First Line Manager – Know Thyself

In the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi are the words, “Know Thyself.” This is an admonition to people to remember they are not God; and, to enter the Temple with humility. Ben Franklin said, “There are three things extremely hard; steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” Most first line managers struggle to define themselves.”Knowing myself,” as a manager is a challenge for me. This challenge started when I was twenty-four, and is still a challenge for me today. I have made progress. I know first line managers are all different; we come to the job with different expectations and experiences. I bet most of us know we have to define ourselves to the people we manage. To do this, we must first know ourselves. I am a first line manager and have been since 1971, except for two years. I can give you my perspective on some of my learning moments. I hope you can gain some insight in my progression to “knowing myself.”Being a General Manager of three motels taught me; the more managers you have between you and employees, the further you are away from the actions of the employees in the departments. I know I must transfer my energy through managers to have an impact on their department employee actions. This is hard to do. My expectations are high. I hired a college fraternity buddy of mine to manage the restaurant in my first motel. He was not effective. We discussed his lack of performance in my office. He started to cry. I learned I did not want to manage my friends. Also, I learned, I did not like being removed from the employees on the front line. This is my first realization; I missed being a front line manager. I was the restaurant manager and the General Manager of the last motel I managed. This is the best of worlds, a general manager and a first line manager.From 1976 to 1978, I work as a Territory Sales Manager for a chemical company. I am just responsible for my actions. There are no employee problems. The only employee I must motivate is me. This is easy. Each morning I get in the seat of the car at seven o’clock. I work my daily sales plan. The first year I have a forty percent sales increase in my territory. This is a lonesome job. I am alone each day; just me, a sales bag, and a car. My second realization, I miss the manager’s role; that is, working with employees to accomplish company goals. Even thought I am successful selling, I prefer managing people.Years later, the Vice President of my division said we need to get you to the corporate headquarters for more experience, my prompt answer, “I do not want to go.” I know I will not survive at the corporate headquarters, might as well admit it. I am sure this ended my journey up the corporate ladder. I am where I want to be; a first line manager, close to employees and customers.Thus, I know, I want to manage employees that are close to the customer. Even with all the issues involved with the job. Some first line managers do not come to this point and dislike handling all the issues with being a manager. Maybe they are in the wrong job.This is the point. Being true to myself makes me happy and passionate about my job.”Know Thyself.” then, “To thyself be true.”

All The Secrets Behind The Best Digital Photography Courses

What exactly is a digital photography course and how can I get involved in one? With the newly popular hobby of digital photography, people are always looking for ways to improve their overall skills in taking photos. One of the best ways to do this is to take purchase an online DIY digital photography course. Alternatively you could enroll in an offline course and spend a lot more money.So where can I find these digital photography Courses?The best place to find a digital photography course is to go to any search engine and search for ‘digital photography’. Alternatively you can narrow down your search a little by searching for ‘digital photography courses’. This should bring up some good results. The first thing someone should do before they decide to buy one of these courses is to check up on them to find out which one is the best to buy.This means that you will have to go to an independent site which reviews all the top photography courses and get their point of view. But don’t just get one opinion, go to a few sites and check to see if they also agree on the best course for you.So what’s involved in a digital photography course?Most digital photography courses will teach you firstly the basics of becoming a great photographer and secondly some advanced tips that can help you to create expert photos just by changing the lighting or some other changes that are necessary. The point is, if you are new to digital photography then you are going to have to learn a few things first before you start taking great photos.Are there any free digital photography courses?Most course you have to pay for, however there are some out there that are free. These are usually independent courses that don’t really offer a great deal of helpful information, however if you are just starting out, it’s a good idea to subscribe to one of these courses.How do these free courses work?Basically there are many photography sites on the internet that offer free courses, where they get you to sign up for email course. You will usually get an email with a helpful hint every couple of days. There are lots out there and many of them don’t offer very useful information, however they are free so you’ve got no reason not to join!

The Real Estate Investor’s Creative Financing Ideas

Finding Financing – Creative Ideas

For many years, the way to finance real estate was to make a 20% down payment, and get a loan for the remaining 80%. Of course you could make a higher down payment, but 20% was typically the minimum. Luckily, this standard has changed.

There are now several finance options available to the real estate investor. One popular way to finance your purchase is to have a second mortgage. The buyer makes a 5% down payment, and borrows the remaining 15%, usually at a higher interest rate, on a different loan.

Even though it’s nice to invest less on a property, the higher interest rate isn’t the only drawback. Usually, if the buyer does not meet the 20% minimum, they are required to get costly private mortgage insurance (PMI).

You are able to remove PMI when the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio reaches 80%. This is achieved by paying down the second mortgage and appreciation of the property value. This does not happen often because the property is usually sold or the buyer refinances before PMI can be removed.

For creative investors, other financing sources exist. Manufacturers of homes in planned developments are often willing to provide financing to early buyers.

Another risky and rather complicated way of financing a property is called ‘sub2′ which stands for ‘subject-to’. This type of deal is when the seller gives you the deed to the property, the loan stays in place, but the buyer never legally takes over the loan, just the payments. There are many different versions of this kind of transaction. Because of the complexity and risk, this method of funding an investment is not recommended for beginners.

You can also consider forming a limited partnership to finance your real estate investment. There are many different arrangements on this method. Some types involve each person in the partnership contributing in a portion of the cost, usually 50% each. However, sometimes the profit is distributed relative to the original amount invested. Another arrangement is that one half of the partnership contributes the capital, and the other half provides the needed services, such as repairs on a home that needs to be fixed. There are many different variations of this method.

How about the Lease Option? The lease-option allows a potential investor to lease the property and have some, or all, of the lease money applied to the purchase price if the potential buyer exercised the option to purchase. The investor then sub-leases the property with the option to buy or just rent it out.

In a conventional lease with option to buy, the seller charges the buyer a nonrefundable fee for the option to purchase the property at some agreed-upon point in time. The amount can vary depending on how eager the seller is to sell and the size and quality of the house. Typically, the higher the fee, the better the buyer maintains the property.

Because the lessee has made no down payment, the monthly rental fee is typically higher than prevailing market rates. The two parties agree on what portion of the rent will be applied to the down payment. Any amount can be credited.

Government loans are available to low income investors, or buyers who have served in the military. These programs are usually only available for primary residences.

Did you ever think about buying a home on a credit card? This is another method of financing your real estate purchase, although it’s usually not recommended. Obviously, the interest rates on most credit cards are substantially higher than loan rates. Another drawback is that lenders determine your creditworthiness based on your outstanding debt, and if you use credit card cash advances to cover the 5-20% down payment that you need, you’ll probably get turned down for a loan. This is also true for money borrowed from friends or family, unless you can show that the money is truly a gift.