Happy 2006 – January issue of Eastside Business Monthly is out now

It’s 2006 and I’m looking for great things to happen this year for Eastside Business. We plan on becoming even more involved in the community, helping more organizations and continuing to promote business on the Eastside.

The January issue is out now – if you’re not already a subscriber, pick up a copy at over 300 locations on the Eastside or subscribe here.

If you ever have any comments, rants or raves we love to hear them all – especially the suggestions and criticisms. We sincerely want to make Eastside Business a news organization that the entire Eastside can be proud of. Simply write an email to Feedback@EastsideBusiness.com

A Gift List for All Seasons – All the Good Things

This is an article that I received in the most recent edition of Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Caffeine (Issue 215). I think we can all take something from it. I know I did. JK

A different gift list: ALL THE GOOD THINGS

He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary’s School in Morris, Minnesota. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, but had that happy–to–be–alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful.

Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving – “Thank you for correcting me, Sister!” I didn’t know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.

One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often, and then I made a novice–teacher’s mistake. I looked at Mark and said, “If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!”

It wasn’t ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, “Mark is talking again.” I hadn’t asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it.

I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark’s desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned to the front of the room.

As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. That did it!! I started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to Mark’s desk, removed the tape, and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were, “Thank you for correcting me, Sister!”

At the end of the year, I was asked to teach junior high math. The years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He was more handsome than ever and just as polite. Since he had to listen carefully to my instruction in the “new math,” he did not talk as much in ninth grade as he had in third.

One Friday, things just didn’t feel right. We had worked hard on a new concept all week, and I sensed that the students were frowning; frustrated with themselves and edgy with one another.

I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers.

Mark said, “Thank you for teaching me, Sister. Have a good weekend.”

That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. “Really?” I heard whispered. “I never knew that meant anything to anyone!” “I didn’t know others liked me so much.” No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another again.

That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were driving home, Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip, the weather, and my experiences in general. There was a lull in the conversation. Mother gave Dad a side–ways glance and simply said, “Dad?” My father cleared his throat as he usually did before something important.

“The Eklund’s called last night,” he began. “Really?” I said. “I haven’t heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is.”

Dad responded quietly, “Mark was killed in Vietnam. The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend.”

To this day I can still point to the exact spot on I–494 where Dad told me about Mark. I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was, “Mark, I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to me.”

The church was packed with Mark’s friends. Chuck’s sister sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral? It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual prayers, and the bugler played taps. One by one, those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water.

I was the last one to bless the coffin. As I stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as a pallbearer came up to me. “Were you Mark’s math teacher?” he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin. “Mark talked about you a lot,” he said.

After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates headed to Chuck’s farmhouse for lunch. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting for me. “We want to show you something,” his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. “They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.”

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which I had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.

“Thank you so much for doing that,” Mark’s mother said. “As you can see, Mark treasured it.”

Mark’s classmates started to gather around us.

Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, “I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.”

Chuck’s wife said, “Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.”

“I have mine too,” Marilyn said. “It’s in my diary.”

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. “I carry this with me at all times,” Vicki said without batting an eyelash. “I think we all saved our lists.”

That’s when I finally sat down and cried.

THE END

Written by: Sister Helen P. Mrosla

The purpose of this letter is to encourage everyone to compliment the people you love and care about. We often tend to forget the importance of showing our positive feelings, our affections and our love. Sometimes the smallest of words could mean success to another.

Feel free to send this letter around and spread the message of encouragement to express your good feelings for others –– you never know what the impact can be.

I wish you and your families all the joy of a holiday, and all the health and happiness a new year can offer.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte–based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/333–1112 or e–mail to salesman@gitomer.com

Commercial Real Estate to Be Featured in January issue of Eastside Business Monthly

We are looking forward to featuring Commercial Real Estate in the January issue of Eastside Business Monthly. Make sure to get your ad space reserved asap and submit any relevant news or content before the December 20th deadline.

The current issue of the Eastside Business Weekly E-Newsletter will be sent out to over 2300 people in the morning. You can subscribe FREE by send an email to Subscribe@EastsideBusiness.com

Finally, the Eastside Business website is now live. Be sure to visit soon and often – make sure you add your business or organization to our new online Business Directory FREE of charge. Featured listings are available at an initial low rate of only $50 per year.

Thank you for your interest in Eastside Business.

All New Eastside Business News Site is Live!

The All New Eastside Business News site is now live at EastsideBusiness.com

Mucho thanks to Ramey Bell and Rocket Fuel Marketing.

I think that you will like it a lot and look forward to your comments.

Please make sure to visit our Business Directory and list your Eastside business or organization for FREE. Featured listings are available for a limited time at only $50 a year on a first-come, first-served basis, although priority is given to advertisers in the print edition of Eastside Business Monthly. For more info send an email to Ads@EastsideBusiness.com

The China Eggs

This is a great story that was in today’s Small Business Advocate e-newsletter from Jim Blasingame. I recommend that anyone in business sign-up for and read his newsletter.

The China Egg
“Farm-fresh eggs.” Seeing those words on a breakfast menu harkens me back to when that was a daily reality. But farmers know that hens don’t lay eggs for our breakfast. Consequently, they harvest the fresh eggs each day, and leave a China egg in each nest, which is sufficient to prevent the hens from abandoning their nests and continue production.

