“Just because the tide is out doesn’t mean there is any less water in the ocean.” – Seth Godin
"Life gives to all the choice. You can satisfy yourself with mediocrity if you wish. You can be common, ordinary, dull, colorless, or you can channel your life so that it will be clean, vibrant, useful, progressive, colorful, and rich.”— Spencer W. Kimball
A friend once lent me a Steven Pressfield book called The War of Art. In the book Pressfield talks about something called Resistance. Resistance is that force that keeps us away from our full potential. Somedays we encounter it as laziness and other times we find Resistance dressed in the clothes of routine. The point is that, if we want to make anything of ourselves, we must fight Resistance in this long battle of personal development.
I look back on this blog and feel a spectrum of emotions wash over me. I feel sadness for not writing more. I feel pride for many of the posts since many of them tell stories of past battles. I feel shame for some of the posts seem silly or condescending through the lens of time. I feel joy for the times I shared about my family. But the emotion I expected least of all, the one that is catching me off guard like a punch in the gut, is that of fear.
I’m scared that Resistance has been winning.
I’m scared that I’m operating below my potential.
What scares me most of all is I’m not sure how long Resistance has been winning.
In the 2013 movie ‘Jobs’ Ashton Kutcher, playing legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs says to a project lead:
Ok Jeff, let’s get a couple of things straight, we don’t do fine, we don’t accept things the way that they are and we don’t stop innovating.
In the movie I was reminded of an old Steve Jobs photo where he’s on his desk and there is a simple black poster with the word THINK written in rainbow colors and block font.
That poster along with the quote I just shared seem to have awoken something within me.
Way back on December 28th, 2010 I posted about a big announcement and I know you’ve all been waiting with bated breath for the news. Here it is. Starting Wednesday the 23rd of February I will be hosting a radio show here in Southern California called The BizNinja Radio Hour. It happens to coincide with a new site I’ve been working on www.BizNinja.org which is focused on entrepreneurship and small business. The site is only about half built but you get an advanced notice. Now you finally feel like reading all of the 31 Days of Blog Awesomeness was worth it, right?
While at the studio yesterday the on air host pulled me in for a quick impromptu interview. Here’s a video with the audio of the interview and some comments added.
Yesterday I was visited by door to door art peddlers. A young man and a young woman rang my doorbell to see if I was interested in purchasing a hand painted, oil on canvas, genuine imitation.
They weren’t convincing salespeople, but maybe that was part of the ‘proof’ that they were artists. A couple of the paintings were of nice settings, but I didn’t feel like I could trust them that these were original works and didn’t want to drop $100 for something so unoriginal.
I’m not an artist. I can hardly draw stick people and I’m pretty sure my 5 year old daughter can draw a better landscape than me. I’m not criticizing art, but I just don’t think this was art. To me art is more than just being able to draw, it’s being able to make connections. The art peddlers could have delivered a compelling story about how they were immigrants whose love for freedom of expression led them from their Eastern European home to the New World and that they sold their art door to door to reach people and touch their lives. They didn’t. They said, in a hushed voice, ‘we’re selling some oil paintings.’ Thanks.
Sometimes if you create something amazing just the fact that it exists will ensure success, but usually you need to be able to tell a story and explain why it’s amazing before people will let down their guard and embrace the new item/piece of art/software, etc.
I am in the middle of reading The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. I have heard this book spoken of and recommended for years and recently came across a copy. I am deeply enjoying the simple yet sound principles of financial success.
The Richest Man in Babylon is a book by George Samuel Clason which dispenses financial advice through a collection of parables set in ancient Babylon. Through their experiences in business and managing household finance, the characters in the parables learn simple lessons in financial wisdom. By basing these parables in ancient times, but involving situations that modern people can understand and identify with, the author presents these lessons as timeless wisdom that is as relevant today as it was back then.
The book began in 1926 as a series of informational pamphlets. Banks and insurance companies began to distribute these pamphlets, and the most famous ones were eventually compiled into this book.
Over the next few days I will share my notes and thoughts from each chapter. I am hoping that by writing out my thoughts and sharing the principles the book teaches that not only will I become more committed to the tenants but that others may learn of them also.
While in New Yorklast month my wife and I visited the Federal Hall where President George Washington was inaugurated as our first President of this great and free land. Standing on the steps of that great monument I felt for a moment the powerful strength of the Founding Fathers. They were men of Character and Valor. Standing on the tops of the steps one looks directly out at the New York Stock Exchange. It is an interesting juxtaposition of two of the great pieces of the United States. The last few years have seen what each the Federal Hall and the NYSE represent challenged, tested and beaten up. Our economy is in peril and the leaders in our government have in many ways let down the people they were asked to serve.
