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Getting Business Done On 9.11.01

September 9, 2006 | By | No Comments


Dad & The Dude

prepared for war

September 11, 2001

photo credit:

Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D. Just after 9am on 9.11, I was doing what all business owners were doing: selling something. I was on the phone with a client. Making a pitch to attend a series of seminars, with CNN on in the background. I was a bit distracted by the live feed of a burning building.

While making ‘the ask,’ it was clear that my customer was not aware that we had just been attacked. I wanted to say something, like, Turn on your TV and stare at real pain. It just didn’t look real. I continued instead with the conversation. Your Business Blogger is not normally so focused. In denial, perhaps. Disasters are not normally good for business.

There was work to be done. My next class was on September 19.

And I didn’t want the customer on the other end of the phone distracted until the sale was closed. Then we could go to war.

The deal done, I noticed my boy, The Dude, was concerned that the attacks would continue down to us in Charlottesville, Virginia. “We got to get ready!” he shouts and scampers around digging up my old uniform, boots, saber and his grandfather’s bayonet. (Old soldiers never die, they just file away. Apologies to MacArthur.)

The Dude spent the rest of the morning marching outside our front door. Looking out for terrorists. It must have worked.

Charlottesville was not attacked.

But we were affected. Everyone was. But I wasn’t sure that the bank was going to delay getting their money over a pesky act of war. I still had to earn a living.

How would the war affect business? Not the macro, but mine? I had a seminar and clients coming into town in little over a week and the world was on fire. Would anyone show up? Would anyone care?

We North Americans do business like we do war. We win. Donald Trump becomes Victor Davis Hanson. At 8 am on 19 September 2001, 86 professionals showed up and got down to business. A packed room.

The free lunch helped.

Even my business partner, Faisal Alam, came down from New York City to join us. He is Muslim.

The country was mourning, but on the move.

I started with a minute of silence in remembrance of those lost in the World Trade Towers.

Then we all got back to work. Each making the world a better place. Even with a war on.


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Thank you (foot)notes:


Basil’s Blog has open trackbacks.

California Conservative has Open Post 9.11.

The Modern Working Woman in Business, at Home

July 14, 2006 | By | No Comments

So here’s the typical mom in America today: baby on knee, small business down the street, with rifle in Pakistan.

This week’s column in Small Business Trends has highlights — and I’m not talking hair — of a typical mom. Yes, women have always been producers — breeding babies and businesses since Eden, but this is something each generation has to discover for itself. See Women’s Future in the Small Business Labor Force.


Helen, second from left

with rifle “consulting” in Pakistan

“How do you it all?” Accomplished women with kids constantly get this question.

Helen Philbrook, married and mother of three, from Raleigh, NC, has the answer.

Your Business Blogger recently sat down with Helen and her husband David to learn the secret.

She’s a former Vice President of an environmental testing firm, and perhaps the world’s first female “Smoke Stack Sniffer.” She’s run a number of start-ups.

But Helen says she’s now “followed her passion to gardening.” Her company Tiger Lily’s is an award-winning firm that gives her what she needs most:


She was well-prepared. Helen has an M.S. in Environmental Engineering and Science, studied Garden Design in London, and completed a series of international consulting assignments. In a male-dominated business. Where she learned:


The greatest challenge women face in business is learning to negotiate.

But she also negotiates with her clients. Hard. She establishes upfront contracts with the explicit understanding that her family will come first.


Helen, Vice President

She is an advocate of “sequencing” for women — marriage, children, work. Helen says a woman can always have an “ambitious career.” After the kids are in school. She knows she will anger feminists.

She has advice to young women starting out. Where the fear is that they will get behind the power curve. “Not so.”

Helen says, “Your career is still waiting for you.”

After your children.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

Full Disclosure: Helen is my sister.

No Speed Bumps has Women in Engineering.

Alas, a blog has Homeward Bound.

Basil’s Blog has Breakfast.

Nicola Horlick: Are Women Better Money Managers?

May 24, 2006 | By | No Comments


Nicola Horlick

Nicola Horlick is a Brit who is a mother of five (plus another daughter who died of leukemia a few years ago).

She is also a top money manager at Bramdean Asset Management in London who has just opened a new division of her company, specifically targeting female customers — “Bramdiva.”

Here’s the interesting claim: Nicola says women are better money managers.

