Aug 08

Ok, NOW I’m mad!

   Naïve Sense of Entitlement. We are watching an ENTIRE generation grow up with EXACTLY this. We are watching a generation of children, raising children. These are people who were NOT out of mom’s house and yet found themselves pregnant, and now they have to raise a child when they don’t know how to care for themselves. Worse yet, NOW they are being forced to care for a child. Unfortunately in many of those situations the grandparents end up doing the raising, so just about the time THEY are at the point in their life where they were going to relax, perhaps retire, they now have a child to raise. But at 60, they are just TOO tired to try and discipline a 2 year old the way they should and a 12 year old. So rather than discipline they give in, and whatever keeps the baby quiet! That’s how the baby then child and THEN teenager, develops the sense that the world OWES them, that’s how they were raised!

One of the BIGGEST obstacles to your own success is thinking that you deserve something without having to put in the work. That’s not how our world works; everyone tries to buy at wholesale and sell at retail, including your employers. They will pay you just enough so that you’re not going to leave and go somewhere else. Then they will take your work and mark it up to the point that THEY can make a retail profit from it. The BEST way they can do that is to find your best “profit point” that’s the point where you produce the BEST quality and highest quantity of work, for the least amount of money. In doing THAT I can guarantee you that they are not going to GIVE you anything, and if you go to an employer with an attitude of expectancy, there are about 2 dozen OTHER folks in line who would LOVE to have the job you have. Although they may not have the advantages you do, they don’t’ whine either,

a.      BUT let’s say that you have actually completed college and there you are all bright and shiny with your Bachelors in Math, English or what have you, just WAITING for the world to open up and reveal its secrets to you! Get in line! There are 10,000 OTHER students this year, with your same qualifications, some with better GPA’s, and many of THEM have some other skill that you DON’T have. So what is it that sets you apart? When I was in school an AA was a MINIMUM, and even THAT didn’t get listed on your resume unless it was followed by 10 years of experience or a REALLY good BA from a noted school! What is it that’s going to set you apart? What is the difference that’s going to make you different? If you tell me it’s your Tattoos or your piercing you are TRULY preaching to the WRONG generation. The ONLY generation that’s impressed by that is YOURS, and even THEY will wonder where you got the money from, so the one thing YOU need that’s going to set you apart is:

b.   TALENT. Yes that’s right, regardless of what you studied or how hard you studied it, if you can’t demonstrate THAT skill along with at least TWO others while simultaneously preparing a Visio presentation that I can show my Senior Level Managers, then I won’t even notice! But surely you have SOMETHING that could be considered a talent? No, playing HALO for 36 hours straight while subsisting on nothing but Cheetos isn’t going to do it! Unless you can re-wrap that into a situation where you were intently focused on a single project for over 30 hours and took minimal personal time off so that you could meet your deadlines! Now THAT’S impressive, and it shows perseverance, focus and most of all some talent! But make sure that your electives read better than most folks. ”Advanced Underwater Basket Weaving and how it pertains to the expanding Global Markets for hand crafted goods.” Is PROBABLY not going to get much farther than the HR guy interviewing you.

c.       So if having a sense of entitlement is bad what should your expectations be? Perhaps it’s the one thing that should have leapt out at you by now, and that is that Most Successful people have a genuine sense of humility and appreciation for their OPPORTUNITIES! Even if those opportunities are self created. Look at Tony Hawk, everyone considered him a skater punk who would end up in jail or the ER, and instead he is the CAPTAIN of an entire sporting industry that didn’t even EXIST 20 years ago. He saw a hole in a market he was interested in and determined that HE would be the one to fill it! Ladies you have an even BIGGER opportunity, most women will gravitate from one product to another, merely at the mention by a friend, so that creates TWO opportunities: First how do YOU get ahead of that next production curve? Secondly what’s the REAL need that is causing this migration? Do women change purses as often as they change socks, because the NEED a different color, or is there something about their current model that does NOT allow it to be used in more that one event in a day? That’s just one example, there are hundreds if not THOUSANDS of others that are WAITING to be discovered, that YOU should be grateful for! I have a VERY good friend who has supported her family by doing TWO things for the past 15 years. #1 she has constantly watched what the 20-30 year old women are doing and looking for holes that can be filled in THEIR day to day experience. Whether it was buying/selling beanie Babies or creating custom “family art flagstones” for rock gardens. The second thing she has ALWAYS done right is to recognize when an industry has started to go stale. That’s when she starts gearing up for her NEXT product line, not doing AWAY with her current line, but shifting the focus, slowly but surely towards the NEW line, and making sure to take the current customer lists, customers who TRUST her, with her to the new product line!

