Building Your Business – Are Politics and Peacemaking Mutually Exclusive?

It is easy to assume that all politics and peacemaking can be mutually exclusive. The truth is that there are many situations that in order to keep the peace, politics may be involved or even get in the way. Where there is a dispute of uncommon interests, whether it is to gain control, power or leadership that is politics. God teaches us on how “we should be” if we are to be His children. As human beings created by God we are asked to be images of the Father. In doing so, we bring peace to ourselves and to others.

In many organizations, there are internal conflicts, and even key leaders begin to make their case and use politics in what they hope may either bring the peace or put an end to what they believe is disrupting their peace. Vice Presidents will threaten other departments by flexing their control should those departments not do as they are told. When we discuss politics, we discuss the policies and processes that are brought up for debate. These same policies dictate the path towards peacemaking as a societal whole. But it is also important to remember that it also brings about additional conflict within the groups and hence another opportunity for peacemaking. Take a look at what took place in Ireland in 1997.

“In August of 1997, less than a month after the second cease-fire took hold in Northern Ireland, thousands of Presbyterian pastors and lay leaders gathered in Belfast to make a, historic public recommitment to peacemaking between Protestants and Roman Catholics.

Michael Cassidy, a South African evangelical influential in producing open elections and the end to apartheid in South Africa, challenged them to a new level of personal responsibility for bringing about reconciliation and tolerance. At his invitation, nearly two-thirds of the 3,000 in the audience stood up to signal their pledge to peacemaking. Earlier this year, the Anglican Church of Ireland took similar steps when its general synod voted to condemn the presence of sectarian views within their denomination and to conduct an inquiry to determine how severe the problem is” (Morgan, 1997).

Without politics they would not have taken the additional steps to really determine what the problem was and rededicate themselves towards peace. But there are other examples where politics and peacemaking are not mutually exclusive. Take the military for example. Our leaders wage war on other countries that have different political views than ours. We are sent to war using force. And only as the victor can we then define what we believe peace to be. Whose war were we fighting? Whose definition of peace were we attaining? Ours, the people, another nations?

What Can an Entrepreneur Learn From the NCAA Championships?

March Madness has again come and gone. Ending in a crescendo of applause and excitement that is rife with new opportunity for the players. The players can celebrate their new success and begin to look forward optimistically to whatever new challenges they will face next in their lives. Their success in basketball no doubt came from the hard work, determination, desire to overcome obstacles, risk taking and many other personal values needed to become a champion athlete. Who knows what new journey these athletes lives may take. Some will no doubt go on to find further basketball success in the NBA and begin lives as a professional athletes. Eventually however, they will all retire from basketball and move on to other endeavors. How will the values that made them champions help them later in life?

Most people have been involved with sports at some level (even if not at the NCAA Championship level) and therefore are able to understand the kind of effort it takes to succeed in sports. They recognize that an athlete may have natural talent but they also know how much work it takes to become a champion athlete. Hard work, determination, the desire to overcome obstacles, risk taking; these are the values it takes to become a champion and they are also the values it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. Some athletes are able to carry these values over into their next career but others are never able to make the transition.

Likewise, there are people who think becoming a successful entrepreneur comes simply from being in the right place at the right time or because the entrepreneur happens to come from a well connected family. But most successful entrepreneurs, like successful athletes, would say success in business takes the same type of hard work, determination, the desire to overcome obstacles, and risk taking that you see in an athlete. Are there lessons we can learn from sports examples to learn how to apply these same values when applied to business.

We hear lots of sports success stories but they all seem to end once the championship game is over. Unfortunately, most sports stories are cliff hangers that leave us to wonder what the rest of the athletes life will be like. We don’t know whether the values that brought them to the championship was a onetime affair or if the athlete is able to transition these values into the next phase of his or her life with that same level of determination? What would happen if the story were to continue and we were able to follow the life of a champion athlete to see how he transitioned the values that led to his earlier success in sports into entrepreneurial values that brought similar success in business? If we were to look at the lives of one of these athletes, would we find lessons there that could help other non-athletes learn these same entrepreneurial values and understand how to apply them in their own lives?

One of the lessons we might learn comes from an athlete’s willingness to try over and over again. If they lose one game, they don’t quit but rather come back and work harder the next time. We know that athletes don’t usually compete in just a single event. In their sports career they compete in many tournaments and championship events. They apply the same values over and over to become serial champions in the same way serial entrepreneurs build winning businesses over and over. Successful entrepreneurs don’t quit just because one thing doesn’t work for them. They come back, apply what they’ve learned from the loss and then start over again.

Athletes know that overcoming obstacles is part of the game. If one play doesn’t work they continue to try another and another until they find a way to succeed. Successful entrepreneurs need to do the same thing when the obstacle to their success seems too great. Just like an athlete, “no” should not be an option. Successful entrepreneurs continue to search until they find the path to success. Entrepreneurs know that business is not a game and must also understand that winning means learning and applying these entrepreneurial values over and over.

