Category Archives: Psychology

America is Easy for Entrepreneurs

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”  –  Thomas Jefferson

Yes things are tough right now….

I understand it’s hard at the moment for many to find a job.  I even understand that it is now a tad bit more difficult than usual  for many to become wildly successful.  But ……there’s nothing like a good challenge and a little bit of adversity to test the human spirit.  What I see is a great many that are still waiting for the bottom of this market or the bottom of that market before they make their move, I see many waiting for things to get better before they begin to move forward and make things better, and worse of all, I see a great many who are waiting for a type of permission to dream again.

So… I just have to say it….if this is you, and if this is how you are thinking….then I think you have the wrong plan, and here is why.  Because we are in America….and America is easy!  Yes we are still in the country known as the land of opportunity, and Yes, we are still in the only country in all of the world that has the words DREAM immediately after it.   I think it’s important that we not forget that there is no such thing as a Poland Dream, or an Irish Dream, or a Spanish Dream…..and how rare it is to find boats stowing away hundreds of people to get to any of these just mentioned countries.  No….there just aren’t that many countries with walls slowing others from making their way in, nor are there people risking their lives to cross rivers and desserts just to get in.   Yes…there is only one dream…and it  is the American Dream.

So currently 9.7% of the country is unemployed…  is this a bad thing?  I don’t know…it depends on your perspective.   I think that this can perhaps be seen as our time to shine… our time to overcome and grow.  We have after all grown in GDP and economic output as a country during this slight depression which everyone is experiencing and is so depressed about .  So why is every chum so glum?  Well I’ll tell you…what appears to be happening is this, our country is growing, but…our workforce is not.  We have 9.7% of of a country now without jobs because it doesn’t make financial sense to have them around.  Essentially there has been such an increase in technology that just about 10% of our country has been outpaced by it and can’t seem to keep up.  So as an economic entitiy we aren’t doing so bad…we are expanding, but as a populace we probably need to make some changes.

Now you can call me a glutton for pain but I think that on a much deeper level this can be seen as a test to each and every one of us who has found themselves out of work, or bereft of hope for the future.  This little test is going to see if we can be creative enough, persistent enough, and productive enough to find the opportunities and the ideas that are interwoven throughout this great country.  It’s a little test that if passed, will allow us to stand tall once again.  So what that we have an almost 10% unemployment rate and heaps of national debt among other financial woes…   It will behoove us to not forget that we are in a type of continual “Design Mode”…designing not just how bright our personal futures are going to be, but how bright our collective future is going to be as a country.  No it’s not going to be easy, No we can’t go on strike, nor can we get paid by demand…  we must earn it!  We must take off our pajamas, put down the remote, and get out there, give our best and hustle our faces off!!   So we put 10 resumes in today…now what?  Are we going to go home and eat Cheetos and ice cream until tomorrow comes around so we can do it all over again, or are we going to go above and beyond.. put in 15 more that are thoughtfully adapted?  Are we going stop there…or are we going to do more… and begin to THINK of, and then ACT on, the many hundreds of thousands of other ways that we can be of service to the community, the country, the world?  I’ sincerely feel…  that this is the only way that we can dig our way out, and be duly reimbursed, so we can begin living the way we wish, so we can begin living our little portion of what makes up this thing called the American Dream.

Consider this…. China is currently at 5% unemployment and Russia is at 8.5% unemployment….looks good right, but would you really want to live and work there?  Employment in one of these countries is hardly the ideal career plan…(at least as far as I can tell based off of what I learned in my college Geography courses).  The country of France is at 10%, and the last time I was there everyone seemed so defeated and somber I started to get a little depressed myself. (law of association I suppose)  They didn’t have the spark that we have, they didn’t have in their eyes the glimmer of a greater tomorrow….  I couldn’t sense that essense…that energy, of individual empire builders like I feel when I am here at home.  And Spain…one of my favorite countries in all the world is at 22% unemployment…..with their young workers ages 18 – 24 showing an astonishing unemployment rate of 54%!  And this is a developed nation!  So, what does all this mean?  Well, if you are an American, perhaps you will more clearly recognize how blessed you are, and how much more privlege and opportunity you have even in this day and age…as you are more priveleged than 95 % of the world (95.46% to be exact).  If you’ve read this and you are an American….It’s my hope that you will never again be able to say you didn’t know how much privlege and promise you had….because you are afterall in America….  and America is Easy!

