Business Success? I Promise!

Do you keep your promises?

Business owners and entrepreneurs never set out to fail. In fact, the path to success must not include a failure option. (Contingency plans, sure, but only as an alternate path to success.) All of us at some point make promises to ourselves, our families, our mentors that we will persevere. We will succeed. The real proof is in your level of commitment to these promises.

What commitments have you made to yourself? Your family? Have you reached the goals that you set for today, this week, month, year?

Prioritization and commitment-to-course are the key.

This reminds me of a story of a philosophy professor and his ultimate exam. Once the students entered the classroom and took their seats, the professor turned to the class and offered this pledge

“Anyone who chooses to opt out of today’s exam and leaves the room gets and automatic grade of ‘B’ for this course.” With much cheering and shuffling of book bags and chairs, many of the students thanked the professor, signed their acceptance of his offer and exited to the hall. He repeated the offer to the handful of students remaining. Another student gathered his things, signed off and left. The professor closed the door, recorded names from the few remaining and said, “Thank you for believing in yourselves. For you are true students of the course. My students. And for your commitment and determination, you each receive an ‘A’.”

The line between excellence and mediocrity is a fine one. Often, the choice which defines our position is not accompanied by a tolling bell.

Your daily choices and the commitment to see those choices through, determine which trait you’re willing to accept.

Do you listen to the little devil on your shoulder who says, ‘Take the day off, you’ve earned it. You can catch up tomorrow.’? I don’t mean to say that you should lock yourself in a room, away from friends and family, and work 24×7. You need to enjoy work-life balance. In the big picture, what are you working for?

Those who believe in themselves and forge that ‘road less traveled’ end up building successful businesses and enjoying a sustainable lifestyle — far beyond mediocre.

The moment that you yield to the little voice, lean toward the tendency of the masses, fall prey to nay-sayers among friends and family, that’s when you link up with the “B” kids in the hall.

Know your level of commitment.

You will face many opportunities to accept second best. Ask yourself, do you have confidence in your ability to break out from the crowd, to make a difference? Will you remain in your seat when that “B” grade is offered?

Now, I apologize if this allegory dredges up bad, school-day images. Your ability to succeed today has NOTHING to do with your prior GPA. Let me emphasize that. If you’re unhappy with your academic history and you allow its memory to limit your ability to succeed, then the little voice has done its work and you’re already standing in the hall. Put that history behind you and use it to fuel your desire! Find a professor…[ok, analogies aside]…a Mentor to help you discover the leader whom you know is inside of YOU.

Rededicate yourself to your dreams. Define clear, daily, weekly, monthly goals and hold to them. Make them realistic. You do need to get out and breathe fresh air once and a while.

Let’s close with a favorite quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny in comparison to what lies within us.”

Is Your Company Ready For Industry 4.0 Transformation?

What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 is the 4th industrial revolution. To give a little history, industries used steam to make the machine work which increased production and reduced cost in the industrial revolution. The next phase of the revolution was the mass production with implementing electricity and assembly lines. The third revolution introduced automation and computers. We are now here in the fourth revolution through digitizing and networking where we can connect the digital world with the physical world.

With hassle free wireless networking you educate the machine. Earlier the intelligence lied with the humans and machines just helped with the physical work, but now we can educate the machine and the products itself, also get a virtual image. Using Internet of Things (IOT) you can connect all the physical machines with software, networks and censors and they would exchange data with each other making human life and production much more simpler.

How many hours have you spent to hire a mechanic because your machine stopped working and the mechanic failed to understand what went wrong with the machine? With Industry 4.0, the machine will tell you what part has been failed and what has to be replaced. With artificial intelligence, it also tells you which spare parts need to be fixed.

Why Transform to Industry 4.0?

The Cyber ​​Physical systems enable your product to communicate with your machine. Your product will instruct the machine as to the quantity and the type of product that needs to be produced, and the machine is then produces and labels the products. After detecting the product, you can never go wrong with packaging, also your quality check has been performed by the machine while packaging itself.

Industry 4.0 allows you to have a flexible manufacturing process that will better react to customer demands. This new manufacturing technology reduces your cost of production, cost of wastage, reduces errors, increases efficiency due to use of robotics, yields higher revenue, improves customer service and increases innovation. It also allows you to create a virtual image of the real world using 3D printers and help you test your product and know your contingencies beforehand which would allow you to change the process in order to avoid the contingency before you even start your production.

You don't need to manually check your stock. You can add a censor to your forklift and your products, and while stacking up your goods, you get the data of the quality, description, weights and dimension as well as the location of the product. This would immensely reduce errors and damages.

Feed your machines, knowledge of automated systems with this new manufacturing trend and let them communicate with each other while you see your profits rise up high and costs go low.

