Archive for November, 2007
I have a few friends that look "good" from the outside, but if you knew their financial story, you would see a gloomier picture. You see Jake and Mary are up to their eyeballs in debt, with no apparent way out. They don’t want to go bankrupt for fear of losing some of their toys and their lifestyle. At the same time though, if they don’t do something, that will be the only alternative.
I talked to Jake yesterday and he said they had gone to get some credit and bill consolidation help. The company that they were talking to was going to help them through their debt negotiation program.
This process would be essentially a two step process. First their credit card negotiation services department would try and reduce their credit card debt in half and get them a better interest rate. Then another department would try and negotiate similar deals for their bills.
These reduced payments would be lumped together into one single payment that they would make each month – reducing their stress immensely. The goal of the work that would be done on their behalf would be to get them completely out of debt in about thirty months.
Though they had been crying for debt relief for many months now, they seem a little calmer now. They have a plan and just have to follow it – and their troubles and stress will go away.
Sometimes you come across a business opportunity that you cannot pass up. That was the case for me lately, when a local lounge ended up in foreclosure at a price I couldn’t pass up.
The reason I was eager to jump on the opportunity was that the business did very well, the club was always busy, and the only reason it ended up in foreclosure was that the owners (I knew them) spent their money faster than it came in. So, I wanted to get the club up and operational as quick as possible to lose the least amount of regular customers as possible.
The lounge came with all the equipment I needed – the only thing that was missing was ATM machines. I decided that the quickest way to get the problem solved would be to get some mobile ATM machines so I would only need a wall outlet, and no other wiring.
I contacted a local ATM rental company and ordered some mobile ATMs. They are scheduled to arrive in a couple of days. With our opening date scheduled for this weekend, they are the final piece of our lounge setup – it will be an exciting (and busy) weekend.
It has been quite a few years since I was a waiter in a restaurant. In some respects, I miss those days (mostly the tips) and in some ways I don’t (I don’t miss the sore feet). This week, I was trying to find something to do and was looking for some fun action games to play.
I ended up at one of my favorite online game websites. Strangely enough, they had a game all about waiting tables: Diner Dash. Now, I enjoyed it a lot more than working back in the restaurant, but it made me remember the pace I used to have at work.
After playing awhile (and getting a little stressed out), I decided I needed a change of pace. I spent the rest of the night playing fun puzzle games. I worked on my spelling while playing Scrabble, and my matching skills with Mah Jong.
As my head hit the pillow as I was going to bed, I felt good. It has been a long time since I took a break (playing fun games)- and I am still happy of my choice to quit the food service industry. Goodnight.
Yesterday, I was able to attend a free seminar put on by some of the fastest growing franchises in the country. Their goal was to find new investors to help them expand their business and their networks.
I sat and watched some of the top franchise opportunities being pitched to us from a multitude of different industries. We learned about the minimum investment to get into these franchises as well as the expected return on investment.
I was sad to see no Starbucks franchise presentation, but it was later explained to be that they do no franchise individual stores – rather all their stores are company run. So, my dream of owning a Starbucks went out the window.
At the end of the day and the presentations, we had question and answers sessions to answer all our questions. I did manage to take home information packages from Subway and Dunkin’ Donuts – I will have to look them over before I make my decision, but they both look very promising.
I think it has been a couple of years now since I took a class on personal development. It has been the only one I have taken up to this point, but the lessons I learned are still with me. If you were my friend, you would have witnessed my personal growth over the last few years – many people have noticed the changes.
The one skill that I would say is responsible for this growth is the eulogies I write each month about myself. Now, you may think this is kind of weird, but think about it this way: if you lived your life the way you wanted your eulogy should reflect that. In this respect, writing a eulogy each month allows you to find your areas that you are doing well, as well as problem areas that you should be working on.
When I was first taught this skill, I was skeptical. It really didn’t sound like it would work. But now, a couple years later, you can see my development if you read the eulogies I wrote each month.
How did this all start?
I always recommend this method of personal growth to my friends – though I have only had one person actually try it out. Most people think it is weird, but it has worked for me.
Well it is official. My dog hates homemade dog food. You see we have been trying to make food for the dog for the past week, and, well she doesn’t like it.
