- Simple for the non-medical layperson like me
- A voice of reason
- All important lung cancer facts in one easy place
Lynn Sherwood provides easy to read lung cancer facts
Lynn Sherwood provides easy to read lung cancer facts
*Many people will read a book title or cruise through a few pages of a book, form an opinion and then say the book is lousy. Other will give it a complete reading, however their minds are closed to new information. I suggest that if you have already found the one and only complete truth about everything, further reading, especially of the following, is not of any use.
** I think (in common usage terms) that “reading a book” no longer means only turning the pages of a physical book. Formats of consumption now include Kindle & audio, and while it is not “reading” a book, much great information can be gathered by listening/watching YouTube videos, so I will include some of them as well.
Books by Michael Gerber. Most of them say roughly the same thing, I have most enjoyed The E-Myth Revisited and several others were also beneficial.
High Trust Selling by Todd Duncan.
EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey.
Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk.
Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller.
It is no secret that Shepard believes that college is a lousy choice for 80% of people, and that there are better ways to prepare for a successful life. This easy-to-read book will help the reader consider possibilities and consider a different type of life: Rich Dad – Poor Dad by Robert Kiyasaki. A great follow-up by the same author is Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki.
Listen to Jordan B. Peterson on YouTube. I disagree with 25% of what he concludes, however the guy is really smart, politically incorrect and has some solid ideas. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCodkb-qBktJI5NrUsPYpf7g
The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose is perhaps the most important book available. It is available in audio format (free) here:
Why Won’t god Heal Amputees? This book is in contrast to Jordan Petersen’s counsel that belief in the supernatural is good for humanity in the long run because it provides order.
Check back for more additions to Shepard Humphries Reading List!
I call BS! The amount of “try” that someone has is rarely relevant. If you try really really hard not to punch me in the nose, but you do – I don’t care how hard you tried.
If you tried to keep your word on a commitment you made to me, but you lack integrity and go back on your word, I really don’t care how hard you tried.
If you tried to find a job, but didn’t get a job or find another method of getting income, you failed and the amount of ‘try” is not relevant.
How sweet, you tried not to cheat on your spouse? So you tried not to molest any children? You tried to get in touch with someone on the phone to get some information for me? Trying is all that matters. How cute.
If I need some bricks loaded onto a wagon, and I hire two men to do so, and one man loads the bricks quickly and with seeming ease, while the other man tries really hard, but only loads a couple, which man should I respect the most? Who is useful, who has the most worth? I don’t care one bit if the loser who “tried” tried hard or not. He did not produce.
Life is made good by producers. Some producers try hard and some don’t. In the cold hard real world, new-age cute crap like excuses are of no worth. Some people don’t have to try hard and they create excellence. Others try very hard but fail repeatedly. It doesn’t matter if the person is a surgeon or a French fry shaker, I want excellence, not substandard junk that had a bunch of wasted effort put into it.
Maybe. If you suffer a stroke and lose your muscle memory and find walking very difficult, and you walk 10 feet after weeks of therapy, I will be very proud of your success. Might you then argue that I am a hypocrite because the PT walked more than 20 feet effortlessly and with a better gait, therefore according to my logic the patient is a loser?
No, the goal was different. If I was hiring a person to stack bricks and my goal was to get the bricks stacked quickly and well, and the professional of able body was available, as was the stroke patient, guess who I would hire? Of course. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with setting achievable goals, and making small goals that are stepping stones along the way.
Whether you are a lazy and formerly materially worthless hunk of flesh, or if you are a recovering patient with huge challenges, I DO want you to achieve great things, I DO want you to win! If the goal is personal development, the measure can be different that if the goal is cold, hard sterile “production.”
If you have failed in diet control, and you weigh 500 pounds, and you try hard and maintain a 1200 calorie per day diet for a year and as a result get down to 350 pounds, I will be very proud of you. If on the other hand, you “try” to stick to the diet, but you fail and frequently eat more that your goal, and as a result you have worse outcomes, I am not as proud of you. I don’t care that you suffer from depression, had bad experiences as a child, broke your ankle or lost your enabler’s love.
Achieving great things matters. How much “try” you used to get them done is not important.
So, you accidentally landed or you have contemplated the cash flow quadrant and have selected E (employee) as your preferred vocational style. This E option has many benefits and many downsides as well, just as do the S, B and I quadrants. I would like to offer you some guidelines on How to Excel As An Employee.
