No man should pay for my misfortune and incapacity. Instead I should learn from them both, adapt to overcome them both, and turn them both into profit for the good of the whole world.
I don’t really suffer from procrastination, and never have. I actually suffer from what might be called the opposite condition, what I call Polyploytation, and it’s related malady, Mission Creep.
We are probably all familiar with Mission Creep so there’s no need to define that term.
Polyploytation is the habit of taking on far too many projects in a short or restricted period of time which of course means all such projects tend to interfere with one another (at some point) thereby inevitably restricting your overall productivity and efficiency at any given endeavour.
At its very worst it even prevents you from ever really achieving any of your ultimate end goals because each new goal interferes with accomplishing and finishing any and all previous goals.
For instance I might be trying to complete a song, a short story, a chapter in one of my novels, run an experiment…
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Indeed. You begin when you need to begin, not when you or anyone else is ready…
In 1966, a dyslexic sixteen-year-old boy dropped out of school. With the help of a friend, he started a magazine for students and made money by selling advertisements to local businesses. With only a little bit of money to get started, he ran the operation out of the crypt inside a local church.
Four years later, he was looking for ways to grow his small magazine and started selling mail order records to the students who bought the magazine. The records sold well enough that he built his first record store the next year. After two years of selling records, he decided to open his own record label and recording studio.
He rented the recording studio out to local artists, including one named Mike Oldfield. In that small recording studio, Oldfield created his hit song, Tubular Bells, which became the record label’s first release. The song went on to sell over 5 million copies.
Over the next decade, the young boy grew his record label by adding bands like the Sex Pistols, Culture Club, and the Rolling Stones. Along the way, he continued starting companies: an airline business, then trains, then mobile phones, and on and on. Almost 50 years later, there were over 400 companies under his direction.
Today, that young boy who dropped out of school and kept starting things despite his inexperience and lack of knowledge is a billionaire. His name is Sir Richard Branson.
How I Met Sir Richard Branson
Two weeks ago, I walked into a conference room in Moscow, Russia and sat down ten feet from Branson. There were 100 other people around us, but it felt like we were having a conversation in my living room. He was smiling and laughing. His answers seemed unrehearsed and genuine.
At one point, he told the story of how he started Virgin Airlines, a tale that seems to capture his entire approach to business and life. Here’s the version he told us, as best I can remember it:
I was in my late twenties, so I had a business, but nobody knew who I was at the time. I was headed to the Virgin Islands and I had a very pretty girl waiting for me, so I was, umm, determined to get there on time. At the airport, my final flight to the Virgin Islands was cancelled because of maintenance or something. It was the last flight out that night. I thought this was ridiculous, so I went and chartered a private airplane to take me to the Virgin Islands, which I did not have the money to do. Then, I picked up a small blackboard, wrote “Virgin Airlines. $29.” on it, and went over to the group of people who had been on the flight that was cancelled. I sold tickets for the rest of the seats on the plane, used their money to pay for the chartered plane, and we all went to the Virgin Islands that night. —Richard Branson
I took this photo right after he told that story. A few moments later I stood shoulder–to–shoulder with him (he’s about six feet tall) and thanked him for sharing some time with us.
Become a Branding Expert—OnDemand Design Webcast CollectioA couple of weeks ago, we brought you 14 of the best business cards in the biz, knowing we had only to reach out to designers and firms at the top of their game to get our hands on their business cards. Then we found 12 more of the best business cards created for clients.
Now, now we’re bringing you even more business card examples. This time, many readers sent in their cards and clients’ cards, and we threw those into the mix.
What do you think of these business card designs? Which would you call a great business card?
Designer: Justin Ahrens
Material/Production: Neenah Classic crest Solar White #100 cover; 3/3 with registered emboss and custom PMS
Printer: O’Neil Printing
Designer/Client: Nice Branding Agency
Material: Silk cards with gold foil accents
Designer/Client: Kevin Greene
Designer/Client: Jay Smith, Juicebox Designs
Designer: Tom Davy, Ten2Two
Client: Bodymasters Gym and Nutrition
There are still important business lessons to be learned by America’s richest man — and who better to learn them from than Gates’ friend and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett?
