for No. 3, both worth $2.4 billion. Elizabeth Holmes, Founder & CEO, Theranos, who was No. 1 on the list in 2015, misses the cut this year due to recent investigations involving Theranos and information indicating that the company’s revenues are less than originally projected.

With sold out arenas, billion-dollar companies and best-selling books under their belts, 13 newcomers joined the ranks of America’s Richest Self-Made Women in 2016. Big names (Celine, Barbra, Taylor) and big brands (Nasty Gal, Vera Bradley, Douglas Elliman) define the group who cracked this year’s $250 million cutoff, and together have a combined net worth of $5.65 billion.

GAIL MILLER

Net worth: $1.6 billion

Rank: 11

How she did it: The only newcomer who is also a billionaire, most of Miller’s wealth stems from basketball team the Utah Jazz. She purchased it with her late husband in 1986 for $22 million. It’s now worth $875 million.

CAROLYN RAFAELIAN

Net worth: $700 million

Rank: 22

How she did it: The Alex and Ani founder launched her Rhode Island-based bangle-maker in 2004. In 12 years, she’s grown revenues to an estimated $500 million and operates 65 stores around the country.

CELENE DION

Net worth: $380 million

Rank: 37

How she did it: Dion has sold over 220 million albums in her career, but the bulk of her net worth ($260 million) comes from the Las Vegas residency she began in 2003.

BARBRA STREISAND

Net worth: $370 million

Rank: 38

How she did it: Happy days are here again! With a career full of hits and accolades spanning sixty years, Streisand has had a No. 1 album every single decade she’s been in showbiz and is the best-selling female musician of all time.

JESSICA ALBA

Net worth: $340 million

Rank: 42

How she did it: Alba launched The Honest Company in 2012. Just three years later, she was featured on the cover of Forbes’ Self-Made Women’s issue with a $200 million estimated net worth from her stake in the nontoxic-household-goods-startup. The actress-turned-entrepreneur did not make the $250 million net worth cutoff for the list in 2015, but secured her spot on this year’s list when her 20% stake in the company shot up last August after raising $100 million at a $1.7 billion valuation.

NANCY ZIMMERMAN

Net worth: $320 million

Rank: 46

How she did it: Launching her career buying currency options on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Zimmerman later made her way to Goldman Sachs to run their interest rate options group. She left Goldman to co-found Boston-based Bracebridge Capital in 1994. It’s grown to $10 billion in assets under managements and is now the largest in the world run by a woman.

DANIELLE STEEL

Net worth: $310 million

Rank: 48

How she did it: Steel joined fellow romance novelist Nora Roberts on the list this year proving sex, and lust, really does sell. She’s written 129 books and sold more than 650 million copies in her career.

PATRICIA MILLER and BARBARA BRADLEY BAEKGAARD

Net worth: $300 million (Miller); $270 million (Baekgaard)

Rank: 49 (Miller); 54 (Baekgaard)

How they did it: Queens of quilted prints, Miller and Baekgaard founded Vera Bradley in 1982, sewing bags in Baekgaard’s basement and selling their first ones in gift shops. There are now 139 company stores and with products sold in another 2,700 retailers around the country. Vera Bradley IPO’ed six years ago and has a $590 million market cap.

SOPHIA AMORUSO

Net worth: $280 million

Rank: 53

How she did it: The original #GirlBoss, at 22 Amoruso started her online retailer Nasty Gal. Ten years later her company is raking in $300 million in sales, Forbes estimates. She also released her memoir “GirlBoss” in 2014 and it became a bestseller. Amoruso has since expanded the #GirlBoss brand to radio and TV.

DOROTHY HERMAN

Net worth: $270 million

Rank: 54

How she did it: Overcoming a tragic adolescence, Herman got her start as a real estate broker for Merrill Lynch on Long Island. By 2003, she’d bought New York City brokerage Douglas Elliman. It’s now the country’s fourth-largest brokerage firm and the largest in New York City.

TONI KO

Net worth: $260 million

Rank: 57

How she did it: In 1999 Ko started NYX Cosmetics aiming to sell department-store quality makeup at drugstore prices. The company did $4 million in sales in the first year alone. She sold to L’Oreal in 2014 for $500 million and has since moved on to launch a new sunglasses line in early 2016.

