Jean Scanlin Studio

Discover the beautiful works of art created by Georgian artist, Jean Scanlin Wright.

What intrigues her most about painting is capturing an everyday moment or ordinary object in an extraordinary way and elevating it to a work of art. She finds inspiration in the works of John Singer Sargent and Norman Rockwell who were masters at this and strive to express this quality in her paintings.

Like what you see? Let Jean know! Contact her on her website at www.jscanlinstudio.com.

Retirement: Boomers Want to Keep Working – If They Can

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 6.05.07 AMGeorge Fraser has had a hugely successful life. At 70, the former corporate executive is a successful author and speaker, traveling 200 days out of the year and logging 250,000 air miles. And he has absolutely no intention of retiring.

“I decided in my early 60s that I would never retire,” he said. “Why? Because I love my work. I love what I’m doing. I love it so much that anything else is a distraction, including a vacation. It frustrates my wife of 42 years. After two or three days on a beach in Mexico, I’m bored.”

Baby Boomers continue to shatter stereotypes. Many

work well into traditional retirement age. And financial advisers and counselors are encouraging them.

Robert Levinson will be 90 in March. He recently finished his fifth book, Management Savvy. The title of his third book was The Anti-Retirement Book.

“I think the act of retiring in itself is pretty bad,” says Levinson, who will soon retire from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., where he has taught for 25 years. But even then, he will continue to operate his business-consulting website, and another business he operates with his 64-year-old son. “I hope I’ll stay busy,” he says. “I won’t be as busy as before, but I’ll be busy.”

Read more.

Retirement: That Moment in Time When You Can Work or Play as YOU Choose!

By John Graves

You have been a good saver since you began working as a paperboy (or babysitter!) at ten. You had to save – your mother made you put aside 10% of what you made into an envelope. Just like she made you give 10% at church, into the plate each Sunday morning. You bought your first car with your savings, the ’56 Chevy for $1,200, wasn’t it? You felt sad, but smart, when you sold it to go into the military – sold it for $1,850 and saved it all.

Once you got out, you started working as a tailor. They had you sewing uniforms in the Army, so you knew something about it. You became good at it, bought the shop with what you saved during your stint. A few years later you sold the shop to work in accounting. Don’t ask how that happened. Something to do with your wife’s uncle. You were surprised at how well you took to the new profession.

When the first baby was due, you both were ready to move, so you went to South Carolina and bought a home in 1969. Your next three sons were all born in that home, the home you still live in. The down payment was hard, but the monthly payments were a backbreaker: $178 a month and you only made $800.

Still you gave at church, you put a little aside for the future. Your folks had taught you frugality. You lived within your means. That meant no credit cards, no installment plans, no car payments, only the mortgage. Coupons were big in your household. You told your wife to keep track of expenses in the little ‘Dome’ budget book. She used it to track how much she saved from coupons and sales, too. Once a year both of you went out to eat at a nice restaurant on one quarter of the savings during the year. Nice reward.

[Read more…]

Publisher’s Note: Hi Ho, Hi Ho ….

Harvey engineerFunny thing happened to me on the way to retirement.

I didn’t. 

Retire, that is.

And to my surprise, a lot of people—including well-intentioned friends and family—are having a hard time with that.

Okay, maybe it’s some kind of a sickness or an addiction (“Hi, my name is Harvey and I’m a workaholic.”) But I love my work and I love to work. It’s what I do. Maybe it’s even who I am, at least a little bit.

But here, as Shakespeare (also quite the workaholic judging by the number of plays he wrote) once said, is the rub: Some people just can’t understand why, once individuals can begin drawing on their pensions, they don’t cease and desist their professional pursuits in favor of spending their remaining years in pursuit of leisure.

[Read more…]

Changing Careers After 50: The Baby Boom Generation

By Mary Gormandy White, M.A., SPHR

It is becoming more and more common to see people over the age of 50 changing careers. In decades past, many people stayed in the same career, and sometimes even the same job, for virtually all of their working lives. However, times have changed and it is becoming very common for people to change careers a number of times during their lifetimes.

A number of factors are contributing to the increased numbers of people in the 50 and over population who are seeking to change careers. One of the biggest factors is the sheer size of that age group. The market segment commonly referred to as the baby boomer generation isn’t made up of babies any more. The baby boomers are now in the 50 plus age group, so there is a larger workforce in this segment of the population now than ever before.

