From my experience, it is extremely common for new entrepreneurs to have absolutely horrendous books. I'm in the real estate industry and many of the apartments I look at to buy from "ma and pa" investors have accounting that could more accurately be called chicken scratch.
Handwritten accounts, Word docs with a list of expenses, poorly organized Excel documents, oh my!
This isn't surprising to me. Accountants are stereotyped as boring, by-the-book people. Entrepreneurs are stereotyped as salesmanish, go-getting hustlers. It's not fair and by no means universally true. But there is some truth to it. Entrepreneurs rarely seem to have the knack for bookkeeping.
But aside from the obvious fact that you can't effectively manage what you can't or don't measure, accounting underlies all of the major needs of a new or small business. Yes, if don't have good books, you may overspend or misforecast your earnings. This could be disastrous and certainly happens. But even beyond that, who is going to give you financing if they can't make heads or tails of your books?
We refinance houses and apartments all the time, and I can tell you from experience, a confused mind says no. We prioritize our books and try to present them in the most understandable way. Because the better a lender can get their mind around where we're at, the more likely they will say yes.
This also goes for selling. A buyer will be willing to pay more if they believe the numbers on your operating statement are a full and accurate representation. While other businesses might not require as much financing or sell large capital goods, every business does some of these things.
But finally, your books project a lot about you. If you have disorganized, messy books, that will come off as you yourself and your business are disorganized and messy. This will be true for lenders, buyers, potential partners or venture capital firms and even potential employees.
Accounting is boring (at least for me), but it must be made a priority for any entrepreneur. At the very least, work to get down the basics. There are plenty of online courses, books and the like. And if need be, outsource the more complicated parts to a competent CPA. But don't make the mistake so many real estate investors and entrepreneurs have made before you and neglect this critical part of your business.
So now they've come for Morgan Freeman.
While I was certainly glad to see the likes of Harvey Weinstein, James Toback and Kevin Spacey go down, #MeToo seems to be losing the plot. While this is only one of Morgan Freeman's accusers, this is obviously the biggest nothingburger that anyone has ever accused anyone else of in the history of sexual harassment.
And then there's this, though I can't say for certain it's true. Regardless, this isn't even a slightly out-of-line. Freeman is obviously talking about "being there" to see Michael Caine humiliate himself.
While sexual harassment is a serious issue, the media continues to portray it as a simple one of terrible men preying upon helpless women. It's nothing of the kind. For one, sexual harassment isn't completely one sided. As I noted before,
"...an AAUW study in 2006 found that 62 percent of women in college and 61 percent of men had 'experienced sexual harassment.' While “both male and female students are more likely to be harassed by a man than by a woman,” the difference isn’t as large as many would think. According to the study, 'Half of male students and almost one-third of female students admit that they sexually harassed someone in college.'"
Furthermore, sometimes with these sorts of things, there are false accusations such as at Duke and the University of Virginia. But I think the biggest problem is that small infractions that deserve reprimands, or mid-sized infractions that deserve punishment can get blown out be something worse and worse than it was in the first place. This doesn't just happen by malice, but can simply be because our minds start to remember things in a more extreme way, especially if we fixate on them. Once you've chosen a side, confirmation bias can set in. And with the whole #MeToo thing going on, confirmation bias is becoming societal-wide.
Indeed, one article on the whole Aziz Ansari debacle claimed "The world is disturbingly comfortable with the fact that women sometimes leave a sexual encounter in tears." I should note the woman, who published her accusation anonymously, claimed Ansari didn't coerce her in anyways but was just overly pushy and she left crying.
Of course, almost every guy I know has had a terrible sexual experiences, often with pushy women. Should we publicly humiliate them?
Regardless, we shouldn't get carried away with the backlash. Getting rid of the abusers is very important. My opinion on #MeToo is very ambivalent right now. But it seems to be heading in the wrong direction at a very fast pace.
Can the Real Estate Market Stay Hot?
House prices are hot. Real hot in fact. Given that this is my industry, it's a pressing question as to how long this trend can continue. As Inman reports, "Home prices in February rose 6.7 percent year over year and inched up 1 percent since last month," and "The 1-percent increase marks the seventh-consecutive month of growth for home prices nationwide."
