Posts Tagged With: entrepreneurship

You win…! The answer to non competing

 

Our dog trailing a winner

Our dog trailing a winner

Here we go…if you read this I am happy to announce that you win.

You do not have to convince me that you are happier and healthier.  I concede that your kids are the best,  your house is the biggest and you obviously have more money than I will ever have.  You live a fuller  and more meaningful life than I do.  I have an awesome wife,  but believe it or not we do not actually always get along and we fight from time to time.  So it seems that you have a happier marriage as well.

I am not always so certain about religion and faith and God that you have so effortlessly packaged in an easily digestible microwave dinner.  You know God better and understand the universe to a level that I will never achieve.

My dream is that I wake up with friends like yours…but alas I am a dreamless and goalless wanderer and would not fit into a reality like yours.

My only cause of action is submission and to acknowledge defeat.  I have only one request if I may.  You clearly are a better person and ambassador for the human race,  therefor there is no reason to convince me anymore.  I am happy and content to live my simple life in a quiet seaside town.  We can now chat about things that really matter,  like the weather, waves, coffee and wine.

Categories: Fighting for Zen, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

What is “life style”?

This is a question that has kept my mind busy for a few days now,  actually for quite a bit longer.  I have been trying to write this post for months now,  but as always I feel that I am incredibly busy with who knows what.  Here goes…

What does it mean to sustain your life style?  For most I guess this would refer to maintaining your current economic status and or upgrading to a better economic status.  I am not convinced that the aforementioned has anything to do with your lifestyle.  Your life style in my opinion is the way you spend your time on a daily basis,  and this is absolutely a choice.

Our society is still very much hung up on the idea of identifying via various tests what “job” you would be good at,  and or what fields of study you should pursue simply because you did a some test that indicated you should study accountancy as an example.  You can then after your studies focus on your career path.  This means you will study,  get a job and probably never know what your “lifestyle” is,  and as many others your lifestyle will equate to what you have and not the way you live.

It seems that instead of having tests to determine for which company we are going to work that we should rather ask people how they would like to spend their every day life and then find an economic vehicle that can sustain that way of life.  The problem with this is that we have never been exposed to this type of thinking and or possibility of living.

We focus on money as a lifestyle because we think money can buy what we lack in living.  Money does not buy a lifestyle and money does not buy freedom.  What money does buy is a false sense of security.  Your career is not your life.

Technology is making it possible to be economically part of the ‘system’ while not being in the system so to speak.  Sacrifice money for time and your return in investment will be more than you can imagine.

Enough ramblings of a crazy person who’s main focus in life is to surf better,  spend more time at home while busy with stupid experiments.

What's better than surfing?  Surfing with cool people !

What’s better than surfing? Surfing with cool people !

Categories: Fighting for Zen, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defending the lifestyle… passionately!

Not having time to surf means you are to busy! Nice pic by my nice niece...Simi!

Not having time to surf means you are to busy!
Nice pic by my nice niece…Simi!

We have all been told that once you find your passion,  you are 90% closer to living a fulfilling life doing what you were born to do.

Being engulfed in a life changing experience because of your passion is what we are all dreaming about.  The glaring problem is that 90% of us don’t really have this driving passion for something specific.  For many years this was a big issue for me.  How can I not have this absolute driving motivation to save the planet.  For a period I had this drive to impact the youth in some way.  It felt like it was my destiny…or better yet my calling.  After many years,  I can see that I did not have a calling to do anything specific,  let me explain before you lose all respect for me.

After watching this video by Cal Newport my life was slightly transformed from moving away from desperately seeking this one thing that will make my life the “the next big life”,  or desperately looking for “passion” to give meaning to my life.  Most of us are trapped by this because we hear and see all these wonderful stories about people that followed their passion and succeeded.  We hear it being preached in schools,  churches and by a legion of motivational speakers.  Follow your passion and your life will make sense and you will be fulfilled.  The question now is what if you do not have this driving passion for something specific?

There are a few things I am passionate about…I love surfing,  I love being an entrepreneur,  I love travelling,  I love helping kids get into surfing,  I love to teach people how the ocean works,  but most of all I am passionate about having time to do all of the above.  My passion it seems is directly linked to the lifestyle I want.  It seems then in my instance that my passion is my lifestyle and without my lifestyle I have no chance to explore my “passion interests”.  I have always wanted a specific life instead of specific “things”.  If I have the lifestyle,  I have the ability to explore my interests and by doing this I have a really good chance of finding this elusive “life changing passion” while having my chosen life style.

