Challenges of the Entrepreneur, Dad and Multipotentialite.

Challenges of the Entrepreneur, Dad and Multipotentialite.

In this post, I ask…

 Image courtesy of Gregory Szarkiewicz / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Image courtesy of Gregory Szarkiewicz / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do you have these problems?

Problem #1= Life Pulling You in Too Many Directions.

Problem #2= Not Enough Time.

Through my struggles, I managed to find some pretty damn good tips for you.

Plus…

BONUS Content- I will introduce you to 3 online geniuses that have changed my life (maybe yours too).

Let’s get to it.

 

My personality and lifestyle have created many problems that I’m aware of, but often can’t solve.

 

I’m different because my 3 main traits are:

Entrepreneurial

Introverted

Multi-potentiality

 

These traits aren’t the problem, it’s that I’m also a husband, father and breadwinner who works full time.

I don’t plan to be distant or un-family oriented, though, it kinda looks that way, as these traits involve: solitude, self-awareness, and constant creativity that require isolation and time alone.

My brain works this way and I can’t help it. I’m trying and am getting better at dealing with this.

With help from 3 masters…

Emilie Wapnick at Puttylike.

re: Multi-potentiality.

- For those unfamiliar with the term “Multi-potentialite”, I now introduce you to Emilie…Prepare yourself for a massive awakening here! (Feel free to thank me in comments below)

 

Chase Reeves at Father Apprentice and Fizzle. 

re: Fatherhood and Entrepreneurship.

- Finally, a guy like me! (minus the introversion)

 

Susan Cain at The Power of Introverts.

re: Introversion.

- Haven’t read Quiet yet but next on my list.

 

My Frustrations and Solutions…

 

You all know that I’m no stranger to challenges, self-improvement and busting my butt to get ahead, both personally and professionally.

Lately, I’ve been especially frustrated that I haven’t progressed in my Toastmasters roles, both Speaking and Leadership. The fact is, since my second daughter, Hana, was born nine months ago, I haven’t been to one meeting. This is killing me because Speaking and Presenting Skills are the foundation of how I plan to earn money and I haven’t been spending ANY time working on them.

From Sales Presentations, to Online Video Creation, to Conferences and Seminars, I know that I (and you) must continually spend time nurturing this because it will take practice and Years To Master.

 

 My Best Tips… 

Only 24 hours to a day so we must break our time down. Emilie explains this well, but it only really sunk in to me the other day.

Everyone’s workday is different, but here’s a quick example of mine.

- Go to work 7:30-4:30

- Home to supper (thankfully usually made by my wife)

- Eat with the family

- Day’s work catches up, get very tired after meal

- Gather strength to do dishes and play with kids for 1-2 hours

- Ready for bed but haven’t done anything at all to contribute to ClintMoarInc. (blogging, writing, marketing, reading, social media, analytics, etc.) or wife time or personal finances/budget or home chores or fun/entertainment.

I’ve done some serious sleep analysis and I know myself enough that I cannot function without 7 ½-8 hours sleep. That’s my minimum.

Sorry Gary V, it’s not in my DNA.

I cannot go to a full time job all day long (where I give 110%) on 4 hours sleep. I would be an under slept zombie, irritable to coworkers and my family.

So, the work until 2 in the morning and just Crush It, isn’t an option.

Oh, and because I’m so introverted, I can’t just sit down, start writing a blog post and pop something off 30 minutes. I’m like 30 minutes just to “Get in the Zone” of writing.

How do I not ignore the wife and kids, yet progress in all the areas that a Multi-potentialite, Entrepreneurial Father continually yearns for?

Try to “TimeBlock”, that is, block small amounts of time to focus on tasks. You must use a physical timer, have no distractions and a list or plan.

So, for a Productive 3 Hours, after the kids go to bed, I write something like…

1 hr – Budgeting

1 hr – Start Blog Post

45 min – Exercise

This is working for me.

Even better if you write the tasks BEFORE you plan to do them because then you don’t get distracted. You just sit down, set the timer and go (Thanks to Pat Flynn for this tip).

Hope you’ve found something of interest, help or motivation here…

The good news is that being aware of your Traits and Lifestyle is an important step. Keep working at it and eventually something’s gotta give (like less time at physical “job” or other opportunities).

Do you have any ideas that will help others or me?

We could really use it.

Later,

Clint.

