Saturday Musings - It Is Finished!

Saturday Musings - It Is Finished!

I’ve finally completed the final rewrite of my debut science fiction book, Battleframe, in the Mindwars series. I’ve paid an editor to read the manuscript and mark any obvious errors. This should be completed later this week.......so hopefully it won't be long until I have my finished manuscript ready for publishing. Hooray!!!

My wife, Roselyn, happening to be sitting next to me at the time I and I turned to her and said, “It’s finally done.” I don’t know who was more relieved, her or me!

Escrow.com

It’s been a twenty month journey getting to this stage and it seems that the last 10% of the book has been the hardest and most time consuming to complete. For those of you that are wondering, Battleframe is around 110,000 words....it's a decent size.

So what has to happen now? After the editor comes back with any fixes (hopefully not too many) I’ll use a standard paperback template provided by Create Space (an Amazon company). I’ve already purchased my ISBN numbers so I’ll add them to the document for the electronic and the paperback version of the book.

I just have to clean up my biography, rework the blurb on the back and ensure that the artwork is good to go for the cover. I think that there will only be a few tweaks here and there for these items.

Once the book is actually published I need to update my Amazon author profile, website (michaelgilmour.com) and let everyone know that it’s available. I have a very modest marketing campaign ready to go and with any luck I’ll get a few positive reviews.

OK, here is the shameless plug…..I would like to encourage everyone to please sign-up to michaelgilmour.com and participate in the forum. You can ask questions about me, the book, characters, plot or just about anything! The more the merrier. I’m also making available restricted content of maps, diagram and sneak previews for anyone that signs-up.

Fingers crossed that the editor won’t be too horrible to the manuscript. Cheers!

---------------------------------------------------

Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face.

2139 Hits

Saturday Musings - How to Always Win

Saturday Musings - How to Always Win

My daughter Elise had her first game of netball for the season on Saturday. For those of you that don’t know what netball is, it’s like basketball with no backboard and you can’t dribble. She played brilliantly and the whole team just seemed to come together so they ended up winning.

I’ve heard many parents (myself included) fall into the trap of saying to their children. Winning isn’t important, it’s the fact that you play the game. There is a certain amount of truth to this statement but if winning isn’t important for the little darlings then why do we keep score? As parents, we think that are kids are so stupid that they don’t realise the fallacy of our encouragement.

Escrow.com

The fact is that in life winning IS important. It’s important because it inspires you to try harder, push the limits and think through problems.

Could you imagine if Alexander Fleming, who developed the antibiotic penicillin, just pottered along rather than strive to do something that had never been done before? Or how about, Gordon Moore that developed the first microprocessor with Andy Grove at Intel. My guess is that we’d all still be on 4 bit computers.

The whole essence of our education system is to ultimately produce people that do doctorates (plus educate the masses). Doctorates are only awarded to individuals that have broken new ground for the whole of humanity. They aren’t just playing the game, they’re playing to win in their field of study. By the way….there is no reason why you have to be at university to win the equivalent of a “doctorate”.

My wife and I were chatting over breakfast and I was telling her that we are setting some new records at ParkLogic. In passing I mentioned that I was looking towards the next goal. She asked if I was ever going to be happy. Of course I’m happy I responded, I’m happy that I can now push onwards even further.

I love goals because they determine whether I’m winning or losing. I’m not comparing myself to other people (that is really wrong), I’m comparing myself to me. My goals inspire me forward and get the creative juices firing to push past problems and challenges. They are inspiring.

I’ve used the term losing quite a lot in this article but I think that I should say that I actually don’t believe in losing. You see, losing is a mindset. You only lose if you haven’t learned.

For example, when my kids brought home the results from a maths test then I’d talk about the questions where they’d lost not where they had won. So if they achieved an 80% result then we would rejoice in the 80% and work on the 20%. This means the “loss” really isn’t a “loss” at all. It’s a learning opportunity. What’s the point in focusing on the 80% that you already know when you need to learn about the 20%?

If you approach losing as an opportunity to learn then losing suddenly becomes a “win”. This is REALLY important. In life, you can never lose if you truly believe that everything is an opportunity to learn. Granted, sometimes this is tough to do but it’s better than getting depressed.