  We have identified what some of the most common frailties are that will help steer a team member down the path to unemployment, but I still don’t believe that we have hit on the number one reason why it appears that one entire generation of Americans appears to fall short of another? I love my younger friends but somehow I don’t believe that my father’s generation you know the one called “The GREATEST Generation”, has much to fear from this one upcoming. But what one thing could we focus on changing, could we work on improving to help them achieve what it is they truly want in life?

This one is so simple; it is the single common thread running through everything that we have talked about thus far.

Jul 25

Ch-Ch-CHanges………………………

Now when I started this series I never imagined that I would post what follows, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of those who know me well enough to know some of my personal beliefs and ideas. After all, what part of a man’s life will he MOST LIKELY be using an excuse for rather than is belief or non belief in an all encompassing creator. Now I am not going to tell you that I found the cup of the holy grail, after all, it WAS just a cup.

However I did come across something someone said in speech recently that I HAD to do some research and see what was real and what was not What I found could help eliminate some doubt for some folks. And create more questions for others.

What I was told was that at some point after creation, a group of angels were judged as guilty sent to the earth. They were sent to roam the earth as part of their punishment, and started to “live among the people there. As such they found the women of Earth very attractive and found a way to mate with them and offspring were formed called,Nephilim. These half breeds were not like most men, they were taller, stronger faster and had many skills far beyond what their mortal parent could have provided.

These half breeds became an offense to the creator, and as they became more powerful and more corrupting and more offensive to the creator, to the point that he determined that he would be forced to remake the world over in perhaps an all new form. If you have taken history in any of its many forms,. or just done research on your own, you will find that MANY have legends of a great flood. Most also have legends of giants with great powers and abilities.

In a seemingly Unrelated store there is actually a sect of Christianity that has determined that THEY are container of the secrets of what Jesus did while he was in America. Personally I have found no evidence to support THAT idea, but if a world wide flood was laid out upon the earth, than the people of the 1st Nation (American Indians( should have a legend as well. Unfortunately. most 1st Nation tribes had no reading or written language that was common amongst them, making shared legends almost impossible. Then I read the autobiography of one Col. William F, Cody (you probably knew him as Buffalo Bill).

Col. Cody was not a highly educated man, point in fact I can track approximately 3 years of “official schooling, and although his mother read to him from the bible he himself had no time for such learning on his own. Having been born in the 1840’s and died in 1917, and spending most of the intervening years as a hunter and scout on the western frontier, Col. Cody learned more from living than from books, which is what makes the following so amazing.

If you look n any Bible, I use BlueLetterBible.com myself, you will find a section of the book of Genesis (The beginning) that says: There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown. Later in the same chapter you will find :And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. This you will find introduces us to Noah and his ARK, within which you will find the original story of the flood.

SO what does THIS have to do with excuses, and more importantly a certain western Buffalo Scout? Well if you pick up a copy of his Autobiography, no not the coloring book one, but an unabridged version from 1920, you will find the following at the end of the 6th chapter (last page and a half to be exact):

While we were in the sandhills, scouting the Niobrara country, the Pawnee Indians brought into camp some very large bones, one of which the surgeon of the expedition pronounced to be the thigh bone of a human being. The Indians said the bones were those of a race of people who long ago had lived in that country. They said these people were three times the size of a man of the present day, that they were so swift and strong that they could run by the side of a buffalo, and, taking the animal in one arm, could tear off a leg and eat it as they ran. These giants, said the Indians, denied the existence of a Great Spirit. When they heard the thunder or saw the lightning, they laughed and declared that they were greater than either. This so displeased the Great Spirit that he caused a deluge. The water rose higher and higher till it drove these proud giants from the low grounds to the hills and thence to the mountains. At last even the mountaintops were submerged and the mammoth men were drowned. After the flood subsided, the Great Spirit came to the conclusion that he had made men too large and powerful. He therefore corrected his mistake by creating a race of the size and strength of the men of the present day. This is the reason, the Indians told us, that the man of modern times is small and not like the giants of old. The story has been handed down among the Pawnees for generations, but what is its origin no man can say.”

Again Cody had little formal education and was forced to leave home in his early teens t help provide for his family, oi by the time his Autobiography was written, he had found himself rather successful despite his lack of education, and therefore found no reason to finish it. But to those of us who have todays rudimentary education available, there is one thing it seems that we can NO LONGER deny, and that is the validity if the facts presented in the bible. This alone having shows physical evidence of the REPHAIM.

So I ask you to take a step in faith, in the direction of the one who can and will make more of a difference than anyone else in your life. For this there IS no excuse, the alternatives are dire.

Excerpt from: William F. Cody (2009-06-09). An Autobiography of Buffalo Bill (Colonel W.F. Cody) – Illustrated (Kindle Locations 1900-1905). Heritage eBooks. Kindle Edition.

Apr 20

sometimes you feel like…

You never win? I know I do.