Show up early by at least 15 minutes every day. This includes days when you are sick, when your babysitter cancels, when your car breaks down, when you are in jail etc. All of us have personal problems from time to time, and these are none of your manager’s business and to even tell your manager about them is an insulting waste of their time.
Your attitude REALLY matters. Even when you are frustrated, stressed, angry, sad or are experiencing some other emotion, never let anyone see you display this attitude. If you are grumpy and unhappy about your job, negotiate a solution with the manager, perhaps quitting. If you choose to stay, be cheerful and work hard.
Ok, this one is a big deal. Even if you were hired as a janitor, learn everything you can about other aspects of the business, and do most of this while you are NOT on the clock. For example, if you see the receptionist answering the phone and directing calls, why not ask her if you may watch her and maybe even help? If you see the maintenance man changing light bulbs, offer to help. It is wise to plan to invest at least an hour a day to continuing education, and again, do NOT do this while you are on the clock. Once you have been at a job for 6 months, you should know YOUR job well and at least two other jobs fairly well.
If the above paragraph is “not relevant” to you, then spend that hour learning in some other way. YouTube, Google, Khan and many other sources of FREE information await you! As long as a topic is somewhat useful and you are interested in it, go for it! Could it hurt to learn to tie 10 cool new knots? How about how to install a lift-kit on a truck? How about learning to understand P&Ls, Balance Sheets and the difference between net profit and profit margin? SEO is a great skill to learn, as is sharpening metal blades. Learn about propaganda, metallurgy, woodworking, typing, how to connect 50 different Bluetooth devices, how to make printers actually work and how to juggle.
Learn what the corporate goals are, and help with promoting what will accomplish them. For example, start a Facebook page called, “Awesome Employees, Partners & Clients of Acme Company.” Make a daily post of something positive, inspirational and that promotes your company. An example for a motel maid could be a pic of her room check supervisor with a clipboard, “Trinna is looking cheerful and sassy today as she makes sure every single detail is perfect here at Motel 7 here in Springfield. Ever wonder why our rooms always look so great? Two words; “Wonderwoman Trinna!”
If your company does not provide business cards for you, grab the CEO’s card and have some similar ones made for yourself. Be proud of your company and hand cards out when you meet folks. Don’t ask the company to pay for these cards, they are an investment in YOU!
Every single day, make a grateful comment to your manager. An example could be, “Thanks for the opportunity today.” Every single day, express your gratitude to a co-worker. If you are allowed to have client or vendor contact, thank them every chance you get. All of this gratitude needs to be genuine. If you are not grateful and if you are unhappy and don’t like it where you are, PLEASE stop sabotaging the company by being mediocre and move on to a better opportunity!
OK, so at the beginning I suggested that you arrive 15 minutes early every day. There you are in the parking lot, and you are not allowed to clock in for 10 more minutes. What to do? Walk the parking lot with a bag picking up cigarette butts, trash etc. If everything looks good, use the broom you brought from your house to sweep the sidewalk and parking lot near the entrance. When was the last time the sign by the road was cleaned? Do any branches from the bushes block the sign? Is there a stack of “stuff” by the side of the building that looks unsightly? Re-stack it neatly.
Oh yeah, and if the janitor ever calls in sick, guess what you should spend all but 5 minutes of your breaks and lunch doing? Yep, even if you are “clocked out” for lunch. If you have already learned other people’s jobs, and someone calls in sick, offer to help with that job that day!
Oh yeah, let’s chat about why you are there. You are a human part of a bigger system that includes people and tools. The management humans set the course for the company, and are responsible for getting and keeping good people and and helping them be super-efficient using good machines. They are responsible for setting the retail prices of the service or product your firm specializes in and for crunching the numbers to determine how much should be spent on tools, human labor, marketing etc.
The managers have decided that your position will help the company achieve more productivity than your cost of being there. They have decided what tasks and tools you should use to accomplish certain tasks. Part of being in the E quadrant is being supervised and managed by other folks. If you don’t like it, change quadrants like I have done.
If you decide to stay, do what you have been told to do, and think creatively. What does the company REALLY want you to achieve? If you are in the sales dept and your tasks include making at least 10 calls per hour to acheive 10% closes equaling 8 closes each day, does the company REALLY care if you make 10 calls per hour? NO! Set your own goal of 10 closes per day, and contemplate how you will achieve it. You just might think of a new technique that gets you 40% closes, which means you will likely be the highest producer in your division!
