This Lesson From Benjamin Franklin in Building Generational Wealth Still Holds Up More Than 200 Years Later

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How much do you need to be worth to have generational wealth? originally appeared on Quora.

Answer by John Roberson, Stock Trader; Masterpiece Tax Advisors, on Quora:

At age 79, American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin designated £1,000 to each of two trust funds, one designated "Boston" (his birthplace), the other "Philadelphia" (his adopted home). The idea was simple: provide loans for young married tradespeople during their apprenticeship years, as such individuals were, in Franklin's estimation, the bedrock of a good citizenry.

But there was a twist: Not a dime was to be touched for 100 years.

And even after that, the balance was not to be made fully available until another century had passed. So what happened?

The magic of compound interest.

Over the past two centuries, those small trusts have generated not merely thousands but millions, and out of those gains provided mortgages and grants to tradespeople, vocational training for returning veterans -- even the endowment for the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. The BFIT was, for one, the site of the first national conference call. On May 15, 1916, a phone call set up by Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas A. Watson linked San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.

What does this teach us about Franklin's vision?

1. Vision starts with principle. 

Franklin did not believe elected officials should be paid for their work. The money put into these trust funds equaled his compensation as governor of Pennsylvania. It was the people's money, principle said, so he could do nothing but give it back.

2. Vision has patience. 

Twenty decades. Personally, I curse Reed Hastings and all his kin if Netflix says "Streaming..." for 20 seconds. Ben knew better.

3. Vision makes strategic choices. 

The trust named a type of person and a type of need that could benefit society by a multiple of Franklin's investment into them. Have we today devalued the contribution of tradespeople and small business, to our detriment? Do we consider not just who could use help, but when?

4. Vision shows humility.

Franklin said, "Considering the accidents to which all human affairs and projects are subject in such a length of time, I have perhaps too much flattered myself with a vain fancy that these dispositions will be continued without interruption and have the effects proposed."

5. Vision is contagious. 

When in 1904 Boston's funds were deployed to establish the Franklin Institute of Technology, the notion was so contagious that Andrew Carnegie himself matched the amount and drummed up a land donation. Also signed on were the Dean of Harvard Medical School, Grover Cleveland's Secretary of War, President of General Motors, and President of MIT -- not to mention renowned artist Charles Mills.

The key lesson here: Generational wealth is not determined by the value of your financial assets. It's determined by the value of your vision. - Inc

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10 Ways to Attract High Quality Employees

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  • Category: News

Economists maintain that future demographic trends will contribute to a shortage of high quality employees and small business jobs will go begging. “The labor force is not increasing anymore and will not for the next few years. It will get much more difficult to hire people. Baby Boomers will be gone, and millennials are taking over with different expectations,” says Pierre Cléroux of the Business Development of Canada (BDC).

But that doesn't mean that you should just give up on hiring any new staff because as a small business, you don’t have a chance of attracting high quality employees. All things being equal, there are many people who would prefer to work for a small business. These tips for attracting staff will up the odds of attracting (and retaining) the people you need.

How to Recruit Employees for Small Business

1. Find out what the going rate is for the position and match it.

One common mistake small businesses make when creating a position is to base the salary on their budget rather than on the market realities – in effect making sure that their employee recruitment efforts are going to be unsuccessful. If a retail sales person in a starting position in your area normally makes $10 an hour, why would someone want to accept that position in your company for $9 an hour?

2. Offer an employee benefit program.

In times when employees get to pick and choose, an employee benefit program moves from their wish list to their necessities list.

 If you're going to attract high quality staff, your company needs to offer high quality benefits and that means offering employees at least life, medical and dental coverage. If your small business does not have an employee benefits program, talk to your insurance company about setting one up.

One of the advantages of belonging to business organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, is that they offer more inexpensive insurance, including employee benefit programs, so check with the organizations you belong to first.

 

3. Make lifestyle part of your employee recruitment offer.

Many employees are just as concerned about the quality of life as they are about the amount of money a position offers. If you’re fortunate enough to be located in an area with great skiing, beaches, extensive hiking/biking trails, excellent golf courses or other attractive features be sure to play them up when you’re trying to recruit employees.

4. Emphasize the benefits your small business offers.

Make your company more attractive to potential employees by offering things such as flexible hours and work at home options. Among the more unusual benefits some small businesses offer are being able to bring a pet to work and allowing employees to power-nap during the day.