 

 

but then I’m reminded that the only one keeping score is you

Jul 24

…And as I was saying…

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…So I imagine that my last post wasn’t really a surprise to those of you with kids in school, but to those of you who haven’t gotten there yet…

I heard what I would consider a horrible thing today, no not the royals choice of names, but unfortunately it would only be horrible to me and a small group of my friends. To many others it would be another “”Oh yeah” moment.


There’s a young lady who is in the midst of a divorce, she has several children, one of whom just started at a very prestigious art school near me. I have never attended, but having spoken to several of the more mature students has given me the impression that $30,000 a year is not unreasonable. Unlike most schools this place doesn’t go by quarters or semesters they go be degrees. You sign of for an XYZ Degree and according to their records as a full time, student 12 months a year attendance you should finish in 3 ½ years, costing about $105,000. But their job placement is supposed to be amazing, starting salaries as high as $30,0000 to start!

      OK, I know the money isn’t as shocking anymore, but since you do not get to attach an MD. After your name when you leave this school that still seems a tad high! But maybe I’m old fashioned. Back to the story, when mom decided to divorce, not dad, she realized that an 18 year old at a school like this doesn’t need a brand new car so she “sells that” (at a loss I’m sure) and puts him in a used car. Pretty sensible even with the loss. It turns out that Gram-pa is footing the bill for school. All mom has to do is pay room and board. So she finds him a nice apartment, close by, but of newer construction (granite counters, stainless appliances, built in broadband, the usual), that is actually bigger and NICER than my first house.

      So everything seems great, until the other day when ½ way through the FIRST term, gram-pa gets a letter from the school saying that Jr. is flunking all his classes, oh yeah, and with an attendance of less than 50% that may be considered a contributing factor. Gram-pa being of a more knowledgeable and more sensible generation immediately turns off the tuition tap. Now Jr. has nothing to do all day, because he cant go to school, but he hasn’t found a job yet either. Which is fine for a young man who has his car packed and is ready to move back into moms basement, but he’s not, and mom’s not doing a darn thing about it.

      Maybe if SHE follows in Gram-pas footsteps he’ll change his mind? OOOO Wait, there is one snag to THAT plan. See he found a 38 year old sugar momma who has no problems with him staying at her place…

 

Back to our ORIGINAL challenges…

 

      #3 Unless you have a wealthy parent, there are some schools that should be avoided like the plague.  In the United States today, there are dozens of schools where tuition, room and board total more than $50,000 a year, and only a handful of those schools provide a top notch education. What’s worse is that MANY specialized schools who offer “job placement” in careers that are ‘new’ and ‘cutting edge’ and have cool sounding names like “Anime Graphic Engineering Assistant”, actually have the gaul to charge that much WITHOUT room and board! At least in the old days Jr. would have had actual pencils to sharpen, I don’t even know WHAT he would do in that position, besides make sure the Red Bull is cold.

      But as my above story illustrates, even when you HAVE the wealth (grand)parents, that does NOT guarantee you a good education or THAT your smart enough to take advantage of it. For years I questioned why on earth they gave entrance exams to college kids. I man these folks just spent 12 years going to school, how could they NOT pass? Then I realized that as good as though tests may have been for ‘placement’ there was nothing on them about having the actual desire or motivation to attend class OR get something out of it!

      You want to motivate people? Take Mr or Mrs college student, and add up their grants, scholarships and every penny that SOMEONE else gave them for school, (even great grannys savings bonds) and if they make a D they have to go get a job and pay back every single PENNY, plus raise their grades! Because if their grades DONT go up, then all public assistance is terminated in perpetuity AND their lenders call their student loans due! Maybe THAT will act as a motivation test? Probably cut down on the number of professional students we have.

#4 Our parents and our grandparents paid far less for their college educations than we do today.  Back in 1952, a full year of tuition at Harvard was only $600. Today, it is over $35,000. This is true, and actually once you add in books, that $35k is not Harvard but almost ANY state university. “Oh but our grand parents didn’t have quantum physics to pass…” You know what you’re absolutely right, they didn’t. Instead they took the college information that they DID learn and applied some creativity and DEVELOPED QUANTUM PHYSICS! I’d much rather spend my day trying to prove that Physics works than trying to invent it from SCRATCH!

But your absolutely right, there are some classes that are much harder today than they were 50 years ago, once you take away the laptop, calculators and internet connections and replace them with pencils, graph paper and slide rules! Until that time, I think its pretty fair to say that the classes that challenged great gram-pa are still challenging your happy buffoon today! I remember taking a physics class in college (in the early 80’s) where the first 2 weeks was on how to USE a slide rule. Something my dad learned in high school was now part of the college curriculum.