If you are a janitor, contemplate why the company chooses to spend mone on your salary rather than pocketing it. Is it for the sake of the other employees? Is it for the clients? Maybe both? What does the company REALLY want? Chances are, they want a clean & safe place that is appealing to the senses. They have decided that the tasks you are assigned to do will achieve this. Do those tasks better than anyone has ever done them, and do them quickly. Then, think about what else you could do to create a clean & safe place that is appealing to the senses. How about printing off a cute motivational saying, using a photo editing program (that you taught yourself to use on YouTube) to make a funny and positive meme with a picture you took there at the workplace? Put it on the wall in the break-room each week.
Be awesome, cheerful, work hard, be timely and reliable, be creative, always learn and go WAY above and beyond! If you know how to do half of the jobs in the company, are known as the most cheerful person on campus, have never been late or called in sick and have given the company more value than you promised or they expected, guess who is likely to have that job for a long time or be promoted?
Oh yeah, I trust that you are motivated enough that if you were not familiar with the Cash Flow Quadrant, that you already did a search for the term and learned about it? THAT is what an excellent employee would be creative and motivated enough to do.
Shepard Humphries is an entrepreneur in the luxury entertainment shooting experience industry and other sectors. Reared in poverty in a Mennonite community in Tennessee, Shepard has organized his life to become a successful husband, father, businessperson and innovator. Shepard is active as a principal in numerous ventures, serves as a consultant, serves on the board of several non-profits and writes about a variety of topics including shooting instruction, entrepreneurship, economics, philosophy and propaganda.
Greetings friends of curries and Indian buffets. TripAdvisor and non social-media-savvy restaurant owners have not provided me with a good resource as I travel, and somebody needs to do it, so I will step up and rate the Best Indian Buffets in the West.
First, let me explain my reasoning and methodology. The “buffet” industry is a tough business. A restaurant must have a big variety of flavors and colors while keeping costs low. Potatoes, spinach, cream and chicken are less expensive than beef, lamb and goat. This is why 95% of Indian buffets have a bunch of vegetarian dishes and 1 or 2 chicken dishes, but rarely have red meats. I get it. The Indian culture is professional, and most restaurant employees see themselves as servants, and as such should be straight-faced, not smile, not acknowledge my friendliness etc. It is a cultural thing, and I get it.
I like goat and lamb and beef. I like flavorful curries with low to medium heat. I like a friendly atmosphere. If a restaurant does not offer these things, they will not get a good mention from me. If, like Saffron Valley in Salt Lake City, a restaurant stops serving red meats, I will have to drop them from my list of Best Indian Buffets in the West.
Guru Palace has a mid-sized seating area, with all the tables close to the buffet. The buffet typically has salad, a number of very good chicken and vegan offerings and my favorite; goat curry! The staff is generally not overly friendly, but a couple of them have broken down over the years and smiled back at me. The naan is excellent, the Lassi is excellent and did I mention the goat curry?
As with Jamaican goat curry, Indian goat curry is traditionally served on the bone. This makes for a wonderfully messy meal, and is the best way to go! Be careful as you eat it, there are many sharp bones, which are fun to gnaw on when you get used to it. I prefer to get some of the curry sauce from the chicken dishes and pour it over my rice, then put the goat curry on top. With some of the creamy spinach on the side, some naan, I am in heaven!
#2 is still Saffron Valley in SLC, despite not having lamb, goat or beef
To be continued… if you know of buffets I should check out, please let me know!
Shepard Humphries enjoyed home cooked food with his middle eastern friends while an under-graduate in Wyoming. This sparked his interest in curries and other foods of that region. While he finds Pakistani and other middle-eastern curries to be better than Indian curries, Indian restaurants are much more popular. It takes a big man to be the multi-state expert in Indian food, and Shepard is that big man. As a big man that likes variety, he prefers buffets. Shepard travels Wyoming, Utah Western Colorado and Arizona, always seeking out new and better Indian Buffets.
Our children are counting on us to do what we can to make the world a safer place for them to grow and blossom into productive people. Take action and join us for our End Gun Violence Event in Jackson Hole.
