In an Over-Communicated, Intrusive World, Simple is Better
Ed

Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” Part 2 – The 7 Cures for a Lean Wallet and The 5 Laws of Money

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Part 1 of this 2 Part series ends the synopsis of George Clason’s book “The Richest Man in Babylon,” but Clason raises an important question: Why should
so few men be able to acquire so much gold?

The answer is because they know how.

One may not condemn a man for succeeding because he knows how. Neither may one with justice take away from a man what he has fairly earned, to give to men of less ability.

And so it was that the good king of Babylon sought out the richest man in Babylon to teach to others in his kingdom the secrets of his success.

This is a synopsis of what the richest man taught to the people
of Babylon:

The Seven Cures for a Lean Wallet

1) Start your wallet to fattening. Save one-tenth of all you earn. Remember that a part
of all I earn is mine to keep. Do this faithfully. Do not let the simplicity of this escape you.

When I ceased to pay out more than nine-tenths of my earnings,
I got along just as well.
I was not shorter than before, and, money came to me more easily than before.

2) Control your expenses. How is it that all do not earn the same yet all have lean wallets? Here is the truth: That which each of us calls our “necessary expenses” will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to
the contrary.

Confuse not necessary expenses with desires. We all have more desires than our earnings can gratify. Examine which of the accepted expenses of living can be reduced or eliminated. Let your motto be 100% of appreciated value demanded for every dollar spent.

Budget your expenses so that your actual necessities are met without spending more than nine-tenths of your earnings.

3) Make your money multiply. Protect your growing treasure by putting it to labor and increasing. Money in your wallet earns nothing. Money that we earn from our money is but a start; it is the earnings generating earnings that builds fortunes.

When the richest man in Babylon loaned money to the shield maker to buy bronze, he said this: “Each time I loaned money to the shield maker, I loaned back also the rental he had paid me. Therefore not only did my capital increase, but its earnings likewise increased.”

4) Guard your money from loss. Everyone has an idea of how to make quick money; few, however, have the evidence of making money to justify their idea, scheme or offer of quick riches. The first sound principle of investment is security for your principal.

Before you loan your money to any man assure yourself of his ability to repay your loan, and of his reputation to do so. Make no one a present of your hard-earned treasure.

Consult the wisdom of those experienced in handling money for profit. Such advice is often freely given for
the asking, and may possess more value than the amount you
are about to invest.

5) Make your home a profitable investment. When you can set aside only nine-tenths of what you earn to live, and can use a part of that nine-tenths to improve the investment in your housing, do it; owning your own home is also an investment that grows with your wealth.

Your family deserves a home they can enjoy and call their own. It builds a sense of stability and well-being.

6) Ensure a future income. Build income-producing assets that do not require you to work forever. We will all grow old and die.

You should prepare a suitable income for the days to come when you are no longer younger and cannot work as hard, and to make preparations for your family should you no longer be with them to comfort and support them. Provide in advance for the needs of your growing age, and the protection of your family.

7) Increase your
ability to earn.
Desire precedes accomplishment, and the desire must be strong and definite. When you have backed your desire for saving $1,000 with the strength and purpose to secure it, you can then save $2,000.

Desires must be simple and definite. Desires defeat their own purpose when they are too many, too confusing, or too difficult to accomplish. Cultivate your own powers to study and become wiser, more skillful, and more productive.

Here is more sage advice from Clason’s masterpiece on financial matters:

The 5 Laws of Money

If you had to choose, would you choose tons of money or wisdom? Most men would take the money, ignore the wisdom, and waste the money. Here is the wisdom:

1) Money comes gladly and in increasing quantities to any man who will put aside not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and the future of his family.

2) Money labors diligently and contently for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying unto itself in infinity if kept working diligently. Money multiplies itself in surprising fashion.

3) Money clings to
the protection of the cautious owner who invests it with the advice of men wise
in its handling.

4) Money slips away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes that he is not familiar with, or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep. The inexperienced handler of money who trusts his own judgment, and puts his money in investments which he is not familiar, always pays with his money for his experience.

5) Money flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings, or who follows the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers, or who
trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

Here is the hard lesson of the 5 Laws of Money: You cannot measure the value of wisdom in bags of money. Without wisdom, those who have it quickly lose money, but with wisdom, money can be secured by those who have it not.

This ends the condensation.

Jobs and Careers

(Editor’s Note: Even though this article was written in 2006, there is a point worth making, and we surely do hope you figure it out.)

Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley

Colleges and universities are fond of reminding anyone who will listen that there is great value in earning a bachelor’s degree. In the most recent statistics available the U. S. Census Bureau tends to agree.

Results from the 2004 Census Bureau report shows a $23,000 difference between the average annual salary of adults with a bachelor’s degree ($51,554) compared to adults with a high school diploma ($28,645).

In what may or may not be an anomaly, the income gap narrowed slightly from five years earlier when bachelor’s degree graduates made nearly twice as much as high school graduates.

The percentage of Americans 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree rose to 28%, and the percentage with a high school diploma rose to 85%. In 1970, 36 years ago, only 11% of Americans had a bachelor’s degree and a little more than half had a high school diploma.

It is probable that the increase over time has had much to do with the advent of technology in our society, and the impact of Internet accessibility to the general public in 1993 and 1994 through the creation of browsers.

If you are wondering, Minnesota, Utah, Montana, New Hampshire, Alaska and Washington had the highest proportions of adults with at least a high school diploma, all at about 92%.  Texas had the lowest with about 78%.

Connecticut had the highest proportion of adults with a bachelor’s degree (37%) and West Virginia had the lowest (15%).

I have long been a believer that there is no real correlation between education and income unless the degree leads to a high paying profession, such as a physician, attorney or dentist. I have known too many people with bachelor’s degrees working at McDonald’s restaurants.

My standard comment is that it is not like all people with bachelor’s degrees make $100,000 a year and those with high school diplomas make $30,000. I also have known many people with only high school degrees and some high school dropouts who make well in excess of $100,000 annually, especially in sales.

Bill Gates is a college dropout who ranks as the richest man in the world. Forbes magazine rates William H. Gates III as the richest person in 2006 with $53 billion, proving perhaps that even Harvard dropouts can make a lot of money.

You, dear reader, will have to decide for yourself how big a difference in income is possible with a college degree instead of settling for a high school diploma. There is no question in my mind that the income gap will increase as the upper and lower edges of our middle class are falling away and the gap between the rich and poor in America widens.

I have also found little correlation between talent and income, intelligence and income and experience and income. Is there anyone in America who has not heard of the starving artist, or educated idiots in menial jobs, or janitors becoming millionaires?

The only real correlation I have noticed is between people skills and income. How else can you reasonably explain how a high school dropout becomes a self-made, multi-millionaire entrepreneur?

These successful entrepreneurs may not have perfect subject-verb agreement when they speak, but they certainly know how to relate to people in a meaningful way. You may have noticed that the whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going (ditto for women).

Also of note is the Bureau of Labor Statistics National Compensation Survey which shows that white-collar earnings average $21.85 an hour while blue-collar earnings average $15.03 and service occupations average $10.40.

Source information for the following statistics come from the Employment Policy Foundation.

The jobs that pay the most generally require at least a bachelor’s degree (4 years of higher
education) and several also require graduate (master’s or doctorate) degrees. Here are the average annual incomes during 2003 for the nation’s Top 12 Paying Jobs:

Top 12 Paying Jobs Overall

$147,000 – Physicians and Surgeons
$133,500 – Aircraft Pilots
$116,000 – Chief Executives
$112,000 – Electrical and Electronic Engineers
$99,800 – Lawyers and Judges
$90,000 – Dentists
$85,500 – Pharmacists
$84,700 – Management Analysts
$84,000 – Financial Analysts, Managers and Advisors
$83,000 – Computer and Information System Managers
$80,000 – Marketing and Sales Managers
$80,000 – Educational Administrators

Top Paying Jobs That Generally Require an Associate Degree or Certificates of Training

The jobs that pay the next best annual average salaries tend to be technical in nature and generally require an associate degree (2 years of higher education) and/or job-specific training certificates. Here are the average annual incomes during 2003 for the Top 6 Paying Jobs:

$66,000 – Healthcare Practitioners
$58,000 – Business Analysts
$57,000 – Electrical and Electronic Engineers
$56,800 – Mechanical Engineers
$54,000 – General and Operations Managers
$50,400 – Computer and Information System Managers

Top Paying Jobs That Generally Require a High School Diploma

These jobs generally require a high school diploma and emphasize work experience and on-the-job training rather than college degrees. Here are the average annual incomes during 2003 for the Top 6 Paying Jobs:

$58,900 – Computer Software Engineers
$56,400 – Computer and Information System Managers
$55,000 – Computer Programmers
$49,000 – Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
$48,000 – General and Operations Managers
$48,000 – Database, Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Top Paying Jobs That Do Not Require a High School Diploma

These jobs tend to require substantial on-the-job training and work experience rather than formal education and specialized training. Here are the average annual incomes during 2003 for the Top 6 Paying Jobs:

$36,400 – Bailiffs, Correctional Officers and Jailers
$36,400 – Legal Assistants
$36,000 – Industrial Production Managers
$36,000 – Drafters
$33,600 – Construction Managers
$31,900 – Electricians

Sometimes the sources for these statistics are not really clear in the significance of their findings. You will notice that whatever the educational level, the positions for Computer and Information System Managers are mentioned.