That's every single state in the union.
As you can see, since the second quarter of 2012, price appreciation has really taken off:
That being said, prices now are only a bit higher than they were in the 2007 peak:
Still, that's a lot of growth without some sort of correction. I don't think the next dip will be anything like the last one. NINJA loans and teaser rates, are fortunately, a think of the past. But the Fed has had historically low rates for a very long time and the government is still pushing all sorts of low-money-down, affordable housing schemes.
The Fed, for its part, is likely to raise interest rates again this year, maybe more than once. And a new report shows that 40 percent of Americans couldn't come up with just $400 in emergency expenses. So we may be on the knife's edge. This is why I've been thinking the market would correct for almost two years now.
That being said, there is actually a housing shortage in the United States right now. So perhaps the only thing that could really throw it for a loop is if the economy itself goes into recession and people can no longer afford to buy while others get foreclosed on after losing their jobs.
The way things stand right now, I think that is the most likely scenario. Trump should probably stop bragging about the economy, because if you own the rise, you own the fall. And given we've had almost 10 years of uninterrupted growth, a recession is probably not too far away.
So Tommy Robinson, the controversial founder of the English Defense League, was arrested for livestreaming outside a courthouse during the trial for the members of one of Britain's many grooming gangs. He may be facing 13 months in prison. 13 months for live streaming!
This is not the first time Britain has engaged in straight up, thuggish, police state tactics. From banning Lauren Southern from entering Britain to arresting Count Dankula for a Youtube joke, it's getting wildly out-of-hand. All the while, grooming gangs are abusing thousands of children in places like Rotherham and Telford.
And it appears, the judge pulled some skulduggery to keep the press from reporting on it. Here's Will Chamberlain's breakdown of the matter:
Whatever ban seems to have been lifted, as multiple British papers are now reporting on it. Perhaps that's because in this globalized media marketplace, such stories can't be kept under wraps. But just look at this video from the day he was arrested! Britain is becoming a police state.
Gee, I wonder why the mainstream press' reputation is in the toilet right now... it's such a big mystery!
To name just one of countless examples, after Donald Trump tweeted out that he had just learned Obama was wiretapping his campaign, The LA Times posted an article titled "How the phony conspiracy theory of wiretapping caught fire." CNN ran one titled "Trump's baseless wiretap claim." And there were many, many more like this.
By the way, the whole #Russiagate is not a conspiracy theory despite the numerous required conspiracies for it to be true.
Then slowly but surely, we learn that Paul Manafort was wiretapped and Susan Rice was "unmasking" numerous Trump officials. Then we learn Michael Flynn was wiretapped and the "Five Eyes" were passing intel on Trump's campaign to the FBI. And now we learn that Stephen Halper was used as an "informant" from the FBI to the Trump campaign. And Trump advisor Michael Caputo says there were more than just one "informant" as he himself was approached to be one.
I guess this "conspiracy theory" was like the "conspiracy theory" that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, there were no "moderate rebels" in Libya and the NSA (and CIA) can spy on Americans through their phones.
But instead of a little reflection, the leftwing media is publishing trash like "The FBI didn't use an informant to go after Trump. They used one to protect him." Or this beautifully self-refuting nonsense, "F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims."
So, in other words, they were spying.
When the pedantic is about the semantic, amirite?
Now the timeline is one of the big questions, and while I for one don't know how bad this is, it looks really bad. Spying on a presidential campaign (and all the leaks the inevitably came with it) is banana republic nonsense. At the very least, these media outlets could say their whole "conspiracy theory" blather from last year, was, well, wrong. Really, really wrong.
With the tragic recent attacks of the so-called incels (involuntary celibates) and the highlighting of a particularly hateful and destructive ideology (if you can even call it that), we need to ask the question; why is sex so important to these guys? Why is sex so important in our culture in the first place?
It really isn't. Sure, sex is fun and intimacy is very important, but there's a lot of fun things in life; rollercoasters, drinks with friends, traveling, playing basketball, whatever. Intimacy can't be replicated so easily, but friends and family can help.
