ENT 610 Week 5 Reflection

The choices you make can either break you or define you.


I have been looking forward to moving in three months since the beginning of the year. I was notified by the army, that I would be moving in July to Washington state around the Tacoma/Seattle area. And now with the current situations this country is facing, I will not be able to make that move. I have been looking forward to this move for three reasons.
Firstly, the move would place me into a position within a unit that would afford me an opportunity for promotion.
The move would help me research the market surrounding a large military base to gauge whether my business idea would be feasible/profitable.
And lastly, I was just excited to get away from the high desert small town where I and my family have been living for the last three years.
Before you feel any sympathy for me and my family, I must state that it is my choice to not make this move.
For the last eight years, I’ve had custody of my two children. And for the last five years, I have been married to my wonderful wife, who loves these kids as though they were her own. My wife is a nurse, who had been trying to get into different nursing programs since we arrived here in Arizona. The remote area in which we live means that she had been on several wait lists for a couple of years and then was finally accepted last fall. I had been reassured that I would not move until summer 2021 by the Human Resources Command, so she accepted the program and has excelled in her classes. Only a short time later I was notified that they had made a mistake and we would be moving summer 2020. After some searching, my wife found a school that would accept her as a transfer, but now with the COVID-19 issues, they will not be accepting any transfers for at least a year. Thus, I have put in paperwork to request that I stay for another year.
Having said all of this, there is nothing from holding me back from still trying to research the business venture idea. The problem would be trying to launch an online business with no local connection before it has a footing.
I know this might sound like ramblings of a person who should be thankful he has a job during a time when so many are without jobs or have no security with the national uncertainty that is happening right now. I am thankful for my job, the health of my family, and that my wife can further her education. This is just a way to vent what I am thinking about and would not be opposed to other’s input.

ENT 610 Week 4 Reflection

Essential or non essential?

All over the news daily you hear the term “Essential”, and what is essential. Essential means “of the utmost importance” according to Merriam-Webster’s definition. No one will argue over the fact that law enforcement, first responders, medical personnel, truckers, and even the stock boy or cashier at your local grocery store are essential for the situation that we find ourselves. However, the lines of essential start become blurred as of lately. When you ask the question are gun stores, marijuana dispensaries, churches, and restaurants essential businesses you will find that there are many different opinions.

Gun stores sell guns, and the people that have been standing up to defend 2nd amendment rights say that they are essential. On the other side of the aisle, people that believe in more gun restrictions view that lobbyists are trying to use the pandemic to convert more citizens to the NRA.  It doesn’t matter your stance, the fact is that with the pandemic gun sales spiked last month by 85% compared to last March 2019, and many of these purchases were by new gun owners. Many are afraid that the new owners are uneducated, and accidents will happen, but others believe that as jobs become hard to find and poverty rises that people will turn to crime and citizens need protection.

Marijuana is legal in 11 states and Washington DC. Marijuana has been deemed in these states to have medicinal properties that assist with various ailments to include stress and anxiety. One side of the argument that the dispensaries are essential is that medical marijuana is solving issues that medical personnel is too taxed to handle with pharmaceutical medications. Another argument to keep dispensaries open is that there is a fear that the people that shop at these dispensaries will turn to illegal sellers which could potentially spread the virus due to unregulated health practices. The arguments against keeping the dispensaries open are that marijuana is known for causing respiratory issues, people who should be seeking real medicines will turn to pot, and that people will not be screened and that a rise of recreation users will find loopholes.

Churches are protected by the separation of church and state. And everyone can practice their faiths and religions and can’t be persecuted or discriminated by the state for doing so.  However, with the spread of the COVID-19, the federal movement and the CDC has recommended that groups should be limited to no more than 10 people at a time. Some states have made it illegal to have gathering larger than 10 until the pandemic is back under control. Arguments to keep the churches open and allowed mass meetings is that they are protected from these laws. The other reason that during these troubling times that people become more religious and want hope through faith. The argument that churches should be closed is that these mass meetings have been linked to outbreaks that have ravished communities. The highest percentage of churchgoers are in the high-risk categories and thus should be staying at home. And finally, the biggest argument for closures is that with so many platforms of social media and group applications, if the church leader wants to have “services” they can be done digitally.

