Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The stories we tell ourselves work against us

As I am contemplating which classes to take. It is sad but true that our teachers who look after us are after all the ones whose decision this is based on. I don’t care if the work is challenging. I welcome challenging work. I don’t mind if I have to drive to class 45 minutes each way. Sitting in class for 3 hours doesn’t bother me either.

The only thing I truly care about is the teacher. Will they be engaging enough not to put me to sleep?

Will they offer a different approach than the usual lecture that you have been to or seen for hundreds of years?

The monotone, boring lecture that even the fly in the room is trying to desperately escape.

What is a teacher’s duty?

Besides the fact that they should teach students new information, and then quiz them on it after to see how much of that information the students have retained. What else is a teacher responsible for?

For a student to want to come back to class, to want to do the homework. A teacher needs to be more of a leader whose inspiring student’s instead of playing a tyrannical role whose job is to instruct, assign and delegate.

We are not another number in the teacher’s score sheet. We are human beings and  should be treated the same way as you treat your family.

We are a number in the school system and I am okay with that. The education system is one of the largest businesses in the world. On average, in the developed world, people buy information more than any other product in their life time.

I was having a discussion with my girl friend’s dad who is highly educated and who is pursuing his second major; a masters in history. My concern was that I will be away for the first week of classes and in the university I am attending you have only the first week to figure out if you like the class or not. If not, then you can opt out without getting panelized.

To make matters worse

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

What it's like to work in the state of flow


Are you someone who loves starting things but actually never gets them done, and quits when the going gets tough? Or do you have the tendency to finish whatever you have started, pushing all obstacles out of the way and neglecting everything else insight?

If your anything like me, you would be the latter of the two questions.

Getting things started is like a mosquito biting and you starting this itch. It is impossible to finish itching until it starts to bleed. I know nauseating right?

How about you? What keeps you motivated to keep working on a project, or task that you will not rest until it is done?

For me it is everything except for watching movies and completing my degree in school.

Why are you and I so relentless at completing things?

Mainly I find that the things that weigh the greatest on us are the things we are most proudest of. The things that mean something to us.

When you give something MEANING it becomes this force within you. It becomes this journey that needs to reach its destination.

What does it mean to have meaning?

Meaning isn't something that is tangible. You can't hold meaning but, you can give things meaning.

Your daughters first photo, your first article published in a publication, your ticket stub from the first movie you watched with your wife, your pendant given to you
from your best friend, that coffee mug that has "Greatest Dad" written on it, a poem written to you by your loved one.

All of these tangible materials hold no value to anyone except you.

Why do we give things meaning? Because we have no other way to express meaning, so we can show other people that these things are important to us even though they may never understand how we feel about it.

Writing this post is meaningful to me and no one else. When you get to doing something that becomes meaningful you get into this trance. If you can relate, then you understand that this trance is what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi writes about in his book Flow.

When we get into this state everything else becomes obsolete. Nothing matters. What inspired me to write this post is the awareness of getting into this state and ignoring everything else that matters around me.

Does anything matter when you get into this state? The tough answer would be no.

Yet, it causes more problems afterwards for neglecting other important areas of your life.

Your kids, your wife, your loved ones all suffer because you become so obsessed in getting
this work that is meaningful to you done.

The worst part about this is that you get your best work done in this state. So do you avoid getting into this state so you can attend to other people's needs? No, you can schedule the time to do this purposeful work with no interruptions.

Now you are thinking this only happens randomly and I can't predict the next time I will get so involved with something that I just cannot quit. Let me tell you that you can. It just becomes harder to do on demand and may take some preliminary work to foster this momentum.

Monday, 29 August 2016

To become an artist one must understand the process

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Jonathan Swift

Recognizing your strengths is truly an amazing experience. When you become a master at something you tend to see things in a different light.

My friend’s boyfriend was hosting an art show. As you already know if you have been reading my posts that I love creativity. I got into an unusual way of painting myself. Upon arrival to the exhibit my eyes wondered from one art piece to the next.

I see art in a completely different view point as someone who does not paint.

While you see the outcome, I see the process. You see an object and I see the width and depth of the brush stroke. You see the color of the paint; I see the texture and the blend of colors used to make that color of which you see. You see a price tag and I see the amount of labour it took to make the layers upon layers of paint on the canvas, the amount of money spent on the materials.

The paradox is that most artists do not consider their work masterpieces as opposed to the people who are purchasing that same work. Are they modest or are they perfectionists?

