Saturday Musings - Thinking is Not Overrated

Saturday Musings - Thinking is Not Overrated

There’s nothing like a vacation to renew flagging spirits and get you energised for the new year. For the past week, my wife Roselyn and I have been enjoying the many activities that Queenstown, New Zealand has to offer.

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I’ve been an entrepreneur all of my life and one of the things that I value the most is taking some time out to assess whether what I’m doing is really what I should continue to do. It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind that you forget to actually work on your business rather than in it.

When I go on vacation I like to take some time out to think about what I’m doing and if it still makes sense. I’m away from the noise of skype, emails, instant messenger, facebook, twitter etc. It’s just me staring at the horizon and thinking. It typically takes me a few hours to clear my head before I can let my mind drift through all of the things I’m currently doing with my life.

Why drift? I’m not trying to nut out a problem but rather get a sense for what makes me feel the most fulfilled. For me, I find that it’s best just to let my mind almost lazily move from one thought to another.

It never ceases to amaze me that during this process great new ideas form and a revitalisation of my internal drive occurs. Previously invisible links between business activities, clients and new ventures begin to take shape as I really begin to think. I find that many business people are so busy doing stuff that they forget to think……let me assure you that thinking is not an overrated activity.

I’m writing this blog on the return journey from my vacation and I must admit that I’m feeling pretty good. I have a renewed sense of purpose and 2017 is looking to be a great year. So watch out, NamesCon is just over a week away and I’m all fired up!

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Saturday Musings - The Entitled Generation...

Saturday Musings - The Entitled Generation...

If I was to describe the current generation of late teens to twenties in one word it would have to be “entitled”. They believe that everything should be served up to them in a pretty box with a bow on top and heaven forbid they actually have to work for it.

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This blog is inspired from a recent experience I had speaking with a twenty-one year old that couldn’t understand why they should pay board to their parents. Without even talking to their parents they’d made a series of decisions which meant they would have a reduced (not zero) income. They believed it was their parents responsibility to continue to support their lifestyle. Go figure?

When I quizzed them about this they cried, “It’s just not fair!”

I immediately responded, “Fair to whom?”

The response was a grumbled, muted reply.

During the last ten years, my generation has largely pampered (there are exceptions) this current crop of young adults. We build idiot proof interfaces for apps, provide them with miraculous technology and ensure the little darlings ego is continuously stroked.

I’m not sure what it is like in other countries but in Australia the education system has tried to eliminate all competition because it may adversely impact a child’s development. I’m not a child psychologist but seriously? These same “children” that have been brought up in cotton wool protective environments are now hitting their twenties.

Like children, they throw a temper tantrum when they can’t immediately step into a senior management role. The shock they go through when everyone older looks at them as if they are some sort of bazaar creature doesn’t even register. Throwing a tantrum worked all through school but the real world doesn’t put up with that behaviour.

The same generation wants everything now and they don’t care how much credit they need to use to get it. They don’t have any sense of patience and saving…..why should they when in one person’s case the bank provided a massive credit card to spend up on.

So this blog is a little bit of a rant but here’s the challenge for my generation…..we provide goods and service to these “brats”. There is an opportunity but make sure you get the cash before anything.

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all those readers of Whizzbangsblog a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I would also like to say thank you to all those companies that have sponsored my blog over the last twelve months. Your continued support has inspired me to keep on writing about domains and business on the Internet.

In particular, I would like to highlight:

It’s with a sense of sadness and loss in my heart that I approach Christmas this year. A few days ago, Pepper, my feline friend of 16 years, passed away. She was a great friend that was the subject of many Saturday Musings over the years.

When I was working late at night she would come and curl up on the carpet next to me. At some point she would nudge me with her nose, hoping for a scratch behind the ears and to let me know it was time to stop working.

Whenever I went away on business my wife told me Pepper would sit in my study and look out the window waiting for my return. When I finally arrived back home she would scold me in a very cat-like fashion until she allowed me to give her a bit of a pat again….after all, I didn’t get her permission to leave the house.

We normally wrap a present for Pepper and stick it under the tree….typically, it’s her turkey dinner. Sadly, this year we’re not going to be doing that. Although there is a sense of loss I know she is lazing away in the sun in cat heaven.

So in memory of Pepper I would like to highlight a number of past blogs where she featured:

What a CATastrophe

Saturday Musings – Why My Cat Is a Genius!

Saturday Musings – Why Cats Are Geniuses

Saturday Musings – Being Obedient To Our Masters

Saturday Musings – When Someone Spoils Your Week….

I hope you enjoy reading those articles as much as I did writing them.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Michael Gilmour

PS. I will be taking until the new year off writing.....so see you in 2017.

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Saturday Musings - Virtual Reality Has Come of Age

Saturday Musings - Virtual Reality Has Come of Age

I’d finally done it! I’d made it through a tumultuous week to Friday. I’m not really sure why Friday’s are so special, but for me, around 6pm yesterday was one of the happiest times of the week.

