Perspective

perspective

Perspective is the relationship of what we see and where we see it. This applies to visual things and also shows up in our thinking. Challenges in life have the biggest reflection of perspective. We do not always deal or face the difficult choices and decisions because we constantly want to see them as far away and tiny instead of dealing head-on.

Largest among these interesting situations are when we are faced with medical or physical issues that limit our ability to do the things we are used to doing or having to make new decisions based on our inability to do what we think we want to do (we can also call this circumstances showing up in our face).

Most obvious in our society are the people who, through their circumstances, wind up missing one or more of their extremities or just losing the use of them. While it is not, necessarily, life threatening it is very much life limiting …. if they allow the limit.

Some of us face these interesting times with medical issues that are not clearly visible to others – like having cancer of one variety or another. Modern medicine and science has given many of us the tools to “beat back the beast” and make the decision that “this will not be the end of me” … not always as easy as it may sound to do.

I have chosen to follow the “humor” path with the things I get to deal with. Wondering what is my “perspective creator”???? I have two kinds of cancer – one is very low level and the other is “not so” low level. And just to set your mind(s) at ease, with the treatment plan laid out for me I will be as good as I was in less than six months.

The biggest “issue” I face is that one of the huge side effects of what I have is anemia – imagine waking up in the morning and knowing that is the most energetic I will feel all day and that I will use that up in a few short hours. Prognosis, however, is that “this too shall pass” and I will, once again, be back in the gym at my old energetic levels. It is, after all, all about THE PERSPECTIVE!

What is Your Income Goal? Job or Business?

Do you want to be the top of the salary board or middle of the entrepreneur scale?

betheboss

It started this morning with an article on Glassdoor.com listing the top 25 job salaries and I was shocked. At the very top of the heap are doctors who earn an average of $180k per year. Ok, so you think that is a good income? Now consider that they have had to spend many years in their education and tend to work 60 to 80 hours per week. Compare that to the entrepreneur average (results from a search on Google):

Experienced – The top 50% of Entrepreneurs in the United States earn: $82.50 an hour $171,610 per year
Junior – The bottom 25% of Entrepreneurs in the United States earn: $53.18 an hour $110,610 per year
Starting – The bottom 10% of Entrepreneurs in the United States earn: $36.07 an hour $75,030 per year

Most of us work 30 to 50 hours per week, much less stress and our learning curve is significantly shorter than that of any sort of doctor.

This makes me wonder why there is not as much emphasis on teaching young people how to be their own boss instead of the litany of “go to college and get an education” – an education, in my never humble opinion, that will keep you poor and dependent on the whims of people who usually are not as smart as you. In the thirty some years I spent in various job situations, the number of bosses that I had who lacked common sense was far greater than the ones who fit into the “just good person to work for” and most of the bad ones also had similar types above them (read the book “The Peter Principle”).

How to Become an Entrepreneur

Start with just typing that in your Google box and see the results. There are a large number of people who have taken on the challenge of wanting to teach the path to being your own boss, some are better than others. Now you ask: how do I find the “better” ones? and the answer is to pick one and see if you like what they say. Then pick another one and see which message works better for you. Over the years I have learned from many and also taught many. There have been some that have made more sense to my wife than to me and visa versa. There have been a number of folks who like and continue to like our training and coaching and some who don't. One of the great things about being an entrepreneur is that you get to choose.

 

Simple Things to Add to your Following

socialmedia

As home based entrepreneurs we have as one of our main functions to increase the size of our business/team/list/following. And often times we miss out on simple opportunities to leverage our results with some of the simplest tools available (and did I mention the cost was AWESOME – free) just takes some time to set up and a few minutes to execute.

How easy these sites are you use is mind blowing. Twitter, as one example, is a place to type simple statements (and my caveat in most things of this nature is to make sure to avoid the evil 3 – politics, religion and sex) keeping away from things of a provocative or polarizing nature as that domain is better left to those with more experience (there are ways to do it without alienating too many).

Start small and build it as you learn to be more effective. Make friends on social networking sites like Facebook. Do not see this as an opportunity to post links to your opportunity/business, instead use it to build social media friends. Share your hobbies and activities. This blog, as is much of what I do, is a social media tool and by following me you also have the opportunity to follow me in other forums and find out more about my business.

Stupid Sayings – Part 1

Einstein on stupidity

One of the most amazing things I've encountered is the number of sayings that people repeat without realizing how limiting and destructive they are to their own progress. Two of my top phrases are closely related: “This is as good as it gets” and “It doesn't get any better than this” are most often said without thought of what they mean and how they set severe limits on the one who carelessly says them.

By simply evaluating what we are saying we realize that both are totally wrong. If we are successful, then we know that things always get better. And if we are learning to be successful then we also know that things will be improving.

The key to success is being aware of our words and thoughts and always choosing the optimistic, open, expanded and empowering thoughts. Personally, I can't wait to see how much better things are going to become.

