Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Ok, on these pages right here, I am vowing never to be the football Dad. Of course I will take my kid to his little league games and watch football on Sundays, but I will never be that fat dude who lays around all day Sunday, no shower, in his PJ bottoms, ketchup stained wife beater, using his belly as a table, eating Nachos.
As I struggle to give my 100% the thing that is clear is my vision of myself in the future. I will always be East Coast to the core. When I read Esquire or GQ, I don't just look at the $295 shirts and $400 pants, I can see them on me. I can see that gear in my closet. When I'm at the supermarket, I'm still "clean". Not clean in the sense that I just took a shower, but I'm "Clean" as in "So Damn Fresh". If it's just sweats, or shorts and a T-shirt, they fit me nicely, they aren't too wrinkled or too ironed. My clothes are trendy enough to be timeless and tasteful. I always look presentable enough to meet someone's parents. No crazy T-shirts or pants hanging off my ass.
Here in the Midwest I am still surprised how people just succomb to their surroundings. You don't have to be flashy but you can have some self respect and take time to pull yourself together.
Recently I attended the Michigan State Fair. Now, I know it's just a fair, but the same event in New Jersey is like a music video. Yeah I know.....If I was in Jersey, I would be talking about how everyone is over doing it; but there is a sane middle ground that needs to be reached. I have never seen so many people who had no regard for their personal appearance in my life. Take that few extra minutes and pull yourself together. Ladies you have options. Pull the hair back, pull out a scrunchy from the 90's or even put a nice scarf on. Fella's keep doin' what your doin' becuase you are just making me look that much better.
HOT COUPLES & NOT COUPLES
This same thing applies with couples. They feed off each other, and my wife won't be a soccer mom. I understand that life isn't all glitz and glamour. I understand that very well. In fact 85% of the time, a movie, going out to dinner or watching some good TV is considered a good night; in most cases, a great night. The difference is: a hot couple is having fun and bugging out watching TV and having a dinner. They are looking good, feeling good and feeding off each other. The remaining 15% of the time is spent doing things outside the box, wine tasting, language lessons, traveling, loving and living life. Feeling and enjoying new experiences. I feel when you can't get the 85% right then no need to worry about the 15%.
Typically couples die when they get married. They don't have the energy to keep things fresh and exciting. The guy is just looking at hot chicks while he turns into one. He develops a gut and man boobs. He walks around unshaven and unshowered all weekend. No longer so fresh and so clean. No energy to do anything. In turn, the wife does exactly the same thing.
If you ever visit Chicago or other Big cities you can tell the "hot" couples from the "not" couples. The guy could be 50, but he is in shape, and smelling good. His wife although thicker, still has her curves and knows how to work them. They are still into each other 20 years later. They both work out, not for each other but for themselves. I'm sure she takes her kids to soccer practice and he watches football on the weekends but they look good and feel good doing it.
What does this have to do with being a millionaire? Everything. You have to act as if. You have to act as if you already made it. You are marketing yourself. You are a franchise player for your own franchise. Self made millionaires are typically well respected leaders. If you are frumpy, overweight and lazy how can you hope to inspire and lead a charge. What if you are at the grocery store and see a potential client and you are wearing torn oil stained jeans, with your Phuck the Police t-shirt on. Is this guy going to give you any business? Is he going to trust you?
What if you are at the post office and you have rollers in your hair, flip flops and a doo-doo face. The promotion you were up for, just got put on hold. Not fair, Life ain't fair and we all know that. Clean sneakers, a cap with your hair tucked in and a clean t-shirt is just as quick as that house coat you put on to get coffee and donuts on Sunday.
Represent yourself how you want people to see you. Perception is 95% of the game. Like Jay-Z says....."I'm not a businessman - I AM a BUSINESS........Man"
So tuck your shirt in, shine your shoes and lets get to work.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Having the luxury of not living in an automotive based city my entire life, I realize it's hard for states in the coastal regions to feel the impact of Ford's most recent layoffs.