Please make sure they respect human life, know how guns work and appreciate the responsibility of firearms ownership!
by Shepard Humphries
Critters like dogs, horses, mice and humans are constantly learning and adapting their behavior. I contemplated the question, Why Do Poor Folks Not Just Get a Job? I believe that a primary factor in poverty is the training provided by others.
I have long been interested in poverty, wealth, human productivity, gumption and the various castes we find ourselves in. I am excited to live in a place in which these castes are by choice, luck or circumstance, not a permanent thing. I am saddened by those that are unhappy in their chosen caste, but that do not take the necessary actions to change castes. I brainstormed an idea for a Program to Help the Poor Become Rich. Is isn’t perfect and would definitely need to be tweaked, but what do you think of the framework?
I wonder about a program whereby a person aged 16 to 35 of the poor class is offered a loan to move to another city, away from their circle of friends that are also of their caste. These friends and relatives have probably unknowingly “trained” them to be poor. They would relocate to a new town, and would be assigned 3 mentors. The poor person, whom we will call an acorn, would be provided with housing in an upper middle class area, food, professional clothing purchased on a shopping trip with their mentors. A mentor would provide the haircut and grooming instructions that are necessary for a professional and successful person. All expenses would be a loan, and the acorn would be required to pay it back within 6 months.
Mentors would invite the acorn to social activities that those of higher castes tend to do. The acorn would be taught how to job-hunt, opportunity-hunt, how to speak well, how to read and write and would be provided testing to see what their natural abilities and passions are. They would be introduced to “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and to the “Cash Flow Quadrant.” They would be loaned bicycles to get to work.
The acorn is now becoming a sprout! The sprout would work alongside their mentors, observing how a person of a more affluent caste works, speaks and spends their time. Within one week, the mentors would ensure that the sprout had a job or had started a viable small business. It is likely that one of the three mentors would have formed a positive relationship by now and that one would not be getting along well with the sprout. This is natural and perfect. That mentor can now walk away.
So, before I further romanticize this Utopian process, let’s examine what would likely happen at this, the 7 day point, assuming the program began with 15 drug-free acorns. It is my guess that at least 5 of the people would have refused and dropped out by now, saying things like, “I am not going to wear long sleeves, I don’t care if I have tattoos, I have the right not to be judged” or “I am not reading your books and I won’t listen to them on tape, they are boring” or “I am a night person, I am not getting up at no 4am to work for some bakery.” “I have S.A.D. and need to take some “me” time because I am depressed.” “I don’t think I would enjoy THAT job.” “What does diet and exercise have to do with learning to be rich, I don’t like vegetables or long walks.” It is likely that these 5 would continue their habit of avoiding difficult tasks in the pursuit of short-term satisfaction.
Of the 10 remaining acorns, I predict that a few would be doing well and would be motivated to win. I further predict that one of those or a couple were just playing a con game on me and you, and that they fooled us both. The remaining folks would still be plugging away.
In week two, sprouts would graduate to saplings, still not as strong as the mighty 75-year-old oak, but growing every day. Saplings would be given the task of working two mornings a week as interns for a local property management company. The task of this company would be to expose the saplings to the excuses and mentality of tenants and the divide between owners and renters. Saplings would have finished 2 or 3 books, and their daily hour of YouTube video assignments. They would have now watched 14 episodes of Shark Tank. They would be working 40 hours per week the second week, as well as doing their assignments. Most would likely have dropped out by the end of the week, but three would remain.
Those three would be introduced to an additional mentor at the beginning of week three. This new mentor would be a millionaire capable of motivating and offering excellent advice. All mentors would be encouraging and celebrate successes and help the saplings increase their self-respect and pride. They would encourage positive attitudes, and help the saplings understand that they are making a new life for themselves.
By the end of week 4, it is likely that 1 more sapling would have dropped out. The two remaining saplings would now be strong and would have been spending the previous two weeks seeking their own housing situation, with mentors advising them along the way. Beginning the 5th week, saplings would now begin paying back the loans for clothing, food and rent, even if only $5 each week. This would provide them with self respect that is typically absent when receiving charity.
The goal of this program is NOT the same as the goal of “public schooling” which is to create “employees.” Why do poor people not just get a job? We don’t care. Rather, the goal of this program is to help develop free-thinking individual entrepreneurs.