Achieving "Plan B" Through Individualpreneurship – The Notion Of An Individual As An Enterprise

What is entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is a competency (set of knowledge, skills, and activities) required to start, develop, and assume risk for an enterprise. An entrepreneur is an individual who organizes, operates, and assumes risk for an enterprise with the intention of transforming innovative ideas in products and/or services for a profit.

An enterprise is an undertaking for a prize or cause. It is a group of activities intended to produce income organized for:

  • Profit as a business of any size and type: unincorporated or incorporated; one or many entities, of which one is designated as the “holding entity” in a multi-entity structure; and such that one enterprise can incubate another
  • A not-for-profit association, such as a public charity or a private foundation
  • A government agency

When an enterprise is referred to as an entity, the reference is specifically to the holding entity, unless otherwise specified. The term “not-for-profit” is generic; the term “non-profit” means an entity that has been approved by a taxing authority as being exempt from income tax. “Not-for-profit” does not mean “not-for-revenue.”

As a discipline, a business delivers products and/or services to a customer for a profit. As an entity, a business can be:

  • Sole proprietorship (individual)
  • Partnership (pass-through to individuals): general, limited, or limited liability
  • Limited liability company (pass-through to one or more individuals as a partnership or as an equivalent to a “subchapter S” corporation)
  • Corporation: general with directors appointed by shareholder investors, and officers appointed by directors (“subchapter C”), pass-through to one or more shareholder investor individuals who may also be directors and officers (“subchapter S”), professional (pass-through to one or more individuals), or foreign

An upwardly mobile enterprise is a small-to-large enterprise focused on large market dominance (share being either industry-wide or in niches) with local-to-global aspiration in both traditional and non-traditional industries. It has growth potential from highly innovative people, processes, and products and/or services, and/or duplication of a business system. It is financed by founders and/or third-party investors (closely or widely-held) seeking capital appreciation, and potentially cash flow from dividends and/or interest, with medium to high risk. An upwardly mobile enterprise may be founded by one or more entrepreneurs, who either become part of a larger management team as new investors come on board, leave to form another venture as serial entrepreneurs, or retire.

Upwardly mobile enterprises are the heart of Wall Street.

A lifestyle business enterprise owner operates an enterprise in a local community, and may also be the founding entrepreneur:

  • Either as an active owner-manager, making a living from its activities for their own lifestyle
  • Or as a passive owner-manager, with an active management team in place

Lifestyle business enterprises are the heart of Main Street.

A lifestyle business enterprise owner can be a sole proprietor, partner, member (and usually also a manager) of a limited liability company, or a shareholder investor in a corporation (and usually also a director and an officer).

An employee is an individual who provides services in exchange for compensation under an explicit or implicit contract for hire, whereby the employer (hirer) has the right to control what work is performed and how. An independent contractor is self-employed; the hirer has the right to control only the result of the work, and not how it is performed.

What is individualpreneurship?

Individualpreneurship is a mindset for thinking about oneself as an enterprise, actively developing and managing multiple sources of income, and without being highly dependent upon any if possible.

Sources of an individualpreneur’s income include:

  • Employment
  • Entrepreneurship/business ownership
  • Investing

The individualprise represents the aggregation of all sources of an individual’s income. Gross income results from wages from employment, and from both revenues (commissions, dividends, fees, interest, rents, royalties, and sales) and from capital gains from both entrepreneurship/business ownership and investing activities. Net income (profit) results from gross income less the cost of revenue and the expenses required to generate it. The cash flow generated from net income generates wealth, which can be used for investing activities and supporting a personal lifestyle.

The broadest definition of wages includes all remuneration or compensation paid for services rendered by an employee, whether in cash or in other media including bonuses, commissions, and gratuities, based on piece, task, or time.

The need to develop and manage multiple sources of income arises from increasing uncertainty about economic, regulatory, and social trends.

For many individuals, the primary source of income is remuneration from employment, and the largest asset is their home. Employment is an active form of income – in effect employees exchange time for money. However, the best forms of income are those that are residual and passive.

Residual income results from an initial transaction at some time in the past for which an ongoing cash flow is received; passive income results from transactions where the individualpreneur is not actively involved.

Examples of residual income include enrolling members in systems where downstream commissions can be earned; selling items, such as subscriptions that are automatically renewable, or consumables where the ordering is processed by third-parties; and affiliate programs based upon referrals.

The rise and fall of employment opportunities

Prior to the industrial revolution, families were in effect enterprises. Augmenting farm work with other trades and crafts, families flourished in cottage industries working from home, effectively as a group of individualpreneurs. Merchants brought raw materials to homes and would take finished products to markets. Entrepreneurs would “put out” work to families, who were in effect their subcontractors.

