Not Active

You won’t need to look around for very long to figure out that I am not actively updating this blog.

I do have some plans for the domain, but I do not have the time, so for now I am just using it to host e-mail addresses.

I am interested in talking to other Harlackers around the country, as it is not a common name, and we might be able to connect our family trees.

If your a Harlacker, drop me a line here. 





A $70K Minimum Salary?

Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments, took a $930,000 pay cut to raise the minimum salary of his employees to $70,000. There have been some unintended, yet predictable consequences.

Source: Mises Daily | Mises Institute

HTWFAIP: Don’t Criticize, Condemn, or Complain

In a previous post I listed Dale Carnegie’s 3 fundamental techniques for handling people from his 1936 bestseller How to Win Friends & Influence People.

Lets take a closer look at number one.

1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain

Criticism is ineffective because it puts people on the defensive and leads them to try to justify themselves instead of making the change that you desire. Criticism injures a person’s pride, damages their sense of importance, breeds resentment, and reduces morale. This is not an environment conducive to positive change. One of the many famous anecdotes sprinkled throughout the book appears in this chapter, and sums it up nicely: “If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive”.

Top 5 E-mail Annoyances

The top 5 things that drive me crazy in business e-mails.

1. Sending an e-mail asking me to take some urgent, immediate action. Just call me instead.

2. Sending an email to thank me for my earlier reply. Please thank me by sending less e-mails.

3. Forwarding me something as an FYI when I clearly need to take action. FYI means “you may want to know about this, but you do not need to do anything”.

4. Replying to an email on one topic to discuss a completely different topic. This makes it nearly impossible to find later.

5. Forwarding me several versions of the same e-mail thread to get me up to speed on a subject. I do not need all 15 emails, just the last one or two with the whole thread.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

A Work Breakdown Structure, or WBS, is defined in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) as a deliverable oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team. In other words, the WBS is organized around objects (not actions), starts with the project at the top level, and then breaks the project down into smaller manageable pieces. The further down the structure you go, the deeper into the weeds you are. Each branch of the WBS goes down to the work package level, or the level below which there are no further objects, only actions.


S.M.A.R.T Goals

The best goals are S.M.A.R.T. goals:




Results focused

Time bound

Six Ways to Make People Like You

Dale Carnegie lists six ways to make people like you in his 1936 bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People.

1. Become genuinely interested in other people.

2. Smile

3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

These principles hold true today.

3 Techniques for Handling People

Dale Carnegie states 3 fundamental techniques for handling people in his 1936 bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People that are as true today as when he wrote them.

1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain

2. Give honest and sincere appreciation

3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Starting The Work Day Right

Each night before I leave the office I list 5 critical things that I want to accomplish the next day on a post-it note, and stick it on the center of my desk. When I walk in to my office in the morning, I hit the power button on my computer, and review the list while I wait for the login screen to load. This simple, but effective routine, allows me to get off to a productive start before the various distractions of modern office work (email, internet, voicemail, etc.) can take hold.


Add The Zeroes

There is a reason the big spenders in government and their supporters do not use zeroes in debt and spending figures outside the obvious answer that it is simpler to write. It also has the psychological effect of softening the blow and making large numbers seem less serious. For instance, while the sentence “The government’s debt is now 18 trillion dollars” conveys important information that the level of debt in this country is at a new, mind boggling high, it does not have the same psychological impact as “The government’s debt is now $18,000,000,000,000”.

When discussing government spending or the deficit online, use the zeroes when possible.