Friday, February 27, 2015

Thousand Dollar Challenge

The past few days I have been working extra time to get my new website up to par. Why? I'm glad
you asked. This year I have challenged myself to generate over $1000 dollars on my own type of hustle. Meaning not a one time selling something for $1000 but being able to provide some type of service in order generate that type of money.

For a long time I thought I would be able to make a certain amount of money through a job. My number was somewhere around $100k annually.  Since I am 37 years old and I don't make anything near that amount working a 9 to 5 I thought I need to change up my approach. 

After leaving the military I decided to utilize my GI Bill and go back to school. I graduated with a MBA, I'm hoping that with my current job it has great hours where I only work 40 hours a week and within 4 years I am very hopeful that my salary will more than double working the same hours. I have previously worked twice the hours for only a little more money. I could leverage my degree and work in healthcare environment but my thought is that in the long run every 5 years or so I would be looking for a new job and over the course of 20 years I would make less taking that job with an immediate salary boost rather than staying at my current job.

So for now my challenge is to either get another side job or learn how to hustle. Right now I think is the perfect situation to learn how to hustle.

I came across this website called Making Sense of Cents Specifically How To Make Money Blogging. The author of the Blog listed how her monthly income has been between a few hundred dollars and as high as 15K. I found that to be very motivational. I have already been blogging through and having watched this go for a few months I want to go Independent. I just now got to the point where I could ad the Google Ad Sense. However, reading what someone else has done I thought I would take the opportunity to do things more independent and how she has outlined.  With a few exceptions. I didn't use I decided to use where with a little investigation I bought  web hosting for two years plus up to 6 domain names for $67.

I wrote a few resumes in order to raise the money to pay for the online presence. So now my goal is to use the resume business to make it to my goal of $1000.  Wish me luck as I continue with the challenge.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


© Billy Hathorn/Wikimedia
Today I was reading an article on MSN.COM Money one of my favorite sites. I ran across this article about U.S. Postal Service, FedEx Have New Competition…from Waffle House  Apparently I missed out on the emergence of UBER, the company that allows individuals to contract rides around town for a fee.

This is one of those contract ideas that I would have love to been ahead of the curve on. The other day I typed an article about how instead of jobs that are 9 to 5 there are contract temp jobs that don't pay benefits but if you could monetize something that is already occurring and have the ability to make it pay out you have effectively come up with a great side hustle. I say forget the 9 to 5 figure out a way to facilitate the side hustle. Some think the side hustle is a bad thing. I think Ideas like Rodie and Uber are exciting. 

About Roadie Inc.

Roadie, headquartered in Atlanta, has created an app-based community that puts unused capacity in passenger vehicles to work by connecting people with stuff to send with drivers heading in the right direction. Roadie’s model enables efficient, low cost delivery for senders and rewards drivers for trips they were already taking. Roadie is backed by Warren Stephens of Stephens Inc.; the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund; Eric Schmidt’s TomorrowVentures; Guggenheim Partners’ Executive Chairman Alan Schwartz, Square Co-founder Jim McKelvey; the Mellon Group; former CEO of ISS Tom Noonan, and H. Barton Asset Management, among others.
To learn more about the world’s first neighbor-to-neighbor shipping network, visit

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Feds Economic Policy Pushing the Markets Higher

According to an Article at MSNBC today's spike in the market is due to the Fed delaying the raising of interest rates.  My spin is based off of Gold Seller and Euro Pacific Capital CEO Peter Schiff.  I'm not one of those guys who has anything more than a passing interest in the markets. I do however get a little bit nervous every time another delay in raising the rates. Why?

According to Schiff all of this QE is causing inflated prices in the market. So what will happen once the bubble gets popped is you will see a reduction across the board. Granted Mr. Schiff is stands to make quite a bit of money in gold if things go the way he predicts or even if enough people are scared.

Below if you take a look at the chart you  can see how the Dow Jones Industrial Average has not been higher and is roughly 5000 points higher than things were in 2008. I would make the argument that we have not returned to an economy that is better than pre recession. However we still are under Quantitative Easing. Why? Because something else is at hand.