As the industrial revolution progressed, work was transferred form homes to factories when the required machinery became too large or expensive. Initially, the “put in” system was used whereby workers in a factory were treated as subcontractors, and eventually became employees. Labor movements were founded to fight for workers’ rights, from which today’s employment and labor laws have evolved.

As the economy shifted from family to commercial and industrial enterprises, employment opportunities grew. Workers could expect long-term employment opportunities as manufacturing demand increased. Through improvements in manufacturing techniques, such as production lines and automation, the scale of units produced increased dramatically. Through improvements in energy, transportation, and telecommunications technologies, reach extended into new geographic markets for acquisition of materials and supplies, and delivery of end-products.

However, recent globalization trends have changed the cost structure of certain activities through outsourcing to providers who offer economy of scale, or to lower cost production markets. As a consequence of information and process control technologies, work has shifted from manufacturing to knowledge-based services. Technology can play a major role by creating jobs in new areas and eliminating them in others.

Enterprises have been impacted dramatically by these trends. For example, “big box” and online stores have had an impact on retailers on “Main Street” – but the savvy ones offer specialty products coupled with exceptional service. Even the local coffee shop is impacted by the price of green beans in global markets. Many manufacturers have downsized through strategic sourcing of components to scale providers, and in the construction industry, general contractors take advantage of prefabricated assemblies. As industries shift from manufacturing to knowledge-based, a major differentiator is marketing capability. Marketing capability requires understanding customer needs and wants, and responding with products and/or services designed for niche or mass markets, regardless of where the components are made.

The consequence is that job markets are dramatically changing, and that old assumptions for employment have become invalid. The notion of working for one employer for forty plus years is no longer possible because technology is changing the structure of industries and the nature of employment. Downsizing has become common, and it is a challenge for the education system to keep up with changing trends in the knowledge, skills, and technical requirements for jobs in emerging enterprises and industries.

The increase in consumer debt coupled with unstable employment opportunities has created stress for many individuals and their families, especially for those who are unemployed, face foreclosure on their homes, or even bankruptcy.

What is “Plan B?”

The term “Plan B” is used to describe an alternative course of action in case the preferred or primary “Plan A” fails. For many individuals, Plan A is a combination of a good education leading to a well-paying job. This form of Plan A stresses individual achievement through successes in education and employment – failures are usually downplayed. However, changing trends in employment put pressure on most individuals’ Plan A, who may face downsizing or even their employer going out of business.

For others, Plan A is a combination of entrepreneurship and business ownership. This form of Plan A can result in failure. However, ultimate success in entrepreneurship and business ownership is often achieved by learning from mistakes and failures over time, and by building teams. Plan A for entrepreneurs and business owners may change from time to time as their ventures change. Eventually, many entrepreneurs and business owners finally get it right as lessons from past failures lead to successes. Many entrepreneurs and business owners become investors in other enterprises with a sense of “wanting to put back,” and often with a higher tolerance for risk than those who have, in effect, earned income in exchange for time.

The uncertainty of the economy, regulation, and social trends as evidenced by downsizing, high consumer debt, government debt and unbalanced budgets, and high unemployment has created the need for all individuals to have a strong “Plan B.”

An effective Plan B begins with the notion of an individual behaving as an enterprise in their own right – the individualprise. Whereas Plan A may provide a primary source of income, developing a Plan B means understanding opportunities for earning multiple sources of income and allocating time efficiently by prioritizing on the best. Executing a Plan B may allow an individual to keep their primary form of employment, but work on other income producing activities, such as part-time employment, home-based businesses, or investing in real estate and/or securities.

The income statement of the individualprise is the tax return – after all, if the an individual has multiple strong streams of income, taxes are likely to be an important consideration.

The basis structure of the Individual Tax Return (IRS Form 1040) applicable to both Plan A and B activities includes:

  • Wages
  • Interest (Schedule B)
  • Dividends (Schedule B)
  • Business income from sole proprietorships (Schedule C)
  • Capital gains (Schedule D)
  • Supplemental income from rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, and subchapter S corporations (Schedule E)

The tax return offers clues as to opportunities for alternative sources of income; however, it is useful to separate the type of income from the forms of business, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations.

Types of income include:

  • Wages – all forms of compensation for full or part-time employment
  • Interest on investments
  • Dividends on investments
  • Capital gains on investments
  • Net income from active revenue generation such as commissions, fees, rents, royalties, and sales less expenses
  • Net income from passive revenue generation activities – primarily real estate rents and royalties less expenses

Types of business forms include:

  • Sole proprietorship and single member limited liability company – an individual that sells products and/or renders services, including as an independent contractor to hirers
  • Partnership or limited liability company – where an individual is a partner or member in an enterprise that shares profits, losses, and capital with others – the individual may be a general partner or member-manager, or a limited partner or member; a single member limited liability company is considered to be a disregarded entity
  • Subchapter S corporation – where an individual is a shareholder investor in a corporation that passes its profits and losses through to its shareholders – the individual also may be a director and/or an officer, and as such earns wages as an employee in addition to receiving dividends
  • Subchapter C corporation – where an individual is a shareholder investor in a corporation that is taxed separately from its shareholders, but may pay tax on the dividends received (thus is subject to double taxation) – the individual may also be an employee, and as such earns wages in addition to receiving dividends

Only individuals and corporations are legal entities, and as such, corporations have separate rights and privileges from their shareholder investors. Individuals are natural persons. However, a juristic person is a group of natural persons behaving as if they are a single group, such as in a partnership, a limited liability company, or an association. A company is a group of individuals that make up an enterprise regardless of business or legal form.