While I have no sympathy for the small and noxious community of self-described incels, I do empathize with literal incels who don't define themselves as such. It sucks to be rejected and feel unloved and unwanted.
But getting a girlfriend (or boyfriend) won't automatically fix that. There are lots of terrible relationships; be they abusive or simply incompatible.
I think part of the problem is that there is this perverted perception out there that everyone is having tons of sex. So FOMO gets transferred to sex. In real life, the amount of sex that's happening is going down. The median number of sex partners, according to a large study of people between the ages of 15 and 44, is 3.2 for women and 5.1 for men. And according to another study, the idea of "hookup culture" is almost completely a myth.
Yet all you see in the movies, television and media is sex, sex, sex. Porn on the Internet and romance novels (or more accurately, porn novels) on the book shelves. It's all fake though. And remember, the most popular kids in high school rarely do the best in life. Just imagine some 35 year old working at McDonald's bragging about how much sex he had in high school. That should help.
Instead of obsessing about sex or the lack thereof, focus on improving your grades, learning skills and finding enjoyable hobbies. These will benefit you down the road. Try to make friends, particularly with members of your own sex where there isn't any sexual tension or feelings. Learn to have fun!
As you develop and improve yourself, your confidence will grow. And there's nothing women find more attractive than confidence. (This is not to be confused with assholeish bravado, yeah, some girls may like that stuff, but those girls are trouble.) At that point, perhaps you can find a girlfriend. Or perhaps not. You shouldn't worry about. It's not the end of the world if you don't get laid. Getting laid doesn't make you a good person and not getting laid doesn't make you a bad person. Despite our cultural obsession with sex, it really just is not that important.
Focus on improving yourself, making friends and developing your confidence. The rest will fall into place in good time.
The university is a central pillar of white supremacy. It has to be destroyed like all white supremacist institutions simultaneously.So I just saw this post by @FarLeftWatch about a multi-day "White Privilege Conference" hosted by Ryerson Univeristy. Yes, it was exactly the type of intersectionalist stew of postmodernist, SJW nonsense we've all come to know and loathe.
As Far Left Watch notes, Rinaldo Walcott, the keynote speaker and Director of the Women & Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto noted that "free speech and academic freedom are "white supremacist speech." And furthermore, "The university is a central pillar of white supremacy. It has to be destroyed like all white supremacist institutions simultaneously." And even better "End the damn myth universities are not sanctuaries of free ideas. They are sites of white supremacist logics that allow some small diffs."
Self-reflection isn't apparently one of Walcott's strengths. After all, if "The university is a central pillar of white supremacy," why does it allow him to speak and, in fact, pay him to do so? Any self-respecting white supremacist would at the very least not hire him and in all likelihood, harass, attack and silence him. Yet he speaks unmolested.
Instead, actual white supremacists have their websites literally stolen by Google. It's hard to feel bad for such trash, but what a horrible precedent. Especially when Silicon Valley leans so far left a guy can get fired from Facebook for a memo that states scientifically mainstream positions on gender differences. How long before pro-life sites get taken down because of "hate" or some other mainstream conservative site? A study found that when Facebook changed its algorithm, conservative sites saw traffic from Facebook fall 14 percent while liberal sites saw a 2 percent rise. And insiders at Twitter have said that Twitter shadow bans and outright bans conservatives on a routine basis.
And colleges are even worse. Indeed, many conservative speakers, along with some BDS types, have been uninvited from colleges. Mainstream Republicans such as Ben Shapiro can't even give a speech at liberal colleges like Berkeley without Antifa causing a riot. And somehow in Europe, it's even worse, with people being arrested routinely for mean tweets and Nazi pugs.
Racism still exists, of course. But this talk of living in a "white supremacist state" is ridiculous. If anything, we live in a politically correct state, and that state is both merging with and being supplanted by various large tech companies, which makes this situation all the more precarious.