The last category of business has strong feelings from the parties that either wants them to close or stay open, is restaurants. No one can argue that food is essential but paying for convenience might not be. While a large portion of American workers is employed through working at restaurants, the question will be for how much longer. As joblessness is on the rise the ability to order a pizza will become a luxury that many Americans will not be able to afford. The argument to keep restaurants open is that it helps the community by keeping a portion of the public employed, it helps essential workers be able to bring cooked food home after a long day, and finally keeping the restaurants open is an attempt to keep some sense of stability in the community by showing that somethings are still normal. The opposition for having any restaurants open is that there is no way to keep social distancing in a restaurant kitchen, that the amount of income for some employees is lower than what they might qualify for in unemployment, and lastly the restaurants can be vectors of spreading the virus to citizens, such as children, that are trying to do the right thing.

Each of these establishments is deemed either essential or non-essential depending on location. I am not one to say that this place can or cannot be open, I am just saying that we need to be aware. Lastly, I leave you with the only true advice I can give, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay at home as much as you can, and lastly if you do leave the house whatever you bring into the house could be carrying the virus so wash/disinfect every new item brought in. Take care of your selves and each other and shop local when you can.

Sources:

COVID-19 fears causing surge in gun sales

https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/national/coronavirus/coronavirus-fears-causing-surge-in-gun-sales

Are pot and guns essential in a pandemic?

https://news.yahoo.com/are-pot-and-guns-essential-in-a-pandemic-194457297.html

Will the restaurant industry survive the coronavirus pandemic?

https://news.yahoo.com/will-the-restaurant-industry-survive-the-coronavirus-pandemic-224353752.html

ENT 610 Week 3 Reflection

To say this week was trying would be an understatement. For those of us that were labeled as “essential personnel” the workload was heavy, and hours were long.  While doing my tasks for COVID-19 reaction and watching the news I took a few moments to reflect on entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship by nature is a person putting their financials on the line to make a business out of nothing. During this troubling time with businesses having to close their doors for either safety or due to state-mandated closures, there are people without work, but there are small businesses that are told to close because they are not essential. 

The state of Arizona, the state that I currently live in, announced today that there is an executive order calling for nonessential businesses to close, asking the public to stay home. In plain English, if your businesses are not related to food services or medical, you must close and stay at home. Arizona is not the first, nor will it be the last, state that will have to push an executive order in response to protecting the citizens.

The first thing that comes to mind is when the dust settles and life goes back to a version of normalcy, that I hope that the communities support these small businesses and shop local.

This coming week, with my move to teleworking and receiving a break from Incident Management Team, I will attempt to focus on my class work and have something more positive to reflect on.


Source – https://www.kgun9.com/news/coronavirus/gov-ducey-announces-stay-at-home-order-in-arizona

ENT 610 Week 2 Reflection

Truthfully, I am not as far along in my homework as I would like to be at this point. I have started on the book Understanding Michael Porter, by Joan Magretta. And I have listened to some of the radio ads but have not picked the five that I would like to use for my assignment. This week has been a trying week of most of us outside of our schoolwork, which makes me think of the program in a different light.

In the last week, I have had to keep my kids home from school, my wife has transitioned from in-class college to online, and I have worked long hours in preparation for the response of the pandemic. I am a soldier and the unit that I belong to is an expeditionary signal battalion. And in plain English, it is a unit that deploys when there is a need for communications beyond the normal infrastructure. Right now, we have personnel deployed to Europe and Africa, but this last week we were told to prepare to deploy to the west coast to assist with medical units assisting Americans in the hot zones.

