Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Weekend Escapade

So I managed to go to the courthouse again on Friday. It was a good thing I did since there were four more leads, which was double the previous total for the week. Six isn't really that much since before I was getting around 15, but according to articles I've been reading about foreclosures, the stream should be picking up for a while to come. I didn't get a chance to go into another county this week since I had to spend time packing, but I'll try to work something out for next week. Monday is Columbus day, so I'll see if the courthouses are closed or not and then plan a trip based on my findings.

My weekend trip went well. It wasn't a business trip, but rather more of a vacation so it was successful in giving me some time off to relax. I went out to visit my brother so I got to see his setup and meet some of his friends. He's got a good core group and a nice place. It's a good thing because the senior year of college is something you should really enjoy. I don't mean by drinking it all away or by blowing off class and work, but more just having a good group of people to spend time with as well as getting a real taste for living on your own before 40 hour work week grind sets in. The communal setting of living in an apartment is a lot nicer than living in the middle of the burbs miles away from your friends. Just the fact that you can pop in and out of people's places and just hang out for a little while or even for hours, kinda feels right. Either that or I watch too much Seinfeld.

I did make some interesting observations over the weekend.

Your environment is a simple, but accurate gauge of how productive you are. I don't mean that everything has to be spotless, but organization is key. That's why libraries are successful places to study. Information is accessible and all around you. You feel like anything that comes up you'll be able to find a resource for and it's motivating. If an idea comes to you, or you have a project to work on, being surrounded by multitudes of unfinished tasks is just going to overwhelm you. If you have a clear space to work and the tools you need to work on the problem you'll jump right in. As they say, action is the cure for procrastination. If it takes you 15-30 minutes to clear off a space and get together everything you need, the task it going to feel even more overwhelming.

I run into this problem a lot with my current living space. All of my stuff is crammed into spaces that are not large enough. Therefore, when I sit down and want to work on something, I almost feel like I'm trapped in too small a space. So I end up blowing it off. The ideal setting would be a place where I could partition off my different projects. If I want to work on my Jobber business, I sit down where all my files are and plug away. If I want to read some information about setting up vending machine locations, this should be somewhere else, and so on. Unfortunately, that is not a current option, but now that I know what would work and have a picture in mind, I can start working towards making it so.

Goal setting is very valuable. Almost every "Self Improvement" book I've ever read talks about goal setting. The best example I've seen was in The Science of Getting Rich, which discusses getting a clear vision of what you want and then focusing on it. By keeping that vision, your conscious and subconscious thoughts will start seeing ways for you to make it so. When you are that focused, you start to use your brain's natural pattern matching ability to filter out things that would distract you or become stumbling blocks and focus only on things that will lead to what you want.

Another observation I made is that illness always settles in when you relax. I've read things that discuss this before in a variety of places. I imagine it's because your body is always toggling between fight or flight mode and passive mode. Once you remove the daily stress and switch to passive, things jump up on you while you are trying to recover with your defenses down. Luckily I have some illness fighting tools. I usually take a multivitamin each day, and I have a neti pot that I use every other day as well as days when I start feeling pretty bad. Here is more information on what a neti pot is and how it works for those who are interested: http://www.healingdaily.com/exercise/neti-pot.htm

Finally, I was reading Genius Types ( a great blog about passive income as well as a good perspective ). The author mentions blogging as "Your Brand" which I completely agree with. I'm curious if he's read Never Eat Alone, but what he is saying is very much inline with what Keith Ferrazzi wrote about. In The World is Flat, they discuss how times have moved from corporations being able to do what only countries could before to the individual being able to do what corporations can do. So now each person is their own brand, has their own image and their own skills that they have to market to a global world. By having a blog you are able to do this. It takes a while to develop your ideas and methodologies, as well as how you are going to express them, but it is a more accurate depiction of the individual.

I had a conversation a few months back with my brother where I was telling him that perhaps he should divide his resume up by skills rather than by work experience. Focus on things like leadership, organization, persistence, and then list the jobs and activities at those jobs that developed those skills or showcased his use of them. It was a more human approach to a resume, rather than just a list of technical jargon to set off keyword searches. While it probably isn't the best approach for applying for a job, since so many companies focus on keyword searches, I feel like that is what blogging is becoming. It's a living document that shows the deeper aspects of the person rather than a list of time sensitive buzz words that show little about who you are or what value you will bring. I imagine in the future social networking profiles and resumes will merge to be a larger, more accurate viewpoint of an individual. I know employers already look at people's profiles before making hiring decisions, so I doubt this merge will be too far off. I'm not a member of linked-in, but since it's suppose to be social networking for professionals, this may have already happened.

Overall, it was a relaxing and thought provoking weekend. I hope to repeat it sometime in the near future.

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