Thursday, May 27, 2021

Through the Keyhole - June 2021


IT Services - Business Consulting - Digital Marketing

JUNE 2021
Through the Keyhole
Take a break from your day...

Not your typical company OR newsletter
"Having a Dalmatian Coast, this country has the oldest inhabited city in Europe (8000 years). Nikola Tesla was born here and this location played Greece in Mamma Mia 2 (missed that one). Stunning." 
Can you guess the location?

Summertime is HERE!

Here we are almost at the mid point of 2021.  It's amazing how fast time seems to fly and how great it is to be living in this time.  For sure, this past year and a half has been very challenging but it feels like we are turning the corner...who knows?

What I do know is that it is soon to be summer and there are so many great things to do in the midwest during these warm months.  I like to think of summer as "high season" for the midwest.  Sure, there are things to do in the winter but summertime brings with it so many opportunities to be outside and visit with your friends and family.

A few things that come to mind:

  • The EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI where you can view airshows daily and see just about every kind of aircraft known to man.
  • 4th of July in just about any town (and we will be getting together with lots of people- thank you very much)
  • Road Trips (pick a destination and GO!
  • Visit someone who owns a lake house and crash there (more to follow)
  • Go Fishing 
  • Take a nap in a hammock (or on a boat)
  • Go sailing (with someone who is an expert)
  • Take in a minor league baseball game
  • Go to the racetrack (while you still can)
  • Light off a bunch of fireworks and get the cops called on you
  • Eat corn on the cob dipped in butter with plenty of salt
  • Attend an outdoor street fair or festival
  • Pierogifest in Whiting, IN
  • Leap off a rope swing
  • Go water skiing (or at least try)
  • Go strawberry picking (and make sure you have insect repellent)
  • Attend a parade (any one will do). I especially like the small towns...
  • Run through the sprinkler
  • Do cannonballs 
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Check out the Wisconsin Dells
  • Watch Fireflies
  • Figure out if the earth is round or flat
  • Have a bonfire
My father bought a lake house in 1976 and my family has been travelling there ever since.  People always tell me how lucky I am to have a place to go in the summer and I can tell you that I am. Very Lucky.  However, as I mention above, find a friend who has a lake house and crash there.  This way you get all the benefits of having a lake house and none of the chores that go along with owning one.  I won't bore you with the laundry list of things you have to do to keep your home going so I will just give that advice.  The other way to enjoy a lake house without any aggrivation is to rent one.  And besides, the second home, rural market is so hot right now...

Anyways, HAPPY SUMMER and make some plans because it will be over in a blink.

Now let's get to it.
Pierogifest... Mmmmm.  This year it is held July 23-25 in Whiting, IN
Do you need a fresh look?

It often takes an outsider to objectively look into a business and find things that are too close for business owners to see.  Business owners and entrepreneurs are often guilty of having instincts but seldom are into details, trends and additional opportunities that are in clear sight.  They are good at running the business with their passion but sometimes don’t see waste and other ‘leaks’ in their business.

Did you ever hear the idiom “can’t see the forest for the trees?”  Well in ‘consulting’ (such a broad based word) it is often true.  It is kind of like obsessing about the look of a doorknob when remodeling an entire house. You have to look at the big picture as well as the details.  We can do this for you.

The 4D assessment is a simple way, with a limited investment, to do a bit of a dive into your business and find out where opportunities and pitfalls lie.  In fact, when you engage TURNkey for a 4D Business Scan, you will be credited the entire amount towards any future work you do with us.

How to Get Started with TURNkey Consulting

Businesses use TURNkey’s Business Consulting team to get an objective, expert point of view about their business. Our experienced consulting resources can help you assess the current state of your business, identify where there are real business opportunities and how to move your business forward.

With TURNkey’s “4D” consulting offerings, small and mid-sized businesses now have access to premium consulting services, without the premium price tag. TURNkey offers this very affordable analysis to help business owners and leaders identify the hidden potential in their business.

The 4D Business Scan ($3,500)

The 4D Business Scan is TURNkey’s fastest and most economical business assessment. Through a series of 1:1 conversations with key staff members, our experienced consultants identify potential business opportunities along four key capability dimensions (see graphic below). The process is simple, and the recommendations are returned quickly:

  • Starts with 3-4 one-hour interviews.
  • Analysis takes about a week to complete.
  • Written recommendations presented via video-conference.
  • Aggressive pricing - $3,500

The 4D Scan answers questions like:

  • Where are there opportunities to expand or grow the business?
  • How can we manage our people better and help them be more engaged and productive?
  • How can I get things to run more smoothly so I can focus on what I do best?

The 4D Business Framework provides a multi-disciplinary, four-dimensional framework to guide our assessments and help our clients identify near term opportunities for growth and profitability.  The 4D Business Scan and the 4D Business Scorecard look for improvement opportunities along four primary dimensions of business capability:

  • Infrastructure: work processes, management systems, technology infrastructure, etc.
  • Operations: cost structure, cash flow, business model, pricing, profitability, etc.
  • Strategy: customer experience, product/market fit, pricing, marketing, growth potential, etc.
  • Leadership: mission clarity, workforce management, recruitment & retention, culture, etc.