Additionally, in today’s world of advanced medical technology, people tend to stay healthy and live longer than those of generations past. This fact, paired with fears about dwindling social security benefits and the virtual disappearance of employer-sponsored pension plans has resulted in people continuing to stay in the workforce longer than those of prior generations.

However, just because people are working longer does not mean that they are staying in the same career longer. People’s interests, abilities, and financial requirements change as they age, and it is not unusual at all for people 50 and over to change careers.

[Read more…]

Lake Oconee Resource Links

Great resource for those of you who live and work in Lake Oconee. Check out Dock 103.9 for some important community links..

Taking Service to the Stratosphere: 12 Keys to Creating Uplifting Service in Today’s Marketplace

With service so much a part of our daily lives, both in and outside the workplace, why  aren’t we doing it better? Ron Kaufman knows the answer to this question, and not
only believes we can do it better, but shows us how through the 12 building blocks of service culture and the organizations already getting it right.

You step off the plane, weary from a long flight. As you walk through the terminal, you can’t believe your eyes. The airport is immaculate with walkways as wide as roadways and not a speck of litter anywhere. As you move deeper into the terminal, you see a butterfly garden, an outdoor swimming pool, playground equipment, a four-story slide, napping rooms, spa treatments, and entertainment venues including movie theaters and video-gaming stations. Airport employees eagerly greet you with smiles and ask how they can help.

Have you stumbled upon some air traveler’s mirage? Is this an illusion in the familiar airport desert of grim décor, stressed out passengers, rude counter agents, and crowded gate areas? No, this oasis of pleasure is what things are really like at Changi Airport in Singapore—and Ron Kaufman says it’s the perfect illustration of what service can (and should) look like in our global economy.

“Consider how frustrating service can be in airports today,” says Kaufman, author of the New York Times bestseller Uplifting Service: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet (Evolve Publishing, 2012, ISBN: 978-09847625-5-2, $14.95, www.UpliftingService.com). “Typically, passengers are focused on where they are going and have business or family concerns on their minds. They are often tired, or stressed, and can be easily upset. And the process often makes things worse. Lines move slowly, agents can be impersonal, and going through security can feel like you’re part of the day’s prison intake. Sure, security is important—we have to get people through the system safely and efficiently. But that doesn’t mean airport service has to be unpleasant. Why do we accept it as the norm—when it can be so much more?”

[Read more…]

Your Own Business: Is it For You?

By John Martinka  

Some people can’t sit still long enough to be “retired.” Others have to keep producing income to support a lifestyle and in many cases, people 55 and older have a tougher time getting hired (vs. when they were younger).

So, why not be in business for yourself. You can do contract work (the company tells you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, etc.; you’re just not an employee so you have flexibility), start a business, buy a franchise or buy an established company. Mike was 61 when he bought a business from a 44 year old, Rob was 63 when he bought a business from a 53 year old and Bob bought a franchise when in his mid-sixties.

No matter what model, if you have the right aptitude and attitude, it can be very rewarding. Forget the personality tests. By the time you’ve reached 50 you know whether your gut feel is that business ownership is for you (or at least that the possibility of ownership is for you).

Why have your own business? From the answers given by hundreds of people I’ve asked, here are the top nine reasons.

  • Control
  • Benefit myself from my smart and hard work
  • Independence
  • Decision maker
  • Flexibility
  • Income potential
  • Equity or net worth
  • Creativity
  • Be the boss

The most important reason isn’t on this list though. That reason is to have fun! To wake up in the morning with a smile on your face because it’s your business. It definitely can’t be only for the money. Money is important but the non-financial reasons must rise to the top of your list. Realize that most of these factors are not available to employees. Mike, mentioned above, said, “I have at least 10 more good years in me, I want to be productive and I want to do it on my terms.” Mike had, after a distinguished corporate career, started a business, sold out his share and moved on to buying another one.

There are four types of people when it comes to self-employment. On one extreme are the serial entrepreneurs and no matter what age they are they are always looking for the thrill of a start-up. On the other end are people like my mother, a college level math teacher, whom couldn’t imagine anything riskier than a paycheck from a government school.