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So why was Friday so special? It just so happens that earlier in the week I’d finally received my Oculus Touch Virtual Reality (VR) controllers to go with my headset. It’s been a busy time of year and all week I’ve been staring at them in their box while I coded away…..sigh…..

Yesterday, I ceremoniously removed them from their awesome packaging (it really was) set them up and took them for a spin. For those of you that are wondering, each of the VR controllers are like a sawn off X-box controller that you hold in each hand.

When I donned my headset the first thing that I noticed were my hands. They were floating in the air in front of me! When I moved my arm then my virtual hands followed. I could reach out and grab things, throw them or bring them closer to inspect them in more detail. It was like a dream come true…..I had hands!

The controllers came with a couple of games and I pointed to one of them (yes, you can point with your VR hands) to fire it up. The next thing I knew I was being taken through a tutorial on how to have combat by flinging magical fireballs at an opponent. All the time I was doing the action with my real hands and watched as my VR hands enveloped in flames before the ball of flame shot through the air.

Bringing my left arm up and squeezing my fist spawned a glowing shield that I could manoeuvre to block my opponents attacking spells. It wasn’t long before I was teleporting across platforms, shooting fireballs and dodging attacks…..simply incredible. All from the safety of my study.....thank goodness!

I finally exited the game and pointed to the Sports game. Basketball involved throwing the ball to your team mates, catching the ball and then trying to make a score. It was a bit difficult at first but I got into the swing of it in the end.

My favourite sports game was hockey…..maybe due to growing up northern Canada has something to do with it. I played the goalie, defending my goal with a glove in one hand and a hockey stick in the other. Watching the opposition pass the puck back and forth and then suddenly slapshotting it straight at me gave a real impression of the speed a goalie must have to stop scores.

 With every save the crowd roared their approval and adrenalin surged through my body. I began to really feel like I was there and I couldn’t help yelling at the opposition as I got into the spirit of the game. Thank goodness, I was home by myself otherwise I think my family would’ve thought I’d completely lost it.

It’s clear to me that VR is the future of entertainment, education and business communication. The touch controls are the next step in an immersive direction and I’m sure it won’t be long until we’re wearing tactile feedback gloves. For those of you with VR based domain names…..I think you’re on a winner….they just need a little more time.

If you have an Oculus Rift setup then feel free to friend me (my username is whizzbang…of course) as I would love to fly in a squadron of space fighters around asteroids with you.

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Saturday Musings – The Secret Power of Entrepreneurs

Saturday Musings – The Secret Power of Entrepreneurs

I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life. I started my first business when I was sixteen years old and now thirty-four years later I’m still at it. Along this journey, I’ve learned a number of things about being an entrepreneur and the very first of them is the power you have in making decisions.

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Sadly, I’ve found that many people opt out of making decisions and they effectively let the world make them for them. They make the trade-off between financial security and doing that thing they dream of always pursuing. As the year’s tumble by and their obligations creep upwards the dream becomes ever more elusive.

The gap between them taking the leap of faith is actually within their hands but the terror of wondering if something went wrong halts them from taking the first step. I often wonder what is more terrifying? Failing in the pursuit of a dream or living with the regret of never tried.

I’m not advocating “leaping where angels fear to tread” but some people just need to make the decision to go for it! Get good sound advice, do everything you can to minimise the downside and work like the blazes at your dream.

If you find that it was a bit of a “pipe dream” then don’t blindly continue down the road of ruin but make another decision to pivot your business into an avenue that looks more promising. Too many people follow a business plan to the absolute letter rather than treating it as a living breathing entity that changes as you learn more about your service offering, customers, suppliers, and products.

The secret power of an entrepreneur is they can decide the direction for their company. It all hinges on whether they have the gumption to face reality and plot a new course. This is sometimes a little disheartening and it can be a little embarrassing sharing with your friends a change in direction…..but then again you are responsible for your own destiny and there is nothing more liberating than that!

I recently went to the bank (a very frustrating experience) where they were offering me a better deal on some of their products. Everything was going well in the conversation until I informed them that I was self-employed. Suddenly they wanted all sorts of paperwork, accounts, and whatnot before they would move on anything.

I’ve been through this process many times before and it drives me crazy. I said to the manager, I have more job security than you do. She looked blankly back at me, not comprehending what I was saying.

I said, for over thirty years I’ve managed to build a number of successful businesses and I’ve proven that I know how to make money. What you don’t know is that there has just been a decision by the banks board to shed 10% of the work force and that you are one of them. So now who has more control over their financial wellbeing? I looked on as comprehension dawned in her expression. She got my point.

When you make a decision to follow your dream you are in the driver’s seat. Assuming you are building a successful venture no one can fire you, tell you to stay back late or deny your planned vacation. What you will discover is that running your own business is the first decision that will spawn a daily litany of decisions. The power is in your hands…..be the entrepreneur you’ve always dreamed you could be.

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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