We Vote with Our Dollars

Vote with Dollars

The older I get the more I see why it matters where we put our money. We vote with our dollars. Each time we spend a dollar on this or that, businesses profit from it. We can make or break a business by our shopping habits.

When we save, the money stays in the bank or under the bed not doing us any good in the moment but down the road (if we’ve stored it somewhere we are being paid interest) then it may grow into a larger sum of money and  be there for us to use at a later time. I’m not sure if it will be worth anymore because inflation seems to bite into whatever interest was made. And if you had it under the bed you’d end up with that same amount of money but it wouldn’t be worth as much as when you stowed it.

So, back to the point.

Vote with your Dollars

Spending money

Why spend money? Spending keeps people working. When you spend, others have the use of your money. And remember you exchanged your time for that money.

There’s a real relationship between time and money.

If you want to keep the economy moving – spend. If you want to slow the economy – don’t spend.

When you buy a car there is a ripple effect. Others benefit from your having bought the car. And the benefits may be direct or indirect. It reminds me of something I heard awhile back. If a butterfly flaps its wings on one side of the world, does it cause a hurricane on the other?

Support small businesses

Considering small businesses. If someone makes a product or provides a service I feel is good, I continue supporting that business. I will also tell others (word of mouth marketing) about the business and what excellent product or service they provided. I may promote the product or service provider on blogs, websites,  Facebook, etc. All of those good and positive words help that business grow. Conversely if I am not pleased with a business I will also talk about it – and like the butterfly flapping its wings on one side of the planet, it could cause a ripple effect, the likes of which, that business cannot imagine.

If that one negative customer influences several others the business will experience a drop in sales. Enough mad customers could bring down the business – maybe bankrupt is too harsh a word. But if you’re a business owner or service provider and you’re not doing so well, you ought to consider how good you are or if you’ve ticked off a few people. That’s why the old adage came to be – “the customer is always right.” Yes, the customer is always right. If you don’t think that’s true and you own a business let me educate you.

Dissatisfaction costs businesses money

You don’t want your customer to leave dissatisfied.

If you hear any hint of dissatisfaction you’d better step up and make it right. I’m sure you don’t want people blogging about your business in a negative way. And if you don’t care – then you’ve really got problems. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Some people are hard to please. But you’re in business and you need to strive to ensure your customers have a high opinion of you. You cannot control what they say about you but you will go a long way towards having them say nice things about you if you show them you care and will go the extra mile to meet or beat their expectations.

Animals are democratic

Have you ever noticed that the animal world votes in a democratic fashion? If a herd of 100 deer need to get to the watering hole, it’s the 51st animal who influences the whole herd to move in the direction of the water at precisely the right time. Check out the red deer study. I’ve noticed that birds of a feather also flock together – it’s not just an old saying. Have you watched a flock flying and notice how many turn, seemingly at the exact same time, then the rest follow suit almost immediately? Flocking together seems to be the birds way of voting and it is instinctual.

People are habitual

People are also instinctual as well as, habitual. Most people stick with others, whether it be friends, jobs, neighborhoods, cities, or such out of habit and comfort. We stick with what and who we know. Keep us happy and we’ll be around for awhile. Tick us off and we probably won’t feel comfortable and eventually we’ll leave. And we will probably tell others (in some cases a lot of others).

Making it work

If you want friends, customers, and good relationships be nice. Go the extra mile. Live up to your word. Meet or beat others expectations of you. Show you care. That’s what makes it all work.

Why I had quit Facebook

So, the day I originally wrote this, the social networking site, Facebook, went “public.” As in, it offers shares of stock for sale on the stock market.

I was on Facebook for about two years. I thought it was all about reconnecting; sharing tidbits of life, opinions, and photos with old high school friends, college friends, family, and so on.

Little by little, I became addicted to those elementary games and, for a few months, enjoyed playing them.

I had tons of photos on my site.

And then, I posted a lot of opinions – sometimes causing disturbing rebuttals.

Being a computer geek (I met my husband online and I work in IT) I know how to set the privacy controls and all that sort of thing. But, eventually, I got tired of the fad and moved on.

Just like my parents when the old party line telephone was being phased out for a private line in the 1960’s. That’s all Facebook is. It’s a party line telephone!

Do you know why a lot of people moved on from the party line?

Wives were suddenly made aware of their husbands shenanigans. Husbands overheard neighbors talking about how annoying they were, mowing their grass too early on a weekend morning or maybe how loud their truck exhaust was when they drove down the street. Kids picked up the phone only to hear some of the seediest conversations of their lives!

AT&T did great business with the advent of the private line telephone for a reason!

People started realizing they really didn’t want to know what everyone thought of them, or what their spouses were secretly up to.

Anyway, isn’t gossip a sin?

So, I have a sneaking suspicion (and hope) that Facebook will eventually fizzle out the same way those old party line phones did.

It seems bizarre to me that Facebook started out as a private network, mostly for colleges – you had to have a college email account initially to even get started.

Now, you’ll probably think I’m a conspiracy theorist when I say this, but the day the announcement came out about Facebook taking funds from Goldman Sachs (about $450 million), and a private Russian investor (do we yet know who that person is?) that was the final straw for me.

I’m half way through a Masters in Marketing degree so I understand the whole marketing perspective of Facebook – and that they’re only beginning to make money from advertising stuff.

Believe me when that really takes off you’ll already be so addicted you won’t even realize how targeted they’re slick marketing will be.

So, for me when a company gets too much cash inflow I question if there’s something “a bit more than meets the eye” going on.

Who wants the data?

Who wants the photos?

Do they care who I know?

Who’s trying to gain control?

Since I had no way to answer those questions I systematically began deleting all of my posts (and it took awhile since I had to delete each one individually), deleted all of my photo albums, etc. Only when I felt like I had removed EVERYTHING that I wouldn’t want published in a big city newspaper, that’s when I hit the “disable” button.

Admittedly, I’ve been back on, yes you can enable your disabled account again if you choose to, just to view some photos that family or friends refused to email – I know they’re sucked into Facebook, it’s fine, I was there once so I understand, but it’s a pain to disable it – too many questions and crap.

So, I went back on it a couple of times.

If my family and friends want me to see their kids growing up process, they’ll just have to email – or do what I did. Pay to store our digitized photos online.

Everytime I reactivate my account to check photos my family or close friends have posted, I feel wonderful for a few minutes–until I see something that pisses me off. Then I deactivate the account again acknowledging to myself how much I loathe Facebook. UGH!

Bottom line: I think Facebook is a time trap, gut puncher, and time waster for the most part — and I’ve got more important writing to do. 🙂

UPDATE: After the birth of my beautiful granddaughter (and her parents subsequent decision to allow pictures of her to be shared on Facebook), I begrudgingly returned to Facebook. In fact, I even setup an “author page“. Call it hypocrisy if you will, but that’s my story and I’m sticking with it. 😉 I preach a lot about forgiveness, so forgive me – and I’ll forgive Facebook. Just be careful, kind, and considerate out there…