Caribbean Potato Soup – With Variations

Soup

 

Sometimes you just want a really great soup … might be a cold night or you just have a “yen” for a warmup – here's an easy recipe with variations for carnivores and non-carnivores …the original was without the meat and I adjusted it.

Ingredients are:

1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons coconut, grapeseed or olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
5 cups chicken stock (I use 4 so it's thicker)
1/2 lb crumbled and cooked sausage
1/2 cup crumbled and cooked bacon
2 cups cubed peeled sweet potato (yams)
3 cups chopped fresh kale (I use a little more)
1 cup frozen sliced okra
1 cup coconut milk (I use light) – you can also use half & half or heavy cream
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained (I use fresh)
1 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained (I use the whole can)
2 tablespoons lime juice

In a Dutch oven, saute onions in oil until tender. Add the garlic, ginger and spices, cook 1 minute longer.
Stir in broth and potato.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in kale and okra. Return to a boil, cover and simmer 10 minutes long or until potato is tender.
Add the meat, milk, tomatoes, peas and lime juice. Heat through – and enjoy.  Yum!

For the meatless variety.

Ingredients are:

1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons coconut, grapeseed or olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (I don't use this)
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
5 cups vegetable broth (I use 4 so it's thicker)
2 cups cubed peeled sweet potato (yams)
3 cups chopped fresh kale (I use a little more)
1 cup frozen sliced okra
1 cup coconut milk (I use light)
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained (I use fresh)
1 cup canned black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained (I use the whole can)
2 tablespoons lime juice

In a Dutch oven, saute onions in oil until tender. Add the garlic, ginger and spices, cook 1 minute longer.
Stir in broth and potato.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in kale and okra. Return to a boil, cover and simmer 10 minutes long or until potato is tender.
Add the milk, tomatoes, peas and lime juice. Heat through – and enjoy.  Yum!

The Iced Coffee that SATISFIES

Iced-Coffee-900x600


Most of the time I will create a posting here on my own personal blog and then make a facsimile to post on our Empower blog. This time I'm doing the reverse … this one went there first.


Here's the story:
I mostly drink iced coffee so I switched to cold-brew … this is the “recipe” I started with and am in the “evolutionary” stage with the process. I've discovered that the ratio of ground coffee to water in my “extractor” is too high when I follow this so I've revised to 4 oz (weight) of coffee – finely ground in my 12 cup press and fill to the “band” … otherwise I'm getting too strong an extraction.

The place I started was http://www.americastestkitchenfeed.com/do-it-yourself/2011/08/how-to-make-cold-brew-coffee/ and they have a great “starting place” recipe.

Makes about 2 cups of coffee concentrate
I like to make cold-brew with a medium roast, as I find it tastes more like coffee and less like the roasting process than dark or French roast. Light roasts tend to be too acidic. As with any kind of coffee brewing, it’s best to grind the beans yourself just before using them. The ratio of water to coffee is 1:1 by volume and roughly 4:1 by weight, so feel free to scale the recipe to suit your needs. If you don’t have a French press you can make the coffee in a pitcher and strain it through a fine-mesh strainer, and finally through a coffee filter, as in step 2.
3½ cups finely ground medium roast coffee (see note)
Kosher salt (optional)
1. Stir together coffee and 3½ cups room-temperature water in large French press. Allow raft of ground coffee to form, about 10 minutes, and stir again to incorporate. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours (an hour shorter or longer is fine).
2. Using French press plunger, press firmly on grinds to separate them from concentrate. Pour coffee concentrate into coffee filter-lined fine-mesh strainer set over large measuring cup. Let sit until concentrate filters through, up to 30 minutes. (You should have about 2 cups of coffee concentrate; concentrate can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days).
3. Combine ½ cup coffee concentrate, ½ cup cold water, and pinch Kosher salt (if using) and pour into glass with ice. Drink.

Following their recipe I used about 4 to 1 of water to extract and use the pink salt grinder for a touch at the top.

My next phase is to have the coffee ground by our local Starbucks when I purchase it and use my new ratio of 4 oz coffee to a filled press pot. I'll keep you posted on results and in the mean time you can go and do your own testing and see how you like it.

Actions Reflect Results

Action CircleWe are always rewarded in life based on the diligence we use in the simplest actions we take. It is the basis of the action and results cycle. This is demonstrated in all areas of our endeavors and it was particularly noticed by me in the gym. Most of us have been to a gym at least once and seen the array of cardio equipment and the weights. Have you ever stopped to see how others “apply” themselves to the task of improving their physical presence? I generally think of people as two groups, one is the “achievers” and the other is the “efforters” …

Each group is plainly visible in the gym by the way they utilize the equipment. We see the “efforters” as those who lean and brace themselves on the cardio equipment and the “achievers” as the ones who stand upright and, more often than not, swing their arms as part of their exercise. This simple “cheat” by the “efforters” results in them not seeing any real results – or at the very least not seeing the results they would have if they were part of the “achievers” and not cheating themselves out of their results.

