Past issues

Mindconnection eNL, 2002-03-31

In this issue:

  1. New courses at Mindconnection
  2. Why we have layoffs and what to do about it
  3. Finance tip
  4. Health tip
  5. Fitness tip
  6. Handling telemarketers
  7. Thought for the day

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1. New courses at Mindconnection

We've added even more project management courses since our last eNL. Yes, we said that in the last eNL, but it's true again! If you work for anybody, you have projects to do, right? Why not be better at doing your projects, in these days of what seem like "drive by layoffs?" Click here to start protecting your future today:

http://www.mindconnection.com/category/005PROJECTMANAGEMENT.html

 


 

2. Why we have layoffs and what to do about it

While CEOs say how it hurts them to lay people off, they usually don't have an intelligent strategy for doing so. And they frequently collect bonuses for doing so. The economy has been hurting for well over a decade, now. Yes, I know the naive among us point to "the stock market," by which they mean 50 very large companies that follow "magic" accounting rules. The economy, if measured by anything meaningful, has not been in good shape since the Reagan years. I won't go into why that is, here. No, I'm just going to tell you why layoffs happen in response to economic weakness. So, here are some reasons why layoffs happen:

  • Corporate "leaders" play with their spreadsheets, rather than running their business. They see expenses and income, and don't understand where these come from. They just cut expenses. In so doing, they usually cut income even more. The company survives in spite of layoffs, not because of them. If folks were producing net positive revenue before, what changed? Nothing!
  • It's an easy "fix" that Wall Street responds to. Folks on Wall Street are financial types, not managers.
  • Corporate "leaders" forget that other companies are making money in other ways. So, your buggy whip business is down since cars started being sold? Well, do you think trashing your work force is going to grow revenue? Why not retool to make driving gloves?
  • Corporate "leaders" have nothing at stake, really. They have their golden parachutes, so they aren't going to fight for the business. This is a compensation plan problem.

Well, there you have it. The list is much longer, but every item can be summed up by observing that when you ask corporate leaders to think, "the lights are on but nobody is home."

Suppose you have a family of four with pets. If you were "thinking" like a CEO and lost your job, what would you do? First, you'd tell the dog you have no need for him. Out he goes. The kids lose their goldfish, the cat gets dropped off at the county line, and even the houseplants get thrown away. Your costs are now down. Meanwhile, you still don't have a job. Hmm. Problem not solved. What to do? Yes! Kick the kids out! That is how today's "corporate leaders" allegedly manage the situation.

You can't change these people. They have been rewarded handsomely for being about as reality-challenged as a human can get, and they aren't going to change now. So, what can you do?

Here is what one person is doing:

  • He runs a small business out of his home. This provides him with a bit of extra income and some tax deductions, as well as some additional references and networking contacts.
  • He also has a freelance gig that provides additional income on a steady basis--courtesy one of his networking contacts. He could expand this and his business if laid off. He wouldn't replace his present income, but he wouldn't be devastated, either.
  • He is active in a local professional organization, which provides him with contacts. He does favors for people, building up his favor bank.
  • He keeps physically fit, reads a lot, and does things just for relaxation--this makes him tough for the layoff ahead. It also keeps him sharp for the battles of today.
  • He pays attention to appearances in his company, and follows his own personal "marketing plan" to make himself attractive to his employers. Thus, he keeps surviving layoffs.

 You can't change the lunacy that pervades the corporate landscape, but you don't have to sit there waiting for the axe to fall, either. Add to your skills, pay down your bills, make key contacts inside and outside your industry, and make yourself available to do some moonlighting. If you have a mountain of debt, get a part-time job--maybe 15 hours a week--for 100 days. Anybody can do this. That job will make your life tougher, but it will help you pay down debt. And, it will make you much more time-efficient. Just don't tell your part-time employer you plan to quit in 100 days. An extra 1500 hours, even at minimum wage, can make a huge difference in your finances. And it will change you for the better. When you're done, take a week's vacation.

 

 

3. Finance tip

If you have a 401(k) plan at work, think it through. Don't allocate haphazardly among the options. Some people think it's a good idea to allocate evenly among the options, but that just shows they aren't thinking. Put the money in one or two options that will make it grow. These will be stock mutual funds, nothing else. And don't invest in your company stock. If the company goes belly-up, you are out your stock investment, as well as your job!

 

  

4. Health tip

Some days, it seems like it doesn't pay to get out of bed. Why does it seem that way? Because a handful of things go wrong. So, what? How many things go right in your day? When you start feeling upset because "nothing is going right," start thinking of the things that are going right. This will return to you a sense of well-being, enhance your ability to think (unless you are a "corporate leader!"), and shut down the river of stress hormones your being upset has released.

 

 

5. Fitness tip

Do you want bigger arms? Guys usually do. And women want "firmer" arms. Well, it's the same thing. The hormones in women limit muscle size, so developing muscle mass as maximally as possible will give them firm arms. Guys can actually get that biceps ball and some serious-looking mass. Now, I have a biceps ball, so I'm going to tell you how to get it. Here goes.

Work your back! That's right. Simply doing curls won't accomplish diddly. Your body regulates muscle growth by many means. One of those is symmetry. Your body tries to stay functionally balanced. If you don't have the back muscle to support a weight, your body isn't going to produce arm muscle to lift it. There would be no value to that, and it would lead to injury.

 

 

6. Handling telemarketers

Those on my joke list got 20 tips for this. All of them are pretty funny, but they work! However, they are cruel. The typical telemarketer is someone who need that telemarketing check and just has that job until a good one comes along. They have sales quotas to meet, so if you don't like getting their calls, simply hang up on them. This allows them to go onto the next call. You can ask them to take you off their list, but that often doesn't work. Being rude to these people is like "kicking a man when he's down." The kindest thing to do is simply to hang up. Or, don't answer the phone if your caller ID shows "no name, no number."



 

7. Thought for the Day

What is more important--seeing what something is, or seeing what it means? Think about that.

 

Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola
Mindconnection.com

Authorship

The views expressed in this e-newsletter are generally not shared by criminals, zombies, or brainwashed individuals.

Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.

Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).

The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).

Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader.

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