The problem it seems is that we have abandoned the possibility of having a “LifeStyle” and I am definitely not referring to the type of style  that is dictated by television marketing.  We have decided somewhere along the line that our jobs are our passion and a lifestyle is directly linked to the stuff we buy. This is why when people lose their jobs they will say “Their lives are destroyed”.  Not having time is far worse that not having a big screen TV.

I would sacrifice anything for the lifestyle I am attempting to create for myself.  I want to live and experiment with my life  vigorously  and passionately,  in short I want to be passionate about my life and those around me.

Categories: Fighting for Zen | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

retirement – yeah right

Retirement

I have for the better part of my working life tried to understand the concept of retirement.  I have heard it being preached to me at primary school,  high school, university, the church and mostly in the media on a day to day basis.

My understanding thus far (keeping in mind that I am not a financial genius) is that you are required to work for and extended period of time,  what you do is irrelevant.  In that period of time you have to save a lot of ka-ching so that when you are old you can do all the things you have always wanted to do and obviously not do meaningless work to keep the cash boat afloat.

We have been taught to work dead end jobs so we may retire one day.  We have learned a lingo that helps us communicate what we do and the importance of who we are in the “job” market.  We have conditioned ourselves to think that some one is worth doing business with/associating with depending on the car they drive or the clothes they wear.  We have associated wealth with success…We have become the Jones’s.

What is the alternative to retirement and retirement planning?  In short,  probably doing what you really desire while you are able to.  I say all of this as if it comes easy to me,  as if I have arrived at the magic place in time where all makes sense and I live with fairies and gnomes.  That would be very far from the truth,  but I am living a slightly different lifestyle for better or for worse (we will find out when I retire;)  This life style might be to my detriment,  but there are millions of people that live unchosen lives for decades only to realise that they can not retire anyway.  My body will not wait for my financial retirement to do the things I want it to do.  While I can,  I want to experience what my life could be and make mistakes of what my life is not supposed to be.

The only way to know if something is worthwhile is to experiment.  We have experimented with “work” and yes we have succeeded in achieving what seems a sustainable plan for living and living with a few luxuries.  We have seen that 12 hour days gives us money,  but because we spend the majority of our time working we also feel the need to reward ourselves with purchases because this is all we have time for.  The more money we make the more stuff we purchase.  We only have time for immediate gratification that can be bought.

Why not experiment with your own life.  Failure is most probably the best way to move forward.  It sounds like a cliche but true non the less.  I would rather “invest” my time and money for myself.  I value my time and my money infinitely more than my financial broker.  Money is a dying commodity,  information is power and if you do not have time,  getting information becomes more and more tricky.  I am not referring to information that gives you power to accumulate wealth,  I am referring to information that opens an alternative world of living.  How this living works is still an experiment,  but I will keep you posted.

Working for retirement will cause you to be very good at your job,  you will be an absolute expert after 40 years no doubt.  But at what cost are you going to be an expert.  How much is the TV,  car and house really costing you?  I am writing this blog while being an aspiring writer,surfer, furniture maker,  beer brewer and entrepreneur.  I am in the same financial dilemma than most other people if not worse.  I have probably just made better peace with the fact that life will happen and that at the end of my life I will not miss reality shows,  soaps and the endless sport on television.

Below are the things YOU AND I WILL most probably regret when faced with death.  The regrets below is not my imagination,  but interviews with thousands of people that where terminally ill and on their death beds…

1:  You worked too hard

2:  I wish I’d have had the courage to live a life TRUE TO MYSELF, instead of living the life that others expected of me.

3:  I wish I would have had the courage to express my feelings honestly instead of thinking they didn’t matter or they weren’t popular.

4:   I wish I would’ve stayed in touch with my friends.

5:   I wish that I would’ve allowed myself to be happier, smiling more and complaining less.

6:  I wish I would’ve gotten to know God better. I’m realizing now, just HOW MUCH He’s always been there.

7:  (Women) I wish I had just let the dust sit a little longer, and gone out to play with my children when they pleaded.  (Men) I wish I had just let the phone ring, and chosen to stay home with my family more, or gone to that ballgame or that play.

