Culture 02 March 2018
To everything turn…turn…turn.
This month is all about contrast. There will be highs. There will be lows. It is a call to the spiritual practice of detaching from judgment. Most especially, the judgment of events as good or bad or right or wrong. There is a season for everything and a perfect timing that does not always make sense to our souls that have chosen to immerse ourselves in the human experience. There is no better sign than Pisces to usher in this energy lesson. With the sun and three planets in the fishy mutable 12th sign this month, emotions will be high and imagination will be abundant. March 23rd is the first day of a new Mercury in retrograde in the sign of Aries. All of the normal retrograde advice applies here, but add a lack of initiative and general tiredness to the equation. The gift in this Aries Mercury retrograde is a chance for cease fires, conflict resolution and the healing of old grudges. Peace on Earth, anyone? Yes, please.
(February 19- March 20)
“Rub a dub dub…”
Happy birthday, Pisces! This really is your month, except for a few speedbumps which I’ll get to in a second. March 1-6 especially shines for you. Communication, work, life routines and romance are all easy peasy. Jupiter is still in Scorpio so you are in a period of emotional and relational growth and expansion. You are floating in a sea of emotion- do like the men in the tub and take a bath…don’t freak out. This also can contribute to emotional overreaction and combined with a Mars in Sagittarius this month, I suggest you think about what you say before you say it. March 25-26: family time and your own personal Mother’s Day.
(March 21 -April 19)
“And they’re off!”
Because of a stellium in Pisces the first week of March, most of the Aries tribe (and fire signs in general) will be feeling like there is a raincloud over their parade at the first of the month. This shifts March 6th as Aries takes over Venus and Mercury. You know what that means…you can finally put the pedal to the metal and floor it! Relationships could get back their spark. You also may finally feel that you get to have the microphone and can speak your mind. Just watch what you say and be careful about starting new ventures compulsively on and after March 23rd when Mercury goes retrograde in your sign of Aries. Slow down. Take your time with contracts, big purchases and especially new businesses. March 27-28: love is in the air.
(April 20- May 20)
“The harder you work, the luckier you get.”
This is a good month for the bulls. The Piscean first week of March suits you just fine. Good love, good culture, and good conversation are always welcome for a Taurus. When Mars moves into Capricorn on March 18, your work life could get more focused and a promotion or accolade could finally materialize. Capricorn rewards those who have committed to a vision. Taurus is the poster child for consistency and commitment. You deserve it. March 6-7: watch the temper!
(May 21- June 20)
“Here comes the sun…”
It’s like a thick emotional and energetic fog settles in over your life March 1-6. Things just aren’t clear and it’s hard to make a decision or feel right about anything. Finally, the clouds part and some Aries sunshine comes out March 7th for the rest of the month. You can see! Clarity and vision are yours, especially regarding money, aesthetics, and love. You also can communicate more clearly. Just don’t speak unless spoken to when that Mercury retrograde happens at the end of the month. March 13-14: new adventure!
(June 21- July 22)
“A pinch of this and a pinch of that…”
Most astrologers would be doom and gloom about this month for you with all of the Aries and Capricorn planets squaring your sun this month. At times it could feel like you are running uphill and you can’t get a break from the everyday challenges that continually are being put in your path. I suggest you lean into the higher energy influences that are on your team right now. Jupiter and Neptune, the planets of expansion and divine inspiration, are both singing you a lullaby right now. Stay in your proverbial kitchen and keep “cooking.” Build things, make things, add creative spice to your life. This drudgery too shall pass. March 16-17: have a St. Patrick’s Day romance.
(July 23- August 22)
“Up came the sun and dried up all the rain”
Yep…you are the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” in this scenario. You just feel washed out at the first of March. Keep trying, keep climbing. The sun is coming out for you by March 7th. By March 18th you are full speed ahead and ready for Spring. Change is all around you. Time for a makeover, new workout program, or a new haircut. Transform and take your place on the stage! You are playing a new character…embrace it. March 8-9: you’ll win the argument.
(August 23- September 22)
“Katie bar the door…”
This month comes in with a roar for you with the full moon in Virgo on the 1st. Straight up I’m not gonna lie….stay out of everyone’s way in March. Keep out of trouble and conflict. You’ve got heightened emotions and several people around you trying to stir your pot at every turn. Just avoid the craziness this month, keep your head down and stay focused. Your productivity and authority over your work and projects are the best thing that you have going for you right now. Swim in your own lane and avoid contact sports right now. Let the fire signs be on the field. March 20-21: Spring love.
(September 23- October 22)
“Hot house flower”
Libras are known for being a bit on the sensitive side. They can be picky, moody and let’s face it…dramatic and whiney. Those close to a Libra can get annoyed by this at times but they know that on the inside Libras are tough and steadfast. This month dear Libra friends you actually have a reason to complain. Watch out for colleagues or contacts being a little more aggressive. Also, your workload may seem to be larger than usual. You may feel tired and beaten down. Permission granted to employ one of your greatest talents; self-care. Get rest and pamper yourself. March 23-24: play hooky.
(October 23- November 21)
“Fire and Water”
There will be lots of work. And then there will be more work. You may admonish yourself for being so darn paranoid (typical Scorpio) that people are aiming for you. You’re not paranoid. You are right. Watch your back. The good news is that you have enormous energy and an ocean of water to douse any arson attempts. March 16-17: Make some art.
(November 22- December 21)
“Fire in your belly”
March starts out slow for you with the full moon in Virgo. You may lose something or someone somehow. This is all a part of a healing process. After March 7th it is full steam ahead. Your ambition, drive and competitive spirit are at full throttle. Don’t look back and keep running. You are my favorite to win. March 27-28: Get married in Vegas perhaps?!
(December 22- January 19)
“Call your Sherpa”
It’s a big release for you with the full moon on March 1st. You could start a new health regimen or finally get a proverbial cast off. It’s good that you are eliminating baggage because this month is for climbing. It’s lots of work to get to the top as all good Capricorns know. You will see others (fire signs) run ahead of you at times but remember your mantra: “slow and steady wins the race”. You are better than anyone else at keeping your head down and staying on task, so you’ve got this. March 1-2: You did it!
(January 20-February 18)
“Whistle while you work”
Like everyone else this month, you are feeling the heaviness of the workload brought about by all of these Capricorn transits. Luckily for you, you have a lot of gas in your engine and your wit is as sharp as ever. Humor is your best medicine this month. Don’t take things too seriously. Also, watch the temper. March 23-24: play a prank.
3 Min Read
"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.
Find A Need And Fill It
I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.
Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.
Have Working Capital And Credit
There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.
I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.
Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.
My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.
Know Your Product Thoroughly
I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?
My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.
My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!
More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.
Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth
I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.
I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.
Delegate From The Bottom Up
I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.
In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.