Sugar and stuff

An addicts relapse

No sex, no drugs, no rock n roll,

just sugar and the rush it gives,

a different kind of feeling,

and damage to health done.

I thought you and me had said goodbye,

gone our separate ways,

after all your just a food stuff,

how addictive can you be.

Turns out more than I thought,

six months of hard work and change,

but you were hiding in the wings,

ready to catch me out.

Is it boredom, sadness, frustration,

I just don’t have a clue,

what I do know is we got close again,

how many times do I have to say no?

For me you are like a poison,

will send me to my grave.

Sugar this time you will go away,

time to man up and to be brave…

So many drafts, so little done

A tale of a disorganized writer

So many drafts but so little getting done,

none of them inspiring my mind to hit complete,

sitting on my minds desk causing a complete mess.

Writing is supposed to be fun and involving,

a passion , a hobby, an escape from the world.

Who knew it could be so demanding,

another pressure added to the day,

it’s these thoughts the pile up,

stop the creative process in its tracks.

Those drafts will be completed some day,

have the knowledge that inspiration will strike,

tomorrow or the next day just like it always has before.

Those drafts will one day publish

clutter up the desk no more,

those words will form their own stories,

fly from mind to page.

Just need a spark of inspiration,

to feel the finish line…

When inspiration seems so far away

A tale not of writers block, but of being locked out of creativity

Stress levels running high and morale is getting low,

bad signs for creative health, inspiration hard to find.

That one creative spark so often found in the minds eye,

seems to have gone missing I really can’t think why?

So many inspirations stand surrounding me,

but none seems to be the one.

That idea which gets my mind attention,

that special one that just runs free.

When the words flow from head to paper,

and the world just dissapears.

A walk, a run or some other exercise,

to free my body from my mind,

to feel myself be free.

Open to inspiration,

to unlock my creativity.

Investing in property, the time is now!

Why there might never be a better time to buy

Property

One of the biggest investments of most people lives.

It’s also a long term investment opportunity. I don’t know if prices have ever recovered from the 2008 crash.

What I do know is that prices are heading downwards and fast right now. People are looking to turn assets into cash.

Their second properties are hitting the market and they are cheap.

As entrepreneurs and investors, this is an opportunity. Partly because the buy-in is cheap. But also because the rental market is as busy as ever.

I got out of the property market a few years ago. In my area prices were at all-time highs and it felt like time to cash out.

Since then I have always kept an eye on the market wherever I am. Over the last few months, in many areas, it has imploded.

Properties are up with 30% plus discounts.

It seems like an opportunity t get back in. One of the reasons is the low buy-in.

A 2-bed property that’s $50k only needs a $5k buy-in and low fees. The mortgage rate even over 3 years is less than $1000 on a fixed rate.

Rental around $800 per month is a decent rate of return. Take a 6 or 7-year mortgage and it’s paying the bill for the property every month plus $3k or so in pre-tax profit each year.

I like a shorter mortgage so that I own the property quicker. But that’s a personal choice, not sound financial advice.

Those opportunities are out there if you have the cash to make the down payments. Plus the steady income to cover the mortgage payment in months with no rent. Then it looks like a property is a valid investment once again.

Like any investment decision. You should seek some independent financial advice before you commit. The information here is my point of view and opinion on the subject.

That said there are some other pointers you should look at such as:

Are there taxes or fees to due on top of the property price? What will those be and do you have the cash to cover them. What do they do to the payback time.

What’s the area like? What do rental incomes look like there?

What is the tax rate you will pay on rental income and what can you write off each year?

What will this investment do for you? Its recurring income so it’s always good to have an idea of what the plan will be for that. Before you commit to spending cash and taking on debt. Which is what a mortgage is. Albeit we are betting that the value of the property is always more than the debt.

If you have been looking at property as a potential investment. Now is a good time to take a closer look.

The trifecta of low prices, low-interest rates, and a strong rental market. Could make property investment more affordable than ever before.

As an income stream in a portfolio of investments and businesses. Property can be hard to beat.

Lost in a dream

A tale of night time and rest

Lost in the moment,

dreaming the night away,

visions so vivid,

waking memory vague.