President Veto Pipeline Bill

President Obama has done something that again does not quite make sense in my mind. Why in the blue sam hill would he veto the pipeline when our economy is as weak as it is? The main thing I keep seeing is the issue of climate change. As discussed yesterday I am still wondering why I should be worried about climate change and not population. I am by no means arguing for the more extreme measure of sustainability. But given the information that makes the most sense to me, I wonder what advantage does this move offer me?  From what I understand about the WCS or Western Canadian Select is that is is more aligned with export to Europe. While the benchmark right now is the WTI or the Western Texas Intermediate out of Cushing, Oklahoma.

1. Instead of the environmentalist getting upset at the damage from transportation over road or rail this has turned into a position of parties. Even reviewing the information at the Washington Post posits that moving oil by rail as a riskier position environmentally.

2. Cows emit significantly more carbon into the atmosphere than the keystone pipeline Cows emission 6.5 Billion tons per year vs 18.7 million tons according to  My argument here might seem a bit extreme but if you are consuming beef you should worry more about your purchase of beef than an opening of the keystone pipeline. This is like saving .0029 I don't know about you but I would imagine that as insignificant.

3.  I imagine ExxonMobile which holds a 69% stake in Imperial Oil would stand to remove barriers to getting the oil to US ports. Again I don't gain much here but for those who are for a free market situation the veto seems to be a bad idea.

4. I would like to make the argument based off of population energy is a shell game of sorts. Just because one avenue of energy is blocked an alternative is brought in from somewhere else. Environmentalist might win a deal but instead of heavy crude oil we will shift to the fracking of natural gas.  If we stop fracking natural gas then we will shift to coal. If not coal the other alternative is nuclear power. In any case you come up with a scenario in which a hard decision needs to be made. In effect I believe it is a zero sum game.

What this means to me is that when the prices of energy go up the prices of CPI and more importantly the price of food goes up for you data wonks out there here is another link with data by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics for the non data wonks my understanding this means that you can thank Obama for the high cost of beef or other associated food products because this is not environmentally sound.

However, unlike Hobijn’s account, the analysis presented here finds that oil and gas commodity price movements had a substantial impact on the all-items CPI, as well as on lower level indexes both in the longer term and in specific years. Rising oil and gas prices contributed substantially to both all-items and core CPI price changes from 2003 through 2008, accounting for approximately 26 percent of both indexes combined. During years of large price increases in oil and gas, higher prices accounted for an even greater share of the all-items and core CPIs; in 2008,higher prices accounted for nearly 40 percent of each. (BLS)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Managing Online Presence

I thought this was an interesting article over at about cleaning up an online profile. I have been going through this as I am currently evaluating extra streams of income through
e commerce.

Should I be Concerned About Global Warming?

Should I be worried about global warming?

According to this video the cost of doing nothing will surely outweigh the cost of doing something about global warming. Well my question is when was the earth ever sustainable?  Was there ever a period when people where  living in harmony with the earth? What would the total population look like? Well, the answer to these questions might be scarier than the video presented. 

In the mind of SamCWrites
Well before I get into answering some of these questions let me tell you how I stumbled into thinking about this. Well I have an interest in business and a few weeks ago I noticed that the price of oil has been extremely low. What used to cost my wife $40 to fill her gas tank had started costing $24. Talk about a heck of a savings. So I then started watching the news to understand what was going on. I heard speculators talking about how there was an over production and how OPEC countries were not going to lower production amounts. My favorite economic doomsday scenario builder right now is Peter Schiff.

So next I run into another blog talking about Peak Oil by Gail Tverberg called Our Finite World In an article called Ten Reasons Why a Severe Drop in Oil Prices is a Problem. 

There are really two different problems that a person can be concerned about:
  1. Peak oil: the possibility that oil prices will rise, and because of this production will fall in a rounded curve. Substitutes that are possible because of high prices will perhaps take over.
  2. Debt related collapse: oil limits will play out in a very different way than most have imagined, through lower oil prices as limits to growth in debt are reached, and thus a collapse in oil “demand” (really affordability). The collapse in production, when it comes, will be sharper and will affect the entire economy, not just oil.
In the commentary section people began asking the question of how can we use these resources more suitably the basic answers given by Gail were
Densifying cities would require more energy–moving people farther away from where the food is grown, and making people more dependent on electricity and other forms of energy. If the issue is keeping the current system from collapsing, I agree that using more energy is (very temporarily) the answer.
The problem is that the current system seems likely to collapse, in the very near term. If it does, it will not support dense populations in large cities very well. Adding more density just makes the problem worse after collapse.
 (Back to the issue at Hand)