“But they have computers everywhere, why would I have to learn all that old stuff?” I had an amazing higher math theory professor, truly a genius, and he explained that you learned Calc I in Calc II and Algebra in Calc I and so on, because until the next class it was all still rote repetition and theory, the next class was applications. He further explained that it wasn’t just about the material that you were taught as much as it was the mental maturity you developed in performing the calculations yourself! This same professor once gave a final exam with one question on it. It was open book, open discussion he suggested we work in groups.

Mind you this was a decade BEFORE the internet, so there were 6 of us working on this for 6 days, 12 – 18 hours a day (did I mention it was 80% of our final grade?), late on Sunday night, before the answers were due on Monday Rich found in the back of a very dusty old math book, in the library, its where we met to study, the fact that we had been working on Fermat’s Theorem, which at the time had NO SOLUTION. See that’s what the professor was looking form, he needed this group of math geniuses that he had created to recognize and admit that the issue was unsolvable and turn that in as the answer. Now Fermat’s has been proven since then and all is right with the world, but it was the maturity that we went through while working that problem that did so MUCH for all of us who chose not to give up.

But maybe THATS the answer, get a loan, go to school and then when it gets hard, just give up!

Or maybe you should just pick and excuse, any excuse, but make it a good one. Cause you’re going to need it a lot in the coming days!

 

Jul 15

But wait, dont stop there!

      Quite an uproar my last post caused, if I do say so myself. Many of you thought that I waited until both my mother AND my father went home to the Lord before posting such a thing, but thats not the reason. The idea was to get you thinking! Yes I know the current administration has all but abandoned the idea of free thought, unless youre a left wing liberal who happens to agree with them, in which case anyone opposing you is uttering hate speech. Wait, does that make sense?

 

      Well anyway, actually there is a media personality here in town who has always suggested that id HE were ever asked to speak at a graduation for anyone OTHER than his God daughters kindergarten class there are several things that MUST be tied to these folks. Things that this conspiratorially minded leftie, feels are not part of today’s curriculum! So here are just a few of the things that need to be included, and my thoughts on each!

 

      Beginning with my last posting don’t you wish that someone had told you the truth before you went to college?  Don’t you wish that someone had told you that college has become a giant money making scam that is designed to drain as much money out of students and parents as possible?  Yes, college can be a profitable endeavor if you pick your field of study wisely, if you can get someone else to pay for at least some of it and if you can actually get a good job in that field when you graduate.  But most high school students are never told to weigh the pros and the cons before they run off to college.  The typical high school student is simply told to get into the “best school” that he or she can and to take out whatever loans are “necessary” to pay for that education.  Our high school students are assured that those student loans will be paid back easily once they get “good jobs” following graduation. 

 

      But the truth is that there are some other things that high school students should be told before they go off to college as well.  They should be told that student loan debt can cripple them financially for decades.  They should be told that the quality of education at most U.S. colleges and universities is a total joke.  They should be told that most college graduates do not get a “good job” once they graduate these days.  They should be told that after they receive their diplomas they are likely to end up flat broke, waiting tables and living with their parents.

 

      Higher education is not necessarily a bad thing.  But these days when it comes to higher education the goal should be to get as much for your money as you possibly can.  You don’t want to end up spending four years of your life and paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a degree in “art history” or “political science”.

 

      If you are going to get a college degree, choose a field that will actually advance your career and try to spend as little as you can.  Unless you have wealthy parents who can pay for it all, the goal should be to make as big of a profit on your education as possible.

 

      So in lieu of offering you a large bundle of cash, here is something for both the students and the parents and the future parents to consider! Because for most folks, once you sign on that black bottom line, you are committed!

 

      #1 A college education has become insanely expensive.  Over the past 40 years, the cost of college tuition has more than tripled.  This is not just limited to college tuition, I have a friend who has 5 children in private schools, and their tuition is more than many of these soon to be college graduates will make in their first few years on the job,

 

      #2 As costs have risen, so has student borrowing.  College students are now borrowing about twice as much money as they did just twenty years ago. Why? Well several reasons really. First off, its expected, right? I mean shouldn’t all college freshman have a brand new car, all new furniture as well as a 1200 square foot apartment that, while built for four, more comfortably houses two? But thats OK because basic cable is included in the rent, but everyone knows you MUST have the extended super package if youre going to remain current on the latest series of the walking dead/undead college students that hollywood is sending after us. The one thing that’s not included of course is utilities. See when I came here to go to college, I knew I couldn’t afford to run the AC, but thats OK because the laundromat down the street wasn’t air conditioned anyway, but it was right off the ONE small pool, so at least you could cool off while you waited. I haven’t seen a college apartment in years that didn’t have the AC a nice balmy 72 degrees, along with a jumbo washer and dryer and some even now come with a deep freeze and WINE COOLER! What are they their for again? I remember one friend of mine who made it into a “better college” and feeling bad for her because they wouldn’t let her work or drive a car on campus until AFTER her sophomore year. For crying out loud, I wouldn’t have made it to my sophomore WEEK without a car (10 years old, also w/o AC) and at least ONE job. I’m starting to sense a trend here…

WOW I wasn’t planning on going this long, so I think I’m going to break here and make two suggestions!

