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Challenging VA Job Opportunity

I am an INTJ entrepreneur in the United States.  My wife is also my business partner. We are constantly investigating new business ideas while running our current businesses, shootinjh.com and nomadrifleman.com and oddlygrateful.com among many others.  We are contemplating extending into product invention, manufacturing and distribution in the upcoming years, while also expanding, changing and working in the luxury experience space.  We also intend to publish a couple of books.

I am seeking an Executive Assistant (EA) that is a detail oriented generalist to work 10+ hours per week at between $1/hr and $3.50/hr USD, starting lower and moving up quickly based on performance.  The successful candidate will report to me. When my wife, or other team members based in the US have tasks they need you to do, they will be run through me to you.  I start work each day at 6pm Philippines time, and would like us to overlap by a couple hours once each week.

Getting the Job wastes everyone’s time if the Job relationship isn’t solid and lasting.  Excelling in the Job and earning money is what matters!”


Imperative from the start:

  • Perfect English skills.  Must have a 5-Star Skill rating in writing English C2 preferred!
  • WordPress website building and blogging skills.
  • Photo and video editing skills.
  • Creativity & self-direction.
  • I couldn’t care less about college degrees.
  • Comfortable with Google mail, docs, Drive etc

Preferred, and OK if you will learn these additional skills

  • Knowledge of eBook publishing
  • Able to organize, format and edit books
  • Knowledgeable in Shopify stores including various apps, order fulfillment, customer service etc
  • Comfortable with basic QuickBooks
  • Comfortable with Excel
  • Knowledge of podcasting, getting listeners, promotion etc
  • Knowledge of how to get books and articles uploaded to Amazon and Audible
  • Knowledgeable in Amazon Alexa skills, how to submit and optimize audio files
  • Other fun learning opportunities!

Must be able and eager to cheerfully seek more instructions from me when I give lousy instructions the first time. If I assign a task and my instructions are not clear and good, I want an assistant that will clarify exactly what I need. Having said this, I want someone that has self confidence and will handle projects without needing too much babysitting and hand-holding.

As we get to know each other better over the years, you will need to ask me for clarification and specific direction much less frequently. I want you to take risks and go beyond the edge and make mistakes! If you are not making mistakes, you are not creative enough to be successful in this position.


Social Media Content Creation

Facebook.  Make sure that Daily Posts are made on 3 Facebook business accounts.  This will include creative content gathering, editing photos, making memes, writing comments and overall creativity.

Instagram.  Make sure that Daily Posts are made on 5 Instagram business accounts.  This will include creative content gathering, editing photos, making memes, writing comments and overall creativity.

Twitter.  Make weekly posts on 3 accounts.

YouTube.  Edit videos & create videos and video concepts.

Video editing.  Use stock footage from Pixabay etc and the many hours of video footage I provide to create and edit short videos that follow the vision of our company as per the strategies taught in Storybrand.  

Must understand basic audio editing as well.

Must be able to conceptualize needs and then compile and provide me with a list of images and video content that is needed to achieve our goals.

WordPress blogging.  You will write draft blog posts in perfect English for me too edit.  These will include text and photos that you select.  Once I have edited blog posts VA will publish them on WordPress sites.


Digital Marketing Social Media Strategy & Management

You must have a work history of excellent natural organizational skills.  This is imperative to manage digital marketing and social media. Very frequently a creative person is wonderful at coming up with an excellent Facebook post or even a campaign of a dozen posts, however does not have the time-management skills and discipline to systematically create an overall plan for all of the different social media platforms and blogging to get across a consistent message.

Once that plan is in place, it must constantly be evaluated and improved upon and followed for years to come. the type of person that enjoys engineering or accounting would be better at the organizational part of this however a person that has more of an artist personality might be better at coming up with the content. Is it possible that a human being exists that would be good at both? 🙂


Marketing & Advertising

Do lead generation.  By researching various individuals and companies and being a sleuth and finding contact information, then screening by writing individual emails using perfect English.


Data Entry

We might from time to time give you data entry tasks.


There will be many more tasks of different kinds.  This is a small sample.  

Dictation.  I will send audio MP3 files for you to type into Google docs.  I am writing a book, maybe another as well as articles and emails.  The successful EAG will not have to ask me if they should correct my dictation & grammar etcetera.

I might ask you to enter paper invoices (that I scan and send to you) into Quickbooks.

I might ask you to research 10 spotting scope manufacturers and find out who in the company is the important person to talk to about teaming with them for me to develop a ranging reticle for their spotting scopes.

I might ask you to research Wyoming state lands rules and processes for renting there a section of land for commercial shooting use. This requires a personality and a disc profile type of person that is able to be flexible and creative and figure out complex things  by asking me only 20 questions without having to ask 300 questions.

