Stealing More Than the Ball

Three UCLA basketball players in China with the team were found guilty of shoplifting and it took the President of the US appealing to the President of China to free them. UCLA says they will be “suspended” from team activities and may, “at some point,” be allowed to work out again with the team. Here’s another idea: Why not insist they actually attend class, do some public service work, and see if they can maintain the grades necessary to stay …




What’s That Sound?

If all you do is boast of your successes and never share your failures I’m not very interested in your successes. I call these “drive-by brags.” Someone you rarely hear from zooms in, tells you their latest great feat, and disappears. Down the road and out of sight they’ve probably crashed into a tree. Those are the people who, in the absence of an audience, tend to applaud themselves. Their voice mail is something like this: “I can’t answer the …


You May Be Wrong, But You’re Also Annoying

I asked a woman at a pro bono speech I was making what kind of value she provided. She stammered and then said something uninteresting. I suggested some ways to change her approach and mentioned four elements. “Oh, I don’t agree with with two of those,” she said, “I’m an expert in this field and those approaches don’t work.” It was clear she had zero idea of what she was talking about, yet her defensiveness was world class. She heard …


A Bight of the Apple

You’ve got to love people already complaining about the new iPhones without even having them in hand as yet. If you don’t like them, don’t buy them. But don’t sit there whining that Apple hasn’t made its new product exactly as you’d like it. People with this attitude allow it to pervade their lives. They don’t like the way the seats are set up in a concert, object to the rules about food on the beach, want the airlines to …


Keep Your Pets on A Leash

A pet is something that receives particular favor, as in “teacher’s pet.” A peeve is an irritation that one feels, real or perceived. Hence, a “pet peeve” is a particularly welcome irritation, giving someone reason to complain. If you have enough of them, sort of a “herd of pet peeves,” you’ll find yourself standing all by yourself with just your “pets” to keep you company. Nobody enjoys a chronic complainer.


DASM: Why Not Just Burn Your Money?

A sandwich shop franchise is usually between $200,000 and $400,000. The sandwiches are probably about $7 on average, and with drinks and chips figure about $10. If salaries, taxes, benefits, rents, utilities, insurance, supplies and so forth cost another $300,000, let’s say that’s a $600,000 total investment the first year (the franchise fee has to be funded somehow, even if by loan). That means you’d have to sell 60,000 sandwiches to pay that bill, or at least 30,000 to pay the …


See, It’s Called “Profit” and the Opposite is “Loss”

Many years ago my wife started a small business creating customer-designed exercise outfits and accessories. At one point she brought me a small piece of artwork she had been working on for an entire day. “Do you like it?” she asked. “I do,” I said, “how much will you sell it for?” “Two dollars,” she decided. “Houston, we have a problem,” I said. I’ve written in this space before about a Jersey Mike’s franchise that has good sandwiches, but the …