Investing your money in a business, or in multiple businesses, means you are taking a position of ownership, and responsibility.  You will be responsible for knowing how the business is doing, how much you should expect to earn and when (could be years away), tax laws, ownership risk, and maybe management of the business itself.

As a stockbroker I was always amazed at how few people took ownership seriously, and it was their money they had invested.  People have a tendency to wish for an end result but they rarely manage the process to get there.  A good policy for you, whether you invest in stocks, bonds, partnerships, or directly, would be to care about your ownership position and what it means to be there.  Take your position so seriously that you feel the need to understand the business, its opportunities and risks, and maintain a real expectation of return over a reasonable period of time.

As you seek opportunity you may be interested in pursuing a business you recently became excited about.  The excitement is what causes inventors to invent, innovators to innovate, and gamblers to gamble.  Be careful which way you go.  When you have an interest in a particular business it may be of value to compare the merits of ownership to other businesses.  For instance, you may want to compare your opportunity to the rewards of owning a food franchise, a dry cleaning business, or a dress shop.  Just be sure you understand where your business fits in the food chain of the economy, stand back and take a hard look while considering if it really has a good chance of performing at the level you wish.  Remember, we are talking about business ownership and not innovation which is completely different.

Now you have your work cut out for you.  You will need to consider the following:Ecspex Logo

  • How much to invest.  Should you do it all or will there be other investors?
  • How long will it take to make money? A month, year, 3 years, or maybe 5?
  • You will need many resources, even for an established business.  Legal, taxes, management, suppliers, customers, advertising…
  • You must plan for success, otherwise why own a business?  You need a real plan, not just a list of goals.
  • It is important to plan for failure too.  When should you cut your losses?  How will you know if the business is a failure?  Can you move on without too much emotion and regret?  Field Marshal Rommel was an expert at this.
  • Set Waypoints for success.  Waypoints are smaller goals you expect to meet along the way to your primary goals.  i.e. a start date is a waypoint to being in business.

I mentioned that Innovation is different from ownership, and it is.  Innovators may or may not be business owners.  Innovators have ideas of how to make a business, new or established, run better.  Steve Jobs was no inventor, was not a good business owner at times and was fired from Apple for poor performance, but his innovations propelled the company forward just enough ahead of the pack to make Apple successful.  If you are an innovator then you have an idea to bring to the productivity of the world.  In doing so you may need to engage the help of a business owner/leader to help you execute an effective plan.  I will discuss this in a separate article.

Appease Your Way to the Top


Looking to the TopIf the title of this didn’t make you cringe, you may be a wimp.  As far as I can tell by searching the web, nobody has written a book with this title.  There are plenty of accounts of people who tried appeasement diplomacy but nothing regarding appeasement as a way to do well in business.  It seems that business requires a little more than just getting along to achieve success.

What is appeasement?  Appeasement, according to the dictionary is making concessions in order to come to an agreement.  As we know, this will usually mean for a short period of time; making a settlement while finding another way to get your own way later.  On the surface appeasement can sound good, but often leads to a loss of time and opportunity.  A good case in point, often referred to in history, is the appeasement of Hitler only to deal with his strengthened resolve and military at a later date.  Sometimes the best time to deal with a problem is when it pops up, not later.  Isn’t that true?  Neville Chamberlain found out the hard way and was later labeled as a wimp for appeasing Hitler until it was too late, thus being replaced by Churchill who was no appeaser at all.  But we are talking about business appeasement.  How is this different from political appeasement?

Appeasement in business can quickly become a sign of weakness and turn into a lack of respect.  Can you imagine any highly successful business entrepreneur, leader, CEO, or innovator choosing appeasement to achieve their lofty success?  I certainly cannot, but let’s consider a short list of names: Gates, Dell, Buffett, Getty, Trump… no appeasement?  But at the same time we know that they can use appeasement as a negotiation tool to eventually settle a deal as closely to what they want as they can.  It just wouldn’t be the primary way to ultimately become successful.