In 2013, Gates traveled to Omaha, Nebraska, for Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting. “It’s always a lot of fun, and not just because of the ping-pong matches and the newspaper-throwing contest I have with Warren Buffett,” Gates writes in a LinkedIn post. “It’s also fun because I get to learn from Warren and gain insight into how he thinks.”
Gates outlined the three most important lessons he learned from Buffett. Here are the highlights:
Look At The Big Picture
When Gates first met Buffett, his immediate instinct was to focus on the surface of his success: picking and investing in stocks. But Gates quickly learned that key to Buffett’s success ran much deeper — it’s about the big picture of a business. “He has a whole framework for business thinking that is very powerful,” Gates writes.
Instead of focusing on the day-to-day details of the market, Buffett looks at overall growth. “He talks about looking for a company’s moat — its competitive advantage — and whether the moat is shrinking or growing,” Gates says. “He says a shareholder has to act as if he owns the entire business, looking at the future profit stream and deciding what it’s worth.”
Be Honest With Shareholders
Buffett famously takes time every year to send a letter to his shareholders, a practice that inspired Gates to start doing the same. While Buffett’s letters offer business and investing insights, Gates believes Buffett’s candor is what makes them stand out. “He’s been willing to speak frankly and criticize things like stock options and financial derivatives,” Gates says. “He’s not afraid to take positions, like his stand on raising taxes on the rich, that run counter to his self-interest.” Gates’ key takeaway: transparency is highly appreciated.
Value Your Time
“No matter how much money you have, you can’t buy more time,” Gates reminds us, noting that Buffett understands this better than anyone. Buffett makes an effort to be available to his close advisers and always finds time to personally answer phone calls from them. “He’s very generous with his time for the people he trusts,” Gates says.
However, Buffett knows how valuable his time is, and doesn’t waste it in useless meetings, Gates says. Buffett prioritizes his time and spends it in ways that matter most to him.
Click here to read the full LinkedIn post.
The $5 Billion Startup Club: The 9 Highest Valued Startups That You Should Definitely Keep An Eye On
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
There used to be a time when a $1 billion valuation was considered a massive success for tech startups.
But in recent years, there’s been so many of them that billion-dollar valuations are almost starting to feel routine in tech.
So we’ve raised the bar and narrowed down WSJ’s “The Billion-Dollar Startup Club” list to companies that are valued at more than $5 billion.
These startups are transforming our lives and they’re definitely worth keeping an eye on moving forward.
Completely concur… and God is the very best and Wisest Business, Career, Entrepreneurial, Success, and Work partner I have ever had.
I want to say upfront that I believe in God and that there is design to the world and the people in it. For those of you who don’t believe this, I am asking you to allow me to hold these assumptions temporarily for specific reasons that will hopefully become clear. The purpose of this article is not to convert anyone; it is to build some logic into why, for me, the Bible is the best business book I have read.
Suppose it were actually true that God existed and sent his Son to us. If it were, then it would likely follow that the guidance He gave to us would help us deal effectively with people since people are part of His design. The biblical story is that God sent His son Jesus with a mission and message of reconciliation to mankind. If it is true that God created us, then looking at the invitation that He gives through Jesus tells us a lot about what people will respond to, and gives us a model for effective relationships.
Since working with people is most important in business, then, a by-product of following the Bible would be becoming more successful in working with others. Like the law of gravity, there would be basic things that work or do not work with people. For example, when dealing with customers who cheat us, if our first move is to punish the customers in some even small way, on average that would yield a set of outcomes. Rather, if our first move is to forgive the customers, that would also probably have a different set of outcomes.
When Peter cut off the ear of one of the soldiers who attempted to capture Christ, Jesus admonished Peter. (John 18:11). If we go about our daily lives judging people in a harsh way, then this would likely come through in some intangible way in how we are perceived by others. As much as we try, it is difficult to hide who we really are over a long period of time. In the Bible, when the mob was about to stone the woman convicted of adultery, Jesus asked that the person guilty of no sin come forth to cast the first stone (John 8:7). If we align our goals with those of a power much greater than ours, we are swimming with the current, not against it. I also believe it helps with leadership since people end up following, not really individuals, but the ideas those individuals stand for.