8:  I wish I would’ve known NOT to sweat the small stuff.  It wasn’t all that important in the end when you are looking at the ‘big picture’.  I wouldn’t have even had to be on so much medicine.

9:  I wish I would’ve had the attitude of celebrating life instead of enduring it.

10:  I wish I would’ve taken a class or two to learn some of the things I gave up when I got married and had a family.

Categories: Fighting for Zen | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Compos Mentis 2013

About this time every year every one goes into a frenzy to start writing down things they want to achieve for the new year.  I have come to realize that achievement is somewhat overrated and extremely exhausting!

I have for as long as I can remember penned down things I want for the new year,  and mostly this has equated to “stuff”.  I have nothing against “stuff”,  on the contrary I have one or 2 “stuffs” on my dream list for 2013,  but it is not dominated for the first time by stuff but rather by exploits and I hope exploits that for the first time will make a positive difference in the world and will inspire me!

I am for the first time looking back at the previous year and feeling quite content.  I did not accumulate a massive fortune,  but to be honest I did not really position myself to receive a fortune.  It has taken some getting used to,  this new way of living where my life not only exists to work and then spend that money on what now seems ridiculous purchases.

It has only been 2 years since we exchanged life styles,  and the first year disappeared all to quickly.  2012 was better in the sense that we established some sort of rhythm,  although not smooth yet,  better than the first year.  This year I believe will be the first year where we have adapted completely to this lifestyle and we can focus on new goals and ventures.

The one thing I have learned is that if you want something to happen you have to make it happen (very corny,  but true).  This post would not be complete without a list of endeavors for the year,  and one or 2 stuffs in between.

1:  I want to take more walks with my wife and my dogs on the beach.

2:  I would like to be a better surfer.

3:  I would like to create an app for SME’s that kicks ass in the CRM space.

4:  I want to make furniture.

5:  I want to blog more.

6:  I want to position myself to own a property.

7:  I want to appreciate more what I have.

I am sure there are a thousand other things I would like to do,  but the above 7 seems to make sense and more importantly feels achievable.  I can not achieve what I can not believe.

Awe-ness

Describes it well!

Describes it well!

Categories: Fighting for Zen | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The secret of the “The Secret”

I have always been a fan of books that either directly inspired me to be more,  or fictional books that had the same effect.  I love to be inspired,  it drives me and motivates me to do things I would usually not be keen to do(sales cold calling is an example:) or do things completely new (brewing beer and making furniture).  It might sound a bit plastic and corny,  but without motivation I am nothing.  It sounds harsh and I can already hear people say that it would be virtually impossible to exist if you had to wait to be inspired before you act on anything.  In the real world you would hardly get anything done,  but I try not to live in the world that often:)

Back to my secret.  Me and my business partner had a chat some time ago about the fact that we have lost a bit of motivation for our current business and we could not figure out why we somehow lost motivation to aggressively pursue this venture.  It is a good business with great possibilities both from a financial and green perspective.

It is then that I realised that I reached every goal I have set out to achieve,  literally.  Everything that I put down a paper as a goal was achieved except one ,  but we will get back to this.  The fact that I did not realise this,  was I think now the reason for my lack of motivation.

I have always (sometimes more than others) written down what I want out of life.  Initially when I was working as a programmer 11 years ago my dream was to go for an early morning run and not have to go to an office and work for a boss doing something that I did not really enjoy end to be honest something I was horrible at.  Not long after,  I quit my job and was working for myself.  This is my first instance where I saw “My Secret” in action,  but as with all things I did not realise it.

I purchased 2 properties in the same manner.  And it is worth a mention that I did not really earn a solid income when doing this.  Both properties were not in the market at the point when I first saw them.  But the more I saw them the more it became a reality in my mind that I wanted those properties.  Not long after my mental process started they went on the market and I bought them.  For the sake of mere mortals like myself it is important that you understand that I do not at the moment own any property and that I am very far from being financially ‘rich’.  As a matter of fact,  it would be very difficult for me to even attempt to purchase a property with finance from a banking institution (maybe this is a good thing).