To dream is so delicious,

feelings and emotions previously trapped

bubble up to the surface

the video tape on playback.

A chance to re-live and re-learn,

the moments of the past,

knowing that the movie won’t last,

with one final look I wake up and it’s gone.

It’s morning time now,

best get on with the day,

then wait for night time again,

to get lost in my dreams.

Strategies to make the most of the business books you read

The power of a good business book, lies in how you put its lessons into action!

Business books. Powerful tools if used to their full potential.

They can help us level up in life. But, they need to treated as educational books.

Read not only for pleasure but also with a strategy used to get the most out of them. I learn best by reading and doing, so this set of steps is key for me.

Here are 5 steps that I have learned from senior business leaders. These make sure you get the most out of the books you read.

  1. Read the book more than once

In the same way, you would read a textbook. If you only ever read a business book once. You would miss a lot of detail. Which is where the deep lessons come from.

Me, I’ll read a book 2–3 times before I’m happy that I got the context from it.

The first read will be like any other book, I’m reading for enjoyment. I may add stick note markers in this first read.

In the second and third passes of the book, they are essentials tools for me.

Which brings us onto.

2. Note mark the book

I use the sticky thin colored marks but use whatever you have or whatever works best for you. At this stage, I’m marking out pages or lines that interest me. Those that I have more to learn from.

Those sections of the book ill go into much deeper detail later on.

Which brings us onto.

3. Take detailed notes

Each of those things I bookmarked?

As I go through my second and third passes of the book. I’ll be taking detailed notes on each of those sections and how they apply to me or my situation.

I’m looking at:

How does this lesson apply to me or my situation

What action can I take away from this

How do I take that action and take it into my day to day business

I will often fill a notebook during this process. That notebook stays with the book afterward.

Yes, most of my reading and evaluation is done while traveling. My laptop is huge so I don’t get much done in coach. I work on this instead.

4. A 90-day action plan

The actions I noted down in my notebook earlier?

Well, I have to hold myself accountable to put them in place. That means an action plan.

I give myself no more than 90 days to put them in action and review them.

For example, I give is standing meetings — this idea I was able to put in place the next day.

Others like something that affects culture or how we do business?

Well those take longer to put in place and review, so they take the 90 days.

Regardless of the timeline, because I have a plan and a set of actionable steps. I have something to hold me accountable to myself.

Action plans really do work, on so many levels.

5. I review the top 3 books in my collection often

The top 3 changes. They make the list based on how impactful they have been for me.

Those books, I revisit once a year. More if needed. Often if I have a problem I can refer to those books for some insight.

Learning by reading works for me. This is why having a strategy around my reading is key.

Final Thoughts

These books as I said can help us level up. They are also great for helping us to work problems through.

The best way to learn from the material and the insights is to have a strategy. That and actions you can be accountable for.

This is what works for me and others. I hope it is also helpful for you as well.

My work is lost forever

A poem about the frustration of lost writing

A disaster or a masterpiece,

which one we do not know,

scattered to the four corners,

the refresh button,

delivered the devastating blow.

Your gone forever wandering,

around the internet,

in the great recycling bin,

inside the online world.

The frustration and the anger,

only got myself to blame,

using online tools,

the weakest link,

in my writing game.

Going forward ill be stronger,

lost work will be no more.

A lesson learned in application,

of process and seriousness.

Lost work is so frustrating,

never knowing the outcome.

Thoughts put down on paper,

that disappear without a trace.

Good bye story, see you later hard work

The dark side of using online tools to draft your work

800 words and hours of work. All in the landfill, somewhere on the internet. All because I got distracted for 5 minutes.

The page refreshed and it was all gone.

After I calmed down. I realize there is no one to blame but me.

I’m a big fan of some of the online writing tools. In particular Hemmingway and Grammarly.

What I do because its free, is to use the online-only versions of those tools.

So I write in Hemmingway and copy into Grammarly. Then do my final edits in medium.

This has worked fine for the last 8 months.

My mistake has been to look at my writing as fun. It’s not a business for me at the moment. So I haven’t looked at the tools I use and their strengths and weaknesses.

