Monthly Archives: November 2009

Nobody Plans For Failure

30 November 2009, by A. Cedilla

“Failure is not an option.”
Assorted characters in countless action movies.

Q: “I’ve always tried to teach you two things. First, never let them see you bleed.”
James Bond: “And the second ?”
Q: “Always have an escape plan.”
The incomparable Desmond Llewelyn, as Q, in The World Is Not enough, 1999

 

Movies are an excellent source of memorable quotes, as well as providing bountiful fodder for the imagination.

Admit it, we imagine ourselves as heroes all the time. Saving the day, living the high life, triumphing over incredible odds…it’s great. And it can set us up for disappointment.

Imagination is vital in injecting passion and power into any life, but sometimes, relying too much on its positive side can leave you with too-high expectations, which just makes for a longer fall. (Insert timely slogan here: ” I’m not a pessimist, I’m a REALIST.”)

Think about it. In all your wildest imaginings and most earnest visualization exercises, did you every really see yourself failing? Of course you’d have back-ups and alternates up the wazoo, but did you ever hit the wall of Dammit-this-CAN’T-be-happening and just — stop? Continue reading Nobody Plans For Failure

5 Ways Hobbies Aren’t Businesses

27 November 2009, by A. Cedilla

A hobby is for having fun, a business is for making money. Pretty simple, don’t you think?

But not if you’ve been exposed to the mind-set that you can make your fun-time activity morph into a cash-cow with a little experience and some elbow grease — Ka-CHING!

The heavens will open to the glorious sound of angels singing, and you get to have the time of your life using your passion to make money.

One thing though: The root of the word “passion” has one other meaning that’s not as well-known as the obvious.

It means “suffering” as well.

If you have any appreciable life experience under your belt, you’d appreciate the irony.

 

There are always different sides to any issue, any course of action, and focusing only on the parts you like is as smart as running in the dark with one eye closed. Get the picture?

Hobbies express your interests. They can help you channel your dreams, deal with stress, reach out to people, learn new things. Businesses can too, of course, but at the core of the whole thing, materially, practically and cold-bloodedly speaking, is to make money.

One easy difference is the sheer amount of forethought and planning you need to run a successful business vs. the gadgetmania and fun that usually dominates a hobby.

Another is the amount of time a hobbyist can fantasize about what else he can do with his past-times, a habit that, while sometimes useful in business,is also thought of as “not thinking things through.” Continue reading 5 Ways Hobbies Aren’t Businesses

5 Ways To Fail Without A Business Plan

13 November 2009, by A. Cedilla

“It’ll take too much time away from my money-making activities.”
I mean, I’m in this to make money after all, why waste time writing down things I already have in my head about where I want to go with this?

As long as your business plan is only in your head, you should know that people change their minds all the time. And in doing so, can lose track of important details.

The very act of writing things down does 2 things:

1) It forces you to organize your thoughts in a logical order — and by doing so you get to notice issues you may have glossed over in favor of the easier aspects.
If, for example, you’re over-the-moon with excitement on how easily money-making ideas are bubbling out from your mental factory, that’s all well and good, but not at the expense of having actual financial management skills.

 

Ideas are great, but if you neglect vital aspects of your business for the parts that come easiest to you, you’ll be setting yourself up for a world of trouble later down the line.

2) It frees up your focus to explore other avenues you may have not explored before — a brainstorm, in other words.

No one knows everything. Once you write down what you know, you can solicit advice from people you trust, and experts who can help, to make up for your weak spots and inexperience in certain areas. Continue reading 5 Ways To Fail Without A Business Plan

5 Tips For Your Best Performance

11 November 2009, by A. Cedilla

 1. Know Your Motivation
Many people let time slip away from them and flounder in indecision because they have no clear idea of what they really want.

If you’re determined to save yourself from regret and wasting your time in fruitless distractions, you need to be clear about your goals.

If you do the work to find out what it is that truly keeps you committed to giving your best, you can tailor the important aspects of your life to support you in achieving your goals and bringing you one step closer to realizing your biggest dreams.

Having a clear vision helps you to distinguish the toxic, non-supportive elements and dead weight from your life so you can address them.

For example, say you want a better work-life balance; knowing your priorities determines the steps you need to take next.

You learn to procrastinate less and focus more on productive activities that come from concrete actions, thereby freeing up more time to focus on your personal life and your family. See?

Far too often, conflicting and competing activities stretch us beyond our tolerance, and eventually something snaps, leaving us depleted, listless and unable to move on.

Counter this by determining what motivates you, and you can take the right steps to get you going with the most important tasks at hand. Continue reading 5 Tips For Your Best Performance