Having had the experience of doing something we no longer look at it the same way as someone who lacks that experience.

To appreciate art, I believe you need to fully comprehend its value. I never understood art until I began painting myself. Sure I have been to art shows in the past, but to me when the art didn’t make sense I would dismiss it. While someone would say, “well that’s just art, you are not suppose to understand it.” I find that statement to be artificial.

All art makes sense if you can get behind the painter’s shoes and observe the art as if you were the one painting it yourself. The story behind the artist, the background from which they come from, the inspiration from which they breathe, the complexity that they evoke into their work.

My experience has led me to trust that art is a story, a journey, an interaction.

From the time the painter decides what it is he or she wants to paint, to the creation of the painting, to the exhibit where the art is displayed, to the buyer’s home, to the observer who comes to the buyer’s home and interacts with the painting.

Art can also be therapeutic. It has been a source of which I often meditate and release creativity which promotes mental well being in my life.

In psychology today Kendra Cherry quotes “Doctors noted that individuals suffering from mental illness often expressed themselves in drawings and other artworks, which led many to explore the use of art as a healing strategy.”

We have all heard this saying: “creativity is 95% work and 5% inspiration”. This is true, however I want to add that deliberate work in which you enter the state of flow is essential to be creative.

To get to the stage of flow one must be immersed in the work that they are doing. If you lack the purpose your work will suffer. When your work suffers your motivation drops. Why? Because we already know that motivation has three building blocks: Purpose, Mastery, and Autonomy.

I want to end on this note:

If you never let anything unexpected happen, nothing unexpected will happen. The creative process is about discovering the answer not knowing it in advance, encourage unexpected outcomes.” David Usher.

Thank you for reading this post. If you are interested in becoming a creative but not sure how, drop me a message or email and I can recommend some good reading material of where to start and walk you through the process of which has helped me become a creative.

To be continued….

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

How do professors differ from executives?

What is your view of a professor who is teaching about how to run a company and a company owner who is actually running the company?

Professor: Educates, Public Speaker, Lectures.

Professors are great at reviewing books, standing in front of a classroom conducting lectures that are universal to everyone. Becoming a professor requires you to take years of schooling in a specific field of study.

Executive: Observes, Demonstrates, Responds.

Executives see the world for what it is and respond to the market for what they need. Executives see problems as opportunities and they create solutions by paying close attention to various possibilities. They are very specific in nature to what and how things need to be done in order to deliver superiority.

Professor: Rigid Schedule, Theory, Standards.

Professors have set class schedules, and apply theory and knowledge for students to better understand the subject that is being taught. The objective is for students to pass the course to meet the standard of the academic studies.

Executive: Examples, Connections, Mentor.

Executives lead by example, they show you how its done rather then tell you that it can be done. Becoming an owner is not a do-it-alone way, connections are forged and strategic alliances are made along the way. “Tell me I will forget, teach me I may remember, involve me I learn” Benjamin Franklin.

Professor: Semester Breaks, Focus, Marks.

Professor teaches half a year and takes a break from teaching the rest of the year. Good professors will brush up on new material and work on self development. There focus is placed on the subject that is being taught rather than on each individual student in the class. The professor’s role is to learn, teach, and mark the students work. To investigate the student’s understanding of the course material.

Executive: Fosters, Regulates, Proofs.

Executive proves what works and what doesn’t through tests and feedback. The executive cultivates a team that will support and sustain the epicenter of the business culture. His role is to regulate any individual that steps outside those boundaries like a father would with his child.

Professor: Follows, Systematic, Repetitive.

Professor follows the same routine that has been conducted year after year, sometimes with new material that is added. There is a systematic approach to how the professor delegates the studies, homework, and final exams. “Repeat anything often enough and it will start to become you” Tom Hopkins.

Executive: Innovative, Leads, Adaptable.

Executives innovate to stay ahead of the competition. Adapt to situations that can be critical to the future of the company. Executives are leaders.

Executives and Professors have a lot in common too.

Thank you for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it. Like, Comment and Share, would love to hear your thought about company owners and professors.

To be continued….

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Saturday, 27 August 2016

"I can't eat fries, they will make me fat."

Yesterday my girlfriend and I were walking past a group of young girls who couldn’t have been older than 12. What they said was disturbing;

I can’t eat fries, they will make me fat.”

We are educating the public to become something that is impractical. Media images are the driving forces behind this epidemic.

