Ignore the “Idiot Issues” of This Election
Scientists and companies are creating vaccines, creating solar panels with four times the efficiency of current solar panels, making rockets, and creating genomics solutions that can cure thousands of major diseases. Let’s not stop them. Innovationism is the core philosophy that creates jobs, solves climate change, creates better healthcare, creates less infant mortality, etc. Government does […]

Scientists and companies are creating vaccines, creating solar panels with four times the efficiency of current solar panels, making rockets, and creating genomics solutions that can cure thousands of major diseases. 

Let’s not stop them. Innovationism is the core philosophy that creates jobs, solves climate change, creates better healthcare, creates less infant mortality, etc. Government does none of this.

You either send goods or bullets over borders. And as America is more and more prosperous, it becomes more likely we trade goods rather than bullets. And as more innovations result, more job opportunities are created. 

(Are you really going to make an important decision based on what you read in the newspaper?)

The presidency needs to do what the Declaration states: Make sure that the liberty and pursuit of happiness of any member of society is not hampered. That is the role of the president. 

But there are many issues that I will call “idiot issues” that both parties and the media keep bringing up to try to scare people on BOTH sides. Do not pay attention to these issues. 

This is not a pro-Biden or pro-Trump article, although I keep getting accused of both. Stop it. 

I feel like if you’re not alt-right, people will call you a “libtard” or “snowflake” and if you’re not alt-left, people will call you a racist fascist. Since when has it been a crime to be a centrist? Most people are centrists but are afraid to speak right now. 

So I will. 

This is more a guide for thinking clearly about which issues are media-created and what’s actually important. Don’t make a decision based on issues dictated to you by the media.

Here are a few of the idiot issues:

ADDERALL

Both sides are claiming the other side is taking Adderall. Trump is insisting Biden take a drug test before the debates and Biden is saying no. And others are suggesting that a chunk of Adderall flew out of Trump’s nose during a televised press conference. 

My response: Who cares?

First, of course Biden is going to refuse a drug test. These guys are in their 70s. They are taking drugs for all sorts of things. 

(I wish the reporter had taken Adderall!)

And do you think if they wanted to avoid drug test results, their doctors aren’t good enough to fake any result? Of course they are. But why risk it?

Personally, if they are taking any kind of “performance-enhancing” drugs to be President of the United States, then power to them. It’s not like they have to worry about the health effects for the remainder of their lives (who cares about that?) and it’s not like they are “cheating” against other world leaders (again, who cares?) and it’s not like they are sending the wrong message to our kids (who all take Adderall anyway). 

So all the arguments are foolish. I hope they are taking Adderall. 

PERSONAL TAXES

Trump didn’t pay taxes for many years. Nobody knows how to interpret this. Did he cheat the government? Is he poor? 

The answers are obvious: No and no. And everyone understands this. It’s stupid to make this an issue. 

First off, billionaires don’t pay income taxes. They don’t have an income. Second, their capital gains are wrapped in companies that are wrapped in companies that are wrapped in companies. I doubt any billionaire pays their true taxes. 

(Hmmm…)

Second, Biden was “broke” in 2009. And in 2017–2018 he made $15 million. Good for him. This is America. He’s had opportunities the regular person doesn’t have. Do we blame him for it?

No, of course not. Elizabeth Warren is worth $12 million. Bernie Sanders is worth $3 million. Nancy Pelosi is worth over $50 million. Obama is worth $40 million. Even Martin van Buren was worth $29 million by the time he died. 

All of these guys are worth a lot and taxes are complicated because money is buried in trusts, companies, charities, etc. 

DEMENTIA

Believe me, Democrats know that Biden has some cognitive difficulties. But unless you are a doctor who specializes in this, it’s hard to say he has “dementia.”

When I do a podcast, I often forget what I’m saying and I stutter. When I give a speech I sometimes stutter. And it gets worse as I get older. The other day I had a migraine in the middle of a podcast and it almost seemed like I was having a stroke (my dad died of a stroke so I get scared when I have migraines). 

The reality is: Everyone close to Biden tells me that Biden has a good bench of people to help him. And most people voting for Biden are really voting “no Trump” so they don’t care whether he has dementia. 

Is Trump hiding any illnesses? Probably. I don’t care. Both sides appoint people who they consider experts. 

UKRAINE: TRUMP OR HUNTER BIDEN

Oh my god, I couldn’t care less. Was there quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine? I hope there was! We were giving them a ton of money. We better get something back for it. 