TAYLOR SWIFT

Net worth: $250 million

Rank: 60

How she did it: Coming in at the last spot on this year’s list, Swift’s earnings shot up with her transition from country music starlet to worldwide pop star, raking in the most from last year’s 1989 tour that earned $250 million.

In case you want to know how these women made it to list, read on for the methodology employed…

Methodology: Members of the 2016 list needed a minimum of $250 million in net worth to make the cut. To compile net worths, Forbes valued private companies by speaking with an array of outside experts and conservatively comparing the companies with public competitors. In cases in which women started businesses with, and still share with, their husbands, Forbes assigned them half of that combined wealth.

Forbes calculated the stakes in public companies using stock prices from May 13. For entertainers, they based estimates on net lifetime earnings. Real estate, art and other assets were also factored in where applicable. To be eligible for this list, women had to have substantially made their own fortunes and be U.S. citizens or longtime residents. Forbes attempted to vet these numbers with all list entrants.

Falling Off The Radar

I will never understand how and why some people will expend a great deal of energy discussing potential projects or other opportunities, displaying enthusiasm and expressing a strong desire to get started right away, only to completely drop off the face of the earth, never to be heard from again. Instead of mincing words here, I will come right out and say that I detest such people and think they are cowards, liars and bullshitters. Once someone tries to bait me with incredible promises and then disappears with no explanation or apology, I cross that person off my list. Seriously, what is WRONG with people these days? Is the concept of honoring one’s own word and upholding a certain amount of integrity dying in this fickle society?

It is impossible to endure countless lures with no follow-through without developing a biting cynicism. I have heard some individuals remark that flaky behavior is confined to major metropolitan cities like Los Angeles, but I beg to differ. For one thing, I have dealt with people all over the country, ranging from small towns to large metropolitan areas, who have displayed what I call “empty promise behavior”. Secondly, I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and have never been the type of person to make a promise I cannot keep. Accordingly, the majority of my friends who are also native Californians are blessed with complete integrity and do not make false or empty promises.

Please don’t be one of those people who talks big and can’t deliver on ANY promises made. It’s tacky and it makes you look like a complete douche.

Bullshit spray

Customer Service?

bad-serviceI went into a store today to make an exchange for products which I had purchased, and explained that I could not locate the receipt. The proprietor was rude and abrupt with me, responding to me with such derision that I came VERY close to telling him where to stick it and storming out of the store. However, I maintained a calm demeanor and continued to listen to his rant. He agreed to give me store credit for the items which was approximately 30% of what I had originally paid for the items, which I reluctantly agreed to. What bothered me was that I am sure he is quite accustomed to bartering in his homeland, but this is not something that is commonly practiced here in the United States. If I had the time to go to another store branch and deal with a nicer person, I would have, but I had to get this errand checked off my list.

I began asking him what he had in the store, and of course his store selection was a complete joke. He kept trying to sell me things I did not need, even when I showed him a LIST of items I was low on! I finally found one essential item which they had in stock (big surprise, it was the store brand), and when I asked what the price was, I almost fell over in shock. I flat out told him I could get that item (which was a BASIC item) online for a mere fraction of what he was charging. When I said that, I could see that he became immediately suspicious about my purchases, doubting whether I had truly purchased items from the store (YES, I had). I am not a liar and I don’t appreciate being accused of lying. His expression told me enough. Once again I wanted to walk out of that store.

Apparently the proprietor I dealt with does not believe that this is true...

Apparently the proprietor I dealt with does not believe that this is true…


I then asked him if he had a specific brand name product and he immediately tried to turn me to a product from a different brand which was not comparable to what I was asking about. He ARGUED with me, telling me that what he had in the store was the very same thing. I mentioned ingredients from both products to reveal the stark difference, but he persisted with his hard-sell attitude. It was very clear that he was accustomed to dealing with customers who didn’t know the first thing about the products he carried, and that he relied on feeding them convincing yet erroneous sales pitches to get them to spend a bundle of money on items they did not need.

One thing is for sure: the only way I would EVER step into that particular store is if I had an event there. In that scenario, I would be pleasant and would probably enjoy the look of confusion and embarrassment which would wash over the proprietor’s face. That would almost be worth the loss of money from the jacked up store credit I got from returning products I purchased there!