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Monday, September 30, 2013

Begin With The End (how to finish before you start)

After posting my last entry, I had a few lingering thoughts that I felt I should've included, because I do realize that it's not enough to suggest to just get started without knowing what to do first. 

One of the philosophies that's been a staple in my life is to begin with the end in mind. I'm sure that may sound a little backwards. But, just like building a house, you have to first draft a blueprint before the foundation is set. Likewise, in order to create the blueprint, you have to have a vision of what you want the house to look like. The clearer the vision the more likely you are to obtain it. Vision, however, requires more than sight itself. It requires an imagination. Its similar to planning a road trip. First you need a destination. From there, you plan accordingly. You need vision, or an imagination to prepare yourself and anticipate things you will need along the way in order to get there.

Begin with the End

I really find this idea helpful in all aspects of my life. It helps to start my day with a clear picture of what I want to accomplish by its end. If I reach my goal then I consider it a successful day. The idea is that doing this day after day will eventually lead to long term success. 

So once you get your dream established, begin with the end in mind. What do you want your finished product to look like? What do you want to accomplish by the end of the day? Don't forget to draw out your blueprint. With a little gumption and dedication, you'll be on your way to turning your vision into a reality in no time. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

GO (the Power of getting started)

I have a question to ask you: If you knew you couldn't fail, what is one goal you'd set for yourself? 

I once read a book called "The Perfect Business" by Michael LeBoeuf, which posed a similar inquiry. I thought this was a brilliant question, because it forced me to really examine what I wanted most out of life, and what I was doing to try to make it happen. It turns out that I did have a goal, and I hadn't a clue how to accomplish it. So I did the first thing that came to mind--I sat down and got started. I read books, watched tutorials, listened to lectures, all in hopes of finding out what my first step should be. It wasn't easy, let me tell you. In fact, it was down right frustrating and confusing at times. But ultimately, I knew that even in those trying moments I was still one step closer to reaching my goal.


The difference between people who fulfill their dreams and those who help others fulfill theirs is the ability to take the first step. Can it be intimidating? Yes. Can it be difficult? Most likely. Will it be worth it? Without a doubt. But also keep in mind, NOTHING that has ever been done in the history of mankind has ever happened without someone taking that first step. And the same applies to you, no matter what it is that you want to pursue.

So, let your focus be fueled by questions. What is it you wish to do? What will you need in order to do it, too? Seek and you shall find.  Before you know it, you'll be doing exactly what you've been talking about doing "one day." You're dreams are waiting on you.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Gravity (Embrace Resistance)

Lately I've been so busy trying to take care of my business that I quickly fell behind in writing this week's entry. Because I waited until the last minute, it came as no surprise when I hit a writer's block and couldn't come up with anything to talk about. Despite having inspirational stories and tons of notes that I'd jotted down throughout the week, when it was time to get this blog ready, I was stumped.

Artwork by ~FuzzyLumpkat

I began scrolling through my notes and came across the word "Gravity." I remember writing it down three days ago, if only I could remember the reason why. It did, for some unknown reason, trigger a thought at that moment pertaining to my writers block issue. I found it interesting that my inability to come up with a thought would actually be the driving force that inspired this week's topic. Instead of getting overwhelmed with frustration because things didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked, I decided to embrace the fact that I was stuck, and share it with you. 

Normally, I try to provide you with a blog that's informative, but sometimes, you just gotta call them like you see them. Sometimes these things happen. And when they do, you've just got to embrace them for what they are, rather than put up resistance and fight. Once I acknowledged this, somehow it was liberating because it immediately took the pressure off of drafting an entry that I knew I wasn't prepared to write. Liberating because I accepted my shortcomings and realized that sometimes, things aren't going to go as planned. Life gets in the way. And sometimes, that's okay, too. 

So the next time you experience something that doesn't go as planned, just remember you're not alone, and embrace it. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

U Down Wit O.P.P? (Learn from others)

What's the cheapest and most efficient way to learn about life? If you ask me, it would be learning from other people. You know, like OPP--other peoples problems, other peoples progress, other people, period. Whether it's directly from a mentor, a friend, a family member or coming indirectly from an autobiography, a documentary, or a movie, the source itself really doesn't matter. What's important is the lesson. 
SmartPhoneRecords Blog
Yeah you know me;)

Some might argue that personal experience is the best teacher, but I contend that it all depends on what it is you want to learn. For example, if you're going thorough a difficult phase in your life, it can be helpful to know the ways in which someone else overcame similar struggles.  If someone has accomplished something that you dream of doing, learning about their story may save you time, as well as expedite your learning curve. 

When I would share with investors the idea behind SPR, I would get pissed when they failed to share my vision, or tell me all the ways in which it wouldn't work. But once I learned about Thomas Edison and his invention of the light bulb, or the story of Pandora and the many roadblocks that were encountered prior to its huge success, I began to feel less discouraged, and more motivated. Believe it or not, both of these world-wide, life-altering inventions were once turned down by so-called "smart" investors.

With the world as big as it is, chances are there isn't one person who hasn't walked a mile in your shoes before. So, don't be afraid to find out their background and see how it can apply to your life. After all, you never know the affect your story can have on the next person.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Accidental Icon (If at first you don't succeed....hire a pro)

Recently, during a conversation I was having with our graphic designer, I shared with him the story of how our SPR icon was created. So, I figured I'd share it with you.

Operating on a tight budget, I made the decision to design the logo myself. I knew what I wanted--a smartphone with headphones attached, and to make the background blue to represent the sky and/or cloud, since all of the activity that takes place on SPR is done in cyberspace

The problem was that although in the past I've had some graphic design experience, what I lacked was the knowledge of how to work with photoshop layers and vector images, which was pretty much a requirement if I planned on building this thing on my own. (Thank GOD for YouTube!)

After several hours of watching video tutorials and playing with different effects, the original icon was born. The funny part is that to this day, I'm still not sure how I did it. Everything about it, with the exception of the color, was a complete accident (or "ack-ee-sent", as my niece used to say) right down to the details of the shadowing inside the phone itself, and the headphones. 

My work on the Left / Rezniks work on the Right


I was EXCITED! The minute I saw it I knew it was the one, so I saved it. 

And then...my computer crashed.

"WTF!!" I yelled out.  Fearing that I had lost  the icon and desperation because I had no clue how I did it. Thankfully, it was retrieved when my computer restarted, although it was a bit distorted due to the .bmp format it was now in. But I didn't care. By this time I was just relieved to know that I didn't have to start over. I knew I had just dodged the mother of all bullets.

So with this experience, I guess I've learned two things: 1, from now on, I'll let the professional graphic designers handle any icon upgrades, and 2, I've learned that you don't have to be perfect to do everything right the first time. Because, while I was worrying about what others would think of our icon, in actuality, no one really cared. Know one knew the story behind how it came to be, so essentially, all of the fears that I had about it were self-manufactured. 

So don't beat yourself up trying to be perfect all the time, especially if it's your first time up to bat. Just keep your eye on the ball and swing--you're bound to hit a home run eventually.