The best business book I have read is the Bible. Specifically, the New Testament contains rich instruction on relationships, both descriptively (how Jesus treats us) and prescriptively (how we treat each other in response). Ideals such as directly confronting people over offenses, working without garnering praise, and acknowledging that we have a limited ability to change people, are all emphasized in the context of His teaching. If you follow the guidance in it, I believe that, while your worldly success is not guaranteed, your chance of success will be higher. (For those of you reading this who are Christians, my intent is not to convey at all that we follow these principles for an outcome: it is to state what I have seen in my business life. God does not promise us any earthly reward for our submission to His principles).
Now, to end where I began, I want to say a few other things. I realize there are people who are very “successful” in business who do not believe in God or in a design, perhaps do not give it much thought, and have discarded these things. However, if you look closely at the majority of them, they were or are more or less following the guiding principles of the New Testament. Also, there are probably some very successful “bad” people who just go about and do as they wish with no reverence for anything other than themselves; however, I believe this case is much rarer than the popular media would make us believe.
I realize that not everyone shares these views and thoughts, and I, of course, respect people’s right to disagree. However, I am trying to convey what has been helpful to me– and in my professional life, I’ve found that the best lessons, whether they’re spiritual or related to business, have come from scripture.
Some of my readers might be interested in this opportunity.
Since BMW is local to us I’d very much like to see this…
Daimler?s decision to sell off its stake in electric car pioneer Telsa Motors surprised investors, who speculated that this might mean closer ties to Mercedes rival BMW by the U.S. company.
I promised you a story. Here it is my friend. It may be a little bit hoary, But if you get it, then... You'll be way ahead of the game.
HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY LIE-ING
A guy decides to go into business for himself. Not really knowing how to start he goes to a local “business start-up expert-consultant.” She tells him everything he’ll need to know about all of the technical aspects of getting started, what local offices to visit, bureaucracies to speak with, etc, etc.
So after taking copious and careful notes he goes the next day to the local government offices and begins his trek to start his new little enterprise. First he goes to get a business license but they tell him that he will need to make sure he’s zoned properly first. So he goes to the zoning office and they tell him that they cannot help him until he gets a business certificate. He goes to get a business certificate and they tell him that in order to get a certificate he will have to be approved for business by the local business council. He goes to the council who tell him they cannot approve of his business until he pays his business taxes in advance. He goes to the office of the tax assessor who tells him that before he can pay his taxes he must first have a business certificate.
Thoroughly bewildered, disgusted and angry he starts to go home thinking he’ll just give the whole thing up, so stupid, useless and illogical is the procedure for even getting started. On his way out he passes a little glass door which he had not noticed before, with a sign which read: Office of Doing Business. Curious and with nothing to lose he knocks to announce himself and then walks into the office. Behind a little desk sits an old man in a causal shirt with a desk clear of anything except a battery of telephones and a glass of water.
“What can I do for you?” asks the old man in a friendly and helpful tone.
The guy starts to unload about all of his problems, how he was passed from office to office and bureaucratic desk to bureaucratic desk and how no one would help him actually get started in his business. Then he tells the old man how he did everything right according to the consultant and how he had tried to follow every procedure of every official he encountered and how that only led to disaster. The old man listens patiently and with great sympathy and then bursts into laughter.
“Son, you might know a lot about how business is supposed to work but you haven’t learned anything yet about how it really works.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean business is not a game of rules kid, it’s a game of people who know what the rules really are. If you know the proper people and play them in the best way possible then even the wrongest of rules can be made right as rain. Because business is all about people, and those people are either standing in your way, or standing beside you going your way.”
With a sudden look of understanding spreading over his face the guy asks the old man, “So suppose you help me set up my new enterprise…?”
“Yes…” asks the old man.