A recent study led by James C. Overholser, Ph. D from the Psychology Department at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, set out to examine the direct relationship between suicidal tendencies and self-esteem. The conclusion made was not a surprising one: low self-esteem is very closely related to feelings of hopelessness, depression, and suicidal ideation.

Bulimia, drug abuse, anorexia, social phobia, addiction, and hypochondriasis are some of the diseases that are caused due to wanting to attain the standard of which is set by name brands, celebrities and advertisement agencies.

When you look at a bathing suit, sun glasses, or a vacation commercial what do you see? Models who are fit, who have gone through extensive training, dieting, eating disorders and who are photo shopped. 1% of the population who actually look like this. What about the other 99%? Who are unfit, or are healthy but don’t have the ‘goddess’ look to them. The chiseled abs, broad shoulders, and the skinny toned faces.

I want to say it is unimaginable how far and distorted we have come, but that would be lying. There is always a motive behind what the advertising agencies are doing, driving consumers to buy because the idea is that they will look and feel like the models do in their commercials.

Can we appreciate the deceptive techniques? As a society we cannot, but as a business it drives people to make the purchase. Is that being selfish, looking out after profits rather than people?

Think about this theory for a moment. Imagine the mirror was never invented. What would society look like? Would we not have the self esteem issues that are becoming an epidemic in our society?

A study conducted by Boyce W.F. for the young people in Canada concluded that

Thirty-seven percent of girls in grade nine and 40% in grade ten perceived themselves as too fat.

He also found that;

Four percent of boys in grades nine and ten reported anabolic steroid use in a 2002 study, showing that body preoccupation and attempts to alter one’s body are issues affecting both men and women.

We are taught that our body image is undesirable. The scary part is that our role models are people who we strive to look like, but their image isn’t even real, it is digitized.

What are we to do?

Friday, 26 August 2016

Busting the myth of the entrepreneurial freedom.

“An Entrepreneur: Sees what they want and they set out to get it (problem solvers). Non-entrepreneurs: Sees the things that prevent them from getting what they want.” Simon Sinek

What does a day in a life of an entrepreneur look like?

It goes something like this;

Wake up, think about your ventures. If you are anything like me, you work on yourself first. Whether it be reading, listening to a podcast or watching a Ted Talk.

You think about your businesses some more and possibly new business ideation.

Everything you observe during your ‘inspirational’ intake, your subconscious mind begins to catalogue all of these fresh ideas and molds them with your existing concepts to create something novel or just a different way to approach your current position.

You look after your loved ones.

You think of ways to improve your businesses, or of the things that you need to do for your businesses.

You work on your business. You go out to meetings, whether it’s with your partners or clients.

You work on yourself some more; Exercise, read, create.

You make time for your loved ones.

You think about your businesses some more. You take notes when they suddenly pop into your head of the things you want to do to improve.

You finish the day with either working on your businesses by attending to emails or checking in with your virtual assistant (I’ll get more into VA’s another time) or with reading or finding anything related to business to entertain yourself with.

As you can clearly see, from the time an entrepreneur wakes up to the time they go to bed, the entrepreneur is ‘working’.

I was asked how long do I usually work everyday. I respond by saying the whole day. Normally I would get a chuckle or a look of amusement, depending on the context and who it is I am talking with.

What people don’t get is that being an entrepreneur is not for the faint hearted and not for people who want to work less and who want freedom. It’s quite the opposite. Your freedom is actually taken away when you’re an entrepreneur. Let me tell you why.

No freedom to create or innovate to your desire because the market will decide that for you. No freedom to choose your time because

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

What do you do when you realize your life sucks?

“A picture is worth 1,000 words” Tess Flanders

What is the difference between you and I?

The difference between you and I is that I am here writing these words that you are reading. Is that the only difference?

I want to hack my way into the public while you are wanting to get off the grid. To have your privacy. To know that people can only see what you put out and nothing else. Not those sad moments, the miserable work you endure daily or the fights you have with the people you love most.

I embrace it while you shy away from it.

I get it, life isn’t as peachy as it’s made out to be on your Facebook and Instagram feeds. Is everyone else having a blast while you commutate?

What makes these individuals special who post what appear to be fortunate moments?


You are the one that makes them out to be special. You are the one who puts a label on these people.

What if they were miserable how would that make your life better? If someone loses their house, job, or their loved one would you jump for joy? Okay, maybe if you hated their Ex you would. The point is that what you pay attention to is what drives your behaviour to act the way you want it to.