Does Toastmasters Help in Real Life?

 Ever wonder…

“How, specifically, does Toastmasters help in real life?”

Here’s an example of how taking on the role as Newsletter Editor for my Toastmasters Club has brought me additional success at my day job and skills for the future.

toastmasters icebreaker

Toastmasters newbie

Toastmasters Lesson:

In order to get content for the newsletter, I had to get members to volunteer their writings. I found that a few friendly reminders were not enough as we’re all busy and a vague request was insufficient. By nature, people are less likely to participate when asked in a group  then when asked in a one on one setting (email or a meeting).

So, I got more specific by writing a personal email request to each member, with a theme or idea to use for his or her article.

Success.

People responded with contributions.

 

      How I used in real life…

 

Real Life Lesson:

At work, I recently presented my interest in taking on more responsibilities in hopes of a promotion and more income. My wish was quickly granted and I was given full permission to mentor and create a better training procedure for our new hire of outside salesperson!

In order to create my vision of this procedure, I needed a lot of help. The timeline was tight so I had to get other staff to assist in product training and in the design of a procedure book.

Would the newsletter technique that I used to get member participation work with my coworkers?

In the past, I may have casually asked the group what I needed from them. Instead, I gave specific tasks for each colleague with a definite deadline date. I spoke to each individually to ask for their participation and they all willingly agreed.

The training has gone smoothly and I’m glad I continue to take these challenges.

This advice may sound obvious when reading (“be specific and direct when you need help”), but it really hit home when I lived it.

Until I physically took on these assignments, I didn’t physically feel the pressures. The pressures are not major but nagging and feel different than our normal daily life demands/tasks.

It’s these feelings that real leaders feel when they force themselves into Uncomfortable Situations which help them grow and learn.

Making these agreements with myself add more to my character and strength.  The additional commitments that we accept will force us to orchestrate and give us the skills that will ease the more difficult tasks needed for higher leadership roles in life.

Make sense?

The lessons that I learned in Toastmasters were instrumental in helping with a real life situation.

Have you used similar lessons in real life?

If so,  we’d love to hear your example in the comments below.

Please share!

Thanks,

Clint.

Cool Uses For Apps for Business. Why you need an App.

 

Apps have come a long way in the last few years.

By far the most popular apps are Games but I want to enlighten you on Cool Uses For Apps for Business.

NiceApp PDF

apps wordle2

Apps do 3 things.

  1. Make money.
  2. Help customers, staff, worshippers, followers/fans communicate.
  3. Make life easier.

 

How they work/what they can do:

  • Give directions
  • Reward regular users
  • Special coupons/sales/promos/recipes/menus
  • Surveys/contests/voting
  • Promote buzz and engagement
  • Teach/educate/inform
  • Book appointments
  • Contact them instantly 24/7

Best industries (obvious ones):

  • Bars/restaurants
  • Retail stores
  • Churches/Parishes
  • Not-for-profits/Associations
  • Magazines/TV/Radio Companies
  • Medical/Dental
  • Salons
  • Sports Clubs

 

Creative uses (not so obvious ones):

  • Utilities such as: How to’s, training manuals, catalogues, tutorials, employee collaborations, schedules
  • Music/Arts/Entertainment: latest festivals, songs, exhibitions, plays or shows,
  • Travel companies: guides, tips,

 

Why get an App for Business?

 

Mobile’s very important.

A great example is from Mitch Joel and compares the scenario of 2 teenage girls in a mall, looking for sunglasses. They used to go in, try them on, pick one and buy it…now, they’re at the mall but considering their social networks and smartphones they’re more like 2000-3000 people!

The user engagement is HUGE.

 

Traditional marketing sucks.

Going mobile and digital allows very detailed analytics, which means tangible results. No guessing how your marketing dollars are working. A Business App is a small investment in comparison to past marketing techniques.

 

Really, a custom made app may not be exactly for you personally but I guarantee that you know someone in an industry above that does need one.

It costs them nothing to contact my friend Jeff and chat…

 

Please forward and share this NiceApp PDF with them.

Thanks,

Clint.

Power of a Woman wanting a VBAC

The Power of a Woman wanting a VBAC

 from a Dad’s point of view….

 

A VBAC story

A VBAC story

This is the story of the birth of my second daughter Hana. I am not a doctor or medical professional just a dad.

