All posts by Lsea

How To Learn – The Secret

15588242_sLearning, we all learn, in different ways.

It is not necessary to have a teacher to learn, but a teacher must have learners to justify the act of teaching.

Learners have many options these days. More options than a lot of people realize, much of which is available free.

Many of us have past experiences about learning that hold us back.

My earliest memories of school are;

  • getting hot milo served in the classroom in winter and milk in summer,
  • kicking a ball over the fence and getting beaten up for my lack of precision,
  • bullied and ridiculed by a teacher and made to stand in the corner for not knowing how to spell my last name and
  • getting the strap for not knowing that a wood pile in the playground where our ball had landed was out of bounds.

Not once in my early days of school can I remember anyone trying to show me how to learn or giving more than one option to learn, like it was some kind of secret.

I found out what the secret is. I’ll share it with you later.

Listening to a teacher stand in front of the class, talking about things she probably knew something about, without knowing how to learn was extremely boring for me.

I quickly became known as the problem kid and no doubt was given other labels. You probably had other kids in your class like me. The ones making animal noises, doing distracting acts and having their name constantly repeated by the teacher [to shut up].

So most of my life, my belief was that my ability to learn was limited. Being made to stand in the corner with the threat of wearing a dunce hat, by a bully teacher at six years old was just the beginning.

Labels can be so damaging to people, young minds especially. Personally I try not to label people and put them in categories or certain groups. My preference is to take each person for their individual worth, their skills and values, without judging if they are right or wrong. I get some people and others just leave me wondering. We all have our own realities based on what we have learnt or experienced.

Many adult learners carry some major baggage within regarding their ability to learn. I don’t like to judge them. They are just missing some key pieces of the jigsaw.

So many people, fall through the cracks of our school system. The education systems are way underfunded. The curriculum teachers are forced to follow is so restrictive, revolves around onerous box ticking by teachers who are time poor, due to administration overload.

If we truly valued our teachers with their hard earned degrees and big hearts, they would be viewed as pillars of society, paid at least as much as a we are happy to pay a baby sitter per child in their care [do the maths] let them adapt to the needs of each child in a class with realistic numbers so each child could get a fair amount of their attention. The whole issue is complicated I know, but still makes me feel pissed off.

In my view, our children’s school systems are tired old broken machines that keep getting patched up. Poor man’s thinking. They are a relatively safe place where we as busy parents trying to make ends meet, can leave our children and they get given some knowledge along the way.

It is not all bad news.

Our past has little relevance to our ability to learn new skills, age is no barrier, young and old.

As adults it is vital we keep learning, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone. The world is changing fast, we must make the effort to keep up.

As parents we must rethink the way we learn, then show our children how to learn, what their options for learning are, guide them and encourage them to create something worthwhile for others. Just point them in right direction and show them where to get the knowledge, it is out there already.

If the knowledge is not out there, you have an opportunity to get it out there. Maybe you will be rewarded for sharing.

When something is broken and the need still exists, someone will fill that need. The evidence is all around us and easily accessible through the internet.

Try logging on to youtube.com using the words “how to” [whatever you need to learn]. Or go to Udemy.com where there are 30,000 courses, many for free. Google what it is you need to learn, research it and solve some of the problems you have in your life. Share the results of your research. We teach best what we need to know the most.

If you have to pay for the knowledge, so what, just make sure you are getting good value and there is some way of either getting a refund or stopping any ongoing payments if you are not.

So what is the Big Secret?

Learning is your responsibility. Nobody can force you to learn. Make it a big part of your day. Less consuming force fed rubbish like what the media deals out, more of what really matters to you and what you want out of life. Do stuff and ride the emotional rollercoaster of fails and successes. Like a toddler  learning to walk. Start doing, one step at a time. Work out what works for you. That is the secret.

The internet has changed the rules when it comes to learning. The past no longer matters.

You have the opportunity to reboot your life if you find yourself complaining about your lot.

If you want to find out some of my favourite places to learn how to do stuff, I will be adding more and more links to my Recommended Resources page as this site grows. Go there now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding The Time

We are all given the exact amount of time each day.

