Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Dividend Season

If you invest in the stock market, this has been a rough year. If you don't, it's still been a rough quarter!

One bright spot for investors is that many companies are paying out their dividends in the last month of the year. So, if you invested in a stock AND they're still paying dividends, then you get a little cash in your account.

Dividends are a way for companies to reward the people who put their money at risk and invested in the adventure.

This year we learned just what it means to put your money at risk. You could be in a position of losing 40% of your investment. Now you get a $300 dividend, which is taxable.

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But this is also the time when dividends are paid on the personal side as well.

Gifts show up that you weren't expecting. Clients seem happy to see everyone.

Last week I was doing an Office 2007 training at a client's office when the boss walked in with a Fed Ex package. Someone had made a pecan pie the day before and overnighted it to him. He described it as the best pecan pie in the world and eagerly opened it to share with all of us.

I was scooped into the celebration simply because I was in the room.

Now that's a dividend.

I hope no one takes a job so they can maximize the candy, fudge, and cookies distributed in the last week of the year. Nevertheless, these little things help us realize that we work with people as much as we work with businesses.

When times are tough, it really helps to work with nice people, for nice people.

This years we have intentionally given up about $200,000 in revenue from businesses that are difficult to deal with. Not difficult technology -- difficult people.

Difficult companies are created from the top down, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Difficult companies have higher turnover, higher sick day usage, and generally unhappy people walking around. I feel sorry for the people who work there.

Our company isn't perfect. But we enjoy working together!

And we enjoy working with our clients.

Part of our stated mission is that "We will work with people we enjoy."

That doesn't sound like a money-maker, and it's not really. But it sure pays dividends when you stop and look at the people you get to work with and for.

I hope your company pays these kind of dividends.

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Merry Christmas to all.

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