 

These opinions are my own and are hazy at best!

 

The short version is how my wife really did the unthinkable.

Beat the odds given by most doctors re: VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean).

 

Without risking the health of her daughter, she carefully increasing her chances of actually having a child by VBAC.

 

Step by step, this story is pretty powerful.

 

To be honest, as a guy, husband, dad, I wasn’t fully onboard to Karen’s yearning for a natural birth delivery at first. “Why?” I thought, “Why go through those grueling, painful hours when you can have a C-Section and get the same result?”

And really I still can’t fully understand, even after the amazing story below, because I’m not a woman.

 

I did get onboard for her sake and I’m glad I did.

 

Read on for Full Story…

 

 

Last fertility try…

 

Our first daughter (now 4 ½) was a small baby who was conceived through fertility treatments using IUI. She was delivered by C-Section due to stopped growth and fluctuating heart rate at 37 weeks.

We used the same fertility treatments this time, though, our first 2 attempts failed and we were on the third and final chance (before having to go to a different city, use a different technique and spend a lot more money).

To me, this was the First Real Power of Mama’s Will to conceive and started the ultimate goal of a VBAC birth.

 

The 3rd attempt took with baby due on June 25!

 

Baby’s small, again…1st Dr. wanting C-section…

 

Being monitored by regular ultrasounds throughout pregnancy, we knew this baby girl was small and she wasn’t growing as expected. Up to this point it was like déjà vu to our first baby, small with slowed growth.

At week 37, the Dr. reviewed the numbers and calculations and sent Karen for another ultrasound that day. He didn’t come right out and say it but we knew he was thinking C-Section. Baby went from the 10th to the 3rd Percentile for growth and they sent us to the hospital for more observation.

I knew the time had come and

Here We Go!

 

Nurse #1 a savior…2nd Dr. wanting C-section…

 

At the hospital, baby was hooked up for Non-Stress-Test (NST) that monitors heart rate and fetal movements. Everything suggested that the baby was doing fine, that is, no drops or dips on their graph.

Enter our first nurse at the hospital…Anyone who’s had children knows that there are many nurses and Dr’s that come in and out during the stay and some are rude, cold or unfriendly, some are like a ray of sunshine and are immediately trustworthy and helpful.

This nurse was the latter.

Having a doula (more about doulas in a moment) and discussing/researching about VBAC births, we were well aware of most Doctors’ reluctance and lack of support for a natural delivery. We were ready for any and all Dr’s questions and persuasions towards un-warranted C-Sections.

Nurse #1 came in with great words of encouragement and an important warning of the on-duty Doctor who was to soon visit. I think the words used to describe the Dr were “very direct” and “abrasive”. This little pep talk prepared us to focus on our game plan to VBAC.

I should note here that we would never compromise the health of our new daughter, that is, if the risks of trying to VBAC outweighed the many benefits, we would opt for C-Section.

So the Doctor gave us all the horrible possibilities of not delivering the baby now, including death. Though, because there were no signs of struggle and there wasn’t an emergency, if we chose we could wait until morning to discuss when our trusted Dr. arrived.

Thanks to our first nurse and

We Waited…

 

Small hope…3rd Dr. wanting C-section…

 

Our Dr. came in and laid out our options. He too leaned towards a C-Section delivery, though, because the baby seemed in great shape besides being very small, there was an option of mechanical induction (Foley catheter). The Foley Balloon thing has two balloons that are injected with saline to hopefully persuade a woman’s body to go into labor more naturally. A chemical induction was not alternative due to factors…No harm to baby for trying Foley, though we were told a 100% chance it would not work.

This Dr. didn’t know the stubbornness rather determination of my wife!

If the Dr. on call that day was willing to insert the catheter we had the go ahead to try.

So we waited…

 

4th Dr. holds C-section…11:30pm

 

Fortunately, the next on-duty Dr. was very familiar with the using this technique and was optimistic that it may work!

The process went smoothly and I don’t remember the exact times but as the cervix began to dilate, more fluid would be injected to keep the progress going and with any luck a natural labor.

Waiting…

 

Our Birth Team comes together… Coach Stacy, star player Karen,

 

So, now a brief word about our doula.

Stacy is a doula that happens to be a friend of Karen’s from high school. Though Karen and I’ve been married for almost 11 years, I only met her once as we sat down and talked about all of our hopes and thoughts on this pregnancy. I’m so thankful that she came into my life here because this birth story would’ve been extremely different if she wasn’t included.