“Then what can I do for you in return?”
To which the old man replies with a smile, “Son, pull up a chair, because now you’re talking real business.”
Hearing the silence… I have often wondered if humans, and other creatures, might not just be sensitive to these sounds (though not as sounds, but as electromagnetic vibrations, similar to being sensitive to a powerful magnetic field) through their brain and body, and if it would not be worthwhile to invent a miniaturized for-home-use radio telescope that could detect, discriminate, and convert these sounds for human listening and recording.
This device would have to be programmable, it would have to be sensitive enough to detect and track specific “sound sources and frequencies,” within the given and desired detection ranges, and it might even later lead to a in-home Cosmic TV (which could convert such sounds and vibrations into visual images similar to the way TV converts radio waves into visual images) for viewing such signals.
Very well observed…
President Obama made a monumental mistake in appointing a political hack, Ron Klain, as the Ebola czar. He must undo his error now and give the job to someone of stature and genuine ability. For all the Administration’s what-me-worry posturing and the President’s obvious indifference and annoyance with the crisis, this strain of Ebola could still become a catastrophic pandemic of historic lethality. Hopefully authorities will succeed in containing the disease, except for isolated cases, to West Africa, and then eradicate it there and globally. Even if this becomes the outcome, we should be better prepared for future mutations of Ebola or other lethal viruses. As for this strain of Ebola, read the sobering post of Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former deputy commissioner of the FDA: “We don’t fully understand this Ebola strain…In short, we are treading on uncharted ground.”
In alphabetical order, here are three individuals the President should consider immediately for this crucial post:
article continued on Forbes link.
It has been my personal experience that profits wisely shared with Wise Employees only serve to multiply profits.
Equally impressive is the fact that he’s done all that while paying his retail employees nearly twice the industry average.
According to Tindell’s book, “Uncontainable,” the average Container Store retail salesperson makes nearly $50,000 a year compared with what the Bureau of Labor Statistics says is a national average of just above $25,000.
In an interview with Business Insider’s Jenna Goudreau, Tindell says the secret to the company’s high wages is what he calls “the 1=3 rule,” meaning that one great employee will be as productive as three employees who are merely good.
As a result, Tindell feels he gets ahead by receiving three times the productivity of an average worker at only two times the cost.
“They win, you save money, the customers win, and all the employees win because they get to work with someone great,” he tells Business Insider.
Google has more than 50,000 employees right now, and they earn great salaries. Average pay at Google is $141,000. It’s relatively easy to get a job at Google, too. The company is so large and has such a massive need for talent that hiring for Google is something of a headache, so if you have the right skills, Google is really enthusiastic to hear from you.Especially if you know how to use MatLab, a code and data analysis and management tool.
On Thursday night, Google’s former svp/product management Jonathan Rosenberg was in London with chairman Eric Schmidt to promote their new book “How Google Works.” During a Q&A at the University of London, Rosenberg said he once had to give a speech in front of a room full of Rhodes scholars (about 70 people receive the scholarship each year). He offered them all jobs at Google right there on the spot — and even comped their airfare to San Francisco. A few of them actually took up the offer.
The fact that Google is willing to hire an entire room of bright people, sight unseen, tells you how desperately the company needs smart workers.
If, on the off chance, you’re not a Rhodes scholar, Schmidt had some more down-to-earth advice. Google really needs data analytics people and folks who have studied statistics in college, he said.
Big data — how to create it, manipulate it, and put it to good use — is one of those areas in which Google is really enthusiastic about.
And then Rosenberg said something really interesting. If you want to work at Google, make sure you can use MatLab, he said.
For some reason I could not reblog this post, so instead I am linking to it directly here, with my comments.
This is actually quite a good idea.
Merit and capability are what you actually want to promote in any efficient company, corporation, or organization.
It would be very difficult to maintain “true and objective personnel blindness” all the way through the recruitment process, as the farther along the hiring process proceeds the more necessity for the applicant and the employer to interact personally.
But at least at the initial stages it would be an excellent early screening technique.