This article in the International Herald Tribune cites several studies and experts on this question, and concludes that men have a testosterone-driven approach to money management that leads them to take risks that don’t pay off in the long term.

Women, alternatively, are steadier and don’t “churn” accounts to generate fees or for the appearance of action.

Super-successful male money managers, like Warren Buffett, succeed because they employ the “feminine” approach.

I believe Buffett would appreciate that assessment.


Cross post from Reasoned Audacity.

The Carnival of the Capitalists Is Up at Interim Thoughts

May 1, 2006 | By | No Comments

By Neelakantan hosting from India. He has,

A blog on business in India, with a global outlook. Business, Economics, Marketing, Offshoring, Management and Globalization analyzed from a streetside perspective. Also occassional humour and philosophy and anything else that interests me. Because nothing is permanent…only interim.

Nothing is permanent? Not even that insta-launch from Glenn Reynolds today? Goodness.

In any event, I’d wager on rising blog rankings from our bud from Bangalore.

And while at Interim Thoughts be sure to read Gongol’s take on gas rebates. Good Stuff.


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And be sure to buy Brian Gongol’s 10 Big Answers. I did.

The Carnival of the Capitalists Is Up at Entrepreneurs

April 24, 2006 | By | No Comments

With host duties preformed flawlessly by Scott Allen.

And while you are there, be sure to visit David Porter with his article on The FHA Modernization Act.


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Be sure to sign up for Scott Allen’s free newsletter.

The Carnival of the Capitalists Is Up at Business Opportunites

April 10, 2006 | By | No Comments


Dane Carlson And edited by Dane Carlson. For Free. At no charge. Visit his site and click through his sponsors.

And while visiting Dane, check out Jim Logan at Direct Response Marketer who has a short article on screwing up a presentation.


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More on Dane at the jump.

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03 Apr



Vote! Carnival of the Capitalists is Up — Hosted by Jotzel

April 3, 2006 | By | 3 Comments

Years ago, Your Business Blogger held a (most minor) position in the local Republican party. It was an election; votes were taken. I didn’t buy any votes.

But I’m buying now. Vote for Your Business Blogger in the Carnival of the Capitalists. A lucky voter for me gets a t-shirt from the Jollyblogger. Vote here. And leave me a comment. jotzel_logo.png

Jotzel Jotzel has the best articles on Capitalism this week.

And while you are there, visit Lipsticking for an post on Yvonne Talks Gender on the Net.

In any debate between women — she said/she said, my money’s on what she said — visit Lipsticking.


Please vote for me at Jotzel. Please, I’m buying.


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Carnival of the Capitalists is the creation of Jay at AccidentalVerbosity and Rob at BusinessPundit.

31 Mar



Ted Turner is the Big Winner…

March 31, 2006 | By | 2 Comments


Brent Bozell

MRC’s Founder…at the Media Research Center’s DisHonor Awards. Your Business Blogger and Charmaine attended last night’s fund raising dinner with 960 of our closest DC friends.

Typical rubber chicken talk-a-thon? Nope. Steak at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Humor and hand-held noise makers. Real Laughter.

Brent Bozell, with his master of ceremonies, Peabody Awarding winning Cal Thomas, had terrific material to work with.

Poking fun at the liberal media bias. With actual footage of the nincompoopheads that bring us the news. The Goliaths.

The Army of Davids was in the audience.


Media Research CenterThere were multiple categories. Nominees included Andrea Mitchell, Chris Matthews, Nina Totenberg, Jack Cafferty, Keith Obermann, Nancy Giles, Rick Kaplan, David Gergen, Ted Turner, Harry Smith, Mary Mapes, Kathy Griffin, Alec Baldwin, Rosie O’Donnell.

Oddly, none of the nominees were in attendance.

The presenters included Tony Blankley, Larry Kudlow, Mark Levin, Brent Bozell.

The winners were Chris Mathews, Rosie O’Donnell, Ted Turner.


The West’s Last ChanceHigh class swell swag was to be had. Courtesy MRC: copies of Tony Blankley’s new book.*

Ted Turner’s award winning interview was his political analysis. Critical of the USA, and fawning of North Korea and Kim Jong-il. Oppression, torture, starvation north of the 38th parallel? He didn’t see any. “I saw thin people…riding bikes,” lectured Turner.

Odd to hear an American hating southern accent. Well, his and Jimmy Carter’s.

Conservatives have a liberal sense of humor. Mark Levin said, “…Rosie O’Donnell went to charm school…on a football scholarship.”