What does all this have to do with life and business and work and all manner of things, you may ask. The simple fact is that the “efforters” are the ones in life who do not take all the necessary actions available to them and often complain about “something is not working for me” when the truth is that they are not “working for themselves” … By cheating yourself out of the potential you demonstrate a willingness to spend your energy on finding shortcuts (these do not work) instead of simply “doing the work” that it would take to achieve that which you desire.

So, is there a solution? You bet there is … start to “do the work” and stop being an efforter. Anyone can move from one side to the other. The world will always reward those who are empowered and empower others. And it also rewards the action takers.

Is the Difference One of Perception or Reality?

Over the years the nature of business has changed from “brick and mortar” as the ONLY thing to a mix of physical and internet based business and finally to the wonderful “internet only” style. And in my six plus decades I have participated in all of the manifestations, from both sides – employee and business owner. There are a few things that have not changed and I’d go so far as to say “will never change” and that is the fact that systems work. It is not about a brand or individual at the top, but the underlying system that makes the longevity and allows more and more of the participants to achieve the elusive success. That is not to say that certain brands and individuals will attract others easier and faster, just that it is really the system that matters.
Facts we all know:

        • We live in an 80/20 world.
          • 80 percent of any group carries the load and 20 percent enjoys the rewards.
          • The intention, desire or goal of any of the 80 per-centers is to move to the other side and receive some of the rewards.
        • Distractions are the culprit.
          • Too many people offering their version of help.
          • Negative media reporting negative factoids.
          • Ego in control instead of common sense.
          • Lack of common sense.
          • Other crabs in the bucket pulling us down.
          • Shiny objects we encounter.
          • Things we don’t recognize as shiny objects.
          • Being too attached to our own “story” to listen.
        • Falling into the trap of “wanting it more for others than the others want it for themselves” is another.
        • Following the wrong set of instructions.
          • Listening to another struggler.
          • Forgetting to stick to the system.
          • Reinterpreting instructions and making errors in judgment.
          • Doing it “my way” because the last time you followed the wrong person and the results failed to materialize.
        • Not paying attention to goals or not setting goals in the first place.
          • Use SMART goal plan.
          • Review many times a day.
          • Focus on the “what and not the how”.

How do we find the solution and make the transition from the strugglers to the winners? Stop listening to other strugglers is the beginning. Make sure the person who is teaching you is the one having the result or go up the chain until you find the person who is having success. When you are getting it straight from the horse’s mouth, you are getting the proper instructions. Remember the childhood game of whispering a secret in a circle.
The bottom line is always going to be about the choices we make. For some of us it is as simple as beginning to choose success over failure. For others, it is improving the quality of the advice we take and the choices we make. For some, it is about making the choices and not letting their fear or discomfort stop them from achieving anything.

Blogging and Writer’s Block

bloggingMost of us who blog and have been bloggers are occasional participants in the game of writer's block … I read this post from another of our practice and wanted to share it …

“My love for writing is not a secret, but something I don’t often share is that there are days when I just don’t want to write.

It happens to all of us, regardless of our passion. There are days when all you crave is mindless activity. You just want to watch TV or take a nap. Other days, you just don’t feel like you have time to fit blogging into your already packed schedule.

Commitment is one of those key things that separates those with sustainable, worthwhile blogs from those who will post a few times and disappear. Being a blogger means making a commitment to serve your audience, even when you don’t feel like you have the time or you just don’t want to write.

To help out in those situations, I identified these 23 ways to be a more productive blogger:

1. Identify your peak.

We have natural rhythms to our productivity, but they differ for each person. For example, I am much more focused between 8 a.m. and noon. I am attracted to shiny objects beginning around 2 p.m. Identify the time of day when you are most productive, and schedule your writing time during those focused hours.

2. Eliminate distractions.

It took the first couple of years of my undergraduate studies for me to figure out the environment I needed to concentrate. What I finally realized was that I couldn’t have the television or radio on when I studied. I also couldn’t study with friends or in noisy or distracting environments. The same is true for when I write. The best environment for me to write in is one where I am alone and it is quiet.

3. Choose your device wisely.

We all have numerous devices we could use for writing, but some enhance the writing process while others seem to hinder it. Some people prefer to write first on paper, then type out a post. Others might find their iPad to be a convenient and productive writing tool. I prefer to write on my desktop computer. I love the big screen and wireless keyboard and mouse. Determining which device works best for you is a matter of trial and error.