In Michigan if you work at one of, what is commonly known as the "Big Three" assembly plants you are doing well. The "Bit Three" refer to Ford, Chrysler and GM. Yes, you are a fork lift driver or you work on the assembly line, but you are also making a six figure income. Hard to believe but true. Until recently forklift drivers at Delphi were commanding six figure incomes. Six figures in MI is equivalent to making $145,000 in New Jersey. You are living quite well. No headaches, low stress (compareritively speaking), and a fat check.
Let's look at the typical lifestyle of a United Auto Worker. Say his name is Bill. He has been on the job for 20 years now. From 1996-2000 he made about $115,000 annually with proift sharing bonuses nearing $6700 bucks right at Christmas time. His wife has quit working to help raise their three kids. Bill has a house up North (very common in Michigan), with that property a mortgage, 2 snowmobiles and a small boat. His primary residence is valued at approximately $295,000. He decided to move to a bigger house when mortgage rates dropped super low a few years back. He drives a brand new Ford F150, and his wife drives a 2 year old Explorer. His 18 year old daugther drives the old family car that has 5 more payments left. When Bill brought the bigger house he upgraded to a riding lawnmower (compliments of a Home Depot card that he got 10% off his first purchase). You know Bill couldn't just get the lawnmower without getting a snowblower and a fancy little shed to store all of his new goodies. Also to compliment the new house his wife had to have furniture, not to mention all of the home theater equipment Bill got from Best Buy. It's Ok though. Bill didn't have to make a payment on the furniture until 2006!
Bill's credit rating is sky high, and so are his credit card bills. He's not worried because he will be getting a $6700 check ($4,2,00) after taxes just in time for Christmas.
That check doesn't come doesn't come in 2001. "Oh well, I will just use my overtime money after the Christmas holiday" , Bill says to his wife . Since 2001, the average UAW (United Auto Worker) overtime hours have been cut 5 hours weekly a year or $10,000 annually. The $6700 average profit sharing was now a measley $600 in 2004.
Bill and his wife were just hoping that the economy would bounce back, instead of making the necessary lifestyle adjustments that were needed. Now if Bill gets laid off, he and his family don't know what to do. Bill has driven a forklift for the last 20 years. He has no other marketable skills. This is typical, like the guy who puts the doors on the car you are driving. He has been working 60 hours a week, and snowmobiling, lawn cutting and watching football on his 42 inch plasma. When and why would he want any more skills.
Bill's scenario is probably typical for about 45% of the population in the Detroit area. (this figure is a guess, all other monetary figures taken from "The Detroit News").
That is why it is very important not to over extend yourself. A smart Bill would have been stacken his chips. Bill would be chillin' if he had stayed in the smaller house which he had about $50,000 of equity in. No furniture payments, no Best Buy, or Home Depot bills, no fees to pay the new housing community and lower taxes. He could have used all of that money to pay off his and his wife's vehicles. Then, if he gets layed off the buyout would be more then enough for him to land on his feet. He would see it is a cash cow, and possibly have the ability to relocate, or start a business for himself. Simpler then that, he could use it to go to school and become marketable in a different field.
As with any delcine in the economy there is money to be made. With the "to good to be true" mortgage deals everyone recieved, people are desparetly over extended. Those three year arms are now expired. The housing market is tanking and real estate is looking like a good long term investment.
Although I have my sites on many a real estate endeavor, the plan is defintley not to try to buy and sell. There is no one to sell to. I literally know 6 people with two houses becuase they can't sell one. The idea is to rent to people like Bill who have to foreclose on their house, while he takes a low paying job and his wife has to check me out in Kroger. (Cruel but true. I could be bagging for his wife tomorrow. ) I will only buy property here if I see an economic up turn in the near future. Will a company like Toyota come to Michigan and buy all of these plants that are already set up to support that type of business? Will Nissan partnership with GM like Daimler did Chrysler? Google has made a small move to Ann Arbor. Then I can make my move. I will have to buy, and hold, and hold, and hold, and then sell. I have no problem with that.
