Tag Archives: helping others

Understanding Resolutions Through the Eyes of an Astronaut

Perspective is what helps people to see what they need changing or improving or fixing. But there is no better perspective of seeing the world than from space. Astronaut Chris Hadfield has seen more sun sets than most people will ever see in a short period of time. He sees the world as one big place in this large universe. When you see the world as this one big place then your understanding of problems is not viewed as an isolated issue but as one big group of people living together.

If you are still working on your resolutions then maybe this video will help you decide.

To learn more about Chris Hadfield you can click on the links below.

TED Talk: What I learned from going blind in space

Here I stand: The Chris Hadfield Story

These men took matters into their own hands and it paid off

Many people wonder what it takes for great things to happen to them. They think that someday something will change and they can start doing the things they want to do. Then there are the people who don’t make excuses in life and just go out and do it. These are usually the people you end up calling boss or CEO because it wasn’t easy for them to get there but they worked hard at it and did something with their time.

Then there are those that put in the time and effort and it paid off big time for them. I decided to write this article because over the summer I have been approached by a number of people asking me to help them build their business. We go over what they would like to do, what they want to sell, and how great their idea is. All the people tell me the same thing – that their business idea is one-of-a-kind and there is nothing else like it out there. Well, the thing is there probably already is it’s just a matter of putting in the time and effort and because there are people out there everyday who are the creators and hard workers at starting their own company they are just really good at making their idea happen. Then there are those that work hard searching online everyday looking to take someone’s idea and beat them to the finish line.

In all the people who have approached me, none have taken that first step of actually doing anything. One of my policies I have with everyone is that I don’t do anything for anyone until I see that they have completed something physical to show for their efforts otherwise I am just working for a paycheck on an idea that won’t really go anywhere. It is very rare that I meet someone who actually wants to start a business and has already put in the time and effort. That should tell you what makes starting a business hard in the first place, that first step of doing actual work.

The two stories I found recently caught my attention because I hear so many more people say they are looking for work. The advice that I am slow to give to others is that they should focus on teaching them skills that employers expect from them instead of spending all their time looking for work. The common response to that is, “Well, I don’t have time to sit and read all day I need to be looking for a job,” or “I don’t have the money to go back to school.” You don’t need to spend money to teach yourself anything anymore, you just need a library card and last time I checked those were free. Plus, why apply for jobs if you don’t even have what employers are asking for?

Meet a College Student who Saved a Woman’s Life
Blake Pryor was driving in his car on the highway either heading home or going out for something when he drove up onto a flyover and noticed something that caught his attention. He says that it was a gut feeling that made him pull over and assess the situation. There was a woman who had parked her car on the fly over and from where she was standing was a 100 foot drop down onto busy traffic. The lady was standing there looking over the edge and it was that instinct of knowing that something didn’t look right that made him stop in the first place. This lady was trying to commit suicide.

Blake said that he approached the woman and looked over the edge with her just to make sure that she knew he was there and even though she made several motions to jump, the fact of Blake stopping, showing appreciation for her and giving her his attention was enough for her not to take her own life. He gave her a hug and told her it wasn’t worth it. After officers arrived they commended him for his efforts to keep a woman from taking her life.

This whole event took place at night in the city of Round Rock on one of their flyover highways and when the police department posted it on their facebook page the article received thousands of comments and likes. People like hearing about stories like this because I guess it makes them feel all warm inside or they are glad to know there are nice people out there like him. For Blake his gut reaction to stop, check out what was happening, and offering his time was enough to catch the attention of many other police departments because he has been offered multiple job offers now. It gets better, so not only does he have many job offers already extended to him but his studies in school match what he wants to become, a police officer. He is studying criminal justice at Tarleton State University.

Everyday there are many people looking for work by getting on a computer and posting resumes and paying for classes that teach them how to write amazing cover letters and resumes not realizing that one of the best methods for finding a job is talking to people. Blake had no intention of landing job offers from his efforts nor was that his intention. He did what was required of him at the time and that was all that was on his mind. I can’t tell you how many times I have been offered jobs or asked to check out a program just because I started talking to someone and asking more about what they do. People want to be appreciated and people will talk to you if you know how to approach and talk with them. Books like

The Art of Mingling: Proven Techniques for Mastering any Room by Jeanne Martinet
The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine

will show you how to do that and more. Infact, these books are so important to read that it surprises me that schools don’t teach that, but many universities have had to add them to their outside programs because they get complaints from employers that their graduates don’t know how to talk to people properly. Such an important skill and yet efforts are spent more on standardized testing. What Blake did was amazing and his efforts were rewarded by what he was able to do. He doesn’t have to worry about job interviews or sending in his resume because it was his efforts of doing something that mattered more.