As entrepreneurs, we have had our ups and downs. In 2010 we spoke to a bankruptcy attorney to investigate options. This sucked. Maybe you have had a personal injury, another personal crisis, perhaps your industry is suffering or maybe the economy is in bad shape. Maybe you are simply exhausted, fed up and ready to throw it all away?
We can only imagine the despair you must feel when your business, a baby you have put so much love, hard work and passion into, is in a bad position. We are sorry that you are in this situation. 5 years ago things might have been looking great with an outlook of a steep upward trajectory. A perfect solution would be for a financially ignorant white knight to ride up and pay you millions. Unfortunately, that isn’t likely to happen.
We don’t know that we are your best solution, however we hope to be if it is mutually beneficial. Back in 2017 we reduced our lifestyle, and instead began saving pennies. We realized that within a few years, there would be an economic downturn, as there usually is every 6 to 8 years. We
The NRA and Dianne Feinstein Agree On Gun Control In Principle
By Shepard Humphries
A principle is a foundational rule from which one makes future decisions. Principles must be consistent and may not be dependent upon exterior factors. If exterior factors can change a principle; it isn’t a principle, but rather a general preference with wiggle room. One may change their principle if they examine it and find that it is not good, and when they do so, they must let go of the old principle. Let’s examine two principles relating to wife-beating to illustrate the nature of conflicting principles.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is the following principle:
The first principle is held by most of the 7 billion people in the world. Some of the world’s most powerful religions accept and teach it while other cultures frown upon it much the same as they frown upon farting in public. There are of course many different specifics regarding the initiation of violent physical actions, ranging from shaking an uncooperative wife by her arms to get her attention, to the extreme of beating to death as punishment for cheating. These are matters of preference and of degree.
The second principal is held by only a minority of the world’s population. They are a stubborn lot that always has an excuse for why disobedient wives should not be disciplined. This group holds to their principle, even when faced with scenarios like, “If you don’t make sure she knows who is boss, how will you know that you and your kids will have a meal ready at night when you get home?” These people that hold to the second principal retort that they, “do not know how everything would work, but they know that it is wrong to initiate violence.” They are labeled as being dogmatic idealists and refuse to use the sense that is commonly held and to understand the problems that would occur in today’s world if women are not forcibly controlled.
With this example under our belts, let’s look at the title of this article, the agreement in principle of the NRA and gun control advocates. Let’s again look at two principles.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is the following principle.
The first principal is the one held by the NRA, all national governments, the world government and Dianne Feinstein. There are billions of people that hold this principle, and within all of those minds there are many different specific preferences. Some might think a rifle magazine for private use should only hold 30 rounds, while others think 29 or 28 or 10 or 3 would be a better number for round capacity.
Some think that .30 caliber is as big as a bore as should be allowed for individuals to have, and others think the transgression cap should be .50 caliber or 20 mm. Some think that those that have demonstrated opposition to government’s preferences and are labeled “felons” should be excluded from being allowed firearms ownership, along with black people, wife-discipliners, Jews, those that get parking tickets, atheists and Muslims. These are matters of preference and of degree. All the people with this principle agree that it is necessary and good for governments to control firearms ownership of their subjects.
The second principal is held by only a minority of the world’s population, primarily philosophers and those in the peace and freedom movements. These people argue that guns are like books, sticks and other things compiled of atoms. They argue that humans should be free to own and use whatever atom-compilations they personally choose, and that the risk of people using books, guns or other things in a bad way does not give others the right to preemptively deny the person the right to have that item.
They are labeled as being dogmatic idealists and refuse to use the sense that is commonly held and to understand the problems that would occur in today’s world if individuals were allowed by their governments to have any book, gun or pencil they choose to have.
My point in this article is that the NRA holds the same principles as the anti-gun crowd. They only differ in preference and degree. I happen to be on the side of the second groups in both of the above examples. You may of course choose which side you agree with, but to be intellectually honest and consistent, one must accept the good and the bad of following their principles.
If you believe that a savage repeat-offender black atheist felon that is released from prison should not have the right to keep and bear certain arms, you might be wise and your preference might save someone’s life, however, you must admit that you do NOT believe in the principle that the right of people to keep and bear arms should not be infringed upon.
The NRA and Mrs. Feinstein have strong preferences, many that they disagree with each other about, and some that they agree. In principle however, they agree that the right of people to keep and bear arms should be infringed upon by the government. Neither speak out about a danger of a government being better armed than the subjects it controls. What about the GOA and the JPFO, what is their principle?