It was you all along. No one else was paying attention for you. No one else was thinking for you. No one else cared as much as you did.

Living on your own terms? We all do. Every single one of us. You are doing it now.

Don’t think for a minute that when you scroll through your Facebook feed you realize how crappy your life actually is and that other people are living on their own terms. That they got lucky.

You are just as lucky as everyone who worked as hard as you have and who made the same decisions as you.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Asking ‘Why’ can lead to meaningful answers.

A why can get you all the answer. It can build relationships, and it can bring you new opportunities and businesses.

My intention in this post is to help you understand how to approach organizations that you want to work for, and the things to do prior to making your pitch to the organization.

Today I bumped into my building manager as I was taking out the recycling. We connected about the philanthropy work I was doing as this was the last topic of discussion we had in our previous encounter. I had invited him and his family to attend an event I was hosting.

He asked me if I was part of a charity organization. I replied back that I wasn’t, but was doing philanthropic work helping various charities around our community.

This led us to talking about what I do. I shared my businesses that I am affiliated with and had mentioned to him that I noticed my competition was servicing our building.

From there I dug deeper. I wanted to understand the managerial perspective as to why and how they decide on who to hire to do the service work for the building. I am specifically referring to my steam cleaning company.

Prior to this encounter with my manager, this morning I had decided I wanted to branch out into the commercial field of work. We have had our focus on mainly residential cleaning with minor advertising for commercial cleaning. By minor I mean not at all, except for the graphics on our vans.

It is miraculous how the universe works to conspire to help you when you are intentional. Was this the universe manifesting this potential work for my company? Was it the fact that I was thinking about this in the morning to only facilitate my conscious mind during the day and in my encounters with various individuals?

What I do know is when you are thinking or working on something you will find things to relate to just like when you buy a car, and you see that car being driven numerous times as opposed to prior to buying that car.

Your perception begins to take shape in the objective that you evoke.

I continued the conversation with the building manager by asking him; “Why do you hire a carpet cleaning company to clean the carpets in the building?”.

Anytime you ask your first why you will get the surface level answer to your question.

The building managers’ firs reaction to this was stupendous. He gave me an awkward look and proceeded to stumble his first few words thinking that he is conducting an audit with his superiors. Understanding prior to this question that I have the background knowledge of the industry.

“The manual says so.” “To keep the lifetime of the carpet longer and to extract all the dirt that is being left by the tenants of the building.”
“Am I wrong?”

These were his surface level answers to my ‘Why’ question.

From there I continued to listen.

“We do carpet extraction once a year and the trim once a year.” “Tile and grout, 4 times a year.”

I then asked who conducts the work approval?

“This will need to go to counsel for approval.”

I concluded to tell him that he was not wrong and I explained the reason I asked was to understand his intentions.

As I was ready to leave he said to me “you should drop off a quote, we will hire whoever is cheaper.”

Walking away from this interaction I realized I had forgot to ask the most important thing. Not “Who can I speak with to solicit my service?” But: “Why do you care if the carpets are clean?” “Why do you care about the lifetime of the carpets?”

I want you, the reader, to understand what has transpired here, where I wanted this to go, and how you can do better.

The reason we ask ‘Why’ is not to irritate the other person, although it does become very challenging to answer the deeper reasoning behind what and how they do things. It will challenge their assumptions and their logic. It will pose as a threat at the beginning only because the recipient does not want to sound like an idiot when giving an answer.

We feel inadequacy, shame and vulnerability when we don’t have an answer so we try and come up with something that is vague or that is unrelated. Doing this only makes us sound dumber.

Eleanor Roosevelt suggested that no one can make us feel inferior unless we allow them too.

To avoid this inferiority complex; when you don’t know, just say, you don’t know. This empowers and lets the other person know that you are willing to listen to what they have to say. This in turn puts the other person asking the question into facilitating the answer.

When we give it some thought we do come up with a great answer, one that is far beyond the surface level. An answer that we do not give much thought or any thought at all and that is alarming.

Simon Sinek, whom you’ve heard me mention in the past says it best: “We know what we do, some of us know how we do it, most of us don’t know why we do what we do.”

When everyone knows the ‘Why’, everyone in the organization works in unison to achieve a common goal.

Why did I walk away from this conversation not digging deeper? I am kicking myself now, only preparing myself to ask in our next encounter.

Why is it important to recognise each others ‘Why’? This is especially crucial for business and life time relationships. When our ‘Why’ is aligned we connect on a deeper level. We understand what we believe and we facilitated each others needs.

