Facts not factual

Polarized opinions and alternative facts

With a veritable war of words going on across the Pacific, Donald Trump is covfefe'd while North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un thinks he is a dotard.

What does all this mean?

Who knows, but the world we live in is populated by 140 character news clips that, in the words of the co-founder of Twitter, are making the world dumber.

Memes are doing the same in my mind and even articles that are biased and offer only polarized opinion. 

On more than one occasion in the past few weeks, I have seen articles and memes representing the business side of the tax change debate that I have to admit appear inaccurate and misleading to me. 

In more than a few instances, I heard that entrepreneurs do not get access to maternity benefits, for example.
A blanket statement like that is pretty persuasive.

“ENTREPRENEURS DO NOT GET ACCESS TO MATERNITY BENEFITS” is how you hear the polarized opinion.

Now, I am absolutely not a fan of the proposed tax changes. I think they are pre-historic and lack all semblance of balance in the society we live in.

Frankly, it is nothing but another tax grab to fund a poorly managed organization by the Liberals that are stacking debt on top of debt.

With that being said, I think we should also portray a balanced argument. It starts with defining who the entrepreneur is.

An entrepreneur can be:

  • a sole proprietor
  • owner of a small limited company or a partnership
  • the managing partner in a joint venture
  • a major shareholder in a large limited corporation. 

That does not apply to most of the classes of entrepreneurs I have listed. The owner of a limited corporation, as small as it may be will actually be employed by that corporation and will, in fact, get access to maternity benefits.

A few will not, but most will.

Similarly “ENTREPRENEURS DO NOT GET A PENSION” - that is because they put life in their own hands.

I would think with a Liberal government mismanaging the fiscal house that would be a distinct positive. However, it is not true again.

The entrepreneur who owns a small corporation, will, as a salaried employee of their corporation, be paying CPP and so they are paying into a system that will give them a state backed pension at the end of the day.

You get my point? 

There is no reason to give you a whole list of inaccuracies. The question I ask is, why do we polarize the debate.

I guess it is human nature. Is it a lack of debating ability? Is it the Donald Trump syndrome of bullying people into submission with alternative facts? 

I am not sure, but frankly this discussion is about poorly researched tax management at the federal level and jamming a badly written law through that is supposed to make us believe they are supporting the middle class, when this bill is aimed squarely at the middle class.


Leave nature alone

I might get myself into some trouble today because of my age; my memory is not as good as it used to be. Occasionally, it needs a ctrl-alt-del.

However, if I remember correctly… driving through Kelowna the other day, I was listening to CBC, to a show talking about the demise of the mountain caribou in the East Kootenay.

Earlier this year ,I did get to see my first caribou on my adventure to the Arctic and they truly were awesome to see in the wild although, I have never seen a mountain caribou.

The gentleman being interviewed was probably a very famous and well educated Ph.D type who talked about things happening billions and billions of years ago and how we have messed it all up since we moved here and caused global warming. 

Anyway, it irked me from the beginning! If you have read my column before, you probably already know that.

I was frustrated because whatever the outcome, the fingers are always pointed at us. People. We are causing the problem. In this instance because we are causing global warming.

Let me paraphrase the comments:

“Mountain caribou were fine until we caused global warming and now there are far too many forest fires, which lead to massive amounts of shrub growth, which in turn leads to many moose moving into caribou territory and then followed by wolves who eat caribou — hence it is our fault the caribou are declining in numbers.”

The answer in his mind was selective culling of the moose. I suppose caribou are more tasty to a wolf than moose.

Let me say a resounding BS to the guy with the Ph.D.

It was a classic case, in my mind at least, of someone trying to make themselves sound important. As the old adage goes, if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle the with bull [email protected]

I believe that nature finds a balance, which can include extinction in an extreme case.

But we never are able to leave it alone. We have to interfere. We study (but only for the past 100 or so years) the environment which, if in fact it is billions and billions of years old, is only a pimple on the landscape in terms of our understanding, and then we have the audacity to say we know what we are talking about!.

We further extrapolate that we messed it up with global warming. Sorry, but I don’t get the argument!

