What I'm pondering or thinking about at this time....

Saturday Musings - Your First Taste of Freedom

This past week I’ve had the pleasure of watching as one of my daughters achieved a milestone that she will never forget. She’d been working incredibly hard in multiple jobs and had managed to save up enough money to buy her first car.

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There’s something really special about your first car. Yes, in your late teens it represents the single biggest purchase you may have made in your life up until that date, but your first car is a lot more than just an asset. It represents a sense of new found freedom and that you’re beginning to cut the parental strings.

“What time will you be home?” is answered somewhat like, “When the car brings me.”

I remember my first car, it was a Mazda 1200. Sounds really sporty until you realise the 1200 stands for the size of the engine in millilitres. For those of you that aren’t enlightened about the wonders of the metric system and how everything ends in zero then this is about 2.536 pints. A simpler way of understanding the engine size is to imagine a reasonable sized motorbike engine and then say to yourself, “That looks about right.”

My first car cost me $200 and came with air conditioning. Well, sort of anyway. The floor was so rusted out that you would get a beautiful rush of air that tickled your toes as you drove down the road. This was great in summer but in winter it was miserable until I squashed a few coke cans down to cover the holes.

The driver seat was bent way back and so being an enterprising young man I built it up with some blankets so that I didn’t feel like I was in a recliner lounge as I drove down the road.

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mgilmour
Now I am green with envy! A Cessna 172!!!
12 August 2018
Rawgi
I would just love to have an old FJ40 about now. We didn't get any of those cars like you had in Australia. Interesting how we w... Read More
12 August 2018
Rawgi
I have had over 80+ cars and trucks , and motorcycles over the years, but my first was a 1954 Chevrolet 2 dr hardtop. Leaked oil... Read More
11 August 2018
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Saturday Musings - My Business Continues to Grow!

My new target market

It’s been a while since I’ve written about my new burgeoning business and I thought that it was about time I updated everyone with how it’s going. To say I’ve been busy is a bit of an understatement but first, let me provide you with a quick recap.

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Early this year I set myself the challenge of launching a new venture and it was an instant success with the target market. I had customers flocking in from all over the place wanting to get access to the services I was providing.

I then wrote about the fact that I planned on tackling a new target market. This is quite often a risky proposition for a new business as the expenditure of stretched resources could end up disrupting existing clients and sending the whole venture bankrupt.

I just knew in my gut that this new segment wasn’t being served adequately and with no market research whatsoever I decided to push into the unknown. After tweaking my services, a number of times I’m pleased to inform readers that it’s been a great success!

Of course, the business I’m talking about is about how to attract birds (the flying variety) to my yard and more importantly just out my study window. As can be seen from the above photo I’ve managed to get a flock of cockatoos as customers and one of them even allowed me to handfeed it.

I must admit it was a surreal moment as I slowly crept up to the beautiful bird and extended my hand with some seed in it. It felt like a complete endorsement of my whole business model….and that’s often what success is all about.

So what lessons did I learn along this perilous journey? For a start, when something wasn’t working I changed things up. For instance, the bird bath wasn’t in the right position and my fine feathered customers were ignoring it, so I moved it to a new location. Voila! Suddenly I had customers dive bombing the water in an effort to avail themselves of the service I was offering.

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Wolftalker
...are fab aren't they!
04 August 2018
mgilmour
It was a great experience feeding the cockatoos.
05 August 2018
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Saturday Musings - When the Cats Away...

For the last thirty-six hours I’ve been in a state of wifelessness. It just so happens that Roselyn went away on Friday afternoon to attend a conference with one hundred and sixty other women. It’s fair to say that when the cats been away the mouse has been playing…..playing some old school PC games that is!

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Just to reassure you, I made sure that I wore an appropriately dejected face as I kissed her good-bye and watched her drive off into the sunset. Once I was sure it was safe that I was out of her view I threw a few fist pumps into the air and immediately texted a bunch of friends that the LAN party was on!