The choices we have made in the past and continue to make throughout the day erode that time. Before we know it, the day is over, then the week, month and year.

How many of you said towards the end of last year, “well that year went fast”?

Many of the internet Gurus tell us, we need to change how we spend our time if we want to escape the time trap we have created for ourselves. They are right of course, if you keep doing the same thing with your time, you keep getting the same results.

It is frustrating when you know this, have good intentions and don’t seem to be able to get any momentum with the changes you are trying to make.

Dr Deming has a famous quote “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”.

Making commitments or planning how you use your time is important, but comes with the emotional consequences, both good and bad depending on your successes and failures.

We are now half way through the week. Before bed, I spent some time analysing where my time has and will be spent this week. Here is what I came up with.

This week (Monday to Sunday) I am committed to working 64 hours for wages. This consists of;
3 x 13 hour shifts 6am to 7pm
1 x 15 hour shift 6am to 9 pm
1 x 10 hour shift 7pm to 5am

I average between 6-7 hours sleep a night, say 49 hours a week. So that is about 109 hours allocated so far.

Daughter and friends in DinghyThere are 168 hours in a week, so I have 59 remaining of which I spent 13 hours’ yesterday;

  • Getting my body tuned up.
  • Helping my daughter find a car for her first year at University.
  • Supporting her with her job search.
  • Helping her set up the inflatable dinghy so she and her friends could motor out of the canals and have a picnic on the beach.
  • I had a wee catch up sleep during the afternoon for two hours.
  • Helped make dinner with my wife who had her first day back at school as a teacher.
  • Did some of an Udemy course.
  • Shared some commitments with a group of good blokes trying to get ahead in life.

Blue Heron - hard standSo in the remaining 46 hours I have unallocated until the end of Sunday, I plan to spend;

  • 16 working on our family yacht which is hauled out for repairs and maintenance. Sail drive oil change, progress engine instrument panel build and wiring and remove wind vane steering system.
  • 2 hours writing one blog post, [this one] for whoever may be interested.
  • 1 hour progressing an Udemy course.
  • 2 hours watching as licenced passenger, helping my daughter get enough hours for her provisional car licence.

I now have 25 hours remaining, which surprises me. Did I do my maths wrong, possibly. It doesn’t really matter. I know I waste time.

By doing this exercise, I have a greater awareness of where my time is being spent. By being aware, it is possible to make changes or prioritise what I use my time for.

We all waste a huge amount of time. We say things like “I wish I had more time and money” [to do what I really want in this life] but don’t really invest much of our spare time in making it happen.

If you want more out of life, you have to fight your way out of the Time Trap you created, bit by bit. Get rid of the stuff that is holding you back and do more of the things that will get you to where you want to be.

Note to self; Stop consuming any more time wasting crap and start creating something others find useful.

I don’t feel that comfortable sharing this insight into my life. If it helps others get ahead, then it is probably worth it.

What is Your Mission?

We have all had or been part of a mission at some point in our lives.

The mission may have been something relatively small and personal, or maybe bigger like getting your own house. Maybe you were part of a team working on a mission that no one person could have achieved on their own.

When a mission is big, a mission statement is often created and displayed for everyone to see. Smaller personal missions may only exist in your head.

A mission revolves around three key questions:

  • What do you do?
  • Why do you do it?
  • Who do you do it for?

So a mission statement describes the current situation while at the same time identifying the purpose of the mission.

How do I know this?

During my 27-year career in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), the Navy went through some major changes.

In 1980 it seemed to me as a new recruit that the predominant style of leadership was autocratic, “do as I say, do it now and don’t ask any questions”. This style of leadership was not just part of the initial training – it continued when I was posted to my first ship.

The lower deck workers or junior ratings knew who they worked for, were told what to do and didn’t know much more about the mission they were a part of.

The middle deck or senior ratings knew what had to be done, who to get it done by and had a fair inkling as to why it needed to be done.

The upper deck or officers, knew mostly why it had to be done, a fair bit of the what was done, and delegated who did it to the senior ratings.

