All posts by Stephen

Just some guy on the internet

Feeling stuck again

My business, a specialty pet store is barely breaking even. And I’m not getting paid for my time. The network marketing business I started almost a year ago is growing slowly, but not growing nearly fast enough.

Both of these are no one’s fault but my own. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and perhaps lost my focus at times. No, that isn’t true. I lose focus all the time.

I don’t really know how to grow the pet store without more capital, and even then I’m not really sure what the best thing would be to do with the capital if I had it. My best idea right now is to keep it going and hope to build my customer base over the next year. Maybe then I’ll have enough cash flow to grow the biz.

So maybe the network marketing could be a better business if I had more time to spend on it. But the store demands too much time and energy. So i’m stuck. Or am I?

Started watching some YouTube videos by some network marketing pros offering their advice, wisdom etc. All part of my ‘self development’ study. And the reality is starting to hit home.

What is the reality? The reality is this, the problem is me. Yes, that’s right, I am not focusing on taking the correct action. I procrastinate, make excuses, complain and blame my circumstance. But the only person I can change is myself. The only circumstances I can control are the circumstances I can control. Not even sure that last sentence makes any sense.

So what is my point? I need to keep working on me. I hope to log my progress here and maybe I’ll get some advice, or maybe my experience will help someone else.

onward and upward.

Choose your own destiny

This is another of those statements that doesn’t make much sense to me; choose your destiny or change your fate/destiny. If such a thing as fate or a destiny exists, it assumes that your future is decided. Having a destiny means that your future is written for you, if you can change that story, than it wasn’t actually destined was it?
So you either have a destiny, that can’t be changed, or you have free will to determine your future. If you can change or decide your future, there was never a destiny.

Personally, I don’t think anyone has a fate. We all choose the direction of our lives. There is no plan, no one has a plan for us except ourselves, and we realize the plan by the choices we make.
So stop saying that we can choose our fate, is makes no sense.

Opportunity shies away from need

Recently I was listening to a YouTube video of legendary success coach Jim Rohn presentation and he said that “opportunity shies away from need, but opportunity is attracted by talent.”

Opportunity shies away from need

I think the point is that the more you NEED something, the opportunity to fill that need is unlikely to arrive. The opportunity arrives when you put in the work needed to create the appropriate talent. So if you need a job or promotion or even that big sale, you won’t get it if you don’t work on yourself and develop the talent that will bring about the opportunity.

We are all selling something. If you are an employee, you’re selling your time and skills. If you need a better income, a “living wage,” you should determine what talents your employer, or potential employer, wants to buy. Then work on your skill set and bring the talent that attracts the better salary, position, and opportunity.

Another, similar quote: “Life responds to those who deserve it, not those who need it.”

What do you’re thoughts?

One of the dumbest things I’ve even done

In 2011 I got this crazy idea to turn a hobby into a business. I had “gotten into” reptiles, mostly leopard geckos, was breeding them an trying to sell them at reptile shows. In truth I had only been doing this since 2008 and really didn’t have a lot of experience.
Prior to this dumb decision I had spent years getting a doctorate in biology. struggled with getting a career off the ground , crashed and burned. Tried to reinvent myself several times but lacked the passion and motivation to succeed at anything.
Reptiles really got me excited. It was like being a kid again where my true passion was animals; probably why I went into biology. But a part of me wants to be an entrepreneur. I am always looking at life’s little problems and saying “here’s how that could be done better”.
Anyway, back to 2011. I spent a Sunday in May selling a few geckos that I had bred and my wife said “maybe you should open a small store”.
For the next few weeks I researched the idea and discussed it with a few people that said they thought I should…

Now, three years later, I have a store. I have spend more than twice what I originally thought I would, haven’t had one profitable month, hardly have any time off, and am starting to hate my life again.
To be fair, store finally seems to be turning around in spite of my poor management. I’m not sure it will ever pay me for my time much less my investment and am trying to figure out if it is even worth the effort anymore.
On the positive side, I have gained some experience running a retail business, for what that is worth.
Guess I’m feeling like time is running out for reinventing myself yet again. I know people older than me, I’m 53, have started successful careers so anything is possible.

