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June 29-July 3, 2020 



a look back at this week’s essays…


Investment Real Estate Outlook for the Rest of 2020 and Beyond 


I am concerned – very concerned – for two reasons…


Click here to read more.



Found Poem: In the Basement of OK Cigars 


I’ve been writing poems for years. Hundreds and hundreds of them. A small percentage get into print. And most of those, when I reread them after a year or two, are disappointing.


This one was not. I like it as much now as when I wrote it…


Click here to read more.



I’m Positive 


I’ve written at least a half-dozen essays on the coronavirus and COVID-19 since the beginning of April…


On Wednesday, I found out that I was positive.


Click here to read more.




quick quiz 


  1. How much do you remember about this week’s “Words to the Wise”? Use each of these words in a sentence: 


*  hospitality (6/29/20)

*  fugacious (7/1/20)

*  portentous (7/3/20)


  1. Fill in the blanks in this week’s quotations: 


* “The most reliable way to forecast the future is to try to understand _____.” – John Naisbitt (6/29/20)


* “_____ is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” – Robert Frost (7/1/20)


* “Accept the terrible _____ of life with eyes wide open.” – Jordan Peterson



  1. Are these statements True or False? 


* Pierre Boulle, author of The Bridge Over the River Kwai, was held in captivity by the Japanese during WWII. (6/29/20)


*  According to the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics, one-third of jobs in the US can be done at home. (7/1/20)


*  The US isn’t the only country to celebrate the 4th of July. America’s Independence Day is also celebrated in Britain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, China, and Australia. (7/3/20)




recommended links from this week’s blog 


* An amazing display of beauty, strength, flexibility, and grace…Here


* The latest issue of Independent HealingWhat medical care is safe during the pandemic? Click here to read the July issue.


* Good advice from the FTC on shopping online…Here


 * If you like language you will love this guy… Here






Your Question:


I’ve been reading a lot about entrepreneurship lately, including lots of your essays and a few of your books. I’d love to have a business of my own, but I have family to support and I’m working full-time just to make ends meet. I have zero savings, and student loans to pay. I’m not in a position to make any risky moves. People that I love and feel responsible for depend on me. What can I do?

– J.P.


My Answer: 


I hear you. I was in very much the same situation in 1982 when I took a new job as managing editor of a start-up publishing company in Florida. I had, like you, zero savings, and a family to support.


There are several things I could suggest – things that involve working 20 to 40 hours a week on the side, earning extra income and learning about entrepreneurship. But that’s not what I did back then. So I’ll tell you what I did. I put off my plans to be an entrepreneur and worked like mad to become the next best thing – an intrapreneur employee working for a growing company.


I define an intrapreneur as an employee that makes himself financially invaluable to the company – so much so that he earns his way into a profit-sharing compensation plan.


Back then, as I said, I was working as an editor. I was making $35,000 a year, which was enough to pay the bills and as much as I was worth to the company. I couldn’t ask for more money for doing the work I was doing because my boss could have said “No thanks” and hired another managing editor at the same salary.


Instead, I decided to become the most important employee my boss had, which meant that I spent evenings and weekends learning the marketing game and writing advertising copy. When my first promotion was mailed and brought in a million dollars, my boss took me aside and said, “Keep that up and I’ll cut you into the business.”


Years later, after failing to retire for the first time, I took a consulting position with the business I work with now. The job I asked for was to help grow sales and profits. I accepted a modest monthly fee for working 60 to 80 hours a week. But I also got a modest percentage of profits.


That was pretty fair money as sales edged up from $8 million to $24 million to $50 million and then to $100 million. Today, profits are more than 10 times greater than they were back then.


That’s what I did. It worked out for me. If it feels like a direction you’d like to go in, the key is to work for a fair-minded boss in a fast-growing company.


Have a question for me? Submit it on our Contact Us page. 




For a look back at the stock market, click here. 

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I’ve been writing poems for years. Hundreds and hundreds of them. A small percentage get into print. And most of those, when I reread them after a year or two, are disappointing.

This one was not. I like it as much now as when I wrote it.

But it is, as I say, a found poem. It was written the day after I heard the conversation. It was winter. I bought a cigar at OK Cigars in NYC. I asked if they had a smoking room. They did. It was in the basement. I expected a nicely furnished room with plush leather couches and the like – which is typical of cigar store smoking lounges. But this was just an old, overstuffed chair in an unfinished basement. The conversation that I observed was between two employees that were opening crates at the time.


 Found Poem: In the Basement of OK Cigars

Have you ever made your own envelopes? It’s a hobby of mine. It’s just a thing, kind of strange…

I thought of doing that, but I was afraid the postman might object. Like not sending it, or holding it up for some stupid technical reason. Is there a legal standard for envelopes?

I don’t know, man.

I don’t even know if there should be.

I’m really skeptical of stamps these days – that they will stay on. Like especially ever since they came up with self-sticking stamps.

For sure. You see the edges curling up and you wonder… They might not make it through the scanners!

That wouldn’t be cool.

I think about putting tape on it but I wonder if the dudes at the post office would have a problem with that. I just want it to go where it’s going.

My dad has a massive stamp collection. As a kid I had to soak envelopes to get them off. That’s all I did for years. The sink would get clogged up with glue. The slugs would eat the stuff.

I had to pick dandelions in the yard with one of those two-pronged pickers because my parents were hippies and wouldn’t use weed spray.

But it’s work, man, and work is good. It’s better than doing dishes, I guess.

I can’t watch people doing dishes. It drives me crazy when they don’t rinse them right.

Yeah, that’s bad. That’s really bad. I am so obsessed with rinsing.

Me too. Do you use the rack or dry them with a towel?

I use the rack, man. Why would I go to all that trouble of rinsing them and then wipe them with a crappy towel?

Yeah, it’s like having a washcloth in the shower. I haven’t seen one of those in ages.

So old school.

It’s not right, man. It’s just not right.


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