So, speaking of intellectual honesty, should I, and people that share my belief in the principle that people’s right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed upon hate the NRA and Mrs. Feinstein? Both the NRA and Dianne, as well as those that fund and otherwise control them are “just people.” Like me, they are wrong about some stuff and right about some stuff. They are “just people” like me, and I will happily be friends with them.
The NRA has what could be an excellent Training Division (if funded & de-bureaucratized better) that is not associated with their government special interest ILA division, and they have another division called the NRA Foundation, that while corrupt, is not at all associated with their government division. I am a supporter of two of the divisions, and while I cannot support the government wing that fights for a principle that is contrary to the one I hold, I would happily stand alongside Dianne and an NRA ILA attorney and volunteer at a disaster relief soup kitchen, or go out and have a blast shooting clays with them!
Learn more about the Earth Day Science Propaganda campaign HERE.
I am not arguing that looking like a piece of crap is morally wrong or that one is stupid or “bad” when they choose to look like crap, I am suggesting that to achieve most goals, one is wise to look and behave like they have their shit together. A friend of mine started businesses, acquired a small pile of money and at 40 retired to a remote area of Mexico. He is not trying to get converts to his ideals or trying to make or keep business relationships. It is OK that he wears a ratty t-shirt and is unshaven with uncombed hair.
My argument is that if a man “wants something” from other people, they will be more effective if they don’t look like a crap sandwich. Most of us want something from others. My brothers in the voluntaryist movement are a prime example. Many discuss excellent intellectual ideas, which they back up with rational argument. If a secretary was dictating, all would be well, however because of the way in which the person is perceived, the message is greatly weakened and they therefore do not get what they want; converts.
What do YOU want?
If you like having a scruffy half-beard, long hair, tattoos, more jewelry than one ring on one finger or if you like wearing wrinkled clothing and T-Shirts that say stuff that you and your in-group agree is clever, fine. If you want to use poor grammar, curse a lot use the word “like” or use a groovy-dude-peace-brah marijuana voice, fine. You absolutely have that right. Just know that looking lousy will probably decrease your effectiveness in getting what you want. The people that already love you will probably still love you, and your choir will still listen to your preaching.
“I wear T-Shirts or have scruffy facial hair and I do fine” you might argue. I challenge you this, “Compared to what?” If you had dressed sharply in public for the last 5 years, would you not have had a broader appeal? Would “most folks” not think more highly of you? Dispense with the tough guy bravado about “I don’t care what people think of me” or “I am not trying to impress anyone.” i bet you DO care what people think of you, and regardless of how you choose to present yourself, you ARE impressing them either positively or negatively.
There are a couple men that can “pull off” wearing a T-Shirt and still command respect better than most. Two that come to mind are Mark Cuban and Larken Rose. Both are leaders in their respective areas of expertise and have, “reached the top of the pile.” Cuban is a billionaire businessman and can wear whatever he wants because his power lies with his capital and Rose can wear whatever he wants when presenting to his fans because his power lies in his ideas. Even these two men would do better if they “looked sharper.” One does not have to look as metropolitan as famous published Jeffery Tucker, something as simple as a nice crisp dress shirt and a sports coat go a long way.
“I am too poor” is a common objection, “I can’t afford nice clothes.” I call BS and I further suggest that if this is your argument, and you allow it to be your excuse, your financial condition will not improve much. Visit thrift stores and make it happen. Not that easy? Read this and This.
Beards? Don’t. If you simply must, be sure that it is full and well trimmed. Patchy and scruffy don’t work. Ever. If your face can’t grow a full, strong beard please just skip it until you retire to Mexico.
I heard a concept many years ago that the guy was saying that he was a “Yes man.” Whenever any circumstance or opportunity presented itself, he would almost always say, “Yes!” I realized that I had done that on may occasions in my life, and my wife and I agreed that we should do this even more! As I pondered the many forks in the road that is my life, I realized that many of the “unique” twists and turns were the ones that made be better or otherwise improved my condition.
I thought of this again last night when my wife looked at me and yelled over the loud music, “I can’t believe my life!” We were of course at the First annual Acapulco Biker Week at the heavy metal concert. We were seated in the VIP section on a raised platform near the stage with friends from Chicago, London and Sweden.