 

1) Come back next time if for no other reason than to see if I finish.

2) Pick an excuse, ANY excuse, just make it a good one, your going to have to use it for a very long time.

Jul 09

I was JUST about to give the NYT props and forward an article to everyone I know….

…Then I read PAST the headline….

DATELINE: TODAY

New York Times Journalist Katherine Campbell had a great 3 page article this morning talking about something that I have been promoting for YEARS, OK decades, but I’m trying to seem younger. Miss Campbell has come to the ASTOUNDING and amazing conclusion that mid thirty somethings (my Gen and into Gen X) are looking around after a decade in the workforce and realizing that what they have is lots of lost hours. Apparently the newly younger middle America has woken up to smell the coffee beans only to find that the credit on their Starbucks card ain’t what it used to be. Worse those people they went to school with that they all laughed at, because the married young, had a family young and STRUGGLED, who are now looking at a nice retirement and an empty nest, may have had the right idea all along!

Welcome to the world Miss Campbell, and I’m not being harsh to her, in fact before today I’d never heard of her, but for over a decade I have been derided by media types like her for being old fashioned and ‘ out of touch’ for promoting the idea that by cutting back, you really can have it all, and have a great family ad some awesome experiences, without both parents working 80 hours a week. Please do not think that I am taking pot shots at those hard working young men and women who went to school got a great education and entered the white collar job force and worked really hard for 10+ years. Instead I’m just glad that they finally caught up to my “forward way of thinking!

Unfortunately Miss Campbell only chose to perform a superficial look into the subject and therefore, it appears, only spoke to 2 people in this age group who had reached this decision. Both women in their mid 30’s-40’s had determined that telecommuting is their ultimate solution. Now personally I think telecommuting IS a great idea, and it CAN help a great many folks in a lot of different ways. But I also think there are other alternatives that got missed.

However, in the spirit of ‘looking on the bright side’ lets look at how telecommuting can benefit everyone participating. First is the obvious COST SAVINGS. Now this is a two sided benefit so both the employee and employer can win, in the beginning anyway. For example, if you employ 100 web designers who currently come in to your company every day and sit in a cube for 8 – 10 hours a day and use your resources (coffee, tea, lunch break, bathrooms, etc.) you should be able to send the majority of these folks home to teleco0mmute and then start saving money on floor space, energy, even insurance if you’re willing to work it right. For your web designers, as long as the boss has some way of tracking your work than you should really be able to clock your hours on a more flexible schedule and no commute to the office, means less gas, oil and wear and tear on your car. It also means that there will be far fewer days when you need to dress in an office fashion. Therefore your dry cleaning and laundry bills should be lower.

Now lets look at TIME savings, I know this SEEMS like its only on the employees side, but its not. Yes the average employee is using 55 minutes every day just to drive in to their job. But it goes much deeper than that, many employees actually consider their ‘work time; as having started from the moment that the enter company property. Which in some instances, like a job site, could be valid, but just because it takes the 15 minutes to find a parking spot and an additional 15 minutes to unload their things from their car and then walk (or shuttle, something else you wont be paying for anymore) into the office,. They are actually ‘losing’ another hour off their productive day. This of course they charge o their employer, after all if the boss didn’t want them to they would have provided better parking, right? But how many manager cringe every morning when Johnny SlowStart comes in lays his briefcase on his desk and then IMMEDIATELY heads or the coffee machine, or worse the bathroom? There’s another 30 minutes, then you take the 30 minute lunch you give them and double that and its cost you another hour. Combine in the 2 15 minute breaks that (my states) law requires employees to have, but double them because they have to either walk off campus to smoke or across the street for donuts, and you are down 3.5 hours before the employee has ever entered web command ONE!

Now this MAY seem as though I am only harping on employees wasting time, but now lets look at employers wasting time. The parking is just one example, lets instead look at the incessant MEETINGS that are called all hours of the day typically just as you have (finally) gotten started on a project and now you have to unplug from that thought process and open up a whole NEW one that involves back filling management on what you have already explained any number of times in emails throughout the week! But since they are to busy to read them you are invariably yanked out of your schedule, or asked to stay late to explain why anyone needs any of this? Compound that with the addition of emails, instant messages and no less than 2 phone lines per employee, added to a company cell phone and their private cell phone and you now have no less than 10 things competing for their attention at any given moment of the day. Don t laugh I have seen managers go right down the row from device to device interrupting you and your team constantly, just to get and answer to a question that is no longer relevant to anything currently underway, and you now start to see why telecommuting has many more benefits than just the superficial ones that most folks think of.

