Friday, January 1, 2010

BAII - Elevated Imaging.... ANew Paradigm

BAII Elevated Imaging – The New Paradigm Continues

The new 2010 year is here as is the unavoidable annual ritual, of marching on to whatever fate the ‘newborn’ year intends to bring.

The hardy, optimistic crowd brings a new sense of ‘starting over’; a hope for the future sort of cheeriness. The more embittered of us, bring a clamor to be the first to predict a previously unimaginable disaster so they can have ‘I told you so’ rights later in the year.

In doing so, the lessons of the previous year get lost in the anticipation of the incoming new year. The attempt with this blog is merely to put some thoughts to readership – one of the lessons I learned this year is that I cannot possibly write a single article that addresses all things to all people for all time. The world is too big, the events to many, and I concede that I am just a bit player in it all. But in my mind, a good place to start is to list some valuable lessons learned in 2009.

The Disclaimer: I may not have learned all the things that are important to all people everywhere and therefore I may fail to mention something important to someone here. This is generally considered both understandable and reasonable; since knowing our system of law is based significantly on precedent – please wish me luck instead…..

Personal Lessons:

I should have spent more time in school. Degrees have certain value – by all means, get one as soon as you can. But the truth is, that school is redeeming; a means to forgive yourself for all the times you should have zigged when you zagged instead. There is always something new to learn that can be applied to almost any situation – so take your sheepskin and get back in school. Who could argue that doing something good for yourself like getting an education is a bad thing?

The common mistake that most people make is to look for the ‘payoff’ for going
that will make sense before they sign the dotted line. In most cases there is no
immediate payoff – the accumulation of knowledge, experience and personal
relationships are the rewards that are immediately calculable.

Dammit! My mom and the doctors were right all along – after fighting common sense for 50 years, 2009 taught me the brutal lessons of failing to eat less, exercise more, read everything your can get your hands on, – oh and eat your veggies….. funny, I was always the ‘kids will be alright’ kind of dad… I watch my ‘used to be’ little ones with their little ones and it’s all different now….

Trust my instincts more… As most of you know, I’m trying hard to get Beltair
Industries Inc. off the ground in southern California as a viable business. Even
this blog is being generated to further that cause. But to that point; it’s my
instincts to survive as well as actual skills learned that will make this possible – so
I must trust them more

General Lessons: The ‘system’ under which we live in prepares our youth to become 1 of 4 people. This current paradigm is based on education, hard work, luck and the building of coalitions. It may sound like I am about to criticize our very reasonable and logical way of life – in fact, I am only saying that it has to continue its non-stop evolution. Certainly – there are people who can explain much better than I – this theory of preparation for life in the United States. First, I must digress into the current way we do things:

The Employee: Become a reasonably dependable person with some valued skillset to support the operations of some business – be it a store clerk or school teacher. You go to a school; academic, vocational or military to get some of these skill sets, a supervisor somewhere seeks out those skills; a matching of job and potential employee is evaluated and proposed and you now have a job. That job gets complicated by the onset of families, product changes, employee expectations, economic shifts, longevity and continuation of benefits to compensate the time invested in the company or business.

2. The Specialist: This is the higher educated, skilled or niched Employee. A
doctor, lawyer, a luxury car technician (mechanic is not accurate enough here),
etc. These people are more difficult employees to get because of the skills and
educations required, therefore command generally higher salaries. In the end, they
find themselves working for a group, a business, an agency as an employee.

3. The Entrepreneur: This is the person who arrives to the thinking and/or place that they can start or run a business of their own. When this happens, things begin to change. The tax laws, personal and business relationships, the priority of issues, motivations. A person’s focus may sharpen as does their tendency to become a better shopper, customer, business owner or other things I have not even thought of yet. The goal here is to become a very attractive fish to get gobbled up by the next class of person. This may happen at 10 or 82 years of age based on motivation, education, acquisition of skills - it’s different for everyone.

4. The Super Entrepreneur: This is the person who specializes in buying up all
the little successful entrepreneurs. These folks are interested in money – they
may be interested in other things like giving disadvantaged people a fair chance in
life, maybe their thing is the environment, or animals. The point is, these people
buy up other successful businesses because they specialize in business period.

