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I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2)
Old 10-03-2004, 12:21 PM   #1
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I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2)

... apparently I haven't learned how to turn it off (yet).

Scott Adams (Dilbert) used to have a section of his website devoted to lazy entrepreneurs. The plan was that they'd post their money-making ideas for others to actually develop & execute. Presumably the grateful millionaires would then kick back a few thousand to the lazy (yet creative) slobs.

ERs are familiar with this problem. Relaxed & alert in your ER life, you see business opportunities everywhere and your creative juices start to flow! But then you realize that actually following through on your inspiration is just too much like REAL work. You grab a frosty beverage and lay down until the feeling passes, but it keeps coming back to bother you.

So to channel these urges into a more healthy outlet, here's a few of my contributions to the Young Dreamers. Remember me kindly if you springboard my idea to obscene riches.

1. "Who I Wuz" jackets.
Navy veterans have "cruise jacket" souvenirs for those who've deployed overseas. They're emblazoned across the back with something like "WestPac '02" in bright eye-grabbing colors, along with a Pacific map showing the battlegroup's odyssey & portcalls. The sleeves & chest are festooned with various warfare patches & insignia and maybe a cryptic slogan (inside joke) or two.

Inspiration struck one day when my father mentioned that he was always being asked who he was before he retired (e.g., "died"). This concept should take the retiree world by storm. "Who I Wuz" jackets would have the retiree's corporate titles emblazoned across the back shoulders, perhaps with a globe-trotting graphic for job-hoppers. Sleeves could have corporate logos and the front could have short resume bullets or career dates. The insides of the jacket ("Psst! Hey buddy!") could be embroidered with a salary history or the # of direct reports. The jacket could even be draped across your tombstone if you die at your desk.

2. "Command Performance, Inc."
In my military career I've written or endorsed over a thousand performance reviews. I've spent over two decades learning how to stuff terse, active-verb phrases into small text boxes. Hey, it wasn't exactly the stuff you see in the recruiting commercials, but it paid a lot of bills.

However, most of the Naval Reserves have not developed this skill. One organization, the Naval Reserve Association, actually earns quite a bit by selling "record reviews" to its members. After a $35 annual fee you pay an additional $75-$100 to have one of their employees go over your official record with a checklist and advise you on missing awards, gaps in performance reviews, and other administrivia that could torpedo a promotion.

Enter CP Inc. For just $35 I'll interview you over the phone as I craft your performance appraisal on the appropriate software. You provide a few details, I'll supply the superlatives, and I'll e-mail the file to you tomorrow. For $50 I'll meet with you personally and do it on my laptop as you watch. For $75 I'll sit with you and your supervisor to craft a mutually-agreeable product that won't need further editing! And for $100 I'll do just as good a record review as the NRA.

Surely this can be translated to civilian performance reviews?

3. "Good/Fast/Cheap Inc."
This idea comes from a Mensa friend who cut through all the marketing & sales crap with the observation that all customers want all of the above. Unfortunately they can't have it all, but they can have two out of three. This is similar to a hotel's personal-concierge service where you meet the customer's requests no matter how inane or indulgent (the request OR the customer). Customers have to decide which two features they want-- good & fast (but very expensive), good & cheap (but it'll take a while to put together), or fast & cheap (quality by coincidence only).

4. The Handy Guy.
Most workers & homeowners would rather have root canals than a subscription to Family Handyman or the HGTV cable channel or surf a DIY website. For just $25/hour (preferably cash) I'll handle routine maintenance or minor repairs. We're not talking rocket science or even contractor licenses-- just sprinkler tweaks, picture hanging, & refrigerator/dryer cleaning. For a retainer I'll put together a monthly checklist and execute it.

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I'm not looking for a job.  (Part 2 of 2)
Old 10-03-2004, 12:22 PM   #2
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I'm not looking for a job.  (Part 2 of 2)

5. Portfolio reviews. How often do we see this on the ER discussion boards? We do this every day for free, and maybe we should be paid for it. You tell me your goals & risk profile and I'll review your portfolio against popular concepts from Bernstein, Vanguard Diehards, Bill O'Neill, Nicolas Darvas, Norwegian Widows, or whatever "investing authority" claims to have the inside track to wealth & leisure. Understand that I'm not talking CFPs or financial advice-- just a dispassionate comparison of your investments to whatever guru's benchmark criteria you feel comfortable with.

6. Frugality reviews. Another discussion board (or Dogbert) perennial. You walk me through your kitchen or your office and I'll suggest money-saving lifestyle changes. It'll be the usual canards about skipping the morning Starbucks, brown-bagging a healthy lunch, and canceling the health club membership in favor of long walks & vigorous housecleaning. I won't expect you to actually do these things, and you'll probably ignore all of our expert advice, but you'll feel better and I'll be $25/hour richer.