It is the 9th highest paying job at $83,000 in highest educational level, shows up at $50,400 with a two-year degree and becomes the 2nd highest paying job at $56,400 for high school graduates.

The difference in salaries at different educational levels could have to do with the size of the company the worker serves. There is a difference in responsibility and technical requirements for a company generating $10 million in annual revenue as opposed to a company generating $100 million or $1 billion in annual revenue.

I believe it is also important to understand that many people with Top 12 paying jobs are self-employed professionals who are able to take many legitimate deductions in their business tax returns that workers do not enjoy.

Deductions lower their net taxable income. The earnings you see here can be much lower than their actual earnings because deductions can be “paper write-offs,” deductions that result from depreciation, for example, that can amount to thousands of dollars credit with no out-of-pocket expenses.

It almost goes without saying that many savvy college and high school graduates also have part-time businesses that allow them legitimate deductions that lower the net taxable income from their jobs.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

The wealthiest person in the world is not only the world’s greatest investor, he also has some exacting standards when hiring his staff for jobs at Berkshire Hathaway.

Warren Buffett, who for years played second fiddle to Bill Gates among the world’s wealthiest billionaires, was recently named by Forbes Magazine as the new No. 1 with a net worth of $62 billion (remember, this article was written in 2008).

“In looking for someone to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy,” said Buffet. “But the most important is integrity, because if they don’t have that, the other two qualities, intelligence and energy, are going to kill you.”

This insight comes from The Tao of Warren Buffett by Mary Buffett (his daughter-in-law) and David Clark.

“When you hire someone to run your business, you are entrusting him or her with the piggy bank,” according to Buffett. “If these people are smart and hardworking, they are going to make you a lot of money, but it they aren’t honest, they will find lots of clever way to make all your money theirs.”

The rule is simple: People with integrity are predisposed to perform; people without integrity are predisposed not to perform. It is best not to get the two confused. Integrity is the key ingredient.

The lesson is simple: Having integrity is more important than being good at what you do.

Mary Buffett says that “Warren’s management style has always been to afford his managers tremendous operational autonomy. They are free to run the businesses as if they are the owners. He could not give his managers this much freedom if they lacked integrity.”

That is how important integrity is; it is everything. If you are concerned about being judgmental, work more on becoming less so by gaining more knowledge and understanding, and always stress your integrity first.

While Warren Buffett is a great investor, he is not a great manager of the businesses that Berkshire Hathaway owns. His secret for growing a corporation through diverse acquisitions is to buy a good business for a reasonable price that already has competent management running it, and then get out of way and let them do their job.

To show you how particular Buffett is at picking his own people, you need only know that Berkshire Hathaway has about 180,000 employees but only 17 of them are at Berkshire Hathaway headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska with Warren Buffett.

Can you imagine any other major corporation in America with only 17 employees at its headquarters office? If you get the idea that Berkshire Hathaway is an efficient operation, you get the idea. How you determine who to hire makes all the difference in the world.

Berkshire Hathaway has stock in very few companies, a huge stake in some major companies and owns some companies outright.

When you speak as a potential hire, people should almost instantly get the impression that they are talking to a person of substance who is guided by integrity and is very professional at what they are doing.

You develop this presence by knowing who you are, where you are at, what you are doing, why you are doing it, and doing it so you can serve someone else at their point of need. Like success, this development is a process and not a destination, but I promise you from the bottom of my Irish heart that you will enjoy the journey, and God will be with you to help you and guide you on your way.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

Imagine my surprise Wednesday (3-5-08) when I discovered that Warren Buffett, who has played second fiddle to Bill Gates as the world’s richest man for several years, is now the wealthiest billionaire in the world with a net worth of $62 billion.

For the uninitiated, a billion dollars is a million dollars 1,000 times. At $62 billion, you could also say that Buffett is worth a million dollars 62,000 times. Gates slipped to No. 3 at $58 billion on the just released 2008 list by Forbes magazine.

Equally surprising to me was the fact that, after reading The Tao of Warren Buffett, I discovered that Buffett had some very valuable information on what students should know when selecting their first job after graduating.

“Managing your career is like investing—the degree of difficulty does not count,” said Buffett. “So you can save yourself money and pain by getting on the right train.”

According to Buffett, one not only needs to learn what kind of business to invest in but what kind of business to work in.

If one goes to work for a company with poor long-term economics, then he (or she) can never expect to do really well because the company does not do well. Salaries will be below average and raises will be few and far between, and there is greater risk of losing your job because management will always be under pressure to cut costs.

But if you go to work for a company that has great long-term economics working in its favor, then the company will be awash in cash. This means higher salaries and tons of raises and promotions for a job well done. Plus there will be plenty of room for advancement as management looks for ways to spend all that free cash.

In short, Buffett says you want to work for a company that has high margins (of profit) and makes lots of money. And you want to stay away from businesses that have low margins and lose money.

One is a first-class train ride to Easy Street; the other is a long, slow, hard freight-train ride to nowhere in Siberia.

A good example of a company with high margins, no debt and billions in cash reserve is Microsoft.

The next step to getting on with your career is to also work for a company that allows you to do what you love doing.

“There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want,” says Buffett. “Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you do not like because you think that it will look good on your resume. Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age?”

It is not hard to figure out why Buffett is a very smart person. He did not become the wealthiest man in the world by being stupid. It takes no talent to lose money; it takes a lot of talent to make a lot of money.

According to Buffett, spending a life getting up and going to a job that you hate, with people you do not respect, leads to frustration and discontent, which you bring home with you from work and share with your family, which makes them unhappy as well. This, of course, makes for a lousy life for everyone you love, including yourself.

When you find a job you love, going to work puts a smile on your face, which you can take home with you at the end of the day to share with your loved ones.

If you are worried about money, remember that the people who love what they are doing are the ones who rise to the top of their fields and end up making the most money. Do what you love, says Buffett, and the money will come.

(Editor’s Note:  The Tao of Warren Buffett is written by Mary Buffett (Warren’s daughter-in-law) and David Clark, both of whom were the best-selling authors ofBuffettology.

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

As someone who has 6,000+ high-end clients who are interested in jobs and careers, I paid attention Tuesday when I came across a story about six-figure incomes by Laura Morsch of CareerBuilder.com.

According to Laura Morsch and the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, “physician jobs dominate the list of the nation’s highest-paying positions, holding 9 of the top 10 most lucrative jobs.”

Morsch reminds us that there are other high-paying jobs in our economy.

“Although statistically more education means better pay,” says Morsch, “you can land a very high-paying job with just a bachelor’s degree and considerable work experience.”

She then goes on to list these 9 examples: Chief Executive at $140,000, Airline Pilot at $135,000, Dentist at $134,000, Lawyer at $111,000, Air Traffic Controller at $106,000, Engineering Manager at $105,000, Computer and Information Systems Manager at $102,000, Marketing Manager at $102,000 and Astronomer at $101,000.

I have clients making six-figure incomes in all of Morsch’s examples, however, you need more than a bachelor’s degree to realistically become a Dentist, Lawyer or an Astronomer; therefore, they are not good examples.

I have a client making $350,000 a year with a high school diploma. I have another client making $144,000 who is a high school graduate with two additional years of technical training. A third client is making $250,000 with a high school diploma only. All three of these examples are men.

Men can make excellent money with a high school diploma in a number of occupations.

Women can also make $100,000+ with a high school diploma, but they tend to do it generally in three ways:

1) They own their own business, usually a small business that is very profitable. Some research organizations report that there are more small business owners making six-figures-plus than in any other job or occupation.

2) They work in commissioned sales rather than salaried sales. A sharp woman can many times outsell a man because of the dynamics between the sexes. A sharp woman calling on a male client many times gets more time and attention than a male calling on the same client.

3) They work in a financially-related position, such as a stockbroker, mortgage banker, mortgage broker, loan officer or chief financial officer.

Here is some information you can use if you are a high school graduate and have zero interest in getting a bachelor’s degree at this point in your work career: go into sales if you have any people skills or personality.

Sales is the second highest paid profession in the world, and it does not usually require a college degree. There are some corporate sales jobs that do require a degree, but there are many more opportunities available if you can generate sales production.

There is not a single business in America that cannot benefit from more sales, and almost every one will pay for sales production.

Here is some even better news: If you are selling and producing big time and the owner or company is too cheap to compensate you at the level you should be compensated at ($100,000+++), dump the owner or company and sell for someone else.

A far better idea would be to start your own business, go into competition directly against the cheap owner or company that would not pay you, and wipe them off the map.

There really is no reason you should be working for someone else anyway. Working in your own business can be an outstanding deal. You call your own shots. You will not fire yourself, lay yourself off, or deny yourself promotions, fat bonuses for production, outstanding benefit packages, and a lot of time off to enjoy your money and family.

The nine examples listed above have 7 positions that amount to no more than hired help, that includes the Chief Executive position. Only the Dentist and Lawyer positions might be either self-employed or hired help.

All nine examples cited by Morsch and the Bureau of Labor Statistics have more stress than anyone needs and are labor intensive. Even the Dentist and Lawyer positions, which might be self-employed, require them to report to work or not get paid. If a Mac truck runs over either them, their income stops in a heartbeat.

