Episode 97 – I’m A Ramblin’ Man (Today)

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No, I’ve not “gone” country (I do love Waylon though). Nor am I going to sing on today’s show. I am, however, going to ramble a bit about an important subject (or three).

“Create the life you want.”

Today’s show includes:

• Reference to my son, RyanHappy Birthday (August 17, 1980)
• Reference to the grand kids – Max, Jake and Kinsley
• Reference to Chase Jarvis’ show with Tim Ferris, which aired live earlier this week on UStream.
• Reference to “the butterfly effect”
• Reference to Rush Limbaugh, El Rushbo
• Reference to Bob Heil, inventor and maker of the Heil Sound products, including the PR40 microphone.
• Reference to my external hard drive creating an annoying rumble during my ramble.
• Reference to my firewire interfaces, produced by PreSonus.
• Finding the track, getting on the track and staying on track.
• Epiphanies require some searching.*
HOV lanes in Dallas
BMW cars, a Dallas favorite
Lamborghini Diablo (last manufactured in 2001; I’ll take a Diablo Orange version)

* I didn’t refer to this book in today’s show, but wish I had – Why Epiphanies Never Occur To Couch Potatoes by  Mark Amtower. Buy it. Read it. He’s quite bright.

Thanks for listening!

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Special Episode – Don’t Get Stuck In The Middle

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Finding the path to success is a common pursuit. Even successful people want more. We’re all given to discontentment and dissatisfaction. Distraction may be the deadliest “dis” of all.

“A” in the diagram represents the starting place. Sadly, for too many it also represents complacency or being stuck in the middle. It can be an exciting place from which our future success is born. Or it can be a place of paralysis.

The circle represents goals, targets, achievements, accomplishments. So many different directions. So many different choices. “B” could be 360 different choices represented by the degrees of a circle, but we know there are an infinite number of choices really. That makes it difficult to choose. It’s often easier to avoid making a choice and remain stuck in the middle.

Today’s special episode is intended to provide you with encouragement to develop the zeal and tenacity necessary to get on with it. Today, I want to help you lift your eyes from “A” and make a definite choice. Select “B.” Make it by anywhere you’d like, preferably a direction that suits you best. Choose wisely, but choose. Then, get on with it. Start the trek toward “B.” Do it today. Don’t take your eyes off of “B.” Be precise. Be targeted. Be persistent.

When you reach “B” everything changes. Momentum shifts in your favor. Opportunities present themselves. Learning happens that helps you in new adventures. There’s compelling evidence that merely making up your mind to pursue a precise goal changes everything. No doubt a sniper rifle has greater precision than a shotgun. Live like a sniper rifle.

As the Scottish mountaineer William Hutchinson Murray wrote in 1951 (no, it wasn’t Goethe, Germany’s version of Shakespeare):

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

Yes, begin it now. And don’t stop until you’ve reached the outer circle. That’s where you’ll find success, momentum and greater opportunity.

• Grandsons Max and Jake who have now learned to swim. Here’s a video of Max. Here’s the video of little brother, Jake.

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Episode 96 – Time, Distance And Fuel: 3 Components To Successful Business Building

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Life is one big fuel problem. How long will it take to achieve success? How long will I live? Am I smart enough to reach the goal?

These problems indicate how fuel is tethered to time, energy, distance, momentum, tenacity, brain power, wisdom and a host of other variables.

Every successful endeavor contains time, distance and fuel.

A friend is completing law school. It’s taken him a few years of dedication and tenacity. He had an idea how long it would take (time). He had an idea, when he began, how much effort it would take (fuel). It’s likely demanded even more fuel than he suspected, but he predetermined that the burn rate would be worth it. Distance was a component that involved both time and fuel, but it also required some family and work sacrifices, too. Worth it? Sure. That’s why he went in that precise direction.

Many of us have no idea how long success will take. Nor do we know how far we’ll have to go. Or how much fuel it might take. We plan and engineer our course as best we can, but if success was a definite spot then everybody would likely achieve it. Because it’s not so easily seen, or mapped out – it’s hard. Doable, but hard.