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Mastering Mountains

This post serves to compliment my last two posts…and well many of the other posts that have been weaved throughout this blog that have been a type of  nudge from me to you  to grow…to change.  I think it’s appropriate for me to post this now because, let’s face it…I ask a lot of you.  I know I throw a lot of ideas and challenges out there to you that aren’t necessarily your everyday habits, and so I definitely understand that they are not easy to consider, let alone do.

So think of this post as your hiking gear to go along with all the “mountains” I’ve pointed out to you.  What I’ll stress first is this idea of not shrugging off ideas, activities, or goals that seem too hard to initiate, or from retreating from your challenge, your “mountain”, all because it looks too high or seems too difficult.  For instance, a couple of posts ago…I suggested being positive all the time as a way to live better, be happier, and to live a healthier life.  Of course I know it would be tough to automatically be “that” supercharged positive person starting tomorrow.  So if you decide to do it…will you be that person tomorrow?  No, but you’ll be closer.  Should you still try?  Yes!  Another example I suggested was journaling everyday, morning and night as a good practice to learn more, learn quicker, and to grow and become more at an exponential rate.  Do I think you will be writing five pages and have a completely revolutionized life by tomorrow?   No, not necessarily.  Do I think it’s a great idea and that you should strive for it?  Absolutely…no doubt!

I guess there are two things to really keep in mind when considering not just my recommendations, but anyone’s, or in starting anything new for that matter.  The first thing is….to start, and the second is…. to take small steps.

If you actually give your toughest challenges a try and pay attention…you will see, oddly, that there really is some type of magical power behind just starting.  What happens is….a momentum is created and shortly thereafter with enough persistence… the positive results begin to show up.  It’s Crazy!  Perhaps this is what Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe meant when he said:  “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it…boldness has genius power and magic in it”.

And then of course, there is the second thought to keep in mind when you are about to make some changes….and that is….take small steps, even baby steps if you have to.  The idea is to just start moving in a determined fashion towards your end point.  It always seems to work for the tortoise; it’s been working for the people who have achieved greatly…why couldn’t it work for you?  I’ll bet this is exactly what Confucius had in mind when he made his famous quote:  “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” 

So..as much as I like to challenge you I am sure life likes to do it a whole lot more.  If you remember these two points I’ll bet your chances of surmounting those challenges, of mastering your mountains…. will go way up!  Give it a try…..Good luck!

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Entrepreneurs Must Turn Experiences into Equity

I journal somewhat religiously every morning….writing down how I feel, what I think, and about all the wonderful things I hope the day has in store for me.  And sometimes I’ll even jot down some of the newest and most novel ideas I’ve come across.  It is a good practice and I really like doing it. Here’s the thing, up until recently I would say I wasn’t 100% sure why I was doing it.  I mean I’ve always heard of the importance of jotting down your thoughts in a journal and how “great” it can be for you, but I’ve never truly made the connection as to why it was so important.  In reality I was really writing to track the progression and change in my thoughts/myself as time went by.  I mean I’ve been keeping a journal now since 2002 and I’ll tell you, it is pretty darn amusing to read how and what I thought all those years ago.  So it’s been worth it for entertainment’s sake.

Amazingly this past week I formed a new perspective regarding journaling. It was t

his idea of writing to learn, and not just to learn what has changed with the passing of time, or how entertaining my life has been, but to learn what the day had to teach.  To test this idea I became like a sponge on this initial day, and soaked in all that I had experienced to see what I could extract from my observations, to see what I could extract from life.  Typically, I was writing one page per day, however with this new approach I was writing four to five pages.  So what struck me the most was a realization of how much actually goes on in one single day.  I mean the first day I took this perspective my mind was almost overwhelmed with all the activities, opportunities, color, smells, and occurrences that took place in that one single day!  The most exciting part though…was that all of those experiences were beckoning me and challenging me to learn from it.  I felt a pull and a tug towards growth!  In all seriousness…one could probably write a “book of the day” if they paid enough attention to it.

Of course the really important part of all of this observation is focusing and paying attention to what you wrote down, pondering what worked, what didn’t, what one wanted to avoid, or what one wanted to repeat and to grow from.  The benfefit of all of this?…to use these experiences as a spring board for up and coming, yet similar experiences… so that they can be that much richer, that much more polished, that much more valuable.  You see experience can become a commodity, a currency, coin, it can be used.  It’s simply amazing when you think about… it’s like sifting for GOLD!  I am convinced that we can if we wish to….turn experience into equity.  So I challenge you to test the waters today…to go from a perspective of just getting through the day, to one that dares you to see what you can get from the day.

I can’t wait to hear your results.