So apparently I’m not considering Miss Campbells one little stab at an idea anything more than a cop out to fill newspaper columns. What would I suggest you ask? Well, sit down, strap yourself in and lets look at this from an ADULT perspective, because some of what I’m going to say here your NOT going to like!

But lets start with the actual issue at hand, whats the core problem? Well according to the article it revolves around these three women (yes the author and her 2 examples were all woman), have determined that the ideas they were taught during their time on college, preparing for a leap into the white collar business world, was not exactly as fulfilling as they had expected. Matter of fact most of these women have become so obsessed with advancing their careers many have either not been married or have advanced themselves onto the BONUIS round, known as second mate! Many of these folks who are on their second mates, are looking around and realizing that many of their friends children, are either join college or at least starting High School. Meaning that by the time her son reached college age she will be knocking that door of retirement! Most of these folks are very smart, they will determine very quickly that raising an infant/toddler while working ‘from home,” is not going to work very well at all. Babies need a lot of your attention, and that Senior VP on that conference line does NOT want to hear you singing Barney,,,,

OK J, whats YOUR suggestions. Remember how I said you weren’t going to like it? Well here goes. Number one, you and your spouse, if you have one, need to seriously look at ‘scaling back’ your lifestyle. I mean really, who needs THAT MANY cable channels? Don’t quit your job, yet, but do the math, see how much you can trim OFF you monthly fat, and sill have a decent enough life. Instead of investing $20,000 on a new pool, look at the Y down the street, your whole family could attend for a very long time before you ever hit that kind of money! Determine exactly what you need on a monthly basis to make it, if you think that you are already at that point, then lets go back to step 1 and trim some more things from the top! Now once you really have THAT kind of a figure determine one or two things that you could do to earn some extra money, if tragedy ever struck, could you edit other folks copy? Could you perform voice overs? Want some ideas, look at some of whats out there already, go to ELANCE,COM and see what folks are bidding yo do what you want to do, and see if that interests you, at that income. Same goes with FIVERR.com, you would be amazed at what folks will pay $5,m $10 or up to $50 a shot for you to do for them! Now that you have that idea, jump into it! If you really want to get some great training and some amazing ideas look at some of my other blogs and web sites, WriteYourBookin21Days.com, any-excuse, True North Training Solutions, and see whats available for little or no money for folks to start working on a method or alternate plan that work from 20 – 65 and then die!

This may not be the perfect plan, and I’m certainly not fleshing it out very much for you, but that’s not what this is about. This is being produced to make sure that you understand that yes your boss may let you work from home, if you ask. My goal however is to inspire you to look beyond the easy steps, look beyond what everyone else is doing and instead take that chance.

 

Or you could just pick an excuse, any excuse really. Just make it a good one, make it one you like, because you probably are going to need to rely on it for a number of years, time and time again!

 

And now for something REALLY different, watch for my next MEDIA post, for those of you ON THE GO!

 

 

Jun 26

Ok, MAYBE there is ONE excuse I can’t get around…

 

Sorry I haven’t been around more. “Oh no here come the excuses…” Right, I can hear some of you now, heck you think I don’t READ my own email? Of course I do, and as much as this whole project is about NOT accepting excuses, not making them, and not dealing with them, I think I have actually found one that I don’t have a response for. See I have worked through almost every single kind of issue you can name. Joint replacement? Been there. Surgery? Been there lots! Unemployment? Yup. Birth of a child and spouses unemployment? Yes and yes! So with THAT kind of resume, what could keep me away from the keys long enough that I couldn’t bang out a few words every now and then?

Well actually there are 2 sides to the same excuses but here go:

DEATH.

Yours or som3one you love. Either of THOSE situations will pretty much stop MOST folks cold in their tracks. Now the smart ale-ks are typing their replies now about submissions from the afterlife, so lets leave them to it and instead focus on what happens when someone you care for, makes that last trip alone?

In my case we actually were working towards a treatment, when while performing a procedure to shore up their health, it was discovered that the cancer had gotten radically aggressive, and gone way beyond the treatment stage. From that moment, after six month of day in and day out care and nurturing, she was at the point where she knew she was going home, and it wouldn’t be long. Now you may not have drawn this, from my previous writings, but I am a conservative born again Christian, and so my views on death and the way I handle it are pretty far flung from everyone else’s around me.

However even with my built in handling method, there is still that period of time where you need your own personal down time, and if you have a family (your own wife and or children) you have to be able to multiply THAT by a factor for 4 or 8 and see how well you can bring things back in swing.