5. Be creative with perks.

As a small business, you may not be able to offer the perks large corporate companies are able to offer their employees – but you may be able to offer a reasonable facsimile. For instance, many large companies offer on-site health facilities such as a fully equipped gym.

Chances are good that as a small business, you’re not going to be able to add one of these to your premises, but you could offer employees coupons to use local gym or spa facilities.

6. Offer employees some way to move upwards.

Most employees aren't looking for jobs where they’ll do the same thing for the next thirty years. They're looking for positions that offer opportunities for advancement.

What will the position you're offering offer? The chance to develop new skills? A stepping stone to a position with more responsibilities? More money after a certain amount of time on the job? Whatever it is, in terms of attracting high quality staff, be sure to get the future possibilities on the table.

7. Create an employee incentive program.

Employee incentive programs not only reward good employee performance but give prospective employees something to look forward to if they come work for you. Whether it’s an annual company-paid retreat or a program where employees collect points that they can trade in for cash, employee incentive programs can increase your chances of attracting the people you want to hire.

8. Institute a profit sharing program.

It’s not for every business, but there’s no better way to give employees a stake in a company’s success. For businesses that look like they’re going somewhere, profit sharing programs can be a powerful inducement to come work for you instead of for someone else.

9. Sweeten the pot.

When competition for employees is fierce, a plain old signing bonus may be what’s needed to attract the high quality employee you want and get that person to work for you rather than for some other company. If you choose to do this, there are two things to keep in mind. The signing bonus has to be large enough to matter, and the signing bonus has to be contingent upon X amount of time of employment. (Otherwise, you’ll be running a revolving door as people sign up, take the money and run.)

10. Widen the scope of your advertising.

It’s not enough to place an ad in the Help Wanted section of the local newspaper anymore; your chances of attracting the employees you want will be much better if you broaden your advertising. Place ads in places such as job websites and college/university campus boards, for example. Advertise in other towns or cities. See 7 Easier Ways to Find Employees for more ideas on spreading the word about your employee search and hiring tips.

And if you have other employees, don’t forget to get them involved in the employee recruitment hunt. You can, for example, offer signing bonuses to those who successfully refer a new employee.

Make Yours the Offer They Can't Refuse

 

There are qualified people out there who can do what you need done – you just need to attract them to the positions your small business is offering. Developing an employee recruitment policy based on the tips above will give you a better chance of attracting the high quality employees you’re looking for. - The Balance

 

 

Forbes Five Lessons From Zimbabwe's Richest Man, Strive Masiyiwa

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  • Category: News

Over two decades ago, Strive Masiyiwa took the Zimbabwean government to court in a grueling five-year legal battle. Masiyiwa had been planning to launch his own mobile telecoms company, but the government, which claimed it held an exclusive monopoly to manage and operate telecommunications in Zimbabwe,was desperately trying to thwart his ambitions. After the High Court ruled in favor of Masiyiwa, the Zimbabwean tycoon went on to build Econet Wireless, a leading Pan-African mobile telecoms company with operations across Africa, the U.K and New Zealand.

Today, Econet Wireless is an investor’s delight. It is easily Zimbabwe’s most successful corporation. It is Zimbabwe’s largest mobile telecoms firm, with a subscriber base of over 6 million. Its profits for the year ended February 2011 stood at over $145 million and the Johannesburg-headquartered company has operations in BurundiLesothoKenya, Nigeria, Botswana and Rwanda. Econet has a market capitalization in the region of $600 million.

Strive Masiyiwa, the unassuming and soft-spoken founder of the telecoms giant, is the richest person to emerge from Zimbabwe.

You can glean important business and life lessons by taking a close look at what made Strive Masiyiwa a successful billionaire telecoms tycoon.

1.   Identify A Human Need And Reach Out To Meet It

According to Masiyiwa, this is the most sure-fire way to succeed in business.

In 1994, 70% of Africans had never heard a Telephone ring. People all across Africa desperately needed a reliable and cost-effective means of reaching out to their loved ones and associates wherever they were in the world. That was a human need. Masiyiwa, as a young engineer set out to change that. He had the technology to do it and access to substantial resources. “We didn’t wake up and say we wanted to make billions of dollars; we said we wanted to extend telecommunications to all the people of Africa,” Masiyiwa stated during last year’s commencement address to graduating students of Morehouse College. If you reach out to meet the needs of the people around you, you will wear the crown.