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The Power of Pollyanna

I am compelled today to blog about the practicality of being a positive person no matter what.  Many people consider being extremely optimistic, otherwise known as Pollyanna (a person who is excessively optimistic without logical reasons for being so) as naïve.  But I must beg to differ, and argue for the opposite.

It’s not difficult to understand why some people might label another person as being naïve for choosing to be happy instead of sad all the time.  I mean, I know that there are many moments in our lives where we believe that we have the “right” to feel wronged, or even down, because hey, it is after all a tough world out there.  However, there is a power behind choosing a Pollyanna type approach, a power that many people just don’t necessarily seem to see.  Interestingly, what is usually not noticed in the individuals who carry themselves in this positive light is the subtle control and discipline that they are using to maintain it.  In actuality, holding strong and being positive in the face of negativity and scenarios which compel victimhood, ultimately demonstrates a mastery over ones emotions and reactions.  So what seems to be illogical to many is really a form of Spartan-like behavior that leads eventually to better results for the individual.  Let me show you what I mean.  Now I am sure there are many more benefits out there for maintaining this approach, but these are the three benefits that instantly come to my mind:

1.)  Living Your Best Life: A positive outlook means you feel better, and are thus happier most of the time, leading to a better overall experience of everyday life, which necessitates, overtime….a better life.  It was Marcus Aurelius after all who admonished:  “Reality is what our thoughts make of it.”  It is possible to force your reality to be a positive one.

2.)  Increasing Your Opportunities: A more practical benefit is the type of circumstances that one will attract.  It’s not blatantly obvious, but how you feel affects how people react to you.  If you feel good people will see that and will want to be around you to experience the same.  When you feel bad people won’t want to be around you.  This is important for business people and entrepreneurs.  By not constantly projecting an attractive positive personality, you increase your chances of missing opportunity, for the simple reason that key partners/clients might just be repelled by you.  If you are employed it closes doors to opportunities for advancement.  Nobody wants to work with, nor for, a person who has a tendency to be negative, showing little to no control over their emotions, and as a result potentially decreasing the well being of those whom they associate with.

3.)  Increasing Your Health: Positive thoughts = Good Health, Negative thoughts = Bad health.  The more susceptible you let yourself be to negative emotions and feelings the more vulnerable you will be to sicknesses and illnesses as well as slow recovery.  Don’t just take my word for it, look it up, read about it, the evidence is there.

Don’t want to do the research?  Well then give it spin, you’ll see….there is Power in Pollyanna!

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Wages Vs. Profits

profits

A mentor of mine, Jim Rohnwho I’ve been following for a couple of years now, uttered a phrase that caught my attention, more so than usual while studying  him recently.   He had such a strong and significant impact on me  on the day that I heard him say “profits are better than wages. Wages will make you a living, profits can make you a fortune.”

I found the phrase sage like.  I remember repeating what he said to myself  and then thinking about how truly difficult  it most likely is to get rich on just wages alone, and how readily profits can be made if we focus our efforts on accumulating them.  It was a pretty outstanding moment of clarity for me, and I still get the goose bumps whenever I think about it!

Following that phrase,   Jim Rohn went on to make a point about how profits  can actually change your whole attitude, even if you start part-time.  I really warmed up to his suggestion, and perhaps you will too, because he states that it doesn’t matter if it’s part-time on your entrepreneurial business,  your network marketing company, or your service business.

To Jim it didn’t matter.  To him it could be a real estate business, a tutoring business as a teacher, a website design business, a landscaping business in the summer, a consulting practice, woodworking, or a hobby,  heck, he even goes so far as to mention a business of hanging Christmas lights in the winter.   The magic he says, comes from the moment you start investing effort part-time into your own business, because it is then, that you will find how much more exciting it is to get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and go to work on your fortune, even if it is only a small portion of your schedule,… something like 10 – 15 hours per week.

How empowering  would it be, to be able to go to work on your fortune every single day rather than going to work to just pay the rent or the bills?    So you don’t get me or Jim wrong I will quote you some words directly from him when he says ” Now – it is noble to go to work to pay the rent, but if you could also parcel out part of your time – go to work to make your fortune.  Your whole attitude changes; your spirit changes. It is in your voice.  It is in your face.  It is in your gestures.  And then you can say, “I am now working full-time on my job and part-time on my fortune because I found a way to make profits.”

Wow….how amazing is that?  Slightly magical isn’t it?!!  What do you think on the idea of Wages Vs. Profits?  Have you taken any steps to learn how you can make profits vs. wages?  Are you teaching your kids these kinds of concepts?  If not, why not?

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