Has anyone ever heard of income-producing investments when these job opportunities come up? Income producing assets allow you to take possession of your own time while your investment throws off the income to fund your lifestyle without working a job.

It might be fancy to have any of those nine jobs with status and making $100,000 a year. Some people would rather make $250,000 a year and not have a job, have a boss, and deal with the stress.

Here is a rare career path: Own the business, company or organization and hire the six-figure people in the examples above to work for you. There are people who would gladly pay the above examples their listed wages when they could make $250,000 free and clear and not work.

Who needs status and aggravation when you have money?

Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley

A client e-mailed me yesterday about her student loan debts that netted her 3 college degrees and a job without a commensurate income and future. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from New York University, a second Bachelor of Arts Degree from the London Institute and a Master of Arts Degree from the University of London. My unvarnished answers to her questions follow. I changed her name since I could not contact her in time to use her name.

Hi Ed Bagley,

I had a follow-up question to your three-part series on “Five Power Secrets of Getting Hired in Today’s Economy.”

If education is not a great factor in making the “big bucks”, why do people stress that, especially a lot of companies that only want to hire college educated employees?

OK, I don’t have a source for those stats, just stuff I have heard. I am guessing just media hype. Nonetheless, if there is any validity to that, why is that the case?

Because I so regret the major amounts of money I am in debt for because of higher education, and the three degrees I have have not gotten me any further than anyone else.

I am not surprised. I guess life isn’t fair.

Carolyn

Here is my reply to Carolyn the same day:

Carolyn,

You are reading my product! This can only help you, and you have the added benefit that I am not going to try and collect on your student loans! (it is OK to smile)

You ask an excellent question and you shall receive an excellent answer.

Here are some considerations in no particular order:

1) Colleges and universities are not part of the same world that exists around them. They are isolated special interest groups with no other primary purpose than to ensure their continued existence.

Job one for them is to stress education as the answer to all of life’s issues and ills, thus, get a degree and earn a lot more money, get a degree and start doing something you really want to do, get a degree and get hired quicker, get a degree or many corporations will not hire you, etc.

Their real purpose is to generate enough income to support the salaries and lifestyle of those involved in perpetuating the enterprise. A tenured professor must be paid even if the subject he or she is teaching has almost zero demand in our economy.

If colleges and universities really told the truth about what you could reasonably earn after you acquire your degree, enrollment would plummet in certain subject areas. Students would stop being skydivers without parachutes.

Colleges and universities will put 120 students into a program that there is absolutely no need or demand for in the marketplace. What will a student do with an art history degree when there is zero need for people to run the few museums that exist.

You cannot turn out 120 students a year at each university when the annual demand for what they have to offer is 22 openings at all levels nationwide. This is why education majors who do not want to teach in South Central Los Angeles end up as shift managers at a McDonald’s restaurant, or as a life insurance agent for Prudential.

2) Not all degrees are equal. A Bachelor of Arts in history is pretty useless unless you switch to teaching history. Get a Master of Business Administration degree from a top 20 school and your chances improve. Get a Doctor of Medicine Degree, become a physician and surgeon and your chances are even better.

Degrees that lead to a high paying profession pay off, everything else has little real impact on your salary.

3) Corporations want to hire college graduates not only because they believe educated workers will make them more money, but also because it is their best guarantee that the person they are hiring is literate.

They want to be assured that the new hires can speak and be understood by fellow staff members, and are not so illiterate that they will drive away customers and clients by showing, through their lack of communication skills, that they are stupid, lack grammar and diction, and have the personality of an ashtray.

4) Facts: Results from the 2004 Census Bureau report shows a $23,000 difference between the average annual salary of adults with a bachelor’s degree ($51,554) compared to adults with a high school diploma ($28,645).

In what may or may not be an anomaly, the income gap narrowed slightly from five years earlier when bachelor’s degree graduates made nearly twice as much as high school graduates.

Notice the fact says “the average annual salary” which means that in this total is a brain surgeon making $1.2 million a year and a ditch-digger making a minimum wage of approximately $7 an hour or about $14,000 a year. This produces an average difference of only $23,000.

Throw out the brain surgeons and ditch-diggers of which there are very few and the difference is even less.

5) This has little to do with life being fair or not. It has everything to do with you figuring out how to make money, whether you have a degree or not.

Do I think you have been snookered on the education trip? Yes I do. Why? I have too much experience and evidence to think otherwise.

Both of us come from educated families that would naturally stress education. I was appalled when my son and daughter had zero interest in continuing their education after high school.

My daughter is now a loan officer with Washington Mutual making good money, probably far better than you are, and she has zero student loan debt.

My son did get a 2-year certificate as an automotive technician; he refused to take the 4 or 5 academic classes with the occupational training so he could get an Associate of Technical Arts Degree rather than a certificate as an auto tech.

He told me, “Dad, I do not need any more education.” Remember what Mark Twain said: “I never allowed schooling to interfere with my education.”

My son is 28 years old and already has a $540,000 house, 4 upscale vehicles, a rental property and two auto repair shops with an income well in excess of $12,000 a month plus the net profits from his businesses.

Did he need a college education to succeed? You decide. This is why I say that there is more correlation between people skills, having technical skills and being in an activity that is in demand than there is between pure education and income.

6) Do I believe everyone should have a college degree, say at least a bachelor’s? Absolutely, because you will be exposed to multiple areas of knowledge and get some well-needed breeding and culture.

My son could care less about classical music, plays, culture, reading, etc. He is focused on making money and when he looks at anything he is only interested in discovering the answers to two questions: Where is the money? and How can I get it?

This is the clear difference between an entrepreneur or businessperson and a college graduate who is thinking his or her education is going to bring them big bucks.

Nothing will bring you a lot of bucks unless and until what you bring provides a service or product that is in demand, has little competition and you can charge big bucks for your service.

This is why brain surgeons and auto repair technicians who own auto repair shops make money. Cars break down. People have brain cancer. Who cares whether you have 3 degrees, or 20 degrees, or whether you know hip-hop from opera?

7) Given your circumstances, this is what I recommend you do: Use your expensive education, street smarts and intuition to figure out what people want to know and then provide the knowledge or information they want and need, and charge for your service.

The more they want the information the more you can charge because no one else will be providing the information they want at a lower cost.

This is America, the land of opportunity. This is a needs-based, on-demand economy. The market you want to earn your living in is capitalist based, not education based. If you cannot figure out the economy, become a teacher and settle for whatever salary and benefits education pays a teacher.

8)

 Also, stop acting like there is some big secret about how to make it in your chosen field. Get into the field and act like you are the secret. Do not chase people and opportunities, act like you are THE person and THE opportunity is with you.

For example, you cannot find a better resume writer and personal marketer in America than I am. Period. I dare you to scour New York, Boston or LA and then come back to me when you figure out I am right.

Most people in my profession are just sucking money out of their clients and moving on.

When you call I answer, not my secretary because I do not have one. You get the expert. You do not have to work through me to get to the top. You start at the top.

This is why I do not have employees. I am the authority.

You are bright, educated and capable. You are the answer to your own quest to find someone else to hire you. Start acting like you are a person of total substance.

Make people appreciate and understand instantly that when they are talking to you, or doing business with you, that they are dealing with a person of substance. Repeat, a person of substance. Let there be no mistake.

If your thing is hip-hop music, become the authority, brand yourself and build a reputation so that no one thinking hip-hop is doing squat without consulting you first because you have the answers, and are worth whatever you are charging and 20 times more!

Think about who you need to be, not who you are at the moment, then be that person, becoming a magnet that will attract people to you.

Now get out there and make me proud of you. You are Carolyn, an expert. You do not know everything and quickly acknowledge so, but in your area, there is no one who knows more than you. Period. That is it.

And if you do not agree with me that I am an expert in my field, no matter, others do.

You are not some silly girl with three degrees who cannot find the right job at the right income. Start 2007 as an expert, not as someone looking for a job.

You know I believe in you. Now you need to believe in yourself and get out there and let the world know who Carolyn is. People will start listening when you decide you are a person of substance, know what you are talking about, and then continue to get more knowledgeable and helpful in your area of expertise.

This is not a mind game. Do not believe with your head, believe with your heart as if your life depended upon it and people will accept you as an expert.

When they offer you less money than you want, look them straight in the eye and tell them you would like to help them but other people are offering you more money, and then shut up.

Do not try to justify or explain yourself or your value. If the person you are talking to cannot figure it out, find someone else who can.

There are two possible outcomes in any situation: results or excuses. I think you know which situation you want to be in.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

There is probably not a day in America when at least a million employees wonder “When am I going to get promoted?” or “I am so upset that they promoted him and not me?”

On that very same day there are hundreds of managers or employers who, when confronted about offering a promotion would say, “If you want to get promoted, do something and I will promote you,” or, when confronted about a promotion they made would say, “You are simply not ready to be promoted.”

These workplace sentiments happen because employees tend to look only at opportunity, and employers tend to look only at preparedness. The reality of life is that the greatest explosion can only occur when opportunity meets preparedness.

The fact is, millions of employees would get promoted before their counterparts if they were better prepared before an opportunity occurred.

Imagine for a moment how fired up I would be if the Seattle Seahawks suddenly needed a middle linebacker after a serious injury to their All-Pro and 3-time Pro-Bowl Samoan Middle Linebacker Lofa Tatupu. Imagine that Mike Holmgren, the Seahawk coach who will retire after the season and wants desperately to get to and win another Super Bowl on his way out, calls for an open tryout nationally.

