All Articles Tagged "profits"

Jay Z Responds To Barney’s Deal Criticism Asking, “Why Am I Being Demonized And Denounced…”

October 27th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Courtesy: New York Daily News

Well, you all asked for it and the message has been received: Jay Z has responded to all the criticisms, petitions and requests for his opinion on the Barney’s New York racial profiling scandal after being put on the front page of the New York Daily News.

Posting a message to his Life + Times blog, Jay Z states he is “waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys” and doesn’t make decisions based on emotions. Further, by stepping away from the deal, Jay Z believes it will hurt all those who stand to receive funds from the Shawn Carter Foundation.

Check out the full statement below, which includes the seemingly odd breakdown of the proceeds:

This collaboration lives in a place of giving and is about the Foundation. I am not making a dime from this collection; I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported. I need to make that fact crystal clear. The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and an additional donation from Barneys. This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning. My idea was born out of creativity and charity… not profit.

I move and speak based on facts and not emotion. I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately? The negligent, erroneous reports and attacks on my character, intentions, and the spirit of this collaboration have forced me into a statement I didn’t want to make without the full facts. Making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project, wouldn’t hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter, but all the people that stand a chance at higher education. I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn’t harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration.

I am against discrimination of any kind, but if I make snap judgements, no matter who it’s towards, aren’t I committing the same sin as someone who profiles? I am no stranger to being profiled and I truly empathize with anyone that has been put in that position. Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change. – Shawn “JAY Z” Carter

Thoughts?

“Beast It!”: A Little Film’s Big Success Teaches Us About Pursuing Our Own Dreams

January 17th, 2013 - By C. Cleveland
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Rex Features via AP Images

Rex Features via AP Images

This year’s Oscar nominations feature a diverse showing of nominees compared to the whitewash of years past. One of the most interesting stories of the award season is a small film’s journey to becoming the most unlikely of Oscar juggernauts. “Beasts of the Southern Wild” grabbed four Oscar nods – including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actress for Quvenzhané Wallis.

The indie film’s micro budget wasn’t the only thing that made its success at film festivals and the industry’s top award show a pleasant surprise. A collective of artists and filmmakers produced and built its sets by hand with found artifacts around the Louisiana coastline. The film’s stars, including Wallis, who was six years old at the time of shooting, are all first-time actors.

For first-time feature filmmaker Benh Zeitlin, Beasts is a passion project that paid off big time.

The Problem With Pursuing Profits

Americans’ devotion to capitalism has allowed them to buy into the belief that success means making money. Many start projects with the sole motivation of generating profits. But, research shows this approach is a mistake.

In his popular TED talk, “The puzzle of motivation,” career analyst Dan Pink presents evidence that pursuing monetary rewards dulls thinking and blocks creativity. Monetary rewards work best for straightforward problems that require a narrow focus. But today’s business world, where most problems require creative thinking, demands a different type of motivation.

“The new operating system of our business revolves around three elements: autonomy, mastery, and purpose,” Pink says. “Autonomy: the urge to direct our own lives. Mastery: the desire to get better and better at something that matters. Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.”

Changing Your View of Success

Somewhere along the way we changed the definition of success. We associate it with larges amounts of wealth or a high level of fame. In reality, success is simply accomplishing what you set out to do.

Zeitlin set out to explore how the old folk tales and myths he grew up reading intersected with modern life. He tells the New York Times that his goal in making Beasts was to capture emotional facts that hurricane damage alone doesn’t convey. “What is the feeling of going through this loss of a place or of a parent or of a culture?” he asked. “How does that feel, and how do you respond emotionally to survive that?”

The result was a haunting film that blurs the line between fantasy and reality. It is different from anything else in the theaters. Imagine how his final product would have looked if he set out to make commercial film about land loss following a hurricane.

Success is a Side Effect of Creativity

The uniqueness of Beasts has critics heralding it as the best picture to come out of the film festival circuit in decades, and President Obama dubbing it his favorite film of 2012.

This supports Dan Pink’s theory that if you remove money as the incentive, you give your brain permission to think outside the box. Relieving yourself of the pressure to be profitable gives you the freedom to create unique solutions that grab attention, and generate income.

That’s not to say you should ignore monetary issues like budgeting constraints. Businesses survive off making more than they spend. The lesson here is that it is a mistake to make money your sole motivator. Working toward something bigger than monetary gains makes it much easier to be successful.

C. Cleveland is a freelance writer and content strategist in New York City, perfecting living the fierce life at The Red Read. She is at your service on Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).

The Flu Epidemic Is Hitting People and Companies Hard

January 15th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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A funeral for six-year-old Tahlia Johnson, who died of the flu. AP Photo/LM Otero

A funeral for six-year-old Tahlia Johnson, who died of the flu. AP Photo/LM Otero

The Centers for Disease Control made it official late last week: the flu outbreak has reached epidemic levels with 47 states reporting flu activity and 4.3 percent of outpatient visits attributed to flu symptoms. The threshold to reach epidemic level is 2.2. percent.

So this is bad news, right? For most people, yes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job absenteeism spikes during flu season, and this is the worst in a decade. According to sources speaking to The Wall Street Journalbusinesses will lose billions because of this situation.

But not everyone is complaining. Ad Age reports that, unsurprisingly, companies in the cold and flu relief area are booming. Reckitt Benckiser, makers of Mucinex and Delsym, and Johnson & Johnson, which counts Children’s Motrin and Tylenol among its brands, are among the companies in this space that have seen an eight percent rise in sales.

And with efforts to avoid getting sick at a high, Lysol, Clorox, and other disinfectant brands are getting a 22 percent boost.

