Among the top questions I get asked by posts to the site or e-mail are:
“Kim, can you find me a job?”
“Kim, why am I paying so much in taxes?”
and “What should I invest in or start to do to make money?”
I also get a lot of special needs related questions. I try to answer those specifically because they tend to be about specific situations. I also get gaming questions about how to approach playing card games, video games and board games and for that I am working on an inexpensive book to get out to you. Thanks and please keep the questions coming. As you can see, search engines don’t have the answer for quite everything
Today I will try and talk about the first question and give you some of my thoughts and ideas about the economy and ways to get your life back on track. The advice is free so treat it accordingly. Keep in mind though that some experts charge a lot to tell you a lot less.
The openings I hear about are pretty specific about their skill sets and your best bet would be to take some of the suggestions I have posted in my blog entries (search jobs, no job, etc) and check out my books as well network like crazy. For the next year it is going to be tough but if you have skill sets that are in demand, you will find work. You can also take a page from your peers and head back to college and pick up certification or degrees to add a level of cache to your resume that will help open some more doors for you.
Be ready to also take technical skill tests online or on computer based training (CBT) when you apply for jobs. Unless you are taking a management position, and even those require testing these days depending on the gig, you will need to demonstrate or show proficiency.
Please write your Governor, your Congressional leaders and the President and tell them that they need to get money down to the grass roots level – and get it faster. There have to be more jobs created similar to the New Deal economics that happened in the 1940s. We need to get rebuilding our infrastructure (and again if you search my blog you can see I have been ranting for it for over a year now) and we need more projects going to get people working.
Our State governments need to either float more bonds or do something to generate a climate that we can draw inside international investing so we can have the funds put to good use in this country. I have talked about different cities, like San Diego, and other states, like Texas, trying to steal our movie business from here in California. We are in an economic climate that I like to call the live bearing fish climate. That means that we end up eating our own young.
With a limited movie industry (yeah, I know some films are doing gangbusters but a lot of them flop) there are only so many films in development each year and everybody is fighting for the same small piece of pie. It may be better to change local labor and resource laws so states can attract more industry in.
Getting back to you at the local level, make sure you are keeping some savings because it can be that as you have discovered, a very long time until you are working again. Keep the pressure on our government officials to revisit their economic plans and have them get programs going to get more money down to the average American so that he or she will be able to survive.
We aren’t getting into a Mad Max- Road Warrior world quite yet with everybody fighting for oil (in our case it would be jobs and food) but it sure feels that way at times.
I still don’t get bizarre business models where I don’t see how people can become profitable even after several years of being in an investment chain. In this day and age, heck, in any age, you should always look and analyze and deal or job you get into and see if you are really making money with it. An example which comes to mind are investors in movies. The investors get the bragging rights that they are a producer and they may get to date the star or lead actor or actress. Generally films tend to not recapture their initial costs unless you have a great person setting up the deal to insure that you get video or DVD or any media rights before the business gets going.
The ice cold reality of today’s business climate is that you need to take whatever kind of work you are getting and you may as well take a job flipping hamburgers for minimum wage part time rather than working on “spec” (you know, speculation or in the movie business we call it, “free” or “without getting paid”). Don’t get me wrong, if you have the time to work on spec and the project is something that excites you or you are an actor or actress, great. For the rest of us though, we need to at least get an ironclad contract so that if a project that we worked on gratis actually takes off, we get some money from it.
Readers of my site and books roll their eyes along with me when I hear of people turning down work because it isn’t one hundred percent of what they are looking for. You will never get 100% of what you are looking for most of the time – even in a booming economy. The number one thing if you want to survive the rat race (and we are all squeaking along) is to make sure that you can pay for the cheese. Take whatever work you can get and keep training yourself for what you really want to do.
For the college graduates out there I encourage you to get working with something if you can’t get a job in your field of choice. Eventually, things will either get hopelessly worse or significantly better. Notice that I said eventually. For the next few years at least I see things as getting worse. Plan accordingly.
If you know that it will be raining in the next day, you plan to go outside with an umbrella or rain coat, right? Take the next logical step and plan to save some cash for a rainy day to prepare yourself for times when you aren’t so profitable.
Also make time for yourself each day to try and relax and review what you are doing and what your plans are to see if you are on track. This is especially important if you have a family, are caring for special needs or just plain overwhelmed in life.
Everybody gets overwhelmed, and for some of us it is when we are working the hardest. If you look at Michael Jackson you will see all issues aside a tortured soul who was constantly trying to get better at his craft and in entertaining people. He loved life and people a great deal and even in his life he was battling a lot of health issues.
So don’t ignore your health. Without it, you will have problems in securing work.
If I were to give an immediate, short term bit of advice to somebody I would say that they should go ahead and learn how to program for the iPod and iTouch and write an application that nobody has done before and sell it for a couple of bucks. The exercise would be great because it would teach you how to develop something, implement it and then get it to market.
People may not have money to pay their rent but they sure find the bucks to buy their iProducts.
The other critical thing that I want you to rally around is getting manufacturing going. Try and start a manufacturing business up and get commerce working again here in our back yards.
Thanks for being continual readers and to my international readers, how are things going in your countries? I have had a few e-mails and been told that things are just as bad elsewhere. Is that true for you?