I will be like the Black Donald Trump in this Bitch (minus the hair flip). First I have to stop my small business from bleeding all over my bank account, then I can move forward. One thing at a time.
AT LEAST GAS IS CHEAP AGAIN (GOTTA LOVE ELECTION TIME) !
Thursday, September 07, 2006
We use lunch as a time to regroup and figure out a way to achieve the riches that continue to cruelly elude us on a daily basis.
We think we have found one of the key ingredients that make successful people successful. This is such a profound thought because in all of the numerous mind numbing literature I have read about success, self improvement, leadership etc. I have never been privy to this information.
Now I’m passing it on to my readers free of charge.
How many people actually give 100% of themselves at anything? You can always say you tried hard, but can you really say that you gave 100%? 100% is usually used for a select group of people like Olympians, recovering addicts, and professional athletes.
We tried to dissect ourselves to try and rationalize the reason that 100% effort is not given. The only thing that we could come up with, is the fact that the pay off is not guaranteed. I also think when you have a certain level of intelligence and commonsense you might go your entire life putting forth 85% and that’s been more then enough to propel you to society’s definition of success.
If someone told you that they would give you a million dollars to run a 6 minute mile 3 months from now, your life would change immediately. If you seriously signed a contract and the money was put right under your nose, you would put down the large fries and start training. Per the agreement you are not allowed to quit your job, or spend any less time with your family, but you can do anything else to prepare for your six minute mile. Somehow you would make time to train. You would replace all your reading material with running information. You would have sweat suits in your car for a run before you got home and before work. You would replace all of your internet browsing bookmarks with running sites, messageboards and blogs. You would be fitness crazy. Only a fool wouldn’t give a 100%
This is the mind game that some worldclass athletes are brainwashed into when they are young. A perfect example of this is in the Spike Lee movie "He Got Game". It's about a basketball prodigy, Jesus Shuttlesworth (played by Ray Allen), and his relationship with his father, Jake Shuttlesworth (played by Denzel Washington). During the movie they show flashbacks of the basketball prodigy and his father. They are shown on the basketball court at night, doing running drills. Jake is running with a young Jesus telling him, "The only two people up right now are you and Michael Jordan, and what is Michael doing, training. ". Then he beginns to instill the guarantee of success in his child, " What are you gonna by your mama, What kind of house? ". So Jersus is brainwashed into thinking that if he gives 100% he would be the best basketball player in the US. There was no doubt, so that 100% is not hard to do.
Tiger Woods had this same advantage since he was a kid and continues to enjoy it. He can give 100% daily because he knows that he will win and become the best in the world. Players like Phil Mickelson, find it hard to give 100% working on their game because Tiger has already defeated them mentally. Why give 100% when you know you will never be better then Tiger. Phil can give 85% and still be one of the top players in the world. For fat Phil, that is good enough.
What does all this mean? The reason that we don't give 100% is fear of failure. Fear that we would give everything we possibly have, to reach a goal and not hit it. We would rather give 85% percent and fail, saying at least I tried, then to go hard for 100%.
This applies to me and my resistance to give 100% to my outside endeavors. What am I afraid of? I will try and concentrate on the reward rather then the failure. If I realize the reward as concrete then I should be able to go 100%.
Sounds good in theory but can I apply it? 85% has been good enough to make me moderately successful in the past. Am I all talk and no action?
Knowing this information has put the responsibility of my success on me not any outside excuses. Knowing this information has put the responsibility on his success on Big S.
If you are reading this, you know it’s true, and your success has now been placed in your hands and know one else’s. I have chosen to accept this responsibility because I need to be successful, by our definition of success. There is no other alternative for me. Rich or nothing.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I feel like running head first into a brick wall. I feel like ripping my skin off and sending my skeleton for a jog. I am literally on the phone right now while my Korean and Shanghai counterparts are babbling about issues that they can solve without me. When will the madness stop.
