Play Your Own Game

When I worked in Hollywood, I met an actor who could, literally, play any part.  He also had the “looks” to be a star.  He spent his time as a character actor in supporting parts.  He did get offers to go higher, but always refused the opportunity.

Why?  He played his own game.  As a character actor (and voice actor), he had more opportunities to explore his talents and sharpen his craft.  Being a star, he felt, would close those doors.

When it came to becoming a character, few could touch him.  I watched him develop a character for a cartoon project and was amazed at how quickly he got connected with the voice and personality of the character.  His transformation was almost instantaneous.

Being a character actor was a game he could play and play very well.  Being a “star” meant dealing with a completely different level of Hollywood politics and expectations.

We all do this.  Sometimes we adopt a personality to go along with the expectations of others.  In private we are completely different.  Its rare to create a business where who we are is expressed, almost without restriction, through what we do to make a living.

It’s a matter of finding our personal comfort zone and finding a way to stay within its protective bubble.

There was a local Seattle DJ who discovered that he could make a lot more money voicing commercials.  He could often sight read the copy and do two or three versions in less that fifteen minutes.  His fees and royalties provided a very comfortable living and on a healthier, more comfortable schedule. 

What is your game?  How well do you play it? 

Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

Validating Who You Are

Creating a business can validate who you are.  You can share your talents, skills, pesonal experiences and accumulated knowledge with those who want to share your journey and are willing to pay you along the way.

Most of us have some kind of talent.  It can be something specific, like acting, writing, carpentry, etc.  It can also be the capacity to learn something new easily and quickly.  Whatever your talent or skill, build a business around it, full or part-time.

Working at a 9 to 5, while necessary to pay the bills, is not always fulfilling.  You are there to do a job according to the rules of the game set down by management.  If you are fortunate, the job can be fun, interesting and even profitable, but who you really are may not be allowed to grow and develop.

I have a friend in Boise, Idaho who worked for a major corporation for several years to pay the bills.  He ran a side business, consulting small and medium-sized businesses about cyber security.  While he had the knowledge and experience, the company he worked for would not consider giving him a chance to use his expertise because he didn’t have the necessary degrees.

When he retired, however, he moved into the cyber consulting business full-time, based on his personal reputation and has developed a substantial client base.

Is starting a side business easy?  Its like anything else we do in life.  Its as easy as we make it.

Starting small, making connections and developing a scalable business model is the best solution.  Create a list of 100 to 200 passionate supporters, people who will buy your products consistently, then build that relationship into a multi-million dollar project (if that’s how far you want to go.) 

Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

Creating A Lifestyle Business

What do you like to do?  Cook, enjoy wine, travel, review movies?  What, after a hard day at work, reignites your imagination?  That subject, whatever it is, is the key to creating a lifestyle business. 

Speaking only for myself, at the moment, I have a love of the Pacific Northwest, its history, its people and its future.  I’ve lived in several cities throughout my journey, here, and have loved every experience, good, bad and otherwise. 

Ask me about my time in Medina, Washington and I’ll tell you about the late John Frost, who owned the local store.  Ask me about my time at Bellevue (Community) College and I’ll tell you about the late Dr. Willard Geer and his color picture tube.

How about my time in Vietnam?  Most people there could speak their own language and French.  While not great at speaking either language, I managed to get my ideas across.  Of course, I would I just happen to meet the one person in the entire country that insisted on speaking German (it didn’t matter, the generator blew up anyway.)

Then there are also the local special events.  For example, Port Orchard has the annual Seagull Calling event.  I tried it one year and kept getting the message “the voice mail is full and cannot accept any more messages.”  I also got lots of busy signals (who could Seagulls be talking to for three hours?)  I finally gave up.  Maybe next year.

My point is simple.  Depending on your passion, there are hundreds and, perhaps, thousands of stories.  Take pizza.  How may ways can pizzas be made depending on locations, cultures and personalities?  How about eggs?  Are there really one-hundred ways to cook them?  Sharing your passion for these subjects could turn into a financially viable lifestyle business.

Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

Sometimes The Answer Is No

Recently, my wife and I decided we wanted to move to a smaller community in south east Oregon.  We listed our home and started the process of qualifying to buy a new home.  We even picked out a home that was hard to sell because of its proximity to I-84 and its traffic noise.  Inside the home, it was quiet and comfortable.  Outside in the back yard was a completely different experience.

Everything was moving along nicely until Thursday morning, when all the financing collapsed.  There were several contributing factors, so no one issue stopped the forward momentum.

The goal to move hasn’t changed.  It has been set aside until sometime next year.  That will give us time to get all the financing to move set in place in advance, along with the logistics.  With another ten months to plan I may not be able to get all the ducks in a row, but I may be able to get most of them heading in the same direction.

I am also hoping that home prices may go down in a year.  Boise, Idaho, which is the closest major market, is hot right now with lots of people moving in.  That impacts home prices in communities within a 200-mile radius and, as a result, has impacted the home prices in the community we want to move to.

Over the next ten months I also need to establish a business model that does not rely on the local community.  In other words, I no longer want to be an employee.  I also don’t want to retire from the flow of life.

I need to create my own job as a writer, publisher and seminar promoter.  Not easy, of course, but the challenges, once over come will make moving to a new community a little easier and more comfortable.  I’ve been told life is meant to be an adventure, but REALLY!

Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

Changing Hamster Wheels

I suppose that headline needs some explanation.

We recently thought about moving away from our home in the Pacific Northwest.  The plan worked until, suddenly, the financing fell through.  Back to square one.

One of the goals for the move was to change the direction of my life.  I’ve been an employee most of my life in some capacity or another.  In fact, even at 72, I still go into work every day.  Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m on a Hamster wheel, doing the same thing everyday and hoping for a different result (the classic definition of insanity.)

When I got news that our financing fell through two things happened:

First, I decided that the next time we do this (which may be within a year), all our financing will be in order BEFORE we list our house.

Second, I decided to change Hamster wheels.  The difference is I own the wheel and I can control how fast I need to spin it.  The best way to make a fortune, or at least live comfortably) is to own the wheel.  I can add as many gears and spindles (products and services) as I want, as long as I can control the spin of the wheel.

As for the insanity of doing the same things over and over I agree, a lot of that will happen.  The outcome, however, will be different.  At some point I can sell the business (or just shut it down), put my feet up and enjoy the sunset (or Seattle overcast, depending on where I end up.)

Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC =