Monthly Archives: December 2012

Five Signs You Need to Hire an Assistant |

busy peopleMany small business owners and entrepreneurs pride themselves on being able to wear several different hats and juggle many different balls at the same time. But is this really something to brag about?

Identifying the Signs

As the leader of your organization, it may not be wise to spend your time micromanaging all the details that go into running your business. Your time could likely be better spent on big-picture strategy such as casting vision and direction for the company. Here are five signs that you need to hire an assistant so you can spend more time on tasks that add value to your business:

Read the Signs.

7 Big Money Problems and How to Solve Them |

Building wealth is a part of the American Dream. We’re told that through hard work and seizing opportunities we can lead successful, healthy, and wealthy lives. But building wealth isn’t important just for the sake of having money. In fact, it’s almost a requirement these days if you want to fully retire at some point. Social Security won’t provide much of a retirement. Your kids may not be able to afford college on their own, and there’s a good chance that health care costs can wipe out even a decent nest egg during your golden years.

Since building wealth is so important for our future why is it that most people still find themselves under a mountain of debt or end up retiring broke and unhappy? It isn’t just luck. Sure, in the game of life luck does play a part, but most of the outcomes in life are directly attributable to the choices you make and financial decisions are no different. If you make smart decisions with your money your odds of success lean in your favor. Make poor decisions and you put yourself behind the 8-ball. Here are seven of the biggest money problems and mistakes most people make and if you can avoid making these mistakes you’re on the fast track toward building wealth.

Read More.

Five Trends Driving Traditional Retail Towards Extinction | Forbes

The e-commerce behemoth is coming, but that’s no longer news. Amazon is nearly 20 years old now, eBay just a year younger.

What is news? The behemoth is arming itself. New tactics, new friends and a hefty war chest mean that the old defenses insulating traditional retailers are no longer enough. Venture funds dished out $242 million to online retail startups in the last quarter alone, more than any other period since 2000. E-commerce, meanwhile, is now a $200 billion-plus industry in the U.S., set to ratchet up 15% a year as consumers realize there’s no reason to trek out to the local strip mall anymore.

In the retail arms race, e-commerce is winning. Here are five trends driving traditional retail towards the grave:

Read the Trends.

Big Data, Small Bets |

Big data and small experiments—what could appear more seemingly incongruous?  Yet the truth is: these two trends, one from the world of analytics, the other from the world of innovation and change, can be powerfully combined to drive sustainable success in a highly uncertain world.

Big data is a product of the technology revolution that is now well into its third decade. Thirty years ago, sophisticated analytical techniques promising extraordinary insights were lacking but one thing: the data to inform them.  The promise was clear: if you simply start measuring and tracking everything, from minutely segmented sales and resource usage metrics to every conceivable macroeconomic variable of remote interest, we will be able to identify all manner of relationships, correlations and insights, the net result of which will be the capacity to much more effectively and efficiently allocate resources to take advantage of opportunity and drive results.

The message was received, loud and clear.  In fact, perhaps too loudly and clearly.

Read More.

Are Women Outearning Their Husbands? |

What percentage of American wives out earn their husbands? The number just might astonish you, as would an inevitable “men’s liberation” movement. (Ladies, you’re gonna get the corner office.)

If you’ve been hanging around the United States over the past 20 years or so, you’ve bumped up against the notion, in the media and maybe in real life, that wives are increasingly earning more than their husbands—and what a fiasco it is! Men feel emasculated and resent their wives’ incessant harangues about helping more around the house; women seethe as they continue to take on more than their fair share of the domestic duties and find themselves losing sexual desire for the unambitious lummoxes in their midst. Certainly you can think of a few couples in which this is not the case, in which he and she seem to have reached some graceful accommodation or are even, by all appearances, thriving: The guy is happily pushing the kids on the swings, while the gal is digging her high-powered job (and/or paycheck). But regardless of all the cultural noise, the overall proportion of wives whose salaries eclipse their husband’s is, while not insignificant, nothing like the norm—right?


Read More.

Killer Xmas Display |

Killer xmas houseTurn up your speakers.

Deal Volumes Slow Q3 2012 | Cooley LLP

Deal volumeOther deal trends continued to point to investor caution and negotiating leverage. The percentage of deals with participating preferred provisions  increased from the prior quarter across all deal stages. The data also saw an increase in the utilization of pay-to-play provisions in Q3. In another signal of investor caution, we witnessed the percentage of tranched transactions reaching 20.5% of deals in the quarter, a marked increase from the prior quarter.

Read Article