Laws can be reversed or dismantled. If unions are meant to perish from our system, then advocacy groups will have to be extra sharp to make sure worker rights are still upheld and considered relevant to politicians.
One of the ways of organizing your mind to understand your challenges that I picked up from a marketing training seminar is called SWOT. It stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. For instance, a strength might be having a background in hospitality, food sales or management. A weakness might be knowing little about bookkeeping or tax payment. An opportunity might be partnering with another new business to promote each other. A threat might be another coffee shop around the corner. It would be different for everyone. The point is I use this method to keep my vision clear about the business and I review it every quarter to see if any of the things have changed. An example would be that a year or two after opening, a person who identified a limited vendor list in the beginning as a weakness, would probably now call a well rounded vendor list a strength.
I wish you well. I am an owner of a small business in the historic part of a town of about 50 K with a small university and a regional hospital. My company is an interior design firm. We have a market base for the business but the down turn last year reduced my gross figures by forty percent from 2007. I am trying to stay positive and hope everything turns out okay.
I recommend having a very detailed business plan that includes a target market definition and a marketing strategy. This doesn't always have to be expensive - one of the most important parts of a marketing strategy is training staff to consistently make sure everyone feels really welcomed and like they want to come back again. I also recommend starting with at least six months to a year of your operating expenses available to you.
I haven't seen your email, Kimi. All I get is that it is coming from IntenseDebate. There is definitely room for software improvement, though.
Maybe they will come back with a new blog for this. The Rick Warren thing really took off at the same time and I think, not unduely, grabbed some focus. I could see a new one being put up called something like: "January 21, 2009: Works and Vision"
Actually, that would be a great option, if under each dialogue box, you could hit an option to move your comment to a more fitting thread. It could leave a message there saying, "PaulMiller has moved this conversation to National Health Care." Then you could hit an option to follow me there or stay put to have the conversation at hand.
On the subject of people getting off topic, I had some thoughts. When I first heard this complaint, I have to admit, I knew I was one of the guilty parties, so I had to analyze my reaction to it for a while. A good conversation is still a good conversation even when it may not match up to the banner hanging over it, but I think there should be more blog threads, almost one per agenda issue. So you could go to anything under the agenda, like the economy, for instance, and hit 'blog' and then just have at it. The same for all the categories there: housing, energy, civil liberties, families, religion, etc. Of course there would still be overlap, but with such nice, clear tags, certainly we could say to one another, "Hey, I think we're getting off of the economy now and onto foreign policy. Do you want to meet me over on that thread?"
I think you've cleared up your meaning very nicely. I definitely thought you meant something else. One of my favorite perspectives on fair pay in the work place comes from an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in which Lou Grant explains to Mary that she is paid less than the last guy who had her job because he had children and she does not. She has to absorb it for a moment, but then returns triumphantly to tell him that by that standard, a man with two children would be paid better than a man with one, and that a man with three would have a higher wage than a man with two and so on and so forth. It is such a fun moment to watch because it's really a very logical argument and one that might not have come to my mind so quickly in her circumstance.
Something I admittedly do not do enough but that I encourage others to do is to find news sources that are more fair and reputable and stop watching all mainstream media. Also, turn friends on to whatever you find. I don't have cable or anything like that, so my news comes from Mother Jones, an admittedly leftist source, and NPR, which gets accused of that but which I think is actually pretty fair and calm in tone. If we all try to shun the worst, inflammatory news sources, even those that seem on the surface to support our 'side', I think we can make a difference in their ratings and thus their practices. There is a news source that Al Gore helped to create but which I cannot remember the name of right now, which a friend told me practices not only fair reporting, but covers real stories that get buried elsewhere under shark attacks, department store parking lot child abuse, and distracting sex scandals.