You can read more about Blake and the full story here
Texas Student Saves Woman from jumping
College student saves suicidal woman
Young Man stops woman from jumping
Facebook Post

Meet a Guy who freed himself from Jail by studying Law for 12 Hours a Day
If I was to tell you that the best way to learn anything is to find some time alone, sit down and read, you would probably find every excuse in the book for getting out of it even though you know you need to do it. Ask any college student when they will clean up their dorm or do their laundry and they will tell you “when I have some time,” but the second it’s time to study for exams you will find majority of students cleaning their places instead of doing what they need to be doing.

The reason for it is because people will give excuses over to things that they know need to be done but don’t prioritize until it gets them out of doing something more important. For Rondell Sanders he didn’t have any excuses because he was in prison and there was nothing for him to do all day. He asked his family to raise some money so they could buy him some law books for him to study. After they raised the money and sent him the books he told his family to stop visiting him so he could focus on studying.

The push to study so hard came after the fact that he lost his initial trial and his lawyers were doing nothing to help him. He knew he had to figure out how the legal system worked and he did that by studying law and that is what he did for 10-12 hours a day seven days a week. There was nothing else for him to do so he made a valid use of his time. His efforts paid off because he was freed  (Jul 23, 2014) after he won his third acquittal trail having spent 20 years in prison (1994) for a murder that he said he was innocent from. He is now adjusting to his new life in society and trying to get used to having those freedoms again.

Sanders said that he loves law now and would love to work in a law firm to help people in his situation. He says he understands what it means to not have anyone listen to him because he was there and met others that felt the justice system ignored them. His real push to learn law came from knowing that his family didn’t have a father there to listen to his kids and he didn’t want that. I’m sure the job offers have come to him in some form or another for his efforts to free himself.

This story goes to show that you don’t need to enroll in a major university or night school program to get an education. You just need to stop with all the excuses grab the books that will teach you what you want to learn and sit yourself down and study. There is nothing else to it but for those that are not serious about that they will continue to find every excuse of getting out of it. If this man was serious enough to put in that much time then you can find at least half of that in your day. And if you are sitting there thinking that you don’t have any time, you do, no one needs to watch that much Netflix in a day.

Read more about how he did it
Inmate studies Law in Prison
Man Freed after acquitted in trial
Imprisoned man studies law

The First Step to Starting a Business
The first thing you need to do is stop making up excuses to keep you from taking the first step. Sit down and write out what your business is all about. This process is called, “Writing a Business Plan.” Second don’t think for one second you need to go to business school to get a degree in this stuff or that you need an MBA so you don’t miss out on something important to know. Here are two books to read that will teach you what you need to know to help you get started so you can then hire those that did go to business school to run your company once it’s up and running.

The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship by William D. Bygrave
The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman

After you have read those two books and written your business plan then you will know what the next step is and by then you will have put in enough effort and momentum to get you going that you won’t think of stopping.

Get out there and start appreciating people more and you will be surprised how much the world opens up to you. Then make it a point to read and learn something. Yes the laundry needs to be done but it doesn’t take a full day to do it. Learning apps have made it easy now to learn anything on the go. If a man, who didn’t go to law school, can teach himself law then anyone else can you just have to want to do it, and that is the hardest step.

As for the people still asking me to help them with their businesses, well I’m still waiting for them to make the first move in the mean time, there are a lot of ideas out there floating around but it doesn’t take a genius to make the first move.

What to learn how to give away money? Why not take a class on it.

Many people think that giving away money is easy to do, just look out your window when you stop at a light and see the people begging for money; a dollar here, a dollar there and maybe you will have hit your charity giving for the day. For those taking a course on philanthropy students find out how hard it is in determining how to give money away.

Many top schools now offer courses that teach students how to give money away, using real money from a grant given to the schools by either Hedge Funds or special finance companies. Students are taught how to look at a company and figure out what makes them worthy of the money. The process is long and difficult because you can not just look at their cause; everyone charity or non-profit says the work their doing is important, but not everyone knows how to manage an efficient order of operation and that is what students are trained to look at. Students are taught to look at the background of the person running the organization, the staff, where they got their education, or if they did, how long they have worked there and where did they come from before.

After a student has looked at whether or not the team they have working there is a good fit or not then they move on to their finances. Most non-profits, N.G.O.s and charity organizations have transparent books but if they don’t that should raise a flag. For any first time student looking at the finance reports of any company can be complicated because each company organizes things differently but if they look at it from a tax perspective which requires every company to file certain items a certain way then it gets easier reading the numbers.