A great person who knows her stuff and happened to be a friend, Stacy really eased tension and relaxed Karen and I for the first part of labor.

Karen’s main drive purpose for wanting a VBAC is because she did not experience a “real” birth, due to an emergency C-section with our first daughter. She says, ever since that first pregnancy her body craved the need to push a child out naturally.

“I didn’t even feel a contraction with the first one,” she says.

Well the contractions started and her first wish came true.

Karen’s tough and at first she didn’t know if the contractions were real at all and even after many hours of these first stages of labor she was a rock.

With Stacy there, we reminisced old times, and all held hands as Karen breathed out each contraction. We continued on as the hours built but after every contraction ended, we were right back to talking and Karen was a champ.

The Doc checked a few hours later and she’d dilated to 3cm!

“We’re VBACing” Karen says, “Yes we are” Stacy confirms.

Yay team! Keep it goin’.

I was very proud of Karen at this moment as the odds were against her getting to this point.

 

The Peppermint incident…

 

As the catheter fluid was increased, the balloon got bigger and did its job. About an hour before the Foley would have to be removed, the dilation improved and eventually it fell out by itself! This was a great sign and after inspection we had dilated to 6cm!

Up to here, our great progress had really inspired us, but at about 4:30am things changed.

A short time before, the contractions were getting more difficult and painful. Note, Karen’s sleep had been virtually nonexistent for about 48 hours due to being admitted in the hospital 2 days ago, having repeated nurse visits and her insomnia. She was incredibly tired, had fought hard but she was running out of gas.

Her cervix had actually closed to 5cm and was beginning to swell from the stress and strain. We had tried several positions and techniques to keep the progress going i.e.

  • Walking
  • Exercise Ball
  • Hospital Bed Positions

Karen’s legs had no strength and all options were running out, so she resorted to knees down leaning on the lowered hospital bed, crying.

Stacy asked if it was ok to apply some lotion to Karen’s calves to help with circulation etc.

Initially, there was no problem, the room filled with a fragrance of peppermint.

It was nice, but shortly after, Karen lost control.

Writhing in pain (mainly from the leg pain) and unable to get into a comfortable position, she opted for the epidural.

This was by no means a failure and very necessary to continuing.

 

A little sleep…5th Dr. wanting C-section…

 

After the epidural kicked in, Karen finally relaxed and we were all able to turn out the lights and get a tiny nap. I was becoming groggy and wobbly from lack of sleep and food.

I’m totally amazed at how women do this!

We waited in hopes that her body would continue contracting to further the dilation and keep the VBAC alive.

By 6am there was no change. 9am no change and baby’s head hadn’t lowered at all. We had lost some confidence but we hadn’t regressed so we again reviewed our options. We discussed giving in and doing the C-Section though the baby’s vitals were solid as a rock.

New Doc on duty had told Karen at a previous appointment that if the baby were to come early he would not induce her and he would only perform a C-section .

Needless to say he was pretty surprised to see how far we’d advanced and was even a bit encouraging.

Our last option was to inject oxytocin, which is basically more of the natural hormone to again help dilation. Doc said it probably wouldn’t work although we could try it but if after 2 hours nothing happens he’ll have to do the C-Section. We agreed because it had been a long haul and Karen couldn’t continue much longer.

Anxiously waiting…

 

Last chance…Get it together Daddy…

 

So Karen, Stacy and I had all had our times throughout the labor where we lost complete track of time. I had been on a tough go the last hour or so. I hadn’t eaten and very little sleep. I was not very steady so I lay on the couch waiting for the nausea to pass. It didn’t and I got woozier and so pale that everyone including the nurse said I didn’t look good.

It was about this point when the Doc said Karen had dilated to 8cm and the head had lowered!

Holy crap, the VBAC’s on again!

We’re on the home stretch but here’s daddy on the toilet, getting sick from both ends! “Gotta get it together Clint,” I told myself.

 

Meet Nurse Linda…

 

A short time earlier, a senior nurse named Linda came in to introduce herself after reading/hearing our story. She had an immediate warmness and Stacy pipes up and says, “It’s you!”.

Linda looks in wonder as Stacy tells the story of how nine years ago she delivered her baby in the same hospital and how great she was. Linda told us about the courses she’d taken and how she fully supports VBACs etc.

It’s funny how things happen and whether we knew it then or not, Linda was the newest member of our team.

 

Boom, the Big Push…

 

Things were really progressing now, by the minute not the hour. I managed to pull myself together and went for a quick walk to regroup for the big push.

Our other favorite Dr. was a resident who was very encouraging, excited and likable. She said the baby’s ready to be born and we reviewed the plan in order to push the baby into the world.

Stacy and the nurses asked if I was ok and ready. I said yes but really wasn’t. As we prepared and began the big pushes, nurse Linda appeared and informed us that all the doctors were presently in surgeries and that she’d be delivering the baby. We were more at ease and pleased that she was in charge.

The next 14 minutes were unfamiliar to a man.

Emotions that I never new I had, presented themselves as this baby appeared and entered into my life!

Happiness of course, for the birth of Hana, but more for the strength, determination and will of my wife to have this child vaginally, after C-Section.

After VBAC Birth

In total, it was about 25 hours on a roller coaster of excitement, hope, fear and joy.

 

Call it a miracle or what you like but to me, this truly was a story of the Power of a Woman or the Power of a Mother.

 

Please share with friends, family, mothers and fathers who may enjoy…

 

I’d be delighted to hear any thoughts, stories of your own and stories of others you know…. (Especially moms wanting a VBAC)

 COMMENT

Also, don’t hesitate to email me directly for more details, advice or support.

Thanks,

Clint.


Should I quit my job?

Wondering how to quit your job?   Here’s my advice.

I asked myself many times “ should I quit my job ” and go into business for myself. Well, I did quit and not that I regret doing it, in hindsight there’s a way better way of doing it than going into self-employment as I did.

If I could do it again I would:

1. Start a website/blog in my spare time (which would be the basis of my business and make me money).

2. Continue working an occupation on a part time basis to cover some bills.

3. Control exactly what I needed to learn to get to the next level of business success (as opposed to what an employer may control/limit us to).

Bold or Stupid?

I chose to quit my steady job, go directly into Self-Employment, and learn as I went. Bold, yes, but really not very smart as I learned the hard way by going in debt and wasting a couple of years in time (doing custom Woodwork and Furniture).

Then…

Something in me realized that the Internet and websites were the future of business and a way to make money. I don’t remember Googling or reading anything about bloggers or Internet Marketing but I received an invitation in the mail to a seminar from Stores Online.

Action.

I purchased the website host, design and training from Stores Online and PMI. This structure is essentially what is called “niche websites” and based on ecommerce, which is “selling products online”. I learned how to search for keywords that people are looking for first, then create a business and website.

I focused on selling Bamboo Furnishings. I found a main supplier, created a website with images, prices, checkout etc. The idea is to use SEO so people looking for your products will find your website and click “Buy Now”, pay you, then you place the order with your supplier and it ships directly to your customer. Sounds straightforward, and it is, though, not easy.

Failure?

MyBambooFurnishings dot com was not successful financially. I spent a lot of money and some time for about $100 worth of sales. I could not focus enough attention and time to really succeed. The real kicker for that start-up was when my one and only supplier went belly up. The bulk of all the products I was offering were now not available to me and I could not find the time to try again.

I pulled the plug on the website and my woodworking operations (Tailored Woodworking Ltd.), for the time being. But…My feet were wet and I would not give up yet.

Next Page/Chapter?

I decided to go back to work as an employee. This decision was tough due to stupid pride but I had a plan this time. Learn the skills of a business owner- Communicating, Marketing, Selling, and Leading.

Following the advise of Robert Kiyosaki, Brian Tracy, and Donald Trump, I got job as a junior sales person, a must if I was to learn the worldly skills needed to get to the next level.

While working full-time, I googled and learned more about Internet business and how Bloggers were making a killing online. Yes, some of the bloggers had moved into niche marketing but all of them started by writing and posting articles about their personal interests. Subjects from video games (Glen Alsop) to wine testing (Gary Vaynerchuk) to passive income (Pat Flynn), people were making money by teaching others what they know and enjoy. Brilliant! The Internet makes this very possible and I realized this would be my next goal. The best part is that creating a blog and learning as you go costs little to no money.

Your turn for Action?

If you’re contemplating and thinking about quitting your job, I highly encourage you to start a blog and see what comes of it.