I am not of the opinion however that what is actually needed is less white guys, but simply more of everyone else who is actually qualified (for whatever is actually needed).
Or put another way what you actually need in any well-functioning organization is the very best qualified candidate, the one best suited to the position and the one who is qualified by capability and who will continue to perform in the future on merit. That is where, and at whom, you need to center your real rate of fire.
Otherwise, that observation aside, I think this idea has real merit of its own and should be experimented with and tested further for usefulness.
Silicon Valley often prides itself on being a meritocracy, where people advance solely because of their talent.
Yet it has an obvious diversity problem. Big companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook regularly release diversity statistics that show clearly that women, blacks, and Hispanics are underrepresented. Venture capital firms are populated largely by white and Asian men, and the companies that get funding from VCs are disproportionately similar.
And, yes, tech journalism has a similar skew: Too many of us are white guys.
It might be that there’s a smaller pool of talented engineers, entrepreneurs, and tech journalists among women and minorities. That’s why the argument is often framed in terms of meritocracy vs. diversity or excellence vs. affirmative action.
But it’s also quite possible that there’s something wrong with the recruiting process and that the lack of diversity is actually getting in the way of hiring the best people.
This is where a lesson from classical music might come in handy.
Orchestras in the US used to be 95 percent to 100 percent male and zero to 5 percent female.
But after instituting blind auditions, with the applicants performing their music behind a screen so they can only be heard, not seen, that ratio changed dramatically.
According to one study, the number of women in top orchestras rose from less than 5% to 25% after those orchestras implemented blind auditions starting in the 1970s and 1980s. One quarter to one half of that change, the study found, is attributable to the blind auditions, which force auditors to focus on what they’re actually hearing, not what they see.
It’s not just music, either: Double-blind reviews of scientific papers have increased the number of female authors in professional publications, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this year.
Recently, people have started suggesting that Silicon Valley needs to make a similar change. Startup guru Eric Ries made a similar experiment by removing names, gender, and ethnicity from résumés.
And Google has made its own efforts to tackle unconscious bias. Even well-meaning people sometimes skew their judgements unconsciously, because of shortcuts our brains have internalized over a long period of time.
The fact that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella can so easily put his foot in his mouth with an ill-considered offhand comment shows that unconscious bias is real. It’s not that he meant to say anything patronizing or belittling to women; he probably didn’t even think about it.
Despite the best efforts of many well-meaning people in the tech industry (and beyond), women still earn less, get their startups funded less, and find their way into the ranks of VC firms less than men do. And that’s not even considering other aspects of the tech diversity problem: race, sexual orientation, religion, or political leanings.
People just naturally tend to gravitate towards people they are comfortable with, and that creates a self-reinforcing circle of sameness — unless we take deliberate steps to break out of it.
(The Fable of the Working-Man)
Two men answered, one replied
They all made echoes none denied
Every statement seemed the best
Til came the time to run the tests
The one man argued slick and sure
The second shyly, then demurred
The third said, “Test us, then we’ll see”
The other two proclaimed, “Agreed!”
The first then set his theory out
The crowd was breathless, without doubt
Yet when the test was run to see
Not a single one agreed
The second by his clever wit
By craft did self-same soon acquit
Yet when the test was run to see
Solutions proved quite absentee
The third man did not speak at all
He did not argue or forestall
He busied self at his lone task
To do the thing that he’d been asked
To prove his statements worked as true
To show no twixt tween say and do
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A thing unquestioned and untested is unproven and unimprovable.
Entrepreneurs are often inventive by nature and there are many stories of business owners deploying unusual, quirky methods to finance their startup. We spoke to three small businesses about the lengths they went to to get their enterprises off the ground.
Share a bedroom with your business partner
Frankie Kearney and Corbyn Munnik, both 24, are old school friends who enjoy bouncing business ideas off each other.
In the early hours of a school reunion, Munnik pitched Kearney the concept of Sliide an app for discovering trends, offers and events. The pair chatted excitedly until everyone else had left and were soon funding the venture with Kearney’s salary from his City job.
