- With about 32 personalities to choose from, you should easily be able to find one you can dress up like.
- Hold a sign that says: “I’m a Czar and life’s too short to follow the Constitution.”
- Notice War’s physical strength compared to the soft and delicate look of Peace. Reagan promoted a policy of “peace through strength.” Reagan knew that by increasing spending on defense, he would be able to eliminate or lesson violence. Reagan tried it, and it worked. There’s a reason bars keep bouncers at the door – their strength and stature keeps people in line. Likewise, a bouncer can typically control the atmosphere at the bar without having to lay a hand on anyone – he just has to be himself: strong and intimidating. The most peaceful way of allowing as many people as possible into a bar without performing complicated background checks is to simply have a strong presence at the entrance.
- Winston Churchill described appeasement – the opposite of Reagan’s theory – this way: “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile – hoping it will eat him last.”
- An investment in defense is an investment in peace. Notice the protective shield that War holds over Peace’s head in the painting. Without the armor of defense, Peace would not be able to stand there and hold the olive branch. Peace is, by nature, vulnerable. Her vulnerability is one of her greatest attributes, but since humans are inclined to envy, fighting, hatred and other forms of vice and violence, she needs the protection of War’s strength.
- This is not a battle scene. This painting illustrates the fact that we don’t necessarily need to engage in brutal battles to stay at peace. Rather, during times of peace, we need to invest in and possess the defensive and strategic systems and tactics that will show our neighbors that: Anyone – who comes in peace – is welcome into our country. At the same time, the scene isn’t a bread-breaking. War’s shield safeguards Peace, and his sword is at his side, should anyone try to attack her. Peace gently touches War’s hand – urging him to resist an actual battle – yet, she does not refuse his protective battle shield. Peace also does not take the sword from War’s hand – she merely advises it from unnecessary use. Diplomacy alone won’t keep our country safe: Bouncers rarely keep random, intoxicated visitors in line by passing out candy, smiley face stickers and free drinks. The proven way to achieve national security is through the interaction of smart, strategic defense with the goal of protecting the olive branch of Peace.
Part 4 of 4This is the fourth in a series on how young entrepreneurs and innovation – not massive government spending – will get us out of our economic recession. The young entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed have all started their companies during this recession. By Katie Kieffer The Questions: 1.) When did you start the Paradigm Group? Summarize briefly how the two of you decided to come together to start this company? Kiel: We opened in May of 2009. Anders and I were colleagues at The Geneva Organization and we kept in touch after we both left earlier this year. I came to Anders and we were discussing what was going on in the market and decided it would be a good time to come together and start our own company. Anders: We did our background research and spoke with a number of companies in the area and realized that even though things are slow, the workload for a lot of companies is still rather high. We recognized that and said to ourselves, “Why don’t we start a company where we can offer commercial real estate services on a short-term basis – hourly or by project?” 2.) What is unique about The Paradigm Group? How do you set yourself apart from larger corporations? Anders: Some of what we do is project-based consulting or advisory work. We can come into a situation where a client has a problem on their hands and, not only can we say, “This is what we recommend,” but we can also tell them: “We can get it done for you. We can build it for you. We can execute your ideas for you.” Combined, Kiel and I have close to 10 years of experience in commercial real estate, and this is an asset to our clients. We are also young and open-minded, so we bring fresh ideas to the table. Kiel: Adding to Anders’ points, we offer to do our projects on a contingent basis. If a client is either unsatisfied or had something completely different in mind after we perform our work, we will re-adjust our analysis to better suit the client, free of charge. Our number one goal is to provide quality work to our clients in order for them to better their business models. 3.) Have either or both of you always had the dream of doing your own thing? Would you consider yourself to be a serial entrepreneur or is this your first independent venture? Kiel: Both of us had at some point planned to go out on our own. Growing up, my family was very entrepreneurial-oriented. I used to watch and learn how my father ran his company, and it definitely instilled a motivation for me to be running my own company at some point in my life. Because of circumstances, it just so happened to be now versus later on in life. Anders: I always saw myself as running my own company down the road. We just had the opportunity to open it up sooner than planned, and we took the leap. 4.) In the cover story of the September 21, 2009 issue of TIME Magazine’s “Verbatim” section, they quote Rick Alexander, a FL carpenter who gave up searching for a job after several months as saying: ‘It becomes a “why bother” scenario.’ Do you think that this recession is a perfect time to create your own opportunities versus relying on large corporations to provide them? Anders: We are more optimistic. We think that this is a great time to start a company. There are a lot of things that take time you are starting up a company, such as building a brand. Over the next 12-18 months we can get our name out there and when things pick up, we’ll be ready to capitalize on our investment. Kiel: Even though it’s slow and most people in our industry are playing the “wait and see” approach, I still think there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity out there. If you look at past recessions, they have been a catalyst for new and innovative companies. 5.) As young professionals, do you feel like it’s easier to take on the risk of doing your own thing while you’re young? Kiel: No matter what, when you start a new company there is a risk. However, generally younger individuals have less responsibility in their lives, allowing them more time and effort to make a business successful. For us, companies can get two young, hard-working professionals that can come in and do exceptional work for them, while at the same time focusing their time on bigger tasks and reducing their expenses by not having to hire full-time. Anders: I feel being young is our biggest asset. Given the fact we are just starting our careers we can take more risks and have the ability to be more flexible in our decision-making. Right now we have both the time and energy it requires to start up a new company. 6.) What are the biggest challenges you face today as a young entrepreneur? What is the most fulfilling? Challenges: Anders: Getting enough work load to keep us going in a slow market. Kiel: Getting companies on-board or being comfortable with bringing in an outside consultant, especially a younger one. At first, they might hesitate due to the perceived time involved in getting us up-to-speed with their work. It’s not as time-consuming as it may sound. We can jump in right away because of our background experience, generally requiring only one meeting to discuss the extent of a project. Fulfilling: Anders & Kiel: When we are able to provide exceptional work for a client and they want to work with us again. It is always nice to hear that our work directly benefitted their company as a whole or allowed them to close a deal. 7.) Where do you see your company a year from now? Anders: We’ll be a more recognizable name in the Twin Cities commercial real estate market. Hopefully by then we can hire a few more people to work under us to help us with the work load Kiel: We want to expand to our name and reputation within the industry, providing niche services to a number of different clients. 8.) What’s your website? How can people reach you? Company website: www.theparadigmgroupmn.com Email: Anders Persavanto – email@example.com Kiel Luse – firstname.lastname@example.org
Part 3 of 4This is the third in a series on how young entrepreneurs and innovation – not massive government spending – will get us out of our economic recession. The young entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed have all started their companies during this recession. By Katie Kieffer The Questions: 1.) Tell me about Evoke. What’s the story behind your company? I started Evoke two and a half years ago. I set out to focus on the corporate market and actually work in the Minnesota market for a change. I had been traveling a lot, working on casinos and hotels for the past six or so years and needed to be around more for my new blended family. I have always enjoyed working with smaller companies on their offices and creating a “home” for their brand. I founded the firm on the principles of conscious design. Conscious design takes a holistic view of space from the perspective of people, environment, culture and cost. Functional and beautiful spaces facilitate productivity and joy. I love hearing stories from clients about how we increased their efficiency. I once had a client increase their employee productivity by 30 percent in 30 days after moving into the new space. What a wonderful gift for them. 2.) Was it hard to make that leap into the Minneapolis market? It has been time-consuming – introducing myself and my brand – but not necessarily difficult getting into the market. The one positive of the recession is that no one is especially busy, so scheduling coffee and breakfast meetings is much easier. (Always looking for the positives!) 3.) What are some resources you’d recommend for people who are trying to decide whether to venture off on their own? Inc. magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine are national publications that feature people who’ve started their own companies. They can be very inspirational to people who are just getting started. 4.) Is it a good or bad idea to start a company during a recession as a young professional? It boils down to your personality. Are you a strong, driven person committed to your venture through thick and thin? Then go for it. Recessions are about shaking things up. Some of the best ideas have come from recessions. I love the word recession. It starts with the pre-fix “re.” Think of all the fabulous words that start with “re:” re-birth, re-think, re-do, re-generate, re-juvenate, re-plenish, re-new, re-novate, re-vitalize. Thinking of recession as a re-birth puts a positive spin on an otherwise negative word. All that aside, from a business perspective, this was probably the worst time I could have started my business. This recession has turned out to be far longer and more difficult than anyone could have predicted. It will be interesting to look back in ten years, though. 5.) What’s unique about EVOKE? If you hire my firm you know who you will be working with at the end of the day, me. I strive to make life easier for each client by giving them a complete binder of information, so that in 10 years if they need to re-paint or re-carpet all the information is right at their finger tips. 6.) What are the biggest challenges and rewards you experience as a young entrepreneur?