Hundreds of wannabe professional football players would show up for the tryout. All of them would have played high school or college football. Some would be very big. Some would be very fast. A very few would be able to take the pounding that you would receive fighting off 300-pound-plus nasty offensive linemen. Even less would be great open field tacklers. A scant 1 or 2 might be able to cover a tight end or slot receiver.

Exactly none of them would have all or enough of the skills to compete effectively in the National Football League or they would already be there. In short, they would not be prepared to take advantage of a great opportunity to succeed in the NFL.

This is an extreme example, but an example nonetheless, of how too often opportunity does not meet preparedness when offered.

So how does one get prepared to meet opportunity in the workplace? The obvious answer is acquire more education and/or training. If you do not have a college degree in an academic discipline, do whatever it takes to get one. If you do not have specialized or professional training in a certain task, get involved in a technical training course at a vocational school.

Make yourself more marketable to be hired at a higher level task, or to be promoted to a higher level task.

Believe it or not, as difficult as it may be for you to acquire more education or training, it will be far easier than accomplishing the second route to getting prepared to meet opportunity head on when it arrives. That will require personal growth.

Personal growth is 100 times more difficult to achieve than professional growth because it requires that you not only learn or become aware of new information, but forces you to willingly change your thought process and belief system. People CAN change but most choose not to.

You will rise higher faster by achieving more personal growth than professional growth.

If you do not believe me, that is your business, but you might want to ask yourself this question:

If it only takes professional growth to get on in life, why is it that there are so many people with college degrees, professional training, smarts and talent that are not promoted, and are also prejudiced, intolerant, judgmental, self-centered, self-absorbed and sometimes even nasty?

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

If I told a lot of potential hires that sometimes they have as much or more to do with getting a job offer as I do as the interviewer, most of them would not believe me. After all, I am the interviewer and, in many cases, I might also be the owner, manager, supervisor or personnel specialist charged with the responsibility for making an offer.

Having said this, I would also share with you that sometimes the potential hire talks himself or herself into an offer and then right back out. The reason why is they commit the biggest mistake a person could make when interviewing for a job, and this is it:

They are asked a question, they answer the question, and then they feel compelled to explain or justify the answer they have given.

I might ask, “Where are you educationally?”

They might answer, “Well, I thought about going to college but I only completed high school.” Then they will launch into a big explanation of why they could not go to college because of their circumstances at the time. Too often, the reasons given are lame excuses and it becomes pretty clear that they simply did not give education any kind of priority in advancing their lot in life.

Maybe their parents thought education was a waste of time, or that it cost too much, or that they (the parents) would not pay the cost. Or perhaps the potential hire started an academic program but did not finish, or they did not like a professor they had, or needed to work to support their wife and new baby.

I might ask, “Why did you leave your last job?”

They might answer, “I was laid off” or “I quit” or “I was fired.” Then they will explain the circumstances about how the company was downsizing, or they hated their boss, or the company forced them to work overtime, or the company would not allow them to work overtime.

I asked a potential hire a job-related question, and about 30 seconds into his answer, the candidate launched into the story of his sled dog trip in Alaska and droned on for about 10 minutes. Rather than interrupt him, I let him yak on.

The interview was just 10 minutes shorter, I did not get my questions answered, and he did not get an offer. I would have been more interested had I been in the mushing business, delivering goods across the great tundra. Such is life.

Obviously, when allowed to talk too much, the potential hire gives the interviewer all sorts of reasons why they should not receive an offer.

The one thing you absolutely can not afford to do in an interview is to create a seed of doubt about why you should be offered a position. When you do so, the interviewer feels obligated to start checking all kinds of things about you to validate their suspicion and pretty soon, you are eliminated from consideration.

And seriously now, who among us, if put under intense scrutiny, does not have a chink in his or her armor? We all do.

The message of this reality is: keep your answers short and succinct. Interviewing is a business activity, not a social activity. Be businesslike and be professional. Save the small talk for after you are hired and not on the job.

Copyright © 2010 Ed Bagley

An article by Katie Johnston Chase appeared in The Boston Globe on June 22, 2010. It talks about “dumbing down” your resume to get hired. I could not disagree more with this tactic, and will explain why.

But first, here is the article by Katie Johnston Chase:

After hearing from several potential employers that he was overqualified, high-tech salesman Joe Collins of Medfield worked with a recruiter to come up with two resumes. One emphasized revenue gains and the number of people he oversaw as a manager; the other omitted those details, concentrating instead on his hands-on sales experience.

Collins, 55, figured that someone looking to fill a routine sales job might review his more high-powered management experience and assume: “He’s only going to hang around until he finds something else.”

As the tight job market forces the unemployed to apply for lower-level positions, more job seekers are “dumbing down” credentials, wiping graduate degrees and high-level experience off their resumes, recruiters say.

Applicants say the idea is to get hiring managers to at least look at their resumes, instead of figuring someone with extra qualifications will demand a bigger salary or leave for a higher-level opportunity once the economy turns around.

But too much background doctoring can be risky. Wakefield recruiter Bruce Allen, who has had more clients ask about altering their resumes during the economic downturn, stopped short of calling it unethical, but he said leaving off degrees and experience may come back to haunt job seekers. It’s hard to hide skills in an interview, he said. Background checks and the Internet can also quickly reveal what job seekers leave out.

“It’s less about ethics and more about what kind of quicksand are you about to step into,” said Allen, of Point B Search, who helped Collins craft his resumes.

Modifying a resume to fit a specific opening is nothing new, but when jobs are scarce, recruiters say, applicants are more willing to undersell themselves. Stephen Ford, of the career consulting firm OI Partners in Concord, sees this resume customization — not mentioning that you managed a $1 million budget if the company you’re applying to has a half-a-million-dollar budget, as he counseled one job seeker — as a way to broaden a job seeker’s appeal.

“I think we see it in each deep recession,” Ford said.

Former Web analyst Nicholas Carroll, who was laid off from his consulting job for IBM in 2008, is such a believer in dumbing down resumes that he dedicated a section of his 2009 e-book, “The Layoff Survival Plan,” to it.

In the section titled “How to Downgrade Your Resume for a Tight Job Market,” Carroll recommends taking titles down one peg, from director to manager, from manager to specialist.

Carroll removed his bachelor’s degree in technology management after he lost a job as a website developer during the dot.com collapse of the late ’90s in order not to appear overqualified for blue-collar work, and he didn’t stop there.

During an interview for a management position at Econo Lube `N Tune, “I deliberately hesitated a quarter second before every answer,” he said, and at one point decided to fake a “faint look of panic.”

The morning after the interview, he said, he was offered the job. “Somebody finds out you know that much more than they do, they get nervous,” Carroll said.

That’s true, says Robert Akerlof, a post-doctoral associate at the MIT Sloan School of Management, who is working on a theory about how it can be difficult to maintain authority over overqualified workers if they think a job, or a boss, is beneath them.

Dumbing down a resume is a way for job seekers to show that they are going to be respectful, said Akerlof, citing the “20 percent rule,” which states that bosses should be 20 percent smarter than their employees.

“I think it’s not so much that you’re lying about what your resume is, it’s that you’re trying to convey an appropriate attitude,” he said.

Recruiters also say they are seeing more older workers who delete the year they graduated from college, along with details about their early job experiences — both of which can date them.

But a job seeker who left the first 10 years off his resume didn’t get far with the Burlington public relations firm Davies Murphy Group. “In my book it automatically disqualifies the candidate because it shows a comfortableness with dishonesty,” said principal Andy Murphy.

People are so focused on getting back into the workforce that they are setting aside not just complete work histories, but their egos, to go after the kind of position they may have had years before.

Unemployed Denver science educator Nancy Hansen removed her master’s degree in ecology and her two Fulbright scholarships from her resume to send a message to a potential employer: “I don’t want you to think that because I have a great resume I’m above doing the work that is here.”

Hansen is still not getting many callbacks from the museums and schools she has been applying to, but at least she’s not hearing the dreaded “overqualified” word anymore. If she is asked about her education or work experience in an interview, she said, she will tell the truth.

That’s what Adrienne Rodney did after sending in a master’s-degree-free resume for an executive assistant position. Convinced that her graduate degree from Boston University was hurting her chances of getting the publishing and public relations jobs she was applying for, she stopped including it.

When she came clean about the omitted degree to her potential boss, Brooke Allen — who runs the website NoShortageofWork.com, about unconventional paths to employment — Allen told Rodney that he had left his MBA from New York University off his resume years before.

Much discussion, and a job offer for Rodney, soon followed.

End of Katie Johnston Chase’s Article

Start of Ed Bagley’s Reaction:

When resume writing clients of mine approach me about “dumbing down” their resume to help them get a job in a down economy, I discourage such foolishness, and here are some reasons why:

1) It is very bad form for anyone who wants to get ahead in this world to apologize for being educated, literate, ambitious or productive.

Just because the world is full of mediocre minds and mental termites (many of whom take up space and do nothing more than enough to keep their job) does not mean you should be sucking up to them at their level of thought power, education, literacy, productivity and accomplishment.

You can temporarily lower your level of employment expectations, but do not lower yourself or your qualifications in the process.

