Why don’t we move President’s Day to Election Day? What better way to commemorate past presidents than by participating in the electoral process? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the day off so that voting is the focus of the day instead of an errand you have to run after work? It doesn’t require any loss in productivity or a huge funding shift. It’s just moving a day on a calendar. And we really don’t need it in February. Let’s do it.
Embrace failure. Listen to it. Converse with it. Sit it down and have a cup of coffee with it. Failure is your teacher. Failure shows you what does not work and who does not love you. It also shows you what does work and who loves you. Failure means that you wanted something and tried for it. Failure is not the end of anything. It is the beginning of everything.
This article from Minyanville draws striking parallels between drug dealers and corporate businessmen. I had connected many of these dots myself, when I provided financial advice to recently released ex-offenders at a non-profit catering to that population.
I was impressed by how savvy those clients were. I didn’t always know what they had been locked up for, but many of them shared with me that they were involved in the drug trade. Some of these clients had keen mental math skills and could add numbers faster than I could, regardless of whether or not they had a high school diploma. One client caught me when I told him the factors that go into calculating your credit score. I was listing off the percentages each factor represented of the score, and when I finished, he said it didn’t add up to 100.
Many of them weren’t familiar with the formal banking system, how a bank account worked, etc. because they kept their profits outside of the system, but they knew and understood business. After seeing so many young men involved in the drug business come through my doors to see me, I did start to see them as this article puts it: “an independent distributor working for a global conglomerate reaping billions of dollars a year.” These were business men - often personable, knowledgable and smart -that were on the wrong side of the law, and the main difference between them and some employees at big banks was that these men actually went to jail for their crimes.
The turnover at that organization was fast and I rarely saw the same client twice. They had similar stories, were all very optimistic that they were out, seemed determined to do things right this time, were out there applying for jobs. I always wished them the best, but would often wonder if they would really fare well on the other side of the law. They were used to making money, setting their own schedules, a certain level of respect or at least fear. And here they were applying for entry-level jobs in a recession with no relevant work experience, usually no high school diploma, and a criminal record.
This article makes some of the points I often thought about and draws parallels between the drug trade and any corporate business model. I saw so many clients come and go, they all started to seem the same. Every week a new group of 100 or so came on and by the next week another 100 had replaced them. I got a glimpse into the vastness of the drug industry. But any good businessman can explain the connection between supply and demand. So, while the number of people it employs was alarming to me, that just represents a fraction of the customer base.