Saturday Musings - Integrity

For the past week and a bit I’ve been working my way through the “joys” of Influenza Type A. When your body has integrity, everything seems to function just right and work is a great reward in itself. When there is an invader like Influenza, everything gets out of kilter…..in a similar manner people can get out of balance with their ethics.

A number of years ago I was asked to mediate between two friends that were having a shouting match about who should pay their landlord $300. It was at lunchtime and I calmly ate my meal while I listened to the both of them really go at it.

I finally got up and said, “You both disgust me.”

They both turned to me and asked, “Why?”

“Because you value the friendship at $300.”

I then walked out…..so much for mediation.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy to help different parties out when there is a genuine dispute over a matter. When people value friendship at so little then it makes anything that I would say as completely irrelevant. These people have much bigger problems than $300.

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At the recent Namescon conference I was speaking to a few guys that jointly owned a large domain portfolio. At the end of the conversation we shook hands on a deal and everything was great. Over the next few weeks they dodged phone calls and avoided replying to emails….obviously, their word was not their bond.

I don’t mind if people get a better offer….this sometimes happens in business but don’t avoid talking to the party that you’ve made an agreement with. If there is a problem then speak with them straight away….otherwise, you end up just looking like an idiot and a person that lacks integrity.

I was recently speaking to one of my kids and they were faced with an opportunity that could have saved them literally thousands of dollars with no one knowing. For some stupid reason they got me involved and they asked, “What should I do? No one will know.”

I immediately replied, “But you’ll know.”

There’s no such thing as “no one knowing”….it just depends how much you’re willing to ignore your conscious and sell you’re integrity for.

My business partner and I had a coffee at a local shop and we were so focused on our conversation that we just got up and left without paying the bill. The next day we discovered our error and I made the journey to the shop to fix up our bill. The coffee shop owner was stunned that anyone would make a special trip to pay for their coffee…..I didn’t want to know that I’d just sold my integrity for the price of a coffee.

Integrity is as much about being true to yourself then being a bit of a showman to those people around you. It’s being able to look in the mirror and like the person that is staring back at you.

The benefits of leading a life of integrity are multitude. When you sit down and talk with me I’ll tell you things straight. I won’t lie, shake your hand on a deal and then renege. If I can’t tell you something then I won’t. I’m entirely disinterested in short-term relationships which means that I’m committed to developing our relationship into the long-term. You should have the confidence that you’re dealing with someone that respects you and just as importantly, takes it very seriously when asked to look after your assets.

The benefits to me are incredible. I end up doing business with some really great people. I’ve known many of them for well over a decade and had the pleasure of seeing their children grow up. I don’t have to remember which lie I told to whom….I just tell the truth….it’s so much easier! If something goes wrong then we discuss the issue together and work on resolving the problem together.

I have people ask me what’s the secret of running a successful business and I tell them it’s really hard but also really simple. Live a life of integrity and you’ll attract the right customers that stand with you rather than war against you.

The result of this mindset has been that my own company, ParkLogic, has continued to grow year after year. Every client has a line directly to me. If there is a problem I want to get it resolved as quickly as possible. I also like hearing about the good news as well!

I would like to say that I get it right all of the time….but I don’t. I make blunders and the wrong decisions on a regular basis but I would like to think that I make amends, learn from the experience and move on. Living a life of integrity is not a destination but a journey of constant self-improvement. It’s working on the little things and learning to enjoy the simple satisfaction from doing what is right.

Like my Influenza Type A, knowing that you’ve just done the wrong thing can begin to eat away at you…..trust me when I say that it’s not worth it. When I got sick I went to the doctor to get checked out….who do you go to when you damage your integrity? Everyone needs someone.

Have a great weekend!

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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. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

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Saturday Musings - A Sad Tale

I was talking to a 20 year old at a party last night. I generally enjoy getting enthused by young people as they tend to have a really different outlook on the world which inspires me to new ideas. In the case of the young man, it was really sad to see that his life completely revolved around doing absolutely nothing. Nothing isn’t strictly true, as he sits in front of the television watching movies or playing games all day. Doh!

