October 22, 2016

People Don’t Succeed by Complaining

It is amazing how many people complain. Way past traffic or the weather. What else is driving them crazy today? Everything and Everyone.

Thing is I don’t see successful people complain. They talk about what is bothering them. Then talk about potential solutions or see if you have any ideas.

Yes I complain at times. Then I catch myself, or get tired of hearing myself. I don’t even want to listen to myself complain.

It is too easy to justify how I want to get it off my chest. But does it help you if I complain? Why should I burden you with my problems?

Our purpose in life is not to be right. Not to be perfect. We are here to help others.

Rather ask how you are doing and listen.

October 15, 2016

The Great Rewrite

Forbes and KPMG have created this wonderful video series on changing innovation is going to affect us all. Yesterday’s science fiction is today’s reality. New materials, new energy sources, new manufacturing methods, new intelligence and new tools for the future.

Companies have to go from one or two people to everyone creating innovations.
Please watch some of the videos. How are you going to adapt, thrive and create your own innovations?

What would you like to change?

October 8, 2016

Even Success Has Down Times

Been a bad month or two for the diet. In July was down below my Goal at 174 lbs. Looking good as an old man can (not much to work with J)

Last 2 days back up to 180 lbs., which is the high end of desired weight range. Like to stay between 172 - 180 lbs.

What to Do to Cope
First laugh a little. It is NOT the END of the WORLD. Just need to get more disciplined and stop eating everything in sight. Liking to snack too much here.

No it is not fun to be setback. It is an excuse to walk/exercise a little more. Take the golf umbrella in the rain and wear boots for an extra mile.

Where is the healthy food? Did eat homemade fish burrito and veggies tonight.

Need to cut portions. Apparently full glasses of ice cream and 2nd donuts are too much.

Remember even champions get off course now and again. That is why pro athletes have coaches and revise their programs.

So what ever you are struggling with, there are others struggling with and people who have overcome. Find someone else to talk with, get started with little steps, and find daylight to look at. Setbacks are only temporary.

You are not alone.

September 24, 2016

Greatness Starts with Awkward

It looks easy when someone does it. The painting is perfect. The music sounds great. The picture is perfect. The article is flawless.

Little do you know how awkward or clumsy it was the first time the painter tried that technique. The musician struggled with simple scales to learn finger techniques. The photographer took shots out of focus and cut off the heads of his friends.

I write and know how hard it is to organize your thoughts. My first drafts were hard to read and understand. The sentences were not complete. Thoughts dropped off without explanation. New ideas popped up off topic. Too much was stuffed into the first article and the pages kept growing.

In short it was awful.

But I kept working on it. Edit, put it down, and much later read it again and edit some more. Then the article got circulated to other writers and my editor for feedback. More ideas for changes and edits. Realized my story was too complex and broke it into several stories that stood on their own, and the readers could understand the point. More re-reading and editing the same article over weeks.

The articles that were published looked polished and still read well today. Got high praise and people thanking me for writing down my ideas.

Guess what. My writing skills came from giving myself permission to write ugly. It is how we all learn. “Trial and error and error and error.” Pick ourselves up and try to do it better next time.

Go out today and see what you can learn. After some hard work you will be the artist.

September 17, 2016

Beginning Investing

7 hard earned lessons to use

There are all sorts of people who want to give you investment advice, aka sell you something. Why? So they can earn a commission or profit from you investing with them.

Experienced in life and a former business owner/appraiser. Have nothing to sell you and not giving hot stock tips. Frankly happy to be a full time employee now, but would like to start a second business.

Do Not consider myself a great investor, definitely am Not a day trader and my predictions are average. Have learned from hard knocks.

These are good advice and rules I have learned over the years:

1) Spend Much Less than You Make
Wealthy people often lived for free or on 10% of earnings to save enough to start a business. They did this for years to get started. The wealthiest people I know often drive old cars and wear clothes too long. They only owe on their business assets, and their home may even be paid off.

2) Have a Rainy Day Fund
You don’t know when you or family will be ill, have a major repair to your home or car, be laid off, fired or the business shuts down. Have paid 6 months of bills from savings to get through. Have enough for 1 year’s worth of bills outside my retirement accounts.

3) Start Investing Small
Put money in the company 401K, especially if offered matching funds. I started at 8% on my current job and increased the percentage with every raise. If had more income would save more.
Second don’t buy one investment with all your money. Only invest some on each idea. Often start with a third and see if it is working.

4) Learn Value before You Buy
My best investment has been my house. Being a real estate professional identified good neighborhoods first, then found houses to look at. Originally wanted a 2 - 4 family house to live in, but prices were much higher than the cash flow justified.  Was cheaper to buy a single family house.
Bought at the bottom of the real estate market when few would consider buying, and bought a working short sale 10% under market value. Yes it took 6 months to close. But bought for 2/3 of original owner’s price.
My house is worth 60% more 4 years later.

5) Diversify Investments
Have good savings in cash at bank. Much more in 401K, and equity in my home. Have paid off 30% of the mortgage in 4 years. Goal is to pay off mortgage before retirement.
Am not adverse to holding cash. Especially when stocks, bonds and real estate seem over priced. Can be patient until a new opportunity shows up.
Cash is a safe refuge when the market is going down for an extended period. There will always be recessions in normal economies.
Am willing to sell and sit out the drop until the market starts rising again. Just don’t stay out forever. Look for the opportunity to get back in.

6) Do Not Pile in Late to a Trend
There have been good ideas I have missed. However did not compound the problem by buying at a high prices hoping some fool comes along to pay more. Would wait for a pullback and buy at a better price. Or would just wait for the next opportunity.
The secret to successful investing is buying at the right price. Not necessarily when everyone else thinks it is a good idea.
Beware the phases “This time it is different” (it is not) and “_____ always goes up” (no, they drop too). One investment made by my advisor is a non-dividend stock that is actually losing money. The commodity is way under trend and the company is doing a good job improving productivity. The market is too busy overpaying for dividend stocks to see the value. My advisor wants to be positioned for the future recovery and is looking for the opposite of the late trend.

7) Educate Yourself
Best investment is good books and classes. Pay to take classes out of my pocket to further my career and knowledge. Does not have to be for a degree either.
Find people or groups who invest in what you are interested in. You can learn a lot from like minded people.

These tips are not all you need to know. In fact am still learning, and hope you can teach me something too. However they will make the rough seas of investing smoother if you are humble enough to apply them.

September 10, 2016

The Future is Here (Almost)

This video shows a paralyzed patient using his hands and beginning to get more and more sensation and movement in his body. This is the result of USC Stem Cell research.

This video is 9 minutes long and awesome. Have little to add but a question. If we can do this, what else can we do?

Credit: Patrick Cox from Mauldin Economics for sharing the video from BioTime’s Announcement of First Stem Cell Spinal Cord Therapy Results.