Category Archives: leadership

The Best Service Industry People

There are many people in the service industry (specifically the ‘fast food’ and/or ‘customer service’ industry) that are incredibly awesome. Two specific examples:

1. Check out the poise of these individuals after a customer challenges the age-old cliche of a lack-luster product vs advertised product:

2. Or how about the guy receiving this amusing order AND GETTING IT CORRECT!?!

If you’re in the industry like I’ve been for maybe 6+ years and you can’t do this then it’s time to get out.

And I say this from both sides of the ordering counter.

Unemployment Rate since 1980

There’s been a lot of talk about the current jobless rate and unemployment rate under President Obama. Here’s a chart of what the unemployment rate has been since 1980 when President Reagan (R) took office. Of note, in case you don’t remember, since then the Presidents of the USA by year have been:

1980 – Ronald Reagan (R)
1988 – George Bush (R)
1992 – Bill Clinton (D)
2000 – George Bush (R)
2008 – Barak Obama (D)

Draw your own political conclusions.

Unemployment rate since 1980

Ugly Mug Coffee and Fair Trade Coffee

Ugly Mug CoffeeI was recently introduced to a coffee company out of Memphis called Ugly Mug Coffee. The first practical thing for me is that the coffee tastes good. Otherwise I’m not that interested in a new coffee company.

Well I can say that it was a very good cup of coffee.  

My friends used to live in Memphis and were telling me more about the company itself and then I got really impressed.

First of all, their humor is great. I mean, come on, “Ugly Mug”? How funny is that?

Second, they take the ‘behind the scenes’ of coffee production seriously. You’ve probably all heard of ‘fair trade’ coffee, but they actually put some thought into it all and Ugly Mug Coffee is doing something better than Fair Trade:

The idea behind fair trade coffee involves paying farmers a “fair” price for the coffee they hand pick and bring to market. The price we pay for fair trade coffee is most often above the market price for that coffee. The majority of the difference is what goes directly to the farmers which is anywhere between 10 to 18%. Unfortunately, this system is not without its limitations…Farmers have to pay to have their crop fair trade certified and we have to pay to certify that the coffee is fair trade. That is money that does not make it to the coffee farmer.

To correct this problem…our plan is to identify coffee growing regions our coffee comes from and setup an economic assistance program in those regions that support the farmer directly…The unique factor driving this endeavor is equipping the coffee farmers with tools and skills that make their coffee more valuable on the commercial market.

Eventually, as our company grows, we would like to move away from fair trade coffee completely and into a more hands on role like our partnership with Grower’s First and the economic development programs. Until then, we continue to use only fair trade certified coffee as available on the market.

Third, they do their own roasting. At first I thought, “Memphis has fresh coffee”? Well, turns out they get their coffee green (mostly from Latin and South America) right off the boat and roast it themselves:

Soon as we order that finest of fine coffees in a way that benefits those farmers, we have it shipped up the Mississippi to Memphis and roast it with the attention most people give babies.

From pallet to roaster to your fist. Fast equals fresh.

There’s more to their story but suffice it to say that I’m impressed with Ugly Mug Coffee Company. I encourage you, if you have access to their products, buy a bag and see what you think.

Social Media Jobs and Me

The need for social media leaders has, unsurprisingly, been on the rise.


Chart: “social media” Job Trends, “social media” jobs

In my opinion, social media is recession-proof but you can see that leadership roles in this field have taken a hit in the bad economy.

Although I’m still freelance Internet consulting through Orangejack LLC, I’m also looking for full-time work as an Internet Strategist or Social Media leader. That’s why I keep my resume and LinkedIn profile updated accordingly.

I’m open to relocation if the right position comes along, particularly in the regions around these airports: MCO, ATL, GSP, CLT, RDU, and IAD. Those are the top of my list because our family lives near these areas (GSP & DC). However, other locations will be considered! 🙂
My Resume Cloud

We the Thirteen

An open letter to the King of Great Britain
Posted July 4, 1776 by John Hancock

Dear King,

Our Congress here in the thirteen united States of America are declaring today that we are separating political ties with you. We believe that it’s only fair that we tell you why.

First of all, there are a few rights that we believe are plainly obvious:

  1. All men are created equal
  2. God has given us rights that can’t be taken away by man: life, liberty, and our pursuit of happiness.

Although God gives these rights, man creates Government to secure these rights. If a Government isn’t protecting these rights then it is the right of the people to make changes to the Government — or make a new one. This new Government should be organized and based on these principles to ensure Safety and Happiness.

Making changes to long established Government isn’t to be taken lightly. We know the risks and that things may get worse for the people. However, when these rights are taken away and abused under a single authority, it is the people’s right and duty to rid themselves of that authority and defend themselves.

We, the Thirteen Colonies, have been patient under your governance, dear King, but it’s time to alter our relationship. You have a history of causing us harm and interfering with our God-given rights. We’ve endured long enough. Your tyranny over us is over.

