Friday, December 19, 2014

My Last Feast For Thought

Feast For Thought: My Semester Closing Thoughts

Just like any meal there are so many "bits" I could write about from this semester. I could feast on the turkey meat of our $100 challenge raise my turkey leg in victory having surpassed the $100 by a lot. I could look over at Aunt Bertha's yams (that no one likes) and reflect on just how negatively something as simple as not posting by Tuesday would affect my overall grade. Yikes. Or I could look at the food that was prepared and left for the dogs because I couldn't figure out how to submit it (My $100 Pitch video). Regardless, of the negatives and positives from this semester I am leaving full and ready to sleep. I am done. I am tired. I am happy with the beauty of the overall meal. If I focus on aspects of the semester individually it frustrates me but collectively I am happy having successfully passed the course and being that much closer to being done with getting my secular "feather."


So you are thinking about being an Entrepreneur eh? Well, great. Me too. I am not some wise man on the mountain so proceed with caution. I speak of my own feeling being out of this long dark tunnel of this semester. Now I want to speak to you Mr. or Mrs. Entrepreneur. What should you learn? Learn that you need to jump in and start. Learn that there are some resources out there that are awesome. I particularly enjoyed Brother Morris' Large Venture creation course and learning about the Business Model Canvas. I loved in this course learning from Harvard's Acton Heroes and watching the "AHA" moment for so many people when they wanted to point out money isn't everything and that they wanted to leave a legacy. I would say that school is very important and a rite of passage you must go through but fully expect to learn a lot from life. Learn from everything. Don't assume you will learn everything from college or anyone else. You must learn. You must learn from everyone and everything. Learn from failure and learn from success. Better yourself Daily.

In conclusion remember the wise words of President Monson "Green things grow and ripe things rot. You should remain green all your days."

Saturday, December 13, 2014

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." -Helen Keller

There are so many thoughts floating around my head from this week. I have "concluded" my $100 challenge (although I still have a lot more orders to fill before Christmas). I feel as though I did very well with the $100 challenge considering a couple slow weeks and a slow beginning. I feel this showed me a glimpse of both how hard a lack of sales can be but also how hard success can be as well. At this point my profit after all my expenses is: $413.25

Additionally, I additional $30 or so coming in before Christmas.

I chose the above quote because I really have been thinking a lot about the semester seeing that it is coming to a close. After my computer broke I have had  struggle in many of my classes and am not getting the grades I as hoping for this semester. I have struggled with depression on and off my whole life and I have been trying to make the best of the grades I am getting in this class and others. I suppose the reason I liked this quote because I was considering the inspirational thought I got from our Acton Hero assignment this week when Tom Nall spoke of optimism and spoke about a phrase he likes to quote to employees and people stating that he wanted to be like the individual who jumped from the Empire State Building and 3/4 of the way down he said to himself " So far so Good."

In conclusion, I feel like it is important to remember that even in the darkest of moments we can chose to focus on the light that is surely somewhere nearby or we can simply become lost in the shade. I think this is applicable in both life and business. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas Thoughts this Week

As I listened to Eric Slaubaugh and how he was speaking about business being essentially hard at times I was able to relate with what I am going through at this time in my own life. My wife's mother was in an accident when she was 14 on Christmas Eve and ended up passing away on New Year's Eve.

I felt like this is relative because as he spoke of the hardships of business I was thinking of what my wife and I had just done. My wife struggles with this Holiday season. Instead of doing what we have tried to do every year which hasn't helped her be happy. Maybe I am being to artistic in my comparison but I think in Metaphors. As I assist in the process of healing for my wife I can see how this applies to business as well. We have had a Christmas tree every year we are married but this year we went out and cut one down and started a new happy tradition.

In business we need to be able to iterate and find news ways to do the same things at times (even and especially when it gets hard).

I really enjoyed Eric's thoughts on valuing and trying to get as many mentors as possible. I feel like I have been looking for good solid mentors all my life. I am not about to compare mentors to Father Christmas (Although he would be a great mentor for bringing the spirit of Christmas). I have enjoyed the feedback I have received from individuals on my $100 challenge.

Weekly Follow Up

$100 Report

Although, I have not made as much money as I figured I could I have learned a lot from this assignment already. This week I had no orders so my total earned money remains the same as last week but I have gained a lot more orders for later in the month. I have a guaranteed $50+.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

"Commit to the Trick"

       Commit to the Trick
After having learned from and a bit more about Nicole Donnelly it really stood out to me about how she spoke about commitment. I think every time I have failed at something it was because I had not really committed to whatever it was. Instead of focusing on all the failures of when I didn't commit I want to express this point with a recent victory I had. My wife and I spent more money then we ever do on two tickets to an intense obstacle course race down in Utah called the Spartan. When we had signed uup the race was said to be anywhere from 8 to 10 miles through the mountains with mud and other obstacles. We were excited. We wanted to get in better shape and do something hard/fun as a couple. We started to train. One day while training we decided to go roller blading... My wife had an accident. She would be fine all but a large scar tht she has across her leg. This was only weeks before our event. It was a deep enough nd painful enough that she would not be able to compete. Additionally, the race had flexed the race we were participating in to the next level of difficulty turning a 8 Mile race into a 15 mile race. Being frank we hadn't trained enough for an 8 and now we were expected to double our distance. My training got worse and ultimately it ceased. The day of the race game. Everyone we were going to do the race with wondered if I would do it because frankly I was not in shape. I said I was. The day came and after 7+ hours I finished the race. For all intents and purposes I was out of shape and had to walk most of it. However, I was committed and I finished a race I shouldn't have been able to.

