GOOD EGGS: A Grocer on a Mission : By Amber E. Box

Be A Social Entrepreneur GOOD EGGS: A Grocer on a Mission » Be A Social Entrepreneur

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Be A Social Entrepreneur GOOD EGGS: A Grocer on a Mission » Be A Social Entrepreneur

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Want fresh, local-grown, organic food delivered straight to your door? It’s no longer a pipe-dream, and Good Eggs is the one to make it happen. The company, based in California, works to implement a socially conscious business model while providing farmer’s market quality food in the form of an online grocery store. How do they achieve all of this? With one really good mission: to grow and sustain local food systems worldwide. Good Eggs believes that their mission is so important, in fact, that they value it over their profits; the profits are considered a “byproduct” and an “enabler” of their mission. This mission, while quite simplistic, is actually pretty complex.

According to their website, a “local food system” is a one that supports and sustains local food growers and producers- everything involved with the process of providing fresh food from the gardeners to the butchers to the bakers. The product is a natural and healthier food source for 

consumers. But their mission extends far beyond this. By growing and sustaining these systems, they are helping to financially support these food producers as well as create new jobs in the agricultural industry. In addition, they promote sustainability and environmental awareness, which means they don’t use chemicals or unnecessary waste; by cutting down on the byproducts of the food industry, they are promoting a healthier planet as well as healthier consumers. Good Eggs also requires that the businesses they work with employ fair labor practices. And finally, the food that you buy is traceable back to the original source, which also helps to promote awareness and pride in the products being sold and being purchased.

An online grocery store isn’t exactly what you might think of when you think of a social entrepreneur. But when you add up everything about Good Eggs, it’s clear that they do everything that defines what a social entrepreneur is. Isn’t it about time you put some Good Eggs into your basket?

 

Have You Ever Taken a Chance in Life? by freefincal

I am a fan of actor Kevin Costner. I think he has taken pretty big career risks,pulled off some and failed in some, but has always stuck to his guns, which is admirable. He has even declared that if his stardom vanishes overnight, he can make a decent living with a blue collar job, because he is skilled.

I saw an YouTube interview yesterday in which he mentioned that, his father regretted never having taken a chance in life and having been in the same job all his life. Costner had to reassure him that he had been a good father who provided all he could for his family.

That set me thinking about my own life. Regular readers would be well aware that as an investor, I am pessimistic, cautious, and always keen to contain downside risk. It might surprise them, (as it did me!), that when it came to my career, I had repeatedly taken chances. Some driven by my heart- a refusal to do something that I don’t like, some was driven by my stupid self-belief.

I once gave up a lucrative contract in Germany because I felt home-sick. One part of me said I was committing career suicide (as did my mentors and many of my friends) and one part of me said, I can work in peace only when I happy.

After coming back home, I worked without pay for 4 months, when my employer took pity and created a makeshift position for me.

For the next 6-8 months, I did not look for any other job but put all my cards on a single job which I was desperate to get as it was the only one that appealed to me.

I got the job and completely changed my area of research. This is again considered professional suicide as it will take at least a couple of years to get published.

Though I was doing quite well, nearly two years later, positions for my dream job -one that involved teaching – was open.

There was fierce pressure from my current employer to prevent me from taking the interview. My father was fighting cancer and I was confined to the hospital taking care of him. I prepared for the interview from there.

Things got to such a point that there was the serious danger of losing both jobs – my current one and my dream job. My father urged me to take the chance. He said he believed in me and asked me to go for it.

The gamble paid off. I got the position but I went ahead and committed career suicide once again(!) by choosing to work in another entirely different research area.

While I did quite well on the teaching front, research was riddled with stumbling blocks. Thanks to some hard-working and spirited students, I was able to set up a decent laboratory.

After nearly a decade of doing this, I think I am all set to commit professional suicide once again! (Sorry can’t say more).

As mentioned above, some of the chances that I took was driven by my heart, and some by ridiculous self-belief that I could pull it off. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it did not. In hindsight, considering my current circumstances, I am glad that I took those chances. Well, at least some of them!

Point of this rant

If you had a chance to take up a job that you truly love, will you take a chance and make an all-out effort to grab it? Even if it meant risking a cushy salary and perhaps your career in a particular area? Will you quit your well-paying job to become an entrepreneur?

I would probably vote, yes, but we will have to accept the consequences without too much regret.

Wealth creation or financial security has two components to it: Income and investing.

Investing is independent of how we earn an income. There are those who have taken some big chances with investing. I dont have the stomach for that. Perhaps because I am always doing stupid things to my “career”.

Income is a different ball game. We could earn from a job we truly love (in which case we wont worry about how much we make) or we could earn from a job we truly hate (in which case, all we care about is how much we make).

Sometimes the time window in which we could shift from a job we hate, to a job we love could be quite tight and narrow

Sometimes we will have to take a chance in life to achieve lasting change and happiness. Sometimes we will have to roll the dice and see how it pans out.

The regret of never having taken a chance could be greater than the consequences of having taken one.

Stock market prices are a terrible thing to anchor to Indraneal Balasubramanian Indraneal Balasubramanian, Engineer+Finance MBA by training

I have often seen people knowingly or unknowingly anchoring to the price of a stock, perceiving say a Rs 100 stock as cheaper than a Rs 1000 stock. Not only is this is bad because as an investor you should be worrying about the business fundamentals not the share price fluctuations, but does not consider the size of the business or the scale of it’s sales or profitability at all.

To illustrate this idea, consider the following

MRF Limited
Current Price: Rs 39557

Nestle India Limited
Current Price:  Rs 6923

Gati Limited
Current Price Rs 224

ITC Limited
Current Price: Rs 332

What does this tell you? Absolutely nothing of value on its own. This isn’t a race where a share starts at it’s face value of say 10 and continues growing from there on. Along the way, adjustments like splits, bonuses and share buybacks need to be considered.

Thus we get to the idea of number of shares outstanding. When you buy a share, you are buying a small % of the company, or to be precise 1/(no of shares outstanding of the company). You can use this multiple to figure out the market capitalization of the company as well as the total earnings.

Assume this cake represents the business

Each slice represents a share of the goods. Whether you slice it 10 ways or 20, the size of the cake is not affected by how it is sliced, only the size of the slice is changed. The quality of the cake is also completely independent of the size and manner of slicing. You can have a terrible large cake or a wonderful small cake (and vice versa) depending on the skill of the baker (management) and the ingredients used (fundamental economics of the business)

This post might seem simplistic to those who are aware of fundamental valuation, but I think this basic analogy needs to be drilled into every investor’s head.