MMM: The wisdom of James Cash Penney

The Positivity Blog discusses a handful of Mr. Penney’s most positive and energizing quotes.

“We get real results only in proportion to the real values we give.”

“A merchant who approaches business with the idea of serving the public well has nothing to fear from the competition.”

“It is the service we are not obliged to give that people value most.”

“Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.”

“The well-satisfied customer will bring the repeat sale that counts.”

Want to be rich? Be like Mr. Penney.


Guy Kawasaki on the Art of Sucking Up

“Suck up early and often,” goes the saying in corporate life – but is it really all that effective?  Guy Kawasaki throws in his two cents with a series of suggestions which, while not completely servile, are still unctuous enough the be annoying.   (For instance, Guy is not clear on the distinction between seeking empathy and begging.)

“Why?” is the question I want to ask.  Does anyone really believe this is more effective when the externalities of revolting your coworkers is included in the calculus?  I prefer people who deal with me in a straightforward, sincere and honest manner  – don’t most people?

I wonder if it’s the general increase in incivility and vulgarity in society which makes people think they have to overcompensate by sucking up  to their superiors.  I believe an even keel of being courteous and respectful to everyone – particularly those below you in the pecking order – is a better strategy.

Incredible time-saving tip for Google Reader users

At the top left is a link labelled “All Items” followed by the number of unread posts you have.  It’s right under the “Home” link.  Click it.  Then click the “Mark all as read” button at the center of the page.  Click OK when your browser prompts you if you really want to do this.  Ta-da!  You’re up to date.

Of course, you should only doing it after reading all the posts on The Cart Blog. 🙂

Don’t be like Barack – save for your retirement!

Imagine the horror – the horror! – of finding out that Barack Obama isn’t saving his pennies for retirement. Why on earth not? Mankiw has a depressing possible explanation:

As Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee has written, “Future increases in tax rates potentially threaten to significantly reduce the value of your retirement savings and may even mean that you should not save in 401(k) accounts at all.”

But there’s still the after-tax Roth IRA, Barack! What kind of example are you setting?

In the words of Ben Stein: if you’re old enough to be having sex, you’re old enough to save for your retirement.