I came across the following quote from the magnanimous Thomas Jefferson:
“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
My view from sitting on the steps of the Federal Hall was clear. It’s time to stand up. Literally, the steps were quite cold and I didn’t need my back side getting cold. In a more meaningful sense it was time to stand up and start acting.
I am so grateful to live in America. This truly is the land of opportunity, and now is the time to seek out those opportunities. Fortunes are made in the Bear markets, the profits are usually just realized in the Bull.
It’s not the proper roll of the Government to come in and save all of the companies or to bail each of us out. It’s our job to learn from our mistakes and grow stronger. We can grow stronger. We can get smarter. We can prosper again.
I try to make an impact wherever I go. I enjoy networking, meeting new people, helping strangers, tipping cabbies, etc. Trying to make an impact in a city as impacted as New York was a fun challenge. This picture of me was up on Times Square on Dec 15, 2008 at 2:57pm. It isn’t ‘real’ in the fact that I’m not really TIME magazines person of the year, but it was really displayed just like the picture shows.
New York really touched me. I am inspired to be bigger. I am inspired to be better so that the ripples of my life’s work reach far and help many. The world has plenty of followers… I’m not one of them.
I received a few phone calls and emails this week inquiring about my view of the proposed bailout that President Bush is proposing. I saw this video on the blog The Mess That Greenspan Made.
There is a reason there are still a lot of Ron Paul supporters.
My company works with people every day to teach them to live within their means. We need to do that as a Country, live below our means.
The following text is from an email from the Ron Paul campaign. It makes this post longer than most, but is well worth reading.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike.
The events of the past week are no exception.
The bailout package that is about to be rammed down Congress’ throat is not just economically foolish. It is downright sinister. It makes a mockery of our Constitution, which our leaders should never again bother pretending is still in effect. It promises the American people a never-ending nightmare of ever-greater debt liabilities they will have to shoulder. Two weeks ago, financial analyst Jim Rogers said the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made America more communist than China! “This is welfare for the rich,” he said. “This is socialism for the rich. It’s bailing out the financiers, the banks, the Wall Streeters.”
That describes the current bailout package to a T. And we’re being told it’s unavoidable.
The claim that the market caused all this is so staggeringly foolish that only politicians and the media could pretend to believe it. But that has become the conventional wisdom, with the desired result that those responsible for the credit bubble and its predictable consequences – predictable, that is, to those who understand sound, Austrian economics – are being let off the hook. The Federal Reserve System is actually positioning itself as the savior, rather than the culprit, in this mess!
• The Treasury Secretary is authorized to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets at any one time. That means $700 billion is only the very beginning of what will hit us.
• Financial institutions are “designated as financial agents of the Government.” This is the New Deal to end all New Deals.
• Then there’s this: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.” Translation: the Secretary can buy up whatever junk debt he wants to, burden the American people with it, and be subject to no one in the process.
There goes your country.
Even some so-called free-market economists are calling all this “sadly necessary.” Sad, yes. Necessary? Don’t make me laugh.
Our one-party system is complicit in yet another crime against the American people. The two major party candidates for president themselves initially indicated their strong support for bailouts of this kind – another example of the big choice we’re supposedly presented with this November: yes or yes. Now, with a backlash brewing, they’re not quite sure what their views are. A sad display, really.
Although the present bailout package is almost certainly not the end of the political atrocities we’ll witness in connection with the crisis, time is short. Congress may vote as soon as tomorrow. With a Rasmussen poll finding support for the bailout at an anemic seven percent, some members of Congress are afraid to vote for it. Call them! Let them hear from you! Tell them you will never vote for anyone who supports this atrocity.
The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are about to be looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care?
When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media?
Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be.
*This post wasn’t meant to be a ‘Pro Ron Paul’ post. It just turns out that he has a clear view of how to return our Nation to financial security and avoid socialism.
I don’t know if I’m ready to stand on a stage with Al Gore and talk about the ice caps, but I’m certainly greener than I used to be. My Green Mercedes is ready to be picked up from the mechanic (the heater was stuck on and it didn’t always turn off when I took the key out), and this video seems to make more and more sense to me. I am unapologetically a Capitalist, but I believe VERY strongly in ethical capitalism.
I just thought I’d share, that and I didn’t like seeing my post on Disneyland being the last post on here.