In the middle are the rest of us and we either stumble or are forced into having our own business or we know we want it and take the time to build our capital and experience. The closer we are to the entrepreneurial end of this range the easier the jump will be.

Craig’s first reaction after being “downsized” was frustration that bordered on anger. He then realized that for 7-10 years he’d been dreaming of owning a business and his employer had just given him the kick in the pants to do so, coupled with the skills, experience and income that allowed him to accumulate capital.

Mark had a similar experience. His outplacement agency told him that he would have at least three more job searches during his career. Having never done a job search he said there was “no way” he was going to do a handful of them (his first job out of college let to being recruited by another firm in the industry). He made the decision to be self-employed.

Whether you need income, a challenge or get bored easily, consider your own business. You don’t need an aptitude test to tell you if it’s right for you. Your gut will tell you. Next, the various ways to be in business for yourself.

John Martinka of “Partner” On-Call Network in Bellevue, WA is a business consultant and speaker. He helps people buy, sell and grow small and mid-sized businesses. You can reach John at 425-576-1814, via e-mail at john@johnmartinka.com, Twitter @johnmartinka or his blog, www.johnmartinka.com. For more articles on this and related subjects or to subscribe to his free e-newsletter, see www.partneroncall.com/johnmartinka

 

 

Your Own Business: Three Ways to Achieve your Goal

There are only three ways to get into business. You can buy an established business (let me clarify one thing; when I write, “buy a business” always make sure you mentally put the adjectives mature, profitable and fairly priced in front of the word business), start a business (consulting is a type of startup) or buy a new franchise opportunity. All of these models have advantages and disadvantages depending on you and your situation. I have a chart comparing over 20 of the key factors involved in buying, starting or investing in a franchise. Send an email to john@johnmartinka.com, put “Key Factor Chart” in the subject line and I’ll send it to you (and will not put you any other lists).

Starting a business

There are three primary reasons why people in their 50’s and 60’s are not prime candidates to start a business.

  • If they were the creative type they would already have had great idea for a new business. It’s tough finding a niche you can make successful.
  • The energy level needed to start a business is often an issue. The long days and often working weekends takes a toll.
  • Anywhere from 65-80% of start-ups fail, depending on whose statistics you see. When you are 50-70 years old it’s awful risky to put part of your nest egg in a start-up with those odds.

Buying a new franchise

A franchise is a great way to get into your own business given the right circumstances. Here are some of the key factors to consider when debating if a franchise is for you.

  • You get a “business in a box.” The concept, marketing plan, operations plan and more are provided to you.
  • If you are not very experienced in business and/or management, the “business in a box” concept is what makes a franchise ideal.
  • It is (usually) a proven concept.
  • It is still a start-up, you build it from the ground up.
  • Many make great lifestyle businesses.
  • You have restrictions as to the product and service you can offer, marketing, advertising, pricing, etc. (not all bad, while it can stifle a creative and experienced business person it also keeps less experienced people from drifting off target).

Buying an established company

As a Business Buyer Advocate ® I have a bias. People with solid management and/or leadership experience should favor buying a business (including on-going franchise operations) vs. the other options. If you can manage people, processes, money and systems why not step into the ongoing operation of a mature, profitable company?

  • You get an immediate salary and the profit pays your acquisition debt (assuming you buy a mature, profitable company).
  • You have an established product or service, skilled employees, a customer base and your customers pay enough for your product or service so that you earn a profit.
  • There is a proven plan in place, although it often is not in writing but in the seller’s head.
  • It is easier to finance than the other options whether it’s bank or seller financing although the option of “sweat equity” is not available.
  • You can do things “your way.”

If on a 1-10 scale, with one being no interest and 10 being, “I wish I had my own business already,” you are a six or higher you owe it to yourself to investigate it further. Next, the qualifications needed to successfully be a business owner.

John Martinka of “Partner” On-Call Network in Bellevue, WA is a business consultant and speaker. He helps people buy, sell and grow small and mid-sized businesses. You can reach John at 425-576-1814, via e-mail at john@johnmartinka.com, Twitter @johnmartinka or his blog, www.johnmartinka.com. For more articles on this and related subjects or to subscribe to his free e-newsletter, see www.partneroncall.com/johnmartinka


.