What I do know is that hundreds of years ago there were far more forest fires than we see today.

Global warming is not the issue at stake in this argument; our constant meddling with the ecosystem could have something to do with it (although climate change is an issue we need to be addressing regardless).

The fact we have suppressed forest fires for so long and created a completely unnatural environment for the animals to live in is.

As we have seen this year, our forests are completely loaded with almost explosive fuel in a dry year so now we really are struggling to keep fires down.

Surely, our reluctance to let fires burn or simulate burning with mechanical removal leads to a forest environment that animals find difficult to traverse because of built up fuels.

However, I have never seen that in a report.

Historically, whenever we attempt to mess around with our perception of what a natural environment should be, we seem to mess up. So for the scientists who espouse theories from billions of years of history… we have not been here for that long, so give us a break. 

The result of the show, if I remember correctly, was to allow a mild amount of increased hunting to kill the moose and allow the caribou to survive. Here we go again…

I guess, if anything, we keep scientists on the payroll doing study after study and fiddling around with the population numbers. 

When are we going to leave nature alone to be natural and realize that hunting, fire and disease are part of a natural landscape?

Start-up constipation

I have started so many projects and businesses that I should be used to the process by now.

  • Do the homework
  • Understand your business
  • Understand your market
  • Create the product or service
  • And go.

At least that is how it has always worked.  

This past few months has been a little different though.

In alignment with our speaking businesses, my colleague and I have been creating an online training academy designed for people looking at maximizing their productivity or “pivoting” and finding a way to get more out of life. 

The project is called Introducing Success.

I have not created an online membership site in the past, so this was challenging. The point that had me most concerned was checking the system out.

When something is physical, for example a kitchen layout in a restaurant, you can prepare some food, give it to a server and rate the system.

Online is a little more challenging. 

As it happens, it all looked like it was going to work, but I had no way of testing functionality, so I sat on it, and sat on it and sat on it.

This is counter to the advice we give clients, which, not unlike an ultra marathon is “keep moving." Then, again, when I owned printing companies, I never had business cards.

So, I turned to the Internet to seek guidance. It was like looking in the mirror, all I received were messages of support and “Just get going."

Well, buckle up, here we go!

We have been consulting to clients for a long time, but thought it was time to try delivering content to a larger audience. It looks good and we start with our first webinar tomorrow.

I will let you know if I need tech support next week.


Business pays fire price

Putting out fires - Business owners pay the price

After a hectic week of travel in Arizona, I flew back to deploy to Williams Lake with the army. 

The B.C. Dragoons are providing manpower to assist with the province's emergency situation. It is a task that soldiers undertake willingly, but there is another relationship that goes unnoticed by many.

At times like this, the army is called on to lend a hand. The complication comes from the fact that the regiment is a component of the army reserves. We train in preparation for opportunities like this or to augment the military on overseas deployments. 

Becoming a member of the reserves and the British Columbia Dragoons requires a commitment in time. Typically, Wednesday evenings during the training calendar and one weekend a month.

Summer often involves taskings at various military bases across the country.

It is a very exciting opportunity for those who see themselves being part of a solution in times like this. 

The hidden partner, the one that truly deserves recognition, is the employer. After all the military training, a soldier will often be a very valuable member of a businesses team.

When the province declares an emergency and the federal government receives a request for support, the military kicks in to high gear.

That is the point where our soldiers contact their employer and request leave to go and tackle domestic emergencies or overseas deployments. 

To a certain extent, it is a little easier for an employer to support the leave if the emergency is local because they are more affected, but, as in this case, if the emergency is further afield, it is a substantial decision.

To lose a valuable team member for several weeks and work around the natural void and challenges that are created, is no easy task for an entrepreneur. 

The military does a good job of recognizing those employers. When we deploy to emergencies, we naturally wear a military uniform and receive thanks for the work because we are recognizable.

However, the employers to a certain extent are unrecognized. 

If you know of an employer who has granted leave to one or more staff members to support the efforts to tackle our wildfires, make sure you say thank you to them.

Their sacrifice is no less important.

More It's All About . . . articles

About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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