Appeasers run the risk of having their product, service, or designs stolen from them. They don’t take quick action, and they lose the opportunity.  Appeasers cannot take the upper hand in business negotiations since they lose respect and will not be able to press their position since it would seem easy to tell them “no”.  Appeasers become conditioned to believe they have won the situation by simply coming to terms after making concessions.  They lose trust, respect, opportunity, and time.  Appeasers cannot be moved to the top rungs of the business ladder since they cannot effectively close the deal on new innovations and opportunities.  Appeasers ultimately lose or stalemate in business dealings while feeling they have run away to fight another day.  But at the same time, making concessions, if calculated and negotiated for a specific purpose of returning to the negotiation quickly while some alternatives or additional solutions are weighed, can be of great value in winning the deal.  Ultimately you must have a goal and you must meet the goal in order to do well in business.

Which is more important, being right or appeasing?  Since we already know that appeasement is making concessions we can ask the question, “Should you concede when you know you are right?”  Most people will say no, unless their primary mode is to concede at all costs and calling that a “win”.  Being right is very important in business because if you are wrong about your product, solution, service, system or whatever you are selling, developing, or promoting, it will cost you a lot of money and future business to be wrong!  You must have confidence in what you are doing and that comes from reaching a level of being right.  I am certain you agree with that, right?  Being right implies understanding your position and capabilities.  If you know this, you know your limits and must be right and can effectively negotiate.  If you do not know this, your counterpart in the negotiation may try to assume they know better and at this point seek appeasement from you, since you lack confidence.  You lose because you are forced to appease and cannot close a deal based on your true value and capabilities.

Is there a time and place for appeasement?  Yes, you should be willing to appease your elders, especially old ladies.  Funny?  When it comes to dealing in business you should always come to the table prepared, especially with the full knowledge of your proposition, why it has value, and the right way to proceed.  You must be right because being right will be more important than appeasing, even when you deal with customers, not just other business people.  When you are right, that’s when you truly have value.  What if Bill Gates felt he was wrong about the iPhone or lacked confidence?  The time for appeasement may be in adding a suggested feature or capability you didn’t consider, an alternative application, but only for the time it takes to consider the value of these.  In reality these appeasements should be sub-negotiations of the primary negotiation.

In business you must be shrewd.  If you think shrewdness is a negative term, think again.  The definition is: having or showing sharp powers of judgment.  How negative can that be?  If you are shrewd then you must be right, or right enough to negotiate for favorable terms.  Shrewd implies knowledge, understanding, and the ability to know much about the situation.  If you don’t utilize your knowledge base, understanding of your counterpart, and the limits of your capabilities, you may be forced into acquiescing.  This can damage your reputation, your earnings, and your opportunities beyond your expectations.

Be shrewd, be right, be prepared, and don’t expect to reach a high level of success by appeasing your way to the top.

Went to a KC Chiefs Game and a Third World Country Broke Out

I may be a Kansas City area resident but having lived in the Rockies for a large chunk of my life, I’m a Denver

fan, so I took the opportunity to go to a Broncos vs. Chiefs game recently, in Kansas City. This was my first, and maybe my last, outing to an NFL game. I like to watch on TV but the NFL is not the NFL I grew up with and this game, Broncos/Chiefs, in particular has underscored the changes.

Not only was there a murder in the parking lot during the game, but the fans murdered the parking lot after the game with what looked like a Juarez, Mexico trash dump. If fans believe leaving their trash, and I do mean a lot of it, in the parking lot as a reply to losing to the Broncos is a correct response, then I will never be a fan. Really, who does this?

Don’t Mess with Texas, a slogan created by the State of Texas in response to its citizens being nearly the last in our country to stop polluting by throwing garbage everywhere, was very effective. Don’t Mess with the Chiefs could be a worthy addition to this effort. In the days when Texans were so trashy as to constantly throw stuff from moving cars, litter the highways and roads, they would drive to the Rocky Mountains and do the same thing. They were bad neighbors to New Mexico and Colorado, less welcome because of it. Fortunately they are good neighbors today, because someone took action.

Where are Chiefs and NFL fans headed with this trashing of the parking lot? What does this say about the future of professional sports and fans? Just how far will this go and what does it take to end this?

I would first recommend that anyone caught trashing the lot should be expelled from future games and stadium parking, including the shared Royals parking lot. The cost of small loaders to pick up the trash, and garbage trucks to haul it off after the game would probably be enough saved to pay for the penalty. Second, the pregame tailgating fiasco needs to be reduced to an hour of partying. Let the party head home after the game. And, simple as pie, drunks should not be allowed! How hard is this to understand for a family event?