Some may mistakenly believe that LAN stands for Ladies Away Night but in reality, it’s actually, Local Area Network. For those of you that have not experienced the joy of hosting a LAN party then let me assure you that it really should be on your bucket list.

At a LAN party everyone brings their laptops (used to be desktops but they’re just a pain to carry around), plugs them into a router and downloads whatever game we plan on playing.

Before the frivolity begins, drinks are brought out (always makes the evening better), pizzas ordered, and copious amounts of junk food littered around the table. Basically, we're systematically loading our bodies with as much sugar as we can possibly take so that we're wired for the nights entertainments.

So after we devoured the necessary calories we fired up Quake Arena 3. For those of you that don’t know what Quake is then I suggest you tear up whatever degree you have earned at college and get a real education. Quake was the foundation stone upon which all other first-person shooters have been built. If you like Call of Duty or Gears of War then you have Quake to thank for that.

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vanclute
Ahhhh the LAN party! I haven't done one of those since... oh jeez probably around 1986 or so? I don't count times I was at work ... Read More
22 July 2018
mgilmour
I don't know whether I can move over to the dark side of the PS4......LOL! You'll have to head downunder and we'll host a LAN part... Read More
23 July 2018
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My Business is Failing….What Now?

Have you ever had a time when you feel like your helpless? No matter what you do nothing seems to work and yet, those around you seem to be doing incredibly well. This is what it’s like to be in the grip of a business failing.

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Running a failing business is a scary proposition. There isn’t enough cash to pay all the bills and creditors start hounding you for money. You never know whether you should answer the phone or not because you’re not sure if it’s someone about to bring some business in or someone chasing you for an outstanding debt.

The stress levels at work increase dramatically and this often impacts loved ones as the days disasters spill over into home life. Is running a business supposed to be like this? Isn’t the reason why you’re working so hard is to provide a better life for your family?

If the business completely fails, then what is the outcome? Many people (especially males) tie their self-worth to their businesses and they end up getting more and more depressed as they scramble to save what is often unsaveable.

The first thing a business owner needs to realise is their self-worth has NOTHING to do with their business but has a LOT to do with their personal integrity while going through the tough time. The measure of a person is how they behave during adversity not how they act when things are going well.

Over the years I’ve helped a lot of business owners out and without exception they believe either;
1. A big deal that’s just on the horizon will solve their problems OR
2. If that investor just put a lot of money in then all will be good.

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Wolftalker
Good advice.
14 July 2018
Rawgi
I will agree Good advice. Can't ever feel too good to eat some humble pie and roll back to square 1. It actually makes you stron... Read More
14 July 2018
mgilmour
Robin, great to hear from you. I hope your colleagues come through their troubles and that I was able to help out in some small wa... Read More
15 July 2018
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How to Exchange Stress for Peace

We live in a hyperpaced fast world and surrounded by so many distractions that no wonder many of us feel under increasing levels of stress. So how can you reduce your levels of stress and return to that subline state of enjoying life?

Escrow.com

The age of the smartphone compounded the numbers of distractions coming through to us as Instagram, Facebook, emails, texts, skype etc. poured in and demanded our attention…..not to mention the alerts from the various newsfeeds and games we may be playing. Our smart devices are wonderful servants but really bad masters.

I was recently having a meeting with a person who was constantly looking at their phone (I really do mean constantly). Every beep, blip or brrrrring seemed to instantly demand their attention so much that I wondered why I was there.

In one of their “moments” of screen time I pulled my own phone out and texted them a message. It said, “Let me know when you’re available for the meeting.” Sure enough, their phone beeped with my message and as was their habit they looked at it.

They were really embarrassed by my text but after putting their phone away we had an interesting discussion about how the phone has increased their levels of stress. I suggested they could make the decision to control their phone rather than the other way around.

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Wolftalker
Brilliant!
08 July 2018
Rawgi
These days phones are used for babysitters , ( do you really know what your kids are doing on the phone?) and trending, and much ... Read More
12 July 2018
Rawgi
I can remember a friend that had no phone at all. Her father eventually put a pay phone in the house, ( remember pay phones? ), ... Read More
13 July 2018
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