In business, profit is your scoreboard. If you don’t have any profit then many people think you’re losing. It’s better to think of it as an opportunity to learn, be creative and get that scoreboard turned around.

Winning all the time is actually a big trap. What many people do in business is continuously repeat what they are doing, over and over again until when? Until they fail. What’s the point of innovating if you’re winning? So learning isn’t just for when you lose it’s also when you’re winning.

Andy Grove of Intel coined the phrase, “Only the paranoid survive.” He wasn’t trying to say that we all need to become mental basket cases….he was trying to emphasize that in an innovative industry you had to constantly reinvent yourself whether you’re losing or winning.

So let’s bring this all back to the domain industry. For many years, traffic monetisation was like picking gold up off the ground. It was everywhere! Everyone was winning and partying like there was no tomorrow.

Now look at where we are. Payouts are dramatically less and if you go onto any of the forums people are complaining that PPC revenue is doomed. The majority of domain traffic owners are basically doing the same thing today as they were five years ago…..I hate to say it but you’ve continued to do what was successful in the past until you’re now losing.

There are a few domainers that began to innovate and try different things. They dug shafts 3 miles deep into the earth to find the seam of gold to monetise their traffic better. I know a number of these individuals, they halted the downturn and even increased their earnings. While the majority of the industry was complaining these individuals were innovating. They then picked up a lot of portfolios for a song! Paying a multiple on the depressed prices and monetising at higher than 5 years ago rates.

Yes, the fact that you’re playing the game is important. You can’t win without playing but let’s never lose sight of the fact that you should be playing to win. My advice is to use “losing” as an opportunity to learn and try something different so that you can view every loss as a win! Who knows where this new mindset will lead you…..

2709 Hits

Looking for Work….

Looking for Work….

My son, Timothy is looking for work and I suggested he may like to write content for websites. If you need of an incredibly talented writer that can write articles on just about any topic then I’d highly recommend him.

Timothy is half way through a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in performance and writing. For the past couple of months he’s been working on his first novel that is based upon his experiences when he took a “gap year” from studying last year. He plans on publishing the book later this year.

Please contact me here (and I’ll connect you with Tim) if you have need of an excellent writer that is prepared to work on a fixed fee per article basis. Below are a few pages from his novel that feature his unique flare for writing.

 

Extract from the first few pages of Tim's Book

To tell you the truth the story begins on an unremarkable day in June. The chill of the season had not quite set in yet and it could be considered a ‘nice day’ despite the brisk breeze and scattered clouds. Most of the local residents decided to walk about, arms pumping or steadily guiding leashed dogs as if to get in enough exercise before the rains, storms and frosts set in.

In the town there was a broad jetty that separated the town from the water. The Charlotte Corday along with other trawlers moored here year round. The wharf was broad and bare with broken bottles decorating the wooden boards. These remnants of last Saturday night crunched underfoot and slipped between the woodwork to decorate the calm water like stardust.

Peter scanned the docks. He had spent the morning reading and felt like today was the day for success. Whilst patient and optimistic the young man had his concerns when the cash ran low and the meals became plain. He considered himself a guy who could appreciate the simple pleasures, especially those of the flesh. Lately he’d been fantasizing about a medium steak served with pepper sauce, chips and a pint of draught. A feature of the dream would be a pretty girl who stole enough chips to be endearing but not so many to leave Peter starving. She would also insist that they get dessert and wine.

It was around noon when Peter marched up to the skipper who crouched over a steel cable. Peter had blown into the fishing town in the last storm and like any traveller had tried to find work where he could.All previous leads had informed him there was no work to be found in town. They then added th

at there’s “always the fishing boats” like a sorry waiter stating that the restaurant was out of food aside from the complimentary bread rolls.

But that’s what the self-titled vagabond wanted to do of course.

The kid was from the city but whether it was too many storybooks or not enough study Peter decided one day to adventure the lesser-known shires of Australia looking for the oddest of odd jobs. The young bloke looked promising, like the kind of person you would hire on a whim.

Employers would say they could imagine enjoying beers with him twenty-odd years in the future should he stay with their company that long.

Precisely nothing like the characters he would soon be working with.