Voting is a waste of time – here’s why

I always have to chuckle when I hear people complain about low turnout for some election. As if the results would be more meaningful if everyone participated. But would they?

Aside from the fact that virtually all politicians are pathological liars, and never actually do anything they promise, would the outcome really be different if more people voted?

The argument for democracy is that elections reflect “the will of the people”. If such a thing as “the will of the people” exists and an election is a way to determine it, does it really matter if the turnout is closer to 100% or closer to 5%? Elections are really nothing more than unscientific opinion polls. Unscientific because the voters were not chosen at random, but represent only a select group of people that traveled to the polling place and cast a vote. This is about as scientific as an Internet poll.

Opinion polls, where a small sample size is polled, can be determined to be accurate within certain percent based on statistical calculations. Sampling is a valid way to measure things in many fields and should be just as valid when measuring “the will of the people.”

Maybe elections results should be reported to be accurate within + or – some % of the will of the people (WOP). When turnout is low we just say “voters chose X by 5% plus or minus 3% WOP.”

I can safely say that the results of any election you might have participated in, or planned to in the future, would not be any different if you had stayed home. Next time there is an election, write down who you would vote for/against and then stay home. The next day look at the results, they can usually be found online, and see if adding one vote to your guy’s tally would have made a difference. You have a better chance of being run over by a car on your way to of from the polling place than making a difference in any election.

You’re All Mental

That’s right, you are mental. You are what you think.

Our thoughts control our choices, beliefs, and actions. These become habits and affect our lives in every way. Many times our actions reinforce these thoughts and a feedback loop is generated.

We are all just the result of our thoughts; we are mental.

The interesting thing is that even though our choices are determined by our thoughts, we can choose what we think. It isn’t always easy, but we can control our lives by choosing to think differently.

Many books have been written on this subject. Check out “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, “As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen or Earl Nightingale’s recording “The Strangest Secret in the World” these are all free on the internet, Amazon, YouTube, etc.

Poverty is a Lifestyle Choice

Why are some people poor and others wealthy? Is it genetics? Circumstance? Destiny? Or is poverty a lifestyle choice?

First, there is no such thing as destiny. Everyone has the ability to change the direction of their own life given enough motivation and effort.

Genetics seems to be a possibility because poor parents seem to breed poor children who perpetuate the poverty lifestyle for multiple generations. But there are countless examples of people that were born in poverty and rose up to attain vast sums of wealth and abundance. Wealth does run in families, at least for several generations. But this can be explained away and does not have a genetic basis.

Circumstance? Well there are certainly obstacles in everyone’s life that prevent us from moving up the economic ladder. A child born to a poor, uneducated mother in Africa has a much harder time than a suburban middle class child born in America. So, yes, circumstance does play a role. But circumstances can be overcome and shouldn’t be excuses to live a life of poverty.

Poverty by choice. We are what we choose to be. The choices may not be easy and may require great personal sacrifice, but ultimately individuals choose the life they live. Most poor people, especially in a land of great opportunity, fail to make the best choices and therefore remain ‘trapped’ in poverty. They didn’t take full advantage of getting an education (which in given for free). They chose to watch TV instead of reading a book. They chose not to look for a better job.

The list of bad choices is long and I don’t need to list them all. Just look back on your life so far and you will find many examples of bad choices, at least I know that is true for me.

So what does one do if he/she has made many bad choices and finds himself/herself living a life that is less than abundant? Start making better choices! Read a book; there are more self-help, personal development books than any one person could possibly read. Stop hanging out with the losers in your life. Start visualizing the abundant life you want. Choose to start making better choices!

The amazing thing about abundance is that it is infinite. Start choosing to make more of it yours. What is your lifestyle choice?