The friend that brought us had the VIP invitation extended by a friend of his, who has managed and owned various bars and restaurants around Mexico and has strong ties to Hollywood’s A-list. We came to the concert after having some of the best Chinese food I have ever had with a dozen friends. This dinner was after the first Non-Violent Communication (NVC) workshop I had ever attended.
After the concert, as our friend’s driver drove us back to the luxury resort in the Diamanté District where we had a room overlooking the ocean and pools, we learned from him of the cartel’s inner workings and the history of violence in Acapulco due to the US “War on Drugs.” In less than 24 hours, I had all the above experiences, along with many others. How did this happen to a boy reared in a Mennonite community in the back hills of Tennessee that then served the State as an armed agent for 10 years?
It occurs to me that my rise from poverty is in large part due to the “yeses” that I said. At age 16 when I was a dishwasher, I could have stayed in the restaurant industry and could today be a cook at a greasy spoon. I could have stuck with my taxidermist-assistant job and today could be a taxidermist. I chose instead to say “yes” to many opportunities and as a result, my life has expanded and been much happier and more fulfilling!
A week later? We enjoyed a party hosted by our good friend Michael Ninmitz, an Acapulco business & community leader. Two ladies in feathers and bikinis were standing at the door, with their only job being to greet the incoming guests. In attendance? Mear One (whom I have become friends with, along with his lady Janice), Jeffrey Tucker (My long-time hero, (who had joined us the night before at our table for dinner and fun conversations about his horse-riding exploits in Jackson Hole), and Vit, the president of Liberland.
I rode beside Luke Radowski on the way to and from this party. Also at this party is Rick Falkvinge, who founded the Swedish pirate party which then prompted many other countries to also establish a Pirate Party. Yes, of course, Tone Vays is here and the event that ended just before I came involved me taking the microphone from Roger Ver’s hand and handing it to Jim Bell, the guy that wrote the essay on assassination politics.
I suggest you say “yes” to more stuff. On my list of “to-do” new experiences are, learning to fly a tail-dragger, getting arrested and spending a day or two in a jail, learning to weld, trying medicinal plants, starting a business from scratch and selling it within 5 years for $5mil, inventing something and going through the patent process, getting a professional espresso machine installed within 30 steps of my home office desk and much more. These things could also kind of be considered goals, however with them in mind, my “Yes” responses are most likely to take me in the right direction.
Q: Will I accomplish this sampling of goals and much more?
In a free market, people exchange things of value. A person that has $1 and is thirsty meets a person with extra water that wants $1. Each of these people wants what they other one has, and they agree to make the exchange. Both walk away feeling that they are better off. This is how a free market works.This also holds true with the production of labor, both skilled and low-skilled. Those that have very little productive “value” to exchange with employers or clients for money wind up not getting paid much. I suggest that being low-skilled should be a temporary time in one’s life and that we are wise to look at ourselves as an investment, much like a machine.
The great news is that we can all change ourselves each minute of the day to become a better ‘machine’ and thereby of more value to others. This, in turn, means they are willing to exchange more of their money for more of our productive efforts. Being paid a low wage should be a very temporary thing and I suggest that you should quickly increase your skills and value with OJT. (On the Job Training) Tom Wood’s humorous “Minimum Wage Argument Translation.”
Most of us have the ability to grow and learn, and traditional schooling is rarely the best method. One of the coaches that works with us is a very “handy” guy. Andy has the following general skills, some perhaps not at an “expert” level, and others to a pretty darn capable degree… without any “degrees.”
Because Andy has an inquisitive mind and a mechanical aptitude, when he observes a challenge, he jumps in and learns what is necessary to succeed. A gun we wanted to purchase for the business was a fully automatic MP-5 machine gun. The price is approximately $32,000 for this gun, which was more than we could invest. “No problem, let’s get a manufacturing license.” said Andy, “I will see if I can make one.”
Andy had never built a machine gun, however just a couple years later, by reading manuals, watching YouTube videos, talking to machinists and learning in other ways, Andy has now built not only the MP5, but several other machine guns including a Tommy Gun and an AK-47. Andy studied on the job and invested many hours of his own time to learn a new skill. Andy will never have a problem finding someone to exchange their money for what he produces. Do you think maybe Andy’s skills are of great value to us?