I might ask you to listen to hundreds of 30-minute podcasts, and to summarize each of them into hundreds of well-written articles that are each 500 to 1500 words long.

I might ask you how to get my recordings onto Amazon Alexa and similar as a daily briefing or as a skill. Your job would not be too search Google for an article telling me how to do this, I do not need you for that. Your job would to be to do research and experiment and actually make it work and then offer to teach me in a simple and efficient way or to Simply do it for me and give me easy and simple directions on how to get audio files to you. I use Audacity audio recording software.

I might ask you to do online research for magazine editors and then personalize an email that I draft to be sent to all of them.

I might ask you to research the Crossville Tennessee county building and planning regulations regarding short-term rentals, are Air B&B type services legal?  I might task what areas of Tucson Arizona allow these rentals.

I might ask you to read the book “High Trust Selling” and develop a plan for us to make better connections with our friends.

I will frequently ask you to proofread things I write for content, flow and grammar.

I might ask you to write an article for our blog about the three best restaurants in Jackson Hole Wyoming. You would need to do the research and then write the article in perfect English as well as collecting excellent photographs for that article.

I might give you a link to a folder in a Google Drive and ask you to look at the 5,000 images in it and select the 100 that you think are best for our marketing needs.  I might ask you to select and move 4,000 of the photos that you think are not great to a different folder that I can then review and delete.

I might ask you to write an article about the 5 nicest restaurants in Jackson Hole for a different blog, and while you could rewrite part of the above blogpost, it would have to be in different verbiage for search engine reasons.

You must be able to do research and come up with high-level, high quality answers for questions like the following:

  • I can’t figure out how to get a read more tag to work in WordPress, I have read all of the articles that I can find and watch the Youtube videos and still I cannot get it to work. Will you please figure it out and then teach me?
  • Please look for articles on the best high-end rifle bipods and provide me with the list.

Details and “things”

Most of this job will be “other duties as requested.”  

I will pay you for the minimum number of hours per week that we agree upon, so you are promised that income as long as you produce well.  

With prior approval, I will sometimes be interested in you working additional hours for special projects if you need the money and I need the work done.

I want an assistant that is a “problem-solver.”  For example, if I say that I would like a logo created that “has a tree like the ones in the middle of an African desert” I would NOT want you to ask me what the breed of tree is named.  THAT is your job to search for answers.  Your goal should be to reduce the work I need to do by doing it for yourself.  Another example would be if you ask me what kind of business we do at shootinjh.com.  The fact that you would even consider asking this rather than simply researching it yourself means that we would not be a good fit.

If I notice that your work is only “good” and not “excellent” or if I notice that it is taking you too long to complete tasks I will consider if the problem is something that I can help you fix.  If I evaluate that you do not have the skills, creativity or work-ethic necessary, I will notify you that I do not need your help any more.

I will sometimes give unexpected bonuses when tasks are done with excellence.

This job is “for as long as I need you.”  I anticipate being a productive entrepreneur for many years.  As long as we are both happy and both of our needs are met, let’s continue!

 

 

Crony Capitalism or Capitalism? Licensing Requirements

Crony Capitalism or Capitalism?  Licensing Requirements

Watchful folks watch for a tactic used in crony capitalism that works as follows. A businessperson named Goofus gets tired of competition, and rather than providing a better quality good or service or lowering prices, they think of an easier way to defeat the competition. They figure that if they can get the folks that control force to make rules that are good for them, they will be set! Goofus “lobbies” politicians with excuses the politicians recognize are not sound excuses, but all parties play along. Goofus complains that some of his competitors are not good and that maybe someday someone could be harmed.

Some time later, after “years of public hearings, community meetings and much public discourse” a rule or law if drafted. This rule “happens” to place Goofus in the position that makes him “legal” and “responsive to community needs.” Gallant, another person seeking to start providing that good or service is at a disadvantage, and because he is a start-up, can not afford the legal quagmire constructed by Goofus and his political buddies. This is called a “barrier to entry” and while some barriers are natural and good, this once is constructed by force.

Then, to make matters worse, the capitalist Gallant, is lumped into the same category as Goofus, they are condemned as “capitalists.” Gallant IS a capitalist, but Goofus is not, or at best is a “crony capitalist.” Capitalism is good. Crony Capitalism is bad.

Some say that without crony capitalism people without a year’s education would give bad haircuts, that there would be too many boats on the Snake River, that experienced nurses would not diagnose common colds properly, that cabs would be dirty, etc. Lifting rules would create chaos, some say. I disagree. While the buyer would have the responsibility being aware, and indeed, some folks would make lousy purchasing decisions, this true freedom would be best for humanity.

As a thought experiment, let’s examine one vocation, hair cutting. In the political sub-jurisdiction in which I live, Wyoming, a government license is required for a person to cut other folks hair in exchange for money. The alleged reason for this licensing requirement is to keep consumers same from the spreading of disease.

The minimum schooling needed to be eligible for a license is just under 11 months. This time includes classroom and working cutting hair under “direction” of government board approved professionals. After 11 months, a person is then “allowed” to cut other people’s hair.

What about Mary? Mary grew up on a ranch, and watched her mother cut her brother’s hair, her father’s hair and her own hair. In her early teens, she began helping her mom, and even cut and styled her mom’s hair. When busy season at the ranch brought hired help, she also did haircuts for them. By the time she got married at age 19, she had done hundreds of haircuts.

Mary moved to San Diego where her new husband was stationed while he was in the Navy. She cut hair for many of his friends, mostly buzz cuts and crew cuts. Mary watched a couple youtube videos about the danger of sharing diseases and rather than just doing a quick rinse under steaming hot water, she began dipping her tools into a professional grade solution. He husband even built her a black-light box. Not only was he intent on defending his family and neighbors from attack, he was also quite the handyman!

In 2014, Mary and her husband moved to Wyoming to begin their productive lives. They decided that Mary would work part-time and her husband full time. Mary set up a sign in her front yard, “Simple Haircuts for Simply 10 Bucks.” Within a couple weeks, she was contacted by a lady from the Wyoming Board of Cosmetology. She was told that the board had received several complaints and after checking their records they noticed she did not have a license on file. Mary confirmed with them that she did not have a government license. She was notified that she must stop cutting hair until she had the proper licensing documents in place.

Who do you think cared enough about Mary’s offerings to complain to the people with a monopoly on initiating force, the government? Who would be harmed by Mary’s entrepreneurial endeavors? Following the money would lead us first to her competition, the folks in her area that attended the 1-year school and paid for the testing and license. Perhaps the schools that teach hair cutting would be frustrated that she had not paid them to attend their school. Perhaps the government was sore that they had not been paid and given the power of OK-ing Mary’s vocation?

What should Mary and her husband do? Should they move to a freer country like Mexico where the government only requires a bribe of $20 a month to refrain from stopping her productivity?

This would certainly make it easier for Mary to pursue her entrepreneurial happiness, however she wants to remain in the community in which she was born and where her family and friends live. To comply with the extortionist’s demands, Mary would need to pay for a school far away from her home and spend 11 months away from her husband. This is not acceptable. Mary simply wants to use a skill she has developed to earn a bit of money. Mary contemplates the meanings of several words.

Extortion: The practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats
Kidnapping: The crime of seizing and carrying away a person by force or fraud or seizing and detaining a person against his or her will with an intent to carry that person away at a later time.

Mary contemplates the probable outcome of doing what she feels is right, continuing to do as she pleases on her own property without harming anyone. She has received the verbal warning, so if she continues to operate her small peaceful business, the likely next step would be a cease and desist letter from the board. If she ignored this letter and kept running her small business, she would likely receive several more letters, each more threatening and more strongly worded.

The government board would then likely file a complaint against her in a government court, Like any extortion demand, Mary would choose to ignore this summons. This would result in more strongly worded letters from the government court and the government board, including charges of failure to appear, failure to comply, failure to pay etc. If Mary continued to pretend that she lives in a :free country” by ignoring the extortionists, government employees with guns would come onto her property to kidnap her and take her to a room and imprisoning her in it.

Because Mary and her husband do not allow armed violent people to kidnap peaceful people on their property, they would likely defend themselves, and the certain result would be either imprisonment with injury or death.

What about Mary? This thought experiment uses many strong and radical words like “kidnap” and “extortion” and assumes that Mary is trying to make some kind of point. Is any portion of the above thought experiment inaccurate? Is it misleading in any way?

One could argue that when a government does a thing, it is no longer a “crime.” For example, most definitions of laws written by governments (unlike laws written by scientists) include an exception for the government, often by using the word “unlawfully” or similar. Theft is the “unlawful” taking of another’s property… Murder is “unlawful” killing of a person…

Big problems occur when governments meddle in the affairs of those they exercise ownership over. Mary’s example of the cosmetology board is only one example. it is in fact very difficult to start or operate a business in the US. This is sad, because free trade is what makes society function well, and we do not have a free market system in the US. People are labeled criminal by the government for doing peaceful and productive things.

Conclusions:

  • We do NOT live in a free country.
  • We do NOT live in a free state.
  • Government licensing requirements are bad, all of them.

Crony Capitalism or Capitalism?  Licensing Requirements


Shepism The Religion Founded by Shepard Humphries

Shepism The Religion Founded by Shepard Humphries

I am not a theist, though reared with deep exposure in Christian religions including; Mennonite, Seventh Day Adventist & Baptist.

As I matured intellectually & learned more, I was able to shed my faith and replace it with logic.  I have a Bachelors degree in Social Science, spent 10 years as a government law enforcement officer and have the equivalent of a Masters degree in philosophy with a minor in Austrian economics.

Continue reading “Shepism The Religion Founded by Shepard Humphries”

Why Do Poor Folks Not Just Get a Job?

A friend with whom I am often in philosophic disagreement with posted the following response to my infamous article; “Harsh Advice for the Unemployed Folks.”  I have contemplated the question, “Why Do Poor Folks Not Just Get a Job?”  I think my friend’s comments deserve some attention!

Though your suggestion are practical it does not apply to a significant population of urban/rural poor and uneducated…many city/rural dwellers are captured by birth into an environment that cannot provide simple things like how to speak in complete sentences, read or fill out an application, lack clean clothes, hot water or have something as simple as a hair brush, toothpaste and a tooth brush. Many of poor must use all the resources they have to find food and shelter for the day…yes, there are those unemployed who are fortunate to find themselves driven and become more empowered to apply some of the practicum you suggest…from my perspective the question remains: how can we help those who cannot help themselves due to poverty, ignorance, drugs, violence, lack of shelter, clothing or other basic resources?…This quagmire is a very long standing problem with solutions that require significant resources and time…I often find myself at a loss when working in the belly of the city’s poor…where does one start? What will take to help them help themselves?..I often hear negative criticism about those who are born into such dire situations “why don’t they just go get a job”…To this group I recommend they broaden their understanding by personal investment, roll up their sleeves and reach out to touch the down caste. Once they have done this they will come to see the complexity of the problem and find the solutions very hard to find…I appreciate your effort to stimulate thinking and encourage you to continue to do so…I do ask that those who criticize the poor do not be so quick to condemn them until they have been in their shoes…It is heart breaking to see the perpetuation of poverty and the solution to be a complex cycle to stop and reverse…Here are some obvious solutions to this issue of unemployed and poverty stricken..we need to reach out and provide resources like education, a place to clean up, a safe place to get a good nights sleep…this process is slow but effective…the world we live in is unfair, some of us are lucky to have been born into a more affluent situation while others unlucky to be born into abject poverty. The underprivileged need our resources to help and a warm amount of sympathy.

I do not agree in entirety with the above opinion, however I agree with much of it.  I will not dwell much on that with which I agree, but will instead investigate our differences.  I will liberally use terms like “rich” and “poor” and unless otherwise stated, my intended meaning is to explain a level of financial net worth.  I recognize and appreciate that some are “rich in love” but that is not the thrust of this piece.  This piece assumes that the reader values financial means highly.

This brings to mind a question I would like to pose for our contemplation.  Is it “better” to be rich than to be poor?  When neighbor children play in a dirt lot collecting pieces of broken glass and stacking them as high as possible, those with means observe them with sympathy, noting their dirty little hands and poor verbal skills.  Other children the same age, across town in the big homes, likely have clean hands and are “gaming” alone in front of their large television screen.  Which is ‘better?”

I am convinced that poor kids that have ambition and drive can take themselves out of poverty and become “successful” adults.  I am at the top of the political spectrum, and I think that those in the other three corners as well as the middle mostly agree with me.  There are numerous examples of children working odd jobs, dropping out of the lousy Prussian “public” school system, and building businesses to become affluent.  If one really really wants it; they can do it!

I want those I love and those I contemplate to have the things they dream of, including nice safe homes, fun vehicles and “financial security.”  I seem to want that for them more than they want it.  One could suggest that I should not interfere with their choice by attempting to help the poor become rich.  This is a good point, and if I flip things around, I wonder if some folks exist who value poverty but lots of time with their children as a higher value than wealth, and wonder what I would think of them if they came into MY world to “help” me break the chains of wealth and enter into the bliss of poverty.  I realize that I am arrogant in assuming that the things I value should be of value to others.  Why Do Poor Folks Not Just Get a Job?  Maybe some would prefer to spend time with their family sorting through trash piles like folks in other poorer lands?

Why Do Poor Folks Not Just Get a Job?

What gives me and other do-gooders the moral right to judge other folks?  Tens of thousands of dollars each year are stolen from me to “help” the poor have more fruits of other’s labor.  I don’t agree to have the money stolen, and I don’t agree with how it is spent.  Since I am being victimized and am footing the bill, I have the absolute right to weigh in.  Additionally, what I advocate is voluntary, I never initiate force to “help” others. Much like offering a drowning person a flotation device,  I am simply offering and while I am disappointed when my offer is refused, I accept it.

