Category Archives: Reflection

Looking back through the rear vision mirror, while keeping the other eye on the road ahead.

Need for Speed

I stand here, tapping away on my keyboard, sweating like a gold medallist who has just one their race of a lifetime.

Why?

I’ll tell you why later.

I’ve always had this need for speed.Need for speed

My life is littered with friendly reminders from the authorities to slow down. They are right of course. There is nothing more irresponsible than speeding on public roads with the multitudes of events that could conspire to cause injury and heartache in the blink of an eye.

It doesn’t alter the fact I still need to go fast. I just have to keep within the law to fulfil this need.

It is ironic on so many levels that I have this desire to go fast whenever operating vehicles and boats or yachts. Ironic because from an early age, I have always considered myself slow with regard to school, reading, writing and thinking of something clever to reply to a put-down.

You know what? I DON’T GIVE A BIG RATS……

Slow and Fast are such relative words anyway. There is always someone faster. You can bet your bottom dollar there is someone slower. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel that way.

It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are relative to someone else. What matters is that you are moving towards what it is you want for your future goals and dreams.

Saying things like “I’m too old to achieve that” is probably just negative talk based on your current speed and skills. When you repeat something time and time again, you get faster. All of a sudden your horizons expand.

It used to take me ages to update the themes and plugins on my websites. Nowadays, not more than ten minutes. I’ve learned to open each site back end in a different tab, start an update, then move on to the next tab/site while the system is doing the work on the previous site.

My point is, don’t restrict your horizon of possibilities for your life based on the speed you are working at now or when you start something new. Think bigger. You might be surprised how close you get.

I have always had this need for speed and yet it does not translate into my ability to create an online business.

Why?

Too much baggage. Probably from as far back as my school days. Things were said that I can hardly remember, labels attached that allowed my mum to fight for one on one tuition.

That helped.

It wasn’t all bad being labelled mildly dyslectic. Mrs Shelton new more about alternative learning methods than most. I went from starting high school [3rd form/year nine] with a reading and writing ability of kids in the primers [year three] to passing school certificate in three subjects. The navy taught me more about reading, writing and maths than school ever did.

I wasn’t going to talk about this [eh Stephany]. What did I say, the time wasn’t right? The time is never right.

The person I was then is not the person I am now. So there, I said it. I was labelled Dyslectic. It doesn’t matter.

So why am I standing here sweating, as I punch out this insight into who I am?

For six months now, I’ve been searching for a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP), one that represented good value for money and is relatively fast.

A couple of weeks ago I purchased one and got on it for the first time. It was hilarious, trying to balance, doing a close impersonation of the Elvis Presley’s knee wobble. I worked out the basics and made a slow voyage through the canals.

I ‘ve now been out five times.

This time, it all came together and I had an excellent cardio workout. I was in the zone and focussed.

The wonderful sound of the bow wave peeling away as I pushed myself harder and harder, trying to perfect my style, using the right muscles.

I feel inspired, motivated and keen to get the other things on my “To Do List” for today done.

When the idea for this blog post popped into my head, I knew I had to do it right then and there. So here you have it.

The world is speeding up. It is changing fast.

I know that if I don’t change the way I survive and improve our current situation fast enough, we will end up uncomfortable and wanting for the basics with few choices.

I decided today to push myself to another level of discomfort and really focus on what matters most.

I am going to include my inherent need for speed into setting up my online business. I will improve the systems I’m incorporating into my life and focus, get in the zone.

Watch this space I’ll let you know when I’m ready to launch.

Let’s see how many of you like boats and boating.

What sort of boating lifestyle would you like if you knew how to fund it?

Leave a comment, anyone can.

 

Learning to Sail – Again

At this stage in my life, it feels like I’m learning to sail again.

I’m relatively good at sailing and boat handling. Boats have been my passion for a long time now.

I didn’t get competent with boats overnight.

Learning what I know now has been a perpetual series of events, some good some bad.

At the age of nine, I got to progress from playing with boat’s in the bath and mucking around in row boats, to start actually learning to sail.

My parents scraped together enough for a P-Class yacht, called “Pele”. The P-Class was a light weight 2.13 metre (7 foot) long hull with a tiny cockpit, large watertight compartments, together with a relatively large sail area. No matter which way up it was, the hull always floated high in the water.

The learning curve from this popular sailing dinghy was close to vertical from day one.

Learning how to rig the yacht was the first hurdle. I practiced at home when it was obvious I was taking three times as long to rig the boat as everyone else, missing the start of races.

WhenDoc - 11 Mar 2016, 7-23 am - p1 the yacht was rigged in our back yard, I’d visualise and practice stacking out, imagining a gust of wind trying to tip me out.

