This guy is alright… take a look

His name is Keith Kalfas and he started a landscaping business a while ago.  He has made a load of videos, looks like almost daily and has built a following of 40k subscribers on youtube (at the time of writing this post).

He was some excellent advice when it comes to running a landscaping business and also about life itself.  Taking a look through his videos and seeing him at the start to now being at a point where he says he has $20,000 in revenue a month is quite the interesting process to witness… truely inspiring.

I have had this blog for about 4 months

And I have to admit a few things…

I have had my own blogs before…and then closed it.  After a while I wanted to start one up again but couldn’t get into it, I kinda thought what is the point.

However, after getting over the initial start up of the website, getting the domain name, setting up the website and customizing the appearance I started slowly with the occasional post here and there.

Now, after about 4 months I have written 4 or 5 posts in the last few days…. I am on roll.

Success Habit 2 – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


energepic.comIn running my own businesses I sort of got into a certain groove where I was easily taking on customers and sales were increasing.  Sometimes I would end of working 7 days a week and other times I would work 20 hours a week.  In all this time I didn’t really get the sense of satisfaction of arriving somewhere, it seemed I was always preoccupied with getting more customers.  And at the same time I was managing my businesses.  At some points I had a few going at the same time.

While reading the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People it was already provided me with a mental framework for creating businesses and reminded me about following good principles for long term success.

And, while in my own business I would sometimes feel like I was doing a lot of different things…I probably could have used some guidance to make it a little easier and even to help with a growth plan.

In my cleaning business we had more than 100 customers a few staff and my partner all working 5 days a week.  I would end up managing the business and squeezing in time to do more marketing when I could.  I didn’t enjoy managing the business because I wanted to spend more time making it bigger.

There became some struggles when my partner was probably a little bored with cleaning and managing staff and didn’t have the management skills to be able to make her own job easier.

The challenge it seemed was to train my partner on management skills and at the same time be able to focus on making the business bigger.

So, in the book it explains a framework whereas management and leadership are two different things.  And that other business owners have struggled with the same thing.  As well, in my working with other business owners I have also noticed this struggle as well.  Many of them are trying to be the managers of their businesses and at the same time be the leaders of the business.  This creates a sort of dual focus, where managing the business can quickly become a full time job in itself and leave little time for focusing on leadership.

When I was running a restaurant, after a few years I had all the staff trained and performing well and literally only had 30 minutes of work to do each day and then I was bored.  However, the benefit at the restaurant was that it was part of a large corporation where I didn’t have to do any of the leadership of the company as a whole…none of the marketing, financial planning, product planning or anything that was handled by the head office.  In contrast, the small business owner has to consider a lot of things and typically do a 100 different “head office” type roles which is a feat all by itself.

So starting a business out, it is important to start on doing parts of some of the roles in the beginning and gradually build up to having a team of 30 people that can take on the 100 roles required in a large business.

Going from 0 employees to 30 employees is a huge thing, quite the learning curve for someone doing it for the first time, however many have done just that and built million dollar companies in the process.

I have learned a lot, made a lot of mistakes and continue to move forward, however I have learned that reading books about this stuff leads to a huge improvement in success.  Especially with the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, essentially breaking down the process or the path that is required to achieve great things in 7 habits.

The first 3 habits are about inside stuff and the second 3 habits about about outside, and the 7th habit is about rejuvenating.  I have gone through one burnout in my life and could have learned the rejuvenating lesson earlier, which my have got me to avoid burning out.

I used to work hard and play hard and essentially burn the candle at both ends.  Now I seek to have a better balance.

The second habit is about the difference between managing and leading and what each role really entails to do it properly.

So I set up a wordpress plugin to automatically post to facebook and twitter…

Isaque Pereira Now, i took a look at the posts it was making to twitter…good stuff….then facebook and it is shooting up the post to facebook with an image… however I didnt add any images to the post so that is obviously kinda lame.

So, I want to have a featured image for all my posts, but I don’t want to search around for the right image and I don’t want to rip an image of the net and use it when that is not legit.

Now I gotta find a good place for free stock images that are royalty free and free to use for any purpose.

So I did a google search, found pexels…at this time it says the images are licensed for free to use commercially or personally.  And there are some adds on the page for a paid service as well.  So the pexels free image service is also a marketing tool to get them customers for the paid service as well…but hey I like the images on pexel so I will tolerate the ads.

