Taking Stock of 2007

Just read a great post over at Real Estate Investing Brain » Why Almost Everyone Struggles More Than They Should in REI. He goes over a number of ideas about why we struggle with our business and financial lives and how to take stock of things so that we can focus on the future in a positive and productive way.

There are 5 quesitons that he wants us to ask ourselves:

  1. What were your greatest accomplishments in 2007?
  2. What were your biggest disappointments in 2007?
  3. How did you limit yourself last year, and how can you stop?
  4. What did you learn from the last three questions?
  5. How can I (you) use this information to make 2008 the best year yet?

Here are my answers:

  1. What were your greatest accomplishments in 2007?
    Made number one salesman at my company. My third month in, and it was the best month the company had ever seen!
    Got to go to Vegas for a convention with my old company after being there for just three months.
    Remembered how much fun a relationship can be and that I need to stay focused on having fun in one.
    Made all of my mortgage payments!
  2. What were your biggest disappointments in 2007?
    Left my current company in Feb when I had 3 deals in the pipeline. Definitly a big mistake there leaving just as I was getting started and letting other peoples attitude about the job influence me enough to leave it.
    My old company was a dissapointment overall because I went there for the wrong reason: a salary. I didn’t leave soon enough, the place was just not a good fit for me, nothing against the people there I just cant work like that.
    Stayed in a relationship that shouldn’t have gone past a few weeks because it just wasn’t a good fit. I had to work too hard at it from the start and that is not what a relationship should be about.
  3. How did you limit yourself last year, and how can you stop?
    Listening too much to other peoples opinions and not listening to myself. I knew that my current company was a great opportunity but let other peoples experience influence me to thinking that it wasn’t a great opportunity. I need to listen to myself and trust myself. I have done pretty well doing that so far why stop now?
    Focusing on other peoples problems more than my own, or letting their problems become mine and influence my outlook. While it is important to help my friends and care for them I have to always put myself first and make sure that I am okay. As long as I do that I will be able to help even more people.
  4. What did you learn from the last three questions?
    I have learned that 2007 was a year where I let myself feel sorry for myself. In 2006 I was let go from a six figure income and really let that hang over my head for too long. That debacle is over and there is nothing I can do about it but get up and move on. Unfortunately I let it carry over into 2007 and keep me from making a firm decision on my career and relationships. These last three questions gave me the insight to see what was working for me and what wasn’t.
  5. How can I (you) use this information to make 2008 the best year yet?
    For 2008 I need to stay positive. I have a great house, the best family, and cool friends. I am good at sales and enjoy it very much. I forget this fact a lot and let myself drift into wanting to do other things. This year I am doing 2 things right now to fix this. The first one is that I am going to start coaching at a youth soccer league in my city. This is going to be great for a few reasons: The first one is that I am going to be able to enjoy giving kids my enthusiasm for soccer and this will help me with my leadership skills. The second activity I am going to start is finding a business group to work on my networking and speaking skills.

Personality vs. Position

Good post on the Presidential Elections and how personality is what most people consider when voting. The title is a bit misleading though as I thought he was going to talk about who the best candidate for business is going to be. Instead he talks about how important your personality is for your business and ways to work on it.

There is also an exercise where you put in what you feel the various candidates personalities are. Here is what I came up with:
Democrats Dominant Personality Trait
Hillary Clinton __Regal / Entitled___
Barack Obama __Confident __
John Edwards __Light Hearted___

Republicans Dominant Personality Trait
John McCain ___Condicending__
Mitt Romney ____Fake___
Rudy Giuliani ____Mean_____
Mike Huckabee ____Aloof_____

If you cant tell I am an Obama fan.

The Best Presidential Candidate For Your Business | Business Coaching For Internet Marketing Entrepreneurs

Over Supplied

Since just over a year ago when I was let go from my old company I have been in a serious funk about a lot of things, but nothing bites as badly my first home purchase being just a few weeks before they decided my services were no longer of use. My bitterness runs deep and hard and many days I find it quite suffocating. I was in total shock for Nov and Dec of 2006 as I tried to understand what had just happened. I had quite a bit of cash in the bank so it wasnt an immediate panic. I had joked with my mortgage friend the whole time we were going through the process that I could always just go work for him if I lost my gig and suddenly there I was.