When I asked my classmates and friends when they thought the world was consuming things in a sustainable era  they pointed at the Native Americans and specifically around the year 1700s.
The prevailing guess was that at that point in time there were only about 1.2 Billion people on earth.
Right now the population is at about 7 Billion + people. That means in order for the humans to become aligned with earth 5.8 Billion People have to go. I'm no mathematician so I'm guessing that means that 1 out of 8 people gets to live and everyone else has to die. So with older growth estimates that would only delay the impending doom for another 200 years before the earth would find itself in the same predicament.

Type in World Sustainable Populations Estimates into Google and you will see something similar.

So if we are talking about changing things in the United States to cut carbon emissions by 25% then compared to cutting 7/8 of the population I would assume we would yield an extra month of earth time.

I hope if you view the situation as bad as I'm outlining in this blog then when you see these efforts to curb emissions you would see that this no more than plugging a dam with your fingers in hopes of saving the village.  So now I would argue that perhaps instead of looking to stop the environment from crashing be thankful for another day cause the alternative is gonna cost you.

Report the Decline of Small Business Hurt Economic Recovery Job Growth

Reports from MSN Money are

The Labor Department announced that applications for unemployment last week fell to 283,000. This data – which reveals ups and downs in layoffs – was, of course, characterized in the news as a sign of an improving job market. But there’s a big difference between fewer layoffs (good news, but not awesome news) and more new jobs (an increased employment rate). And we have a lot of people who need jobs, with what some refer to as the “real unemployment rate” (the Labor Department’s underemployment rate)at over 11 percent. Imagine the economy as a bucket of water – in this case, the water is jobs – with a hole in it. The hole just got a little smaller, according to the unemployment applications data, but the level of the water still isn’t increasing the way it should.
 When I think of the small business sector that is suffering I think of all of the legislation that raises the cost of entry into the market. Especially in a time when the economy is recovering I wonder why these guys are quick to snap on initiatives on energy. Since we have moved away from a manufacturing society the only thing that I can think of that we have been doing well is producing energy.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Is there value in becoming an independant contractor?

I ran across an article from the Huffington Post outlining Why We're All Becoming Independent Contractors.  The author Robert Reich says
The rise of "independent contractors" is the most significant legal trend in the American workforce -- contributing directly to low pay, irregular hours, and job insecurity.
It's become a race to the bottom. Once one business cuts costs by making its workers "independent contractors," every other business in that industry has to do the same -- or face shrinking profits and a dwindling share of the market
I suggest this one: Any corporation that accounts for at least 80 percent or more of the pay someone gets, or receives from that worker at least 20 percent of his or her earnings, should be presumed to be that person's "employer."
My personal belief is that having the majority of labor through contractors has been happening for quite some time. I believe things are changing form quite a bit. What I  mean is this for some time companies would hire employees to work for them, pay benefits, and then  there came a period where companies would use staffing agencies to keep some of their seasonal workers, then you have companies as mentioned in the article that strictly independent. This is what I have seen first hand from my experience working.

From an employer perspective, If I didn't have to pay benefits then I wouldn't these are extra costs that can be a bit burdensome especially if I am the small to midsize company. I'm sure a long philosophical debate could be derived from this situation on what is fair and what is not fair.  Where does one draw the line in the sand on who should be allowed benefits. What I do know is that where there is an artificial price floor put in then there will be an oversupply. In this case that means an oversupply of labor and lower marginal price paid in wages. Again this is highly debatable to some. But I wonder the cost of implementing such agency law and enforcement might be to the tax payers as well as what are the implications of such a law on the labor market?  Does this mean that we will have a middle class to rival the time period of the 1950's and 1960's? Does this mean that these agency laws provide minimal change as in after all the money is spent the average person sees their wages in all reality go up on par with inflation?

What does this mean to me on the bottom of the ladder. I think that regardless of what happens with the agency law either one has to develop a set of  specific set of specialty skills or facilitate the evolution of these contracts. One of the things I believe are that the 9-5 is going the way of the dinosaur.