People follow people who believe what they believe. People do business with people who believe what they believe.

3 key things to take away here:

1.       Listen and do not try and sell anything. Instead ask ‘Why’ they do what they do, and let them talk. Ask ‘Why’ again and again.

2.       You will get to understand their positioning, when they need the service, how often, and who makes the final decision. All very important pieces of information that are going to be useful in the closing factor

3.       Connecting on a deeper more meaningful level requires for you to ask meaningful questions, none that are soliciting your brand or service. Get acquainted with there purpose.

Let your potential client get interested in what you do. They will put their wall up when you make a push approach. Instead use a pull method.

Push: you automatically resort to ‘Selling’ your product or service. Pull: you are interested in what they have to say, what there doing and of course why there doing it.

As you can see today and as Gerard Adams beautifully quoted “The process becomes the plan.” The ball is now in your court.

Thank you for reading this post. What I forgot to mention is my why in my cleaning company: I believe in clean work/living environments so that people can live healthier. To be continued….

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“What if you had the wrong dream all along?”

What if you had the wrong dream all along?”

This is a line from a biographical crime film, Blow, when Diego (antagonist) meets George (Protagonist) in prison and finds out why George was sentenced.

Lately I have been feeling that I have lost my sense of purpose. Having no purpose leads me to feeling more tired, unmotivated, angry, sad, overwhelmed, useless.

Pretty critical don’t you think?

My motivation is at an all time low, and I keep asking myself “why am I doing what I am doing?” “How can I find my purpose?” “Is there more to life than a to-do list?” “Did I forget how to dream?”

This only steers me to run in circles, like a hamster on a running wheel or a dog chasing his own tail.

Maybe I am asking the wrong questions? Maybe I am being too vague with my answers?

I have always envisioned that my purpose was to: Help those in need. To amplify people’s lives so they can be there best versions of themselves (What does this even mean?). To teach others what I have learned. To be a mentor and a guide. To be a good boyfriend, and a good father to my fur-children (if you are still trying to figure that one out, my dogs). To run successful businesses that turn a profit and provide jobs in the community.

Is this the purpose that I live for? How can I help others if I myself feel lost?

Do I want to be a guru, self-help life coach? No, in fact those titles repulse me. I am not a coach of any sort. I am a student and always will be.

Then I Imagine I get to where I want to go, what then? I think this part scares me the most. It is thinking that at the end of the road there is nothing left for me. How will I ever know if I quit now?

I suppose the core question that I should be asking first is “what do I love to do?”.

Well I love to read, write and spend time with my loved ones. I love to experience new things by being spontaneous and adventurous. I love to discover and observe. I love to work, create, and imagine. I love to question things that people don’t question. I love to be successful without having to fail.

That last statement I should reconsider.

Loving to fail will only lead to success. This I learned from Gary Vaynerchuk who is my indirect mentor and runs multiple highly successful ventures.

You know what really gets me going is, you. You who is reading this post, who is responding to what I am writing. “My life has changed because of you” Those words strike a chord with me. Those are the words I yearn for.

What happens after hearing someone say this? Do I fall back into the slump I am in now? Does it make me sound weak questioning my purpose, my future, my lack of focus?

Do you ever go threw this challenge?

Why does life have to be a rollercoaster? Why can it not just be a constant ride up to the top?

If it was always a ride to the top without having any downfalls, how will you ever know how good you have it without experiencing the bad too?

Yes, there are obstacles that will come in the way and that will question what you are doing. I believe I hit one of those obstacles.

I wanted to build an awesome website and it is just about done. I wanted to be a good boyfriend and good parent, and I think I am succeeding at that too. I wanted to have a sustainable business, and so I have that too.

What is always left unsaid is that once you reach the top, it’s your job now to maintain that momentum, to scale even higher, if possible. To do things better than you have already done.

Could this be the problem? The things I am doing are never good enough? When will they be good enough?

Let me tell you when, when I decide they are good enough. When I change my perception and begin to see things from the opposite side of the room. When I look at the analytics and measure what I have done in the past compared to what I am doing in the present.

Sure, that makes me feel good for a moment, but what about the next time I am in a slump and all of these things matter less to me than they do today. What is there is another purpose I am suppose to be pursuing? Maybe this isn’t it? Maybe I have had the wrong dream all along.

Today was a real struggle for me to even think about or beginning to write. I am truly starting to believe in the breathing analogy. Breathe inspiration in, and exhaling creativity out.