My first mistake was not going straight to work. I waited till January to give it a ‘fresh start’. So for Nov I tried putting a company together with the other guys that were let go at the same time as me. This failed to launch and I spent Dec reflecting on turning 30 and wondering if I was going to be able to keep my house. This was very unhelpful.

My second mistake was not sticking with the Mortgage position in Jan and thinking that the grass is always greener went to work at another tech startup. The salespitch I got in the interview was phenomenal and I took the bait. Nine months later I walked back to the Mortgage position and am doing well. The problem now is that everything seems to be coming down around me.

Everyday we see more stories about the failing economy and I cant help but get caught up in the paranoia that suddenly someone is going to throw a switch and everything is going to go dark. Of course this is an overgeneralization but things do seem really bad. Now the government is gonna throw us all $500 to get things going again. I dont know about you but $500 is not a lot of money when you have a mortgage that is 3 times that. I keep brainstorming about what people are gonna buy with that to get everything going again. It seems that this is a very shortsided way of fixing something that was caused by the shortsided belief in home prices being able to maintain their meteoric climb in the last 7 years.

So what am I gonna do to prepare for the Recession that is already happening? The first thing I have started is cooking my meals almost daily. This is hard so a shortcut is to make up a lot of meals on Sunday and then just reheat them at work. This saves me at least $6 a day which adds up to over $240 a month just for lunches. Dinners are usually closer to $10 each so make it a good $500 in monthly savings right there. The next concession will have to be going to the bar as this is easily one of the biggest drains on my pocket book. Thats a good $400 a month there. Just two concessions and I am on my way to saving $1000 a month. This is money that I will need to start putting into my Emergency fund to be ready in case something happens because as my exit from Godaddy taught me: nothing is for certain.

Morning write

I read this post on zenhabits.com about getting over boredom yesterday and remebered something I read a while back talking about getting up at 4am and writing for an hour. Trouble with that is that I will have to go to sleep at 9pm which is difficult if not impossible to do. So instead I am going to get up at 5am and write for an hour. This will let me get about 7 hours of sleep on a consistent basis, which from what I read is enough to stay healthy on. This process will start in the morning.

Fighting asana

Jumped my butt out of bed at 730 to get to the morning yoga. The intention was to get an early enough class to make the Team in Training information meeting at 1030. To the side I was interested in trying the new mat I had just received in the mail the day before. I finally got up at 7ish and hurried myself out the door.

This was a Power class with one of the owners at Innervision, Aaron. Power classes are a bit more advanced and definitly are a work out. Today we were tortured with a pose I have only recently seen a lot of: the Bear pose.

Bear pose is a toning pose, there is pretty much no stretching going on in this one. Start off in Downward Dog and move your shoulders to the top of a pushup. Let your knees come to one inch of the floor and let your back curve by tilting your tailbone up. Now hold that.

We were put into this one at least 15 times during this class. As we progressed laughter came from various aspects of the room when the pose was mentioned. To make it more interesting we alternated lifting each leg for 3-5 breaths.

The other move that we did was completely new to me and is just a way of getting to Crecent pose but is worth mentioning. Instead of coming up to Crecent from a lunge we went to it from standing.

First stand stright up and put all weight into your left leg. Raise the right knee till the thigh is perpendicular and hold it there for a breath. The step the right leg to the back of the mat and stand on its toes. Take you arms down to you hips but keep them straight and let the palms face in. After a breath bring them up above your head.

This move was used as much as the Bear pose and really changed the perspective of the flow. I felt much lighter and open with the move than the grounded feel I get from coming into Crecent via a Lunge. This is not to say that I prefer one over the other but I appreciate the differences that the moves give to me.

The new mat did well but I have to get a yoga towel to put on it while I sweat all over during class. Now I have to find a cheap one…

Being a Host

Great post over on 43 Folders about entertaining.

