Insight News

Feb 09th


The tragic travesty in trade and transactions

The positive demonstrations of support for the family of Trayvon Martin following his tragic death, and the nationwide evidence of unified response (hoodies everywhere!) in the call for justice are inspiring signs of a renewed spirit among African Americans and others committed to correcting the obvious inequities exposed in the wake of this travesty.
Clearly, nothing we encounter in the world of business can be equated to the senseless slaying of this young man, but as Dr. King taught us in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, "... injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere..."


Minnesota company victimized by identity theft

A Twin Cities business has seen their company name – and the registered address of their business – stolen by offshore scammers, who in turn have defrauded several consumers out of tens of thousands of dollars. The consumers, all owners of timeshare property in Mexico, were led to believe their timeshare properties were being sold, when in fact there were no buyers and they were instead being bilked for large sums of money. The legitimate metro business in question – formerly known as Events Etc. – has since dropped that name and are not associated with the timeshare scam. The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) has given the entity currently operating as Events Etc. an F rating due to a pattern of customer complaints and problematic business practices.


What it takes to succeed

Sweat?  Sacrifice?  Compromise?  What is the real secret to success?  Theories abound, but the answer is probably all of the above.  According to those who know, success seems to be a combination of many factors, with sweat, sacrifice and compromise heading up the list.

Success requires sweat.  Two kinds:  the perspiration of day after day of hard work and the sweaty palms of fear, anxiety and worry.  Thanks to air conditioned offices and good morning hygiene, most people don’t leave their work stations literally sweating at the end of the day.  However, the satisfied feeling of having invested a whole day’s time and attention and energy to a project or assignment has the same effect as a long run or heavy lifting; there is pain and relief at the same time, a sort of natural high because you’ve accomplished something. 

Those sweaty palms are actually another sign of success.  Anxiety is a healthy emotion that leads people to double check their work, think carefully through plans and ask better questions.  Total confidence is totally useless.  The only certainties in life are supposed to be death and taxes, and these days even death is something that can be reversed.  Assuming you know less than you should, that nervous feeling can lead you to discover new, better information.  Anxiety channeled into motivation separates those who want to succeed from those who do.


Internet Balancing Act: Set limits to get results

Career Coaches can spend half of a good day encouraging people to use the internet for job searching, and the other half telling them to turn it off.  Like Cajun cooking, loud music and sunshine, too much of a good thing is too much.  Once a person knows how to LinkIn, Facebook, Google and navigate a few job boards, what was once intimidating becomes a comfortable bad habit.  Comfortable, so it becomes part of the routine; bad, because it is not especially effective in and of itself.  When looking for new work, for clients to sell to or for ways to get ahead, setting boundaries can be as important as setting goals. 


Set a time boundary.  During summer vacation, my dear Grandma Desi takes care of a houseful of grandchildren and has only a few tough rules, including, “No TV until 3:00.”  To a kid, this is agonizing.  For about ten minutes.  And then, suddenly, there are all kinds of adventures to be had.  Setting a time boundary on internet use can lead you to find all kinds of ways to look for work. 

Connie Beckers’ wealth building strategy guides Goddess of Glass and friends

Connie Beckers’ wealth building strategy guides Goddess of Glass and friends

Connie Beckers, North Minneapolis native owns and operates two exciting Northside ventures, the Goddess of Glass & Friends, a retail shop that features the art of over 85 artists and The Funky Bungalow, a glass studio open for classes.  The graduate of Henry Patrick High School took her first glass class in 1995; the Goddess of Glass was born shortly thereafter. 

Beckers is a highly skilled award winning stain glass artist; yet, some might also call her a goddess of social marketing.  Through Cash Mob Minneapolis on Facebook the Goddess of Glass, Connie Beckers’ Northside retail shop was selected for the March 24th cash mob.  Cash mobs are a socially conscience consumer driven marketing phenomenon used to support local businesses with a influx of cash and visibility. Individuals commit to spend $20 at a business on a specific day.  Cash Mob Minneapolis has created a Facebook page and allows the public to vote and select where the next cash mob will take place.

According to Beckers, her experience “was incredible because people came from everywhere.”  She estimates there were about 150 people that came into her shop on Saturday; most of them hadn’t been to the shop before. Her sales for the day were equivalent to a slow month of total sales.  The Lowry Café, next door to the Goddess of Glass also had a fantastic day as new people stopped for a bite to eat before or after their cash mob experience. 


Digital Shoppers R Us

Remember back in the day when Yellow Pages encouraged everyone to: “Let Your Fingers do the Walking,” to quickly and efficiently thumb through its pages to locate any business or service imaginable?  Which really came in handy when we were in the market for anything from pizza to electronics to specialty shoes to a plumber (this catchy phrase, by the way, is cited by as an Honorable Mention in the listing of “The Top 10 Slogans of the 20th Century”).  We have become spoiled rotten, since the not-so- long-ago heyday of the Yellow Pages – including the very people who work in the techno-wonder companies that keep upping the ante and changing the game, as well as those who track all of the subsequent trends in consumer behavior. Because as consumers, all of us need or want something – food, shelter, clothing, electronics, entertainment, etc. You name it.


You can do better, whoever you are

You can do better, whoever you are

In the book The Question Behind the Question, John G. Miller describes the importance of taking personal responsibility and shifting blame statements like Who broke the copier?  to solution statements, How can I fix this thing?  Today’s job market has a lot of people playing the blame game: nobody’s hiring, I don’t have the right skills, and it’s too late to learn.

It is never too late.  Taylor Cisco at Contata Solutions, a tech company in Minneapolis, wants people to know they can be successful, no matter where they come from.  Cisco suspects that lack of training is causing the deepening divide between the haves and have nots.  A shift in thinking is the first step to bridging this dangerous gap.

Cisco is VP of Digital Content and Director of Interactive Marketing at Contata.  He explains, “I’m a young guy, early thirties.  I don’t come from a fancy background.  I was a musician in high school and wanted to be the next Jimi Hendrix.  I never thought I’d end up in marketing.”  But he did, and he knows the same success he enjoys can come to others, if people only open up to the opportunities around them.

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