2.   Be Patient And Relentless; Never Give Up

Few people are as patient and as relentless as Masiyiwa. In 1993, when Masiyiwa set out to establish Zimbabwe’s first independent mobile telecoms network, he encountered stiff opposition from the Zimbabwean government. The Zimbabwean Post & Telecommunications Corporation (PTC) – a government-owned entity held a monopoly over the telecommunications business in the country and the corporation was vehemently opposed to granting Masiyiwa a mobile operating license. The Government threatened to prosecute him if he dared to proceed with his venture. Masiyiwa took the battle to court, and the case lingered for close to five years. It was a slow and long process, but Masiyiwa never gave in. Of course the government tried to subdue and frustrate him, but Masiyiwa was resolute. He was determined to challenge the government’s monopoly of telecommunications services in the country and was keen to launch his own mobile telecoms network. His persistence paid off. By 1997, the court ruled in his favour and Masiyiwa was able to launch Econet wireless. Develop a tough skin; be relentless, and be patient. Success hardly occurs in a split second; you need to learn to wait for your moment

3.   Work Hard And Stay Focused

This is a no-brainer. Nothing good in this world comes easily, least of all, success. You may have identified a need and possess the most brilliant business ideas. You may even have the praying spirit of Jesus; but if you are lazy you’re doomed to fail. Success requires hard work. Masiyiwa works long hours every day and has cultivated the requisite discipline to be focused. Work Hard And Stay Focused!

4.   Pray Hard

“God will do nothing except you pray; and you have to be clear what you want”- Strive Masiyiwa

This might sound like illogical business advice particularly if you’re an atheist. But according to Masiyiwa, a devout Christian, prayers are essential for success in business. Masiyiwa has stated countless times that when he was battling the Zimbabwean government in court for the right to operate a mobile Telecoms license, he prayed fervently. While the court case lingered, Masiyiwa prayed for victory. Even though it took four years, Masiyiwa’s prayers were eventually answered. Employees at Econet and people close to Masiyiwa confirm that the tycoon never takes any important business decision before first going on his knees. Judging by Econet’s raving success, Masiyiwa’s prayers actually work. Prayers may work for you as well.

5.   Give Back

 

What you give comes back to you ten-fold. Masiyiwa is Zimbabwe’s biggest philanthropist. Along with his wife, Tsitsi, Masiyiwa is a co-founder of the Capernaum Trust, a Zimbabwe-registered privately funded Christian charity which sponsors the education of over 28,000 Zimbabwean orphans. Apart from providing scholarships to these children, the organization also provides food packs and healthcare for them. Masiyiwa funds the trust from his own personal resources with support from Econet Wireless. The Universe seems to have rewarded his generosity with brilliant success and a $600 million fortune. - Forbes

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Ten Business Tips From Kenyan Multi-Millionaire Chris Kirubi

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  • Category: News

Chris Kirubi with Virgin Group's Sir Richard Branson

 Chris Kirubi is a complex man. One of Africa’s richest and most successful businessmen, he’s that rare blend of Donald Trump, Jeffrey Sachs, Richard Branson and American music star DJ Khaled, in African skin. In business, he’s got the cunning and clout of Trump, the economic intellect of Sachs, the rebellion of Branson, and the musical inclinations of hip-hop act DJ Khaled.

Here’s the reason why: In between running one of Africa’s largest privately held business conglomerates, delivering countless keynote lectures during frequent international economic gatherings, writing a weekly business column for a daily newspaper and mentoring young Kenyan entrepreneurs, Kirubi still finds time to make cameo appearances in Kenyan hip-hop videos, movies, and even hosts a rock show on Capital FM, a Nairobi radio station he owns. He’s the DJ!

Kirubi sits atop one of East Africa’s most successful business empires. His business interests are varied and far reaching. He is the chairman and founder of privately-held Haco Tiger Industries, East Africa’s largest manufacturers of some of the continent’s leading consumer brands in stationery, personal care and home care products. He also owns the International House, one of Nairobi’s landmark skyscrapers, and holds the largest stake in Centum Investments, a leading private equity firm listed both on the Nairobi and Uganda Stock Exchanges, among other holdings.