Entrepreneurs may start enterprises in any business form, but lenders and investors may require a specific form, and may place personal guarantees in individuals for contingent liabilities. Venture capital and investment firms may place specific requirements on business forms and management structure, such as being a Delaware subchapter C corporation. Thus a founding entrepreneur could become a shareholder investor in an enterprise that they are no longer in control of if an investor group brings in its own management team. Delaware is the preferred choice for incorporation for many investors because of its well established corporate laws.

Although self-employed individuals are treated as business owners through sole proprietorships, single member limited liability companies, and single shareholder corporations, they are unable to leverage their time unless they can delegate to trustworthy employees, or earn residual and/or passive income.

Individuals who are sole proprietors, partners, and members in limited liability companies are subject to self-employment taxes, and shareholder investors who are officers in subchapter S corporations are subject to employment taxes.

Achieving “Plan B”

There are many ways to develop and achieve a Plan B that has multiple income streams, and it is possible that one component may become the new Plan A eventually. Some opportunities result from converting a hobby into an income producing activity, whereas others result from leveraging professional qualifications and experience.

Examples of income producing activities include:

  • Part-time employment
  • Establishing a home-based business on a part-time basis, that has the potential to become full-time
  • Earning fees and commissions from referrals through affiliate marketing relationships
  • Earning royalties and fees through writing and speaking engagements
  • Investing in real estate for rental income and capital gains
  • Investing in securities for interest and dividend income and capital gains

Businesses that require separate physical premises, inventories, and employees should be avoided as a Plan B because of the high overhead of carrying costs, insurance, payroll, risk of theft, and governance. Whereas the notion of owning a restaurant can be a dream to many, all too often such an enterprise becomes nothing but a nightmare.

Home-based businesses can take many forms such as buying and selling products on the internet or providing professional services on a part-time basis. It is important to note that home-based businesses are subject to licensing and zoning laws and regulations, and may be subject to property, sales, and use taxes, in addition to income tax.

Any form of revenue generating activity requires business development and marketing capability to create awareness and build relationships. The degree of selling experience necessary is a function of the type of business. These activities can be routinized through duplicable, predictable, and measurable processes that can be learned over time.

Some investing activities may require active trading to ensure that capital gains can be properly realized in up markets, and to prevent losses in down markets.

The best form of income is both residual and passive, whereby ongoing cash flow results from activity that occurred in the past, and for which little or no management activities are required in the present.

An effective way to achieve a blend of residual and passive income is through a combination of sources from membership systems and investing activities as follows by:

  • Enrolling customers in membership systems where commissions are earned from ongoing sales of consumables, for which the ordering and distribution is handled by third-parties – this activity generates residual gross income
  • Investing the residual income in an investment portfolio that diversifies risk, and generates cash flow from interest and dividends – this activity generates residual gross income; the income is passive if the portfolio does not require active management through trading
  • Note: investing in real estate may generate residual income from rents; however active management may be required for finding tenants, negotiating leases, collecting rents, paying expenses such as utilities, and performing maintenance and repairs; investing in securities may require some trading to hedge from risk, and to take advantage of capital gains.

A shorter-term objective of Plan B is provide a hedge against Plan A as an alternative. A longer-term objective of Plan B is to gain financial independence – the state of having sufficient wealth to cover expenses required by a certain lifestyle. Wealth is achieved by having sufficient assets and income producing activities to generate a gross income that exceeds all professional, physical, and personal expenses required by that lifestyle. Wealth is a source of capital for future investment. It is usually advisable to eliminate debt in the quest to achieve financial independence.

Enterpriship

A key success factor in developing a Plan B is understanding those enterpriship (entrepreneurship, leadership, and management) competencies that are essential to income generation.

How To Spot The 4 Types Of Workers You Need In Your Dream Team

In order for your Dream Team to work in creative harmony, you need 4 types of workers.

Step 1: Project Categories

In the One Minute Millionaire, Hansen and Allen describe how Allen Fahden and Marie West break project-oriented work into four main categories.  These are:

  • Solutions: This is all about identifying ideas and options to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities
  • Strategies: This is about taking your highest-priority idea and deciding on a plan of action
  • Analysis: This is the ‘Devil’s Advocate’ bit!  Brainstorm what could go wrong with your solution
  • Results: This is where you create a system to carry out your plan of action and then you do it!