China’s Ruling the World an Impossibility

By Troy Parfitt

It’s known in argumentative logic as a slippery slope or domino fallacy: without sufficient evidence or corresponding explanation, a particular event is offered up as being just one, usually the first, in a series of events inexorably leading to a definite outcome. In other words, A causes B, which leads to C, D, and E. Such a fallacy is currently underpinning one of the poorest arguments – and richest myths – of this young century. China has become the world’s second largest economy, and, according to Goldman Sachs, is slated to be the largest by 2027. Therefore, just as it exports its goods, China will soon export its language, practices, values, politics, culture, and worldview. The twenty-first century is going to be China’s; it’s finally on its way to becoming a nation among nations; it’s on the verge of “ruling the world.”

Not only are such claims clinically illogical, they are being disseminated and backed by dyed-in-the-wool Sinophiles: mythomaniacs keen to omit unflattering facts about China to ensure it gains respect, and they gain credibility. But not all the sycophancy, shallow analysis, and hocus pocus in the universe can belie China’s lagging far behind.

China, you see, lags far behind many of its Asian neighbors. The UN’s 2010 Human Development Index (a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and living standards) lists Japan in 11th spot, Korea in 12th, Hong Kong in 21st, and Singapore in 27th. China comes in 91st.

It’s a similar story with GDP per capita, a statistic rarely paraded by the Wow!-Look-at-China-go! lobby. According to the IMF, China is rated 94th in that department, with $7,519. Singapore is 15th ($43,117), Japan 16th ($42,820), Korea 33rd ($20,591), and Taiwan 37th ($18,548).

China is not a developed nation.

As a developing nation, China faces a cornucopia of impediments; not just obstacles preventing it from interacting with the world in a sincere and meaningful way (outside economics), but issues, which, if not acknowledged, will only continue to encumber its citizenry. Chief among these trouble-spots are education, corruption, and pollution.

Traditional Chinese education is an antique. Exam-based and heavy on rote memorization, it stymies critical thinking and creativity. Out of 976 Nobel laureates to date, only 1 has been a resident of China: Lui Xiaobo, a human rights activist and professor awarded the 2010 Peace Prize while serving a prison term for subversion. The latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings show only 3 universities from China in the top 100. Australia, a country with less than 22 million people, has 5. A full 91 are located in the West, where nearly 1.4 million Chinese students are presently studying.

[Read more…]

Understanding Older Generations At Work

By Jennifer FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-C

Mandatory retirement has been illegal in most industries for decades, but some managers are still reluctant to hire and retain workers older than 65.  Frequently workers in this age group are characterized as inflexible, slower and reluctant to evolve with technology.  But most employers find that today’s older workers challenge these stereotypes and can be real assets.

Biological and psychological changes occur as we get older.  Each generation is also different sociologically from other age groups.  Awareness of age-related differences can empower employers to capitalize on senior workers’ positive attributes and consider making workplace adaptations for their limitations.

Biological Age-Related Changes

While most stereotypes about older adults are greatly exaggerated, many biological changes do take place both physically and cognitively.  Nearly every organ and system in the body is a bit less efficient than it once was but this does not mean inevitable disease or disability. The stereotype that seniors can’t hear or see well is false, but it is true that hearing and vision are not quite as sharp as they once were when we are younger.   While Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are not part of the normal aging process, tip of the tongue moments and slower reflex, reaction and recall times are.

[Read more…]

Figure Out What Success Means to You

This is an excerpt from Nice Start, © 2010 Mark Chussil.     

“Success” is an excerpt from Nice Start: Questions Only You Can Answer to Create the Life Only You Can Live. “Read it with relish. This is real wisdom.” — Larry Brooks, bestselling author. 

Success

Here are some ways that people define success:

Money. Fame. Beauty. Survival. Long life. Freedom. Free time. Children. Marriage. Possessions. Piety. Serenity. High test scores. Being first. Being well-adjusted. Being loved. Loving. Working. Achieving a goal. Setting a record. Overcoming fear. Overcoming handicaps. Great effort. Great decisions. Great results. The journey. Applause. Inner satisfaction. Health. Time to relax. Parties!

Success involves tradeoffs. For instance, achieving great works and taking time to relax can be in conflict. For another instance, you probably will find it difficult to pursue everything. You’ve got to choose what you really want.