I began by reading Mark Manson’s “Not giving a f*ck” excerpt from his book. The timing of this read was appropriate. For a week this article has been in my inbox. Today I decided to read this:

                Wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience. It’s what the philosopher Alan Watts used to refer to as “the backwards law”—the idea that the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place. The more you desperately want to be rich, the more poor and unworthy you feel, regardless of how much money you actually make. The more you desperately want to be sexy and desired, the uglier you come to see yourself, regardless of your actual physical appearance. The more you desperately want to be happy and loved, the lonelier and more afraid you become, regardless of those who surround you. The more you want to be spiritually enlightened, the more self-centered and shallow you become in trying to get there.

Do you ever feel that this happens to you? That you are chasing something yet the process becomes more painful than the desired outcome? That’s how I feel. I feel I am putting all the pressure on figuring out my purpose when in reality I need to let the purpose figure out itself and I need to continue to work on the things I love, the things I am good at.

The failures in business are what lead to a better understanding of what’s necessary to be successful. Being open with your insecurities paradoxically makes you more confident and charismatic around others. The pain of honest confrontation is what generates the greatest trust and respect in your relationships. Suffering through your fears and anxieties is what allows you to build courage and perseverance.”

Mark goes on to say,

Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience. Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires. The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame. To try to avoid pain is to give too many f*cks about pain. In contrast, if you’re able to not give a f*ck about the pain, you become unstoppable.”

I Hope this inspires you too. Mark is another one of my indirect mentors who in fact inspired me to begin writing almost one year ago. His unique style of writing is unlike anything I have come across.

After that great read I moved onto One of the contributors, Ashley Olafsen really got my wheels moving after having talked about her writer’s block while she was writing her first book. This post is the byproduct of those articles.

You’ve got to keep going, tap into your intrinsic motivation and keep pushing through.”

Thank you Ashley and Mark for giving me that push today. To create, to inspire, to continue to produce.

Sometimes it is okay to not know your goals or purpose. There will be a time when you come across something that you feel accomplished in, then you can set a goal or purpose to achieve. Let me give you two examples so you can understand where I am going with this.

Starting my first sustainable business (a business that turns a profit) was a milestone of which I wanted to do more of. So I set out to establish 2 other businesses that I am currently working at making them sustainable. Once this goal is established I will keep pushing forward. Ultimately building an empire. I did not see this after my first business was established. In fact, I didn’t even envision establishing any business before the first business.

Same idea goes into my writing. I begin writing without any intention of being published anywhere maintaining my focus on the clear message that I wanted to deliver. After one of my articles was published on Thought Catalog I set a goal to get published in five other publications in 2 months’ time (I have achieved that goal).

Once you do have a goal in mind you should also outline how you will do it, break it down to smaller steps, most importantly set a deadline.

What I am saying is; it is okay to not know the goals ahead of time. What is not okay is; to do nothing at all, that leads you to a stand-still. As a matter of fact, you are going backwards if you’re not moving forwards.

I feel this requires an explanation; You are moving backwards if you’re not doing anything because time is always moving forward and you can never get that back.

Don’t wait too long, because what you can measure, you can understand better and become smarter and faster at any desired outcome.

I want to teach you about stretch and smart goals, but then we will get off topic, so will save that for another time.

Let’s wrap this up.

As you can see I feel back on track, I feel energized and I feel this rollercoaster is now heading back up hill. What will happen tomorrow when I wake up? How will I keep this momentum?

What I learned today are three main components:

1.       Keep moving forward, don’t focus too much on the overall purpose because this can bog you down. What is important is to recognize where you are now and what you can do to make yourself better.

2.       Sometimes goals/purpose are not clear until you accomplish something. Take action, try things out, and find what works for you. Then double down on what works.

3.       Inspiration does not always come from within. Find out what inspires you and make it a habit of turning to that inspiration.

One last thing before we end this post:  Welcome failure into your life and business. Letting go of the feeling of needing to succeed becomes over powering and actually helps you in becoming successful.

Thank you for reading this post. To be continued….

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Saturday, 20 August 2016

You never know when you will meet someone famous

Diner en Blanc is a special event that began with a group of friends 28 years ago. In a park in Paris, a group of friends decided to get together. The person that organized the event has been abroad for quite some time and wasn’t sure how he would they would recognize each other. So they said they would wear white clothing and bring all white picnic supplies.