So, to address my friend’s points.  Some folks:

  1. Don’t know how to speak in complete sentences or how to read or fill out an application.
  2. Lack clean clothes, hot water or have something as simple as a hair brush, toothpaste and a tooth brush. Many of poor must use all the resources they have to find food and shelter for the day.

As for point 1, I agree that this is a challenge.  Their family and friends have placed higher values on other things, and have set a bad example.  They have attended government schools, which are designed to dumb down folks so that they will be “employees” and not free thinking entrepreneurs.  They are conditioned to obey authority and to effect change through voting or other force.  They are not forced into exposures of poetry or intellectual thought.

My response is that it is still possible for them to make choices that will be misunderstood by their peers, choices like reading difficult books, watching videos on YouTube about philosophy etc.  Few people that are born into the cycle of poverty break free, and that is sad.

As for point 2, I don’t buy it.  Begging on a street corner for 1 hour would surely yield $5, which is enough to buy a toothbrush, toothpaste, a hairbrush.  A visit to McDonald’s restroom during slow times can be the source of hot water for a face wash.  Of the millions of “poor” people who might complain of #2, I really doubt very many face that issue.  Those that do are likely mentally ill and are not capable of being anything other than deadwood.  Harsh?  Yep.  Would I donate some money to help them have bare necessities?  Yes. give me 5 minutes on the phone with a “typical” unemployed poor person in a bad neighborhood in a bad situation, and I can give solid advice on how to fix the problem.

“I appreciate your effort to stimulate thinking and encourage you to continue to do so…I do ask that those who criticize the poor do not be so quick to condemn them until they have been in their shoes.”

I do not think that one must “be in someone’s shoes” to understand their perspective or engage in meaningful discourse.  For example, I do not need to spend time as a battle-weary soldier to discuss the appropriateness of burning down a village filled with children.

In this situation however, I HAVE been in those shoes.  My mother reared me on government welfare, which was in truth, money stolen from producers.  I have taken many sponge baths with water boiled on a stove, I have lived with only basic food, and by age 18 I had never been to high school.  My mother and I moved to a new state with NO contacts with a $1200 car and $700 in savings from our combined work at Dollywood over a summer.  Mom worked as a maid at Motel 6 and I got a job as a dishwasher.  20 years later I am a millionaire.  I am a success story, and other folks can be as well.  I do not condemn those that will make continued efforts to learn and grow.

Here are some obvious solutions to this issue of unemployed and poverty stricken..we need to reach out and provide resources like education, a place to clean up, a safe place to get a good nights sleep…this process is slow but effective…the world we live in is unfair, some of us are lucky to have been born into a more affluent situation while others unlucky to be born into abject poverty. The underprivileged need our resources to help and a warm amount of sympathy.

I must first clarify a few basic words, “We” and “must.”  If by “we” my friend was referring to “individuals who take interest in this topic” then I agree.  If by “must” my friend meant “a good option if one chooses” then I agree.  If he instead meant that the collective is morally required to take actions they do not already voluntarily take, then I disagree.  I would also like to make clear that I think these poor youth are better off dropping out of “public” schools and would be better off with useful education rather than schooling.

As a person that wants to help, I am horrified by the programs currently being used by “government” and some “do-gooder” organizations.  The parable, “Give a man a fish; feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and he will be fed for a lifetime” is an economic truth.  I am not sure HOW to help.  I think the best way might be to do what is necessary to stop the continued gifting of fish, but the government is too large for me to stop.

Solutions?  Why Do Poor Folks Not Just Get a Job?

I would love to discover a voluntary solution, that unlike government solutions, does not require the initiation of force.  I would love to discover or create a process whereby producers would voluntarily help non-producers launch themselves toward success.  The scope of my interest is not to help everyone, primarily because that is another problem for another person and day.  Some people are in such a sad mental condition that they don’t care enough to allow helpful folks to lead them to water.  These people are not my project’s concern, though I do pity them.  The people I care about are those that are in a tough place, lack the knowledge to make opportunities bloom and that are open to improving their lives.

I think millions of entrepreneurs and other financially successful people would be very happy to provide quality education through mentoring to these young poor folks. Some of the obstacles that I see are that most of the poor folks would not do the hard work required to become successful so long as welfare is such an easy and readily accessible option.  Those of us that value our time highly do not want it wasted on folks that are not willing to follow through with our recommendations.

What about this idea for a Program to Help the Poor Become Rich?