Life Ebbs and Flows
I recently wrote a post on how there is no "there" to get to and it is vital for your own happiness and wellbeing to learn to enjoy the path and not obsess about the destination. In that same vein, I've also come to realize that there is no "lifestyle" or "routine" to get to either.
What I mean by this is no that you can't develop healthy habits or a good routine. Those things are in fact, vital to develop. What I mean is that you will never get to a point where you will always do those things. You will always be interrupted by travel, emergencies or just falling back on old, bad habits.
In the same way that life will come with good times and bad times, your habits will ebb and flow. Your lifestyle will ebb and flow. You'll get to a place where you feel like you're doing everything right and then it will break down and you'll have to build it up again.
You'll hear a lot about this or that habit that billionaires or super successful people have, but I can guarantee you they don't always have those habits. Sometimes, they'll fall out of them and have to get themselves back into them. It will ebb and it will flow as it will with even the most disciplined and successful people.
One time after a football game in high school, one of our coaches chastised us by saying "you guys get too high when good things happen and too low when bad things happen." This is why this concept is important. You should expect to fall out of good habits. No you shouldn't try to fall out of them, but it will happen nonetheless.
You should, instead, try to develop the best habits you can, knowing that they will break and you will have to fix them. This self-knowledge will allow you to cope more effectively for when things do fall apart. The worst thing you can do is mope and become depressed about it. If you know it will happen, then you know it was just an inevitable stumbling block you will now have to overcome. Predicting problems in advance (including perpetual problems, such as this) makes those problems easier to deal with.
Hopefully, as you continue to work on self-improvement, each plateau will be at a "higher" place where you are acting even more effectively. The highs will get higher and the lows will be less low. But this isn't necessarily going to be the case. And knowing that life isn't a linear progression is one of the best ways possible to "give yourself a break" and learn to enjoy the path rather than obsess over the destination.
I just finished writing an article that will be published on BiggerPockets soon about why we don't need the best stuff, because, quite frankly, it's a giant waste of money. The story I lead off with I think tells the whole story.
I got my CCIM (a certification in real estate) recently and to commemorate it, they gave me this really fancy pen. And I mean, really fancy! But then I lost it the next day.
Later on, I bought a pack of 20 BIC pens for $1.69. Yeah, less than 10 cents a pen and yet they do everything I need them to. Yes, they will probably run out of ink quicker, but I lose pens so fast it does't really matter.
Or if you like fancy pens and don't tend to lose them, you could just buy this fancy super pen for $1005!
Indeed, I was reminded of this little story from a friend of mine who lost his sun glasses and then bought a pair of $6 sunglasses to temporarily replace them. The thing was, those sunglasses were just fine and he saw no reason to get another pair.
Yes, of course you should avoid buying junk that will just break, especially if were talking about important tools (computers, skill saws, etc.) but far and away, the high-priced name brands and luxury items are just unnecessary fluff. Given how far in debt Americans are, we all really need to stop worrying about "keeping up with the Joneses" and just buy the less expensive stuff that gets the job done.
A few days ago Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran agreement Barack Obama made to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The deal had problems as far as I could see, most notably that it expired in 10 years. But the IAEA says Iran was in compliance, so I don't see pulling out as a good thing at all.
Yeah, Benjamin Netenyahu put together his little dog and pony show about how Iran lied and was actually trying to make nuclear weapons. Uh huh. We've heard this song before. Remember, Netenyahu spoke before congress in the lead up to the Iraq war saying that "If you take out Saddam, Saddam's regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region."
How did that work out?
After all, this is what the neocons have wanted so badly for so long. Bill Kristol called the Iran deal "Munich." You know, because every two-bit dictator is literally Hitler. (Unless Trump is actually literally Hitler, this must be a confusing time for neocons.)
Unfortunately, Trump has always been philosophically shallow and all over the place. It's good at times, because some of his bad ideas (like increasing torture) get shot down. But so do his good ones, like staying out of another Middle Eastern quagmire. Unfortunately, it seems, the neocons have found a way back in and we may be seeing George W. Bush II.
"Every day is a new life to the wise man."
The Righteous Mind
Star Slate Codex
Consulting by RPM