Simple Helpful

Often people forget the importance of remembering those ‘little things’ that we all need to remember. Especially when it comes to passwords, tutorials, cool websites, ideas, and other nonsense.

Until recently, I hadn’t found a way to keep all of these things in order until @flakblas introduced me to the two following programs. I completely recommend these two programs for a simple knowledge base and password safe. They are easy to set up and you can keep them in your Dropbox so that they go where ever you are. Let me know if you have any other ideas for productivity and note taking!

  • TiddlyWiki – TiddlyWiki is a reusable non-linear personal web notebook. It’s a unique wiki that people around the world love using to keep ideas and information organised.
  • Keepass – KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file. So you only have to remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the whole database.
  • And, because I store both of these in one spot, Dropbox

 

Now, here are my ideas for news aggregation, please let me know if you have any ideas for this: (From early blog post)

The world of news is endless and in many ways there is a sense of news overload. But, yesterday someone did ask what websites I watched for technology related to Randomly Famous, LLC. Here is my short list of websites that I check on a more regular basis, in no particular order. I do want to say though, news is news and needs to be filtered because some of the content isn’t news worthy. This is no perfect list so if you have suggestions, please let me know, I am truly trying to learn more about filtering the good news vs. the bad news. Plus, looking for aggregation tools, new sites to check out, and so on. Fill me in below!

And for the news, generalized:

Now, tell me more things for this list! Even your personal sites that are brilliant, I want to hear them all and will personally check them out!

 

A Breakfast Business

An early morning came and breakfast at McDonalds was inevitable. So, Mark (@Flakblas) and I met up, had breakfast, and chatted life with a mixing bowl of business.

Recently, he has been introducing me to a few new tools that I am now addicted to that I will list at the bottom of this blog, but he also has a business sense that intermixed with my thought processing.  It started with the service at McDonalds and ended on the inflation of mobile application prices.

The price of these applications has extended beyond the normal price model that we have for business retail. And, to be honest, that is one reason I’ve launched Randomly Famous, LLC into the mix as well.

It is just a matter of time until this bubble has burst and the true price is found but those entrepreneurs / venture capitalist that latch on now, will forever be grateful. So, with this consistent change of pace in the world of business, I’ve needed to find myself a tool that organizes my knowledge base.

And finally, Mark has introduced me to it in his blog post called Tiddlywiki. There are so many benefits to this simple program and the mix of Dropbox. It has taken my quick changing mindset and has allowed me to write each idea out for mobile applications to future retail stores in one central location.

You will see how simple it is after you download it and play around. I promise you, if you are an entrepreneur, you will be in love. We often forget our past ideas when new ones come along like a mobile application business. This simple html + javascript allows us to always remember and return to the original ideas. It simply allows us to:

  1. Contemplate our ideas
  2. Expand on thought processing
  3. Take advantage of the mobile application market
  4. And remember how / when it took place so we can repeat in the future

Check it out, download it, and say thanks to Mark for making me try it and allowing me to put aside ideas for a moment and race after the market in front. If I didn’t have this tool, I might have lost out on where I was in my knowledge base.

Thinking Around

With a lot of ideas floating around, there seems to always be space to network / chat / organize / and take time to think. I have to say that this has been a good week thus far and it continues. Though my networking hasn’t been moving forward as quickly as I like but at least I am getting responses from people like Bill Gates. Yes, I am aiming for anyone to network with, here is the latest response from Bill Gates’ Foundation. Any other ideas on how to just have coffee with these types of people? Anyone want to network now?

Here is the latest response from the Gates Foundation:

Dear Mr. Elliott,

Thank you for contacting the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

We appreciate your request to meet Mr. Gates. Unfortunately, due to his current level of commitments and the number of requests he receives, he is unavailable and must respectfully decline.

On behalf of the foundation, we wish you the best.


Sincerely,

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Grantee & Public Communications
www.gatesfoundation.org

Thought you would find it interesting…. Anyone want to chat about a few ideas in Augmented Reality / Entrepreneurship / Start-Ups / Artists / Ideas? My goal is simple, to creatively execute ideas.

