The 401K basics for beginners

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“You should have started yesterday.”

It’s a widely applicable and common lament for a multitude of reasons. When we are teenagers, it can apply to those high school essays that were assigned weeks ago. For middle aged persons, it might be the lackluster amount of exercise or healthy eating that catches up to us during a routine check up.

Eventually, many folks realize they should have started earlier in saving up for retirement.

The longer you wait to start that 401k the more you will find yourself in such a position. Personally, I am very near my retirement days and I have stashed away plenty…


Always be the lighthouse, not a weather vane

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In times of (and don’t you just love these fancy phrases?) increased ambiguity and significant dislocation, it’s an opportune time to build your personal brand — substantially, properly and, down the line, profitably.

Let me explain how.

In any period of uncertainty or high ambiguity, people look for the adult in the room. The substantial, value-add person who knows what to do, how to act, where to be, to what extent to worry.

Essentially, everyone is looking for the “who” who will provide the what, where, when, why and how.

To be blunt, they want to be a follower and…


How can you be the “virtual” adult in the room?

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There is more than just a virus flying around right now.

Misinformation, significant ambiguity, ignorance, folly, poor decision making.

It’s a stressful time — although I don’t need to tell anyone that — and the lack of an adult in the room on many issues has been astounding.

What are the main emotions you are feeling as this continues to go on?

I’m feeling sorrow and I’m feeling disappointment, about the lack of a “virtual” adult in the room making good decisions, doing the right thing and guiding people who need to be guided.

I do believe people need to…


Don’t let yourself get tricked into panic

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A number of years ago, I took my then young family to our local county fair.

It was one of those dog days of summer, full of all sorts of bad food like cotton candy and deep fried Oreos. We rode all sorts of bad rides, held baby chicks, looked at various displays and competitions. The ideal summer evening.

There was one particular ride that, although I don’t remember it’s real name, became known within our family as the Vomit-Tron. I’ll leave that to your imagination.

There was one operator of the Vomit-Tron, a wonderfully droll guy, who would mumble…


You feel it all the time, but are you using it to your advantage?

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When I ride my motorcycle on chillier days, I rarely notice how cold I am when zooming around. It is only when I come to a stop and begin to warm up slightly that I realize just how frigid I felt in motion. Most riders can relate to this sensation I’m sure, but the idea behind this phenomenon is more universal.

When you’re in the middle of tumult it can be difficult to center yourself and take stock of how severe your predicament is. In business, we have all rallied around employees and clients who are tough to deal with.


Volatility can equal opportunity

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As I sit here in mid-March 2020, I can’t help but think of Sesame Street.

Now, you might suppose that’s an odd thing to be thinking of given the current state of things. But you might remember that in the old Sesame Street shows, they would always say, for example, “today’s show is brought to you by the letter X and the number 3.


How to personally brand yourself for the better

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Whoever is speaking here must certainly be providing value!

Influencer is a word that many associate strongly with the rise of social media platforms and their stars.

Most people my age can name a few of these new-age influencers, like the Kardashians or Paris Hilton. Web-savvy folks under 30 almost certainly have a wider range of names they associate with the term. Prior to social media, influencers were found elsewhere; Oprah comes to mind for TV influencing especially.

What all influencers have in common is their ability to leverage an effective personal brand.

The influencers I mentioned above certainly have their own convictions and ideas to spread, but they…


Labels sort out employees, not box them in

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Even if they deny playing favorites or viewing employees by tiers, every manager or supervisor keeps a mental label on the kinds of folks they corral.

Some are superstars, others are works-in-progress, a few may be the old-reliables, so on and so forth. The best leaders don’t confuse their labels with judgments for judgements sake, but rather use them as a way to best know the capabilities of their team and whom to allocate bandwidth to or from.

My favorite trifecta of these labels was introduced to me by one of my business partners and friends, Ron Gibori. …


Start strong, finish stronger, and experiment in the middle

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At the beginning of the year, I always strive to have a Lakers Start. It’s great when it happens and opens the door for possibilities throughout the rest of the year. Trial, error, experimentation, fun. It’s more challenging and more pressure when it does not.

At the beginning of my career, and I’m showing my age with this one, we had a saying around the office about the Lakers basketball team. …


The 6 rules you should always follow

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How do you deal with a “difficult client”?

Given my current circumstance, I have the luxury of making rules for myself about the clients with whom I will and won’t work.

My number one rule is somewhat tongue in cheek, but I only ever work with or for a client with whom I would want to vacation.

Sometimes when you have a boss, work associate or client who is someone you would not want to vacation with, work life just because unbearable, painful and frankly, awful.

Remember that it’s normal to vacation with someone and get a little bit tired…

Aaron Webber

Chairman and CEO, Webber Investments. Partner at Idea Booth/BGO.

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