Shortly after getting married to the only person that could possibly endure my type of living in 2007 I was again stuck in a job that I did not like.  The one constant thing was that I still wrote down my so-called “dreams” every morning while having coffee.  I still have some of these little “dream books”.  In 2007 I wanted to move to the coast.  I wanted to be involved in a youth organisation.  I wanted to surf.  I wanted to have time to do different things and experience a slower life.  In 2008 the first step in this dream was realised,  I got retrenched:)

Present Day:  I live in a small town at the coast.  I am involved in a Gap Year program in Hermanus (www.sparkshermanus.co.za).  I have started surfing.  I am brewing my own beer (why not I say),  I have also started making furniture which I enjoy tremendously! I have started SCUBA diving and I have time to experience new things….and this includes spending time with awe-some people including my soul mate.

My First project with Louis Day

My First project with Louis Day

The point of this whole story is that I absolutely believe that you can have in this life what ever you want.  But there is a catch.  What I have not mentioned this far is that I have always had money on my list,  and as of yet I have never really had a fortune or anything close to it.

A “secret” sweet spot is what I call it.  There are a multitude of things that we think of when we imagine a better life,  or a life that we want.  Some of these things resonate more than others.  Money,  I think will never be the goal,  but money might very well be a result of a better life imagined.  I do want certain things that will obviously cost money,  one of these are a house that I own and can call home permanently (will let you know how this goes).  I have no way to buy this at the moment,  but a house that me and my wife can call home is something that resonates deeply in me and because of that I have all the confidence in the world that this is attainable.  I can obviously dream up a $5m mansion,  but it is not something that stirs me or gets me going or for that matter excites me.

After realising that I can attain the life I want,  I started thinking deeply about what I want after watching “What would you do if money was no object”.  I realised an old dream I had many years ago and this has not changed at all.  It was a mission statement of sorts that suddenly has new meaning again.  I want to inspire and motivate people to live an extraordinary life by living an extraordinary life myself.  What this practically means I do not know,  but I will keep you updated.

The life saving season has officially started today,  so for now I have to hit the beach and look like The Hoff!

Clothing Ceremony for the Life Guards for the season

Clothing Ceremony for the Life Guards for the season

Categories: Fighting for Zen | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

‘Awe’-ness (Howzit, Sick, Cool, Power, chill and agreement)

Being very new to the blogging world and community it seems fitting to open with Awe. A word that initially had very little meaning until 2 years ago. Now the mere sound of it shows something of how life can change and that what we initially thought to be extremely important disappears as we discover more and more where we are supposed to fit into the world and that big screen tv’s might not be a goal:)

The above I had to learn the hard way, and we can say that I will be “paying” for my indiscretions(tv’s) for some time in the future but from a different perspective.

I have found a new rhythm for my life (although I might miss a beat from time to time), you can say I am almost desperately fighting for zen on a daily basis and from time to time I almost “get it”.

I am tired of plastic (Cards, People, Bottles, Music, TV). I am however very much interested in people who are real. That live in the real world, that work in the real world and that dream in the real world. I want to form part of that community of people where we care more about “people” and nature than we care about our jobs and what we can buy with our jobs. I am sure I will on many occasions refer to “work” and I will be lambasted for my views;)  Do not get me wrong,  I myself am an entrepreneur and I also need a bit of “show me the money”.  It might even be conceivable that I make more money than I need,  and what a blessing this would be.  I am however not willing to sacrifice my freedom for ‘stuff’.

I am excited about this journey of blogging and hopefully inspiring and being inspired as we go along. Blogging for me is almost a way to keep myself, my ideas and my goals in check and on track because there are people who might find my life style interesting. Worse case scenario this might be a very good example of what not to do with your life:) To interact with like-minded people, to dream with like-minded people is what will hopefully bring change in all our lives.

It seems to be another semi spectacular day in the town that I call home. I went for an early morning run and what could be better than running on a cliff path meters from the ocean and seeing a baby whale calf not more than 2 meters away from you, bobbing up and down that close to the rocks. Suddenly what you thought was of utmost importance as you planned your day disappears and you are filled with peace, joy and a sense that the world will give back when you are present.

On the menu today is trying to convince companies that they should move away from paper and rather use mobile technologies to deliver information to clients. The waves are fairly non-existent, and this bodes well for my surfing progression. With a little bit of luck some snorkeling as well. Then spending some time on getting students to attend our “Kick Start your Gap Year 2013” in Hermanus(www.sparkshermanus.co.za) and last but not least if the weather plays along a braai with my wife and some chilled chardonnay.

YAWP

Categories: Fighting for Zen | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

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