And was Hunter Biden corrupt in his dealings with Ukraine? Of course he was!

Why would some random guy make millions on the board of a big Ukrainian company? Because he was the son of the Vice President of the United States. Duh! 

Is that corrupt? I don’t even care. Yeah, OK, it was corrupt. Big deal. They are ALL corrupt. 

EXECUTIVE ORDERS 

Oh man, another executive order from Trump. Shouldn’t he let the legislative branch do the legislating? 

Yeah, he should! That’s what the Constitution says. Whenever he issues an executive order about, say, drug prices, you have to ask: Can he really enforce this, or is this political messaging? 

Again, either way, I don’t care. Lower drug prices? Sure, sounds good. But I doubt he can get it. Eviction moratorium? Sounds good. But I doubt he can execute on that. As political messaging? Great. Now I know where he stands. 

Is he over-using executive orders? 

Here are the last few presidents and their number of executive orders:

  • Bill Clinton 253
  • George W. Bush 291
  • Barack Obama 276
  • Donald Trump 187

It’s not a big deal. 

FLIP-FLOPPING

I really respect Bernie Sanders. He’s had the same political beliefs his entire life. And, by the way, if you watch Trump speaking in the ’80s, he says the exact same things about tariffs and taxes then that he does now. 

Sanders and Trump have always been pretty consistent about their biggest issues (but not smaller ones). 

Biden, on the other hand, has switched his beliefs several times. Is this bad? Of course not! I also respect someone who can change beliefs given new data and new circumstances. 

So this is a non-issue. 

TRUMP AND SCIENCE

Everyone says Republicans are “anti-science” and Democrats are “pro-science.” I don’t understand this. 

Trump has followed Fauci’s recommendations almost every step of the way. The classic case is when Trump had the travel ban against China and Pelosi called him xenophobic. 

OK, I don’t blame her either for ignoring the importance of the pandemic. I was in San Francisco the exact day Pelosi was trying to get people to go to Chinatown. I WANTED to go to Chinatown that day but Robyn was against it. I guess I was “anti-science.” 

(Let’s get science on this!)

I really admire Hong Kong. As soon as there were two cases (TWO!) they had lockdowns, masks, social distancing, etc and they barely had cases. Good for them. We didn’t do that. Shame on us. 

But, as far as I can tell, Fauci was basically in charge of everything in terms of our initial response. Happy to be wrong on this. 

And there’s a lot of questionable science in terms of allowing for protests with 50,000 people, but you can’t have weddings or funerals. 

I don’t think we know the full science. 

In March, just a few months ago, we did not know the contagion rate, the mortality rate, the immunity factor, the herd immunity percentage, whether the virus was man-made, whether it was transmitted through the air or surfaces, the effects of various treatments (HCQ, Vitamin D, Dexamethasone, Doxycycline, etc.) and, to be honest, we still don’t. 

The world just passed 1 million COVID deaths today. Horrible! Hong Kong Flu in 1957 was 2 million deaths and affected children a lot more. 

Does this mean this is “better” than Hong Kong Flu? No, not at all. But it does question if we did the right thing economically. I don’t think we will know what the right decisions were until a post-hoc analysis. And I don’t think any expert on either side disagrees with that. 

I think if decisions had to be made right now, both Trump and Biden would make different decisions than was either made or suggested in February or March. But BOTH seem to trust Fauci. 

ROE VS. WADE

For everyone who is worried about Roe vs. Wade, don’t be. I am worried about Roe vs. Wade. I do not want it repealed. But the reality is: It’s not going to be. 

Amy Barrett is an “originalist” who doesn’t always believe in precedents to change the Constitution. This, and the fact that she is a religious Christian, makes people believe she will repeal Roe vs. Wade, preventing young girls from having the right to seek abortion. 

Barrett has said she views Roe vs. Wade a strong enough precedent that she wouldn’t repeal it. 

Personally, I wish there were laws directly related to allowing women to choose to have an abortion if they want to. I don’t like that Roe vs. Wade hinges on the interpretation of the 14th Amendment’s right to due process to include a right to privacy. I feel that is a flimsy connection. 

Instead, the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence should guarantee rights of women: 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…”

Since a fetus is not even remotely considered a citizen and assuming that “men” in this context means all people, then women have the same right of liberty as men, and the government’s role is simply to protect those rights and not take them away. 

I wish there were stronger laws about this but Amy Barrett is not going to take away Roe vs. Wade based on her prior experience. 

JOBS

Biden says that Trump is the only president to lose jobs during his term. 

Trump says that he had the greatest economic boom for jobs ever until the pandemic hit. 

Both are correct. 

Under Trump, unemployment was at a historic low, even for Hispanic Americans and African Americans. 

But under Trump, we had a forced economic lockdown, which reduced jobs to near-catastrophic levels. 

So you have to ask: dDd Trump cause the downfall of jobs during the pandemic? (Maybe yes, maybe no.) Was the economic lockdown necessary? If he had followed the science, would the economic lockdowns have caused less job loss? (Unclear.)

And then you have to ask, regardless of the above, who is more likely to create jobs in a bounceback (this is really the only thing that is important at this point in terms of jobs). 

Biden and Obama did return America to some employment normalcy after the Great Recession. Credit to Obama for helping build bipartisan support for the TARP bill, as well as the efforts to repeal or reduce FASB 157 , which, in my view, led to the bounceback. 

And credit to Trump for really ramping up job creation. Whose approach is better? I don’t know. That’s the issue. Not these empty numbers both sides are saying. 

RUSSIA

Clearly Trump is not a Russian asset. And, correctly, he has been focused on China, which has been much more hostile to America in terms of tariffs, IP stealing, human rights issues, etc. 

Is Trump allowing Russia to put bounties on American heads? Of course not. 

Is Russia trying to slowly build back the old Soviet Union? Of course. This has been known for about 20 years and nobody denies this. 

Will Trump be soft on this and Biden tough? Will Biden be tough on China so they stop stealing our IP and taking our jobs with their tariffs? 

We’ll see. This is the issue. Not some stupid issues about whether Trump is a spy or Hunter Biden is corrupt. I could care less about Hunter Biden and it’s ridiculous to think that the president is a Russian asset. 

DICTATORSHIP

Two qualities of a fascist dictator: 

  • State-run economy — Where the government, ruled by one individual, is in charge of every aspect of the economy, from what job you can do, to what businesses stay in business, to who we trade with, to taxes, etc. 
  • Identity politics — e.g., “Aryan people are the best people.”

Does either side want a government-controlled economy? Does either side play “identity politics”? 

Yeah, it can be argued both sides play identity politics. And I hope neither side wants a government-controlled economy, which goes against the real source of prosperity in America — the ability to innovate thanks to few government restrictions against innovationism. 

On the one hand, people are worried Trump won’t peacefully transfer power. 

On the other hands, Hillary Clinton is telling Biden to “not concede” even if he loses by a huge amount. 

So I’m not sure who is against changing power in the case of an election loss. 

Certainly both sides don’t want fraud. That is reasonable. And nobody will concede in the case of fraud. Also reasonable. 

There’s certainly been fraud in prior elections and power was transferred. 

In 1960, Nixon/Kennedy. Nixon barely lost and it may have been due to dead people voting in Chicago. Nixon even contested the election in courts but nothing came of it. 

2000, of course. 

1876 is the only clear-cut case of corruption I can think of, when Hayes paid off congressmen to vote for him when the election was close enough it was thrown into the house. This was a horrible blemish on American history, which led to much more restrictive Jim Crow laws. 

Should you be worried about any of the above? 

Yeah, if you think Trump is a Russian spy. Or if you think Biden is so riddled with dementia he could bypass all safeguards and launch a nuclear weapon, then sure, you should be worried. 

But these are fake worries. 

Every decision is either a fear decision or a growth decision. 

Don’t vote for a president out of fear. The media wants you to be afraid. On both sides. That’s their business model and, yes, it’s a great business model and it works. 

Vote for a president because you think it’ll make you and the country will grow. What does “growth” mean? That’s for each individual to decide.

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The biggest problem founders and small business owners have is that they’re experts in their field and novices in what it really takes to effectively run a business. That’s what usually trips them up, sooner or later.

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The problem is probably you. When I was a young directeur, my company sent us all to a week of quality training where the most important concept we learned was that 90 percent of all problems are management problems. When things aren’t going well, the first place to look for answers is in the mirror.

Take care of your stars. This goes for every company, big and small. The cost of losing a star employee is enormous, yet leaders rarely take the time to ensure their top performers are properly motivated, challenged, and compensated. Your people are not your kids, your personal assistants, or your shrink. If you use and abuse them that way, you will come to regret it. Capiche ?