There are other worthwhile things to consider, like the state of disabled homeless people, the mentally ill and how to make airplanes fly faster and safer.  I can’t fix everything.  😉

Shepard Humphries on “Giving Back to the Community”

Giving as used in the term “giving back” is typically meant as giving a gift that is not obligated by contract, written or otherwise.  This term has for many years disturbed me, and I offer to share with you my feelings on this subject.  My reason for examining what at first might appear to be only an issue of semantics is that I fear the acceptance of this term and the philosophy behind it is damaging to human’s intellectual welfare.

Give is defined as, “freely transfer the possession of (something) to (someone); hand over to” and “cause or allow (someone or something) to have (something, esp. something abstract); provide or supply with.”
Back is defined in this context as, “expressing a return to an earlier or normal condition.”
Community is defined as, “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.”
“Community” is an abstraction, and should be recognized as appropriate in some contexts while not in others.   In August of 2005 four men sexually assaulted a couple ladies in Jackson, Wyoming.  That same month, there were surely four people that donated to a young lady’s scholarship fund.  One of these ladies will credit individuals with their action and one will credit her educational success with being helped by her “community.”  Is it fair to say that the young women who were sexually assaulted were “raped by the community?”  Of course not!  Individuals do things to and for individuals, and the collectivist notion of “community” is very destructive.
This fallacy of removing personal responsibility is widespread, and in my opinion very harmful.  We don’t blame individuals for criminally wasteful spending but rather the “City Council” or “Congress” or “County Commissioners.”  While these abstractions are useful linguistically for expediency in referring to groups of individuals, they remove personal responsibility.
Wyoming Adopt-A-Highway Each spring in Jackson Hole there is a Community Cleanup in which a few hundred individual volunteers clean the debris from the roadways in our area.  Comments and accolades about our “community coming together” are extolled.  In fact, our government jurisdiction of Teton County has a population of 21,000 individuals.  Can we REALLY congratulate the collective when only 1 out of 70 individuals among them perform a deed?  Of course not!
Understanding that there is a decisive difference between community and individuals that make up a community is very important.  So that one does not have to say they live near John & Sue & Tina & Hank & Terri & 17,000 other names; it is certainly fine to say that one lives in the Jackson Hole community.  To say that the community cleans roadways, rapes or gives to those in need it not true.  Individuals do all of these things, but again, “community” is simply an abstraction.
To illustrate this concept, let’s use Joe as an example.  Joe was born in Mytowne to a poor family.  He began shoveling dog poop at age 12 for extra money, and this led him to lawn mowing jobs as well.  Several of his clients, A & B, recognized his work ethic and sponsored him on a high school ski trip.  Another client C paid for him to attend a small business development seminar in Nearbytowne when he was 16.  Meanwhile, 28 local hunters donated money to a shooting sports program that Joe participated in as a young adult.  These benefits that Joe received were based partially on merit and some were simply because of some individuals’ good will. 
At age 17, Joe got a job repairing windshields and later quit and opened up his own windshield repair business, which his retired neighbor D helped teach him to run.  Joe began hiring employees and by age 25 had opened three branches of his windshield repair business.  By age 30 he had built 12 other branches and had added oil changes and windshield replacements to the offerings.  Joe now cleared over $400k each year.  Joe donated $10k to the shooting program he had been a part of for the purchase of new guns, but took pause when a neighbor mentioned that he was, “Giving back to the community.”
In fact, Joe was not “giving back” to anyone.  He was simply appreciative of the personal growth and joy he had experienced through shooting and wanted other youth to enjoy similar feelings.  He knew that each time he drove by the shooting range on a Tuesday evening and heard shots being fired, that he would feel happiness knowing it was likely one of the guns he donated that was bringing someone else joy.  This new generation of youth included Tommy.
Because Tommy had never “given” anything to Joe, it would be impossible for Joe to “give back” to Tommy.  Joe considered that since Tommy was part of his community, maybe from a collectivist standpoint Joe WAS “giving back” but if fact this was not the case.
In our parable, Joe had received gifts from clients A, B, C & D and 28 hunters.  If Joe gave a gift to any of those 32 people, he could be “giving back.”  Anything Joe gives to people other than those 32 is NOT “giving back” but instead is “giving.”
So, why do I take such great offense to this “little linguistic error?”  Participating in this specious language strengthens the untrue notion of community being separate from or greater than the sum of its parts.  Because many have allowed this and many other manipulations to be spoken without challenge, now the curious thinker that points out the error in thinking is labeled a curmudgeon.  As people of new generations accepted these notions, they were more likely to expand the thinking to “community service” or “community organizer” or “community values.” 
The problem here is that we are again removing individuality from the scenario.  Rather that teaching our children that the non-theist gay man down the street has his own set of values as does the Baptist straight man the next door down, and that every person gets to choose their own values, we instead begin to extol the “community values” based on the most vocal and powerful 51% individual’s preferences, often the result of mindless absorption of “news” from a subject entertainment company like CNN, FOX or NPR.  This demagoguery is commonly accepted today and is manipulated by people on different sides of an issue.
Should we stop using the term “community?”  No, we should simply understand that it is only an abstraction. 
Should we stop “giving” to causes we like?  No, we should simply understand that in almost all cases, we are not giving “back” and that we are not morally superior for giving.
So, when I hear my neighbors say, “That is great that the Waltons are giving back to the community” they can expect that I will engage them in conversation.  Well, that is me, Shepard Humphries on “Giving Back to the Community”
Shepard Humphries on Giving Back to the Community