Worse case is you:

1. Become a more professional writer.

2. Learn more about yourself.

3. Step out of your comfort zone and become more confident.

Best case is you:

1. All of above.

2. Find your calling in life

3. Create a successful business platform.

4. Help others that need what you have to offer.

 

Have a question or comment? I love these conversations…

Clint.

 

Next up:

How my Blogging Goes and

Advice on Website Hosts: from Stores Online to WordPress

Dead End Job Not Getting you Ahead in Life?

Do we write enough?

 

I don’t mean to physically hand write, I’m referring to putting our thoughts down as words, digitally. 

I and many other people have realized that their dead end job won’t ever allow them to Get Ahead in Life.

Why I ask this is because the times have changed dramatically over the last few years. The written word has become incredibly powerful in our day-to-day lives. Whether you read much or not you must admit that we really are living in the “Information Age” and those who understand this have jumped onboard the “writing” train.

 

All of our future leaders and successful people will be good writers.

 

Not writers such as novelists, journalists, or screen writers, but average people who use the internet to teach, inspire, and/or educate the world from the comfort of their own home and computer.

 

Think of how the world reads and writes information today…

 

Not from encyclopedias or textbooks but from blogs, websites, twitter, facebook, or other online articles and medias.

 

Sure some people pick up a real book on occasion but let’s face it Kindle, Kobo, Lulu and iBooks in electronic form (aka, ebooks) will soon be “the norm.”

 

My point is, “if you’re sick of feeling like your job’s not getting you ahead”,

 

Start Writing More!

 

Start a blog or website tomorrow, or just start stock piling articles and thoughts on your computer or in the cloud.

 

5 years from now you’ll thank me for this advice.

 

Honing these skills can only make you a more valuable employee or empower you to create your own Brand, Company and Income.

If you feel your occupation’s leading you nowhere, take your job for what it is, education or a stepping stone to Move you Forward in Life.

Clint.

 

 

Going into Sales, Time and Experience will Gel it.

Wow. I just commented on an article written by a sales person to other sales people and I really knew what I was talking about! This is exciting because not long ago I was a regular worker bee and have only been in the Sales Profession a short while.

I’m not bragging, I just a little shocked (and proud) as to how far I’ve come in just 2 years working in sales…

My comment

I came in a green, shy, introverted guy who wanted to learn and expand my horizons…take ME to the next level, if you will…

“Going into Sales” or going from worker bee to salesperson

This was a difficult decision to move on

 

I understood that a decrease in income for a while was necessary, though, it was the education and experience that I really wanted…

 

Since this endeavor, I’ve seen some increase in income in 2 years but the skills are more important…I practiced sales/negotiation/communication techniques day in and day out, 9-5, 5 days a week and I have seen successes in my sales numbers

More than just the money from sales or bonuses, this post of mine brings a feeling that I’ve really learned and I can really help others that may be in that same space that I once was – a green, inexperienced, professional sales wannabe

 

When getting into a Sales Career you must be patient as nothing will happen over night.

My real point here is hard work is great but time and experience are what really gel everything together.

Make the decision, stick with it and it’ll just come together…

 

Today, I’ve felt that it has and it’s  a good feeling!

 

Have you anything similar? Or comments?

Is Christmas a Happy Time or Not?

Christmas To Me

 

As I sit here, thinking about what to write about Christmas, I listen to Christmas music…I have been listening since the beginning of Dec…Why? 2 reasons,

 1. I love music

 2. I was raised listening to Christmas music   (mainly Country Christmas and Traditional)

 

My wife and I are very different people, including our Christmas thoughts and traditions…Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think we all personally enjoy certain things that we did/remember in our own childhood

I’m guessing Christmas music wasn’t a big thing in my wife’s family, cuz she literally leaves the room when I turn it on…

It brings happiness to me…Here’s where I get gushy…

I’m not a religious person, though, I have read parts of the bible, attended several church disciplines, baptized (myself and my daughter), married in church, and I’m spiritual…

I celebrate Christmas and I do think and relate it to the Story of Christ’s Birth…But to me, that’s only part of it…

I don’t say I believe in Christmas so I can go to parties, drink, shop etc. and not think of the real story…

The real story is not discussed much in my circles…the shopping is discussed, a little partying, a little drinking…only recently have kids been a part of my Christmas (babies don’t really count)…Sure it’s about the children, though, to me, there’s something else that this time of year creates…a feeling or spirit in the air at times that just lightens me up and makes me feel good