Take a lesser job and salary if you must to survive until the economy turns around, but stand your ground when it comes to your qualifications.

Do not dumb down your resume by taking off your degrees, job titles, productivity and accomplishments.

You can tell me that they will not hire you because they feel you are a threat to their position.

You can tell me that they will not hire you because they are afraid you will leave for a better position when the economy turns around.

You can tell me that they said your are overqualified for the position.

None of these comments from potential interviewers or decision-makers amounts to a hill of beans.

If no one has every told you before, I need to tell you now – when someone says you are overqualified, that is simply the most polite way they have of saying they do not want to hire you.

It could mean they do not want to hire you because you are a threat, or because you may leave at the first opportunity for a better job, or any other reason, including the way you part your hair, the color of your eyes, or the sound of your voice. It flat does not matter.

You simply need to move on to another interview for another opportunity. Think this through for a moment.

If they think you might leave because you are a threat, what makes you think they will not undermine your effort and production if you are hired?

If they think you might leave because you will find a better opportunity, is it not clear then that you will be penalized for trying to better yourself? What kind of a person or boss would hold you back from becoming a better person, or trying to find a better, more productive way to support your family and yourself?

I will tell you what kind of a person would think and feel this way toward you. A loser, that’s who. What person in their right mind wants to work for, or with, a loser? Losers will always drag you down before they would ever think of lifting you up, that is why they are losers.

Winners do not think like losers. Winners do not talk like losers. Winners do not act like losers.

What would a winner’s reaction be if you came to him or her acting like you were educated, literate, ambitious or productive? They would read you resume, interview you and act appropriately – that is, make you a job offer.

Why? You must be kidding to ask such a question.

For openers, when you are educated, literate, ambitious and productive, they may not have to spend a dime to train you to do a job at a much lower level than you are accustomed.

You will likely be a high achiever and performer, saving them time and effort in monitoring your work habits.

They will be able to give you projects and assignments, and they will not micro-manage you in the process; they will be moving on to another challenge to make them and the department – including you – look better than your competitors to the higher ups.

You will likely make your boss look good, increasing his chances of an earlier promotion. And what do you think your boss will do when he is promoted? That’s right, take you to a higher position with him; he would be nuts not to, especially if he knows how valuable you have been to him under his charge.

Should you be offered a better position than the company you are working for can match, you boss will not be all that upset if you leave. Why? Because you may leapfrog over his position, turn around, and bring your boss with you. After all, he was smart enough to hire you.

2) Acting and playing dumb to take a job that pays significantly less than you were making is hardly an intelligent career move unless you want to devalue yourself and what you have to offer, and move backwards at the same time.

When you interview with someone for a lesser position, and you know that person is not even making half or one-third of what you were making in your prior position, do not let the interviewer make you feel like a lesser person by sitting there and listening to that baloney.

Be polite, be patient and then be gone. Life is short. You do not need to work for losers who want to tear you down while trying to build themselves up at your expense.

I fully recognize that in life there is no vacuum for followers, the vacuum is for leaders. Followers do not, and cannot lead if their life depended upon it. When a follower sees a leader, he will follow and become a good team player; he knows his place and will be happy as a follower.

Leaders do not enjoy any such comfort. Leaders are not comfortable unless they are leading. And yes, leaders were once followers before they became leaders; they just did not make a career out of being a follower.

There is nothing wrong with being a follower. As Shakespeare said, “Act well your part, therein all honor lies.”

Smart bosses and smart people in the hiring business know they are always money ahead hiring a smart, educated, literate, productive and ambitious person. People who fear competition are losers and will never get ahead in this world, unless, of course, their daddy owns the company and their daddy would let an idiot run the company.

Most winners in this world got where they are at by lifting themselves up by their bootstraps by the honest sweat of their brow – all they needed to become successful was an opportunity, not a handout.

And, this is important, when they were denied an opportunity, they created their own opportunity. Some people have a job; other people create a job with a business – in other words, they do not have a job, they own a job.

When you have your own business, you are not going to fire yourself or lay yourself off. If you want more income, you raise your prices, and operate only in the market that will pay your prices. Who says you have to serve everyone? You just have to serve someone in a special market segment to be successful in America.

One final comment – have some pride and backbone in who you are, and what you have to offer. Do not allow two-bit interviewers and snot-nosed personnel types to push you around mentally or emotionally, they haven’t lived long enough to earn that right. Let people know real quick that you are a person of substance and, if they cannot handle it, find someone who can.

Life is short. Idiocy is rampant. Success is elusive. You must reach out and grab success by the hand, and do not let loose of it until you bring it to you. You can do it. Anything you can conceive and believe, you can achieve. Create desire, develop belief, and get on with it.

Quality Resumes by Ed Bagley specializes in upscale, professional resumes and cover letters for executives, managers and professionals who are upwardly mobile and ready to make some serious money.


Find the Best Pro-Active Approach for a Lifetime of Success

In this recession, the day you start your perfect job should be the first day you start looking for a better one. There is no security left in America.

Unfortunately, you could get laid off or canned tomorrow in a merger, acquisition, re-structuring or down-sizing. It doesn’t matter what you call it — the result is the same. You are out looking again. To maintain a career, being pro-active is your best defense.

At Quality Resumes by Ed Bagley, I can help you develop a pro-active toolbox filled with resumes, cover letters, techniques, and consulting that can greatly enhance your chances of getting noticed, receiving a job offer, and going to work.

The idea is to get the money machine working again in your life.

Start Tomorrow’s Future Today with Quality Resumes and Career Consulting 

Right now, your main objective should not be to find a job, but to get an interview. I recognize this and can help you land that interview.

While I can and will do resume writing projects for potential hires at any income level, my clients typically are high-end professionals, generally earning anywhere from $60,000 to $400,000 in annual income.

But regardless of your experience, my entire focus is to ensure that when hiring takes place, you are the one getting hired.

You Have the Skills, I Have the Words

Make no mistake about it.

You have the skills, abilities, education, training and talent that a company craves. But you do need to get in front of people to be noticed. And you need a quality resume product to do so.

I have helped more than 5,400 clients just like you find successful careers, and I can help you.

Call me today at 800-965-6484 for more information how I can jump start your future.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

Being too judgmental during a job interview could most certainly be a negative for potential hires. Judgments rendered too quickly happen most often because they are based on preconceived notions.

Think about a friend unloading their most pressing problem on you. Your friend will be more comfortable sharing his or her concerns if you are a non-judgmental, non-threatening great listener. This means they talk and you listen.

In its purest form, you allow people to talk through their problems and discover their own solutions without recommending yours. When they cannot solve their problems by talking through them, make recommendations when they ask your opinion, or when you need to refocus them to the task at hand.

When you appear judgmental during an interview, it is difficult to create a positive impression of someone who will be able to get along with staff and management. You may be perceived as having an opinion on everything when no one, especially management, is interested in your opinion on anything.

You must ask yourself “Why should I be so judgmental?” if you think you are. How does being judgmental help the person on the receiving end of your judgment? How does being judgmental make you a better, more competent, more understanding person?

Do you need to be judgmental because you are seeking approval? Do you need to be judgmental because you want to show you are superior? Do you need to be judgmental because you secretly (in your subconscious mind) need to beat yourself up? Do you need to be judgmental to draw attention to yourself because you feel inadequate in some way?

If you are constantly checking yourself because you think you may be judgmental or have been told you are judgmental, it is possible that you may be spending too much time on yourself and not enough time on others.

The idea is to take the focus off of yourself and put it on others so they do not get the idea that you are more self-centered than other-centered. You will still have more time later to share your immediate opinions and judgments. Be genuinely more interested in others than you are in your own judgments and pronouncements.

If you are interviewing for an in-house promotion and the issue of your being judgmental comes up because they have found some instance when you may have been judgmental in the past (like it is in your personnel record), use this response:

“I admit there have been times in the past when I have been judgmental, and I take responsibility for my action and have learned from it. I am happy to report that because of my personal growth since then, I am more understanding, patient, effective and appreciative in my relationships now.”

When I can think of one good reason for a potential hire to be judgmental during an interview, I will let you know. Until then, give it a rest if you tend to be judgmental.

(Ed’s Note: This is Part 4 of a 4-Part Series.)

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Many clients of mine have filled out customized online forms tailor-made to help them only to find out later that they were receiving calls on their cell phones from telemarketers, and needing to get a bigger mailbox as suddenly they were inundated with unwanted advertisements.

How did those advertisers get such pertinent information? Answer: the good fairy brought it to them while they were sleeping, in other words, they bought it from the source of the customized online information form.

Stafford continues her groundbreaking story with this piece of riveting information:

“John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University, says most interviews are as valuable as Ouija boards in measuring whether a person will be good on the job.

“Interviewers ask the wrong questions, and job candidates can lie, or simply not shine when on the job they’d do quite well, he (Sullivan) says—all the better for online assessments. Companies—especially those that hire thousands of workers and have high turnover—are turning to a range of computer-based filters to pare down candidates to a manageable number.”

I could not disagree more with what Sullivan has to say as a management professor who is likely quoted as an expert.

It may well be that Sullivan himself does not have the necessary skills and competence to get anything out of a face-to-face interview with a potential hire in his university department. That would be his problem.

Stafford does end her story with this observation: “Many job hunters are frustrated with the digitized ‘depersonalization’ of the hiring process.” Amen.