Then I searched for a plugin for pexels to be able to add pics to my wp site easily and fast and found wp pexels so I am now giving that a whirl.

I have spent a few minutes playing around with the plug in and have found that it works good for inserting an image into the post.  However, if you want to add a featured image or save the image to your blog it requires a payment of $15 (at the time of writing this post).

So I tested the plugin out…i like the way it works…am sticking with the free version for now cause all i need to do is add the image to the post and its all good for showing up by automation to facebook.

With all that said, I have come to realize that what might appear to be speed…in that I can write one post on my blog and have it automatically posted to facebook, twitter and other social media instantly and without any thought, decisions or effort… is actually just an automation process or system that makes it all work.

So essentially, by spending an hour or so setting up automation, it saves hundreds of hours of time and energy later on.  And much of success is spending less energy to get more in return.

Is it possible to change other people?

No one can persuade another to change.  Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.  We can not open the gate of another, either by argument or emotional appeal. – Marilyn Ferguson

More about golden eggs

I am reading a book and it says its important to share what you have learned with others right away.  It’s part of a process that changes ones perspective on things when they do it.  Apparently it changes from a negative thing to a positive thing, cause as you share it people like it and want to work/do more with ya and they might even get into the same book you are reading as well.

So here goes…

One of the main ideas with the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (affiliate link, if you purchase the book from this link you will be helping to support this blog)  is about principles.  And the first principle is about a goose.

There is a farmer who has a goose and one day he noticed the goose has laid a golden egg.  When he sees it at first, he doesn’t believe it, he thinks it might be a trick.  So he takes the golden egg to get valuated, and sure enough it confirms the egg is in fact gold and worth money.

Then, the next day, the farmer notices there is a nothing golden egg layed by the goose.  And this keeps happening.  The farmer starts to get used to getting a golden egg every day…and then he starts to want more.

So he decides to chop open the goose to get the eggs that he thinks must be inside, only to discover there are no golden eggs in the goose.

What a story, to me I have learned a lot from it.  And its such a simple way to communicate something to someone.

How to get more gold

After discovering a friend of mine has a good interest in books and of good books it definitely encouraged me to read more.  Over the past 5 years or some I have been on a self improvement path that includes studying psychology, business, marketing and relationships.

I even set out on a few missions because of once sentence in a book.  This was a good mission to set out on, however I was blind to the reality of how hard it would be and what the situation was that I was walking into.

When that happened, I was essentially floored and started to loose trust in many of the things I was learning… not being able to trust became a hurdle to get over within itself.

As it turns out, I learned a huge lesson, one of them being that walking into a business where, to use the example of the Goose laying golder eggs, someone has taken advantage of the goose, and essentially left it to dwindle away over the long term is a difficult position to walk into.

At the time, I couldn’t quite understand why some people throughout the organization where acting and doing the things they were doing.  But not, after going through the experience I have learned that when the person at the top is looking to get all the golden eggs without taking care of the goose…look out.

I witnessed how it effected many people throughout the organization, employees, managers, vendors and even the public.  It was a difficult thing to be a part of.  I kept thinking there was a way to turn it around…however I underestimated the length of time a turn around takes, and how much more difficult it is when people with the leadership positions in a company are not on the right path.

I was naive, after having success before, I thought I could do it again… however the organization I was walking into was a lot different than the organizations I had success in.  Essentially, it was a failing business, the start of the failure was many years in the making and before I even showed up on the scene.

It left me feeling like a failure, and acting like a looser.  It was hard.  Getting over the emotions of it all took a very very long time.

So, mostly out of it all now.  And back at a point where it feels like this quote applies:

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T. S. Eliot

I feel like I am back where I started, however it is very different than what I remember it feeling like.  Cause I know where I am, and the path to where I want to go…and I know its a long process to get back up to where I want to be.  And that is how it works…especially after taking a fall.

After going through a very challenging time, that essentially ended with a different result then what I wanted…i got confused… and was grieving.

I had to straighten out my brain, my emotions, recover from a burn out. etc. etc.

And, I have to admit, reading a lot of success books has helped me recover.

Today I am reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (this is an affiliate link, if you purchase from this link you will be supporting this blog).  I am about 74 pages in and it says to share what I have learned within 48 hours.  So I am sharing what I have learned within a few minutes lol.

Once I got into the Goose and the Golden egg, it someone connected things that happened, why they happened and how to see them coming…as well as what to do to get more golden eggs.