Remembering How

There are many times that I realize that I need to “clear the fog” and focus. I think this is a component of aiming for excellence and making a competitive edge for yourself. In essence, to succeed, we have a few things that we always need to do and are key components of success. These eight ideas come from TED.com and have started to influence me on many levels.

In short, being a digital artist at this moment at Carney means I like making graphics and I needed a way to ‘refocus’ my thought process for success and did that by creating this computer screen background. And, I thought I would offer it out for anyone who wanted it. Hope you enjoy and that it helps you focus for success, a daily activity of clearing the fog.

Click Here to Download

True Discipline

Often I’ve been realizing that the most successful people are those who are truly disciplined. And, after watching myself for the last few weeks and trying to find out more about myself, I found a sad realization… I need to be more disciplined.

It is a simple fact for me but one that so far I’ve taken light heartedly until this morning when I thought about my day thus far. I realized that I pushed the snooze button three times, ate my breakfast quickly, rushed out the door, didn’t accomplish what I had planned for the morning, and now will have to make it up during lunch.

First off, discipline has a few different meanings depending on how you are looking at the word. The three points that I pulled from my glorious Apple Dictionary are below:

  • the controlled behavior resulting from such training
  • activity or experience that provides mental or physical training
  • a system of rules of conduct

So why do I share? This is the question that usually comes up in all of my posts on this blog. To “creatively – execute – ideas” I need to have discipline, a system of rules of conduct for my daily life. And, after talking to a few people I assume that this is something many of us are in need of for the race to success.

I don’t know if there are “seven steps to discipline” or “a four hour discipline regiment” but if there is, I don’t want to read it, I want to hear about it. I want your input, your thoughts, and your area of expertise in this. Two things that I really believe will help me and everyone else perform in a way that “creatively – executes – ideas.”

Plus, lets be honest, if we were to find the key to being disciplined, we would of found the key to success and that is something I am wanting to learn all about.

Branding for Launch

The long trail of a to do list fills up my whiteboards. Writing ideas, business ventures, networking availability, things to learn, and ideas to execute. Plus, on top of that finding time to do nothing (which is a true exercise for me). With that being said, I recently had a “clear the fog” moment and sat down to find my five projects.

Yes, the number five on the list has a few subcategories that comes in and goes out on a regular basis. None the less, this list will become the way I govern my time on a regular basis.

My full time priority in life is my wife and family. There is no getting around that in any way, shape, or form. So, why do I share this list with you and explain it a little bit? Well, before I limited myself to five projects at a time, I would have upwards of 10-15 which doesn’t allow excellence.

To grab the best out of yourself there needs to be some order to the insanity. No, I am not saying to go out and write a to-do list for your to-do lists. I am merely pointing out that to do things with excellence there needs to be an order.

For me to launch Random Rental fully, I needed to make sure I was branded on my new website as an entrepreneur who executes ideas. I Needed to make sure that site looked decently appealing before I could start seeking out angel investors.

An investor wants order and smart risk takers to be heading up ideas. Being the creative type makes it difficult to pull of the ordered lifestyle though it is a true necessity. For any entrepreneur it all begins with you. Getting money starts with investors believing not just in your idea, but you as a person. And, when you know what your priorities are, you are better off at organizing your life and to be a true brand.

Brand yourself so that you can brand what you do. People will always find themselves back to who and what. Just make sure that picture of you is what you want them to see. Brand yourself for the launch of your career, business, and your life.

Be Nice – It Helps

I don’t know what it is about people who are in airports but there is a constant angry vibe that I’ve seen. This past year I’ve flown over 30 round trips and still can’t believe the lack of kindness in the airports. Believe me, I am not saying that I was a perfect passanger. But when a flight is overbooked, a child is screaming, the security checkpoint line is long, and a line of people trying to find out what is going on, many people have a reason to just mentally snap. And yet, if you are generous with how you treat people, most individuals will be generous back.