Just when personnel types and those hiring should be asking more questions of candidates in an increasing complex world they are turning to forms for the answers. Good luck and God speed.

If potential candidates hope to represent my companies or me they had better be ready to sit down, look me in the eye, and sell themselves.

In most cases I am old enough to be their father. In many cases I am old enough to be their grandfather. My children call me a fossil, but I still read people so well one-on-one that I would not trust an online form to separate the wheat from the chaff.

(Ed’s Note: This is Part 3 of a 4-Part Series.)

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

The only two reliable studies I am aware of show that less than 6% of prospects on average are hired through the online process only. That means 94% of candidates are hired the traditional way: with a hard copy resume and eyeball-to-eyeball contact during an interview. I wonder how Diane Stafford was hired.

A company or organization may, in fact, require the initial resume or an application via email because HR does not want to fuss with paper copies of resumes. I would advise any candidate who has to apply online with an email attachment or in the body of the email, to take 6 or 7 hard copies of their resume and cover letter—pre-signed—to the interview.

When the interviewers (and today it is one to a committee of several interviewers more often than not) are passing the single email copy back and forth trying to read it and ask questions (which is tacky but they do it anyway), the prospective candidate should get up and say, “I brought hard copies for everyone today” and hand them out.

You cannot imagine how positive an impression this will make until you try it.

Should you try it and the brightest thing an interviewer can say is, “Oh, we don’t accept hard copies anymore, just email versions,” then I would recommend continuing with the interview, but understanding that when you go out the door this is not the place you are going to work, or the people you are going to work with.

They are too stupid and bureaucratic for anyone with an ounce of initiative, talent, ambition and intelligence to be fussing with. People like these bureaucrats are most often occupying space and contributing little to the progress and success of any company. They are where they are because of their level of incompetence.

They are only screening candidates so someone more important can interview them later and make a hiring decision. In other words, people in personnel may hire entry level workers but no chief executive officer or anyone else important would allow a personnel type to make an offer of employment for key company executives.

What is it with this business of “customized online forms, tailor-made to cull the applicant field”? Are we in some kind of race here? Good grief, does anyone who is a consumer or a potential hire realize what is happening here?

Why exactly do you think the big-time online services that allow you to post you resume for free also might want you to fill out a customized online form before they let you post your resume?

If you believe that the only purpose for this activity is to help you find a job you are very naïve, especially if they ask you to fill out the equivalent of a hard copy job application online. In doing so, you will be asked to fill your first name in one block and your last name in another block, etc.

Why would they do this? Answer: To build a more manageable, faster database of your personal information so they can sell it for profit. I know they say they would never sell your information, but they lie through their teeth, just like banks and financial institutions did for decades.

Why do you think banks and financial institutions must mail you a notice ever year telling you how they use your information. That is correct, they finally got caught.

Even this legislative correction does not prohibit them from continuing to do so in many cases because they have so many wholly-owned subsidiaries with whom they can still legally share information.

Banks routinely sold your personal information to credit card companies for years, for example, and pretended that they did not. It was not in the bank’s best interest to reveal what they were doing because it became such a good profit center for them.

What makes you think your banker does not continually lie to you every time you see him or her for a loan? Bankers love to lie at your expense, and they make more money every time they do it.

Do you honestly think that all of the fine print that goes on and on in your loan agreement is there because bankers what to explain to you exactly what it means in plain language? I think not. It is there to confuse you and leave you in the dark about what is really going on.

(Ed’s Note: This is Part 2 of a 4-Part Series.)

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

As one who has spent 33+ years in the high end of the resume writing business crafting 6,000+ hard copy resumes for executives and professionals making $60,000 to $500,000 a year, this is not my experience of how things get done in the hiring process.

For one thing, the more responsibility and more income the position generates the greater the likelihood that a hard copy resume and cover letter will be requested in the hiring process. Company officers higher up in the food chain than human resource types want more rather than less information on which to make a more intelligent hiring decision.

High level corporate officers would also like to view the writing skills of the applicant. They are well aware of the fact that the potential corporate-level hire probably had a pro write his or her resume.

They also understand that the client had to provide information for the process and this is one indicator of how well they present themselves professionally, and how well they can transmit pertinent information about themselves.

They are interested in the cover letter which, I might add, most online application forms and even resume posting opportunities many times do not address.

This is important because there is one thing that can be done by a pro in a cover letter than cannot be done by a writer in a resume, no matter how good of a resume the writer creates.

Pay attention because this important: You can demonstrate people skills in the cover letter and you cannot do so professionally in the resume product.

So what is the big deal about demonstrating people skills? Only this: people skills are the most important trait you have to present in selling yourself at an interview.

People skills are more important than education, training, experience, intelligence, talent and knowledge.

Do not misunderstand what I am saying here.

I am not saying that education, training, experience, intelligence, talent and knowledge are not important in the hiring process. I am saying that people skills are even more important.

The human process of “people contact” (my quotes) forms your attitudes about everything, and your attitude drives your personality. Show me someone with a good attitude, and I will show you someone with a good personality. Show me someone with a bad attitude, and I will show you someone with a bad personality.

If you do not think so and are content to remain ignorant, then explain to me how a high school dropout who lacks subject-verb agreement in his or her conversation can earn more than $1 million a year in sales.

Companies hire high school dropouts in sales even though the description for the job requires a high school or college degree, and proven experience selling in the field.

Why? Simple, do you know how many people can sell effectively? Less than 5% on anyone’s best day. When business employers realistically require education as a component in hiring they severely limit their ability to find people to generate sales to keep them in business.

Do people who believe this tripe being peddled about online hiring even realize that less than 5% of the employees in our economy are in professional sales, and that it is this same 5% of people who create the jobs for the other 95% in our economy?

Even Diane Stafford would be unnecessary as a journalist at The Kansas City Star if someone in their advertising department did not sell enough advertising to cover the newspaper’s overhead that includes her salary. She produces nothing and sells nothing and is irrelevant without ad sales to support her very existence.

Now some smarty is going to say that Diane Stafford is such a great writer than her writing will help The Kansas City Star draw readers for its ads. Fair enough, but if that point has any legs to stand up then take the ads out of the paper and try to sell it.

I have owned a newspaper and know better. I have worked as a managing editor of a daily newspaper property for another owner. He thought the same thing I did; this is why he did not pay me a $1 million a year to be his managing editor. Some of the ad salesmen made more than I did.

And? What’s the point? Well, think about it. How are an online application and an online testing process going to reveal anything about a person’s people skills in the hiring process?

At least with a hard copy resume and cover letter you can use the cover letter to demonstrate your people skills. Ergo, high level corporate executives are not going to let human resources (HR) limit them to online processes only.

(Ed’s Note: This is Part 1 of a 4-Part Series.)

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

The presentation of this story in my Wednesday daily newspaper is dramatic.

A smaller headline in color above the main headline says “Digital Job Searches Gain Ground”.

The main headline says “Straight to the Waste Basket” and shows a picture up top of a resume folded like a paper airplane headed presumably for a wastebasket (if you are wondering, wastebasket is one word, not two).

Is it really true? Well, I guess that depends on who you are talking to and what advice you choose to believe.

The story—and I use the word story rather than article because I believe most of the story is make believe—makes some observations and assumptions that are without substance in fact.

“Instead of reading your resume,” says Daine Stafford of The Kansas City Star, “an employer might ask you to fill out an online form or take an online test that measures how well you fit the job, based on responses from successful workers.”

That is an observation and at least the first part of it is correct, that more and more employers are asking for an email version of a resume rather than the traditional hard copy (printed) version we have used in recent decades.

Stafford says “Google, for example, uses a screening program to measure applicants’ attitudes, behaviors, personality and biographical details. Answers are scrunched in a formula that creates a score, indicating how well the candidate is likely to fare on the job.”

Fair enough, Google probably does so if Stafford says so.

I have often wondered what a screening question like “Which would you rather be: 1) a monkey, 2) a bear, 3) a tiger, or 4) a kangaroo?” actually tells human resources about a person’s personality that they could not better find out by interviewing them.

If you get the impression that interviewers are personnel types who are lazy in the hiring process, you might be right. Anything to get them to the point where they have nothing to do but push paper around, and look important and arrogant in the process (like I have mine, screw you).

Stafford continues: “It’s all electronic,” said Michael Doyle, a 60-year-old job seeker from Prairie Village, Kan. (sic), who recently landed a job through personal contacts. In nine months, Doyle said, he’s spoken to exactly two interviewers as a result of online postings.”

My guess is that Doyle may have submitted an email version of his resume to dozens, if not hundreds, of online destinations.

I could have told Doyle that probably 60% of all hiring is contacts, knowing people in the workplace or knowing people who know people in the workplace. Yes, it helps to have qualifications, but it helps more to have qualifications and know someone who wants to help you.

Reading about Doyle’s experience might lead me to conclude that online posting is not the best method to proceed here given the results. No wonder hiring is so screwed up.

From this and another example, Stafford then draws the conclusion that the applicants “discovered that resumes have gone digital.”

She goes on to say “In some cases, resumes have disappeared from the hiring process completely. Some employers don’t even want them in digitized format. They prefer customized online forms, tailor-made to cull the applicant field.”

Again, anything to make it easier on personnel types, we certainly would not want to put them out for even a minute of their precious time.

