Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Give Up

So I've decided that I give up. I'm always fighting this up hill battle, and frankly, I'm sick of it.

I keep trying to put together events or things to do in order to see my friends, but they never come and never even respond on most occasions. And I just end up alone, with nothing to do. Plus, I live with this "manpire" as I like to call him, since he is only awake during the night and hardly even comes out of his room. I moved in with him as to not live alone, but now I'm thinking I would have just been better off getting my own place.

So rather than keep trying again and again only to be disappointed, I'm just going to stop. Instead, I'm going to put the effort into finding people who I don't have to work to be friends with. People who actually have common interests with me and want to go out and do things.

I don't understand why this always seems to be so hard. It doesn't seem to be hard for other people, they're always posting pictures of themselves with their friends doing different fun activities.

Maybe everything will change after I interview for this second job tomorrow. I'm applying there because I already like and get along well with the people who work there, plus we have a common interest right off the bat. So maybe as they say, it's darkest right before dawn.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What Makes Someone an Expert?

When you read advice from someone, or buy a product that they sell, what is the criteria that makes them worth listening to or spending money on?

I've read hundreds of articles, books and reports involved with personal finance, stock valuation, real estate valuation, and personal development. Yet, I still feel like the advice I can offer people isn't something I should charge them for. But, when will it be? What credentials would I need in order to be considered a "professional" who should be paid for their expertise?

Is it more about the marketing, how something is presented, rather than some innate value that they offer? If I wrote up a bio of myself that listed all the things I've done, would that validate my request for someone's money? Or is it all about how I sell it? If I come in confidently, like I know what I'm talking about, even in situations where I don't, does that make me worth taking your money just because you don't know enough to know better?

Or is it all about experience? If I come up to you and say that I've been learning about personal finance for 5 years, does that make me an expert? I feel like experience is all a crock, because I could read 1 article a month for 5 years and say the same thing as a person how reads 10 articles a day for 5 years and how would you really know the difference if all you go by is the duration?

I guess what it all comes down to is figuring out what I personally see as valuable credentials, obtaining them, and then changing my image of myself so that I do see myself as more of an expert. I guess it's also about taking action and doing something, because you become more of an expert by trying and failing than anything else.

I still feel like it's wrong to take someone's money unless you give them something of value enough to match what you charged. But I guess I just have a problem seeing the value I bring to other people.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Read this:

Stuff like this makes me hyper ventilate.

Why? Because he's right, and I know he's right. I've read so many books about how to run a business, how to live your life, how to do things in effective ways. And it's all right and it all gives me the same reaction. I feel excited, I feel like there is this wave pulsing through my veins, I feel alive.

And it bothers the hell out of me, because I can't use it in my life. I can, but I can't. Not how my life is now. But I don't know how to change.

I feel very trapped in my current job. I do bullshit work and waste most of my time and it eats away at me because it's so pathetic and I could be doing so much more. Not necessarily spending more time, but making a bigger difference. But instead I play this role of a kid who doesn't know anything because older people don't believe that younger people could know more or different but useful things than they do. It sucks.

My sister said to me at one point, "Everyone thinks they know everything when they get out of college and get into the working world." Maybe that is true, but everyone is not the same as me. Everyone doesn't read the books I read. Everyone doesn't naturally turn everything into a system. Everyone doesn't adapt and learn as fast as I do. I'm genetically built for this, I'm the Michael Phelps of systemization of businesses. That was what was the only thing that attracted me to Computer Science. I don't like to sit around and type out code, I like to figure out how to make something work in an efficient, creative, new way.

But I don't know how to change my life. I don't know who I need to talk to or where I need to go to actually have the chance to do it. I keep thinking about "As a Man Thinketh" or some book that I read that talked about people giving up everything looking for an opportunity when all along the opportunity was sitting right under their nose. So I keep trying to make this work, or see what I'm missing, but I can't do it all on my own.

So that's why I'm doing something very different. I'm picking up a part time job at Game Stop, which sounds ridiculous. But I'm doing it because of something I read on Steve Pavlina's blog. He said, start today earning any money at all doing something you love, and eventually you'll change the way you think so you see more and more opportunities to make money doing what you love. You just have to take that first step.

So I'm doing it. I'm going to work at this specific Game Stop because I love the environment there and the people that work there are great. So I'm taking the risk and I'm hoping it will start opening up the world of opportunity that I know is out there but I cannot seem to see.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rejection and the Darkness

I can feel it. I was scared of this and now I see it happening.

