Saturday, July 14, 2007
For as little as $25 ($27.50 actually if you add $2.50 to help defray operating expenses!) you can reach someone and help turn their lives around in a way that helps them operate as a business should. These people are not the recipients of a grant or gift (although there is nothing wrong with that) but rather they have to go through a loan process and then when enough people have loaned them money to reach their goal, the money is made available to them. The best part, is that they are expected to pay the loan back.
When the loan is paid back, the original investment made is returned to the lender ... who can take the money or reinvest it in someone else.
One of the investments I made was with a woman by the name of -->Selima<--. Her business required expansion and she needed ten sheep and sixty chickens. I want to report (proudly I might add) that she has begun to repay the loan. She has 14 months to repay the investment a number of people made, but I have a feeling she will repay it much earlier than 14 months.
I was reminded of a story about a very wealthy businessman during the depression. He passed by what we would call a beggar with a tin cup and a few pencils in the cup ~ if someone wanted to take them. The businessman reached in his pocket and threw two nickles in the cup and started to walk away...he stopped, turned around and went back.
He said to the beggar, "I'm sorry, I treated you unfairly. It is obvious you are businessman, and that you have pencils for sale. I would like my pencils, please." He held out his hand, and the rather startled beggar put two pencils in the mans hand.
Sometime later, the businessman needed some stationary for his office and while returning from lunch, he noticed a small shop. He went in, and picked out what he needed and went to the register to pay. The man behind the register called him by name, and then said:
"You won't remember me, but sometime ago I had no belief in anything as I had lost everything. I was reduced to begging in the train station. You walked by and believed in me enough to call me a businessman and to make me complete a business transaction. I started believing in myself again. This shop is a result, and my stationary business has been good enough that I'm going to move to a different, larger location in the next few months."
The point being, we can make changes in peoples lives and help them become businessmen and women.
Several blogs have done articles about micro-lending overseas, and it's something worth looking into and you can make a difference for what might seem to be small change.
I hope you will seriously consider becoming a lender to the poor. Here's the -->link to the website<-- where you can learn much more!
Friday, July 13, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Ninety percent of who we are is internal, and only ten percent is outside of us.
As often happens when I need to think through issues and complex problems, I turn to what others have written or said that links into what I'm dealing with. Hopefully, these will touch your lives as well.
Think of Honesty and Integrity as sisters. Honesty is truthful and is well respected because she lives truth in her heart and offers it to others
without compromise. Integrity believes in wholeness, goodness, and excellence, and is willing to serve as a praiseworthy example for others. Both are held in high regard. Practicing honesty and integrity is a two-fold gift. The first gift is seeing yourself as honest and having a high level of integrity. The second gift is offering your honesty and integrity to others. You become a respected person of integrity when you are unwilling to compromise your values.
I've done a number of posts about integrity and honesty, but these reached into where I was standing today ~ and helped to "sooth the savage beast" that seemed to want to tear up what I was thinking, believing about people and hoping about people.
To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.
Integrity has no need of rules.
Honesty is the cornerstone of all success, without which confidence and ability to perform shall cease to exist.
--Mary Kay Ash
The greatest homage we can pay to truth is to use it.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
A life lived with integrity - even if it lacks the trappings of fame and fortune is a shining star in whose light others may follow in the years to come.
The highest compact we can make with our fellow is, - 'Let there be truth between us two forever more.'
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
The glue that holds all relationships together -- including the relationship between the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity.
Integrity is the first step to true greatness. Men love to praise, but are slow to practice it. To maintain it in high places costs self-denial; in all places it is liable to opposition, but its end is glorious, and the universe will yet do it homage.
Our lives improve only when we take chances - and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.
Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn't blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won't cheat, then you know he never will.
--John D. MacDonald
Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.
He that loseth his honesty, has nothing else to lose.
(Again, forgive the lack of images, I as still using a computer that makes it so I really can't place images in the blog. Hopefully, Comcast will solve that problem shortly.)
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Several weeks ago, when I hired on ~ one of the problems was maintenance...or rather the lack of it. We tried Toby in the job - and that didn't work out. I did have someone that lived at the complex who was versed in some of the skills that were needed, so it was decided to give him a try.
One of the first things anyone managing or doing anything at an apartment complex learns is how to drill a lock. Yes, sometimes you have to change locks for legal reasons (usually having to do with an eviction) and there is no key. It is not difficult to do - unless you don't do it correctly.