As with anything in life, you only as strong as your weakest link.

In this case, that weakest link has been drafting online.

I’m drafting this in word, and that is the route ill continue from now on.

I also need to reevaluate my approach to writing.

It’s a genuine passion. But because of that, I missed the small stuff around the process.

My concentration has focused on writing.

Yes, this is a rant. But its also a warning to others.

Sounds simple but make sure you have a way to save your work as you go.

To lose it is soul-destroying.

My work may have been total garbage. This issue may have been a blessing.

But I’ll never know, and that is crushing…

The Outlaw King

Our King Robert the Bruce

Robert the Bruce Grand king of Scotland,

who took back our right to our country,

with the people he fought,

hand in hand to be free.

A righteous independant state,

far and vast and free,

episode one at Louden Hill,

finally won at bannock burn.

As history shows the tables turned,

and Scotland was returned to the UK.

But you showed a independent state possible,

for that King Robert we thank ye!!!

Top 3 business books you need to read

These books will help you level up in your journey to business world domination

I don’t know about you? But I’m a huge fan of reading to learn.

Its how my brain works I guess.

As I have progressed in my career in business. It’s often books I have gone back to when I need to level up or learn a new skill.

Here are the 3 books that I have learned from the most, and why I recommend them:

Broken Windows — Broken Business by Michael Levine
ISBN -10–0446–69848–2

This is the first business-oriented book I ever read. My CEO at the time carried copies of this with him. When he met an employee for the first time, we got a copy.

The message was simple. It was a book he had come across that was impactful for him, in a previous role. We were asked to read it and give feedback on our business afterward.

The book itself is a short read at 163 pages. But it is packed with real-life examples.

The basic premise of the book is that to be successful in business you need to be on top of the small stuff. The small cracks, the faded paintwork, the allegorical broken window?

They are all signs that your business has bigger issues, that need to be addressed.

The book offers theory and guidance on this way of thinking. Along with real-life examples of it being applied.

This book for me got me looking at business differently. It has led me to greater success for sure along the way. Just because I look at things differently.

It’s a book I revisit every year or so.

Execution — The discipline of getting things done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan with Charles Burck.
ISBN 978–1 -847–94068–1

This is a book recommended by another CEO. I figured I had nothing to lose by reading it. Like the others in this list, it changed how I looked at my business.

A longer read at some 269 pages. But well worth it. One of those books you will jump about in. It’s not a front to back read.

The premise is that getting things done or “executing” on what it is your business does. Is the most important trait in business.

The book is all about are real-life examples and contrasts. Between those who execute and those who don’t.

The examples are often focused on interviews with the authors.

So you get both a first and third-hand perspective of the issues.

Again another book that for me. Refocused my outlook and priorities as a business leader.

Like all the meaningful books in my life, I do revisit this every year or so.

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
ISBN 978–1- 78504–127–3

Ok, so this is a monster read at 674 pages. As I remember I was at the airport with a long week of flights ahead of me. Looking for a long read to keep me occupied this seemed perfect.

This is a series of interviews with top performers in their chosen fields. It’s not only limited to business.

Tim asks them through their conversation what makes them different and successful basically.

What comes out of that is a range of facts, routines, habits, etc. That these people use to stay ahead of the game.

What it gives us the reader is a toolbox of things we can play around with and try. Along with some insights and actions to take away and apply to our own lives.

It’s not self-help as such. But it is full of tips and tricks to help you level up. In whatever it is you do best.

Not quite as impactful as the other 2 books covered here. It has been very useful.

Again its not a book you’re going to read cover to cover. It’s one that’s best read in sections going back and forth. In what interests you at the time.

My copy is heavily bookmarked with pages or whole conversations I go back to time and again.

Final thoughts

These are 3 books that have helped me in my career. In times of trouble or at times when I needed or wanted to level up. I have found tools in these books to inspire me to do what needs to be done.

After all the constant is business is change. So its best to consume as much knowledge as you can. Then be prepared for the change to come suddenly and often.

For me, these books are tools that help me with that. I hope they can help and inspire you in the same way that they have helped and inspire me through the years.