This whole idea of making dog food started about two weeks ago, when I was reading an article in a health magazine. Now, the only reason I read the article is that it seemed out of place in a men’s health magazine – but obviously there was a reason that it was there.
Inside the magazine it listed the health benefits of dog food you made at home for your dog. Some of the more compelling arguments were the control of ingredients as well as fewer preservatives in their diet. I thought they were good reasons, and I thought we should try it out.
Now, our trial didn’t go as well as planned. We made the food, gave it to the dog, and the dog sure didn’t like it. The first time she vomited on the floor. After three days, he was refusing to eat.
But all is not lost. We did make some dog treats that she did love, and I think we will keep making them. Even though she didn’t like the food, we are going to try again with our new puppy, which we will be getting in the spring.
I have always loved to write and have recently found pleasure in writing wedding toasts and speeches. I started writing them a couple of years ago after I was the Maid of Honor in one of my good friends wedding. Though it was difficult at first, the words come very easily to me now and they always sound so good, and straight from the heart.
I have several friends who have come to me to write for them and they have always been happy with their instant wedding speeches and toasts. They have told me that my words bring tears to their eyes and smiles to the lips of the bride and groom.
Everyone who knows me, knows they can come to me for free wedding toasts anytime. It saves them time, especially if they aren’t creative – and I love to do it for them. Usually it only takes me a couple of days, though it never seems that long because I am passionate about writing – it doesn’t seem like work at all.
As I get older, my mind gets slower. I really don’t care to get slow or dumb – it is important for me to be quick on the draw for what I do. Anyway, I try to give my brain a workout each day to keep it strong and learn new things.
Lately, I have been doing crossword puzzles to workout my brain. The nice thing with them is that it takes just a little time out of your day to do one, but the benefits are obvious. You learn new information (via clues and solutions) as well as work on your spelling (which I could use a bit of work on that).
I also tend to use free online crossword puzzles as opposed to getting a crossword book – not just because of the price, but rather because I have access to a computer all day. I just take a break from what I am doing and work on a crossword for ten minutes for a break.
I have considered making my own crossword puzzles, but I do not want to do it on paper. I have found a free crossword puzzle maker online that I am going to try out – but I will have to leave it to another day as I am too busy right now.
So, take the time to give your brain a workout each day. Use my routine if that works for you, or there are plenty of other ways to workout your brain – just make a point of doing it.
I decided that I wanted to buy my girlfriend a promise ring – but I wanted to make it unique. I was going to purchase some hand picked loose diamonds and take them to a jeweler to make the ring. Thing is, I didn’t just want any diamond – I wanted the best diamond for my girl.
So, I went online to find out what people were saying on forums with respect to the best diamond supplier. I read quite a few posts on these forums and I was able to come up with two possibilities: Houston and San Antonio.
Most people picked Houston because of their prices: they were the cheapest in the country. That being said, Houston diamonds sometimes had issues with the clarity and color.
The other group of people picked San Antonio diamonds because of their size and clarity. They were usually available in larger carat sizes and most of the had better clarity for the same price as one from Houston.
I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to make a decision because I could just go with the best diamond supplier. Instead I have to pick between the two. This will also mean that I will have to go to both cities and look at my choices. I guess it makes sense – you usually have make an extra effort to be the best.
I decided today that it was time to get rid of my old office furniture. Even though it has served me well over the past few years, most of my furniture was given to me as "hand me downs" and it shows. I am doing a lot more consulting in my home, and I figured that what I have right now doesn’t give out the right image for my business – something newer would change that.
In some respects, shopping for home office furniture is not easy at all – the selection is too big. I also wanted to stay within a budget that I created when I left my home – and blowing that budget could be catastrophic. With a spending target in mind, I proceeded to look around.
My first stop was looking at the desks. Now, ever since I was a little boy, I have always loved big desks – don’t ask me why. I did find one that I fell in love with instantly, but the catch was that the price of the desk would mean that I would have little money left to buy a chair. After thinking about it for about thirty seconds, the desk was my first purchase.
All I had left to do (because I spent almost all the money) was to buy a chair. Out of all the chairs that would fit in my budget, it was the mesh office chairs that were the best buy in terms of comfort and price. I bought a red one, and paid for that too.
The furniture is being delivered in a couple of days, so I have that time to setup my new office. I can’t wait to see my clients faces when they see the new look – I can hear the compliments already.