The Dalai Lama's 18 Rules For Living - YouTube: ""
'via Blog this'
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
I have spent a year trying to define what change means to an individual life. Change is a constant.
There are changes we cannot control that happen in the World at large. We can not end a war.
But we can choose our habits and attitudes. This site will focus on improving our performance in the areas of our greatest influence.
Aristotle is often quoted as saying,
"All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire."
"We are what we repeatedly do, Excellence is therefore not an act but a habit."
We will work on a checklist of good habits that will help you create the lifestyle of which you dream.
Reason, passion and desire will keep us motivated and help us to choose worthwhile goals. Habits will be the daily actions that move us along our path to a better life. Daily self-management is an art to be learned because lasting changes in peoples' lives start on the inside
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Secrets From a Pawn Star | Breakout - Yahoo! Finance:
The business model of the pawn shop dates back over 3,000 years and remains largely unchanged: A customer in need of some cash gets a loan from a merchant, using a personal possession as collateral. The pawn shop holds the property for a predetermined amount of time, charging interest on the loan. If the customer can pay his debt before the deadline, he gets his property back. If not, it's the pawn shop's to resell.While the basic transaction is much the same as it was in ancient China, the reputation of the pawn shop industry has fluctuated wildly. Pawn shops have often been portrayed and viewed as vaguely threatening stores located in seedy parts of town, where only desperate customers would dare venture to.Today, the modern pawn industry has become something else entirely. Many of these shops, which also operate like small banks, are publicly traded companies and are becoming cultural phenomena. The embodiment of the new era of the pawn shop is Rick Harrison, star of History Channel's monster hit Pawn Stars and author of the book "License to Pawn". Harrison, who runs the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, Nevada recently sat down with Breakout to discuss the economy, misconceptions about his business, and the endless number of curios he comes across when dealing with the 3,000 to 4,000 customers coming through his shop every single day.Harrison immediately addressed the lingering perception of pawn shops preying on the down-and-out, or especially in Las Vegas, desperate gamblers down to their last chips. Despite the tough times, nearly 80% customers reclaim their goods; meaning a pawn shop transaction is more like a bridge loan for the roughly 25 million Americans without a traditional bank account, rather than a legitimized loan sharking operation.Which isn't to say the pawn shop business is impervious to the economy. Most assume the stores do better in a weak economy; but they don't. Harrison explains that it's the nature of buying and selling that changes based on economic conditions."When times are good, I'm buying less stuff and I'm selling more stuff. When times are bad, I'm buying at lot of stuff but it isn't moving like it used to," says Harrison. Reflecting the building slump in Vegas, there's a glut of construction-related goods coming into his shop, but very little demand from buyers. As any student of economics will tell you, too much supply and little demand means lower prices. "At this point, we have just stopped taking construction tools altogether. That's how bad construction is in Las Vegas," says Harrison.While Harrison's front line view of his local economy is troubling, the beauty of the pawn shop business is that it can capitalize on whatever trend is hot at the moment. A car dealer is stuck selling cars regardless of vehicle demand. In contrast, the players in the pawn industry specialize in trends. Of course that brings us to the trading craze of 2011: Buying and selling gold and silver."I cannot keep gold and silver bullion in my stores at all," the retail rockstar said. "We buy it every day. Every morning I put it in my showcase and it's gone by noon."But if you're ready to run to your local pawn shop to sell your jewelry, think again. Nobody in retail ever made money overpaying for goods then selling them at a discount. Harrison, like any successful pawn business, will offer a discount to the price you see quoted in financial news, and then sell your stuff at a premium if you don't pick it up before the end of his 120-day holding period. It's not personal, it's just business.Pawn shops are also the last place to go if you're looking for a sucker to overpay for your junk. Harrison's store carries as many as 22,000 different items at any given time, or as he puts it, the shop has "one of everything." After 30 years in the business, he says it's "pretty simple" to spot counterfeits. And if an item is questionable, he calls in an expert to vet the goods. It's a good thing because there are plenty of hard-to-value oddities at any pawn shop, particularly one based in Las Vegas.Ok then. Harrison says many of these rarities are more valuable to him as museum-type pieces than retail items. Museums may be the last thing you think of when considering pawn shops, but it's a new day for an old industry. Whether to hock an heirloom or simply check out the modern
version of Ripley's Believe it Or Not stores, it's time to change the way you think of the pawn shop business.Harrison's store alone has a fist full of Super Bowl rings, four Olympic gold medals, the boots that jockey Hall of Famer Willie Shoemaker wore in his 8,000 race, and a Pee-Wee Herman doll sealed in its original packaging. But those aren't anywhere near the strangest thing on his shelves. At the moment Harrison is in possession of a 200-year old Japanese "pillow book" of the type he says were once given to Japanese brides on their wedding nights.'via Blog this'
The definition of a Fog Dog is a bright spot sometimes seen at the horizon as a fog starts to dissipate. Origin: From the fact that it accompanies fog as a dog accompanies its owner.
If you are a sailor, the term Fog Dog is likely part of your lexicon
When sea captains were navigating unsettled conditions accompanied by zero visibility, they instructed their crew to keep a keen eye for the Fog Dog. Seeing a break in the haze was a good indication that clear weather was ahead and rough seas would soon subside. The captains understood that deep swells, combined with the inability to see what was ahead, created anxiety among the crew. The sight of a Fog Dog lifted spirits and boosted confidence that better circumstances were inevitably ahead.
The Kauffman Foundation sponsored a 2009 study that found more than half of the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list were launched during a recession or bear market. It's likely that even during today's economic slowdown, some of tomorrow's highly respected companies are just getting their start. In 1975 our economy was in the midst of crippling stagflation and a significant spike in oil prices. In the middle of this tsunami of bad news, Microsoft and Apple saw a Fog Dog and created two companies which have positively impacted all of our lives. The fact is, our perspective is what determines our prospects regardless of the economic conditions.