So after all this hard work of pouring through the numbers and researching the background of the top employees, what is a student to determine, or in this case, supposed to learn?

1. How organizations manage donations
How an organization uses donations determines how focused on the cause they are. Many times organizations run just to support themselves with the donations they get, leaving many to wonder, why is the money not being spent more on your cause? An organization that reduces it’s overhead then it can spend more it’s cause and events.

A student would be taught in such a class to look at what they did with the last three major donations they received. Did it go to paying for staff salaries or did it go to a program they were trying to get off the ground? How much of each donation goes to just keeping the organization running?

2. Where does most of their funding come from?
This is an issue that many donors don’t really consider in full terms. Most people will look at a non-profit and think that because the word non-profit is in the title then they must be working for the good of the people but if all their donations are only coming from for-profit companies then what does that say about their order of operation?

Any organization needs to have a diverse collection of donations in order to really be concerned with getting their name out there. If they focus all their efforts on pulling only from companies that know how to make money on their own and one day they were to lose their funding, then their business model was not well planned out. This happens a lot and many go under every day.

3. How many donations did such and such organization receive in the last year?
This question is extremely important to understand because it explains how well their finances are but also their cash-flow. An organization, with a great cause, should have money coming in everyday in all kinds of sources, companies, grants, the public, private donors, etc. This shows to the investor that they understand how to handle donations because they deal with it on a daily basis. A company that only receives funding sporadically throughout the year will probably use that money to pay their bills and staff first before their cause.

4. How many individuals are impacted directly by the donations?
These numbers are important to look at because it shows how big of an impact that one organization has. Many grants require X number of people in a given program before giving away any money so if a company has less than the targeted amount then there is no sense if giving money to that organization.

As an investor looking at those numbers, you need to know how many people will be impacted by those donations. You also have to look at what kind of impact it will have, sometimes it is only indirectly, for example a charity that wants to build a lab to help people learn web design might only have enough to build the lab but not enough to have classes every week. Would such a donation help out their cause?

5.  What does the company do with left over donations at the end of the year?
Many non-profits are required to use all the funding by the end of the year so if a company was not able to use up all of it then what do they normally do with any remaining cash? This question is evident if you were to walk into a non-profit and notice all the nice furniture and desks they have. A simple question of how many people were helped last year and this year will help show just how well that money is being spent.

6. How many grants does the organizations write a year, including any additional programs asking for money?
Any company that is in need of money to help keep their cause going should be looking for all kinds of programs. The number of grants they write and get approved versus the number that don’t get approved is also important to look at and why. Getting approved from a nationally recognized institute versus getting approved from a local volunteer program reflects highly on how well connected the organization is. This sheds light on how serious they are about asking for funding from the right places.

Putting it Together
Whether you donate to your local church or programs you see on TV, giving money away that will have an impact is harder than it looks. In many of these courses in order to get an A they must show, with just cause, why they decided to give away $50k to one organization or divide up the money and give to different ones.

The next time you are deciding whether or not to give some money away, you can look at it from this perspective, can I make a return on my investment allowing me to invest again or is this a one time donation? There are many small programs where you can learn how to invest without such a high risk. If you are serious about learning how to invest in a charity program, non-profit, startup, or N.G.O. do your homework first and find out right away what they plan to do with that money.

Here are a few places to help get you started without any huge risks.
Kiva – You can loan some money to those wanting to start a business. The best part is you will hopefully get your money back if they are successful and then you can invest again.
Crowdrise – Created by the famous actor, Edward Norton, he created a place where people can invest in all kinds of causes.
Kickstarter – Here you can browse all kinds of companies looking to get their product off the ground. If you do your homework and see what kind of influence they have online then you will be taking the first steps to investing in a company.
Indiegogo – This crowdfunding site takes you away from what kickstarter created and lets you invest in more independent projects that range from personal to adventure.

Centralizing Causes
So now that you have an idea of what it takes to invest you can look at how to spend your money wisely when giving it away. The fact that so many non-profits and charity organizations are springing up everyday makes it harder for one to decide where to invest their money. An efficient use of the system would be to centralize causes into one organization rather let there be hundreds, if not, thousands of the same cause.

The cause in the end is what suffers from the diverse nature of so many different programs out there instead of benefiting. If there was only one organization for helping people with AIDS then that would make it easier for people to know where to donate but since there are so many now, it discourages those from donating as much as they would if there was only one. Words for thought.