I have learned that sometimes drive, resistance, positive attitude are not enough.  You need them all, however if there are people in top positions that do not take care of the goose, the golden eggs will not be produces.

Thank you Stephen R Covey for writing this book and being able to teach from it well.

I only hope more people read it and understand it and use it to further grow in their own lives.

When you aren’t winning…learn to start winning again

In public school everything was a breeze, my school sent me to a different school for 2 days because it had a “gifted” program.  I was actually super excited about going to it and trying it out…until…in the class there was a kid that used to go to my school and he was the one that got picked on at this new school.  The kid wouldn’t leave me and my buddy alone at recess and lunch.  It was annoying… cause I was one of the cool kids at my school.

On top of that…it seemed the kids in the gifted class were geeks.  At least to me they were.  So, when I got home I just told my mom that I didn’t want to go to the gifted program at the other school.

I returned to my school and was happy as shit to be there.  With my friends…havin fun.

At the end of grade 8, I was slotted to receive 3 awards… if I remember correctly they were sportsmanship, highest grades, and I cant remember the third one.  However, when my home room teacher read out the grades for the french subject, I only had something like a 63, however it was the highest of the boys in french so I celebrated winning….however my teacher did think it was appropriate to celebrate a 63 so she blocked me from getting the highest grade award for boys.

I suppose she was trying to punish me or teach me a lesson or something, but even now, more than 20 years later I can still say that it was a lame ass move on her part.  She could have easily talked to me about it, as would be expected from adults…however she hit me below the belt…even still I laughed it off… cause really it just showed her weakness and my power to influence her….cause it was just lame (I think I have said that enough now lol).

Anyhow, I got the highest grade of boys… but it was easy for me.  I was always the top or one of the top boys in sports as well… I was a natural.

Then high school came and it was easy too.  I didn’t work at it much and passed everything easily except english class, cause I just hated it.

Then on to my part time job I started at 16, it turned into a full time job at 19 and then I ran the joint at 22.  I made my own schedule, had a staff of 35 and was more or less just cruising along in the position at the time.

All of these things were relatively easy for me.  I just set my goal and did it.  I got what I wanted.

Later I started 2 small businesses, made money and was cruising along again.  I remember putting my feet up on the coffee table at home at 2:30 pm on Fridays and drinking a rye and coke and thinking THIS IS GOOD.

So all that was great.  Fast forward a few years… i got married, bought my second house, was running 2 businesses (and a full time job at one point).  I had a son as well.

And I started working 8am to 8pm 7 days a week, cause I loved it.  I was drinking a lot of coffee in the morning and drinking at least a 2L bottle of coke each day.  I remember when it was like a super big deal if there was not a full 2L of coke in the fridge in the morning lol.

Anyhow it was all good…for a while… then I got divorced… was kinda pissed about it and said screw it all and moved to another city.  My thought then was that I would just start something new and carry on.

However, in the years after that, I found that I got stuck working for some stressed out people in businesses that were not fun at all.  It was not anything like my previous part time job…which I ended up loving…that turned into me running the thing.

Then I worked with some other business owners, as an employee at one point and as a consultant with a bunch of other business owners.  All I found is that they were are all super stressed out… pretty much all the time.  I suppose, they were like me when I was working 8am to 8pm 7 days a week lol.

So, I have learned that if you want a regular job that you might end up loving…work for a big huge company…. and if they are trailblazing by providing a new product or service that is hugely in demand…even better.  Everyone will be happy, cause the owner(s) will be happy as the money is rolling in.

It is the strangest thing to think that some business owners will be very tough on an employee and expect them to turn around a be super happy serving a customer.  However, I have to admit I have done this a few times when I wasn’t in the best state of mind.  However I have matured and don’t do that no more.

Anyhow, my point here is that for the longest time, I was winning with work… and very easily.  And I have come to realize that the biggest contributor to it was that I did so when I was in a big huge company or even a school.  Cause…its just very different that working for a small company or even the individual business owner when they aren’t making money or even worse when they are in a huge amount of debt and trying to make it out.  And I am just the same, I have done the going up and the going down as well.

So, after myself doing the winning and loosing…I have drawn the conclusion that when you are loosing you just have to learn to start winning again.  There are a whole lotta options to turn it around.  Some are not so pretty…but I am certain there is always a way.  We just have to be wise enough to choose the right way and not get stuck in the death spiral of loosing for too long as there is a risk of it getting way worse.

The inspiration for this post really came from reading the book