Step 2: Match The Worker To The Category

Hansen and Allen describe four types of workers that correlate with the four categories above.

These are:

 Hares: These are the creative, ideas types.  They often prefer to leave the ‘follow-through’ to others.

 Owls: These are the “Give me an idea and I’ll show you the plan and strategy’ types.  They love making connections too.

Turtles: These are the traditionalists.  They don’t like taking risks and have a talent for anticipating problems, hence saving the team time and money by addressing the issues early on.

 Squirrels: These are the organizational types who love the detailed, step-by-step work.

In order to build a dream team, you must have people of each type to perform the duties and tasks within each of the four categories.

Hansen and Allen state that if your team lacks one type you will be in danger.  If your team lacks two of the types, you ‘face disaster’!

You will also find that most people, including yourself, have one primary work style, for example the Hare, and one secondary one, for example the Owl.

If your team consists of two people, you and one other, you should ideally have a combination of all four types between you; for example, Hare/Owl plus Turtle/Squirrel or the combination of Hare/Turtle and Owl/Squirrel.

So this is what HOTS stands for…Hares, Owls, Turtles and Squirrels!

Step 3: Take The HOTS Test!

The way you match yourself and each team member to the type that fits with one of the four categories is by identifying the strengths that match each one.

This is easy because Hansen and Allen have designed a free diagnostic instrument, available on their website, that reveals people’s strengths.

Koool!

So go to the website of the One Minute Millionaire, click on Tools and then select the HOTS Survey and identify your strengths. Then make sure each of your team members do it too!

I’m a Hare.  What are you?  What difference will it make to you now, knowing what other types of people you need to look for to build your dream team?

Business Problems? Use A Mind Map To Solve Them

A mind map is a process of writing things down in a way that makes a map of your ideas and thoughts. You can use shapes, symbols, and more to represent different points and ideas. This makes it easy to look at and digest quickly because it makes your main idea the central part of the map.

Change It Up

When problem solving, you want to change a few things. For example, you’ll want a new solution to the problem to be the central idea of your mind map. Ensure that you add resources for solving the problem. For example, money, people, and technology.

Remember that one problem may have more than one solution. By separating out each solution, including all the resources you’ll need, and noting the roadblocks, you’ll be able to choose the right solution for your problem more easily.

Once you notice the main solution that you need to implement, or you’ve identified a couple of solutions that work together, you can make more branches to the details of the solution and how you want to implement it.

Understanding The Bigger Picture

Putting all the information in one spot is going to help you look at the problem through new eyes that understand the big picture more. Using an online cloud-based mind mapping solution can also help you make a cleaner more useful mind map, because you won’t have anything marked out when you look at it.

Mind maps are good for both big-picture thinking and narrowing down things to target. For example, on a solutions mind map, you’re going to end up with steps to the solutions you’ve chosen, and then be able to go right out and start adding tasks to your calendar so you can be successful.

Even if you’re not naturally creative, you can learn to be more creative by developing your creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

Problem Solving is A Process

Problem-solving skills are important both in the workplace and in your private life. Whether you work for yourself or others, you’ll need to be open to solving problems. You’ll want to develop your mental, analytical and creative skills if you want to be a good problem solver because you’ll need to be able to think logically, put things in order, and evaluate whether a solution is right for a problem or not.

When you can identify issues, understand the stakeholders’ points, list all the solutions you can think of, evaluate them, and then select one (and one step further – implement it), then you’re going to be a good problem solver that others seek out. Being creative helps because your mind will be more open to new possibilities and potential.

Carrier Pigeons Helped Create the World’s Most Famous Banking Fortune

Whether in business, warfare or affairs of the heart knowledge, the more the better, is often the most crucial element in determining event outcomes. The ability to know what the competition for a business deal is strategizing is potentially game changing. A General upon learning details of a rivals battle plan gains immense advantages in plotting counter-strategy. Knowledge is often not quantifiable, but it is invaluable.

One of the most famous and consequential uses of real time knowledge occurred in Europe in 1815. Early in the 19th century information obtainable through communication channels about distant events was painstakingly slow to arrive. Roads were rough, unfinished, really little more than cart paths. There was no wire transmission or speedy organized courier services for delivering messages over vast distances. Word of the outcome of a battle, treaty or an important political affair could takes weeks or months to arrive where the result was most keenly anticipated.

The Battle of Waterloo is possibly the most famous military engagement in history. The battle site, the tiny, remote Belgian village of Waterloo, is synonymous today with one’s “final act”. Waterloo became Napoleon Bonaparte’s denouement. His inglorious defeat by the British forces, commanded by the Duke of Wellington, expedited his exile to the tiny island of Elba and the decline of France as a military power for almost a century.