“So you want to go out on the Charlotte?” grunted Skipper Jonno after the formal request was made, albeit stiffly by Peter. He barely looked up from his work splicing two metal cables together but that brief look assessed a soft one. Jonno prided himself on being able to determine the worth of a man with nothing more than a glance.

“I was told the Charlotte Corday was the hardest ship around”

Skipper grunt-chuckled in amusement, his smile mostly comprised of the discolored gums of a lifelong loyal smoker. He was dirty, bearded and barefoot.

A perfect image of a fisherman.

It was the crazed eyes that gave away his seniority as a skipper. Whether it was too many hours spent scanning the waves or something inherited from birth didn’t particularly matter. Everyone said you had to be nuts or a hopeless case to make a career out of fishing. You either needed to be the son of a fisherman, angry at the world or with no other options.

Skipper’s eyes drilled into the cable he was working on.

Now if this sort of crazy was in the eyes of a woman it might suggest she was the type to divorce a man after decades of marriage.

She calculated her monetary entitlement whilst her husband slept happily in front of the TV every night.

She organized detailed attack plans with a lawyer months before the declaration of war.

She put her clipped toenails in his dinner.

When the court date rolled around the poor bastard would be left sweating in the booth wondering why he married a psychopath whilst his balding lawyer informed him “this is the best we can do unless you relinquish your claim on the dog.”

But this sort crazy in the eyes of a man just past his prime sends the message that he wouldn’t ask anyone to do what he wouldn’t do himself. Following this logic he could calmly assign the most insane of the dangerous tasks. Jonno was the kind to casually tie knots on the bow during a storm cursing the fact that if wasn’t for the drizzle he would be able to smoke a dart. Tales behind fleshy scars and of pub brawls included with any conversation or upon request.

Peter swallowed in anticipation. For a number of days he strolled up and down the jetty calling out for work just like those people down at the fisherman’s co-op had told him to do. It was the opposite of finding a city job. No wanted signs, no collared shirts and certainly no online applications. It was unorthodox, it was foolhardy and it was perfect.

“Right mate you’re on for this trip. We head out tonight at five, remember to bring warm clothes.” Said Skipper Jonno

“No problem see ya then,” Peter replied. There’s a unique type of bafflement experienced when given something you expect to be rejected from. The skipper paused and so Peter turned to leave.

“Hold on a minute”

“Yeah?”

“You have any experience on a trawler before?”

Peter thought it odd that the interview should come after being accepted.

“I did a day’s scalloping trip a weekend ago but that was just for tucker”

“Jake’s boat? He loves those tucker trips,”

“Yeah”

Jonno sucked his teeth and shook his head.

Only idiots worked for nothing. But the only way for idiots to become less than idiots was to sell themselves for nothing.

“The Estonian boys are good blokes aren’t they?” Jonno looked up, dumping the fid on the jetty and wiping his hands on an already greasy rag.

Peter nodded and grinned; the two backpackers were hard workers and even harder drinkers. After his first and last trip the three of them polished off enough vodka to make the usually robotic pair explain in depth the ins and outs of the Estonian military service.

“I take it you don’t get seasick then?”

“I’m a bit off on the first day or two and then I’m all good.” Peter answered. This was perhaps the question he was most prepared for. Everyone in the small town asked it from the savvy bartender at the pub to the most clueless clerk at the information building. It was the number one conversational icebreaker for fishing town residents.

Tags:
2078 Hits

Saturday Musings - It's My Birthday!

Saturday Musings - It's My Birthday!

Tomorrow is my birthday! I find I’m so privileged to lead a life that is exciting, at times challenging but always interesting. As I breathe the fresh air of another year I think that this one’s going to be absolutely awesome. Why is that?

For a start, my wife has given me an absolutely brilliant present….time to finish my scifi book “Battleframe”. Today is the day that I really do hope to finish the final read through and then it’s off to be published. Feel free to visit my author’s website at michaelgilmour.com to register and get the announcement when you can buy it on Amazon. :-)

The domain business is booming! My domain management company, ParkLogic, is experiencing really rapid growth and at long last we are nearly at the end of an 18 month development cycle. I’m so looking forward to seeing the new platform in action.