Tony Blankley mused that CNN’s AAron Burr Brown believes all conservative policies and programs are delivered from “the anus of satan.”

Larry Kudlow comma Capitalist, as he always introduces himself on CNBC, rolled the Chris Matthews clip. This is where the host of Harball says, “We’ve got to get out of our American skin…the North Vietnamese were …objectively the good guys…” in the Vietnam War. This is what passes for journalism. And is failing.

Stan Evans bemoaned the lack of liberal’s grammar. “Brokeback Mountain?…It’s not Brokeback — it’s BROKENback Mountain…”

See the video at the Media Research Center.

The evening closed with A Tribute to the American Military. Some cried. Out loud.

Brent Bozell is a class act. Who loves America.


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* I picked up a few extra copies of the Blankley book. Leave me a comment on liberal bias and the benefit of blog reading and I’ll mail you a FREE copy. Include mailing address, will not be published. While supplies last.

The DisHonors Awards have been held since 1999. More at the jump.

Soldier’s Angel has more on the media bias.

Visit Pundit Review for real analysis.

Full Disclosure: Brent Brozell has said nice things about Your Business Blogger’s wife and one of her appearances on Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect.

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Differing Weights

March 20, 2006 | By | One Comment


Milton Friedman

Trusting TransactionsThe biggest challenge my American female clients have is learning effective negotiations.

They should spend a month in East Asia.

Most retail shoppes in that part of the world are modest mom and pop store fronts. Where evey price is negotiated.

Designed to extract the last yuan in consumer surplus.

Shopping in this environment is exhausting for Your (western) Business Blogger. Different cultures. But when in Rome…

So I ask one of my local clients his opinion on the custom of haggling over everything. Everything.

I thought he would wax nostalgic on the old style interaction of true competition: buyer vs seller. The best pricing equalibrium of quantity demanded with quantity supplied. A romantic Asian metaphysical transcendence of commerce.

Did he like the East Asian pure sales process…?

He hated it.

(Your Business Blogger can be such a dope.)

He said:

Everytime you buy something it takes so long to reach an agreement…it takes too much research for little items

Another local said the non-stop haggling was “draining.”

So why does this system continue?

Lack of trust. It is all buyer beware in Mandarin.

There is no trust in a fair offer. And,

There is every expectation to be cheated.

Nobel laureate Milton Friedman spoke to this. He said that a cultural prerequisite of making money is the holding of truthfulness as a common virtue.

When you can trust a merchant’s word, says Friedman, “it cut[s] down transaction costs.”

Without adherence to common moral principles we must substitute external controls to govern business behavior; efficiency demands a framework of standards and accountability.

But there are modifications a-coming. Large retail shops in new malls have established set price policies.

Large international retailers coming to East Asia, such as Wal*Mart, have set prices. And they are reintroducing old traditions from the world over.

There is an ancient Jewish tradition of the prohibiting of “differing weights” for commodities. Established known weights would be used with a fair scale to measure items, grain to gold. A dishonest merchant would use a lighter or heavier weight to tip the scales for unjust enrichment.

Different prices for different people. Which is frightfully inefficient.

East Asia loves speed. Loves making money. Loves making money fast.

To get rich is glorious.

East Asia will tolerant no wasted motion.


Honesty is not only the best policy. East Asia is a bit more pragmatic. And a bit more demanding:

Honesty and trust make for good business.


Consumption Seen As Next Big Driver of Growth

March 18, 2006 | By | No Comments

Read the above-the-fold headline story. And to get this growth the government wants to:

…raise personal income by scrapping [some] taxes.

Is this another evil plot hatched by George Bush and Karl Rove?

Cooked up by the the Rascally Republicans wanting to reduce taxes?


The headline is not from capitalists in the good ol’ US of A.

The headline is from the communists in East Asia.

The communists.


Jiao Xiao Yang has the byline in China Daily on 16 March. The government’s leadership would not be happy with the mere 12% GDP eye-popping growth.

It is not enough that 50% of the world’s concrete is poured in China. Or that 40% of the world’s steel is consumed in China.

To get even more growth, the communists want to cut taxes.

Something the communists in our own Congress won’t do.

Let us put the Democrats on a slow boat to, well, China.


Thankyou (foot)notes:

The US economy needs 3% growth to keep even with population growth. China needs only 0.6% growth to keep even and maintain existing standards of living.