Take a Class on Philanthropy

Recent Spike in Altruistic Behavior

Business ideas come in all shapes and sizes, and in this case, social behavior. Recently in the news there have been valid reports of wealthy individuals leaving money hidden in different places throughout cities for people to find and collect via social media. People have been going crazy over this new trend to find money hidden throughout their cities. It’s fun because it’s like a scavenger hunt with a pay off in the end.

What Causes it to Happen
This kind of behavior happens every year around Christmas time when random strangers will go into a wal-mart and pay off someone’s lay-way items. The news channels now like to start on this story as early as possible because it begins a trend right away. Part of the effect is that people enjoying watching those kinds of news stories but also because they do something else to viewers, it creates a feelings inside them that encourages them to go do the same thing. This is called the “CopyCat Effect.” It’s the same reason certain violent actions happen after watching someone else do that from the news that pushes another to go out and do the same thing only this time the effect is larger because of the positive behavior.

If you have participated already in finding some money then you understand how great of a feeling it can be to know that someone else used their money to give back to others so it encourages that person to pay it forward. In Austin people are encouraged to become their own givers by placing money around town. For many who find the money it has helped them tremendously because so many are in need of help. For those that are giving away the money, it creates a trend for others to help one another and that is what one program is encouraging others to do. If they find an envelope with cash in it then they should take a portion of that money and either add to it or pay it forward by posting on their website a clue as to where they placed it next.

Playing Catchup
If this is the first time you are hearing about this trend then maybe you should spend more time on social media or watching the news. If you would like to be someone who wants to help another person you can join in. If you are someone who is in need of cash then you can join in as well. The idea is to help one another by Paying It Forward, whether you are giving it away or finding it.

This is where it got started
Millionaire Gives away Money

If you live in Austin you can participate too
Read about the trend here

Check out the website Moolah Mystery
Sign up and register and then start following the website and twitter account
The people who run the website would like for you to post selfies with any cash you find. This is to show others that the program is real but also to spread good cheer.
Remember as a registered member you can give away money as well.

What these web developers have done for Austin is create a whole new way of doing business for the good of everyone. Remember your business model can be anything you want it to be and even though they are giving away money in the form of cash, there are other components at play in what they are doing. The individuals who created Moolah Mystery said they had been working on it for over 2 years to get it right. Although it looks easy enough, it is hard for a trend to catch on but giving away free money helps too. Good Luck!

Read more about the trend
More News Here

Twitter Helps Push the Trend
Donor Givers People The Hunt

Have you Learned anything new today? No? Then listen to these people

It’s no surprise that there are people who like learning and there are those that don’t. Infact, science has shown now that it requires a lot of mental energy in order to learn something new. It takes true concentration in order to listen, I mean really know how to listen, and be able to comprehend, digest the content, and be able to retain it. You can see why some people believe that getting up and going about their day doing their own thing is enough for them instead of the need to find time to have to sit down and learn something new.

For those that view learning as a pleasurable activity and crave it, there is a place you can go to listen to some of the greatest minds speak their mind and it all happens within the magical space of 18 minutes. If you want to know why only 18 minutes I encourage you to perform a search on it and see what you find. I didn’t include a link this time because it’s important to know how to find information on your own.

You always want to see what other great minds are doing, this helps you to see what trends, research, and businesses are being created by other entrepreneurs. You might have an idea to start a program that provides support to recent college grads, but after watching one of the TED videos you might learn that someone else is already doing that. You can either offer to join their team or compete against their by creating your own business model. The idea is you should always be curious to learn what other people are doing and how they went about making it come true.

The links below are all connected to one place with one purpose, to share an idea.

Find out why Bill Gates Unleashed Mosquitoes on his audience

Think Schools are Killing Creativity, this person will tell you why

Three Secrets to What make YouTube Videos Viral

What does your posture say about you in any moment?

What have you learned in 6 months that will help you?

If your not masturbating enough, you don’t care about your sexual health

This Neuroanatomist was able to study her own stroke as it was happening

10 Things you didn’t know about orgasm

How many liars do you let into your life?

Need to bone up on your world history in 18 minutes?

His Statistics will reshape how you view the world

Making Ghettos Green

No limit was placed on his childhood and look what he gave the world for it

This is a partial list of some of the best TED talks ever given. Try to include at least one TED talk into your daily life and you will be all the better for it because it means that the knowledge you take away from their talk is put forth in the work you do in this world. You might not be an educator, like I am, but after listening to Sir Ken Robinson you’ve learned that schools kill creativity and that there is a need to balance the shortfall of schools. If you take away something from these videos it will only be to better the world and yourself.

Never Stop Learning