But really, who cares about the cost? What about the quality of the event? Will the NFL and the Chiefs allow trashy fans to overtake and obliterate the quality of the event? Should anyone allow so many drunks, murderers, and trashy people to hang around and destroy the event? Should NFL fans expect this?

Don’t Mess with the Chiefs and Don’t Mess with the NFL!

Good Politics are Most Important to Business Owners

Business and practice owners need to consider the most important thing for the continuing development of their business.  Customer service, sales and marketing, product and service development, and productivity

Fill the Chair
Fill the Chair

are all a constant but their effectiveness is not.  In the wrong political environment these constants are negatively impacted by slow growth, reduced number of customers or patients, low productivity, and worst of all, reduced customer service.  We are all front-line witnesses to this.

The most devastating feature of a negative political environment is ‘Trickle-Down Negativity’.  We may or may not want to believe in trickle-down economics but the effect becomes very real when our own business venture is impacted by increased regulation, increased taxes, and customers and patients who are less willing or unable to pay.  The environment is difficult and requires more time and effort, thus expense, to overcome the downdraft of a poorly run government.

Economic cycles come and go but political impact can be long lasting and indeed reduce the merits of small business for an extended period of time.  As business owners we must be cognizant of a situation in which this extended impact could be in the heart of our development and earning years, and its impact on our own families and livelihood, not just the success of our business.

We currently operate our businesses in an environment of increasing over-regulation, increasing taxes, withdrawn customer base, and dramatically reduced opportunity in venture.  Our own customer base is eroding, not because we are poor at business, but because the opportunity is poor at best.  When our best customers cannot afford us anymore, there is something wrong.  It isn’t our prices, since we actually feel the need to raise them in order to survive.  It isn’t service if we already feel we are giving away all we can afford.

The politics of our situation, this poor business environment, are not about party or personal feelings toward elements of the platform.  Our situation is about ideology.  We are currently under the thumb of anti-business ideology and an executive branch which seemingly wages war against our potential for prosperity.  Fix the current ideology, return to the belief that business owners and entrepreneurs are the fuel of our existence and opportunity, then we can worry about the platform issues later.

In short, the cost of our current political ideology is very expensive.  When this same ship had to be turned in the past it took 20 years to overcome in one case and 10 years in the last.  We have no way of knowing if the next leadership will be effective enough to keep that time at the low end of the scale.  Can we afford to wait 4 more years to see if the current failed ideology will change course?  If the impact deepens it will take even longer to turn back around.  Are you willing to wait 15 to 25 years for your prosperity to return to reasonable levels?  Start the change now.

Soros Fund Leaves Goldman for Facebook

Can’t help but wonder why they would do that, as in: What do they expect to gain in Facebook? It isn’t a direct exchange from one to the other but what does the fund expect to gain? It seems unlikely they expect to gain share price. Maybe they expect to gain your private information?

I can see leaving Goldman since they are probably finished accepting government money to leverage into other markets for now. Gold is just a hedge, but buying Facebook? That’s really odd unless there is some underlying advantage.

Opportunity for Physicians in Business

A call to develop more:

Assess Your Practice Opportunities

We live in an age of unlimited opportunities.  There is no reason why anyone with desire shouldn’t be successful, whether that’s measured with money or impact on society.  Even in the case of physicians and the dark cloud of over-regulation, there exists more ways to be productive in that field than ever before.  Gone are the days of toting a bag, or simply lining up one patient after another.  You can even see fewer patients but achieve higher gross revenue.  At the other end of the spectrum you can increase patient load without risking revenue, even if a higher percentage don’t pay.

Anyone with a good idea can form a business to provide a product or service.  They can do this with little to no cost.  You can literally go to the public library, log onto a computer for free, open a WordPress account, and begin building an online business completely free.  How successful it becomes is still in your hands, but the tools are free.  You don’t need the high expense of phone systems, postage, location, travel, employees… You only need a way to get paid and a Paypal account is free too, they just take a small portion as the money comes in.  So what’s holding you back?

The uniqueness of business opportunity is that it gives you everything you need in life; a permanent job, respect, flexibility, freedom to set your own pace and schedule, location and much more.  In addition to personal and creative freedom, business opportunity today can provide a level of multifaceted entrepreneurial-ism at a level never before seen.  Jump into any business at any time, or add your own new concepts utilizing technology to your current platform.  Your own energy and desire will dictate your limits.