It has been a long week, but the point I want to note is where my thoughts have been, the local businesses. I would be lying if I said I did not go into some of the big box stores to buy supplies to take care of my family during this trying time, but whenever I could I tried to buy from the smaller local stores. My wife enjoys wine, and if we are stuck indoors for two weeks there better be a few bottles laying in waiting. This allowed me to buy from local vendors selling local wines. We ordered care packages for some in the community from a local restaurant that would be delivering frozen meats to elderly shut-ins. I stocked up on my dog food from the local feed store.

I am not saying all of this to have anyone tell me I am doing something good; I am doing it because that could be any of us. Entrepreneurs are going to take a big hit when the dust settles on this virus. There might not be a big bailout to help with lost income. In times of crisis, some of the first things to go are leisure, luxury, and small businesses. Seeing the Las Vegas strip completely dissertated at 5 pm on a Saturday is hard to believe, but there is enough money in most of the casino’s accounts that this won’t break them. But the business owner that was just getting by might not recover.

What I guess I am trying to say is, if you can buy from the little guy right now it might make a difference. If you can’t, make sure you support them when you can.

Life is the sum of the decisions you make along the way.

As this is the first week of my master’s program, I have reflected a little on how I got to this place in my life.

I was born deaf but after many surgeries, I was able to hear, but not hearing during a key development phase, I am dyslexic. I did not learn to read until I was 12 years old and was in remedial English classes until I graduated high school. I attended some college classes in 1997-1998, but after failing English 101 three times I gave up on earning a degree.

I was tutoring me, now, wife in 2015 in history 101 and government 101 and she asked me why I didn’t have a college degree. I told her how I only needed English 101 and a Speech class and I would have enough for an associate degree. She convinced me to re-enroll in college and then she tutored me in English. With the use of Microsoft Word and Grammarly, I earned my associate degree in 2016.

After I finished with the classes in 2016 to earn the degree, my wife asked me what I planned on doing when I retired from the army. After some thought, I told my wife that I had always wanted to own a business, so I didn’t need a degree to pursue that goal. My wife pushed me to investigate a degree that might help me learn how to run a business. After some research, I found a degree that would offer classes that I thought would help me get closer to the goal of owning a business. In the fall of 2016, I started my journey into pursuing my bachelor’s degree. In the summer of 2019, I conferment of my bachelor’s degree with Summa Cum Laude honors in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship.

I had the opportunity to finish my degree a year earlier had I chosen to forgo my concentration on only pursue a Business administration degree. Joking, I told everyone that my associate degree which was a general studies degree was for everyone else, but my bachelor’s degree was for me, so I pick what I wanted.

When I was nearing the end of my degree, I looked around at the affordability of a master’s degree that would add to the bachelor’s degree. When I found the M.E. degree at Western Carolina University, I found a degree that had the affordability I needed with the student reviews that I wanted.

This blog will be my thought as well as assignments for my pursuit of earning my Master’s of Entrepreneurship.

About Myself

I have served this great county off and on for the past twenty years in many capacities; National Guard, Army Reserves, as well as Active Duty Army. I have served in the National Guard in Alabama and Texas. I also served in the Army Reserves in Texas. While on Active duty I was been stationed in Georgia, Alaska, Texas, and Arizona. Traveling and moving have never been things that I have shied away from. The military not only taught me a job-specific training but leadership and working with teams. I have led teams as small as three people for specific tasks, and up to sixty people for larger more complex assignments. Managing many people from different backgrounds for the common goal is a challenging yet rewarding assignment.

I have attended Gadsden State Community College in Gadsden Al., Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville Al., Columbus Technical College in Columbus GA., Central Texas College (online) in Killeen Tx., Post University (online) in Waterbury Ct., and currently attending Western Carolina University (online) in Cullowhee, NC.

Earned

Automotive Collision Repair Diploma from Columbus Technical College.

Associate of Arts in General Studies from Central Texas College

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management, Entrepreneurship from Post University.