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It was a typical morning commute: I’m driving like an asshole (trying to wake up) which prompts someone to want to race.. bring it on.
This morning was extra interesting as the racing situation I faced made an awesome analogy to life, specifically the decisions of having children.
My opponent and I started out racing in a straight line, from light to light. He was winning.. he had the right lane choices and was ahead.. until it came to the final stretch before the highway on ramp.
You see, my opponent had a small child in a car seat strapped to the back seat.. so when it came to the open road before the25mph curved on-ramp, he was too scared to push to higher speeds and didn’t want the hard brake before clinching for a tight turn.
How does this have anything to do with life choices?
My theory is that once you’ve made certain commitments (ie. getting married, having kids) – your risk tolerance and nimbleness to life’s curve balls (the on-ramp) lowers dramatically.
The opponent was winning when everything was easy going (the straight line), but as soon as the life conditions changed, he was not ready and had to slow down.
I definitely want a wife and kids, but don’t think I’m ready for it, yet.
Needless to say, once I entered the on-ramp, he was no longer in my rear view mirror 😀
That being said, here are 3 examples of things you should spend your money on.
Think about it, you spend over 12 hours a day in shoes.
Maybe you switch shoes during the day, or wear different shoes on different days with different outfits… whatever, all your shoes should be top-notch.
Why? – Oh, just a couple reasons:
Your feet are important – they support the rest of your body — bad shoes = feet problems which is 🙁
Style, baby! – Shoes can make or break an outfit, and if you’ve heard the saying “first impression is the most important one”, you’re gonna want some nice shoes, k?
So get some nice shoes… and while you’re shopping, throw down on some…
Again, you spend 2/3 of your day in clothes (unless you do porn or live in a nudist colony).
Similar to shoes, style is important, if you want to make a good impression.
Believe me, I do my best to detach and “not care” about what other people think of me… but when it comes to business or trying to find a mate (yeah, I just said that) – you gotta look good… am I right or what?
Plus, I find that when you dress nice, you feel better about yourself and want to perform better.
For instance, when I work in my pajamas (it’s happened several times), I’m definitely not as productive or sharp as when I’m dressed, well, sharp!
Dress good, feel good… trust me.
I’ll even go shopping with my mom from time to time (great way to spend time with your mom btw)… she has great taste and knows how to make me look good.
Cool, so you’re clothed 2/3 of the day, and the 1/3 you’re sleeping, on a…
This one might lends itself to criteria #2 (health) more so than #1 –
Have you ever heard about people “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” or having “neck pains” from sleeping wrong?
Yeah, you don’t want that.
Get a nice bed.
You spend a third of your time sleeping, might as well do it comfortably, right?
I recently learned about this company called Social Solutions. They make their money by selling a software to non profit companies.
Learning about their business model made me think about how profitable software companies must be… check out the “thought flow” I had (below).
Here are the reasons why software is awesome, written from a user, developer, and sales person of software’s perspective.
#1: Everything is Software
You don’t really realize it, but if you think about it – you’re using software right now.
As a matter of fact – anyone device that connects you to the internet uses software! Computers, phones, credit card processing machines, etc…
Ever burned a CD? You used software.
Have you every wrote an essay or paper? Did you do it by hand? No, you used software.
So software is everywhere and I’m guessing that people don’t even realize when they are using it.
Why is software everywhere, you ask? Because of the next 3 reasons below:
#2: Software Makes Things Easy
Software solves problems, makes things faster, and probably most importantly: it makes things easy.
Sometimes a piece of software will come out that allows you to do things that you previously couldn’t do before (TweetDeck is a decent example: allows you to manage multiple social media accounts from one application).
Have you ever used Adobe software? Dreamweaver makes editing HTML very easy. My man Chris Freeman knows all about this.
Software takes tasks that would usually require classroom training and makes them push button.
AND now-a-days, cloud-based software (which is basically any software that you can access from anywhere that you have an internet connection) is revolutionizing and accelerating the software industry… Google Apps (like GMail, Docs, Calendar) & SalesForce are good examples of cloud-based software.
#3: Software Sells Itself
Most of the time you don’t really need to “sell” software.
The software sells itself!
How many other industries can say their product sells itself?
I just remember a Chris Rock stand up:
Drug dealers don’t sell drugs. Drugs sell themselves. It’s crack. It’s not an encyclopedia. It’s not a f**king vacuum cleaner. You don’t really gotta try to sell crack. Ok?