By multifaceted I mean you can literally pursue multiple business platforms at one time.  Most entrepreneurs I know are operating between 3 and 6 different platforms at one time, using the high energy level of creativity, caused by demands of business development, to efficiently think and pursue, while the iron is hot, so to speak.  If you wait for one platform to be complete you may never start another!

What drives opportunity?  The driving force behind up-swelling opportunity is technology, a social revolution in communication, access to anything and quickly, the ability to assemble a whole business from parts others create, and creative minds.  Your opportunities are only limited by your open mind to see a big picture or solve a need, and your energy.  But not just your energy, also how well you utilize the available energy of others who provide products, services, systems, and expertise you can assemble into your own vision.

How can you utilize opportunity?  To pursue your opportunities you must begin by planning.  I had to plan this blog post with an outline, otherwise (and maybe still) it might be all over the place, and the resulting lack of coherent thought would prevent you from reading and obtaining any benefit.  As it is, I have followed the outline and will be able to conclude this soon!  This blog began with a passion, a passion to provide you with the idea that you can expand within or outside of your practice and pursue multiple lines of opportunity.  Just like my blog, you have to have a vision of possibilities, a passion to fulfill them, and a meaningful plan or designs which will help you map a course to success.  This is what I do with my company; I help people develop their vision of success.

If you take the time to consider the possibilities and develop a vision, or two or three, you can pursue a level of personal productivity you never dreamed of.  You are not limited to any one way of doing business; there is no trap to prevent you from creatively seeking opportunity outside the traditional practice design.  You can completely fulfill your first objectives, reduce your long term risk, avoid the potential downside of over regulation, pursue other interests, and grow.  You will likely need help in this.

Ultimately it is your business.  More tools to expand, develop, tweak, and complete goals have been made available to you and the number is increasing every year.  You don’t have to use them all, but a few will make a difference.  Pause and think of your vision and opportunity.  Develop goals to reach.  Plan your success by creating a real plan of action.  Gather support and supply from other experts and assemble a ‘team’.  This team does not have to be people who meet with you; they may just have capacity available to you over the internet.  Become an expert in business development by hiring the experts.  Implement your plan.  You can be much more successful than you ever thought.

P.S.The Profitability Curve.  As you increase productivity and efficiency in business through the effort of building more platforms, you will become better at running your practice and much more profitable.  Your breadth of knowledge will become more valuable to you.

Yahoo! Falling to Ashes

Yahoo! may finally be heading to the pile of ashes, but we don’tInternet know for sure if they will become a Phoenix.  I’ve been using Yahoo and their services for many years.  Once the leader of the online world, only to be dramatically overshadowed by Google which is willing to take a risk on new projects.  Yahoo gets on my nerves these days for many reasons:

  1. The news content is garbage!  Must be the worst news feed in the world.
  2. User content is often too disgusting for children.
  3. Spam in the can!  I can’t believe how much spam I get.  Most people know that Yahoo seems like the spam magnet of the world.
  4. Yahoo email is the only place I get virus attacks from email these days.
  5. Web hosting service is good but behind the times for the price.
  6. No good web design tool.  They used to have a good one but failed to add CSS.
  7. Yahoo sports is okay, and Finance is really good, but that’s about all I can use them for.
  8. They killed their social platform and are now trying to bring it back in bits and pieces.
  9. Add up Google, Microsoft, WordPress, Bloomberg, and Twitter and they do pretty much everything Yahoo does and much more as a group, but better.
  10. Oh, yes, the news isn’t just bad, the headlines are often misleading which is very aggravating.
  11. The new CEO is a social butterfly who may not know what she’s doing.

Of course the new CEO could turn out okay.  The last few were… probably still jobless.  If Yahoo can regain some old glory I would be grateful to see it! If I stop using Yahoo, then where will I take my web sites and services?  I have several ideas but it isn’t as easy as it sounds.  I’m used to having one location for web design, email, and server utilities.  Google is my current choice for email and HostGator looks like a winner for web services and hosting.  The good thing about splitting up the service is that if one goes down the others should still be running, rather than an entire crash. If Yahoo truly loved, honored, and cherished my business, quality of service and support, would I ever leave them?  No. If I change, I’ll let you know.