Escrow.com

Those items above are great but do you know what’s even better? My family is all home and the love of my wife and kids is really what spurs me onwards. Tim is saving up to go travel through Europe, Sarah is studying to become a film/tv makeup artist and Elise is nearing the end of high school (Dad’s helping her with maths).

I must mention that my wife, Roselyn is growing her own business (kandycakes.com.au) and is having a great time decorating cakes and cookies. Just looking at her happily making her amazing creations puts a smile on my face and sometimes incredible flavours in my mouth!

So tomorrow is my birthday and we’re going to have a great family breakfast together. This will be followed by a few friends around to share some wine, cheese and fruit while we enjoy perfect weather in the backyard.

I have incredible friends all over the world from the domain industry that I would love to have around to my house and celebrate my birthday. You are really special people that I’ve known for many, many years. Let me say that you will be there tomorrow in my heart. Thank-you one and all for being a part of the last 12 months of my life.

---------------------------------------------------

Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face.

Tags:
1906 Hits

The Road Less Travelled

The Road Less Travelled

Each one of us is travelling on our life’s road. Sometimes it feels like the open freeway and you’ve got your right foot firmly planted on the accelerated while other times you feel like your four wheel driving and dodging potholes.

In my own life I’ve had many off-road journeys and most of them were times that I really don’t want to repeat. For example, I woke up one day to discover that I was not going to be paid $1.5 million that I was due. That was a moment that I’ll never forget… When I look at my time in the domain industry I must admit that I feel like it’s been the open road the whole way…..got to love domains!

Escrow.com

In my times in Los Angeles I’ve learned a number of things about getting from point A to point B. It’s either 20 minutes or 3 hours, depending upon the traffic. If your life feels like you’re in the middle of an LA traffic jam and every light seems to be red then this is my recommendation.

Take the road less travelled. Take the side streets and back streets….don’t stay in the jam. In other words, if you can’t get through your problems then go around them.

I see people stuck in traffic jams in their businesses all the time. They believe that if they just keep on doing what they are doing long enough then something will break for them. This may be the case, but you may want step back and take a look at why your business has reached an impasse. I’m all for persistence but I don’t believe in keeping on doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result. It’s easy to be so busy working in your business that you completely forget to work on your business.

For example, about 18 months ago both my ParkLogic business partner and I took a step back to more fully understand what was happening in the domain industry. With the knowledge that we had gained over the last 8 years we made the huge decision to invest in rebuilding our entire platform from the ground up. ParkLogic is now positioned to take advantage of the changes that will be made shortly to mobile advertising.

My wife knows that every couple of years I get really irritable and just plain unpleasant to live with. After being married for 28 years she now kindly ushers me out of the house and tells me to go and do some thinking and get a fresh sense of “rightness” about life.

I typically go down the beach with a notepad and pen, sit and watch the sunset and just think. I get away from the freeways and just park my “life’s car” on the side of the road. I think about where my family is headed, businesses, investments and finally what I’m doing to become a better person.

It’s a lot of introspection but after a day or so I return home refreshed, reinvigorated and with a smile on my face…..much to Roselyn’s relief!

So what’s on my notepad? Typically a lot of action statements and tasks. Things such as, take my daughters out on a date, spend more time with a particular friend going through a rough time, donate my time to a particular worthy cause, investigate domain sales platforms, finish book two of my scifi series, make sure that I ride my bike each day, go on a diet (I hate that one), investigate a new technology to add value to ParkLogic clients and the list goes on and on.

Now that the items are written down I feel that I don’t have to worry about them but just work through each of them and get them ticked off the list…..it’s much less stressful for me. I can then pull my life’s car out of the viewing area and back into the fray.

The danger with driving your life’s car without taking some time out for a few checks is that you could end up either broken down or in a crash. Being broken down typically results in trying to get some help from a friend but if you’re involved in a crash then it can be a lot more serious. So take some time-out to take stock of your life prior to racing down the road.

I have a few questions for you. Where’s your car going? Are you stressed? Are you powering down a road that leads to nowhere? When was the last time you just stopped and took a hard look at your life? These questions and many others like them are ultimately what drives us forward….my advice is to make sure you get the answers before your car is damaged.

---------------------------------------------------

Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face.

Tags:
2078 Hits