So, that being said, if you or someone close to you happens to pass away, please don’t think of it as an excuse, it is a part of the natural cycle of life, regardless of your belief system you’re going to pass of this plane of existence. So its not an excuse but do NOT let it become the nail in YOUR coffin. Unless of course you happen to be the one who died in which case OK, that is the only reason to accept a permanent cessation of TRYING! But if you’re still breathing here are a few things to consider:

1) Would the person your “mourning” have wanted you to STOP pursuing your dream?

Now if your dream was to become a Hasidim Jew and your mom was catholic, perhaps you should change to wording of your dream to be “fulfill my spiritual destiny.” Otherwise mom may object.

2) Would your family member have something that THEY left ‘untaught’ that should now become part of your passion?

My mom for example was a GREAT teacher of relationships, but she probably didn’t, in 7 years, have the time to teach my son everything she thought he needed to know about relationships with people. SO now its part of MY goal to help pass that along!

3) If you DON’T have any spiritual leanings, email me and I’ll see what I can do to point you in a direction that will best help you. If I can love and laugh and teach about something so recent, so can YOU!

 

“How far does the spirit travel on the journey home?” RS.

 

Or, you could of course just pick an excuse, any excuse, and use it anyway.

Just make it a good one, after all you will be using it for the rest of your life!

 

Apr 25

and FINALLY!

2) QUOTE: I’m from another planet, let’s just say were neighbors.– Klaatu, The Day the Earth Stood Still.

LESSON: The world is a big place, but innovative thinking helps bring people and communities closer together.

The year is 1983, I’m a freshman in college, I live in my own apartment and hour from my parents, no TV, no washer and dryer, no Telephone, but a long distance calling card. I would put my clothes in the laundry-mat and then sit on my 10 speed and call my girlfriend who lived “back home.” I knew, that at the price that ATT charged we had to hang up as soon as the washer was done! If I waited even a minutre longer I could never afford to pay the bill! UNLESS I waited until after 9pm on Sunday night to call her, then we could talk through a dryer cycle as well, minutes were cheaper then! Today every child over the age of 10 seems to have a cell phone, and I doubt ANY of them, know what the bill for those devices are, since they are seen as a necessity not a luxury. Also since almost everyone has an unlimited calling plan, it doesn’t really matter. I recall dialing long distance on a 300bps modem to send messages on a computer bulletin board in another town, because I could type the messages in advance and send them that way, and it seemed faster and cheaper than even a hand written latter. Now, most cell phones have a texting feature allowing me to send JUST to the person I want to see it! My son’s High School has TWO trips planned this year, The Juniors are spending 2 weeks in South America, the Seniors are spending 2 weeks in Europe. I thought it was HUGE when I was allowed to travel to another STATE my Senior year. But its OK, almost everywhere in the world and most parts of Alabama English is a required subject for most students, they wont have a language issue, or, for the moment, a money issue. right NOW everyone wants $USD.

1) QUOTE: I’m a Doctor not a…– Bones Mccoy, Star Trek TOS

LESSON: Know what you’re good at, but do NOT let that label define who you are!

Whether it was a patching up a sentient brick or bringing together two heretofore unknown lifeforms, you could ALWAYS depend on Bones to make sure that EVERYONE was aware that HE knew his place in the universe.

That place of course was right there by Commander Scott as “Certified Miracle Worker.” Yes indeed, see although Scotty would deliberately (as we found out in the movies) pad his estimates so as to “pull a rabbit out of the hat” at the last minute. Bones would jump into things never REALLY knowing whether he could accomplish what he needed to do or not. Having had the opportunity to meet and speak with De Kelley, the actor, I was absolutely amazed at the absolute DEPTH and breadth of talent that the MAN had, never-mind what the writers thought up. Here we had a quiet gentleman from the midwest who started his career realistically portraying Bad Guys in westerns (see the Lone Ranger in ’49 or Gunsmoke in ’55), and was able to bring us all the way through 300 years of turmoil to a small southern medicine man in the 23rd century.

Yes, Bones knew his place, I believe he even suspected his limitations, but he was NEVER afraid to push those limits and see if he could “do what they say cant be done!” That my friends really IS the mark of an excuse breaker. Feel the fear and do it anyway, know your limits, acknowledge your limits, but understand you are NOT the man or woman you were when you determined those limits. Whether it was something you found out as a teenager, or something you ran into 10 minutes ago, use that very challenge as a brand NEW place to draw a line in the sand!

 

Or, you could of course just pick an excuse, any excuse, and use it anyway.

Just make it a good one, after all you will be using it for the rest of your life!

 

 

Apr 20

more leadership lessons from beyond!

5) QUOTE: Does anyone remember when we were explorers?– Capt. Jean-Luc Picard STTNG

LESSON: You got IN this situation because of your curious nature, so value your moments of discovery!

When we were kids and someone said, “What do YOU want to be when you grow up?”, how many of us said, “I want to sit behind a desk and allow middle managers with a fraction of my imagination berate me daily for coloring outside the lines?” NONE OF US! Yet that is unfortunately where many of us have ended up.