Physician Unearned Income

Monetize your practice to a higher, more diverse level.

If you are worried about how to maintain your practice under the potential negative effects of Obamacare, consider these strategies:

  • Develop alternative lines of business related to medicine

    Expect Growth
  • Take your practice to the internet
  • Reduce income risk by creating more unearned income
  • Move beyond traditional business platforms and technology
  • Increase patient communications
  • Divert fees to alternative lines of unearned income

If you take some strategic steps and focus on income sources, you could build your overall business platform to the extent that normal billing is secondary rather than primary.  Wouldn’t it be easier if regulations, insurance, and taxes had less impact on your ability to see patients?

Order: Monetize Your Medical Practice

Practice Management or Wealth Management?

Practice Management is a familiar subject.  Our specialty at Ecspex is providing the solutions your practice manager or service normally does not, a design for your successful lifetime.

Ecspex and Medical Practice Together
Business Solutions for Medical Profession

A major, often over-looked, segment of managing your success is developing a good over-all plan to manage your finances, business opportunities outside of the practice, and good long-term strategies with a view that’s much larger than the daily effort of owning a practice or managing your private office.

Our speciality is your lifetime; the success of your overall productive life including your practice years, your potential second or third careers, your family and partners, and all the things implied by the fulfilment of your many opportunities.

Here’s a list of things often thought about yet rarely planned as well as most would like:

  • Setting high and measurable expectations
  • Developing goals and way-points to measure success
  • Expected rate of return on all aspects of business
  • Finding the best resources by seeking the best providers
  • Selecting and implementing strategies
  • Seeking alternative business opportunities
  • Weighing the risks associated with your opportunities
  • Knowing when to pursue and when to change course

Connect with Ecspex and learn how to advance your practice! 

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“Dr. Doom’s” Economic Storm, with Silver Lining

Nouriel Roubini, who has been nicknamed “Dr. Doom”, is known for predictions of impending disaster in the economy of the world.  What he and others may not tell you is this is all part of a long-term cycle and it is normal for economies to reset and rebuild.

Earth Will Not Unravel
The Earth will not unravel.

Economic “Doom” isn’t all the fear it’s cracked up to be.  In fact, it isn’t really a doom situation at all.  It is truly a great opportunity, if it even happens, for the populations involved to start fresh.

Here are a few thing to think about:

  • The U.S. has changed or reset the currency many times, even in the last 50 years
  • World currency and economies have slipped and fallen many times, yet here we are
  • Federal Guarantees have failed in one form or another, often disguised by “new” guarantees
  • Some percentage of the population will still want to eat, and will still work to do so, even if they barter
  • A new economy always comes with new opportunity
  • For a brief period, some will get to pay their taxes with currency which soon becomes worthless anyway
  • When economies fail, many of the citizens have little currency of any value at the time, and it can be a big relief to replace this with a new currency and “guarantee”, allowing prosperity once again
  • Savings shouldn’t be in the form of currency anyway, it should be in the form of yielding assets

These are only a few thoughts which highlight the potential positives following “Economic Doom” (if anyone wants to call it that).

My personal opinion is that in times of disaster and fear, humans often show their best nature and are more likely to help each other, by doing more of what’s right.  One reason I didn’t like Steven Spielberg‘s version of War of the Worlds is he portrays the worst of humanity rather than the best.  Only a small portion of the population becomes so selfish when all are threatened.  It is difficult to imagine all the homes and suburbs of Kansas City disappearing, or the water being turned off by the city, grocery stores closing, and vegetable stands going away, all because the dollar just isn’t the dollar we expected.  What do you have to trade?

How is it possible that Economic Collapse could turn out well?  It is easy to assume people will starve, or there will be more war and chaos, but maybe those are the symptoms of the top of an overly-controlled and dictated economy and the effect of such is already in motion.  After the global collapse in the 1930’s, caused by mismanagement of government trust and investment abuse, war later came in the form of WWII.  The interesting thing is they may not be as related as we believe.  Often the powers dictating the outbreak of war tend to be oblivious to the economic situation.  In fact they may take advantage, as Hitler did.

If you want to read and absorb more economic fear from “Dr. Doom”, read this http://bit.ly/RQdJo9 .

How are you preparing to do well in any event?