I'm coming to work tomorrow with one of those big ass hands that you buy at sport events, and I'm just slapping anybody that talks to me. You can't get rich this way. This right here....This...This is the number one reason I'm not rich.
What do I do? Do I get a new job? Not so easy. I need to somehow figure this out...and quick. Before someone gets hurt. I can feel my pimp hand itching to come out of retirement.
......and yes, I just typed this entire thing while on hold listening to Korean and Chinese blabber.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Well it's officially September, and the end of summer. The good thing about starting this blog, is the fact that it keeps a log of things I've said I need to accomplish. The bad thing about the blog is that it keeps a log of things I've said I need to accomplish.
I still haven't been able to control my professional job, or market my small business the way I need too. I am a well-spoken, somewhat charismatic guy, but can't seem to build the confidence needed to market aggressively. My hours at my day job have not decreased and I have even less control then I have ever had before of the day to day work flow.
I ask myself what is the difference between me and the guy who really drives a Gallardo? Yeah, I can say that his parents are rich, or that he was lucky, but I think you make your own luck. What is that guy doing that I'm not doing? Well I need to find the answer and do it.
As a huge TV and Film fan I watch the show "The Contender". That's a reality show with boxers who all want to be headliners, pitted against each other with elimination bouts fought after each episode. When these guys are interviewed before their fights, they all say the same things. "I'm hungry Dog", "I have to do this for my family", "I live for this", "I sacrificed everything for this". Often when they get in the ring, one guy fights like he is hungry and the other guy fights like a bitch. When you see the mentally defeated fighter in his corner between rounds, they look like they want to quit more then anything in the world. That's how I feel. I am not fighting like I want it. I am fighting like success is my birthright. Sometime I think because I work slightly harder then the next guy then success is guaranteed.
Nothing is promised in this world. Look at the beloved Crocodile Hunter. Yes, he is really dead. No one is promised tomorrow. Like a very inspirational friend of mine says, “ There are no Guarantees”. The Crocodile Hunter got stung in the heart by a Stingray. By a damn Stingray! Experts stressed that stingrays are not usually vicious and rarely attack and kill humans, unlike the range of deadly creatures Irwin had confronted in the past. There are no Guarantees.
Those who are fans of the show Entourage, know the energetic Ari Gold Character played by Emmy Award Winning Jeremy Piven. Just watching him during one of his well-scripted masterfully directed tirades leaves you exhausted. There are numerous shots where the camera is following Ari as he walks in a room or runs through crowds. You feel the energy he brings to each situation. Ari takes his work to the extreme, doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Despite his drive and determination, he still finds himself hustling to stay on top. He gets fired from his agency, and then starts his own. Each set back makes him better and more successful.
For Tracking Purposes let's look at a few summer time setbacks:
1. Transmission blown in the business truck ($2800)
2. Loss of my biggest account
3. Loss of control over my China/ Korean Program at work
4. I have not visited my family all summer
Now the summer hasn't been all doom and gloom.
A few positive notes:
Although frustrating as ever I have significantly improved my golf game. This is key in the world of business.
I have built this blog sight into a nice little income stream thanks to all of my readers.
I have managed to get my weight under the 180 mark (the six pack is right around the corner). I’m currently weighing in at 179.999 thanks to an elephant Ear at a particular State Fair.
I have created a structure for small business tracking that will allow me to run my business with increased efficiency. This should decrease operating costs by more then 10% .
I have two business plans that have proved to be a lot more promising then I thought.
Labor Day is the door to the second half of the year, and I will start fresh on Tuesday trying to work smarter, instead of reacting. Things are going well, and like previously posted I will leverage the good situations to make things great. (See archive 2006-07-09 WHEN THE SUN IS SHINING PREPARE FOR THE RAIN)
I have to remember to use all of my God given talents to create my luck. I am not that guy that gets things the easy way. Like Ari Gold, I will outpace my set backs and turn each one into a “Gold-en” opportunity.
LET'S HUG IT OUT BITCH!