- The biggest challenge: That would be the “fallen” credit market. My business is reliant on my clients’ ability to fund projects. The A&D industry as well as the commercial real estate industry has seen many projects go on hold indefinitely due to lack of financing.
- The rewards are: Seeing how many people know and recognize the Evoke brand. After two years of meeting and greeting it is fun to see people recognize me and the brand. (It is also nice to know more than one person at a NAIOP meeting. They are not as scary anymore!)
- Follow me on Twitter: @Evokedesigninc or @EvokeAlyssa
- Website: www.evokedesigninc.com
- Email: Alyssa@evokedesigninc.com
Part 2 of 4This is the second in a series on how young entrepreneurs and innovation – not massive government spending – will get us out of our economic recession. The young entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed have all started their companies during this recession. By Katie Kieffer The Questions: 1.) What’s the story behind MyCore Industries LLC? How and when did you decide to start this company?
- MyCore was started in March 2009 after my team and I had spent months researching a project in the renewable energy industry. We quickly realized that if a company or business wanted to start using renewable energy, they were essentially on their own.
- There was no single, turn-key solution provider to guide them through the process of determining what kind of technology to use (solar thermal, solar PV, wind, geothermal), getting financing, designing and implementing products and systems, creating environmentally friendly marketing campaigns and seeing each piece through from start to finish. We knew we could fill this hole within the industry – this led us to create MyCore.
- Nearly every business/building could benefit from their own sustainability advisor, who can take them through the audit process, aggregate and maintain quality standards for all of the market services, research products and new technologies, manage the design and engineering phase and manage the implementation process for energy efficiency and renewable energy systems.
- MyCore is a one-stop shop for organizations to innovate through sustainability. Our services include energy advisory, project management, project finance, and marketing from start to finish.
- MyCore offers unbiased suggestions and implements them to reduce a building’s operating costs. Unlike others in the industry, MyCore will consider all energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and prioritize them for a customized plan, aligned with our client’s goals. Our goal is to recommend, to our clients, the optimum technologies and systems to reduce their operating costs. In an effort to do so, we have built relationships with the best companies that offer each service and technology.
- We help a company improve bottom line performance.
- We add value to buildings by reducing their operating costs.
- Minimal upfront costs.
- Unbiased partnerships with suppliers.
- We do all this while still helping out the planet.
- Yes, I was raised in an entrepreneurial family that owns a manufacturing business with clients around the globe. I learned first-hand from my parents who taught me about the hard work, risk, and diligence necessary to create a successful company from initial conception to rapid and sustained growth.
- In addition, I have had some projects not go as originally planned – but that is the risk I take and part of the realization that I am only one guy, and I can’t do everything myself. I know that if I can bring people together who are inspired and driven – we can create something that is bigger than us. With MyCore, we have created something that changes lives and helps people work better and cleaner.
- I’m a glass-half-full person, so even though my age may give me some challenges, it gives me the vitality, flexibility and energy to get through them! That being said, I try to learn from everything and everyone.
- As a young entrepreneur, I love asking questions! I have found that the best way to gain knowledge is by building relationships with seasoned business and industry professionals who I can bounce ideas off of. Their guidance is invaluable, and helps me learn from their mistakes and successes to give me the best tools for today’s opportunities.
- I’m not an economist so I can’t even begin to speculate on how we will all get through this tough time in history.
- I know I’m just one guy and I can’t change the world – but I can try to change my corner of it! I have the power to make sure that my business is run as efficiently as possible and that I take advantage of opportunities provided by clients and individual investors rather than just the government alone.
- Follow me on Twitter: RyanLeeAnderson
- Website: www.MyCoreIndustries.com
- Email: Ryan.Anderson@MyCoreIndustries.com
- Facebook: Become a Fan of MyCore Industries, LLC.
- Office: (612) 349-6985
- Office Fax: (612) 349-6989