Feb 1, 2011
Big and Bold: Weaning the Mind from the Poor-House
Now that I'm beginning to generate a trickle of revenue from my commercial site, it didn't feel enough to stay on status-quo. The new imperative was to move big and bold. From a perspective of simply perfecting the game of wealth building, it made perfect sense. In full compliance to this new mandate, the Aha Moments came flooding into my creative space.
What started out as an expensive move (I was broke) to subscribe to an internet DSL connection (instead of relying on unreliable free wifi) turned out to be a paradigm shift from poor-house thinking into a....hmmmm, for lack of a better phrase, I'll use my parlance - Lamborghini-in-Monaco thinking. I soon realized that even though I shifted my efforts into wealth building, my thinking remained that of a guy who's still in the poor house. Being poor (by choice) for 7 seven years, I was always on a lookout for the cheapest way to do things...oftentimes done with less-than-optimum efficiency with less-than-desirable results. That worked while I was pennyless and happy drifting through life. But with my shift, I was actually losing more in missed opportunities than what I thought I was saving.
The internet subscription was the bold thinking that kicked my poor-house thinking out of its rut. Now that I'm connected 24/7, my productivity shoots up the roof and I can only lament at the wasted time and the unrecoverable opportunity cost. What followed were a series of baby steps blazing a path for me out of the poor-house thinking.
- directory and real estate website - although I knew it was more professional to get a separate domain name for my business websites, I took the cheap road and had it piggy back on TheLoneRider.com. I bit the bullet on that as I felt sharing my bed with strangers. Even with that, the setup wasn't exactly ideal - the sites were not scalable enough and too decentralized.
Big and bold move? Spend for a domain name and put all the satellite sites under its umbrella, not unlike putting up a holding company. Now, I have TheLoneRider private once again (well, not immediately) and my commercial sites are consolidated with more potential for SEO manipulation and nationwide expansion.
- my personal stuff - it's been stored for 9 months at a friend's cramped space in Manila. The psychological toll on me all these 9 months on how to carry all those on my backpack in installments as I make occasional visits to Manila was draining to say the least. An alternative? I worried about cabbing them to the pier, loading them on the boat, being at the receiving pier, hiring a van to get it delivered to my home, etc. The sheer thought was paralyzing.
Big and bold move? Put all of them in boxes and have it shipped door-to-door from Manila to my place in Valencia. That's exactly what I did. Altogether, the door to door shipment didn't cost me even a quarter as much as I thought - I even tipped the delivery guys big! The stone in my shoe is now gone. I should have done it a long time ago - even if it meant loaning the money. That move was encouraging to think big and bold. I realized that thinking of the small problems immobilized me to take any action. Solution? Don't get weighed down by small problems...think of the positive gains instead. I can't believe it took me years to nail that.
- my personal home surroundings - I've put up with what was there when I came in - unwashed curtains and dirty cushion covers that's remained there for years. I cleaned up my immediate space but left the rest of the house in its unkept condition. My thinking pattern was, "I'm just passing through". I became so familiar with those surroundings, I didn't notice the dirt anymore. Surprisingly, only in the last few days, I started minding it. It didn't feel right anymore.
Big and bold move? I stripped my place of everything that can be laundered and sent them to the cleaners. I hired 2 kids to clean up the whole house.
- the P20 meal threshold and not knowing anyone - being broke, I can only salivate at what's on the menu of most restaurants. I'd confine myself within a P20 meal is some carinderia, usually beside drivers or laborers during their meal break. That's fine with me. But there are occassions I want a slice of Sans Rival...oops..it's P26! or brewed coffee by the Boulevard...ooops..P35! I'd also find myself too alone, not knowing enough people here.
Big and bold move? Go to these places and order what I feel like eating. Coffee, cake, etc., and more importantly, talk to the owner about my work. I've done that many times. And many times, I've walked away from the establishment having eaten something I long wanted to eat (but had been afraid to spend), met an interesting person (yes, business owners are usually interesting people!) and sometimes, with an order for a listing on my Dumaguete directory. Hey, the meal paid for itself...and then some!
- generating revenue - shortly after getting the groove of getting establishments listed, it was tempting to stay on cruise control - just develop a routine where I meet business owners and get them listed. Then it hit me, "Why stop at getting a directory listing when there's more potential for my clients to make more revenue from the listing?"
Big and bold move? Launch an online marketing campaign using the listings as the destination links. I can add more zeros to an otherwise simple transaction for both my clients and myself. I was developing this new thinking, "what's good for my client is good for me." It made me think like a partner...not just a hired help for a one-time project. If they take me up on my bigger proposals, we both win.
- wrist pain and eye strain - With 24/7 internet connection and Aha Moments flooding into my creative space, the internet became my home. At some point, I felt carpel tunnel syndrome on my right wrist, my eyes heavily strained from looking at the monitor. But I couldn't stop.
Big and bold move? I had to teach my left hand to the mouse and also play with my Taichi Balls. I put a 10-minute timer to remind me to blink and roll my eyes. I'd do push-ups or crunches for my breaks just to include a workout into the plan. Now, I'm even good on the mouse with my left hand.