[Read more…]

Fifteen Tips for Being the Indispensable Employee

By Robert A. Hall, MEd, CAE

Some employees are more valuable than others. Sorry if I’ve hurt your self-esteem and bruised your feelings. It hurts my feelings that the New England Patriots pay Tom Brady millions and won’t even give me a try-out. Okay, so I’m a LOT older than Brady, in lousy shape compared to him, and lettered in chess in college. Every human being is unique and equally valuable, right?

Wrong. Tom Brady fills the stands and puts millions of fans in front of the TV on Sunday, providing an excellent return on investment for his large salary. The only entertainment value I’d provide would be for the lynch mob of fans hunting me after my first appearance on the field.

However valuable you may be to your family and friends, that doesn’t make you valuable to an employer. And your organization, whatever else it is, is your employer.

All employers are looking for employees who provide value. Those who provide the most value are the least likely to be cut in a downsizing, and the most likely to receive raises and promotions, because the powers-that-be want to keep them around.

That’s obvious, right? Then how come so many employees act like their job is a right, and that they must be catered to?

[Read more…]

An Excerpt from Retire To–Not From

By Phil Saylor
Author of Retire To-Not From 

Retire is a word I never liked. The word retire, along with dramatic emphasis, sounds like you’re going to die. Of course death is inevitable weather we retire or not. Some people use the word retire when going to bed; “I think I’ll retire for the evening.” My guess is the same person came up with the “now I lay me down to sleep” prayer.

Wisdom satisfies the notion that a lot of times when you don’t like something it’s just a pure case of tough stuff. In other words, the word retire is here to stay. I can’t do anything about it. I think it’s highly over-rated and for sure over used.

Maybe the following dialogue can help make my point: “What do you do?” – “Oh, I’m retired.” – “You’re retired. So does that mean you don’t do anything, or is retired what you do?”

If you’ve ever heard or had this conversation chances are you weren’t talking to a wise guy who confronted you about your “I’m retired” answer. My concern would be how many times you have given that answer. Consider the career military retiree who joined on their eighteenth birthday, did twenty years of service to their country and retired, pension and all. Because they retired at 38 years old they may go to work for someone else or start a business. Two years later when they’re 40 years young and someone asks them what they do, chances are they are not going to say anything about being retired from the military. Most likely they are just going to say, “I own the last chance gas station out in the desert”, or whatever it is they do.

[Read more…]

Baby Boomers: The New “Dress for Success” Rules

By Kate Forgach

Forever 21 is a retail phenomenon among the younger set, but despite the trend of businesses catering to Baby Boomers, there’s no Forever 51 or 61 for those of us trying to find presentable, affordable office fashions. At least such a store would help us figure out the new dress code.

Take my office, for example; shorts, T-shirts and sweats predominate, which means my typical business attire would stick out like a sore thumb. Thanks to a manager in the 30-something age range, casual is more than acceptable, it’s expected. Still, my 55-year-old body would look pretty foolish in the business shorts and skinny shirts favored by the younger females.

So what’s a Baby Boomer to do? How do we fit in without looking like fools? And where can we find fashions that suit our aging bodies and more-mature tastes? Read on for a primer on getting along without entirely giving in, or spending a fortune.

[Read more…]

Business Profile: Gordy the Handyman

Gordy the Handyman

By Kathleen Ganster

Gordon “Gordy” Parker, 56, has worked as an aviation contractor mechanic for years and literally all over the world, so to say he is “handy” is probably an understatement.

So when he and his wife, Anne, 59, were looking for a second business, one of the businesses that caught their eye was a handyman franchise.

“We were in Germany and started doing our research – we found a franchise that was very veteran friendly and seemed just what we were looking for,” said Anne Parker.

Since Gordy is an Air Force veteran, the couple felt it was a good match. And since they were headed back to their home in Longs that they had recently built, it seemed the ideal time.

In June 2010, the couple opened “Gordy the Handyman.” Since Gordy still travels to various locations around the world to locations by military installations – right now he is working in the Middle East- Anne oversees the business. With years of experience as an administrative assistant, bookkeeper, and office manager under her belt, it is a role for which she is well prepared.

“It’s challenging some days, but I love it,” she said.

[Read more…]