Archive | Entrepreneurship

Pay to Play

I’m writing this post after having recently received a solicitation from an attorney group asking for speakers for a big annual event. The “invitation” included a price list of what they expected speakers to pay. Despite the fact the audience would be perfect for us, marketing wise, Melissa immediately rejected the idea as something prohibited […]

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Psychologists are expressly prohibited from paying anyone to publish their research, lecture to any audience, or endorse their services.  Although attorneys and other professionals have different codes of conduct than psychologists, as a psychologist who works with attorneys, I am bound only by my profession’s ethical code of conduct.  It is abhorrent to me to […]

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Those little annoyances

Someone told me long ago that he lacked the personality characteristic to be able to tolerate performing mundane tasks, including dealing with automated telephone systems; working out problems with a bank; balancing a checkbook; etc. I share this absence of the personality trait that obviously includes having patience to handle being placed on hold for […]

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It’s not easy being OK to Handle.  I think we’ve written about that story before.  But, in the recent example, I was dealing with one of our banks.  I don’t enjoy that kind of experience, but I know I can get through it; I have to.  Melissa could not.  I just have to persevere.  This […]

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Ramifications of “You’re Fired”

I’ll start with the obvious: anyone can be fired. As long as someone works for someone else, they can be fired and, in many states, with or without reason. (If someone is self employed, they can be fired by clients, but that is a different situation.) Some people seem to think, so what if I’m […]

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This topic has been on David’s list of things to write about for many years, however, recent events evidently inspired him to write about it.  During the almost 30 years Magnus has been in business, David has always performed the human resources functions in our company, including hiring, training, disciplining, and firing employees.  More people […]

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Helping without Realizing

Sometimes in life people make a difference without even realizing it. Without trying to make a difference. “Leading by example” is the term often used to describe this phenomenon. Melissa was pleasantly surprised when the owner of a small hotel and conference facility “comp’d” our stay at the hotel for a non-work event. The woman, […]

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As corny as it sounds, I try to “let my light shine” in my dealings with everyone.  When I was growing up, my parents treated everyone with respect, whether they were dealing with the lowest or highest members of society.  Mom always told me to watch what I was doing because I never know when […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Steal!

This is the last in the “you will get fired” series (I hope). Even when the employee does something bad, like stealing, going through the conflict of termination is unpleasant, not satisfying. In owning a small business, there are ways employees “steal” from the company. I’ve been remembering about a direct financial theft we suffered […]

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Reading this series of posts about reasons for firing an employee might give the reader the impression that David and I have had terrible luck with our employees.  If so, I want to explain that, to the contrary, we have had many wonderful employees in our almost 30 years of owning and operating Magnus.  I […]

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You May Be Kidding, But I’m Not

This is the second post about Magnus’ unfortunate experience with the nasty mock juror who was sent home after he threatened one of my employees. Sadly, this sort of thing has happened before. Sadder still, I expect it to happen again some day. In every instance Magnus has had in which a mock juror threatens […]

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Racial discrimination, bullying, or other abuses are certainly not something to kid about.  More than ever, this is true and employers must be vigilant in ensuring that zero tolerance is the only option.  Within an employer’s environment there are probably different ways of handling these issues, but our environment is unique.  We have to “have […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Talk Back!

Sometimes, lessons from your mother go a long way. Unfortunately, not everyone learns those lessons. As I’ve been pondering some of our termination experiences, I recall a few instances when the problem was friction between an employee and me, or more concerning, between the employee and the “big boss,” Melissa. We have had a few, […]

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David and I have told countless people about the employee who, after being fired for insubordination, refused to leave.  It is beyond me to understand why anyone, knowing he/she is unwanted, would stay around, but that is exactly what this creepy guy did.  Until the deputy from the Broward County Sheriff’s Department showed up at […]

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Elegantly Forceful

Magnus Research Consultants recently worked in Miami, where we have worked numerous times throughout the decades we have been in business. Most of the time when we are conducting mock jury research, the research participants/mock jurors are respectful toward one another, the Magnus staff, and me. Once in a while, however, one or more of […]

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Elegantly forceful is a great description and a smart way of handling a difficult, tense situation, ESPECIALLY when all eyes are on you.  When clients are involved, the stakes are much higher still.  The way this mock juror was handled set the tone for the entire group.  Yelling, screaming, cursing, as we’ve observed some trial […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Forget to Press Record!

Few things are as important in our mock trials or focus groups as recording the presentations and, more importantly, the deliberations or participant discussions. We’re not in the video production business, but it sometimes seems that way because we have to capture the video, and particularly, audio, from our research sessions. This is a pretty […]

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Oh my!  Words I never want to hear during a mock trial, focus group, or any other type of research for a client are “Dr. Pigott, I forgot to press record when the mock jurors started deliberating.”  I particularly dislike hearing these words via a walkie-talkie while I am in the presence of the clients […]

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Champagne on 1st

David and I celebrate life. If we look around, there is something to celebrate every day. One event David and I have always celebrated is our anniversary. We were married on New Year’s Day, January 1. We selected January 1 because it is a holiday and, therefore, we would never have to work on our […]

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The sound of the pop of a cork always brings a smile to our faces.  Opening our many bottles of champagne (or non-French “sparkling wine”) has made me pretty good at it.  I have only had a cork fly away 1 or 2 times in all these years.  We try to keep well stocked so […]

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