“It was simply the only way…
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Encourage little, reap nothing…
France`s economy is down the pan with a meager GDP increase of 0.2% since 2012, and a national unemployment rate of 10.2%.
Those shocking statistics speak for themselves, and many question how France has gotten themselves into this state.
However I never hear the French talking about the country`s economic status, jobs or education. Granted, I live in the relaxed south of France where people definitely work to live, and are happy as long as they have money for rent, nice clothes and to party the night away. Yet if everyone in Paris adapted this attitude, I`m pretty sure France would crumble.
I live in Montpellier, the biggest city in the poorest region of France, and which also has the highest rate of unemployment. If you skim the surface you see beaches, vineyards, historic landmarks and natural wonders such as rivers and caves.
It`s only when I moved here I…
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Not understanding business at the beginning is not necessarily a detriment to Entrepreneurs. Not understanding business as you go along is the death of your Enterprise.
I have long believed this for I have seen far too many personal examples of it not to understand these facts:
1. Intelligence is no guarantor of success
2. Intelligence can become a definite detriment to your success (and the success of others) if you concentrate only upon your intelligence, your theories, and you ideas while you ignore or discount Reality and the way things actually are.
3. Intelligence has no direct correlation to Creativity and the smart man will practice developing his Creativity and not just his intelligence.
4. It is far more important to be Wise than merely intelligent. Wisdom breeds foresight and foresight breeds understanding of what is to come and that kind of understanding breeds Creativity.
Modern man is childishly and slavishly enamored of his own supposed intelligence. He’d do much.much better to seek Wisdom and to continually practice his Creativity than to merely cultivate his intelligence. I am in no way anti-intelligence, but the shortcomings of mere intelligence are obvious and everywhere evident if you but look with clear and critical eyes.
How smart do you have to be to succeed?
What about to become a creative genius? Did Picasso and Mozart use superhuman intelligence to create their masterpieces?
- How intelligent do you need to be to become a successful entrepreneur?
- How good does your training program need to be to become an elite athlete?
- How perfect does your weight loss program need to be to burn fat?
These are questions that we don’t often ask ourselves, but they are built into our beliefs and actions about many phases of life. We often think that the reason we aren’t succeeding is because we haven’t found the right strategy or because we weren’t born with the right talents.
Perhaps that is true. Or, perhaps there is an untold side of the story…
In 1921, there was a psychologist at Stanford University named Lewis Terman who set out on a mission to conduct a research study unlike any before it.
Terman began by finding the 1,000 smartest students in California between the third grade and eighth grade as measured by IQ.  After much testing and searching, Terman gathered a final sample of 856 boys and 672 girls. The children became known as “The Termites.”
Terman and his team began testing the children in nearly every way you could image. They tracked their IQ, analyzed how many books each student had in their homes, took their medical histories, and on and on. But that was just the beginning.
What made Terman’s study unique is that it was the first longitudinal research study, which meant that Terman continued to track and test his subjects for years afterward. The study, which is now famously known as “Genetic Studies of Genius,” collected data from the students throughout their entire lives. Terman collected additional data in 1928, 1936, 1940, 1945, 1950, and 1955. After Terman died in 1956, his colleagues continued tracking The Termites in 1960, 1972, 1977, 1982, and 1986.
To summarize, the study started with the smartest group of children in the entire state of California and then tracked their success throughout their entire lives. Decades later, the researchers had discovered something very interesting…
The surprising discovery that came out of Terman’s study is best described by creativity researcher and physician, Nancy Andreasen…
“Although many people continue to equate intelligence with genius, a crucial conclusion from Terman’s study is that having a high IQ is not equivalent to being highly creative. Subsequent studies by other researchers have reinforced Terman’s conclusions, leading to what’s known as the threshold theory, which holds that above a certain level, intelligence doesn’t have much effect on creativity: most creative people are pretty smart, but they don’t have to be that smart, at least as measured by conventional intelligence tests. An IQ of 120, indicating that someone is very smart but not exceptionally so, is generally considered sufficient for creative genius.” 
Remember our question from the beginning: “Did Picasso and Mozart use superhuman intelligence to create their masterpieces?”