For me this is very applicable because in business people sometimes jump in with expectations just like I did for the Spartan beast. I assumed I would be fit and ready for the challenge. I wasn't. Did that mean I failed? No. Could I have been better prepared? Surely. In business it is no different we can prepare as much as we want but the real thing will always be different when the pains begin and the challenges occur. I have experienced this already a bit with selling cream puffs. It has been interesting to see how situations can indicate our commitment level. I had been excited and ready for this assignment all semester and now that I am doing it is stressful and a pain. I am taking 15 credits in school and working a job. This has caused running this business to be even more difficult.I have found this to be a very good experience and I am learning bout a lot of assumptions that I made tht were not good and what I need to address better in the future for better success.

Revenue: $190

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Put the "Grave" into Gravy

"Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a doornail." ~A Christmas Carol

The Grave in Gravy

I was truly inspired this week by the two Acton Hero videos I was able to watch. The lives of Catherine Rohr and Corey Bell will lit me up. Bell's words about death and the graveyard being the richest place in the world really hit me. With the holidays fast approaching  I have been thinking a lot about the book The Christmas Carol. I always make a goal to read it before Christmas because I find it to be so inspiring. I can't help but think of this "rich graveyard" filled with the spirits trapped by their own agency wishing forever the two simple words "What If?"

I find myself becoming extremely emotionally pondering this topic of these individuals like Marley crying in their hearts “I wear the chain I forged in life....I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.”

What if? What if?... WHAT IF?

Simply put I want to live a certain life and up to this point I have only had excuses as to why I cannot be that man. To quote Dickens again “No space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused.” 

I can't help but feel this argument going on within the silent chambers of my heart as if Scrooge and Marley were there present arguing:

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,' faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.
Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!” 

I have been studying and learning for a lot of my life to be "a good man of business." What is my business truly? Mankind. That is what will make me happy. That is my goal. That is my "What If" scenario. 'To live a life like no one else so I can give like no one else' to borrow a phrase from Dave Ramsey.

I feel a spark that is turning into a flame within my soul... this deep and hopeful question reversed on the doom and dread that it could in one later day bring me by stopping to consider this life now..... "What if?"

$100 Challenge Update

Sales: 81
NOI: 61

I have orders that are rapidly growing this week as well for the holidays that will dramatically bring in more revenue.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Cream Puffs On the Bus.... But Why?

Cream Puff Business ($100 Challenge)

Follow up: I have passed out flyers and started to receive orders. I was able to e-mail my flyer to all Bonneville Sheriffs Department (AKA all County Employees). I was able to advertise on local Facebook. From these efforts this week I have already received orders for $222 worth of products. Due to the nature of my business model I have not received any actual money yet. The cool part is that I can make this all under $20 dollars and still not be short products or over on allowed money.

Total Earned Money: $0
Total Orders: $222
Total Cost: $20
Net Operating Income: $202

On The BUS

I was considering the different readings from this week and I enjoyed thinking about "Good to Great" that we read and thinking about 'who the right people' would be to be on this bus. I know my mother would be a great resource so that I can ensure quality control (she would be a great adviser) not necessarily an employee. Eventually, if this business was to take off I would need a baker and a Sales associate (if I was going to sell them from my own location). If I was going to produce these and try to sell them out to other businesses I would need drivers, bakers, warehouse employees, and a manager. In either scenario I would need an accountant to keep the books.

I had to think a lot about what would have to happen before I was willing OR HAD to hire other people to enter into my business. The move from infancy to adolescence (E-Myth Reference) can be hard to know when to pull the trigger and go for it. I have run through many questions such as "Is this only getting this kind of responses because I know these people? Or, Is it because the profits are going to a non-profit? Or, is simply because the holidays are coming?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Disciple Leadership in the Similitude of Him

This week the studying we did on disciple leadership and especially on Jesus Christ: The Perfect Leader has really stood out to me.

I have been thinking a lot about my role in this world and my future vocation. I had a very spiritual experience while studying about disciple leadership and have been inspired to do something a little different with my $100 challenge AND this Holiday Season.

As a young man my mother used to read picture books to us while we laid in bed before sleeping. Each holiday season the books changed into whatever holiday was coming up next. One of my favorites was the book: Silver Packages.

I started thinking about my Christmas experiences since being married. I have always loved the Christmas season but ever since getting married it has been a hard time of year. My sweet wife lost her mother to an accident days after Christmas. As I was reading the power point from this week one of the first slides said in essence: 'Challenged the the reader to think of what we can do to take a stand, get involved, and make a difference...' I thought about that book from my childhood and my current situation and thought to myself that my wife and I should be like the man on the train from this book. In the book there was a man who would come and give out "silver packages" each Christmas to those who were in need from the back of a train. We had been planning on going back east and I thought to myself "How much better could this trip be if it was filled with the spirit of Christmas doing service all the way to and from New York and back?" I have begun to compile a list of service activities and am going to organize my efforts to do fundraisers and collect products such as blankets and clothing and hygiene kits for various non-profit sites along the road. We are going to serve throughout all of this Christmas season. I directly believe this inspiration for this idea came from this week's homework.

As for my $100 challenge I have begun to advertise and have had some orders that have been put in for when I make the first batch of Cream Puffs.

Money Earned: $0