Learn to say ' yes ' and ' no ' a lot. The two most important words business owners and founders have at their disposal are “yes” and “no. ” Learn to say them a lot. And that means being decisive. The most important reason to focus – to be clear on what your company does – is to be clear on all the things it doesn’t do.

It boggles my mind how little most créateurs d'entreprise value their customers when, not only are their feedback and input among the most critical information they will ever learn, but their repeat business is the easiest to get. Learn two words : meritocracy and nepotism. The first is how you run an organization – by recognizing, rewarding, and compensating based solely on ability and achievement. The second is how you don’t run an organization – by playing préférés and being biased.

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Trust your gut. This phrase is often repeated but rarely understood. It means that your own instincts are an extremely valuable decision-making tool. Too often we end up saying in retrospect and with regret, “Damn, I knew that was a bad idea. ” But the key is to know how to access your instincts. Just sit, be quiet, and listen to yourself.

Protect and defend your intellectual property. Most of you don’t know the difference between a copyright, trademark, trade secret, and patent. That’s not acceptable. If you don’t protect and defend your IP, you will lose your only competitive advantage.

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Far too many créateurs d'entreprise run their like an extension of their personal finances. Bad idea. Very bad idea. Construct the right entity and keep it separate from your personal life. Know your finances inside and out. If you don’t know your revenues, expenses, capital requirements, profits ( gross and net ), debt, cash flow, and effective tax rate – among other things – you’re asking for trouble. Big dysfonctionnement.

You don’t know what you don’t know. Humility is a powerful trait for leaders, and that goes for new owners, veteran CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and everyone in between. More times than not, you will come to regret thinking you knew all the answers. Behind every failed company are dysfunctional, delusional, or incompetent business précurseurs. The irony is, none of them had the slightest idea that was true at the time. Even sadder, most of them still don’t. Don’t end up like one of them.

For every success you have in growing your market share, another business or other businesses will inevitably lose ground. Here are 11 quick and easy tips to gain a competitive advantage over your rivals and insulate yourself from the threat of new entrants in the market.

Of course, we all want to spark growth and increase revenue. But the way you do this in a sustainable way is to focus instead on the building of a loyal database of avid fans. Content marketing, paired with optimized website forms and éclairé email automation follow-up is critical to success. This approach builds trust by giving away free value before asking for someone’s hard-earned money. Not an expert in creating optimized lead generation pages on a website ? No worries, use a trusted tool like Leadpages to make it happen.

Like it or not, folks out there aren’t searching for your brand, they’re just looking to solve a problem or find a particular type of product ( unless you run Starbucks or Adidas ! ) Don’t list all the benefits your product brings. Focus on the solutions. Explain to the customer in simple, straightforward terms how or why your product can help them or assist in the attainment of their goals. Consider FedEx’s iconic slogan : When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. This was a clear example of addressing widely-spread anxiety about the reliability of delivery services. Run through some market research to profile your target customer. How does your product or service – and your delivery and and price point – solve other people’s problems and make their lives easier or more pleasurable ?

Dropping prices doesn’t necessarily raise sales, for instance ( though it will definitely squeeze margins ). If you position yourself as a de haute gamme brand, then your customers aren’t necessarily value-driven in the first place, and cutting prices could even tarnish your brand. Consider this case study from Robert Cialdini’s seminal book ‘Influence : The Psychology of Persuasion’ : a jeweller sold out of turquoise jewelry after accidentally doubling, instead of halving, the price. The inflated price tag lent the product an unwarranted cachet ! If you are a de haute gamme brand, there are ways to optimize your pricing without lowering prices. For example, offer the quality-conscious customer an ‘exclusive’ benefit that your rivals do not or cannot provide. If you are at the value-driven end of the market, on the other hand, don’t assume slashing prices means incurring a loss. Low pricing can help you rapidly onboard a heap of new customers who may also buy other items in your shop and return again. Context also counts for a lot with pricing. The best way to sell a $5, 000 watch, for instance, could be by putting it next to a $10, 000 watch. Think strategically when it comes to deciding any price point.

Yes, it sounds obvious, but it’s so very important ! Whether consciously or not, people are more likely to buy a product if they like the sales assistant who’s attending to them. While the employee’s personality obviously has no bearing on the price or your product’s ability to serve their needs is irrelevant. Friendly customer-facing staff will always attract more sales. Be rigorous in hiring people who are genuinely cheerful, friendly and outgoing. Make sure your training program teaches them to adopt a consistently friendly approach that puts customers at ease and feel like a priority.