As tradition moves on, the diner became very popular and now is an international phenomenon. It grew 10x exponentially as Peter Diamandis would say “The community shapes the path and accelerates the process.”

We arrived late at the rendezvous and were greeted by a gentle, familiar voice. The man seemed humble, kind and courteous despite our tardiness. At the time I could not figure out how I knew this man, it seems as though we have known each other from the past. He was the leader of our group for the event.

Wearing glasses on his slim complexion, with a smile that is so bright like a headlight in a midnight highway. He had this audacious attitude about himself that made you feel welcomed with his presence.

Upon check in we begin our ascent to the secret location. Like ants on a mission to get food for the colony we followed each other dressed in white.

You can never be too prepared.

Before I continue I need to add that there are special requirements for this dinner. Besides being fully clothed in white with silver or gold accessories you have to come prepared with a specific table in size, 2 chairs, 2 white napkins, a candle votive, cutlery, 2 white plates, a wine glass (since I don’t drink, we only took one with us), 2 cups, a water, and an option of bringing your own food.

For our first time attending this event we thought we came fully prepared however, we realized that we would have to adapt when disaster ensued. Half way to the secret location, struggling to carry the supplies, our paper bag that was carrying fragile items like the plates and the wine glass ripped open.

Feeling a bit humiliated we were stopped in our tracks.

The generosity was overwhelming, some of the 7,000 other attendees that witnessed this disaster came to our aid. Even though everyone else was carrying the same load, some people bent over to help us collect our items that were scattered all over, including the one wine glass and porcelain that was shattered into pieces.

I am not sure what I was humiliated by more, whether it was our first time attending and being the only ones that had this happen too, the fact that we could no longer meet the requirements for the dinner, or that we were going to carry all of our broken/supplies to the dinner in a big black garbage bag.

Letting go and adapting to the situation was key to overcoming this anxiety. This could of only got worse had the reaction not been transmuted.

In the end, non of this mattered as much as I thought it would at the time.

Like a swarm of white bees,

Thursday, 18 August 2016

The easy practice to follow prior to making an investment.

I am excited about todays post because I feel I am able to provide you with personal insight as well as professional tactical approaches on how to invest time and money.

Someone approaches you to make an investment into their company what do you do? First thing I would look at is the person who approached you. What is his/her background? Where do they come from? What experience do they have?

Why does this matter? This matters because you are investing in people, business comes second. People make up the business, are what will make that business either successful or a failure. Without people you have no business, you have no clients, you have nothing except for an Idea.

David Usher in his creative book Let the Elephants Run unlock your creativity and change everything, highlights a scale for ideas versus execution. A brilliant idea is worth 20 points while a great execution is worth 1,000,000$. So a brilliant idea with a great execution you have a potential to scale to 20,000,000$ according to David’s chart.

Execution is everything and you have heard me say this before and I will continue to influence you to make sure you understand that an Idea is worth nothing. Even with a poor execution you are able to bring that idea and turn it into a reality.

Whatever you do, do not invest your time and/or your money into an idea. It is a huge waste and I have found this out the hard way unfortunately. An individual approached me and asked me to invest money into this tech company, showing me some handsome returns, and so I did. What did that do for me? 0.

If you are only investing your money into something what does that mean? Let me explain, investing money into something means you have put in your time somewhere else to get that money.

What is your time worth to you? At the end of the day it is always your time that is invested, unless you come from a rich family background and that money was handed to you or your brokering someone else’s cash, which you still should treat as your own because someone else has invested their time into earning that cash flow.

Before we get off topic here, let’s go back to investing into people. You have found someone who is audacious, courage’s, and determined to make this business work, what’s next? Getting past this stage is very important, once you do, have a look at what their proposal is.

Does the proposal make sense to you? Do you understand the business? Do you understand the market? Is there anyone else involved in their business? Take a look at the organizational chart as well as everyone’s CV in detail (what each and every person does, their experience and qualifications).

Something I left out and before we move on is, how well knowledgeable is the person in the business, more importantly in the market in which he/she wants you to invest in?

Walk away from this if they have no idea where their target markets are, how to attain the markets attention, and what the best tools for marketing are that will convert leads into actual sales.

Why do I emphasize the market more than the actual business itself? This is because without understanding the market, your business is basically a store with inventory, that’s it.

The best case scenario and this is rare to come by, people who are looking for investors should especially pay attention to what I am about to say next.

The business is operational, it has a defined market, people are wanting to buy more but the business cannot handle the capacity.

