Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Business of Begging

BEGGING is fast becoming an epidemic. Quite recently, I was begged many times in one day and it got me thinking about what's really happening within our society. Are things really that bad? I'm sure that we have varying opinions.

Images of countless incidences of begging throughout my lifetime in various countries flooded my head. Some categories of beggars stood out.

  • The sympathetic beggar - always with a hard luck story. His / her situation can be a real tear jerker. They can really pull at the emotional strings like the most skilfull of puppeteers. 
  • The brand name beggar - met this one overseas. I noticed that he was dressed better than I was in terms of clothing - no mixed brands (E.g. Nike etc.) Everything was uniform throughout. They speak really well. 
  • The classic beggar - cigarette in the corner of the mouth and drink in hand. 
  • The vagrant beggar - those with whom we are most familiar. Homeless seeking their next meal. 
  • The list can go on. 
I've heard stories of beggars lending people money in some significant sums to purchase cars and homes. So now that I've been enlightened that begging's a business, it opens a whole new dimension for me. 

Effective immediately, people begging me would need to provide the following:
  1. A proposal outlining why they're begging and how the money that they beg for will be utilized. 
  2. A proforma invoice, which shows the amount for which they're begging
  3. A tax clearance certificate so that I can see they're contributing their share of taxes. 
Personally I don't believe that I'm being overly harsh since in many instances they have more money than I do. Daily I have to hustle and even though earning my keep am not always paid for it; especially in these current times. Yet, I can't play dead and give up, but must try to find replacement money which does not involve begging. 

While growing up in the era that I did; we were taught not to beg and the consequences that will follow if we disobeyed. Yet nowadays, lots of people including those gainfully employed are doing it quite unashamedly. 

There, I have gotten my thoughts off my chest without resulting in bad behaviour. Stop begging for if there are any vacancies and start asking for work. There are still ways that you can earn an honest dollar. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The personal side of the entrepreneurship lifestyle

As an entrepreneur, everyone expects that you'll always be the strong one - striving for success, achieving set budgets, having a surplus of profits that contribute to a really great lifestyle.

You get letters from various people who want you to contribute to their causes, customers / clients who believe that you have enough money so they will pay you in the next batch. The governments of the day who burden you with staggering taxes, prohibiting you from properly paying themselves, but contributing to their planned schemes and projects where the money's wasted and nothing seems to be accomplished. They don't see the hustle, the sleepless nights, the inability to afford the basics; the fact that your personal quality of life is nowhere near where they or yourself expected.

When I get to see the inner information pertaining to entrepreneurs, the pictures are not pretty. In many cases, they try to conceal the true situation even from their families and loved ones. So who knows the entrepreneur?  It often comprises of themselves and their banker.

Entrepreneurs often face these situations:

  • No salary / wage
  • No benefits 
  • No vacations 
  • No specialty team of advisors 
  • No group huddle of others in similar relationships to discuss how to deal with the challenges
  • No reserve funds 
  • No proper organizational structure 
Additionally, technical assistance that's available often has a lot of requirements to be fulfilled to qualify for the assistance. Another area requiring lots of information before assistance is grants. 

Will they ever be a system that allows the entrepreneurs to do what they do best - work, while the other activities get completed by professionals in the requisite fields? 

The next time someone offers you the opportunity to be an entrepreneur, think long and hard. The investment of time and resources can be enormous, and not obvious at first neither. 

Despite the drawbacks, there can be benefits such as:
  • Control of your time if you're organized. 
  • Networking opportunities, where you can work with the more desirous of your contacts. 
  • Projects developed can be better controlled by you using the timeframes as you allocate based on your scheduling. 
  • Serving multiple markets reduces and removes the element of boredom as there's always something to learn.
  • On going education, where you learn elements of the business that you would be never exposed to if you worked in a job. 
  • If you get to make money, you get first pick at spending, then the government gets theirs. Way different than when you're an employee. [NB. Employees are taxed heavier than corporations in some jurisdictions
Entrepreneurship is not all that it's cracked up to be, unless it is done well. You have to be prepared to make some investment of time / money / other resources along the way. If you're good at it, the personal side of the entrepreneurship lifestyle may be worth it for you. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Distant Memories - More Distant Solutions

During the past week was particularly memorable. Why? It's because so many people I had conversations with or overheard snippets of their conversations cried out in unison though they never met each other. Their cries were of anguish and frustration; where those who once provided hope were now wallowing in hopelessness, looking for a glimmer.

The government of the day seems to impose taxes, trying to seemingly right macro-economic challenges with micro-economic solutions. Their decisions based on rims and remy hair extensions which they believe the populous wasted their money buying. The decisions of politicians based on the own sphere of influence from the "masses" they serve.

Sad to say that in our day of the educated, not even a new theory can be developed to address the situation of the family and the economy. Economist looking woefully to Keynes and others who's economic models did not have the variables present in our current climates.

Despite everyone being faced with various situations, the cry is the same in unison. Will there be any ease any time soon?

I've heard stories of people who once had means to purchase whatever they wanted, create employment, and develop opportunities; now are hopeless. Uncertain of their next step and if they can take it, as their means of doing so once, have been eroded.

Death seems to be offering the welcome mat of peace. Yet, even dead men are taxed in their graves. Though dead they experience the long arm of the law.

The mounting pressures of being unable to provide the basics for one's self and family. There is no longer any surplus to assist a neighbour. The ability to address extras like medical expenses, both anticipated and unexpected is challenging. Those who once made surefooted decisions now second guess themselves.

Generally, it is thought that there is nothing new under the sun, yet solutions do not seem imminent. So the question that's begging to be asked is - Will our memories be distant or would the solutions be even more far off?

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