Harsh Advice For Unemployed Guys

There are many “producers” that desperately need workers, but the only people that seem to apply for the positions are people that want jobs.  Here is some Harsh Advice For Unemployed Guys.If you are looking for a job to satisfy the State Unemployment Insurance Welfare requirements of “job-seeking” then you are likely not of the character that most producers need. If this describes you and you are not willing to work hard and go through some mental and physical pain facing facts and fixing yourself; read no further. You are worthless in the marketplace, pray for local, state, federal and international governments to speed up the socialization of our planet.  If you have not traded your labor, skills or knowledge for something of value to you for more than 7 days; YOU are the problem.

If you are still reading, I will assume that you truly want to voluntarily exchange value with others in your community. The thing of value that you have to offer is your time, talent, skills, mental & physical elbow grease, personality, ethics, etc… The value that producers have to offer YOU is money, career growth, education in the production of whatever product or service they provide and a sense of pride of you being a producer.

It is the producer’s “duty” to negotiate as much value from you while exchanging the lease value that (s)he currently has. This is exactly what happens in the voluntary exchange between the producer and their clients. Your “duty” is to negotiate as much of the producer’s value for as little of your own value as possible.

All parties in voluntary transactions go above their above “duty” to compete with others who also want the same exchange. This is why producers offer more than their duty, for example, paid time off, a fun work environment, free coffee from the pot, etc. This is why workers offer more than their duty, for example, a friendly attitude, extra work, more efficient work, etc…

So, as a person that truly wants to work, what can you do to compete with others seeking money from producers? Many of the things I will suggest are illegal for producers to ask for or demand from their employees, but are nonetheless important. Most items on this list apply to both white collar and blue collar jobs.

~Good personality. People with weird or unfriendly personalities don’t get hired. I know YOU think you are normal, but maybe you are not? If you don’t smile frequently, if you speak too much, if you “don’t get” jokes, if you are perceived as a geek, hillbilly, wacko etc… employers will not want you. You can change what people see. Ask your friends to write down for you the three best aspects of your personality and the three areas that they think you could improve upon. Allow them the excuse of saying that THEY “don’t have a problem with your personality, but that they think others might incorrectly perceive you as being: 1_____ 2 _______ & 3______.” Let them do it anonymously.

~Clean, well groomed, conservative, clean and pressed clothing. Men; cut your hair. Never wear shorts to a job interview or on-the-job unless and until the employer suggests it. Wear a button-up shirt to your interview, not a t-shirt.  Either hide your tattoos beneath clothing or have them removed. Wash your hair and body every morning and shave every morning… ALL of your facial hair. Do not text message, answer your cell phone or even look at it while in view of your employer or their clients, vendors or others. Think of your cell phone like farting or picking your nose, don’t do it where others can see.

~Care about your service or product and show your excitement. How many clerks have you heard say they are glad that they are almost done for the day. These whiners should be showing excitement that they get to help a great producer provide a great service or great products to great clients. Never grumble about long hours, being tired, your personal problems, etc. This is for your friend’s or therapist’s ears, not for the ears of anyone in the workplace.

~Be in good physical condition. If you are chubby or fat, this shows that you have a lack of personal discipline in diet and that you “don’t care” enough to invest 30 minutes a day (4% of the minutes in a day) jumping rope in your living room or back yard. Get yourself into average or better condition. You can safely lose 2 pounds per week.

Do you have a bad ankle or back or neck? Tell your prospective employer in writing that it is your problem, not theirs. Let them know that it is a preexisting injury and that you intend to work through the pain and NOT claim worker’s comp and thereby raise the employer’s rates with the government. Same with “unemployment welfare.” Let your employer know that you have too much pride to accept welfare through the government’s unemployment insurance welfare program. Be honest.