Dear world, below is a list of facts that you need to understand about this King:

  • He has refused to uphold agreements.
  • He has forbidden Governors to pass important and timely laws and he utterly neglects his review of the proposed laws.
  • He has refused to allow representation for large districts of people — obviously a position an insecure tyrant would take.
  • He has called meetings in unusual and uncomfortable places far away from the places we keep the public records in an attempt to tire us out and comply with him.
  • He has dissolved some of our Houses of Representation when we oppose his tyranny.
  • He has fixed our elections to keep our States in poor official leadership.
  • He has made it difficult for Internationals to settle in our states.
  • He has not allowed us to enforce our laws without his meddling.
  • He has made our judges totally dependent on him for their salary and tenure.
  • He has sent his officers here to harass and pillage our people — and created new offices to facilitate it.
  • He has kept his armies on patrol in our neighborhoods even during times of peace.
  • He has tried to make the military superior to our civil power.
  • He has ignored our own laws.
  • He has split up armed troops among us.
  • He has performed mock murder trials for his people here.
  • He has cut off our trade with parts of the world.
  • He has imposed taxes on us without our consent.
  • He has denied us a fair trial by jury on several occasions.
  • He has taken us overseas to be tried for made-up offenses.
  • He has helped a neighboring Province grow and strengthen itself to become a threat to our states.
  • He has cut our legal foundations out from under us by taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering our fundamental governmental system.
  • He has suspended our Legislatures and given his men that power to rule us.
  • He has waged war against us.
  • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  • He has (and is) sending foreign mercenary armies to continually barrage our homes.
  • He has captured our citizens at sea and forced them to join his army against us.
  • He has caused insurrections among our people and has encouraged native savages to attack us.

Throughout this repeated oppression we have humbly requested relief from the king but he has returned our requests with injury. This Tyrant is unworthy to be a ruler of free people.

Our trouble isn’t just with the king but also with our British brothers. They are well aware of the oppression and unfair acts against us. We’ve reminded them of why we came here in the first place. We’ve made appeals to their good conscious to disassociate themselves with the Crown’s tyranny. But because they chose to ignore our warnings, we must treat them as we treat the rest of the world: in war they are enemies, in peace they are friends.

Therefore, we the Representatives of the good people of these united States of America, have come together before God and the world to declare that these Colonies have the right to be free and independent states. We declare ourselves free of the rule of the British crown and all political connection to Great Britain. As free and independent states it is our right to align with whomever we wish, establish commerce, wage war and bring peace.

We rely on God’s protection and we pledge to each other our lives, fortunes, and honor.

Signed from New Hampshire:
~ Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Signed from Massachusetts:
~ John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Signed from Rhode Island:
~ Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Signed from Connecticut:
~ Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

Signed from New York:
~ William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

Signed from New Jersey:
~ Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Signed from Pennsylvania:
~ Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Signed from Delaware:
~ Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Signed from Maryland:
~ Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Signed from Virginia:
~ George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

Signed from North Carolina:
~ William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

Signed from South Carolina:
~ Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Signed from Georgia:
~ Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Start Your Social Media with LinkedIN | Orangejack LLC

Are you on LinkedIN? I posted on my business blog how to Start Your Social Media with LinkedIN | Orangejack LLC

Perhaps you’ve heard about Social Media but haven’t signed up to participate on any of the sites yet thinking they are all for kids with too much time on their hands. Well let me share with you one of the more useful websites you can start with for your entry into social media: LinkedIN.

LinkedIN is a professional network. It’s like a networking event you attend but this is all online.

I encourage you to create an account and play around.  Feel free to invite me to be one of your connections by requesting from my LinkedIN profile.

No Joke: Orangejack LLC Grand Opening Today

Do you remember that I’ve been saying I have a lot of things going on and more announcements to make? Well today I have a big one that we’re very excited about. Any yes, today is April 1, but this isn’t a joke.

Patricia and I have opened up our own small business called Orangejack LLC. Today is Orangejack LLC’s Grand Opening.

Right now we are focusing our service to Internet Strategy, Internet Consulting, Internet Marketing, and Internet Training.

So stop by the newly redesigned (and continually tweaked) today!

We are open for business.

Nooooooooooooo! But he’s right.

I hate it when people like this are right. A guy named Rob (not me) is also the Business Pundit (so says his blog). ‘Tis a good blog I like to follow.

But I hate it when he’s right about stuff like this post: Why I Gave Up Deserts To Become a Better Entrepreneur:

Plato wrote that “the first and best victory is to conquer the self.” Warren Buffett said something to the effect of “if you have discipline in the small things you will have discipline in the large things.” I’ve read enough about the human brain to know that if certain actions are repeatedly taken, the brain becomes used to them and they become easier. I started to wonder if I could build my overall discipline by practicing more discipline in a small area of my life. I needed something that was difficult, but not in my face every day. I decided to give up deserts. For one year.

I wasn’t cutting out sugar. The definition of a desert was anything sweet that I would eat after lunch or dinner because I was craving it. The goal was to fight the impulse, more than anything else. No ice cream, cakes, cookies, candy, brownies, pies, or anything that would typically be considered a dessert.

But he didn’t necessarily do it for health. He did it for the discipline that would translate into getting things done better.

Eight months have passed, and I’ve had no desserts, and there have really only been 3 or 4 occasions that I seriously struggled and thought I should give up the stupid goal. What are the results? Well, I think the past 8 months have been the single most productive period in my entire life. I still miss deadlines, forget about things, and sometimes get distracted, but not nearly as often as I used to. In other words, I think it is actually working. My ability to buckle down and focus even when I don’t feel like it has increased. In the same way that lifting weights makes a 50 pound box seem lighter the next time you have to carry it, focusing on a somewhat boring task for a few hours seems much easier than it was in the past.

A nice side benefit is that I’ve also felt much better in general. I’ve had more energy, I’ve slept better, and I’ve been sick less than normal. I haven’t seen any negative mental side effects such as decreased creativity, or a diminished capacity to deal with multitasking situations (although I try to avoid these when possible).

When I gave up sugar a couple years ago for health reasons, I, too, lost weight and felt great. I was able to concentrate easier. I wasn’t so easily distracted. Not like I am now.

Oh look! A crazy dog growling at his own leg!

But I have vacation coming up, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. How will I ever make it?

I guess it’ll be one of those things I’ll perpetually start tomorrow.