Using this four-dimensional framework, our consultants can highlight areas of strength and weakness in each of the key dimensions, along with specific opportunities to grow revenue and profitability, often exceeding 20-30x the cost of the original assessment.

For a limited time, all charges for the 4D Business Scan will be credited towards any labor moving forward with TURNkey’s services.

Let's GO!

Sophos Phish Threat

Are your people falling for Phishing Attempts?

Phishing is big business. Attacks have shown record growth in recent years, and a solid security awareness program is an integral part of any defense-in-depth strategy. Sophos Phish Threat educates and tests your end users through automated attack simulations, quality security awareness training, and actionable reporting metrics.

Phish Threat provides you with the flexibility and customization that your organization needs to facilitate a positive security awareness culture.

Basically, you set up a campaign to catch your employees falling for phish attempts.  It is easy to use and kind of fun.  Then if they fall for it, they are forced to watch a short video that trains them what to look for...

This service is only $2.50/user per month with a small setup fee and most people only train their employees for a couple months.  It is SO WORTH IT!

Call us to set you up.

Time for Summer.
Guess the Location Game

Last month the winner of the guess the location game was Bob Conway  who guessed the right answer.  I appreciate all of the participation.  THANKS FOR PLAYING!
ANSWER: Suez Canal, Egypt
"This waterway saves plenty of time allowing cargo and military vessels to pass through. It did have some trouble recently with an Evergreen and it's anyone's guess what it could have been carrying. Hmmm." Can you guess the location?

The Suez Canal is a man-made waterway connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea. It enables a more direct route for shipping between Europe and Asia, effectively allowing for passage from the North Atlantic to the Indian Ocean without having to circumnavigate the African continent. The waterway is vital for international trade and, as a result, has been at the center of conflict since it opened in 1869.

Where Is the Suez Canal?

The Suez Canal stretches 120 miles from Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt southward to the city of Suez (located on the northern shores of the Gulf of Suez). The canal separates the bulk of Egypt from the Sinai Peninsula. It took 10 years to build, and was officially opened on November 17, 1869.

Owned and operated by the Suez Canal Authority, the Suez Canal’s use is intended to be open to ships of all countries, be it for purposes of commerce or war—though that hasn’t always been the case.

Construction of the Suez Canal

Interest in a marine route connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea dates back to ancient times. A series of small canals connecting the Nile River (and, thus, by extension, the Mediterranean) to the Red Sea were in use as early as 2000 B.C.

However, a direct connection between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea was considered impossible over concerns that they sat at distinct levels of altitude.

Therefore, various overland routes—using horse-drawn vehicles and, later, trains—were employed, most notably by Great Britain, which conducted significant trade with its colonies in present-day India and Pakistan.

Construction of the Suez Canal

Construction began, at the northernmost Port Said end of the canal, in early 1859. The excavation work took 10 years, and an estimated 1.5 million people worked on the project.

Unfortunately, over the objections of many British, French and American investors in the canal, many of these were slave laborers, and it is believed that tens of thousands died while working on the Suez, from cholera and other causes.

Political turmoil in the region negatively impacted the construction of the canal. Egypt was ruled by Britain and France at the time, and there were several rebellions against colonial rule.

This, coupled with the limitations of construction technology at the time, caused the total costs of building the Suez Canal to balloon to $100 million, more than double the original estimate.

Suez Canal Opens

Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt and the Sudan, formally opened the Suez Canal on November 17, 1869.

Suez Canal Today

Today, an average of 50 ships navigate the canal daily, carrying more than 300 million tons of goods per year.

In 2014, the Egyptian government oversaw at $8 billion expansion project that widened the Suez from 61 meters to 312 meters for a 21-mile distance. The project took one year to complete and, as a result, the canal can accommodate ships to pass both directions simultaneously. 

~ 10 min.
How the canal was built ~7 min.
Now this is a pilot.
Assembling a cell tower using a helicopter 40 stories up ~  5 minutes 
The young versions of Placido Domingo and Lucianno Pavarotti...

Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti perform ~4 minutes

Playing music for the Animals...
A talented pianist plays for the lonely animals at the zoo. Amazing. ~ 2 minutes
The Story of Popeye
His real name was Frank "Rocky" Fiegel.  He was born in 1868 in Poland and, as a child, immigrated to the United States with his parents, who settled down in a small town in Illinois. As a young man, Rocky went to sea.  After a 20 year career as a sailor in the Merchant Marines, Fiegel retired.  He was later hired by Wiebusch's Tavern in the city of Chester, Illinois as a ‘Bouncer’ to maintain order in the rowdy bar.

Rocky quickly developed a reputation for always being involved in fighting ( and usually winning).  As a result, he had a deformed eye ("Pop-eye").  He also ‘always’ smoked his pipe, so he always spoke out of one side of his mouth.  In his spare time as a Bouncer, Rocky would entertain the customers by regaling them with exciting stories of adventures he claimed to have had over his career as a sailor crossing the ‘Seven Seas.’

