Insight News

Wednesday
Apr 23rd

Business

Business loans available for returning veterans

DEED program will provide up to $20,000 for start-up businesses

Returning military veterans who want to launch their own businesses in Minnesota may be eligible for new interest-free loans under an expanded and renamed program administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Department (DEED).

The Minnesota Reservist and Veteran Business Loan Program will make loans of up to $20,000 available to veterans recently separated from military service who are seeking financial help for starting small businesses.
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Motivating Teams in Changing Times: Capitalize on strengths and good humor

Motivating Teams in Changing Times:  Capitalize on strengths and good humorAs Americans start spending money again, companies are stepping up production. The good news: more people are getting hired. The other news: more people have to adjust to new co-workers and new initiatives. Great leaders recognize the value – and the challenge - of building cohesive teams. Motivating groups of people from disparate backgrounds, whose trust banks might be limited, is possible if leaders seek out strengths, keep communication channels flowing and recognize that even serious situations can sometimes be handled lightly.

Leader Jake is sweating over a team that never wins. He hopes to teach and develop the group by identifying weaknesses and helping players overcome deficiencies. He leaves work every day exhausted and frustrated; his employees have learned, all right, that they’re inept, incapable of ever doing anything well.
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It’s over when it’s over: Resign like you might be back someday

It’s over when it’s over:  Resign like you might be back somedayThe resignation announcement on my desk was a sickening surprise: it was from someone I had never worked with, who wished to share his forced resignation with the world, and I feel strangely sorry for him. Raging about his change in circumstances, this person has let his anger overshadow his accomplishments. Whether leaving is your idea or someone else’s, please leave with your pride intact and your professional progress in people’s minds; you might be driving fast forward but, for most people, the future looms large in the rearview mirror.

If I wanted to hire or recommend this person to a future position, this letter created a roadblock. It said, “I resigned peacefully,” and, “Unfortunately, (former employer) has decided to assassinate my professional character.” Not so peacefully, then. Star employees address conflicts objectively and recognize that no assassination is peaceful. A potential employer would question his ability to read people and situations accurately.
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Scams against consumers proliferate in uneven economy

New scams are targeting Minnesota consumers and they’re using the Better Business Bureau’s name to attempt to convince people into believing they’ve won prizes such as new cars or millions of dollars – and to convince them to wire hundreds of dollars to the scammers, or provide them with their bank account information.

Consumers have contacted the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) to say they’re receiving calls from a company called Global International. The callers tell people they’ve won $8.5 million dollars and then give them a ‘BBB Code of Approval,’ which they say they will need to claim their prize. However, the Better Business Bureau is not affiliated with any lottery or sweepstakes and there is no such thing as a ‘BBB Code of Approval.’ It’s simply a combination of letters and numbers likely invented by the scammers. One of the bogus codes, given to at least two potential victims, is 0054-JL. Two consumers who reported this scam to the BBB have stated the scammers were also fraudulently claiming an affiliation with Bank of America.
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Sound Financial Strategy: Manage whatever money you have

Sound Financial Strategy:  Manage whatever money you haveFinancial Consultant is busy not in spite of, but because of, our current recession. Although wealth is something people have less of to manage these days, Boulware finds her services are in great demand. Today’s financial challenges have changed people’s views of their investments. Says Boulware, “People become more conservative during a downturn. Strategy becomes a priority.”

Boulware’s lifelong interest in finance led her into positions in treasury, including currency trading and asset management. When she started taking Masters level courses in financial planning, she knew wealth management was more than a personal interest or hobby. She transitioned into a career as a Financial Consultant with RBC Wealth Management, and now helps people at any income level to plan, invest and manage their wealth.
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The coach never tells us the score

The coach never tells us the scoreAnyone as deep into softball (or baseball, soccer, lacrosse, basketball) as my family is knows that kid sporting competitions rarely involve a scoreboard.  The point is to let the kids learn the game and not get hung up on the score.  This is a good system, but once a kid becomes accomplished in a sport, he or she knows almost intuitively that the deeper point of sports is, yes, to win. 

Career planning is no different.  Starting out, someone might be willing to work hard for little reward, accepting the fact that he’s learning a skill.  But once he becomes skilled in a profession, he needs something more to keep the enthusiasm going.  Kids figure out pretty quickly how to track their runs and three-pointers.  I’m a big fan of putting the same ideas to work in the workplace.  If you have a manager who never gives you feedback (or raises), you are going to have to devise ways to measure your own progress.
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Entrepreneurship is the trump card against racism

Entrepreneurship is the trump card against racism “They tell me that one tenth of one percent of the population controls more than forty percent of the wealth. Oh America, how often have you taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes... You can work within the framework of democracy to bring about a better distribution of wealth.”
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, AL, November 4, 1956

Two popular sayings are: “Now or never!” and "Today is the first day of the rest of your life."

Getting on with your life's work implies a career transition for an individual in which he exploits his achievements and experiences to date. This is often true of successful entrepreneurs. It is the rare entrepreneur who starts a business as his first job.
The forces driving such transitions come from many sources. In the case of the former athletes featured here, it was the inevitability of the end of their football careers. Others start businesses because they believe in the opportunity represented by a product or an idea. For others, still, unemployment may be a factor.
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