Elementary School Fundraisers … Parents be careful how you handle them!

During elementary school, I had mixed feelings about the school fundraisers. On one hand, I thought they were fun and the items in the catalogs were cool… and the rewards were even cooler, but … I was never able to sell a lot for the fundraisers, so I hardly ever got any of the prizes. This was in part to the lack of support from my single father. After all, when a 7 year old lives out in the country, how can she be expected to sell much?

It has been over a year — almost two years — since I have graduated college. Wow! Time flies! It has been a little difficult on the job front. Don’t get me wrong. I have been working, but I have been having trouble finding something that empowers me… that feeds my passions. Why is that? Well, for one. For the longest time, I refused to work a sales job. The trouble with that is many companies use their sales reps to vet employees for “hire up” positions, some of which I want(ed).

Why was I putting off getting a jobs in sales if I wanted a hire position – or a different position – that require such experiences? It is because sales scare the crap out of me — as do people but that is a different issue. Over the last few weeks I have been contemplating  why it is that I have such an aversion to  sales. After much contemplation and following train reactions, I have come to the conclusion that … it is my father’s fault.

In the third grade, I really wanted to do better than in years past. Being 9 at the time, so of course I would need parental help. Now,  I don’t remember how I approached my father on the subject; however, I remember his response — almost verbatim. “You are going to school to learn. Not to be a salesman.”

Since then until now I have been opposed to a sales position. There are other factors that have a played a role, but that was the defining moment that pushed me flying down that path. The other factors just kept me there.

Now, my advice is not to ensure that your kid gets the top price during the fundraiser. My advice is to be careful how you address the situation. This is a great learning opportunity for your child. Don’t pass it up, and most definitely don’t teach him or her the wrong thing.

The American job market is predominately a sales market. Your child will be selling one thing or another to one person or another. A few weeks ago, I received the most outstanding advice from someone on the Leadership team of The Oklahoman Media Company (which I don’t remember verbatim) — You are all in customer service. You are all selling a service. Wheth you are interacting with a customer or a co-worker, put your best foot forward, do your best. 

No matter what your child grows up to be. She or he will be selling  their services. So during the school fundraiser, take the time to teach them some important skills about interacting with people, sharing information, and other skills involved with selling.

I am slowly but surely cover coming the challenges of my upbringing. My last day with BigWing (a brand of The OMC) will be November 27th, and I start my next career on November 30th. Going from an Admin Assistant to a Credit Consultant — Inbound Sales for Progrexion.

This move will be an outstanding experience and much personal and professional growth is in my near future.

Wish me luck!

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Leading Employers: Local vs National

A few decades ago, GM was the largest employer in America — so I have been told and I am lazy and don’t want to look it up.
Today, Walmart is the largest employer in America — so I have been told and I am lazy and don’t want to look it up.

The problem that people propose is that when GM was the largest employer, people were paid well on average and the their was a large middle class. Since Walmart does not pay well on average, it is one of the causes of the decline in purchasing power of the middle class — among other issues.

My thought is this…. America is HUGE. Like super huge. Though I agree with the premise of this argument, there are additional factors at play. Yes, having a low wage employer dominate the job market does affect the quality of the middle class. That is on the macroeconomic scale. There is also the microeconomic scale.

You may or may not be aware that there are several magazines (FORBES being one of them) that publish on occasion Best/Worst Cities in America for Business/Middle Class/Whatever.

A single company is the leading employer in a nation because it has multiple locations. As the leading employer, its average wages does affect the national economy; however, that company is not necessarily the leading employer on a local level.

On a local scale, a manufacturer, bank, or other higher paying company may be the leading employer. Those companies have far fewer locations thus have far fewer employees than the nationally leading employer. This local leading employers have a greater impact on the economy.

During our fight reduce income inequality, we must identify our local leading employers and insure their feet are held to the fire too. This does not take from the social responsibilities for a company like Walmart.

Who is the leading employer in your area? What is their average wage?

Tips of Ending Poverty: #2 Reflect Productivity

You don’t want to bust your a$$ making someone else rich while you go no where. Do not make others do that for you either.

Why do so many people want to or do start their own business? There are so many reasons why people want to own and/or run a business. Get rich. Make their own hours. Answer to no one, but themselves. Stick to The Man. All these reasons and more, can be summed up with the fact that they are tired of working all the time and getting nowhere real quick.

A rare few start a business because they have a new idea to take to market. We aren’t talking about those individuals.

It is awesome that people have the gumption to start their own business. It is great fuel for our economy. However, it is despicable that people are motivated to venture out on their own because they are not being properly compensated.

It has been a while since I have looked at the numbers, so bare with me on this. Off the top of my head, productivity has doubled since 1970-ish. Since then the average household income has stagnated.

To put it simply, pay your employees what they are worth–which isn’t always in line with what the market pays them.

One way we can all help to end poverty is buy local hire local. When you buy from a local retail store, you are helping an individual support themselves. When a local business hires local people to help run the business, they too are helping an individual support themselves. … Or even a family.

Take a fraction of your budget and spend it with a local business. Have $100 budgeted for groceries? Spend $10 with a local farmer, bakery, or other take-home-yummies maker. Have two date nights budgeted a month? Spend one at a mom-and-pop diner, or pay a friend to make you dinner –after all she wants to open up a restaurant.

Do you know crafty people? What about aspiring entrepreneurs? In most cases, it doesn’t take much to help support your community.

Remember: BUY LOCAL!

Cash makes for bad mattress stuffing. Do NOT stuff your money in a mattress. Most savings accounts ARE mattresses.

Disclaimer:

  1. I am not a CFA. This is PEER advice, not PROFESSIONAL advice. Though professionals, would probably agree with me, speak with a professional for professional advise.
  2. If you are in a financially insecure place, it may make sense to have your money in a mattress–figuratively or literally. When you are in a situation where you can invest outside the mattress, speak with a CFA. Your bank may have one on hand, so you can start there.