The Harvard-trained tycoon is one of the most tech-conscious and social media-savvy businessmen on the continent. He keeps a Twitter and Facebook account, blogs frequently, and was reportedly one of the first people in Kenya to own an iPad.

I actively follow the wealthy tycoon on his Twitter @ckirubi, where he gives his largely youthful followers tips on business, success and life.

Here are ten business success tweets in his own words, unedited:

One of the ways I believe you can find meaning of your life is by creating a strategy that you can use through your journey. You need to keep the purpose of your life, front and center as you decide how to spend your time, talents and energy. Remember that without a purpose, life can be hollow.

Visualize your past victories while visualizing and anticipating future victories. Planting the seeds of positive expectancy in your mind is the best way to reap.

One of the most important lessons that has made me be a better employer and businessman is pointing out people's strengths. I have come to learn that the praise of others may be of use in teaching us, not what we are, but what we ought to be. Enjoy your afternoon.

If you understand an idea, you can express it so others can understand it. However, if you can't explain it, you don't really understand it; and you cannot invest in a business you don't understand. So friends, do your research well and understand the idea or concept you want to execute before investing in it.

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day...but because I want to achieve my purpose and make a difference in society, I will stop focusing on the frightful things I see when I take my eyes off my goals and instead fix them there. With that said, I'm off to my meeting.

One of the most important lessons I have come to learn over the years is that you can't do today's job with yesterday's methods and be in business tomorrow. You must keep learning new methods and ways of doing things to keep abreast with the world's ever changing trends.

Business is always a struggle. There are always obstacles and competitors. There is never an open road, except the wide road that leads to failure. Every great success has always been achieved by fight. Every winner has scars....The men who succeed are the efficient few. They are the few who have the ambition and will-power to develop themselves. So choose to be among the few today.

Whatever opportunity you decide to take should be in line with your vision. When I look at the opportunities that come my way, I often ask myself, will it add value to a business or individual? If I cannot add value or contribute to some sort of growth then I will not take it.

To prosper soundly in business, you must satisfy not only your customers, but you must lay yourself out to satisfy also the men who make your product and the men who sell it...So if your not doing too well in business, you should consider the above.

One of the most important lessons I have come to learn over the years is that you can't do today's job with yesterday's methods and be in business tomorrow. You must keep learning new methods and ways of doing things to keep abreast with the world's ever changing trends.” -Mfonobong Nsehe for Forbes 

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Top 10 Tips for Successful Employee Recruitment

  • Written by Super User
  • Category: News

For the best possible people who can fit within your culture and contribute in your organization is a challenge and an opportunity. Keeping the best people, once you find them, is easy if you do the right things right.

These specific actions will help you with recruiting and retaining all the talent you need. Here are ten tips for better recruiting.

Improve Your Candidate Pool When Recruiting Employees

Companies that select new employees from the candidates who walk in their door or answer an ad in the paper or online are missing the best candidates.

They're usually working for someone else and they may not even be looking for a new position. Here are steps to take to improve your candidate pool.

  • Invest time in developing relationships with university placement offices, recruiters, and executive search firms.
  • Enable current staff members to actively participate in industry professional associations and conferences where they are likely to meet candidates you may successfully woo.
  • Watch the online job boards for potential candidates who may have resumes online even if they're not currently looking.
  • Use professional association websites and magazines to advertise for professional staff.
  • Look for potential employees on LinkedIn and in other social media outlets. Bring your best prospects in to meet them before you need them.

The key is to build your candidate pool before you need it.

Hire the Sure Thing When Recruiting Employees

The authors of The Human Capital Edge, Bruce N.

Pfau and Ira T. Kay, are convinced that you should hire a person who has done this "exact job, in this exact industry, in this particular business climate, from a company with a very similar culture."

They believe that "past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior" and suggest that this is the strategy that will enable you to hire winners.

They say that you must hire the candidates whom you believe can hit the ground running in your company. You can't afford the time to train a possibly successful candidate.

Look First at In-House Candidates

Providing promotional and lateral opportunities for current employees positively boosts morale and makes your current staff members feel their talents, capabilities, and accomplishments are appreciated. Always post positions internally first.

