blog


HE SAYS:

When I started writing my blogs for the USFSB website in June, 2010, I had no idea that it would last this long or would have covered so many topics.   It has been an adventure that for the most part I enjoyed and from which I learned some valuable lessons.

Prior to this experience, most of my writing efforts were confined to the many court papers that needed to be written on behalf of my clients.   Even though those papers would be critiqued by a Judge and sometimes criticized for not being persuasive enough, I always was able to detach my personal feelings from the critique or criticism.   I took pride in my professionalism but never looked at those writings as personal statements.

Not so with blog writing.  Each effort was from a personal point of view and, as I was prone to say to Annemarie, posting each blog was like giving birth to one of my creations.   I had to learn both to accept challenges to those posts that were personal in nature and to respond in as civil and courteous a manner as I could muster while still meeting the challenge and defending my opinion or belief.   That’s not to suggest that I did not welcome the responses even the negative ones since having an involved and engaging discussion was the point after all.

In any event, I have run out of topics of interest to me and decided to take a hiatus of an indefinite duration from writing blogs.   For those who have enjoyed my efforts I am gratified and for those who did not all I can say is that I believed it was far more important to be true to myself than to try and please everyone.

Goodbye and good luck.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

HE SAYS:

Now that we have reached the two year mark and have posted our 200th blog, perhaps my prior attempts to describe the nature of my blog postings were too oblique or too subtle so let me get right to the point.

My postings are not about how to run a small business.  I have been self employed most of my working life; however, I am not and do not profess to be an expert on businesses, small or otherwise.   I would never presume to give anyone advice on how to run their business and it was never my intent to make my postings a tutorial on how to run a small business.  Also, of course, it would be impossible for me to tailor my postings to the specific circumstances of any particular reader or their small business so I would not even try.   However, from time to time, there has been and will continue to be postings on general issues pertaining to small businesses, particularly, legal issues since that is my background.

My postings are about my experiences as a small business owner.   I have my own unique experiences and career path that includes operating a small business with my wife and children and it is those experiences and the insights that I have gleaned from those experiences that are the subject of many of my postings.   However, if that were all I wrote about it would only reflect a part of what is important to me and I would soon lose interest.

My postings are also about my life experiences and the point of view that I have developed from those experiences.   These are the topics that give me the most opportunity to be creative and express myself and that I find to be the most interesting.    The question you may have is why would that be of interest to you?   It may be of interest to you for the same reasons you read a book, go to a movie, watch television, or have a conversation with someone you just met.   In all of those activities, you are looking in on the experiences and the point of view of other people, real or fictional.   We all enjoy and benefit from sharing the experiences and thoughts of others because it gives us insights into our own lives, it gives us a chance to explore another point of view, it gives us a frame of reference to compare our own experiences, or, in some cases, it is just interesting to see how other people deal with the intricacies of life.

So here is the rub.   If what I have to say you do not want to hear or if what you want to hear I am not saying, then something has to give.   All I can tell you is that I will keep saying what is interesting to me and I can only appeal to those who want to hear it.   With that in mind, I encourage anyone to comment on what I have said, but, there is no point in questioning my right to say it.

On Monday, Joe talks about their condo at the Jersey Shore in “Our Piece Of The Jersey Shore”.     

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

We recently reached the first anniversary of starting our blog.  We have written a combined post to share our thoughts and reflections on our first year of blogging.

HE SAYS:

It has been a little over one year since Annemarie and I started writing our blogs for USFSB’s website and, as with everything in life, it has evolved from what we originally imagined.

Annemarie and I always realized that even among small businesses it was somewhat unusual for a husband and wife to work together.  It wasn’t until my son, Joseph, asked me to help him with a paper he was writing about family businesses for his college entrepreneurship class that I focused in on the specific issues of family owned businesses that were operated by a husband and wife team.  It was through this experience that I acquired a better understanding of just how unique it was for a husband and wife to work together and how such arrangements were froth with both pitfalls and benefits.

A little over one year ago, Annemarie and I began discussing the possibility of writing about our experiences operating USFSB together in the form of a blog to be part of our business website.  I thought it would be a good idea to share these experiences with our members since I felt that whether or not they were husband and wife teams they still could relate to our situation.

Annemarie also thought it was a good idea, but was concerned that we would soon run out of things to write about after we covered the details of how and why we operate USFSB together.  At first, I disagreed with her but she proved to be right.  Before publishing the blog on the website, we wrote a detailed narrative of the circumstances that brought each of us to USFSB and our different points of view regarding running a business; however, it quickly became apparent that going forward the actual day-to-day activities of operating USFSB would be of little interest to anyone. 

Over the past year, I have written about business, legal, and financial topics, but, as Annemarie puts it, this was never meant to be a how-to-run a business blog or a business advice blog.  In addition to those practical topics, Annemarie encouraged me to also express my opinions of which I have many as well as write about my personal experiences and observations on life and that’s how the “He Says, She Says” blog took on its current persona.

When I write any of my blogs, I always run it by Annemarie for her review and ask her if she thinks it is “blog worthy”.   Annemarie has become my sounding board and, at times, my unofficial censor when she thinks I have gone too far or my effort was simply not good enough.   As it turns out, even though I write most of the blogs, Annemarie and I, as we do when operating USFSB, work well together as a team when it comes to our writing efforts.