I love life and just wished that I had more hours in each day to do all the incredible things that seem to come my way….so to say the least, I was a little flummoxed during the conversation. His speech was slow, he moved slowly and everything about him seemed to be just plain slow. There was nothing wrong with is faculties but he had just ground down to a halt.

I tried to get him excited about doing Youtube videos or a blog about something that he was interested in. He told me that they were awesome ideas but when I looked in his eyes I saw that he was going to do absolutely nothing.

In the end I said to him, “I’d never ask you to do anything for me.”

He replied, “Why not?”

I said, “Because you’re not busy.”

It was his turn to be a little confused so I expanded on what I meant by saying, “In my experience, if I want something done then I give it to a busy person. They add it to their list of things to do and it gets done. People with a lot of time on their hands tend to push things off to the next day.”

As I looked into the young man’s eyes I could see a light bulb suddenly turn on in understanding. And just as quickly it looked like the dimmer switch had been wound back. There was nothing…..absolutely nothing there.

What’s amazing is that it’s actually quite easy to become a successful person online and make a whole lot of money. All you have to do is create at least three blogs or videos per week for about five years. Over time you’ll build up a lot of content that Google just loves and you will gain a following.

The problem with many people is that they give up after the first few months. I’ve been writing my own blog for over ten years and during that time I’ve built up a lot of readers. The challenge is to constantly provide quality content that readers want to read…..if you disrespect your readership in this manner then don’t expect them to hang around.

This is actually a really good lesson for young people. It’s rare that anything happens quickly….good things take time and perseverance. The problem with the instant generation is that they expect to become an instant hit immediately and get despondent when it doesn’t happen.

My book Battleframe took me around 20 months to write and publish. My company, ParkLogic has been in business for over 8 years. As I mentioned, I’ve been writing my blog for around 10 years and been in the domain industry for around 14 years.

Sure, I’d love instant success with any one of the new business ideas that I’m trying out but I’m also realistic in that I know that it just takes time. Some people think that it’s luck that determines success. Golfer Arnold Palmer said, “It’s amazing how lucky I seem to get the more that I practice.”

Have a great weekend!

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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. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

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Guest — Mike K
Good point about not giving up. You are absolutely right - I have met many people who have pretty good ideas but give up when the ... Read More
02 August 2015
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Saturday Musings - Rowing is a Pain

I made the big decision this week to purchase a rowing machine. After using it I’m sure that it’s one of those devices of torture that was first inspired by the Roman galleys that used to ply the Mediterranean Sea. I could have sworn that I heard the beating of the slave master’s drum as I pulled back on each stroke.

So why did I part with some of my hard cold cash for such a device? It’s really simple. Like many domainers I end up sitting in front of my PC for endless hours each day. It’s a sure fire way to increase weight, reduce health and lower my overall enjoyment of life. According to the salesman that sold me my rowing machine he said that I will feel so much better for having it…..but there is just one problem, I have to use it.

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If I’d purchased the machine and gazed lovingly at it for hour after hour then it wouldn’t do me any good at all. I could tell all my friends about my new gym equipment and wax lyrical about how I’m on my way to becoming an Adonis (I wish!) but nothing would happen until I actually used it. This is really similar to business.

I’ve heard lots of great plans by people explaining in detail how they are going to make a fortune doing this and that. Some of them even had a deck of powerpoint slides and a cashflow (only some of them) that proved they were going make a lot of cash. The one thing that they forgot was that they actually had to execute on the plan. Talk is cheap, results speak volumes.

In a similar manner, I’ve had a lot of different companies want ParkLogic to integrate them into our platform so that they can get access to our large volumes of traffic. What they are really telling me is that they want me to spend a whole lot of money to help them earn advertising dollars.

I’m polite but I would much rather talk to them in 12 months’ time and see if they are still in business. Why should I spend money trying to help them and only to discover that they aren’t in business a few months later? If they were smart they would put $10K+ down on the table and say, “Here’s the money for the integration.” The chance of me diverting the team to do what they asked has now increased dramatically.

