In this issue:

* Volatility, Opportunity, and What Not to Do * 10 Quotes from Stephen Covey

* The Exchange Rate

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Volatility, Opportunity, and What Not to Do

By Mike Genung

 

I’ve been reading Dan Miller’s book “48 Days to the Work You Love,” and he offers some interesting perspectives and information on the economy, education, work, and the job market. Here are a few:

* Ten years after graduation, 80% of college graduates will be working in a field unrelated to their degree or major.

* A national staffing agency predicts that 50% of the workforce will soon be contract labor.

* The average length of employment at one job in the U.S. is 3.2 years. The American worker will have 14 to 16 different jobs in their life time.

* 85% of the reason people get promotions and opportunities in companies is due to personal skills: attitude, enthusiasm, self-discipline, and interpersonal experience. Only 15% get promotions due to education or technical expertise.

* Due to increases in technology, companies need less employees than ever. He gives an example of a U.S. food manufacturer who went from 100 million in sales with 960 employees to 300 million in sales with 25 employees in 10 years.

* Small business accounts for 71% of the nation’s job growth in recent years, taking up some of the slack from those laid off from large companies. Small businesses employ 54% of the nation’s workers.

* Health care benefits are being eliminated. More people will continue to work just to keep up with health care costs.

* In 10 years, 90% of what an engineer is taught in college will be available online.

* Seniority no longer matters, only productivity.

* Electronic immigrants now apply for jobs all over the world.

* As a result of the contortions and volatility in today’s economy, many people are misplaced or underemployed.

I would also add that the Affordable Health Care Act is encouraging businesses of every size to replace full time jobs with part time ones to avoid paying health care benefits. This is a part of the reason why health care benefits are being eliminated.

Federal and State governments are making new bone-headed moves to discourage employers from hiring. Los Angeles is moving forward with a plan to increase the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. A small business with slim profit margins is going to find ways to offset these labor cost increases, including investing in technology to increase productivity, using independent contractors, reducing hours and full time jobs, or eliminating positions altogether.

I don’t understand why our elected officials don’t understand that if a business loses money it must cut expenses – which means less jobs – and fewer people buying stuff and stimulating the economy.

Education has become a commodity that matters less than a solid work ethic, ingenuity, and creativity. Financial success in the future will favor those who can carve out their own niche in the world, either by starting their own company or being an independent contractor, or offering their employer a first class work ethic along with the right skill set. The days of working at a company one or two decades are gone; constant volatility and change are the new norm.

This environment also means that, like the food manufacturer that downsized expenses and saw an increase in sales, more companies will be looking to farm out manufacturing and other services instead of taking it on themselves.

Which is where we come in. At the core, what we offer is the ability to set up production or source products at prices that enable you to compete and profit, so you can focus on doing the things that generate income, such as sales and marketing.

Today’s market environment offers opportunity for those who understand where the headwinds are taking us. Many of you are entrepreneurs with the right mindset who can adapt to change and move your businesses forward.  Keep pressing onward, and watch for new opportunities.

Statistics quoted from 48 Days to the Work You Love, by Dan Miller.

 

10 Quotes from Stephen Covey

  1. The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
  2. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
  3. Live out of your imagination, not your history.
  4. Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.
  5. Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.
  6. I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.
  7. You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.”
  8. I teach people how to treat me by what I will allow.
  9. Love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is the fruit of love the verb or our loving actions.
  10. Live, love, laugh, leave a legacy.

 

The Exchange Rate

Yuan to the dollar, as of today: 6.21 to 1

Rate when the Yuan was depegged from the dollar on June 19, 2010:  6.82 to 1

Change: .61 (8.9%)

 

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Previous Newsletters:

April 2015:  The Worldwide Release of Our New Video
February 2014: Finally, an Agreement at the West Coast Ports
January 2014: We are Now Sourcing from Taiwan
December 2014: New – Hardwood Cell Phone Cases
October 2014: Pictures and Comments from IMTS
August 2014: Visit Us at IMTS 2014
July 2014: The Importance of a Good Customs Broker