Good luck to us all and be safe, healthy, get wealthy, and be happy and wise.
Here is an excerpt from a book I am working on for your pleasure and feedback. Let me know what you think:
Excerpt from my upcoming book, copyright 2009, Kim Isaac Greenblatt, all rights reserved, no reproduction allowed without explicit approval from the author (that is me, gang).
Strategy and tactics type games are ones where you don’t control the game from a first person point-of-view but instead play the game as a general or overlord controlling armies of soldiers, orcs, or angels.
Like playing as a general, king or god? Strategy and tactics type of games are for you. Strategy is the overall plan for winning a war, a conflict, a business deal. The tactics are the actual implementation of the strategy – the movement of aircraft, deployment of troops, the beefing up of artillery installations, etc.
From relatively basic strategy and tactics games likes tic-tac-toe, through complex games like Nim, Checkers and Chess and culminating with Internet team games where you control virtual troops who actually respond to your commands with responses of their own, there is a wide spectrum of choices and things to note when playing any kind of strategy and tactics game. These games are also known as “Command and Conquer” games after the widely successful series of C & C games that have been on the market for decades.
Warcraft started off as a C & C type of game and they are also fondly known as “resource building” games. Without having the energy to power your tools, you cannot build weapons. Without food for your troops, your armies will starve. Generally the general who can manage resources (especially limited ones) can prove to be the winner more times than not.
The levels of complexity are higher than first person shooting games (generally speaking) and the suggestions I am presenting now pretty much apply to everything you can find out there:
Remember that to win the game, you need to hit your objectives. It doesn’t matter if you build the biggest army but the timer runs out if you failed to protect the diplomat who was riding in an armored car across the screen in the last three minutes of the round.
Resources, unless you are cheating, are limited and should be used effectively.
Tiberium mines (from Command and Conquer) run out of ore, orcs (Warcraft and any other Fantasy resource based game) may empty out a jewel mine. You may be half way in construction of your super army and find yourself without resources.
This means that sometimes you really need to think and be creative in resolving your game needs in creative ways. It may require you to capture enemy bases and start using the enemy’s resources to overcome the enemy. Sometimes it may mean to sell generators, lower your power needs and fight your battles with fewer resources. It doesn’t matter as long as you win.
Learn the Rock, Paper, Scissors approach to winning the game.
Each game and each level within the game has different units that can defeat other units. Example: Tanks defeat infantry, planes defeat tanks, and rocket infantry in large numbers can defeat tanks and planes. You get the idea. If there are super weapons that you can develop, see what is it that you can do to get your super weapon going as fast as possible with as minimum effort as possible. Online team play means that you may not have time to develop super weapons and your best bet may be to do lots of rushing and destroying bases.
If one player in team play is designated as the one who gets to try to build the super weapons (if they are even allowed), be a good partner and handle the defense and scut work of hit and run tactics to keep the enemy off balance and try to steal as many resources as possible.
Many a game has been one where a spy or engineer has captured the enemy bases.
Take the time in simulation or practice games to mix and match different unit types and come up with your own creative formations. Generally in all video or board games, once a strategy works, it is published on the Internet and the whole world knows it. Be innovative and you may be rewarded with winning many games and you may have a game level named after you.
Be wary of some versions, especially early ones, where the game play is too one sided by certain units. That happens when there isn’t a thorough job of beta testing a new game. Certain classes of players (an alien race) or certain weapons ( Chinese super tank) may be unbeatable and it may be that the sure fire way to win the game is to always play as that race and have that particular weapon to win any game.
Players tend to post (read: brag) about what they encounter and you generally find these things out yourself in online play as well as working your way through the different game scenarios.
So what do you think so far? Post me a comment or drop me an e-mail and let me know what you think.
Also, please don’t quite go anywhere yet. Having some tax issues or tax questions? Any problems with trying to make it through the financial Depression we are in that is making you depressed? Please read on.
I am expanding my practice and taking on new tax clients. If you are interested in having somebody who is a successful businessman and tax professional with integrity review your returns discretely and see if your tax guy or gal is doing a good or goofy job, please drop me an email or post a comment with your contact information and time.
I have experience in international business, small businesses, partnerships, multi-state tax returns (they can get complicated) and anything else you can probably think of.
I also do business consulting and have ran several businesses (still running a few) myself so you are in good hands.
If you are looking for a day job, part time work, suggestions for saving money or investing, please check out my book, Practical Money Making, that is listed right after his paragraph in this very post. There are some great suggestions and ways to survive the Depression we are in.
Interested in any of my books? You may want to make a stop over here. Please click through to purchase my books and some other interesting items that actually ARE on sale.
Have you read my book, “Bad Tax Idea, Good Tax Idea“? Please order it today. The tips inside can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars! Tax planning should be done year round and not just two weeks into January or later.
Part of all the proceeds from the sales of that book go to Rett Syndrome research. One girl is born with Rett Syndrome worldwide every fifteen minutes. My daughter Arianna has Rett Syndrome and we are working to do all we can to make her life easier and find a cure in her lifetime. Boys born with the Rett gene generally die at birth.
Kim Isaac Greenblatt
Top Questions I Get Asked and Book Excerpt