Archive for August, 2010

August 19, 2010

First Time Surfing & Business Insights

I’ve been here since 2001 (Los Angeles) and have never tried surfing until today.

I woke up this morning and felt impelled to go figure it out. A couple of cuts on my foot and almost drowning has taught me that you’ve really gotta enjoy this sport to do it. There are very few things that have so many imminent chances of death — might drown, that’s the obvious one. There are a ton of rocks in this shallow water — so it’s either your head or your feet or your back that’s going to get jacked up — but trust me, one of these things will def get it good. Also — I saw some fishing boats off in the distance and I asked a fellow surfer dude what they were doing, he said, “oh, someone said they’re just tagging some sharks.” I’m like, “uhh, there’s sharks that close to us?” About the same time I saw this seal jumping around (more uncomfortableness because that means shark bait). I think I was the only one freaked out. He said, “yea dude, this is the ocean man” — making me feel like the dumbass. So, drowning, concussion, bloody gashes, sharks — there’s roughly 100% chance that one or more of these things are staring you in the face at any given moment. Not the same excitement from playing Madden on PS3, or softball on Saturday.

Anyways.

Surfing & Business & Life. Have you ever seen someone succeed and go “lucky” or “he was just at the right place at the right time”?

While being at the right place at the right time (lucky) is sometimes part of success (with surfing, business, girls, poker, or life in general) — it doesn’t grasp the whole picture.

Success Components

  1. Being in the water in the first place and choosing the right spot. I saw this cool surf show on cable and it changed the way I saw the sport. Instead of a potsmoking lazy culture — it looked exciting and dangerous. Where you decide to surf (Santa Monica is crowded but Malibu not so much) will shape your experience, regardless of skill. Just like picking the right product/market to be in, or choosing the right poker table to play at… or if you like stripper girlfriends, which strip club you frequent. The best waves might have the most people — so you might enjoy a less crowded spot, but with less intense waves. Same as business — do you want to be in a sexy market with all the players? or a crap market, but you have a monopoly?
  2. Luck, or being at the right place at the right time. Strategy. As a beginner, I was trying to figure out how to catch a wave. I saw people to my left do it, people to my right. I would keep swimming to the area where I saw someone catch a wave. That didn’t work very well, the ocean doesn’t seem to repeat itself exactly. There is this thing called “randomness” that I would use to describe the frequency and size of the waves. It appeared like these guys were geniuses, knowing exactly when and where the wave would break. Then after about 30 seconds when I got too tired to swim, I realized everyone else was just sitting around, being patient… putting themselves in the most probable spot for the wave to hit — after awhile, it didn’t seem like “luck” at all — it looked like good STRATEGY… <==== this is probably the biggest “aha” Life is really just a big “numbers game” after all.
  3. Creating opportunities and taking advantage of them. I used to wait around for good things to happen to me. When good things weren’t happening to me at the rate I thought my entitled ass deserved, then I realized I had to go out and create my own opportunities. This applies to just about everything: business, poker, girls, life in general. Even if you’re in the perfect spot to catch a wave — you can still totally screw it up and get injured — just compare my bloody foot with the guy next to me who escaped unscathed. I’m sure most of us guys have totally bombed it with a hot girl because we forgot what our names were and stuttered too much, same thing. This part is where skill comes in — but skill never plays that big of a role in causing success. Sure, it helps improve your batting average. But I think the first two things matter the most: 1)Being in the water & 2)Your strategy. This would be analogous to the following: say you want to date an athletic girl that jogs — just park your ass at Santa Monica Pier (being in the water in the first place) and hit on every hot jogger girl that goes by (strategy). Now you could be the least skillful and least attractive person in the city, but you’d still pull some ass with that strategy.

That’s all. Isn’t it ironic that regardless of what I do to try to escape working, I can never really get away from thinking about it.

p.s. for my friends who are actually going to try the “jogger girl strategy,” as I will now call it, here are some suggestions:

  1. get in her way and don’t let her pass, when she tries, just be like, “oh were you trying to go that way?”
  2. trip her
  3. stop her, look her up and down, and say “hmm, yea, you’ve got a few more miles to go…”
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August 9, 2010

My BofA Person is Needy

Angel: I would request you to contact us at 1888-436-****
You: that’s fine i’ll call
Angel: After dialing this number, please press option 2 to speak to our specialist directly.
Angel: I assure you that the specialist will be able to provide you with the necessary information and assistance right away.
Angel: It was pleasant chatting with you today!
Angel: You have been extremely cooperative and patience throughout the conversation!
Angel: I do want to take the opportunity to thank you for being a valued Bank of America customer.
Angel: We appreciate and value your business and have a wonderful day ahead!
Angel: Bye Omar! Take care!

You: You Needy ass bitch!

just kidding, I didn’t say the last part. I’m going to switch to Wells Fargo because BofA creeps me out.

August 5, 2010

Valuing My Free Time

all is beautiful —
comfort enlarges problems
suffer is to see

Since I started working (after college) — I never gave much thought to the value of my free time. I worked as much as I could and got a little sleep when I wasn’t working.

I developed into a super hermit, never went out, and had every minute of my day planned out. If I wasn’t working or doing something productive, I felt like I was wasting my time… this is a very odd discipline, borderline OCD, for someone (me) who is inherently laid-back.

I climbed out of my shell last year and realized that I actually, really, enjoy ‘not working.’ Watching reality prisoner shows on the Discovery channel will also make you appreciate life more! haha. These guys escaped from prison and couldn’t wait for the chance to go to the convenience store to buy something! And I’m like, “ooh cool you started a gang in prison and grew it to over 1,000 members in 5 states within a few years, AMAZING Leadership skills!” — grass is always greener I guess.

I’ll test myself sometimes — if I’m watching Law and Order — I’ll ask myself “how much money would someone have to pay me to stand outside on my doormat for 1 hour?” — if it’s a really good episode, no way —  if I’m at work — I’ll drop whatever I’m doing and go stand outside for like $10/hr — free if you give me some food while I’m standing around.

Last night I probably would have stopped watching TV and playing video games for $50 — because I wasn’t haven’t that much fun. But it was still much better than working.

So anyways — I’ve started to value my free time more. Remember when you were a kid and adults would be like, “do you know the value of a dollar?”

Well I’d rather teach my kids the value of a minute. Because you really cannot create more time. A billion dollars won’t buy back your early twenties so piss them away but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

August 3, 2010

7 Pitfalls of Business Failure

I found this article when googling something like “why small businesses fail.” My logic was that I could learn and avoid some common mistakes.

Instead, I realized that we pretty much follow the 7 rules to the “T.” Awesome. Like, sarcastically awesome in a not so awesome way.

Here’s the article: http://www.businessknowhow.com/startup/business-failure.htm

1. You start your business for the wrong reasons. I was bored and disinterested with life.

2. Poor Management. I can barely handle myself and 2 dogs.

3. Insufficient Capital. Credit cards were maxed out already before the business was started.

4. Location, Location, Location. First office was my apartment in Palms with my LoveSac & another chair as our desk.

5. Lack of Planning. More like Clint Eastwood shooting from the hip.

6. Over expansion. Barely conquered Santa Monica and we’re thinking Manhattan.

7. No Website. Made money before we had a functional website, and our ‘final’ site design has been ho humming along for a year.

Nonetheless — success for me isn’t fun unless it’s achieved unconventionally.

p.s. here’s a better article: http://www.powerhomebiz.com/vol19/rules.htm