According to Threshold Theory, not necessarily. Being in the top 1% of intelligence has no correlation with being fantastically creative. Rather, there is a minimum threshold of intelligence that you need to have, and after that it comes down to a lot of deliberate practice, putting in your reps, and developing your skill set.
Threshold Theory in everyday life
If you look around, you’ll see that Threshold Theory applies to many things in life. Success is rarely as simple as “just work harder.” The fundamentals matter. There is a minimum threshold of competence that you need to develop in nearly any endeavor.
After that, however, the difference is between those who put in the work and those who get distracted. Once you have a basic grasp of the right things to do, it becomes about the consistency of doing the right things more often. Once you understand the fundamentals, it comes down to your habits.
Taking the day off to spend with my wife. Have a great day folks. And a productive one.
Last night my wife asked me if I thought we’d be “together forever?” (It’s been twenty years, doesn’t that qualify?)
So I wrote her a poem in response:
WEST OF THE SUNSET, EAST OF THE DAWN
West of the Sunset, East of the Dawn
The place I first found you, where you belong
Darker than nightfall, brighter than day
Lost in between them, here I will stay
Seven Great Cities all on a hill
Have fallen to nothing yet I’m with you still
Forests have vanished, rivers are dry
I haven’t wandered; I’m still by your side
The poets, the playwrights, the minstrels are gone
Their verses as empty and dead as their songs
I’m going nowhere without you along
West of the Sunset, East of the Dawn
The moon in her orbit, the stars in their paths
Ten thousand summers and winters will pass
Old men will wonder…
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Lol. I don’t know the Truth of this, because I’m not familiar the particulars or the principals involved, but given my own personal experiences with both the federal government (FBI, Justice, DHS) and private security contractors it would in no way surprise me.
Jamie Smith says he was recruited into the CIA as an undergraduate at Ole Miss, cofounded Blackwater, and has done clandestine intelligence work all over the world, operating out of a counterterrorism boot camp in the woods of north Mississippi. Plenty of people believed him, including the Air Force (which paid him $7 million to train personnel) and William Morrow, which signed him up to write his memoir. There’s just one little question: How much of it is true?
By: Ace Atkins and Michael Fechter
Jamie Smith’s new book, indefinitely waiting for release, makes claims that old friends and foes say are exaggerated at best.
Some called it G.I. Joe Fantasy Camp, and for good reason. In the piney woods of north Mississippi, professionals and wannabes alike would come to the 60-acre compound of an outfit called SCG International to play war games, fire live weapons, conduct mock interrogations, and run around like kids, zinging paintball rounds across creeks and seeking cover in open fields.
But this was serious business, too. During SCG’s heyday, between 2008 and 2012, the U.S. government and local law-enforcement agencies paid a lot of money to get people trained so they could function capably in war zones, shoot-outs, and other dicey situations.
It was an exciting place to be, even for amateurs. If you displayed some talent, you might get a nod from one of SCG’s professional tough guys—lawmen and military veterans who could, if they wanted, find you a job with the company someday. If that happened, you were told, exciting work would follow: protecting a cargo shipment in the Middle East, say, or running special missions deep inside a war-torn African nation. The money was said to be very good…
I have a great deal of research and Work to do today.
But that’s okay by me. I often like research and I love my Work.
Have a good day folks.
Without genuine failure as a mentor it is impossible to pursue real success as an occupation.
Recently I had the honor of being a part of the 3rd NW ACE Convocation in Prince Rupert with TRICORP and the University of Victoria. Having been an entrepreneur myself I thought about what I would say or what I’ve always needed to hear someone say to me. Some of the lessons can’t be understood through words alone but through experiences that shape you… And only make you better.
As I wrote out what I would say to the graduating class I soon realized it became the greatest letter I had ever written to myself…
I’d like to pass on some sage advice on the commitment, passion and opportunity that I’ve experienced in my own life and what waits for yours.
I encourage you to find Your passion ~
People go through life often saying when I grow up, or one day, if ever… and that day never…
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