7. Parental activity consultant. Has your kid ever started a new sport or other activity, and you're constantly surprised & dismayed by the things the parents are expected to do to support it? The instructors/coaches never have the time to tell you what to expect (or avoid) but, much to the dismay of your offspring, you'll flounder for weeks before some battle-scarred parental veteran takes pity on you and shows you the ropes. A year later you'll realize that YOU'RE the veteran, and you'll pay the favor forward on some other poor struggling parent. This hit me particularly hard in the "sport" of dressage, where I can still barely tell a fetlock from a forelock.

For a small hourly fee I'll network with all those staffs & battle-scarred veterans to learn the ropes for you. I'll teach you what you need to know and give you checklists & calendars to help meet all the deadlines & requirements. For a small additional fee I'll even send you reminders! You'll always know what to bring to the next soccer match or how to prep for the away game or how to pack for the next Scouting trip.

Who's next?
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2
Old 10-03-2004, 09:29 PM   #3
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2

I found a wonderful product to organize one's computer cables (really! not ugly! not on the floor!) and as soon as I try it out I am gonna become their seller on eBay - NOT. I actually wrote to them about it, then I thought, what are you, nuts? You're already too busy!

Check it out. It's cable-safe.com.

Anne

And they're looking for someone to sell them on eBay. I have some ideas about it. . .
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2
Old 10-04-2004, 10:51 AM   #4
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2

I was just wondering, why don't they just sell it themselves on EBay?
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2
Old 10-04-2004, 05:05 PM   #5
 
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2

Come on now..............They don't sell it themselves
on ebay for the same reason that the people offering
systems to make millions working at home don't just work at home and make millions. P.T. Barnum was right.

John Galt
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2
Old 10-04-2004, 06:34 PM   #6
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2

Nords,
I like item 5 - portfolio review. Actually, I was thinking of a sideline of personel budget management, investment advise, marriage counselor.
Think about it - with the average houshould credit card debt at $9,000 there must be a great demand for people to get their financial life in order.
Now you know to get into $9,000 in credit card debt they really will not follow your advise. But they will pay you by the hour and pay you to do the work for them (setting up accounts/paperwork) and counsel the wife and husband how to do it. Hundreds of dollars a week easy.
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2
Old 10-04-2004, 09:59 PM   #7
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2

They don't sell it on eBay because they're busy building their own website.

They aren't soliciting sellers for eBay, I wrote them about it! You guys are so cynical.

But I'm not going to do it. My antiques are selling well, and I don't have enough time for THAT. I need more time to read the ER forums!

Anne
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2
Old 10-04-2004, 10:09 PM   #8
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2

Quote:
You guys are so cynical.
Hey, that gives me an idea. * Rent-a-Cynic: the cold hard truth for $25. * I can already see several spin-offs, including Am-I-Hot-Or-Not?...Really catering to insecure but beautiful women and staffed entriely by retired dirty old men.
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but...
Old 09-19-2005, 11:46 AM   #9
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but...

With thanks to Kramer at raddr's board, it's time to revive this thread with a very scary Washington Post article on how to take care of your new ~8000 sq ft home (the owner's "estimate") with 4.5 bathrooms and a three-acre lot.

Did I mention that both parents are fully overemployed? Heck, they don't even have time to pick up their dog's poop. But luckily Doody Calls!
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2)
Old 09-19-2005, 12:08 PM   #10
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2)

"When you've got 4.5 bathrooms, it's amazing how many toilets break," Lang said. "It's that point where you've got nine or 10 rooms -- rooms that you forget the purpose for and you need that room cleaned."

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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2)
Old 09-19-2005, 01:02 PM   #11
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2)

How much does one have to make as an assistant (to a wife of senator, mind you!) to afford all of those service people? You got to wonder how much of her mind set is pure laziness versus *my time is valuable*.
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2)
Old 09-19-2005, 01:42 PM   #12
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2)

Geek Squad got it right .... making house calls to fix mom n'pops PC.

Almost anything fits that business model ... financial advice, RE investment advice, Mr. Fix-it, poop-patrol, anything goes.
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2)
Old 09-19-2005, 02:07 PM   #13
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Re: I'm not looking for a job, but... (Part 1 of 2)

From the article: Fairchild said Kraus has become a combination counselor, interior designer and confidant.

I can see myself doing that for a living.

I listed to A way with Words on public radio this weekend. Someone called in and said he was hired to do "everything" and wondered what a possible job title would be. The host suggested Factotum. Looks like the people in Nords article need Factoti.
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