I think it’s certain childhood memories that create this…certain HUMAN childhood memories…stick with me and I’ll give you an example…I’ve always really enjoyed Christmas, but when I became an adult I realized my happy memory came from my parents, particularly my Dad…

Sure, I have some fond memories of certain gifts I received (a real pellet gun for the farm! And that Bean Bag game the adults broke the same day!)…My Christmas Happiness is about seeing the joy in my father’s eyes and his smile…This is kinda the opposite, cuz it’s usually a father looking at his son, though I was the kid looking at my father…

You see, my dad’s personal Christmas memories weren’t great ones…He was the eldest sibling, and at Christmas time he was often left alone to babysit his brothers and sisters while his parents gallivanted/partied…Some years the kids never received gifts and he was left with a drunk mother…But, as an adult somehow, he didn’t relate this as unhappiness and turned it around, into a very fulfilling/pleasant holiday.

I know some people who aren’t happy at Christmas time…It usually pertains to their thoughts of the commercialism, and those feelings are valid…I just wish they eventually find some small thing that might change their minds and that they can turn it around, like my dad did.

 

Is Christmas a happy time for you?

 

Clint.

Thinking about Self Employment?- some honest advice…

 

Want to be Your Own Boss? –

My Honest Advice…

 

Self Employment is for some people and not others…

If you’re contemplating leaving your job and going into business for yourself, Please realize this will bring you flexibility but requires more hard work then your job does. Your real end goals should be known so you don’t run yourself into the ground (see E-myth below).

If you want financial freedom you won’t get it being self employed as you’ll definitely need help (employees/virtual assistants), which will make you a Business Owner.

Don’t let SE be confused with Business Ownership (which allows creativity and does not necessarily require your presence)…

If you’re thinking about SE, realize that it means you’ll be doing the same tasks day in and day out…i.e. physical labor (cleaning houses, yard maintenance, woodworking, etc.), trade work (construction, plumbing, etc.), professional work (accounting, legal, medicine, etc.).With SE you’re the engine and the machine won’t run without you…In most ways SE allows less free time than working a job.

Here’s where I  make it easy for you to see where you fit…

 

Who make the best Self Employees?

 

The “Worker Bees” make the best SE’s (the ones who just put their heads down and work their ass off)

Traits:

  • Need control
  • Decision makers
  • Want freedom
  • Self-driven
  • Not overly creative
  • Live for the technical work
  • Ok with scheduled work

SE’s are ok with doing the same thing over and over…

 

Who shouldn’t become Self Employed?

 

Visionaries, Artists and Entrepreneurs don’t make good SE’s (Creative people get bored with repetitive tasks)

Traits:

  • Love business and marketing processes
  • Embrace change
  • Have vision
  • Read other people’s qualities and are ok with delegating tasks
  • Ask themselves the questions “why”, “how”  and “if” constantly
  • Continually delve deeply into how operations and products can be improved

 

I didn’t comprehend these trait differences and I totally fall under the Don’t Become SE category!

Example:

When I started my first company Tailored Woodworking Ltd…

Note:

After reading this advice, you must read

“The E-Myth” by Michael Gerber.

I guarantee this book will save you a ton of time and money…I re-read this book when I need a refresher or guidance.

 

I recently stumbled on a photo of myself a few years back when I was self employed…My company focused on Interior, Cosmetic Renovations and Custom Furniture and Cabinetry…I was different from other companies in 2 ways…

  1. I was willing to do smaller, creative jobs for a premium price. (most companies weren’t interested in doing things like baseboards, crown moldings, and one-of-a-kind furniture pieces)…
  2. I preferred to re-use solid wood and materials wherever possible (I salvaged unbelievable amounts of flooring, deck boards etc. destined for landfills, that created beautiful furniture when given a second life)

I was a “one man and a van” company, in hindsight it’s easy to see why I wasn’t successful financially…I was doing everything totally alone, admin, estimates, sales, design, construction, delivery…the only thing I didn’t do was the books, I hired that out…I had a ton of great ideas, did ok craftsmanship, but to pay the bills I began to “chase” the money/next job…