YouTube is a wonderful resource for our generation! Almost everything is available on YouTube and other video sites, from learning how to write a blog to welding, building a machine gun, suturing a gash on your arm, fixing a vacuum cleaner and just about everything else. Access? If you don’t have a computer or smart phone, you can use a government library or if your morals don’t allow you to accept this “stolen loot” I would suggest that many entrepreneurs in your area would allow you to use theirs!
Another person on our team just sent an email to me. This email prompted me to write this long-overdue article. Ashleigh got a piece of paper from government-approved college, but we don’t care, and it has nothing to do with what she produces for us. Ashleigh is our lead Guest Care Guru. Her primary job is to speak with potential clients and booking agents and to prepare perfect shooting experience events for them. By working with us, she has learned several employee-scheduling software systems, more about serving high net worth clients, about advertising, marketing, time & task management, relationship building, and more.
This spring, we purchased SalesForce and had it customized for our business. This was a very frustrating and complicated process that our CEO/CFO Lynn Sherwood went through. Ashleigh came on board again this summer and studied how Salesforce works, delving far beyond what was necessary for day-to-day operations, as set up. She has learned about additional features that she can now teach to other Guest Care Gurus and to Lynn. Do you think maybe Ashleigh skills are of great value to us?
During the slower times of our seasonal business, Ashleigh has taken on other projects, including publishing a booklet cataloging about 100 guns, with descriptions and pictures for each. She now has a working knowledge of MS Publisher and, through trial and error, has learned how to publish!
What about the recent email I spoke of? Ashleigh is helping with our firm’s social media, and as such has had to self-teach herself new skills. Recently, she did the research and found a free photo editing program that she was comfortable with for basic editing. Her recent email was “showing off” her latest photo touch-up & watermarking with our logo.
Ashleigh “took it upon herself” to select this photo and make it “social media ready.” We paid her while she learned this new skill, and now we value her productive capabilities even more!
Take a look at your own life and consider Andy & Ashleigh. Are YOU spending your own time and money to improve yourself? Are you spending your time “on the clock” to produce extra value for your team while also improving your value? Are you investing unpaid time as well? Are you making yourself a more competent person?
I suggest that you look for problems around your workplace in areas for which are outside of your “job description”. Figure out how to solve them while learning new skills in the process. I know of a cleaning lady at a hotel that was frustrated that all 5 of the vacuum cleaners were frequently out of service, and that the maintenance staff was not repairing them in a timely manner. Imagine if she spent her breaks watching YouTube videos on vacuum cleaner repair. What if she downloaded the free online owner’s manuals and really studied them to learn all about them? If she invested even 20 minutes each day in learning, and 30 minutes each week working on the vacuum cleaners, within 90 days she would likely be better at vacuum cleaner repair than the maintenance crew.
What if she also fixed her uncle’s vacuum cleaner, then spoke to a different local hotel and offered to fix theirs at no cost? How much more valuable would this make her to current employers? How much better would it make her as a human being?
Imagine the new opportunities, now she no longer has only the option of the minimum wage maid marketplace, now she could perhaps get a job at a vacuum repair shop, a handyman service, or start her own mobile vacuum cleaner repair service! If she continues her studies and this “habit” of being curious, learning and going above & beyond, do you think maybe her skills are of great value to the world? She should not expect her current employer to pay for her to better herself.
What problems exist in YOUR workplace? What opportunities do they present for you? You do not need a college degree to be of value to others. Be systematic and disciplined while creating your own awesome machine, YOU!
You will take each video I record and share with you, usually 3 minutes to 9 minutes in length.
I will give you a sample video to edit, and we will then be able to decide which applicant we will choose.
I made a video of me editing a video, you can see that it should take less than 30 minutes for each one, and I am a self-taught amateur.
Again, I am an amateur, and I can edit 2 videos in an hour, another editor told me it took her only 15 minutes to do a 3 minute video. I expect you to do a better job in less time, right? This means that you will me making equal to about ₱260/hour!
See my YouTube channel to see what the “typical” video should look like when done. https://www.youtube.com/user/shepardh1/videos
Are you interested? Please respond with the subject line being: VIDEO EDITING 1STov
LET ME KNOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO A SAMPLE. If so, I will send you a raw video of myself, you can edit it with an intro & outro, include some extra text & pics, and I will see if I like it. If I don’t think the quality is good enough to work with each other more, but the video is good enough to put on YouTube, I will pay you $2.50.
If I enjoy working with you, and you think you can perform well at our price, I will hire you for more videos!