You will never hear a drug dealer say: “How am i gonna get rid of all this Crack?”
The reason for this is simple: see reason #2 above 😉
Burn CD’s, manage your accounting, write and format papers, browse the internet… all things that you need to do, so you buy software!
#4: Software is Ultra-Profitable
So you’re telling me that I can develop something one time and sell it unlimited times? So wait, when someone buys my product, I don’t have to make it from scratch in order to deliver it?
Think about this: when a business wants to grow, it has to get more customers.
In service based businesses, when you get more customers you also have to hire more people, fill more seats, which costs you in both payroll expenses but also administrative headache.
In traditional product based businesses, you have to add to your manufacturing line or supply chain when you grow.
In software companies, all you have to do is have a couple support people and maybe a development team (to improve your software)… both of which you could outsource 😉
It’s no wonder that of the top 20 riches people in America (according to Forbes), 8 of them were running software companies!
Profitable Software Company Thought Flow
Social Solutions sells software to help companies organize their operations and track the company’s efforts to the outcomes they produce… most of their clients are non profit companies… some non profits get government grant money… non profits have to spend money (in order to show no profit at the end of the year) — SO –> Social Solution is indirectly getting government grant money… AWESOME!
Do you have an idea for a software that could be valuable to a particular niche?
Already work for or own a software (or software related) business? I admire you and wish you the best! … just make sure you’re ethical and providing value – because otherwise, you won’t be around for long.
And just to be clear – a nerd is not necessarily a dork or a geek.. There is a difference between those three…
What makes me such a nerd… A lot of things.
To name a few… I like the stock market, how computers work, solving riddles or puzzles or brain games, and backgammon (really like backgammon).
Still don’t think I’m a nerd? .. I’m laying in bed writing and posting this blog entry from my iPhone using the WordPress app… And that makes me happy… Yeah.
Oh, and did I mention I look like one too…
Below you will find a picture of me taken by John Sutter of The Sutter Group.. Who also provided me with the nifty glasses (thank you)..
They don’t look half bad, right?
No, I’m not a Harry Potter fan.
ONE MORE THING that makes me the ultimate nerd is that I look forward to the WordPress iPhone app update that allows you to put the picture in any desired place throughout the post, rather than just attaching it to the bottom.
Now if I went and hacked the source code and dev’d the update myself.. I’d be a geek.
AND if I wasn’t socially adept, I’d be a dork.
Did you catch the implied differences between nerd, geek, and dork slipped throughout?
I know you’re thinking I misspelled “if” in the title .. actually, “IFF” is shorthand for “if and only if” (ask any computer programmer).
Anyway… credit is awesome! – Credit cards, lines of credit, preferred accounts with vendors, etc.. ALL GOOD STUFF — IF AND ONLY IF used correctly.. let me explain:
I have a preferred account with Newegg – what that means is:
Free Rush Processing – my order goes to the top of the queue and gets filled fast
Discounted shopping – there are promotions that are exclusively for preferred account holders
Line of credit! – which means I can buy now, but pay later!
More specifically, if the order is over $500, I don’t have to pay anything for 6 months (before they start charing an arm and a leg in interest) – and if the order is over $999, I have 12 months of deferred interest.
So basically, I don’t have to pay BECAUSE I have good credit and Newegg trusts me.. which is great for if I need computer equipment NOW but don’t want to pay the full amount, NOW.
Here is where is gets tricky… IF YOU DON’T PAY it all off within that given period of time, YOU WILL BE CHARGED INTEREST!
And I THINK (but am not sure on this, someone comment and let me know) that the amount of interest you had deferred in the time period will get tacked on in full (if you don’t pay it all off in time).
I could be wrong about that, but if it’s true, it would REALLY hurt.
And the same is true for any credit card.. they say: 0% APR for 12 months!
— OK GREAT! What happens after 12 months when you’ve put $3,476 on your card and haven’t paid a dime towards it.. you think they are going to start charging you interest on the 13th month? NO – They are going to charge you for all the months that you used their money and didn’t pay them back!
It’s only 0% APR if you pay the minimum payment during the 12 month period and then have it paid off by the end of the 12th month.. OTHERWISE you will be charge interest – and it won’t feel good.