This system had worked well in the past when there were plenty of sailors on ships to get things done.

Within the first decade of my career, government budget cuts reduced the number of sailors in the RNZN significantly through a process of natural attrition. People had to wear several hats, work longer and harder, and cracks soon began to show.

The RNZN was not a happy work environment at that time.

Old traditions like rum issue at midday began to disappear, which may have had some effect on moral also.

The RNZN was beginning to change the way they did business.

At about this time I began to form my own mission.  Crew superyachts, get good pay and an adventurous life, working for the rich and wealthy.

I wanted to quit Navy life, reboot and start a new life. Instead of quitting outright, my Chief suggested I hedge my bets.

I needed to be able to say to future employers, “this is what I do”.

So I took a year leave without pay and sailed more than 9,000 nautical miles to Canada from New Zealand via Tahiti and Hawaii. The yacht was a new 37-foot, full keel, cutter rigged, Lidgard design called “Katie II”. I’ll share some stories about that in future posts.

Sailing non-stop for around 26 days, doing four hours on watch and four hours off, for three ocean passages, took a bit of grit.

I spoke to a lot of people during our month-long stopovers. One I remember in particular during our Tahiti stop was Nigel Blackburn. We talked about the realities of the superyacht industry. This started to form a clear picture in my mind of life on superyachts. I started to doubt my belief that this was the right mission for me.

Having sailed to Canada, it was time for a new mission: drive across America to look for work on a yacht and enjoy being a tourist in another country along the way. I loved that 1972 Chev Impala Station wagon. But that is another story that includes 14,000 miles of driving.

To cut a long story short, I went back to my Navy career in 1989.

Many of the lessons I learnt because of the missions I undertook became invaluable for understanding various situations later in life.

What happened to the RNZN over the next couple of decades was truly remarkable and a huge shift in the way we went about business. World leading experts were contracted to train everyone from the bottom up.

Task-specific situational leadership was introduced paving the way for Navy Excellence (NX).

NX revolved around three sets of tools, put together with the Baldrige Criteria, which empowered all staff to make change for the good of the RNZN organization. These tools were:

  • Standard improvement tools
  • Standard scorekeeping tools
  • Organizational Alignment tools

All of a sudden the majority of those in the RNZN were on the same page and developed a clear mission statement. We all knew what we did, why we did it and who we did it for. For this reason, together with the other changes implemented, moral in the RNZN improved in great leaps and bounds. It wasn’t all sweet-smelling roses but we now had the tools to continually improve.

So that’s how I know about missions and mission statements.

If you want to read more about “The best small nation navy in the world” just Google that phrase.

Are you on a mission? Is it clearly defined in a mission statement?

Ask yourself those three key questions.

Feel free to share your mission in the comments below.

 

She Was Probably Right

Don’t you hate it when you have to admit you were wrong and she was right?

Well probably right, because we never steered that course, and will never know what we would have encountered on that journey.

I’ll get to what she thought we should do in a moment.

What I’m talking about is an opportunity we had when I completed 20 years of service in the Royal New Zealand Navy. The Navy had a generous Superannuation scheme, with multiple options on how you could draw down the funds.

If I had educated myself about money, how it works and how it can work for you, I would no doubt have done things differently.

Instead I focussed on my passion. An idealism that revolved around cruising far off distant places on our family yacht, exploring the world, taking our home with us. My thoughts were consistently focussed on getting the right yacht at the right price and visualising the dream. This went on for years, all the time we were saving hard, sacrificing many of the lifestyle pleasures others were indulging in. I had a very clear picture of the goal.

For several years before the superannuation money was in the bank we looked at dozens of yachts. Monohulls, multihulls, steel, wood or fibreglass. We even contemplated a concrete boat at one stage. No stone was left unturned. The pros and cons of each design and construction method where carefully considered. My knowledge grew along with the thick folder of information and ideas. I listened to everyone who was willing to give me their opinion. Boating experts like John Lidgard, Lin Pardy, Steve and Linda Dashew and Ron Given. They and many other people who I highly respect, with their own slant on things, helped form my opinion on what was the right yacht for us.