Prussian, Austrian and Russian armies had allied to fight with the British against Napoleon. All of these great armies, moving across vast swaths of Europe terrain needed extensive provisioning, arming and logistic support to maintain troops as they girded for the great battle. This was an incredibly expensive enterprise. Massive funding was required to support the campaign.

The Rothschild banking family was already famous across most of Europe for providing a secure funding source for national governments. The Rothschild’s had established five branches of their enterprise. The largest, most important were based in Paris and London. The final Napoleonic war was largely funded by Nathan Rothschild of the family’s London branch. This house had provided large sums to both the British and the French. The Rothschild’s were famously indifferent to rulers and governments. Nathan Rothschild once famously remarked, “The man who controls the British money supply controls the British, and I control the British money supply”. His goal was to profit no matter whom was in power or won a war.

Nathan Rothschild knew that early knowledge of the winner at Waterloo, details of the battle, the severity of the loser’s defeat would be invaluable in financially manipulating markets to profit from the result. The family had invested heavily over the decades in field agents that forwarded tips and messages, fast packet ships and trained carrier pigeons to speedily deliver notes.

The arrival of the carrier pigeons in London with specific battle results from Waterloo provided Rothschild the information he needed to begin to plant rumors. Initially he spread the word that the British had lost. Investors began to adjust their bond and security positions in reaction to this negative news. Rothschild took opposite positions, and then, he strategically released the actual truthful news that Wellington had vanquished Napoleon. This enabled the family to profit on both sides of the trades. It is estimated that the Rothschild family extrapolated an increase in wealth of 20 times their pre-war capital.

The foresight to train a winged air force of carrier pigeons proved fortuitous and extremely profitable for the banking house of Rothschild. The edge they enjoyed in receiving real-time information, and spectacularly profiting from the knowledge, became legendary and only increased the perception that they were a family of financial Merlin’s. Their power and wealth has multiplied exponentially in the past 200 years and has been maintained to this very day.

In modern business and finance, the ability to glean information about competitor’s plans, information that will affect asset valuations and marketing strategies is invaluable. Governments spend billions of dollars trying to steal state and commercial secrets. Private investigators are used every day to scope out the fidelity and affairs of married spouses. Information is power.

Entrepreneurs can learn an important lesson from this chronicle about the Rothschild’s use of carrier pigeons. If your project has true commercial value it must be protected. You must assume that there are people working at the same time on a similar opportunity. Time is not your friend.

Whether you can uncover a competitor’s plan or an adversary learns your project’s details, the first owner of knowledge stands to maximize profit. Placing second in this process is a sure path to losing the crucial first to market product advantage. The Rothschild’s earned fabulous riches from simply learning the outcome of a battle before competitors. In order for entrepreneur’s to successfully profit from their efforts they must harvest every bit of relevant and available knowledge as quickly as possible.

Knowledge is invaluable, but it must be secured and utilized with diligence and due haste.

During Industrial Revolution 4.0 Era, Palm Oil Plantation Have to Implement Digital Technology

At this time the world is in the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) which is characterized by the implementation of artificial intelligence, super computer, big data, cloud computation, and digital innovation that occurs in the exponential velocity that will directly impact to the economy, industry, government, and even global politics.

The Industrial Revolution 4.0 is characterized by a smart industrialization process that refers to improved automation, machine-to-machine and human-to-machine communication, artificial intelligence (AI), and the development of sustainable digital technology.

Industrial Revolution 4.0 is also interpreted as an effort to transform the process of improvement by integrating the production line (production line) with the world of cyber, where all production processes run online through internet connection as the main support.

Road Map to Industrial 4.0 in Palm Oil Industry

In Indonesia the application of industry 4.0 is expected to increase productivity and innovation, reduce operational costs, and efficiency that led to increase the export of domestic products. In order to accelerate the implementation of Industry 4.0, Indonesia has developed a roadmap for industry 4.0 by establishing five manufacturing sectors that will be a top priority in its development, including food and beverage industry, automotive, electronics, textiles and chemicals.

The five industry sectors are favored considering that they have shown their great contribution to the national economic growth. For example, the food and beverage industry, especially the palm oil industry, has a market share with growth reaching 9.23% in 2017. In addition, the industry also became the largest foreign exchange contributor from the non-oil sector which reached up to 34.33% in year 2017.

The magnitude of the contribution of the food and beverage industry sector can also be seen from the value of exports reaching 31.7 billion US dollars in 2017, even having a trade balance surplus when compared with the import value of only US $ 9.6 billion. This figure also places the palm oil industry as the largest foreign exchange contributor to the country.

In order to increase productivity and efficiency optimally, the technology supporting the industrial revolution 4.0 is imperative to implement, including the implementation of Internet of Things (IOT), Advance Robotic (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digitalized Infrastructure (DI).

The structural transformation from the agricultural sector to the industrial sector has also increased per capita income and driven Indonesians from agrarian to economies that rely on an industry-driven value-added process accelerated by the development of digital technology.