It starts with the internal mental battle. Something goes wrong and then you start coming up with reasons why it went wrong. Then you validate those reasons with examples of other things that have gone wrong. Soon, you're going through every element of your life, seeing only the problems and writing everyone in your support structure off as against you.

It's so hard to fight it.

I don't deal well with rejection. It makes me doubt myself. It makes me feel like an outsider. It makes me feel like I'm less important than everything else. I look at my job, I look at my friends, I look at how I always seem to be by myself and I wonder why am I where I am.

Am I doing something wrong?

Maybe I'm just not getting enough sleep. But then I try to sleep and I can't.

Ugh. All I want is to just be happy. To have a job I feel some kind of identification with. To have friends that call me and want to spend time with me. To live somewhere where I'm not by myself all the time. Why is that so difficult?

Do other people feel the same way, or is it just me?

Monday, August 11, 2008


Original Article

I think this is more about confidence and growth then anything else. RK from "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" fame talks about this as expanding your world. He uses the analogy of a glass with water pouring in, if too much is put in it overflows. If you increase the size of your glass, you can hold more water.

I think it's more about confidence. If you act like something is normal, other people will think it is normal. If I tell you I'll give you advice for $50/hr, and act like it's routine, you would probably pay it without a second thought (as long as you didn't know that I don't charge other people more or less). If you feel like I'm pulling a fast one on you, you're not going to oblige.

I ran into this situation with my Dad at one point. He was trying to decide what his rate should be now that he's retired. I said he should go high, but he shot low. So they said yes, and maybe long term it will get him more work, but I still think he could have shot high and spent the extra hours marketing himself to keep the demand up and he would have ended up making more money in less time with less overall effort.

The problem I run into in my own life is that I don't have enough confidence in myself. I keep doing stupid, menial tasks at work, much below the level I should be doing, so I end up lowering my confidence rather than raising it. Also, instead of getting better and better at one thing (or at least believing that I am), I switch between things and then feel like I've lost ground.

Maybe eventually I'll start a motivation/personal coaching service and bill myself out at an hourly rate. I keep telling myself that I have to be at a certain point with my own life before I do that though, because I don't want to feel like some kind of hypocrite.

Anyway, this is a good read at least, since we should all be working towards growth and having a greater and greater belief in our own personal value.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Not Alone

Interesting that I run into different things at opportune times. I guess it's just that since it's what I'm thinking about, I'm more likely to see it when other times I would just pass over.

Check out this article though:


So my life has been getting better at an exponential rate for the last few months. It's to the point now where it's hard to understand why I thought the way I did before. Which is really scaring me right now.

You're probably thinking, "Everything is getting better, what are you scared about?", right? Well, if you don't know why things happen, the tendency is to let it happen again. This is summed up in the quote "Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them."---George Santayana

So at this point I'm trying to figure out how I let myself get to that point. Clearly there were a lot of different factors at play.

Back then I was living at my parent's house, which was very constricting and my parents can be very negative people, so I could see how the environmental factors set the foundation. On top of that, I was driving their car, which they would constantly remind me, so I would feel guilty every time I went anywhere, which led to me being extremely confined and sitting at home all the time.

Further, I was still dating my ex at that point, and while we had an open relationship, which you wouldn't think was restricting, actually had a very negative impact on me. I feel like in a relationship you are either moving forward or you are moving backwards. At that point we were not moving forward, so the end result makes a lot of sense. It was really draining and frustrating to watch a relationship I had tried so hard to make work for five years fall apart. My social structure had eroded to pretty much her at that point as well, so it felt like everything in my life was decaying away from underneath me.

Along with all that, I had just switched jobs. I was use to hanging out at work with people I really liked and were very social. Now I had moved to a company where a majority of the people had nothing in common with me (different age, culture, interests), so that was very isolating. Plus it is the first real job I've had that uses my technical knowledge, but with no overlap with the experience I had learning it in college, so it was like starting all over from scratch.

So with all that against me, I can see why I had become so negative. I guess I shouldn't fear this coming winter, since so much has changed. I'm still cautious though, afraid that it could all melt away again. I guess I should believe that since I was able to come back from all that once, I should be able to do it again, but it's hard when you remember how you felt and how bad it really was. I never want to go back to that.

I'm very thankful for the support structure I have now. My friends are really great, it makes me happy to be associated with such quality people. Also, all the people at Toastmasters have really made me feel welcome and have given me the opportunity to use my gifts to help others, which is such a rewarding experience. And of course there is my family, while they can be judging and harsh at times, I know that at my lowest points, they will always be there for me.