It was the end of the day, and R said that he would drill the lock for me - we were taking possession of an apartment that someone had vacated before the police were going to arrive. As he had never done this before, I showed him where to drill (there are two places) and how deep to drill (drilling for oil will only complicate the process). He repeated the where and the what for ~ and I started on my way home. I had to walk to the train to had downtown and then wait for a bus to carry me home. I had no sooner gotten to the train station when the first call came from R. Disaster evidently had struck.
I turned around and headed back to work. I arrived to find a very frustrated newbie maintenance man, metal shavings all over the porch - and a lock that looked as if it had been hit completely in the middle by a meteorite...there was a one and one half inch crater in the center of a three inch lock.
Now we are in a mess. The purpose of drilling in two places is to get the pins to loosen and eventually drop off and the lock gently, quietly and sweetly comes open. If not, you have to continue drilling in a circular pattern around the lock hoping that the screws from the inside will eventually drop out and you can twist the lock open.
Literally 12 ~ yes ~ twelve holes later, one of the screws drops - but the lock pins are holding strong. I now have a newbie maintenance man with steam coming out of his ears and if not-gentle conversation from him could have melted the lock ~ it would have.
I decided that the time for direct action had finally arrived. I really didn't think the second screw was going to drop, the pins were there for the duration and I really didn't have anymore time to mess with it. Since the drill was made of metal - I delivered several strong blows with the side of the drill to the lock casing ~ and the second screw dropped. And we were home free...except for the 2nd lock. Looking at R I asked if he was OK doing he next one. He assured me he was and with a quick motion of the drill, he began. It was success!!
I took out the sword of management and dubbed him "no longer newbie" on the spot...and again wended my way home. I also would never admit to him that the first lock I ever drilled on a vacant apartment ~ we ended up kicking the door in because I made such a mess of it. I have SOME pride left after all!!!
---more to follow
Monday, July 9, 2007
Any position with short term rentals, be it apartments or hotels, the speed at which things happen can really overwhelm managers. In the weekly rental "game" - you will do in one week what apartment managers do in four weeks. There is little or no room for "sliding" on revenue ~ there is not place to easily work with someone when they become behind on their rent. This was one of my major concerns. I have always been a manager that was concerned about revenue protection. To me, it is much more profitable to work with someone to get the money owed than to immediately do an eviction and have the lost revenue while an apartment sits empty and the process of eviction wends it course.
The decision was made that the process would work, and that I could make a "go" of what was in front of me. Fortunately, time has proved me correct (so far) and my collections and revenue are where they need to be.
The push was to have me move on-site. This is a situation fraught with peril. Once tenants know you live on-site, they have a tendency to call you for any situation minor or major. Of course, the major situations are important. The fact that the door of the cupboard over the sink isn't closing tightly isn't.
I have a friend who managed a very large complex and lived on-site. She actually issued to tenants a "blood, flood, fire" memo. She told them that if they knocked on her door after 8pm in the evening - it had better involve blood, a flood or a fire. Otherwise, it was going to involve blood...and very quickly.
The move itself to the complex should have been quite simple, however ~ being me ~ it was anything but simple. The first load was on Saturday, and all seemed well. Then the skies opened up and the deluge began. (Maybe the heavens were trying to tell me something!) It was decided that the rest of the move would occur on Sunday. This was a good thing - as it gave me a little more time to prepare.
As one of the loads was heading down the highway, one of my craft bags opened up and there was a trail of glitter flowing from the bed of the pick-up truck. I informed the people helping me move, that the first person who made a comment about fairy dust was going to be hurt ~ badly!!
Then came the saga of the dresser. It was too large to be lifted over the obstacles in the way and appeared too large to fit though the doors (which seemed to be designed for those hiding doors you see in old movies). Finally, with much swearing and sweating it was ensconced in its place and all was well.
Unfortunately, my apartment now looks as if it is the remnants of a garage sale - and I have much to dig through and sort through. I think that by Friday I will be able to find some clothes to wear and maybe even some dishes to eat off of!!
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Today, it took four trips (20 miles round trip each) and a lot of huffing and puffing - but everything is IN the new apartmet. Unfortunately, I look like a storage shed and will be spending the next couple of days unpacking and finding things. I did try and keep things somewhat collected where they belonged. I will admit that the word is "somewhat."
However ~ it is wonderful to be this close to work AND to all my friends. This also means that it will be MUCH easier to keep you posted about what's going on in my life and the lives of those around me.
Until I get my own internet, I'm unable to to much with pictures, so bear with me as far as having text only.