Some may say I had become quite an authority on boat options for cruising. If you spend enough time focussed on one thing, others tend to see you as the go-to-guy for information.

Now everything in life is a compromise, right? We may know what is best but having the funds to get the best is another matter.

Eventually my 20 years of service was complete and the money was in the bank. We had already decided on the yacht we were going to buy, the ‘Blue Heron’. A large chunk of money left the bank, soon after it was deposited, and a new phase in our life began.

We now had the right boat for the job, just a few mods to do, then we were off. Well so we thought. A whole new learning curve presented itself before us as we got to know the boat and improved things to the point where we were comfortable to go ocean cruising.

Eight years later we slipped the lines on a blustery day in Whangarei. We had lived aboard for five years prior to our departure, cruising our favourite places on the North East coast of New Zealand. Now we were living the dream of life as an ocean cruising family, collecting some very special life experiences along the way. By the time we arrived at our fourth country though, Australia, we had to take stock of our finances. With no money coming in, the cruising life becomes less enjoyable as time passes.

Now here is the thing.

She said, “We should buy investment properties with the superannuation lump sum payout.”

Because I was focussed on my passion, I completely missed the opportunity to finance the passion. She didn’t push the issue, no doubt thinking I could become mentally ill if I didn’t get a yacht.

The property market was about to boom when we purchased the mighty yacht. Four years down the track I began to see what I should have done before buying the yacht. We invested in a year of mentoring, learning how to create income through property investment. Thankfully our mentor was a conservative accountant who encouraged us to do the math. The numbers didn’t work for us at this stage of the property cycle. We were competing against every man and his dog. Plus we had tied up our capital in the yacht.

If I had learnt the skills to buy, rent and sell property prior to buying the yacht, we would probably still be out cruising.

Now I’m not one to get all teary about how things turned out – for more than a few minutes anyway. Instead, I started to educate myself about how to create a portable business.

What an eye opener. There are hundreds of ways to set up portable income streams, many of which can run for extended periods unattended. The options are growing fast as the information age gains momentum. My passion for boats is on a different tack now and the future is looking bright.

Thank goodness the world is changing fast. The fact that it is gives us the opportunity to take another bite of the apple. You must keep up to date or be left behind.

If you don’t believe me, check out what’s happening on udemy.com

So if you are planning on doing something big for extended period of time, away from a normal job, create other income streams first. Doing this one thing is a key part of succeeding and maximising the enjoyment of it all.

Ask me how.

Cash Is King

Here is a saying I haven’t heard in a while, “Cash Is King”.

The saying “cash is king” for most of us is equivalent to saying “don’t give up your day job”.

For me, I am very grateful to have a job. My job gives me cash flow, which allows me to pay the bills and keep my family in the lifestyle they have become accustomed to, while still allowing me to put a percentage aside for investing.

During my journey into becoming an entrepreneur, I was introduced to the analogy of two trains running on parallel tracks in the same direction.

One train represents your current life, complete with income from a job, pension or benefit. That train is on a track you don’t control. You could be shunted off anytime, in any direction or taken to a dead end. Wherever the track owner or governing authorities want that train to go, you either have to go too, or jump. Your destination is out of your control. We will call this the ‘job train’, which is in the here and now.

Just to be clear, if you are in a business you own that requires you to be there in order to make money, you own a job. You are still on the job train. You are still trading your time for money.

The other train represents the life you would like, with income from multiple automated investments or businesses that you have purchased or built, complete with the rights to build as much track as you need to continue your journey. We will call this the ‘opportunity train’.

The opportunity train is stopped on one set of tracks further down the line, loaded full of opportunities, waiting for someone to get it going.

The job train is rolling along the other set of adjacent tracks, catching up to the opportunity train.

To get from the job train you are on to the opportunity train you would like to be on, you have to add fuel to the opportunity train in the form of knowledge and investments. Get that train rolling down the adjacent track, getting more and more momentum (which equals cash flow) and increasing speed close to that of the job train.