Say you’re a bricks-and-mortar store and you’re getting a rush of customers as closing time approaches… why not close up an hour later ? While this may cause disgruntlement among équipe, solve this issue by getting creative with rosters. Monitor customer footfall throughout the day and week to identify your busiest periods, and staff people accordingly. You can also reduce headcount during quieter periods to offset the higher costs and longer working hours created by your extended opening hours. It’s a win-win !

Even in the web age, some customers will always prefer to contact you by phone rather than fax or Facebook. While many online companies with tight margins eschew manned phone lines altogether, it’s worth giving customers the option of having a voice-to-voice conversation with your brand. By all means, slash the time and cost spent responding to queries by funnelling customers to standardized, pre-existing responses on your webpage ( i. e., FAQs ). But if their query isn’t listed in the drop-down menu of FAQs, then don’t make them click more than once more to find your phone number. Put it front and center on your web page, particularly if you’re a retail offering. ‘Live chat’ bots are an inexpensive way of offering real-time communication, too.

Why not give your happy customers a voucher with their purchase to redeem on your products and services ? If they love what you do already, they’re only going to love you more for this. It’s good for you because : It guarantees they will return to your store again. People hate to waste freebies ! When they return to your store to redeem their voucher, they may buy other items, too. If your business operates online, then the freebie could be strategically timed to coincide with a special sale. Oh, and guess what ? Chances are customers who have received vouchers or freebies won’t stay quiet about it either, so you could enjoy some positive buzz on social media.

Local businesses can arguably connect with their unique communities with much greater authority than any global chain. A local retailer, hair salon or gardening company can sponsor a kid’s sports team and offer deep discounts for OAPs at the same time. Some cinemas feature special ‘sensory’ screenings where parents can bring kids with autism ( who would normally be overwhelmed by busy, noisy environments ) to enjoy a movie in a relaxed, stress-free atmosphere. This reflects well on them and also guarantees them a loyal customer niche. Whatever you choose to do to support your community, make sure it authentically fits with your brand offering and business journey to date.

Social media is a great medium through which to build a solid relationship with customers – just don’t forget what ‘social’ actually means ! Soul-less corporate shop-talk won’t work on Twitter. Try to give your brand some ‘personality’ when you write updates or posts. This can bring its own risks, évidemment. But if you get it right, the benefits can be immense. Develop a tone of voice that aligns well with your brand identity. Seek to inform, help, entertain or amuse. And most importantly – given the dire PR consequences – don’t patronize, try too to be funny, or tweet after a few alcoholic drinks !

Sometimes it’s better to be a master of one discipline than a jack of all trades. Admittedly, multiple revenue streams do spread your risk : if one falters, others can take up the slack. Nevertheless, consumers often associate ‘specialists’ with higher quality products or services than generalists. And with good reason, too : specialists typically invest all their resources into perfecting a single product or service. So what should you specialize in ? tera state the obvious, it should be something in which you excel. You could also pick something with rising or recession-proof demand which is resilient to technological change in which you possess a competitive advantage over your rivals or where there’s an obvious gap in your local market. Own it, whatever you do.

Don’t ever get too satisfied with your business. You can always improve – and improve you must ! Don’t get me wrong : without the odd moment of smug satisfaction, what’s the point ? Do relish in the successful launch of a game-changing product or take pleasure in positive customer feedback. But don’t let your customers hear you banging on about it time after time ! Be alert to the common element that has led to the downfall of countless hitherto thriving brands : complacency. Imaginative, nimble and innovative start-ups often do better than big market leaders that just got lazy. You may be the disruptive innovator today, but tomorrow you could be the complacent market leader with a tired business model. So try to be humble and always strive to improve. Seek inspiration from other créateurs d'entreprise, from books and from seminars. The moment you think ‘mission accomplished’ is the same moment you become vulnerable to being usurped.

There are lots of ways in which you can improve your , and not all of them are complicated ! Try out the above business tips or integrate them with your existing strategies, and let me know how you go in the comments below. Guest Author : Faye Ferris is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Dynamis APAC Pty Ltd offices in Sydney. She develops the DYNAMIS durable of brands and their expansion into the Asia Pacific region as well as BusinessesForSale. com, FranchiseSales. com and PropertySales. com. If you have an interest in partnering up with Faye or advertising on any of these websites in the APAC territories, please do not hesitate to contact her on faye@businessesforsale. com.

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