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Work Wit – What’s Funny About Business

Necessary Jewelry….Today’s job applicant facing that all-important interview will always remember to remove all body piercings, but wouldn’t dream of removing his fitness earbuds.

Biz Quiz – What percent of Americans wear earbuds?  80 percent of Gen Zers (ages 12 – 27) wear them for an average of 6 hours per day;  From ages 30 on it dwindles from 30 to 17 percent.

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The ME in Team…  Business leaders who are cock-sure confident to the point of lunacy and who ruthlessly slave drive employees for their own personal enrichment, may be assured of great praise by the media, and great debits in their balance sheets.

Biz Quiz

In the 21st century, how many Fortune 500 companies have failed?  52 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 firms thriving in the year 2000 have failed, gone bankrupt, or disappeared as of 2023.

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Boss of your boss…American business folks believe that if you invent more, network more, and labor longer hours, you may someday be supervising your boss.  Is that the lure of hope – or revenge?

Biz Quiz.  How long do we work?  The U.S. Department of Labor states that the average American worker (all levels) labors 2,200 hours a year.  This compares favorably with the 16,000 – 18,000 hours throughout Europe and the 2,000 in Japan.  The dish of mobility, whether served hot or cold, is apparently a very tasty and desired delicacy.

Work Wit   Desperate Classified Ad… Wanted: Recent college graduates with a greater-than-one-tweet attention span, and Boomers with the patience to solve at least one computer glitch without throwing a tantrum.

Biz Quiz

Are there any Boomers left in the U.S. labor force?  Yes – a few.  As of the 4th quarter 2023, the United States claimed 17.3 million working Boomers (born between 1946 – 1964).  It is expected that by December 2024, we’ll see more working Gen Zers (currently ages 12 – 27) than Boomers.

WORK WIT: Three men were being shipped to a desert island and told they could take only one book.  The Imam took the Koran.  The priest selected the Bible.  Ah, but the entrepreneur grabbed a copy of How to Build a Canoe.

Biz Quiz

What nation boasts the most startup enterprises?  The United States (over 5 million in 2023).  Europe, with more than twice the population, launched 3.4 million new businesses.

Work Wit: The Scowl of Self-Absorbtion…If you get really, really serious about everything that you do, you probably won’t like yourself any better than anyone else does.

Biz Quiz: What percentage of surveyed US workers claim to be passionate about their jobs? 20 % (65% claim to be “satisfied.”)

WORK WIT: America The Beautiful…An entrepreneur knows he’s landed in the right country when he spends more time & money giving rebates to loyal clients than to dubious government officials.

Biz Quiz.  Within the last decade, what percent of new enterprises in the United States are launched by first generation immigrants?  48.7 percent.

WORK WIT: Face to Place…Our last “live” team meeting was attended by eight cups of coffee, one intern, and seven laptop screens sporting faceshots of their owner.

Afterthought: The intern unanimously voted himself to department head, and reported to the CEO that it was the most productive meeting held by our team since he joined the firm.

WORK WIT:  Polishing Your Brilliance…I think the reason so many people keep asking me to write my ideas down is so that they won’t have to listen to them.

Biz Quiz:  If you are given one minute to relate your idea, how many words should you use?  120 – 160 is considered an understandable rate of speech.

WORK WIT: Sharing Your Wealth…A financial planner is an individual who has not been able to make himself rich, but who truly believes that if you give him your money, he can make you both rich.

Biz Quiz:  How many financial planners are active in the U.S.?  About 330,000 – that’s 10 planners for every stock listed in NASDAQ.

WORK WIT:  Smoke & Mirrors…In America, being successful is helpful, but appearing successful is a necessity.

Biz Quiz:  What percent of small businesses closed during the pandemic?  Accuracy is difficult here, but during the 2nd quarter of 2020 federal reserve tracking found 37.4% of small businesse shut doors at least temporarily.

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WORK WIT: Polishing Your Brilliance…I think the reason so many people keep asking me to write my ideas down is so that they won’t have to listen to them.

Biz Quiz:  If you are given one minute to relate your idea, how many words should you use?  120 – 160 is considered an understandable rate of speech.

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Work Wit – Ah, ‘tis Spring… Time for careless banks to melt away and careful bankers to grab their parting bonuses and slither into greener pastures.

Biz Quiz: How many United States banks have failed in the 21st century?  563 failed, leaving 3,123 remaining in 2023.

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Work Wit:  Corona Wonders…What do you call a nation where people sit down and chat face-to-face to share a glass of wine, but stand on a moving treadmill and squint into a screen to share employment in the same company? America the Beautiful.

Biz Quiz: What is the best estimate of treadmill desks purchased in the last decade?  Somewhere between 400,000 and 600,000. https://bartsbooks.com

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Work Wit – America The Beautiful…An entrepreneur knows he’s landed in the right country when he spends more time & money giving rebates to loyal clients than to dubious government officials.

Biz Quiz.  Within the last decade, what percent of new enterprises in the United States are launched by first generation immigrants?  48.7 percent.

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Sign of Our Times…She wouldn’t be caught dead venturing into marriage with an off-the-rack wedding gown, but she thinks nothing of venturing into a new enterprise an AI generated business plan.

Biz Quiz: What is the price of the average wedding gown in the U.S.?  America’s 2.5 million brides this past year paid an average of $2,000 – $4,000 for their wedding gowns.

The American Way… As a patriotic gentleman of business, I whole-heartedly support all legislators who give contracts to my firm.  Of course, those who give contracts to my competitors are irresponsible wastrels and darn fools.

Biz Quiz:  How many government contractors are employed in the U.S.?  You are paying for 5,294 contractors – 55% are male – average age is 46.

‘Tis the Season In Defense of Valentines, Romance & Lovebirds

While she lies sleeping, I rise and finish my poem to my best beloved, in which I recall those sweet, brief glimpses of her that glow ever in my memory and fuel my soul.  It will get penned onto a large paper heart and, after reading it to her over breakfast, it will join the others in the countless clutter of scribbled love verses published on the north wall of our house.  The remainder of our Valentines Day ritual involves lobster, highly-over-priced Champagne, a trek of recollection down some wooded trail, and other intimacies.  After all, what is life without love and what is love without celebration?

Now I realize that behind the sound of my popping the cork, murmurs the call from all those unlovely folks spouting the commercialism and silliness of Valentines Day.  Masking their fear with cynicism, they insist we should plunk our minds onto more serious matters – presumably the rapes, corruptions, and murders that fill our nightly “News You Need to Know” columns.  Yet my personal crusade for glee, laughter, and the volcanic passion of love, claims as honored an intellectual pedigree as any of those whose preachments would send us ever down rabbit holes of endless anxiety.

I refer to philosophy’s 18th century crew of visionary thinkers – The Romantics.  These poets, writers, and students of life looked inward, seeking and examining the full potential of the human personality. Romantics hung their first glance on the ideal – studying the potential and imaginatively catapulting it into a path for brilliance.   They were preoccupied with the hero and the genius that glows as a waiting ember within each of us.   So this February 14, I invite you to love like a Romantic – cut loose.  Seek that that absolute best and powerful potential of those you love and then whip up a little joyful hoopla in gratitude that such wonders of love float dazzlingly around us.

Have fun,

– Bart Jackson