4. Consider your workspace.

I’ve read advice from productivity experts about clearing your workspace, leaving nothing but the tools you need for the task you’re completing. That’s a great idea, but it’s probably not for me. The best way to describe my home and work offices is “organized chaos.” What may look like stacks of books and papers to others is a perfect organization system for me. It doesn’t matter what your workspace looks like, as long as you have the tools there to be productive.

5. Change your venue.

Even the perfect workspace can feel stagnant at times. Switch locations if you begin to crave change. I sometimes work from a conference room at the office or at my kitchen table. I am crazy productive in coffee shops. I also have been known to read or grade while sitting in the sun on my front porch or at a patio table overlooking our back yard. Being comfortable will assist your productivity.

6. Switch media.

You spent a lot of time determining which device was most productive for your writing, but sometimes it may seem stifling. It’s OK to switch if that happens.

7. Know why you blog.

Understanding the reason behind why you do what you do will help keep you motivated.

8. Embrace your passion.

Write about something that’s important to you that you know a lot about. You’ll automatically have more motivation.

9. Keep to your writing schedule.

Create and adhere to a writing schedule. The longer you do this, the more writing will become a habit. Your mind will begin to switch into that mode, saying “OK, it’s time to write now.”

10. Be realistic.

You can set yourself up for failure by over-committing initially to how much you can write. I think it’s best to start a blog with a post a week and build from there once you consistently meet that schedule for a couple of months. If you start your blog thinking you’re going to post five or seven days a week, you’re likely to burn out quickly.

11. Keep an idea list.

You can’t be productive during your writing time if you don’t have a clue about what you’re writing. Keep a list of ideas so you never stare at a blank screen wondering what to do next.

12. Avoid research overload.

Don’t get lost in gathering and reading information about your topic. Understand when you know enough to start writing.

13. Outline.

Outline your post so you’re ready to write when the time comes. I outlined this post (key points and bullet points) in a notebook earlier in the day, knowing I wouldn’t have time to write it until the evening. However, now the writing is going much more quickly, because I’ve already spent time simmering on the post’s content.

14. Just write.

Don’t edit as you write; that will get you nowhere. Just sit down and write. Editing comes after the full draft is written.

15. Use a timer.

Know about how long a post should take, and set a timer for that amount of time. Doing so will help you focus on communicating efficiently in the time you’ve allotted.

16. Know when you’re done.

You’re writing a blog post, not a novel. You don’t have to trace an idea back to the beginning of thought and forward through the death of your great-great-grandchildren. Write enough to meet your audience’s needs, and then be done.

17. Use the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule says that 20 percent of your input yields 80 percent of your output. Think about that concept in all facets of your productivity. Do you need to do what you’re doing? Only focus on the things that will yield the greatest results.

18. Embrace flow.

Sometimes the writing is just easy. The words flow. Take advantage of this “flow state” and write multiple posts that you can save and use later on days when the words seem difficult.

19. Vary content.

Creating different types of content helps you when you don’t feel like writing as much. It also gives you and your readers variety. Consider writing lists, quotes, reviews, Q&As, or using mostly photos or video to tell a story.

20. Challenge yourself.

Patrick Phillips challenged himself to post every day. Sometimes your competitive nature will keep you going, even when you’re tired.

21. Reward yourself

I often write at the end of the day. Sometimes I don’t feel like doing it. So, I remind myself that I can crawl into bed with a book as soon as I finish my post. Knowing that I will be able to relax without guilt can be a reward for writing my post.

22. Just do it.

The best way to write is to write. Some days you might have to force yourself to post. I hope those days are few and far between. If they’re not, you may want to reconsider your blog’s purpose and frequency.

23. Skip one.

I don’t encourage you to skip posts, because your audience expects you to keep your regular schedule. However, I’ve learned a little secret in seven years of blogging: No one will die if I miss a post. I might feel bad about it. I might have fewer readers that week, but Earth will continue rotating.

What did I miss? How do you encourage yourself to be productive about blogging?
Kenna Griffin is the author of Prof KRG, where a version of this story originally appeared.

The 2013 Darwin Awards Are Out!

The Darwins Are Out!!!!
2013
Yes, it’s that magical time of year again when the Darwin Awards are bestowed, honoring the least evolved among us.
Here Is The Glorious Winner:
1. When his .38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.
And Now, The Honorable Mentions:
2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger. The chef’s claim was approved.
3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.
4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn’t discovered for 3 days.
5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.
6.. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer… $15. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?] 7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he’d just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.
8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, “Yes, officer, that’s her. That’s the lady I stole the purse from.”
9. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 5 A.M., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast… The frustrated gunman walked away. [*A 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER] 10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street by sucking on a hose, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline, but he plugged his siphon hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever had and the perp had been punished enough!
In the interest of bettering mankind, please share these with friends and family…. unless of course one of these individuals by chance is a distant relative or long lost friend. In that case, be glad they are distant and hope they remain lost.
*****Remember*****
They walk among us, they can reproduce.

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