As we’ve previously reported, the best way to stave illness is to get vaccinated. But only 40 percent of Americans have done so for a variety of reasons, some good, some bad. The New Yorker cautions that even if you’re one of those people who refuse to get the vaccine, keep in mind that if you do get sick, you can pass it on to the most vulnerable in your family — children and the elderly. Or if you choose not to get it for yourself, perhaps you should press for members of these demographics to do so. As many as 45,000 Americans die every year from the flu. (!) Twenty people nationwide have died already, including six-year-old Tahlia Johnson, who’s funeral is pictured above. According to AP Images, it’s not certain whether she was vaccinated.

We did a little more digging to see if there’s anything more — anything at all — that companies can do to help employees. Unfortunately, the much-discussed hand washing and vaccination suggestions are really the only things we could find. Although this article suggests that companies can go an extra step toward bringing vaccinations to the office on a special day, making it available to anyone interested. With billions in losses at risk, it might be worth the trouble.

West Indian Day Parade Generates Millions of Dollars In Addition to Excitement

September 3rd, 2012 - By Tonya Garcia
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A scene from last year’s parade. Image: AP

The West Indian American Day Parade is underway on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn as we speak. And while the festival is known for delicious food, great music and beautiful costumes, it’s important to point out that it’s a revenue generator as well.

A study conducted by the Empire State Development Corporation finds that the parade generates $86 million for every one million attendees. It’s estimated that three million people will attend the parade this year.

Money for the event comes from New York State grants, sponsors, fundraisers and other sources. This is the 45th anniversary of the event and even though the numbers are down a bit this year, it’s still a big opportunity for businesses. We just saw a bit of live coverage on CBS News with reporters asking food vendors about the biggest sellers (oxtails was one response). The parade is bringing as much cash as excitement.

Separately, this weekend was also the annual Tom Joyner Family Reunion in Kissimmee, FL to celebrate African-American culture. The decade-old event includes music, activities and families from all over the country who make the trip to the party. Vendors selling food, jewelry and gear supporting President Obama are also a big part of the festivities. For coverage, click here.

Everyone enjoy the parade and the rest of this great Labor Day weekend!

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Big Losses for Small Business

August 26th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Inc) — One in five small businesses are reporting that profits are plummeting by more than 25 percent compared to last year, says a new survey.  Two thirds of small and medium-size businesses said the slump had affected business, with 37 percent saying business was “much worse” or “a little worse,” says the latest Office Depot Small Business Index, a monthlysurvey of 1,000 small and medium-size businesses. Over 40 percent experienced drops in profit, with 20 percent losing 10 percent or more and 21 percent seeing drops of more than a quarter.

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Make More than Payroll, Make Profits

March 23rd, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Businessweek) — Too many small business owners are focused on making payroll, not profits, says Patricia Sigmon, founder and president of David Advisory Group, a Manhattan consulting company, and author of Six Steps to Creating Profit (Wiley 2010). Sigmon, who also founded and still owns a $2 million, 10-employee computer consulting business, LPS Consulting in Fanwood, N.J., spoke to Smart Answers columnist Karen E. Klein recently about boosting profits in small businesses. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow.

Why do many small businesses lag in profitability? The No. 1 reason is small business owners don’t have the answers in hand. They have no idea that they didn’t make a profit, or that they had a loss. They are chasing payroll money every month, they’re getting deeper into debt, and then they have one bad month—and they’re dead. Too many small business owners don’t know the difference between “busy” and “profitable.” Small businesses that wait until the end of the year to look at financial reports can lose a lot of money being “busy”—especially in a recession.

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7 Ways to Maximize Your Company’s Profits

January 28th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Black Enterprise) — “You don’t just want sales, you want profits,” says Mark Thompson, co-author of Now, Build a Great Business! 7 Ways to Maximize Your Profits in Any Market. “You want the ability to re-invest that profitability into growing your company and having something to pay shareholders.” Thompson was part of the team that took financial services firm Charles Schwab & Co. public in the 1980s, bought it back from Bank of Americaand grew it into a global firm in the 90s. He is now a venture capitalist, investing in companies in Silicon Valley.  When the recession hit and the US economy nearly collapsed, Thompson and co-author Brian Tracy took a look back at the fundamentals and saw how the top-performing companies that have lasted for 20 years or more have been those who launched in miserable markets. From that analysis, they discovered the following ways entrepreneurs can keep their companies operating profitably.

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App Store Really Doesn’t Make Any Money

June 23rd, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(TG Daily) — Apple’s making peanuts out of the app store, according to a financial analyst who says it’s netted less than half a billion dollars since its launch two years ago. Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray says Apple’s claims to be running the store at more or less break even point are borne out by the data.  Munster seized on two figures given by Steve Jobs two weeks ago during his keynote address at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.

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App Store Really Doesn’t Make Any Money

June 23rd, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(TG Daily) — Apple’s making peanuts out of the app store, according to a financial analyst who says it’s netted less than half a billion dollars since its launch two years ago. Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray says Apple’s claims to be running the store at more or less break even point are borne out by the data.  Munster seized on two figures given by Steve Jobs two weeks ago during his keynote address at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.

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Wal-Mart Profit Beats Views; Forecast May Miss

May 18th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(MarketWatch.com) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, said Tuesday that its first-quarter profit rose to $3.32 billion, or 88 cents a share, from $3.02 billion, or 77 cents, a year earlier. Sales in the quarter ended April 30 rose 6% to $99.1 billion while membership and other income declined 2.6% to $751 million, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer said. Wal-Mart as expected to report first-quarter adjusted profit of 84 cents a share on sales of $98.3 billion, according to the average estimate of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

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