Think about what you most want. Take a precise aim. Head in that direction and devote yourself fully to it. Burn your fuel wisely by going in a targeted direction. Keep going until you reach the goal because when you reach the outer circle of achievement everything changes! It’s called “momentum.”

I hope you reach your goal. I’d love to hear how it’s going for you.

P.S. I’ll update you on some things happening with me in the next episode. I ran out of time in today’s show. Sorry.


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Episode 95 – Cookouts, BBQ’s, Liquid Propane and Charcoal (A Cast Iron Argument Against Stainless Steel)

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The Yellow Studio went down about a week ago. The culprit? Mac OS Lion update! No, it wasn’t Apple’s fault, but I did learn my lesson. Don’t be among the first to upgrade your OS…especially when you have hardware that might be adversely affected. Live and learn.

I’ll explain my brief absence lately and we’ll get onto some more appetizing conversation.

Thanks for hanging with me. By the way, if we’re not connected (or encircled) at Google + let’s make it happen. You can find me here.

Mentioned in today’s show:
My YouTube channel
My BulaNetwork Facebook page
Hibachi cast iron grille
Thermador outdoor grille (don’t think they make them any more…and I probably know why)
Weber outdoor grille
Darien, Illinois Sportplex
Swamp People, the TV show
Swamp Loggers, the TV show

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Special Episode: A Conversation With Phil Simon About His New Book, The Age Of The Platform

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Phil Simon describes his new book – due out in September, 2011 – The Age Of The Platform, as more of a management book than a technology book. The book launches forth in a study of The Gang of Four: Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook. But solopreneurs and small business owners should not think this is a book about BIG business. It’s a study of these big enterprises and small businesses who have found ways to create dynamic, high performing platforms.

Every endeavor that requires an audience, customers or attention needs an effective platform. Phil’s new book is intended to help us better think about crafting our own.

I caught up with Phil Simon on Friday afternoon, July 22nd. I hope you’ll visit his KickStarter campaign to raise money for publishing The Age Of The Platform. Go to the KickStarter campaign right now and contribute to the cause. The campaign ends August 21st.

You should also visit the website for his previous book, released just late last year, The New Small. We spoke with Phil in January about that book. You can listen to that episode here.

At his blog he’s taking a poll on the cover design – more crowd sourcing brilliance from Phil. Visit this link and cast your vote.

Enjoy my half hour conversation with Phil Simon.


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Does Feedback Determine Your Direction?

Feedback in a public address system is annoying. It may be an indication that the mic is too close to the speakers. It may be that the volume is too high. Whatever the cause, it needs to be fixed. An adjustment needs to be made.

Luther experienced feedback from the PA. He also got some feedback on his speech. “Atta boy, Luther!” He’s a terrible public speaker who doesn’t need to be encouraged. The applause and shout outs might have caused him to think he was headed in the right direction though.

Feedback can let us know what our next step should be – what adjustments need to be made so we can improve. Or it can derail us, delude us and frustrate us by robbing us of clarity.

Daily we’re surrounded by feedback. Twitter, blog comments, Google +, Facebook, YouTube comments, Flickr comments and a thousand other services provide some way for people to communicate with each other. Feedback.

Does feedback change your course? Which feedback do you find most useful in helping you figure out your next step?

In “The Design of Future Things” author Donald A. Norman writes of technical design, but stretch your application of what he says.

Today, many automatic devices do provide minimal feedback, but much of the time it is through bleeps and burps, ring tones and flashing lights. This feedback is more annoying than informing, and even when it does inform, it provides partial information at best. In commercial settings, such as manufacturing plants, electric generating plants, hospital operating rooms, or inside the cockpits of aircraft, when problems arise, many different monitoring systems and pieces of equipment sound alarms. The resulting cacophony can be so disturbing that the people involved may waste precious time turning all the alarms off so that they can concentrate on fixing the problems.

In the design of smart cars and homes and other forms of automation, Norman argues that we “need to transition toward a more supportive form of two-way interaction.” The key may be that term, supportive. Feedback should have a benefit. That doesn’t mean it must always be, “Atta boy, Luther!” It shouldn’t just be noise. We need feedback to help us figure things out. Or do we?

Does feedback determine your direction? Do you alter your course based on feedback?


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