In the context of this industrial revolution 4.0, the palm oil industry sector needs to immediately clean up, especially in the aspect of digital technology. This is considering the mastery of digital technology will be the key that determines the competitiveness of Indonesia.

Because if not, then the Indonesian palm oil industry will be increasingly left behind from other countries. If we do not improve our capabilities and competitiveness in priority sectors, we will not only be able to reach the target but will be overridden by other countries that are better prepared in the global and domestic markets.

Digitalization Era in Palm Oil Industry

As a major player in the global palm oil industry, Indonesia needs to clean up soon. Absolute process and operational efficiency is immediately undertaken especially concerning activities involving many manpower such as field work (infield activity) such as crop maintenance, land treatment, fertilizing activity, weeding, harvesting and transporting fruit to weighing and sorting. This is because in this sector there is often time and cost inefficiency.

Digital technology has facilitated a lot of work in the palm oil industry. Now no longer need to make statistical data collected from a number of palm plantations manually. Ease and other advantages of digital technology is able to capture images or photos of fresh fruit bunches, as well as precise location of the garden using a tablet that can access the GPS.

That way, field managers can not only easily track and monitor real-time activity in the garden, but they can also see for themselves the quality of the palm fruit and know exactly which areas are experiencing the problem. And incredibly, it does not need their presence on the field.

In addition to the ease of transferring data from the field to the Excel sheet on the computer and also making reports on the quality of the palm fruit, digitization also facilitates in recording the presence of employees and field workers to then process the data for the purposes of remuneration and incentives.

Oliver Lawal: A UV Technology Innovator

Oliver Lawal is like many scientists and engineers in the UV technology field, with intellectual interests that span a wide range. At the University of Manchester England, where he studied electrical, mechanical and software engineering, “I couldn’t decide on one field of study,” recalled Lawal, “so I graduated with multiple degrees and an understanding of several areas.”Since then, Lawal has lived and worked in six different countries and his expertise contributed to many important projects in UV technology applications. “My first involvement with UV was as a Project Manger in the United Kingdom. I worked on the first large-scale UV installation using variable power electronic ballasts driving low-pressure amalgam lamps,” remembered Lawal. After this, he worked on a UV installation at a nuclear power station in France. Lawal then went on to work on the largest UV wastewater project in the world (at that time) in Auckland, New Zealand.All of these endeavors have contributed to Lawal’s outlook and vision for UV technology. In this growing field, technology is evolving quickly. Lawal refers to this growth as the water-energy-technology nexus. “We have the ability to help ensure sustainability of our most precious resources for future generations by developing better and better technical solutions to our water and energy stresses,” commented Lawal.Oliver Lawal’s family has been involved with the energy industry for some time. His grandfathers were motor sport enthusiasts and this helped to stimulate his initial interest in technology and engineering. Yet it was Lawal’s parents’ interest in environmental issues that ultimately led him to a career in water. He recalls his father’s comments about the difference in experiencing oil or water shortages expressed this way: “If we run out of oil tomorrow, we’ll all be driving electric cars. But, if we run out of clean water tomorrow, driving will be the least of our problems.”Lawal’s professional life is challenging and rewarding. Today, he’s a board member with International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA) and he is president of Aquionics Inc., a company with a 30-year track record in selling and maintaining UV water disinfection technology to municipal and industrial water and wastewater markets in North America. Lawal shares a birthday with Amelia Earhart, and he professes to have the same sense of adventure as her. In his leisure time, he enjoys riding motorcycles and driving racecars, activities that reinforce his passions for technology and adventure.The UV technology industry has changed since he began his career in the late 90s and it will continue to evolve. “From the perspective of equipment design and operation there is no question that our ability to more accurately predict and control process performance has increased dramatically,” notes Lawal. New techniques such as computational fluid dynamics, microbiological assays, power control and UV-C monitoring are more refined and more commonplace now. “This has resulted in great improvements in energy consumption and a reduction in operational risk,” observes Lawal.Lawal believes that growth and improvement in UV water disinfection technology has a direct impact on the public health, by controlling pathogens in public water and wastewater supplies. “The sheer breadth of applications seen today, targeting very specific results, is staggering,” says Lawal. “The reduction of endocrine disrupting compounds, total organic compounds, ozone, chloramine, chlorine, cryptosporidium and viruses are commonplace and the applications using them expanding,” he added. Applications that are directly impacted include: ballast water, combined sewage overflows, aquatics, hydraulic fracturing, medical devices, semi-conductors, pharmaceuticals and more.As president of a leading provider of UV technology, Lawal maintains a focused approach with a close eye towards ethical concerns. “It is important that we do not take shortcuts for short term commercial gains,” he says. “As the sphere and influence of UV technology grows, and new technical solutions like UV-LED’s become available, we need to ensure all stakeholders: regulators, process designers and users understand the critical issues. Regulation is important – it must be robust yet enabling. Process design must be sound and ensure seamless integration with other technologies. And ultimately the technology must be executed in a manner that allows safe and reliable operation.”There is no doubt that the cleanliness of water impacts the lives of people worldwide. By focusing his life’s work on improving the quality of public water and wastewater with UV technology, Lawal is reiterating his parents’ vision for a cleaner environment and taking the necessary actions to implement this by working towards these goals on a daily basis.