SHE SAYS:

We have just passed the one year mark of the USFSB “He Says, She Says” Blog.  As I reflect over the past year, I would like to share what I have learned.

Blogging can be fun and is a good way to express one’s self.  I have learned that even though I do not particularly enjoy writing, I love to read every word that Joe has written.  He has not only written most of the blogs in this past year, but he probably has enough blogs written to get us through to next year.  I don’t think he knew that he was going to write so much and enjoy it so much.

I can almost tell when Joe is about to write one of his blogs.  Sometimes, I can sense when a situation is presented that will inspire Joe to start writing.  Some blogs just pour out of him and have been completed in five or ten minutes.  There have been times when I find him awake in the middle of the night on his computer because an idea just came to him.  On more than one occasion on a train, plane and even a cruise ship, he would ask me if I have a piece of paper and a pen because he wanted to jot down some thoughts.  Inevitably, those thoughts would become a full-fledged blog.   Joe always asks me if his efforts are ‘blog-worthy’.  In the office, there are times he will also send several drafts in a row to a few of us for comment before he finalizes them.  It is amazing how he has become such a prolific writer.

However, I already knew that Joe was a good writer.  What I have really learned about the USFSB blog is that “He” has a lot to say and “She” doesn’t.

I love to read every day.  I am always looking for a good book to read and I have a long list lined up of what is next.  I admire a really good author and the way some can turn a phrase.  I wish I could write the way some authors do, but I never seem to articulate my ideas the way I would like.  I will continue to write the “She Says” blog on occasion, but I know I will never be as prolific as “He”.

Even though Joe has proven to be the more expressive writer between the two of us, it’s still a team effort.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

There will be no blog post on Monday due to the 4th of July holiday. We will return to our normal format on Wednesday, July 6th. Enjoy the holiday weekend!

HE SAYS:

It has been said that the only thing that stays the same is that everything changes. With that in mind, we are changing the format of our Blog Postings. The He Says She Says Postings will be on each Monday and Wednesday and each Friday we will recap the postings for the week as well as share comments we have received from our readers. We may even have the “Best of” He Says She Says from time to time. It looks like change is here to stay. This new format will debut this Monday.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

HE SAYS:

Since I am relatively new at the art of writing a blog, I am still trying to determine the limits and boundaries that are acceptable for our web site.

I was first concerned that my personal observations on life may not be appropriate or that I had drifted off into areas of my personal life that may be too personal, I do have my secrets after all, and thus may not be suitable for a business web site.  I dealt with those issues in my blog entry “When In Doubt” in which I decided that I would not doubt my instincts and that I would continue to write about topics of interest to me even if not directly related to USFSB or business.

My next concern was the fact that, over time, I might exhaust all of my ideas and would eventually run out of steam.   There are only so many good ideas in this world and how would I continue to make these blogs interesting?   I addressed that concern with my blog entry “The Blog Blog” wherein I pointed out that just about anything is interesting.   Apparently, as a society, we are all easily amused.

My latest concern is that I may step over the line and make some people angry.   I can be a very opinionated person with very strong feelings about what I consider to be the foibles of our culture, society, and human nature.   I am not sure if I want to stir up any controversy, particularly, on my business web site.   They say that discretion is the better part of valor, so should I play it safe and keep my opinions to myself or should I brave the fall out from expressing my opinions?  Who knows, it could be fun stirring up the pot a little bit.

It is a dilemma that does not yet have a resolution.   I could say that I don’t care what people think but that would not be true, I do care what people think but I also want the freedom to express myself even if not everyone agrees with me.  So, for now, I will try not to say anything too out of line, but watch out, that could change at any time.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

HE SAYS:

I decided to take a moment to write this blog entry about my experiences and thoughts regarding the process of writing a blog.  It can be a chore to write something new each week but I take comfort in the observation that there appears to be nothing too trivial, mundane, or ridiculous that will capture the public’s attention.

I have seen online videos that have gone viral that in a saner world would not have been of interest to anyone including the person’s family and close friends. 

There are popular television shows about people losing weight; about pawn shops, and about vehicle repair facilities.  In a rational world, would anyone spend time, for recreation, at a gym to watch people get in shape, or find it enjoyable to spend a few hours at a pawn shop to marvel at the fascinating process of buying and selling used goods, or when was the last time you took a trip to your local car dealership just to watch them fix someone else’s car?    The answer is, never.   Yet, we will watch this stuff on television every week.

I don’t fully understand the endless obsession we have with reality shows as if the reality of our own lives was not interesting enough.  We will watch for hours, dysfunctional people in houses, on islands, at the shore, and in boardrooms.   Do we really care which of a group of has-beens or unknowns can dance or sing better than the others? 

There seems to be no end to what we will find interesting, including such exciting things as cleaning houses, the incessant sniping of bored housewives, and my personal favorite, watching someone eat large quantities of food.   I heard that there may be a show that will simply be about watching grass grow if they can figure out which type of grass would be the most interesting.

Anyway, when I first started writing my blogs I had some concern that I may eventually run out of interesting ideas.   Now, as I reflect on our popular culture I realize that there is nothing to worry about.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?