So, back to the general lessons of 2009:

Corporatism in the US as we now know it is going to eat itself alive to an uncertain and ugly death in front of our very eyes. I don’t mean little corporations designed to use the law to survive. I’m talking about the banks, mortgage companies, the credit card agencies, insurance agencies, etc. They are continuously going to a well that has finite resources and they don’t learn from it.

We finally proved to ourselves that corporate welfare does not work. The US taxpayer – broke from watching his 401K evaporate into empty promises , facing homelessness, losing his healthcare, the rising cost of education, and losing his job that he invested a whole life in, is getting ticked off to a point of no return as bonus after bonus is paid out to 5000/hr corporate officers who have angled to have the very hand that feeds them lose out their ability to do so…

If it was not the availability of the sheer numbers of the supportive and responsible taxpayers being extorted – this problem would have self –corrected many years ago. This year was the most aggressive application of the business model since the phrase Reaganomics was even coined. And the trickle down has produced more unemployment and corporate wealth than ever.

Product vs. Service: Our country has moved from one that produces a ‘hard’, touchable, seeable, product to one that depends more on performing services. Services that are considered boring, tedious, hard, dirty, or expensive to do yourself. We now see the folly of low expectations in our auto industry, not building our own housing products, outsourcing things like maintenance of business records or have some faraway 10 year old sew our cheap t-shirts, letting infrastructure fade away as we push the responsibility down the road for some other messiah to look after. If people have to choose between making the mortgage next month or having to wash their own car… I’m betting the car wash will lose the bet……

We had better take better care of each other: The current situation US Postal service find’s itself is a classic example. Most people (me included at one time) assume this system is a federal agency supported and run by their tax dollars. This is far from the truth. This is a business that is just now learning the tough and brutal lessons that the newspaper industry has learned and is currently still learning. In this case – there is still time. There are precedences; the pain was not so noticeable when the milk man was replaced by the mega-supermarkets. When the horse drawn carts gave way to service trucks, hardly anyone shed a tear. In an effort to help the postal service relate to the new way of doing business – I hope, somewhere - someone important reads the parable down below:

The newspapers made themselves obsolete by not adjusting to a new paradigm that has more agility, lower cost and greater distribution. In fairness, the explosion of the internet, services like Google ™ or Youtube ™ were not necessarily predictable. But I also mention that, as with any business, I have to invest in marketing. With the advent of the internet – I was able to create a website ( ) with almost anything I chose to put on it at a cost of about $10 per month with an almost unlimited readership. In contrast, my three trips ( they required me to come see them – only one newspaper agency chose to meet me at a Starbucks ™ ) to the newspaper industry produced the following:

1. The counsel that their introductory price of advertising about $2,500 for a week regionally is already known to be almost so worthless that my commitment would be better served by spending $17K instead over the next 3-4 months with no prediction or guarantee of customer conversion to business with a known rate of about 2%. But they were giving me a ‘deal’…… and I should have felt lucky. I guess the assumption is that the same 80,000 readers that may or may not read their paper, that may or may not convert their interest from reading the paper to becoming one of my customers, have no access to the internet

2. I went to another agency but they were ‘not interested’ … that was it… simply no
interest in taking my advertising dollar – but I got an impressive cup of coffee at
my own expense in their office. I placed a dollar into their cup near the
coffeemaker with the Styrofoam ™ cups. That was over 6 months ago… with
no call backs…. It ends up that I couldn’t even call them out of the blue and
give them money for a process that has a 98% failure rate.

3 ‘We have to find the appropriate package for you’ was the approach I was given where for weeks a wide range of confusing ideas where passed around with the idea I was going to pay a weekly fee of thousands of dollars - the total which was never firmly established.

In the meantime – I’m blogging for free and my own free business video: . If the postal service really wanted to survive they would provide a very similar service to Yahoo ™ with some additional perks that would be unique to their service. Get some of those email dollars – every industry has room for another competitor. Figure it out….