Choosing a Career in Electro-Mechanical Technology

Being skilled in a variety of electrical, electronic and mechanical work can be a big advantage to any individual especially in these uncertain times. While some people possessing non-mechanical skills may not be fortunate to hang on to their present jobs or may be unlucky to get employed today, those with electrical and mechanical skills have a good chance of keeping a regular job and getting higher wages owing to the vital function they serve in major industries.The field of electro-mechanical technology (EMT) is currently experiencing rapid growth. This can be greatly attributed to the continuous advancement of technology in an effort to keep up with people’s changing technological needs and desires. Electro-mechanical technology refers to a combination of electrical, electronic and mechanical devices to be able to make automated systems for various purposes such as in product testing, manufacturing, electronic instrumentation and processes that utilize computers.Electro-mechanical devices can do numerous functions such as in the automation and control of the manufacturing process, documentation of distant stars via photographs and regulation of cancer treatments to name a few. Among their major uses are to measure the size, shape, color, weight or temperature of a certain product.A course in electro-mechanical technology normally includes electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics, sensor utilization and an understanding of the different types of motors. Students enrolled in this course are also taught about automation, computers, robots, motor controls, computer-controlled equipment, maintenance and mechanical drives. Most often, this course takes two years to complete with the graduate earning an associate degree in EMT.Completing this course will enable a graduate to design solutions for a variety of electro-mechanical equipment. Ideally, they should be able to design, develop, test and manufacture electrical and computer-controlled machines, supervise the use of automated devices or assist engineers who develop such equipment in performing tests, recording information and making written reports. Graduates of this course can land in industrial jobs such as being an electro-mechanical technician, industrial electrical technician, machine electrical assembly technician, maintenance electrician and mechanical maintenance technician.A degree in electro-mechanical instrumentation, for instance, will give people the ability to help engineers design automated systems utilizing computers, science-centered theories and math. Among the careers one can go into are radio installation, precision equipment repair and engineering technology.The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has revealed that employment opportunities in the field of electro-mechanical technology will continue to grow into the future. The agency points to the fact that more industries notably those involved in computer and office machines manufacturing are installing electronic equipment in order to improve their productivity and the quality of the products they offer to consumers.People who have earned an EMT degree or are interested in getting one should know, however, that their education does not stop after graduation. Technology is constantly changing and those working in electro-mechanical jobs need to keep abreast with the latest trends. One way they can advance in their career is to specialize or pursue further studies.

Mobile Technology Meets the Real Estate Industry

Mobile technology is not just beneficial in the technological world. Products and services that go part and parcel with mobile technology can be used to benefit many industries and sectors, not least of all being the real estate industry. If you are involved in the real estate business, pay attention: there are many solutions offered by mobile technology that can help you run your practice more effectively. To be more specific, there are two areas that can greatly increase the productivity and efficacy of the real estate industry: QR technology and Mobile Smartsites.Custom-Designed and Specialty QR CodesQR codes have their uses in virtually every industry. This is especially true of real estate. This is because QR codes are a fabulous way to display a house. If you are posting an advertisement for a home in a newspaper or on a billboard, you’re limited to using that ad space; therefore, you can only show a limited amount of pictures, and you can only display a certain amount of content. QR codes allow you to maximize the real estate of your ad space (no pun intended!). By placing a QR code in your ad space, you are allowing a prospective buyer to scan the code and be brought to more photos, information, or even a video of the home. This means that you can give a virtual tour of a home right on someone’s cell phone!What’s more, these codes don’t have to be black, white, and boring. Because QR codes are becoming quite ubiquitous, it is now possible to create custom-designed codes; that is, codes that contain custom imagery, colors and backgrounds that combine the technology of QR codes with the creativity that you wish to put into them.Smartsites
Smartsites are absolutely crucial in the real estate industry. Most people already know full well that websites are necessary… but how many people realize that a simple website is simply not enough? If you’re not careful, you may just end up with a website that is unalterable by you, either by virtue of the software it’s built with, or because of the sheer complexity of the back-end process. In today’s day and age, content needs to be fluent; that is to say that it can be, in no way, shape or form, immutable. This is obviously true of the real estate industry, where new properties must be constantly added to a website, and homes that have been sold must be removed. Old information is absolutely detrimental to a real estate website… and this is where smartsites come in. Smartsites allow people to change their content at any time. The days of calling up your Webmaster are long since gone; it’s now crucial to ensure that your website can be changed by you at anytime.If you are interested in QR technology or smartsites, consider choosing a mobile solution company today that can help your real estate business reach its full potential.