Starting any business is hard, hard work. I’ve founded a heap of them and not once have I thought, “That was just so easy!” Like my rowing machine, I can talk about a new venture until the cows come home but nothing will happen until I actually do something.

So many domainers talk about developing domains out. My advice is to stop talking and start doing. The first site will likely be a mess but you will have learned heaps!

Anyway, I think that I hear the drums beating and my task master calling….cheers!

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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. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

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Recent Comments
Guest — t
put your big screen TV in front of your rowing Machine and play first person view of water rapids and other similar videos. just a... Read More
05 July 2015
Guest — 4th of July!
try putting your big screen TV in front of the machine and play a first person view of someone going through the water rapids, or ... Read More
05 July 2015
mgilmour
What I great idea! LOL....although I'm not sure that it would be a good idea to provide my wife with a whip. LOL!
05 July 2015
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Saturday Musings - From Pain to Gain

There’s nothing like a reworked root canal to stop you dead in your tracks. This week, through the auspices of my dentist, my body decided to take control of my mind and laid me up in bed with waves of headaches. To say wave’s makes it sound like they were lapping on the shore….it would be better to describe them more as tsunamis.

There is a good side to all of this. As well as a lot of sleep (got to love those pain meds) it gave me time to reflect on a multitude of vitally important topics. Such as, why the education system will teach my children calculus but not how to manage money. The next step in improving the sales of my book. Why the rain against the window seemed incessantly loud.

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In my delirium, I also contemplated why the dog in the first episode of “House of Cards” didn’t bite Kevin Spacey’s hand and give him rabies. How many jelly beans fit into the glass jar in the cupboard above my desk? Why is it that terrorists seem to keep on wanting to blow things up versus build something that lasts?

As you can see, my thinking was solving life’s big issues.

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Saturday Musings - Why My Cat Is a Genius!

Pepper, my cat, is a living, breathing genius! She’s got the whole world completely worked out, organised and constructed to obey her every whim and desire. If only life could be so wonderful for us two legged creatures.

For Pepper, morning starts with a nap followed by slowly strolling over to her bowl so that she can let the rest of the family eat with her (it’s never the other way around for cats).

Just think about it for a second….Pepper has arranged for her servants (ie. me) to fill her bowl with the very best quality food, clean water and provide regular treats of ham, chicken and the like. She doesn’t lift a paw to get this undivided attention. For thanks I have the privilege of her letting me give her a pat. Wouldn’t it be great if the local supermarket deposited our weekly groceries in the cupboard and thanked us by doing our hair as well!

After breakfast, it’s time for another sleep and so she finds the warmest place in the house and curls up. In the meantime, her servants are working their backsides off so that they can provide her with food and lodging. I’m not sure about you but the last time I checked my servants weren’t anywhere to be seen. Worse than that the bank, electric company and all seem to get quite upset when I decide to take a break, let alone a nap each day.

During the day Pepper wanders into my study to make sure that I’m working hard for her empire. Just to reinforce her control over me and to make sure that I’m not messing around with my time she curls up on the floor and pretends to be asleep. What an overlord!

In the evening Pepper then graciously agrees to climb onto my lap as long as I provide her with a scratch behind the ear….after all, it’s too beneath her to do it herself.

So I’ve finally had a brilliant business idea! I’m wanting to build a device that turns me not into a fly (like the movie) but a cat. They seem to have life completely worked out.

Have a great weekend!

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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. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

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Recent Comments
Guest — Jeff Schneider
Hello Michael, Its always a pleasurable joy and relief to read your Offerings. Thanks for blending Professionalism with Entertain... Read More
25 April 2015
mgilmour
Hi Jeff, Thank you for your kind comments....I must admit that Pepper provides an incredible amount of entertainment and fodder fo... Read More
26 April 2015
Guest — Louise
Have you ever messaged a person? On Pistachio, my cat, I use my thumb and first and second fingers to gently knead the scapula, wh... Read More
26 April 2015
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