But again, if you know you’re going to be getting paid (like you have a steady job or stream of income) – then using a credit card isn’t bad.
You get to have what you want/need immediately and pay for it when you have the money.
Just make sure you will actually have the money within 30 days (50 days max, depending on when your credit account revolves).. 🙂
I’m not an expert in this stuff, but I’ve never paid a lick of interest in my life – yet I am always using credit cards and over extending myself by a couple hundred bucks until the next paycheck.
THE BEST PART ABOUT CREDIT CARDS: I can’t believe I forgot this until now.. The MAIN reason I even use credit cards (aside from building my credit for future needs) – is for the POINTS! duh!!
My philosophy is this: If you have the money, and you’re going to spend it anyway.. why pay cash or with your bank check card? .. I have 2 free round trip flights (48 states) thanks to using 2 credit cards for a couple years..
I would have spent that money anyway, but didn’t have to go to the bank to take money out.. instead, I had to log into online banking and transfer funds from the checking account to the credit card, easy.
Now if you tend to forget things – then this method might not be the best for you in that you do need to remember to pay your credit card on a monthly basis (but they have email reminders now-a-days.. so this shouldn’t be an excuse).
Anyway, let me know if you have questions, I’m going to go buy some beer on my credit card now… good day!
Would you like to get 15 months worth of stuff done in only 12 months?
Let me explain how I’m planning on adding 3 months of productivity to my year..
Assume you wake up and start working (productively) at 9am.. and like everyone else, your productivity starts to fade when 5pm starts to roll around.
Without a lunch break, that’s about 8 hours a day. Not bad.
That isn’t cutting it for me though, I need more time in the day.. there is a lot more to do than 8 hours allows, so I’m looking for 10-12 hour days.
But I’ve noticed that after 5pm, I am no where close to as productive as I am in the morning since I’m starting to get tired and hungry, and feel like I should do other things like work out and socialize…
Therefore, I’m instituting a rule where I have to wake up by 6am.. why?
Because If I’m up and productively working by 7am, that adds 2 hours per day!
Not to mention, these are probably the most productive hours of the day! …
No social threads are being updated
No phone calls coming in
No meetings scheduled
So 2 more hours per day = 10 more hours per week = 1+ extra 8-hour work days per week!
So if you work 2 extra (wicked productive) hours per day.. you get 10 extra hours per week…
4 weeks in a month * 10 hours per week = 40 extra hours per month…
40 hours per month = 1 extra week per month…
1 week per month * 12 months = 12 extra weeks per year!…
and of course, 12 weeks per year / 4 weeks per month = 3 extra super productive MONTHS PER YEAR!!
You don’t have to follow the math, or be as excited as I am.. just know this: If you start working earlier, you WILL get more done, in less time..
“Work smarter, not harder”
Nothing good happens on weeknights after 10pm anyway, you’re either drinking, watching tv, or bullshitting on the internet.. go to bed, wake up early, get more done, be happy.. and take more vacations with your new found time!
GTL comes from a reality TV show where a bunch of idiots are video taped being themselves.
The male characters from the show made this “GTL” thing up and claim they live their life by it.
Let me define the terms:
G = Gym
T = Tanning
L = Laundry
They go to they gym (G) to have nice bodies.. go tanning (T) to “look good”.. and do laundry (L) to have fresh clothes for when they go out.
Not the worst priorities in the world.. also not the best (that statement is obviously subject to opinion).
My guess is that GTL works if your favorite thing to do is try your best to have more one night stands than your friends.
When I heard about this GTL nonsense, I immediately thought about something a friend told me a couple years ago .. “A balanced life comes down to Work, Gym, and Social” – hence WGS.
W = Work
G = Gym
S = Social
Following the same pattern, one would work (W) during the day, exercise regularly (G), and have a social (S) life as well. Generally speaking, these three things performed in combination should lead to a happy/balanced life.
And of course, this isn’t a concrete framework which works for everybody — for instance, if you’re a stay at home mom (or dad) – then your W would be taking care of your children and home.
None the less, all the components are necessary in some shape or form. ..
Whether you go to the gym or do push/pull ups in your house doesn’t matter, so long as you get exercise.
Whether you go out to bars and clubs or your hang out with your family on the weekends, it doesn’t matter as long as you have that social aspect in your life.
That is my take on this balanced life stuff – I would LOVE to hear yours! Comment below 🙂