I really enjoyed the marketing and design as I had a degree in Graphic Arts (didn’t pursue very long)…

tailored woodworking van

Although I am artistic, I hired a designer to create a logo (that I envisioned being put on a branding iron which I used to mark all my pieces)…

The company van was an advertising tool and I actually got a lot of business resulting from the visibility of phone number (didn’t have website)…I really believe in the “keep it simple” approach to marketing…I see way too many “vehicle wrap” decals where even from up close I can’t understand what the company does…Many of my customers said they found me by seeing the van and contact info., from a distance…complex/confusing/flashy images and messages might impress but Do Not Get Results

When it comes to advertising, Keep It Simple Stupid…Get to the point, quickly and clearly…

 

What I did right

  • Created a trusted, local company with a reliable craftsman who helped people with custom, one-of-a-kind woodworking projects.
  • Brand and Logo professionally designed.
  • Acknowledged that I’d lost focus/profits and promptly stopped operating the business (before it dragged on for years).

 

What I did wrong

  • I never found anyone to work with/help me and burned out. Can’t do it alone.
  • Didn’t really understand the difference between business ownership and SE.
  • Lost passion and focus (got bored)

 

What I couldn’t control…

  • The market. I thought the timing for this business idea was right, but time proved that there just weren’t enough customers/sales to sustain the company. No one can predict the future and there’s some luck involved in success.

 

I hope this helps you if you’re thinking about Self employment. I don’t want to discourage you, I just wanted to share my experiences and want you to do the same.

 

My final advice is simply this…

 

  1. Think hard about your personal strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Know when to either:
  • Shut it down
  • Go back to job, or
  • Expand/grow to a corporation…

 

Do you have anything to add?

Tips for others?

Agree or disagree with my advice?

 

Clint.

Afraid of Social Media?

Still Afraid of Social Media and giving the Real You to the World?

I can still picture it…
I argued profusely that Facebook was the devil….the internet was a haven for cyber criminals who were just waiting to steal my, yes, my identity…

This was my belief (in varying degrees) from about 1995-2008…I now know that:
1. The benefits of using the internet and a Personal Brand, far outweigh the miniscule chance of this info hurting us.
2. If these guys want personal info, it won’t be from your online presence. They’d dig much deeper. Being smart with your  private info will ensure it says safe and secure. No need to fear.

If you still fear being open online,
Better Get Over it, Quick…

I didn’t start a Facebook page until about 3 years ago…Don’t get me wrong, I’ve used the Internet from early on (back in the days of Netscape and 3web), though only for the odd painful web search…I’ve never been a gossiper, attention craver, stalker or voyeur (not much-I am human), so the social networks did nothing for me…It just wasn’t for me, I’d rather turn off the computer, pick up the guitar or a pencil, put on a cd and create something…

I can’t remember my exact words, something like, “You’ll all be sorry someday that you’re sharing personal information on the web, you’ll see, just you wait, mark my words”…
AS IF!
As if criminals were going to go through the trouble of taking my images and info, do something with it to try and steal from me…now I think this was the craziest human fear I’ve ever had (for those who are still feeling this, and I know there are millions of you, GET OVER IT!…be smart but not stagnant)

Man, was I wrong…
I was becoming like a stubborn old man…

Today, in 2012, I believe that you’re a fool if you don’t put yourself out there…It took quite a while, but I’m a new age man, open to change and very entrepreneurial…I now see the financial and business advantages in using the Internet to create a Personal Brand…

I bet nearly 100% of you reading this are way more active on Facebook, Twitter or other social media than I am, but
IS IT HELPING YOU?…
Is it PORTRAYING YOU as a PROFESSIONAL?
As someone SMART?

If you are Not Afraid Of Social Media…

Telling the world that you’re “craving a hamburger” or “succumb to chocolate” or “Just won special coins” or some other crap, is actually making others dumber, not smarter or better people…those kind of updates/posts/tweets are vain, and in my view, muddying society

If you Are Afraid Of Social Media…

Take control of your psyche, please, not for me but for yourself…start using this amazing medium we have in our time (the internet) to TEACH SOMETHING to others…Don’t waste what you know, because everyone’s a pro at something, and the world will be a better place if you do…You’ll feel great and you can make money doing it…
Google some self help/education, it’s free. You don’t have to enroll in an expensive school or course.

Just do
A   Bit   Each   Day…

Start your new life today, at your computer, in your underwear…
Seriously.

Clint .