When I have people over to my home I try not to get too stuck in the kitchen but its tough as I love to cook and I usually have people over because I want to cook for them. However since I am in the kitchen people love to gravitate towards the kitchen so I put them to work. This can be a perilous decision with some people so I have ‘test’s’ for them to check their culinary aptitude:

  1. I will ask them to grab something from the fridge like Squash or anything out of the ordinary. This tests their knowledge first of all, but I also understand that not everyone paid attention in Home Ec class and use it as a motivational test. If they ask me for help it means they really want to help. If they bring me something just to bring I thank them and get them a drink and move them to the living room.
  2. If they past the first part I move them to the next step of washing the item or opening it. This test confirms their mechanical skills. If water or whatever was packaged goes all over the place I get them a drink and send them to the living room, after they clean up.
  3. Now we have seen that they are motivated and competent with tools. This is the big step and only used if I am really behind or they have shown a lot of promise: I hand them a knife and have them cut vegetables. I watch them closely at the start to see how their technique goes. I may give them a few pointers if I think they are good, but it they worry me at all I get them a drink and send them to the living room.
  4. If they can handle a knife and I am comfortable then they have passed the Interview and can be considered my Prep Chef. I may let them work with heat and mixing ingredients together as this allows me to get out of the kitchen for a bit, but this usually requires a few sessions where I am able to watch them and feel more confident in them.

These are things I try to work on to be a good host. I think that the big thing is to keep the action happening. I make sure to introduce new arrivals to everyone and let the conversations begin.

When you are a guest try to act like a host or the host’s assistant. They will appreciate your help and you will be the life of the party.

Fighting through it

“grit your teeth and smile at the pain” was the mantra I imposed on today’s run. The cold has been making my knee complain quite a bit lately so I knew today would be a task. Overall I felt good but ice was necessary afterwards.

Level 1-2 730pm

Didnt get into work till late today as the furnace was finally fixed. Missed the Ashtanga at 610pm but saw that there was a Level 1-2 at 730pm so I went to that. I was worried that it might be too late and that I wouldnt be able to get to sleep till midnight or later, but I had taken Monday off due to hangover and broken toes so I had to go.

Did I mention that my toes are broken? Well maybe not broken but they really did hurt bad on Monday after soccer from Sunday. I figured out this morning that the reason the left one was pretty much healed but my right one was it total pain was because the blister under the right big toenail was not yet popped.  The one on the left had popped on Sunday after playing. So I had to lance it a few times today, even at work, which was gross but absolutely necessary.

I got to the studio a bit early which is always better than coming in after class starts, which a few people didnt mind doing. Maredith was the teacher and while I think she could talk a bit less I really enjoy her class as her enthusiasm is contageous.

I felt pretty good despite not being able to feel the top of my big toes and being very sore still from soccer on Sunday. We did a couple of interesting balance moves which I was able to pull off.

Met Kelly who had just been snowboarding to Solitude up in Park City. She is married and very cool so we talked on our way out to the parking lot.

First Soccer Practice

Made it to the 9am scrimmage today. Our side is gonna have about 18 players which apparently will be good as people are not so reliable on the Sunday league from what was mentioned. It was fucking freezing this morning, well maybe not that bad. I am sure that the fact my furnace hasnt been working for a week has something to do with that.

The field is about 10 minutes south of my house which is not bad. I may bike it in the future but we shall see. Condition was okay. There was grass mostly in hibernation but the dirt was soft which was really nice. I have gone with turf boots for now and they held up just fine. My toes however did not. The first issue was that I didnt have the boots tied up enough to keep them from smashing up front. The second issue is that I need to keep my nails better trimmed.

For the most part our team is pretty good. Keeping our spacing is somewhat of an issue as it generally is. Communication was pretty good but needs to get better. We have two ball hogs who are very talented but need to get better at passing the ball. For tall blokes there is me and one other guy then we have a number of mid sized guys who are quick. It will be interesting to see how we rotate people through the game.

Our manager is John who is also pretty good on the pitch. I mentioned getting a bar sponsor and he is all for it. I will talk with my people this afternoon and see what we get.

Overall I am feeling pretty good about the squad. We need to get the communication fixed and start figuring out positions.