There are China eggs in business, too. They’re the prospects you keep calling on who never buy anything. Since you’re smarter than a chicken, don’t spend time and resources sitting on China eggs.

On the farm or in business, China eggs never hatch.

The message I get from this is that your time is your key resource and you cannot afford to spend it on those who waste it and will never buy or do business with you. On the other hand, my brother is a pit-bull salesperson who will call on a prospect every month or couple of weeks in person until they do buy from him. He will tell them straight up “I’m going to keep on coming by until you end up buying from me”. It almost always works – although he occasionally has had to call on a person for 2 or 3 years before getting an order.

New Website almost Ready

Hello Dedicated Readers:

I wanted to let you know that we have been hard at work on the new, and greatly improved Eastside Business website. Thanks to the design work of Ramey Bell, I believe it kicks ass on all the other local news sites, including the King County Journal’s.

You’ll have to take a look on the 1st of Decemeber (or maybe a day or two earlier) and see for yourself. Please let us know what you think!

When it goes live, we will be consolidating the websites for Eastside Business Weekly and Eastside Business Monthly into one great site at EastsideBusiness.com.

Besides being updated on a daily basis, one of the great features of the new site is that local businesses and organizations will be able to add themselves to the online Eastside Business Directory free of charge. Visitors will then be able to rate these businesses and write reviews.

It’s cool and I’m looking forward to introducing it to you!!!

Why Option Arms Are A Bad Idea

In today’s Early to Rise Newsletter (which I fully recommend EVERYBODY subscribe to), Michael Masterson wrote the following piece:

Sometimes It’s Hard to Make Money Giving Good Advice
Alex, a broker and Jiu Jitsu buddy, has been telling me that he’s been having a hard time selling mortgages because his customers don’t want to hear his advice: that it’s a bad idea for most of them to buy into the new option adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). (See Message #1528 .)

The Wall Street Journal reports that the big U.S. mortgage lenders are selling these “riskier” loans to protect themselves from the “possibility of a surge in defaults once the housing market simmers down.” But bank regulators are worried about option ARMs. They are afraid that buyers are going to use them to get themselves into homes they can’t afford.

Alex doesn’t think that might be happening. He knows it. That’s why he has been trying to dissuade his clients from taking such loans.

Yesterday, after training, we were talking. I asked him how things were going.

“Better now that I’ve given up my scruples a bit.”

I asked him what he meant.

“When someone comes to me wanting to borrow more money than they should by using one of these mortgages, I tell them, ‘Look, this loan is not for you. Yes, you will be fine if prices keep going up. But if they stop or even slow down, you could be cash negative.’ When I say that, they look at me like I have four eyes. They say, ‘Don’t worry about that. The market is going to keep going up.’ I used to try to persuade them to take on a more sensible loan – but then they’d leave me for someone else. Nowadays, I warn them once. Then, if they insist, I sell them what they want.”

Alex told me he just sold a $640,000 mortgage to a lady who wanted to move into an $800,000 house. Her initial monthly payments are only $600. “Can you believe that!” he said, “$600 a month gets you into an $800,000 house!”

I told him I could see how tempting that must be.

“The thing is,” he said, “they don’t ask the right questions. They want to know how much their initial monthly payments are, and that’s it. They never ask about the actual terms of the mortgage, what the real rates are, and, more importantly, what the fees and charges are.”

“I guess these people have never heard of negative amortization,” I said.

“Exactly,” he said. “Most of them will never be able to pay off their loans.”

– Michael Masterson

[Early to Rise Copyright ETR, LLC, 2004]

If you’d like to subscribe to Early To Rise or suggest it to a friend,

please visit: http://www.earlytorise.com/Success Partnership.htm

I actually think Michael’s friend not only was correct, but that he didn’t mention that if and when the values of homes do drop and interest rates rise, there is a good chance that many borrowers will not be able to afford the increased payments on their homes. When this happens, they will be forced to sell them at a loss or lose them through foreclosure.

If you are thinking about selling your home, I believe that you should have done it this past summer, but there’s still time to get it done while you can.

Current Market and Mortgage Options

According to tody’s T.J. Knowles Mortgage Newsletter, which I find very informative and entertaining, interest rates are up and expected to keep climbing. He also says that property values are flattening and even going down in some areas. Even though he works in the southern California area, I see the same things being true up here.

His recommended strategies: Take a long position on your mortgages- If you can afford a 30 year fixed or 10 year ARM and plan to keep the property for 4+ years, consider making that move. 40 Year amortization (lower payment) is available, and interest-only terms may be the ticket if you have good equity in your property. If you have good rentals, you may be in the catbird seat as the market slows. Protect your interest in these Non-Owner Occupied properties by securing a longer-term loan. If you anticipate needing cash out for repairs, etc, you may be better off moving on it now rather than in a year or two.

The most important thing contained in his newsletter today:
Supply and demand rule, but those who ignore cycles are bound to be run over by them.

Bill Gate’s “Sea Change” Email – Full Text

Thanks to Dave Winer and Hypercamp we now have the full text of Bill Gate’s by now infamous email noting a “sea change” in technology as well as the complete memo from Ray Ozzie that was attached to that email.

We’re certainly glad that they’ve recognized the need to adapt and hope they can do so quickly and successfully. We’ll certainly do what we can to help.