Retirement Planning Tips For Women

A lot of the attention to retirement planning lately has been spent on preparing men for retirement. That’s a crock since women are going to live longer than men. And still have the rest of the retirement savings, what’s left of it anyway, to use for the rest of their years.But, if a majority of male baby boomers are having trouble saving for retirement, are female baby boomers in the same boat?You don’t have to answer. I’ll pretend you nodded.This article will talk about how women can plan for their retirement and start saving for their retirement lives.Setting up a retirement plan and saving for your retirement may be many years away for you but, if you start early, especially in your twenties and thirties and do that until you retire in your fifties and sixties, you’ll have a much more comfortable retirement than your female counterparts who didn’t save anything and now are relying on the government to help them out.Planning for your retirement may seem too far in the future but it can be here before you know it and the sooner you start saving the better off you’ll be when it sneaks up on you.Studies show that there are 60 million working women out there and a little less than half are enrolled in a retirement plan. It will be hard to have a retirement fund if there are no contributions to it.Women don’t work as long as men do at the same job. This is due to taking time off to care for the family to raise the kids. So women don’t build up the required years to qualify for a sizable pension or retirement plan, leaving them with little or no savings from the companies they are working for.Women live longer than men. If you retire at 55, you can expect to live another 27 years on average. Men can expect to live another 23 years on average. If you’re married and your husband was the bread winner and you have no retirement savings of your own, where will the income come from for those extra 4 years?Women also are risk averse when it comes to investing, choosing to invest in conservative investments and bonds which have guaranteed returns but lower overall returns. You’ll preserve your capital but you won’t have much to show for it when you retire and start drawing on those savings. So the choice is either have more money working for you in low, but safe, investment vehicles as you near retirement or invest more aggressively.Either way, women need to read about retirement planning as much or even more so than men because you will be spending more of your life in retirement. Talk to a financial advisor, read retirement planning books and check out all the free resources out there to help you save for your retirement. Most people have less than $60,000 saved in a 401k or IRA. There is no way this will last men or women for 20+ years of retirement. The government is not going to be able to supplement everyone…

A Disciplined Retirement Plan

Building a financial plan requires many different elements. Today I will go over the importance of having a disciplined retirement plan. I like to use the word disciplined because to me it means structure. Over the years I met with people who never followed a specific plan. Most saved the bare minimum of $25 or $50 a month, which will not achieve financial independence.Saving sporadically or in little amounts will not accomplish your retirement goals.The people who followed a disciplined retirement plan did not save thousands per month. Most people save between 10% up to 20% of their paycheck so they can achieve financial independence. Part of their disciplined approach was to increase the amount they saved each year. Most did not start at the high dollar amount they currently save, but they did increase their savings each and every year.How to Increase Your SavingsOne of the tips I received from a couple was when they paid off a credit card they used the payment to pay themselves instead of the bank. Instead of going out and getting more debt they used the payment to build their retirement savings.How often have you paid off a small credit card with a $30 payment? The $30 is easy to spend again by building up the credit card balance, but just as easy to save.Saving money for retirement is not difficult as long as you follow a disciplined retirement plan.Free Money From WorkTake a look at your work retirement plan. The most common retirement plan is a 401k plan. If your employer offers a 401k plan you should see if they offer a company match. A company match is sort of like a pay increase except the money is kept in your retirement savings account, the 401k plan.A common company match is 3%, which means if you save 3% of your paycheck in the 401k plan then your employer, will also pay 3% into your account. It amazes me how many people leave a 3% pay raise by not saving money for their retirement.Do not give up a pay increase because you have too much debt. Pay off the debt then start receiving your employer’s company match.Buy When Stocks are On SaleTake some time to review your quarterly statements to see if any investment needs to be adjusted. Do not be influenced by the performance of the stock market every single day, month or quarter. The stock market will go up and will go down. A disciplined retirement plan is looking at the long term, 5 to 10 years down the road. Too many people look at what is happening today, when they should be worried about 10 years or more.What you need to review every quarter is the amount of shares you accumulated for the quarter. When share prices are down you will be buying more shares than when the price is increasing. Do you like to buy things when they are on sale? Of course we all like to buy things for sale. When the stock market is down you are buying shares when they are on sale.When are stocks on sale? Unfortunately we do not know when stocks will be on sale or at a low price. However, if you follow a disciplined retirement plan of saving every month you have a better chance of buying stocks on sale. The reason is you would be buying shares every single month and some months prices will be high and some months low.Final ThoughtsA disciplined retirement plan is not easy at first, but with time it will become easy. Trying to lose weight is never easy, but once you begin a healthy lifestyle losing weight becomes easier.Saving money is similar because you are developing a new habit. Investing money for retirement takes time and dedication. Remember we are building your financial destiny one brick at a time.