The Thinking Pattern of the Mind
A lot of the above may seem the most mundane thing to do, not exactly big and bold - like getting the house cleaned. But you have to understand, I'm wrestling against the thinking pattern of the mind - not the actual act of getting something clean. The mind is a powerful ally, but an equally powerful adversary. Now, I'm taking control of my thinking pattern by unlearning the small-thinking habit that already calcified in my head. This weans me from the poor-house thinking to one that's big and bold.
I could feel the metamorphosis happening inside me. Strange, but I now feel differently about things around me that used to be too familiar. I've done strange things - defrost a common fridge, had someone clean the entire house, laundered all curtains, etc. That used to be unheard of. How is this connected to the big and bold paradigm? Honestly, I don't know. A prerequisite? But I follow the calling just the same. The Flow has never been wrong. At any rate, being in a clean environment is its won blessing.
Cleanliness and next to Godliness
Sometime back at a meditation session in Ayala Heights, I remember a conversation I had with Gina Lopez where she actually reprimanded me for sleeping on a hammock on a sidewalk with all the dirt and dust kicked around by buses and jeeps 24/7. This happened during one of my homeless episodes. Her point wasn't about me sleeping on the sidewalk. It was about me sleeping in a dirty place. It had as much to do with spiritual hygiene as much as it did the physical. Perhaps with the higher paradigm, I resonate to something higher as well? I suspect I'm beginning to get a sense of her point.
The Little Things That Add Up
I do everything now instead of waiting 'when I find time'. Now, even if I'm busy, I force things so I make time! Usually, it's for the little things that seem too small to warrant my immediate attention but actually cause a psychological burden because they start adding up. Example? looking for a wrench to tighten a loose knob, or mixing an epoxy adhesive to join two broken things together, etc. Yes, it's that mundane but you'd be surprised how light you feel when you finally address all these small nagging things. My newfound motto? My table has to be cleared of To Do list before the day is over. So that tomorrow, I start new and interesting things to do...and believe me, these 'new and interesting things' flood into my mind at torrential speed I find 24 hours in a day too short!
The 5-Day Aha Moment
I remember an Aha Moment that took me coding for nearly 5 straight days, nearly non-stop. I couldn't stop as I had to capture the ideas as they flowed. What came out of the 5 days was magical. I might even say it was like great sex...maybe slightly better. Great sex can only last an hour at best. I was orgasmic for 5 days! In a way, this "let's get it done pronto!" is consistent with the Vipassana Meditation tenet.
Now I realize the blinders I've been wearing since I left the poor-house mindset. In my 7-year quest to push the boundaries of being poor, it was necessary to think that way (eg. I survived one month on P7k in Sagada - rent, food, internet, backpacking, bike parts, french buffet, etc. Let's see what happens if I only spend P6K. What will I have to give up this time?). Now, playing the abundance game I still have to perfect, that poor-house thinking is no longer relevant. In fact, it's counter-productive. What I find challenging in this ordeal is first realize that I do have that blinder. Second, and perhaps more difficult, is to shift the thinking. Sometimes the mind can be stubborn and revert back into its old habit without you even realizing you've slipped back.
Da Donald Trump Approach
I remember what Donald Trump said in an interview when asked what made him different from his father (who was also a successful realtor, but not as big). Da Donald said he was employing the same business principles his father taught him. The only difference was, he was putting them on a big and bold scale.
Feeding on the big-and-bold thinking, I feel more optimistic that the goal I set out to do is more viable than ever. I'm actually excited. I've never been a man of means before. Comfortable, yes. But rich? That's a new frontier. What's it like? Since I'm not focused on the money per se, than I am in perfecting the game, I'm very curious how far I can push the boundaries. In the same way I asked myself before, "I survived on P7K this month, let's see if I can survive on P6K next month", I'd like to ask myself at some point, "I just made P1M this month, what big and bold move should I take to make P2M next month?". Big and Bold is the new paradigm of wealth building.
Playing to Win
I've been spending the last week holed up in my working space trying to make sense of this metamorphosis. I haven't felt this kind of a change in me since I returned to the default world fresh from my Burning Man experience. While Burning Man instilled in me the faith that there is an infinitely broader horizon than what's visible, this big and bold paradigm tells me that with whatever I think about, or whatever I'm into, it's not nearly as big and bold as it can possibly be - that I should think it through further....how big and bold can I make this? By doing that, I consequently push the boundaries of excellence and even my own fragile vulnerabilities. The question always begs...is this the biggest I can make it? For as long as my heart stays in the right place, I can keep pushing the boundaries with no hesitation. For as long as I ensure that when I win, nobody loses, I can't go wrong. I play to win and I'll take everyone who wants to be with me on this magical ride.
(Feb 16, 2011) I'm glad to learn of your success there. Keep it strong and going, and I'm sure you'll meet your goal in no time at all.
(Feb 7, 2011) I am seeing wonderful possibilities ahead of you and i would like to suggest that you read the book if you hadn't yet, "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. The message on that book I think is now re-aligning with your current experience. Yes, it's been working on me for some time but still plenty of room for more :)
(Feb 1, 2011) Great! You're on a roll, dude! Congrats and keep 'em comin
(Jan 18, 2011) Enlightenment through wealth building...can't wait to see your take-no-prisoners social enterprise. Your spirit enlivens my own. Sounds like door after door is opening and you're reaping rewards for courage and hard work. You certainly deserve it!
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