~Have a good work ethic. While learning the new business, plan to study or practice the skills on your own time without pay. After that, plan to start 15 minutes to 1 hour early every day and not ask to be paid for it. Plan to work hard all day long. Plan to stay after quitting time without pay in order to get the job done. Learn the duties (on your own time) of others at your workplace, perhaps if you are a janitor you could help the bookkeeper with filing? Learn all about all aspects of the business with excitement.

The US government came up with an arbitrary number of hours that consist of a “workweek.” 40 hours is not enough to get the job done.  Most self-employed people work at least 60 hours and many work over 90. They can not afford to pay you time & ½ to work beyond 40 hours, but you should try to sneak behind the government’s back to get at least 50 hours in every week, even though you are officially paid for 40. This is not legal for employers to ask of you, but people that do this are not unemployed … savvy?  Pick up at least 3 pieces of trash every day at your job-site.

~Be on time. If you are not 10 minutes early; you are late. Do not create extra work for your employer. Life happens, kids get sick, great snow lands on the mountain, cars break down, alarms mess up etc… people that have and keep great jobs are always at work when they are scheduled to be.


So, until you find someone to pay you for what you produce, what can you do?

~Plan to “produce” 10 hours a day, whether you have a “job” or not. This can include work-seeking, volunteer work, educating yourself with the reading list below, etc.

~Idea: $2.12 buys you paper towels and Glass Cleaner at the Dollar Tree. A broom costs $1.06. Now, go to a public place and start cleaning stuff. People will ask you what you are doing, which gives you the opportunity to hand them your resume and tell them that your work ethic requires that you work 10 hours a day every day, but that you don’t have an employer.

~ Don’t have a resume?  Find a libertarian-leaning business owner or an accomplished entrepreneur and respectfully ask them to help you make one.  Heck, write to me and I will help you.  It should not take more than 2 to 4 hours to make a great one.  Don’t have a computer or a printer and don’t have money for paper?  Ask 5 local above described business-folks if you may use theirs in exchange for sweeping their parking lot.  I bet 4 will say yes.

~Idea: Set up a large cardboard sign along a highway with letters that are readable at 55MPH that says, “I like to Work, but am not employed. Resume here.” Put a stack of resumes in a plastic bag under a rock by the sign. Now, walk along the highway quickly picking up trash. What better way to demonstrate your work ethic?

~Take 3 hours and read “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki
~Take 4 hours and read “High Trust Selling” by Todd Duncan
~Take 4 hours and read “The Millionaire Next Door”
~Take 5 hours and read “Economics In One Lesson” by Henry Hazlitt
~The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Personal Finance in your 20’s and 30’s
~Watch some Mark Cuban and Guy Kawasaki YouTube videos
~Watch some Tony Robbins YouTube videos

Care about not only your work performance but the performance of the company. If the company (yes, that nasty rich owner) excels, so do you. If he fails, guess what. So do you.  Even when you are not officially working, think about ways you can increase business and help market your employer’s business.

Separate work from personal. Leave family affairs, kid or wife troubles, or anything that doesn’t have to do with work at home. It is unprofessional to combine the two unless it is over a couple beers (after work).

Find a mentor.  Don’t make repeated bad decisions and keep wasting your mentor’s time, in other words, don’t complain that you are “broke” and then eat at McDonald’s.  Your mentor will immediately know that you are full of it.  A can of tuna and an apple are quite sufficient for a meal, and can be had for less than $2.
So, what if you were born without all of the “advantages” I was?  (I was reared in a single-parent home, often without running water or electricity.  my mother took welfare and I was never hungry, but we were VERY poor.  At age 18, I had only completed 8th grade, and growing up I did not have a father-figure role model to teach me about worth ethic, business and how to be successful.)  What if you don’t speak well, know how to shave, are busy just surviving, etc?  Contact me.  If I determine you are “serious” and are ready to get things done, I will help you find a mentor in your area.
I absolutely believe that some people are born into such crappy homes that they never realize that they can be successful and self-sufficient.  I recognize that the inner city sucks.  I am sorry that your government has created that environment for you.  There are groups of caring people that seek to help you, contact me and I will put them in touch with you.

“It is your duty as a man to work. You must be industrious, or useless. It has been this way through out history. If you are chipping rock, dividing papers, repairing machines, or directing engineers, you are fulfilling one of your basic duties. Also, You cannot support your family meagerly.  ‘You cannot wish for success, you must only earn it.'”      -Nicholas De Laat, Esq.

If you spend 7 days doing the above well, and you still don’t have a job; YOU are the problem. This is harsh, but true. You might be well advised to go back on the government dole with Unemployment Welfare.  You are deadwood.Do what is necessary to be a producer, not a leech on producers.