I would say two things to the business owner. One, take that profit and reinvest it all to scale the business. Two, I would like to invest.

The business must have a proven concept and a market ready to buy “now”, not just an idea on a napkin, by the way, and I will cover this later in the post, business plans don’t mean shit.

The best thing you can do is not investing into something you do not understand. If you are really interested in the investment, then educate yourself enough to understand what to pay attention to and why things work the way they do.

You could potentially bring a new insight that the person who is asking you to invest could not have seen. Most times that person has their blinders on. They have their blinders on because there too focused on what’s in front, the product/service, rather than taking an outside view of their business.

That’s okay for them to be super focused, it’s equally as important for them to educate you on what the business is. To teach you things you don’t know, this shows a level of understanding.

The things that investors/myself would look for in a business are; Who is behind the business? Who are the current investors (if there is any)? Do you have a proven working model of the business? Is the market ready to buy? If so, do you have pending real orders? What is the profit margins on the product/service? If you truly believe in your business, why aren’t you taking a loan out and doing it yourself?

There are more technical questions however, I feel these general questions are most important before even taking it to the technical level.

Things investors/myself are not looking for; Ideas.

How about using someone else’s cash, besides a bank loan, to make and investment with? You are then considered a broker and I want to cover this in another post because I can give you some personal experience with this. What to look for and how to leverage both parties. I can also give you insight as to what a traditional bank will look for when asking for a loan for an investment.

As you can tell I get fired up about this topic because I believe this is where my passion lies. I have created my own marketing/financing business with my best friend who is now my partner in K.V. Business solutions. Providing solutions for aspiring entrepreneurs. Meaning we do not just hand out expert knowledge and money we actually partner up and make sure that business is thriving.

It becomes our best interest for any business we partner up with to do well, why? Because it becomes our business.

The best piece of advice I can offer you is to “pay attention”. Pay attention to the person who is bringing you a potential investment, pay attention to their characteristics, to their knowledge, to what they say and how they are doing things. Ask yourself, are they paying attention to the market? How has the market responded to the business? How would they be able to handle a good problem (Expansion, more clients/more employees)?

Ultimately it becomes the person’s decision who brought this business to you after you accept their proposal. When you show them how well versed you are in investing, they will take a second look at you and will maybe reconsider their offer.

Fear is what drives people away.

The point is not for you to make them scared of you, but for them to take your time and your money very seriously. You are after their execution not their idea.

Okay, so the person who wants you to invest draws up a really neat business plan. Two things to look at here. Has the business been operational? If so is this a conservative business plan? And what is the plan of achieving what is laid out in the business plan? Has this plan worked in the past? If so how effectively?

Hope you are still paying attention and I am not boring you. My apologize if this is too deep.

Scenario two, the person has a business plan but has not implemented anything nor has a proven business that actually generates profit. In my experience that business plan is as good as the blank canvas that I began writing this post with. Business plans are useless if they actually have not gone out an proven that first, there is a market wanting to buy now, second that the actions to get to the market work.

Never make a rash decision on anything you do. Especially when it comes to investing. You may get hyped up and emotionally involved and this is the worst possible case scenario.

I did that with one of my current businesses. I rushed in a bought a commercial drone that the company has no use for. At the time I thought this was the basis of the company. I did not do any homework on it, did not have any clients ready to buy. Just on an idea that this was going to work. A year later that commercial drone has made it as far as my storage locker. It serves more of a purpose being laid out in the parts that took to piece it together.

Take notice in this post that I did not mention any expert articles, other sources, and the book I mentioned was on creativity which has nothing to do with business. This isn’t because I am lazy and I didn’t want to take the time to do so. It is because I feel I know this stuff and of course I am paying attention every day, every business meeting I have with other employees in companies or C executives.

It always serves a purpose to be creative even when it comes down to investments.

Is this a post about investing in a sure thing? It may seem that way. However, speaking from experience, do your due diligence. Reread this post if you need to understand what to look for before making an investment.

What I didn’t talk about was the types of markets there are. Yes, there are a few, for example, niche markets, super niche markets, general markets. Which approach is best to enter into those markets, the best method of execution?

I am not a know it all guy, I know this may contradict with my last paragraph. I am a student. I always will be no matter what. There is so much to learn, and the best/hardest place to learn is from my mistakes unfortunately.

Thank you for reading the things I understand and really enjoy in my life. In a future post I would like to get into the mindset behind investments. I feel it is an important subject to cover and I will lose your attention if we begin to cover it now. To be continued….

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