There is no faster way to learn sailing than to get out on the water, ideally with a club coach giving good advice. Club coaches are seldom available on race days with a large fleet to attend.

Mistakes were made.

At the very beginning, we also got some advice from the wrong people.

A salesman who knew nothing about dinghy sailing, sold us an offshore Kapok life jacket with all the buoyancy in the front and a large collar to keep my head above water. Apparently I needed this because the boom was likely to knock me out.

An old sales technique, create the fear and solve the problem. This became the obvious choice for nervous parents. Totally the wrong buoyancy aid for a wee dinghy sailor.

It must have been hilarious for those arrogant parents watching back in the clubhouse, making snide remarks within earshot of my parents, as the large collar of the lifejacket, hooked up on the mainsheet when I tried to get under the boom. This damn collar totally disrupted the flow of what I had visualised as a well-executed tack. The reality was another dunking.

This lifejacket with the large buoyant chest area effectively made my arms too short. I couldn’t reach the centreboard to lever “Pele” back upright after the yacht had turned completely upside down. Even with help to get the yacht back upright, the lifejacket made it impossible to climb back on board, prolonging my drift down the harbour.

A new sailing vest fixed that problem.

Beware of bad advice, from the wrong person, it equals wasted money.

There was one occasion when near catastrophe struck. It seemed like the end of my sailing for some time afterwards.Doc - 11 Mar 2016, 7-30 am - p1

I learned rigging the mast correctly is very important.

A small kink in the port shroud, the stainless steel wire that holds the mast up, went unnoticed. I sailed off from the launching ramp with the wind on my right shoulder.

To get to the start line I needed to tack to port. The manoeuvre went well. I was feeling confident.

A gust of wind threatened to tip me out, I stacked out to counter the additional weight in the sail, then in the blink of an eye, the mast and sail came crashing down, lying flat in the water beside the yacht.

What just happened?

What’s going to happen now?

I was still quite close to the shore, drifting toward a large boulder bank. I saved “Pele” from those rocks by jumping over the side, using my body as a fender.

Always look up when working rigging up the mast. I taught this rule to many people later in life.

The season ended before I learnt enough to compete in more than a couple of races.

It was all a bit of a blur to me, one lesson after another. Quitting never occurred to me.Doc - 11 Mar 2016, 8-32 am - p1

For my sponsors [my parents] the financial and time commitments were tough, the people they mixed with while I was busy learning, not their type. That winter the “Pele” the P-Class was sold.

I learnt that being a sailor was more than just getting into a yacht and pointing it in the direction you wanted to go. A whole raft of skills surrounds sailing.

My parents negotiated acceptance into the local Sea Cadet unit, TS DIOMEDE, a year younger than normal. I was age 11.

Learning to sail with Sea Cadets and mucking around in various rowing, sailing and motor boats most weekends gave me skills I never really valued until later in life.

Sea sense, spatial awareness, time on distance relative to speed and course, communication, systems and routines, teamwork and maintenance.

By the time I left Sea Cadets I knew how to sail fast.

In preparation for the northern area regatta, we stripped and painted the race yacht over the winter months. We studied the race rules, knots, and tactics and practiced on the water. My crew proudly beat the hotshot ring in “Chris Dixon” in a series of picture perfect races off one tree point, Whangarei Harbour.

I developed solid foundations for future learning about boats, seamanship and leadership over the seven years with sea cadets.

I am now passionate about building an online income. This is why I feel like I’m learning to sail again:

  • Learning how to rig the yacht = building a WordPress website.
  • Visualizing sailing upright = imagining the appearance of the site.
  • Club Coach = Internet income mentor.
  • Advice from non-sailor salesmen wasted time and money = Advice from people who are not making money online, wasted time and money.
  • Always look up when rigging the mast = Always check the back end settings of your website.
  • Losing your mast over the side = Having your money making website server hacked.
  • Maintaining the hull and rigging = Keeping the themes and plugins up to date.
  • A whole raft of skills surround sailing fast = A whole raft of skills surround creating a money-making website.
  • Planning, sanding/painting, practicing skills, winning races = Planning, preparation, creating and building, attracting income.

As you get on in life and try to learn something new, I believe it helps to draw on your past experiences that led to success. Older people have this advantage over those just starting out. They know that learning new skills is going have a large component of failures and perceived disasters. That’s okay.

Sticking with your passion and working through the good and the bad will eventually get you to the point where you can make a living from your knowledge and skills.

When you look back, the successes and failures will blend together into the stories you tell of your journey.

If you push hard to achieve your goals, it will all seem like a bit of a blur when you look back.

What can you relate back to, that fuels your current goals?

Leave a comment.

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.