The creator of Popeye, Elzie Crisler Segar, grew up in Chester and, as a young man, met Rocky at the tavern and would sit for hours listening to the old sailor’s amazing ‘sea’ stories.’  Years later, Segar became a cartoonist and developed a comic strip called ‘Thimble Theater.’ He honored Fiegel by asking if he could model his new comic strip character, ‘Popeye the Sailor Man,’ after him.  Naturally Fiegel was flattered and agreed.

Segar claimed that ‘Olive Oyl,’ along with other characters, was also loosely based on an actual person.  She was Dora Paskel, owner of a small grocery store in Chester.  She apparently actually looked much like the Olive Oyl character in his comics.  He claimed she even dressed much the same way..

Through the years, Segar kept in touch with Rocky and always helped him with money; giving him a small percentage of what he earned from his ‘Popeye’ illustrations.

WHO didn't love the cartoons???  We watched them religiously... so funny, so moral... each story had a good ending... wonder if kids these days even KNOW who Popeye is???  who knew he was a real man??  awesome!!!
So you wanna get married...
Rags to Riches Story

Every morning, the CEO of a large bank in Manhattan walks to the corner for a shoe shine.  He sits in an armchair, examines the Wall
Street Journal and the shoe shiner buffs his shoes to a mirror shine.

One morning the shoe shiner asks the CEO: "What do you think about the situation in the stock market?"
The man answered arrogantly, "Why are you so interested in that topic?"
The shoe guy replies,  "I have some money in your bank," he says, "and I'm considering investing some of the money in the capital market."

"What"s your name? " asked the executive.
John H. Smith was the reply.

The CEO arrives at the bank and asks the Manager of the Customer Department;  Do we have  a client named John H. Smith? "Certainly, answers the Customer Service Manager, "he is a high net worth customer with 12.6 million dollars in his account."

The executive comes out, approaches the shoe shiner, and says, "Mr. Smith, I would like to invite you next Monday to be the guest of honor at our board meeting and tell us the story of your life.  I am sure we could learn something from your life's experience."

At the board meeting, the CEO introduces him to the board members.
"We all know Mr. Smith, from the corner shoe shine stand, but Mr. Smith is also an esteemed customer.  I invited him here to tell us the story of his life.  I am sure we can
learn from him."

Mr. Smith began his story.

"I came to this country fifty years ago as a young immigrant from Europe with an unpronounceable name.  I got off the ship without a penny. The first thing I did was change my name to Smith. I was hungry and exhausted. I started wandering around looking for a job but to no avail.  Fortunately, I found a coin on the sidewalk. I bought an apple. I had two options, eat the apple and quench my hunger or start a business. I sold the apple for 25 cents and bought two apples with the money. I also sold them and continued in business. When I started accumulating a few dollars, I was able to buy a set of used brushes and shoe polish and started polishing shoes.  I didn't spend a penny on entertainment or clothing, I just bought bread and some cheese to survive. I saved penny by penny and after a while, I bought a new set of shoe brushes and polishes in different shades and expanded my clientele.I lived like a monk and saved penny by penny. After a while, I was able to buy an armchair so my clients could sit comfortably while I shined their shoes, and that brought me more clients.  I did not spend a penny on the joys of life. I kept saving every cent.  A few years ago, when the previous shoe shiner on the corner decided to retire, I had already saved enough money to buy his shoeshine location at this great place.  Finally, 6 months ago, my sister, who was a hooker in Chicago, passed away and left me 12.6 million dollars."

Ski Slope on a Power Plant
This is a clever use of space and a good way to find Olympians in non-mountainous locations  ~ 5 minutes
Puns 4 Fun
A Colorado community center is never short on a pun.
~10 minutes.
Here they come. ~ 2 min.
I thought these were funny...
Being Cocky gets NOWHERE...
This guy gets a life lesson ~ 2 minutes

Old or Clever?

Happy Father's Day!!!

Burgers Sophisticate with
Maytag Blue Cheese
(for Father's Day)

  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 4 Tablespoons crumbled Maytag blue cheese crumbled
  • Dash of Garlic Salt
  • Dash of Pepper
  • 1/4 cup of red wine
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese croutons (you can figure that out)

  1. Divide ground chuck into eighths.  Place 4 portions between layers of waxed paper. With a rolling pin, roll thin patties about 4 inches in diameter. Sprinkle with Maytag blue cheese.  Roll remaining ground beef in thin patties and place over blue cheese. Seal edges with a pinch.
  2. Brown burgers in a cast iron pan quickly on both sides.  Pour off grease.  Reduce Heat.
  3. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper.  Add wine, water and Worcestershire sauce to bottom of pan.  Cover and cook slowly.  Once done to your preference, remove burgers and serve with a tasty bun and maybe some bacon slices.
  4. Spoon sauce that remains over burgers.
  5. Cover with blue cheese croutons. 
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