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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.

Re-sculpting Your Career – Post-Covid Opportunities

Fortune now smiles on the energized employee willing to take his/her current skills and apply them in a new field. On Friday, February 24, 10 a.m. at the Princeton Public Library Bart Jackson will speak to the Professional Service Group of Mercer County. Admission is free, all are welcome – virtual attendance is also available: register on the PSG website www.psgofmercercounty.org.

Bart lays out a practical plan for searching out what businesses are seeking, how to navigate your professional switch, and how to negotiate your way into a more profitable career. In his words, “If you thought the business talent hunt was immense before Covid, wait until you see what’s waiting for you today.”

2023 – The Year to Get Personal

If my Wishing Wand were freshly loaded with Stardust, and stood poised over an expectant humanity, eager for salvation, my one magic spell would doubtless be that we each and all get to know each other more personally, more individually.  People’s eyes might then magically open.  We’d stop perceiving each other as red-staters or blue, as neighbors or immigrants, customers or coworkers, loosers or powerful people it behooves me to cozy up to.  Instead of slicing & dicing our fellows up into pre-labeled tribes, we’d begin delightfully exploring Judy, Tom, Randy, Jacque, Sophia, and Ivan – each unique individuals.

We’d start tearing our eyes away from our two-dimensional screens, blink into God’s honest sunlight, and launch into the far more satisfying process of learning all the little fascinating facets that lie behind Hari’s ready smile – and the real reason another old acquaintance’s parents named her Sequoia.  The other night I had the pleasure of witnessing this blossoming when a Zoom group that I attend weekly gathered for a face-to-face Holiday Party.  The sheer joy was absolutely palpable.  Laughter rang and the stilted curtain of teleconferencing formality drew back as we each shared the broader panorama of our own true selves.

But ‘tis far too easy to fix the blame for our isolation on technology.  The fault of our interpersonal poverty lies more in our selves, than our devices.  Long before smartphones, even before desktop computers, our society had begun drifting into impersonality, and what I call the “shark-fin-soup” method of making relationships.  Joe repairs my car.  Sandra is the firm’s tech wizard, Bruce is that idiot who votes for the wrong party.  So much for Joe, Sandra, and Bruce.  They’ve been boxed into their single-slot asset or characteristic.   You don’t need me to preach the stupidity of slicing off just the fin and tossing the entire rest of this individual back into the sea of our disinterest.  You already know the wastefulness of treating your fellows as mere functions.

And actually, you don’t even require my Wishing Wand to bootstrap yourself out of this self-inflicted loneliness.  Have you thrown a good old-fashioned party for the neighbors lately?  Taken your cleaning woman shopping?  Invited one or two workday cronies for a wine tasting or bike ride?  Or have you paused in your vitally frantic schedule to learn a little about the family of the person who delivers your mail?  There wanders among us legions of bizarre, captivating, multi-faceted souls whose wealth will open to you with a little friendly conversation.  Who knows, that s.o.b. in accounting might just be the tennis partner you’ve been searching for.

May you bounce merrily into 2023,   – Bart Jackson

Telecommuting – Biggest Blunders, Cleverest Strategies

Listen into my newest podcast.

Bart Jackson rolls out a groaning board filled with effective tactics for those working remotely – and those managing teams of remote workers.  Our favorite strategy? Mark Twain’s time management solution.

How do you work when the old office disappears?  You reach into your inventive imagination and create new ways to reach out.  Host Bart Jackson brings forth a broad-ranging Remote Work vision designed to help you master this new freedom and seize the opportunities.  With an entrepreneurial approach, Bart guides you through home and mobile office setup; managing the oceans of unstructured time; building bonds and communication flows, and even the art of remotely feeding your personal ambitions.  Executives also are proffered effective methods for efficiently achieving unity from afar.  Tune in and discover how to keep business personal and fun from wherever you are participating.

https://www.theartoftheceo.com