When the job train catches up to the opportunity train, you will be able to safely step across and continue to build momentum and speed on the opportunity train, leaving the job train behind.

If you try to jump across from one moving object to the other while they are traveling at different speeds, chances are you are going to get hurt.

The reality of this scenario for most of us is the two trains are going at different speeds. When the opportunities come, we don’t have the knowledge or momentum/cash flow to step across and ride where we choose into the future.

So start building your investments and businesses while you still have cash coming in from your job, pension or benefit. Use a percentage of that cash flow to educate yourself, then create other income streams that get more cash coming in.

When you have as much steady income from your investments and businesses as you do from your current income, step across and take control of your future. When you own the knowledge, investments and businesses, you control them and the direction they go.

We live in the information age. It has never been so easy to automate income from the knowledge in your head.

In future posts I will share with you things I am learning that may help you jump from the job train to the opportunity train without getting hurt.

One book I highly recommend to start building your knowledge is Here: 

What is an Entrepreneur?

At what point can you claim to be an entrepreneur?

Is it when you have made your first million?

Is it when you think like an entrepreneur does?

Where is the line in the sand – that point where you say to yourself, “here it is. From this moment on, I am an entrepreneur”.

Should you be worried about what other people think?

Is entrepreneurship a personal affirmation and nobody else’s business?

Do you have to wait until one of your peers announces to the world through their highly successful online presence, “today I am interviewing Lindsay Turvey, a successful entrepreneur”? At which point you look at them and think, “YES, I’ve made it! They introduced me as a successful entrepreneur and I’ve finally made it”.

Here’s what I think.

You are an entrepreneur when you feel like you are one. It’s a personal thing. You are a successful entrepreneur when the money is flowing in and you have all the choices you could wish for at your fingertips and the ability to make your choices and your ideas transpire.

I am entitled to say I am an entrepreneur because I feel like I am. I study entrepreneurship, I try to emulate what other entrepreneurs do to create income, and I aspire to create the lifestyle I desire. Lifestyle is one of the main benefits of entrepreneurship. You get to choose what you do to bring in enough cash to pay the bills and invest your time and money where it generates multiple income streams.

Entrepreneurs know that one of the best things they can invest in at the beginning of their journey is themselves. As they begin down the road of entrepreneurship, they tend to spend most of their investment funds learning how other people make recurring income streams. In other words, they educate themselves.

A quick scan of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs shows that many, when they have made more money than they need, turn to philanthropy, helping promote the welfare of others by donating money to a good cause. They do this because they know being rich and having boatloads of money also comes with responsibility. Most people don’t have this choice because they are stuck in ‘the system’ with one or two income streams they have to trade their time to maintain – the old ‘time for money’ trap.

When entrepreneurs become successful, their problems don’t become less than those who are not as financially stable. The main difference is they have more choices. They can choose to live where they like, to help whomever they like, and do what they want with their time. In short, they have the choice to live the life they want.

It is baffling to me why entrepreneurship is not one of the main subjects taught in schools, right up there with math and language. Some of the key skills required to be an entrepreneur are resourcefulness, confidence, and creativity. Surely these are things we want to be teaching children from an early age?

An entrepreneur is an investor; investing in themselves, in the businesses they own, and investing in making the world a better place based on their values and vision for the future. They lead the way for those who choose to follow them.

Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. Many people would rather live a safe and comfortable life, never really venturing out of their comfort zone for long. A percentage of these people will have a lot of baggage about money, saying things like, “money doesn’t grow on trees” or “not everyone can be rich” – excuses for the life they have.

Entrepreneurs take responsibility for themselves. They are constantly pushing their limits and often failing at things they attempt. They are comfortable with failure because they know it is one of the quickest ways to learn, fast tracking their success. They do things, try new ideas, and create new products constantly. They get what is in their head out into the world for others to judge whether it is of value and then move on to the next thing.

This is, for me, the start of a new phase in my pursuit of what I want for the next chapter in my life. Getting what is in my head out to the world for others to judge if it is of value.

The feedback will come, good and bad, of that I am sure. Let me know what you think. I’m not so scared of failing (anymore).