Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Politicians On The Payroll: Something To Keep In Mind

I thought it was pretty funny the other night watching the nightly news as Senator Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Commission, was grilling the Federal Reserve Chairman about the new $700 Billion bailout plan. "How could this happen," Dodd said of the meltdown of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. "We need to protect the taxpayers of America."
Interesting comments. Now the FBI is investigating these organizations for cooking the books and possible mortgage fraud.
Here's a question: Why haven't any politicians stood up over the past 10 years and said anything? Another question: Are you confident these politicians will fix the problem?
1. Senator Dodd received the most money out of all politicians from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the past 10 years.
2. Senator Barack Obama was third on the "grabbing" money list the last two years (and he's only been in office a few years).
3. Senator Obama and Senator John McCain received money from Lehman Brothers and AIG, both companies that were recently bailed out by taxpayers.
4. Former White House Budget Director (under Bill Clinton) Franklin Raines ran Fannie Mae and collected $50 million. (Now that is one political appointment that keeps on giving.)
5. Former Clinton Justice officer Jamie Gorelich worked for Fannie Mae and collected $50 million.
6. Sen. Obama campaign advisor Tim Johnson, former CEO Of Fannie Mae, earned more than $3 million in compensation during a three-year period at Fannie. He's now under investigation for cooking the books.
7. Sen. John McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, is owner of lobbying firm that is still being paid by Freddie Mac.
Houston, I think we have a problem.
When these politicians and their cronies are on the payroll, can we really expect any reform or changes? Why would we expect any reforms or regulation to come from these guys? Would you kill the golden goose?
--Ron Ameln, SBM

Monday, September 22, 2008

Turn Your Business Into An Experience

As a sports fan, I’m amazed how one sporting event can come down to a matter of inches. A football player that steps just an inch out of bounds can change the direction of a game. If a home run hitter connects with a fast ball just a half-inch from the sweetest part of the bat, the result is an easy fly ball to center instead of a tape-measure home run. Business is no different. In business, there is such a fine line between success and failure. And, ironically, something that seems so minor can often have a major impact.
In many cases, it comes down to thinking differently. Can you stop thinking differently? Can you find a way to create an experience that customers will always remember and will tell others?
Lammert’s Restaurant in Sikeston, Mo., certainly understands the importance of creating an experience. Last month a friend of mine sat outside in the rain just to get into the place. Was it because the food was so fantastic? Of course not. She just wanted to get a "throwed roll."
It doesn’t take a lot of money to turn your business into an experience. It doesn’t take a lot of business experience or a prestigious degree. It just takes the ability to step back and think differently, and to stop thinking like your competitors. Anyone can do that.
Every business owner should ask the question, "How can I turn my business into an experience?"
If you can answer that question, clients will come to love your business. And in the great game of inches, you’ll have the competition beat by at least a foot.