Give potential candidates an interview. It's a chance for you to know them better. They learn more about the goals and needs of the organization. Sometimes, a good fit is found between your needs and theirs.

Be Known as a Great Employer

Pfau and Kay make a strong case for not just being a great employer but letting people know that you are a great employer. This is how you build your reputation and your company brand. You'll want the best prospects seeking you out because they respect and want to work for your brand. Google, who frequently tops Fortune's Best Companies list, for example, receives around 3,000,000 applications a year.

Take a look at your employee practices for retention, motivation, accountability, reward, recognition, flexibility in work-life balance, promotion, and involvement.

These are your key areas for becoming an employer of choice.

You want your employees bragging that your organization is a great place to work. People will believe the employees before they believe the corporate literature.

Involve Your Employees in the Hiring Process

You have three opportunities to involve your employees in the hiring process.

  • Your employees can recommend excellent candidates to your firm.
  • They can assist you to review resumes and qualifications of potential candidates.
  • They can help you interview people to assess their potential "fit" within your company.

Organizations that fail to use employees to assess potential employees are underutilizing one of their most important assets. People who participate in the selection process are committed to helping the new employee succeed. It can't get any better than that for you and the new employee.

Pay Better Than Your Competition

Yes, you do get what you pay for in the job market. Survey your local job market and take a hard look at the compensation people in your industry attract. You want to pay better than average to attract and keep the best candidates. Seems obvious, doesn't it?

It's not. I listen to employers every day who talk about how to get employees cheaply. It's a bad practice. Did I say, "you do get what you pay for in the job market?" Sure, you can luck out and attract a person who has golden handcuffs because they are following their spouse to a new community or need your benefits.

But, they will resent their pay scale, feel unappreciated, and leave you for their first good job offer. I have seen employee replacement costs that range from two to three times the person's annual salary. Did I say that you do get what you are willing to pay for in the job market?

Use Your Benefits to Your Advantage In Recruiting Employees

Keep your benefits above industry standard and add new benefits as you can afford them. You also need to educate employees about the cost and value of their benefits so they appreciate how well you are looking out for their needs.

Treasured currently by employees is flexibility and the opportunity to balance work with other life responsibilities, interests, and issues. You can't be an employer of choice without a good benefits package that includes standard benefits such as medical insurance, retirement, and dental insurance.

Employees are increasingly looking for cafeteria-style benefits plans in which they can balance their choices with those of a working spouse or partner.

Pfau and Kay recommend stock and ownership opportunities for every level of employees in your organization. I like profit sharing plans and bonuses that pay the employee for measurable achievements and contributions.

Hire the Smartest Person You Can Find

In their recent book, First Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently (compare prices), Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman recommend that great managers hire for talent.

They believe that successful managers believe:

"People don't change that much. Don't waste time trying to put in what was left out. Try to draw out what was left in. That is hard enough."

If you're looking for someone who will work well with people, you need to hire an individual who has the talent of working well with people. You're unlikely to train missing talents into the person later. You can try, but then, you are not building on the employee's strengths which 80,000 managers, via Gallup's research, highly recommend.

The recommendation? Hire for strengths; don't expect to develop weak areas of performance, habits, and talents. Build on what is great about your new employee in the first place.

Use Your Website for Recruiting

Your website portrays your visionmissionvalues, goals, and products. It is also effective for recruiting employees who experience a resonance with what you state on your site.

Do create an employment section which describes your available positions and contains information about you and why an interested person might want to contact your company. A recruiting website is your opportunity to shine and a highly effective way to attract candidates today.

Check References When Recruiting Employees

The purpose of this section is to keep you out of trouble with the candidates you are seeking and selecting and the employees you currently employ.

You really need to check references carefully and do background checks.

In the litigious society in which we live (don't even ask me what percentage of the world's lawyers reside in the United States of America) you need to pursue every avenue to assure that the people you hire can do the job, contribute to your growth and development, and have no past transgressions which might endanger your current workforce.

In fact, you might be liable if you failed to do a background check on a person who then attacked another in your workplace.

Conclusion: Start With These Recommendations

Each organization has to start somewhere to improve recruiting, hiring, and retention of valued employees. The tactics and opportunities detailed here are your best bets for recruiting the best employees.

These ideas can help your organization succeed and grow, they create a workplace that will meet both your needs and the needs of your potential and current superior employees. - The Balance

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