From the input of experiences of two applicants this conclusion comes bursting forth as implied truth that a new paradigm has taken place in the America business of hiring.

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

I opened my Friday newspaper and was reminded again that life is full of rejection.

Take Harvard University for example. No less than 22,955 eager applicants applied for admission to Harvard this fall and only 2,058, or 9%, were accepted. A whopping 20,897 applicants came up short of admission.

Actually, Harvard University calls its undergraduate school Harvard College. Nonetheless, all who were admitted are certainly among the chosen few.

According to the Bloomberg News, students fared a little better at Brown University, which admitted 14% of its applicants, and the University of Pennsylvania, which admitted 15%.

The article said that “Harvard’s undergraduate tuition, room and board and other mandatory fees will rise to $45,620 and financial aid will increase to the highest in the school’s history, $103 million. About 26% of the incoming class is eligible to attend free of charge or at a reduced rate.”

Students from households making less than $60,000 annually can attend free, and students from families below $80,000 can get a reduced rate.

According to the Harvard University Gazette Online, just over half of the incoming class are women (50.5%), and records were set for minorities, including African Americans (11% rounded), Asian Americans (20%), Latinos (10%) and Native Americans (2%). Students from 79 countries are represented in the Class of 2011.

All of those statistics are good news if you were admitted. Here are some interesting facts about some of those who were not admitted:

1) Harvard admitted 2,058 students and nearly 2,500 of the applicants scored a perfect 800 on their SAT verbal test, almost 3,200 applicants scored a perfect 800 on their SAT math test, and more than 3,000 applicants were ranked first in their high school class.

2) If every student that scored 800 on his or her SAT verbal or math test and there were no duplicates, then more than 3,600 students did not get admitted. At least 900 of those students graduating No. 1 in their high school class also missed out.

It is a good thing I did not have my heart set on a Harvard education.

I never took a SAT to get into Michigan State University. I did not need to take a foreign language, trigonometry, calculus, statistics and probability, physics or chemistry to graduate from high school, and I did not take those courses, but I did graduate.

To all of the rejects of the world, I have some good news: you can make it in the game of life anyway.

A Harvard education might open more doors to success on the job, and you may or may not feel better about yourself, after all, the competition at Harvard looks pretty stiff.

I got into Michigan State because if you lined all of the incoming Class of 1966 at Harvard for a middle distance race and fired a gun, I would probably have been first across the finish line. So there you have it, talents differ.

While the tree was talking big to a squirrel about how unimpressive he was, the squirrel replied that maybe he was not as big and strong as the tree, but neither could the tree crack a nut.

Here are three facts about Harvard that impress me and I believe them to be true:

1)  Harvard is recognized as the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Harvard was founded in 1636 and celebrates its 371st anniversary this year (375th in 2011).

2)  Harvard was the first organization in the country to become a legal corporation. This fact really surprised me because I thought it would have been a business, not an educational institution.

3)  Harvard has an endowment of $29+ billion (not million, billion). That is a lot of cash invested that allows it to help a lot of students who would not otherwise attend Harvard even though they might qualify.

I graduated from Michigan State University 41 years ago this June (45 years ago in 2011). Had I paid for my college education it would have cost me approximately $12,000, and I graduated without any student loans.

The cost of an education for the Class of 2011 at Harvard will be more than $182,000. Someone will pay that cost. I sure am glad it is not going to be me.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

Female executives who are bold and aggressive do not rise up the corporate ladder as quickly as you may think. Bold and aggressive traits do not naturally match well with intelligence and savvy. Given the fact that there are many more male executives than female executives, being bold and aggressive gets fewer promotions on the way up.

Female executives who use a self-confident but much softer, indirect approach do not highlight or reinforce any pre-conceived notions that they might be too bold, too aggressive or too judgmental for a higher position.

Remember that men, and especially male executives, do not like aggressive, judgmental women (it may even remind them of their wife in some cases). The expression is: Behind every successful man is a strong and cooperating woman, and we surely do hope it is his wife because too often it is his mistress.

Men like women who are assertive but not aggressive. A man sees an intelligent, assertive woman as completing him, not challenging him. Remember that men do not know how to handle aggressive women, they do not have any centuries-old database other than that the man leads, the woman follows. Their ego does not allow them to treat aggressive women any differently than men.

If they perceive that you are aggressive, they will treat you as they do men, they will rip out your jugular vein and walk over you to the next corporate competitor in the boardroom. Here are some things to consider:

First, female executives should never, under any circumstances, devalue any core competencies of a male executive. Try to reinforce any good trait that a male executive has that you have.

Why? Because he psychologically cannot deny himself. If he is detail-oriented and you are detail-oriented, and he criticizes you for being so, he is criticizing himself during the process. Male executives who are smart and successful will not criticize you in this circumstance. He will rather like you for being so as well.

Second, if the male executive has weak people skills, make it your business to bring a wonderful (not challenging but supporting), uplifting, positive presence to his office. In other words, COMPLEMENT his weakness, just as he would want his spouse to do.

Some guys are perceived as a man’s man, like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Howie Long. They ooze macho. They are good guys, nice guys, but if you even think about testing them, they will knock you on your backside. You know better than to even try. Their image is secure and intact.

There are some male executives who appear secure and smart in what they are doing, but they cannot handle harsh criticism or ANY criticism. Their ego is that fragile.

If you criticize them harshly and embarrass them in the process, they will quietly quit what they are doing and find a reason to go elsewhere. Schwarzenegger and Long will see to it that your face gets messed up as they move on WITHOUT you.

It is wise to know the difference between these two types of male executives.

Just as in writing resumes, female executives who get to the top of the corporate world know it is not so much what they say, but how they say what they say that counts most.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

My best advice to clients about to interview for a job is to treat the interview like an IRS audit.

When the Internal Revenue Service thinks you are cheating on your annual tax return, and they ask you a question during an audit, it is a real good idea to answer the field auditor’s question and shut up.

The same strategy works during job interviews. When the interviewer asks you a job-related question, answer the question and shut up. Use my “Zip-a-Lip” Theory and you will more likely stay out of trouble and get an offer when all is said and done.

Always remember that is it much easier to stay out of trouble than to get out of trouble.

Too many clients answer a question and then feel compelled to explain or justify their answer. This is almost always a bad idea. You have perhaps heard the expression “better to remain silent than remove all doubt”. A job interview is no time to be the life of the party or a chatty Cathy.

Once I asked a potential hire a job-related question and about 30 seconds into his answer he drifted into a discussion of his sled dog experience in Alaska. Something he had said triggered a word association in his mind, and caused him to veer off track. I let him yak on and it was about 8 minutes before he shut up. He did not get a job offer.

When asked a question, answer the question and invoke Ed’s Zip-a-Lip Theory. If the interviewer wants more information, force him or her to ask a more specific question, then answer the question and again use my Zip-a-Lip Theory.

Few potential hires realize that by adopting this strategy, you actually gain significant positive points doing so.

The fact of the matter is that when you answer a question and remain silent when it is appropriate to do so, the smarter, the more intelligent and more accomplished you appear to the interviewer.

Again, it is only when you keep talking that you reveal too much of yourself, and run the risk of saying something out of turn that could create a seed of doubt. Creating a seed of doubt is something you simply cannot afford to do when interviewing. It causes the interviewer to start checking out something about you that could lead to a negative reaction.

When you remain silent you do not have to look sullen. You can smile without talking the interviewer to death.

Using my Zip-a-Lip Theory also moves the interview along, and saves time for all concerned. Be short and succinct in your answers and you will appear to be better organized, more in control of yourself, and excited about the opportunity in question.

(Ed’s Note:  Remember that this article was written 12 years ago. Real truth has a way of standing the test of time.)

Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley

Reading my Sunday newspaper recently reminded me of how Career Fairs do little to substantially increase local employment. It seems that no one is willing to say this, and a lot fewer are even willing to believe it, but I know it to be all but a fact.

After spending 20+ years in the news business, and another 32+ years as a personal marketing specialist helping potential hires by writing upscale resumes, I can relate my experience with authority.

You might think that after helping 6,000+ clients get on with moving on and moving up in their careers that I could produce at least one client who has benefited from attending a Career Fair. I can not. This is why I caution any client who gets all excited and goosey about attending Career Fairs. I do not want their disappointment to affect my marketing plan to help them achieve their goals.

In revealing this apparent incongruity for the first time publicly, it is important to note that I am in the high end of the resume writing business. Virtually 97% of my 6,000+ clients during my 32-plus-year career are executives, professionals and managers earning between $60,000 and $500,000 annually who are already in management, want to be in management, or in sales and/or marketing.

Career fairs are all about first jobs and entry-level career jobs that do not pay all that well, so they do little for folks who have already been in the marketplace, enjoyed some success, and want to keep moving up the corporate ladder, or any other ladder of their choice.

This makes a lot of sense when you examine who is involved in putting on Career Fairs, and what they expect to get for their investment. I am not talking about the potential hires, or anyone looking for a job, or a better opportunity.

I am talking about businesses and organizations, large facility managers, and big advertising media, usually the dominant daily newspaper in the community. Nothing meets their profit needs, their publicity needs, and their public service needs like Career Fairs. It has become almost a rite of passage for these special interest groups in our society.

Let us start with businesses and organizations. Should you stroll down to a Career Fair in your community, and talk to a business representative at a snappy booth display, you will quickly pick up on the fact that the well dressed person is not the person you were expecting.