My suggestion is that in some area of your life you go the opposite direction! Now I’m not suggesting that we all wear hemp sandals and try and unplug from the “grid” but if you have a hobby, how far is it from what you do during the day? Many readers may not know that I work as an IT Consultant during the day, currently, but in my off hours I have TWO very diverse hobbies, one is Theological Studies and the other is Guitar Design and Manufacture. Many people just fell out of their chairs. Yes I know seems rather unusual, but its true! Me, whose wife has 911 on speed dial when I would look at a hammer, now own and work with band saws, oscillating frill press’s as well as look up an understand the meanings of rather obscure names in our bible!

I recommend that EVERYONE should have a hobby for when they retire, but if you don’t start now, you will be in the learning stage at that point in life where you should be focusing on the Tennessee Waltz!

4) QUOTE: Always two there are, a master and an apprentice.– Yoda, Star Wars

LESSON: Never forget that you are able to increase YOUR knowledge under the guidance of respected experts in their field.

But, if you choose not to take advantage of that opportunity, it may as well not even exist! Often the American Educational system is criticized due to a segment of our student population that scores lower in math, science, reading what have you. Instead of blaming one of the first countries in the world to REQUIRE and provide a free education to everyone under a certain age, why don’t we instead look at the support system in place around these students.

I was in High School in the early 1980’s and even then there were two differing opinions about continuing education, completely dependent upon who was in the conversation. If the parents could afford or had benefited from an education then college was a given. But in some homes where parents were “self made” or could not afford college, they made sure to point out that “I raised a family of 7 with nothin more than an 8th grade education! College is for sissies.” That is, sadly, an exact quote. I think most educators today would agree that if the parents can see the value of an education beyond their own, and they are willing to INVEST the time into their children, than college can be a given regardless of your economic situation.

But even in the first grade, teachers are calling parent conferences on their own time, only to have the student become the only representative, or sometimes an older (1 or 2 years at best) sibling. Because mom and dad are too busy. I get that in today’s market no one wants to lose a job, but if you spend more time in front of your TV than you do in front of your kids homework, than you are relegating them to live in a less successful situation than YOU ARE!.

 

WHAT? that’s only TWO! Well yes I have gotten some comments that recently I have been a tad long winded, therefore we will be breaking this up!

Yes I know that’s somewhat contrary to the nature of this series, I am technically taking away one of your excuses, but I know that by now, if you’ve read any of my posts or at least the highlights, than you should already have one in mind and ready to use…

 

So remember if you’re going to use an excuse, make it a good one, after all you may find that no one cares, or is listening, so why waste the effort.

Just PICK ONE and stick with it, you’re going to NEED IT!

Apr 15

Leadership I learned in space, Part TWO!

continuing from last time…

 

7) QUOTE: If you’re going to build a time machine into a car, why not do it with STYLE?” – Dr. Emmett Brown, Back to the Future

LESSON: Don’t just handle a project, put YOUR personal stamp on it and make it memorable!

In almost anything you take on there will be a stated way to make it a success and an unstated way to make it a failure, it’s up to you to smash through one, and not quite touch the other? Whether its coding a new allergy database or making a turn over presentation to the board of directors, there is some way that you can leave you personal mark of distinction on it without compromising the quality of your results! If you can’t see it than ask someone else, preferably the most creative business person you can find!

 

6) QUOTE: Reality is that thing in which, just because YOU don’t believe in it doesn’t make it go away!” – Phillip K. Dick Sci Fi Author

LESSON: You get more done by challenging reality and accepted standards than you do bt mere acceptance.

There are certain things you can argue against until you’re blue in the face and you wont change at all! Gravity is a constant, water is wet and drop an anvil on the head of a Road Runner and he will die! However, there are many instances where we have been taught that something is a constant or a rule or law, and later investigation turns it on its ear! Time for instance. We all learned in school that there are 2 constants you cant work against, the speed of light and time! Unfortunately we are slowly but surely finding out that light is slowing down and time is affected by things such as height, speed distance, etc. So obviously those two items, at last are no longer constants! What else in your life have you accepted as being rock solid, that are proving to be much more malleable than you first thought? Challenge them, that’s how you will know for sure.

 

WHAT? that’s only TWO! Well yes I have gotten some comments that recently I have been a tad long winded, therefore we will be breaking this up!

Yes I know that’s somewhat contrary to the nature of this series, I am technically taking away one of your excuses, but I know that by now, if you’ve read any of my posts or at least the highlights, than you should already have one in mind and ready to use…

 

So remember if you’re going to use an excuse, make it a good one, after all you may find that no one cares, or is listening, so why waste the effort.

Just PICK ONE and stick with it, you’re going to NEED IT!

 

 

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