You knew going there that if Microsoft was a participant Bill Gates would probably not be there, but you secretly hoped he would. Later you came to realize that the person a major corporation sends to represent them at these Career Fairs is usually the most expendable person available.

This is why they smile a lot, take your resume (sometimes they do not), and tell you very little about what the company is really doing. Major companies that are cooking the books (using unacceptable accounting practices to inflate revenue and profits in order to increase stock prices so executives suck money out faster), and in worse shape than they want their stockholders and the public to know, would be at a Career Fair putting on their best face.

Just being at a Career Fair is good business for businesses and organizations because it gives the impression that those involved are key players in building the community, increasing employment, and acting like a good corporate citizen.

If you think large facility managers do not like Career Fairs you would be sadly mistaken. The same managers who hosted last week’s rock concert du jour are more than happy to move the rockers out and the new vendors in.

Facility managers do not give the space away as a public service, and they do take care of the “job” exhibitors. Whether any potential candidate attending the Career Fair ultimately gets hired is none of their business.

Newspapers and related media (usually radio which needs public service announcements to stay licensed) love Career Fairs. The Internet has been gaining the advertising and profits that newspapers have been losing. Newspapers have been forced to create web sites and compete on the Internet whether they want to or not.

Career Fairs give newspapers extra ads and profit regardless of the economy. Newspapers generally run a special section advertising the Career Fair as it gives paying advertisers and the event itself more exposure and prominence. Newspapers also feel a need to serve the community that supports them, whether people get hired at these Career Fairs or not.

You are seeing more and more and more Career Fairs (or Job Fairs) because it is good business for three very big special interest groups who may be more like a three-legged stood than a helping hand. You could hold Career Fairs for the unemployed every other week in Flint, Michigan and it still would not affect their depressed economy; I suspect that the same is true in many other communities across the country.

When your government tells you employment is on the rise, public officials are counting on the fact that when an unemployed person’s compensation benefits run out, they drop off of the rolls and remain unaccounted for even though they are still unemployed.

The salient point here is this: It is likely that when people benefit from these Career Fairs it is more by accident than design; the unemployed in our economy are the true story worth telling.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

A reader emailed me with this question: “I was in an interview, and was asked this question: How do you motivate yourself? I could barely answer the question. What would you suggest?”

This is a great question that deserves a great answer. After managing dozens of employees over the years, I can tell you not what I think, but what I know.

First, employees who do well and then lack motivation generally have a change of attitude. What is more important than what caused the change in attitude is recognizing that there has been a change in attitude.

Knowing this is important because attitude drives personality. A person with a good attitude generally has a good personality. A person with a bad attitude generally has a bad personality.

You can change your attitude just as you change your employer, but if it means giving up a good salary and benefit package, why bother looking for another job when it is easier for you to change yourself?

Second, your change in motivation and energy level is almost always tied to your exercise or lack of exercise. A program of sustained exercise is not only a tremendous “stress buster” but also provides you with more energy, more motivation, better health, better decision-making skills and a better attitude.

So when you feel your motivation is on the wane, start an exercise program or return to exercising as a way to improve your motivation. Exercise pumps more oxygen into your bloodstream, clears your mind, improves your self-image, increases your self-confidence and increases your energy level.

Third, learn to live with gratitude. When you lack motivation, remind yourself that there are many people who cannot find work to support their family, others who may not make the kind of money you are making, or have the kind of opportunities you have for advancement through production. Be thankful for everything good in your life.

Be thankful for your health, your family, your friends and your employer who helps you generate income to support yourself and your family. We can make choices while those who are physically, mentally or emotionally challenged are less able to make the same choices. Perhaps the only thing worse than an ingrate is a capable person too lazy to work.

It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Williams James said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter their life by altering their attitude.” Both statements show great insight and reflect truth that is beyond refute.

Fourth, learn to laugh at yourself and with others. Do not take yourself too seriously. Researchers have shown that people who cannot cope with their situation generally have low self-esteem, live in the past and cannot laugh at themselves. Laughter makes almost every situation better.

Laughter can keep you going, keep your healthy and keep you motivated.

Finally, realize that motivation is an “inside” job. If you continually need your co-workers and boss to keep you motivated, you are seriously not in charge of yourself or your destiny.

This is why motivation by intimidation or reward for effort by your superiors cannot last. We will not tolerate intimidation forever, and the rewards for production must continually increase to keep the production increasing, thereby increasing the cost until it exceeds the benefit to the employer.

The smartest, most successful employees motivate themselves and keep themselves motivated with exercise, gratitude and laughter.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

If I told a lot of potential hires that sometimes they have as much or more to do with getting a job offer as I do as the interviewer, most of them would not believe me. After all, I am the interviewer and, in many cases, I might also be the owner, manager, supervisor or personnel specialist charged with the responsibility for making an offer.

Having said this, I would also share with you that sometimes the potential hire talks himself or herself into an offer and then right back out. The reason why is they commit the biggest mistake a person could make when interviewing for a job, and this is it:

They are asked a question, they answer the question, and then they feel compelled to explain or justify the answer they have given.

I might ask, “Where are you educationally?”

They might answer, “Well, I thought about going to college but I only completed high school.” Then they will launch into a big explanation of why they could not go to college because of their circumstances at the time. Too often, the reasons given are lame excuses and it becomes pretty clear that they simply did not give education any kind of priority in advancing their lot in life.

Maybe their parents thought education was a waste of time, or that it cost too much, or that they (the parents) would not pay the cost. Or perhaps the potential hire started an academic program but did not finish, or they did not like a professor they had, or needed to work to support their wife and new baby.

I might ask, “Why did you leave your last job?”

They might answer, “I was laid off” or “I quit” or “I was fired.” Then they will explain the circumstances about how the company was downsizing, or they hated their boss, or the company forced them to work overtime, or the company would not allow them to work overtime.

I asked a potential hire a job-related question, and about 30 seconds into his answer, the candidate launched into the story of his sled dog trip in Alaska and droned on for about 10 minutes. Rather than interrupt him, I let him yak on.

The interview was just 10 minutes shorter, I did not get my questions answered, and he did not get an offer. I would have been more interested had I been in the mushing business, delivering goods across the great tundra. Such is life.

Obviously, when allowed to talk too much, the potential hire gives the interviewer all sorts of reasons why they should not receive an offer.

The one thing you absolutely can not afford to do in an interview is to create a seed of doubt about why you should be offered a position. When you do so, the interviewer feels obligated to start checking all kinds of things about you to validate their suspicion and pretty soon, you are eliminated from consideration.

And seriously now, who among us, if put under intense scrutiny, does not have a chink in his or her armor? We all do.

The message of this reality is: keep your answers short and succinct. Interviewing is a business activity, not a social activity. Be businesslike and be professional. Save the small talk for after you are hired and not on the job.

Sid Miller Wants to Know: What are you voting for?

 

That moment when someone says, “I can’t believe you would vote for Trump”

I simply reply “I’m not voting for Trump.”

I’m voting for the First Amendment and Freedom of Speech.

I’m voting for the Second Amendment and my right to defend my life and my family.

I’m voting for the next Supreme Court Justice(s) to protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I’m voting for the continued growth of my retirement investments and the stock market.

I’m voting for an end to America’s involvement in foreign conflicts.

I’m voting for the Electoral College & the Republic we live in.

I’m voting for the Police to be respected once again and to ensure Law & Order.

I’m voting for the continued appointment of Federal Judges who respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I’m voting for our jobs to remain in America and not be outsourced all over again to China, Mexico and other foreign countries.

I’m voting for secure borders and legal immigration.

I’m voting for the Military & the Veterans who fought for this Country to give the American people their freedoms.

I’m voting for the unborn babies that have a right to live.

I’m voting for continued peace progress in the Middle East.

I’m voting to fight against human/child trafficking.

I’m voting for Freedom of Religion.

I’m voting for the American Flag that is disrespected by the “mob.”

I’m voting for the right to speak my opinion & not be censored.

I’m not just voting for one person, I’m voting for the future of my Country.

I’m voting for my children and my grandchildren to ensure their freedoms and their future.

What are you voting for?

About the Source: Sid Miller is the Commissioner of Agriculture in the Great State of Texas.

(Ed’s Note: The current 2020 Presidential Election has been reduced to a choice between our “constitutional republic” form of government and creeping into a “socialist” form of government in America. We should not allow any political party in America to bring advancing socialism—example: The Green New Deal—under the guise of improving our constitutional republic. Every form of socialism as a government in history has failed to advance the welfare of the citizens therein. Smart people know that socialism does not secure our rights as citizens but rather reduces our personal rights to the point where we have none and ultimately end up as a dictatorship.)

Financial Thoughts
on Investing
by Warren Buffett

(Ed’s Note: The following condensation is from The Tao of Warren Buffett, written by Mary Buffett and David Clark and available for sale at Amazon and bookstores nationwide. I am always impressed by what Warren Buffett has to say and am doing this condensation to help promote their book.)

On Investing: Never be afraid to ask too much when selling offer too little when buying.
(Ed’s Note: How much you get from a sale or how much you have to pay when making a purchase determines whether you make or lose money and how rich you ultimately become.)

(Ed’s Note: For more of Warren Buffett’s advice go to the menu bar above and click on Financial Thoughts.)