A few weekends past, my wife and I had the opportunity to fly to Newark for a wedding. It wasn’t your average run of the mill wedding instead it was sensational. I wasn’t even in the wedding and yet had the opportunity to wear a tux. But, that was a side note. After the wedding was finished Aletheia and I went back to the hotel and packed for our flight the following morning.

Low and behold, after we got to the airport we found that the flight was overbooked. For me, this means adventure but to many others, including my wife, it meant a negative change of plans. I watched the interactions of a father who was irate reaming out the women who was trying to help him while his own kids cried. The father finally walked away expressing his disgust and I was the lucky guest after him. I went up, smiled, and asked if my wife and I could be volunteers (vouchers were going to be given out). Low and behold, they took us.

My wife and I were put on the next flight out, in an hour, with $400 dollars of vouchers each with a free lunch. But the women at the counter took it the next step and advised us that the other flight may be overbooked as well. With this pre knowledge Aletheia and I figured out if we would take advantage of this situation too. No, we weren’t under a time crunch to get back to Indiana but we also had a goal of getting vouchers and being simply nice.

It could be a good faith gesture but after we grabbed our lunch we heard over the speaker some words we were waiting to hear “The flight to Indianapolis is overbooked and we need two volunteers.” I quickly jumped up and went to the desk again. And in this moment the ‘reward’ was $500 voucher each.

But yet, we were still stuck and I decided to ask an interesting question. Was there any way that we could fly to Boston that afternoon and return to Indianapolis from there? The women looked at me, a moment passed, and said something that made me write this. She shared, “You are a nice guy so let me see what I can do.”

Thirty minutes later she had landed us a flight out to Boston, a hotel room at the Marriott overlooking downtown Boston, free vouchers for dinner and breakfast, and an encouraging word.

The funny part about this was the fact that we were nice and got what we asked for instead of them offering a ‘taxi.’ We flew to Boston, had a surprising little vacation with a dinner at the oldest Italian Restaurant in the North End of Boston, $1,800 in flight vouchers with no black out dates, and a reason to truly smile.

I personally understand that not everyone can do this and there are time crunches and ‘not so great benefits’. I personally have been in them continually and watched my father go through them. But at the same time when we treat people with respect, they truly try to help and move forward the situation in a generous way. Being nice encourages others to be helpful and kind back.

The three pointers to take are simple: smile, kindly ask, and say thank you during the process (even in the moments they aren’t working nicely with you). These things can make the world of differences in your service, travel, business, and networking ability.

Clear the Fog

Many mornings, as I go over into DC I notice the amount of fog still above the water. But for some reason, the fog frankly caught my eye and I started brainstorming ideas. Lets be honest, all of us know that I can’t take a big breath and blow the fog away but I kept my mind going and tried to find a solution.

To my demise, I realized that I hadn’t just fogged up my own mind with this idea. I want to practice ‘brainstorming’ on a daily basis but the mere fact remains, I am only human. I need to stay focused on the ideas ahead of me. Personally, I keep my ideas to a maximum of five. It is the limit that I can handle and trying to come up with new ideas on a regular basis means I need to use discernment and not let them fog my way.

  1. Where is the fog coming from?
  2. Is it important enough to allow it to fog my original means?
  3. What can I do to rid myself of the fog?
  4. How can I simplify?

Short, sweet, and simple… Things come and go and we need to make sure that we don’t let these quick lasting situations and/or ideas fog our true mission in life. Push the fog out and remember the simple fact, you are only human!

Brainstorming

I was sick over the past weekend and it hasn’t been getting any better. My cough seems to roughen, my lungs seem to fail, and my heart keeps racing. What a joyous situation to have going on in this moment. But why do I share that?

This ‘episode’ has happened to me three times this past year and my wife and I have realized that the way to fix it (medications) has become a short-term fix. So, we have decided to look into homeopathic ideas for breathing / asthma.

Great, great, great… Another personal blog post. You could complain but there is one large thing that stuck out about this scenario, we brainstormed ideas, more ideas, and even more ideas to see what we had on the platter to chose from.

I am sure that I will write more specifically about brainstorming but the thing is, people can practice it in every moment of every day. All we need to do is give every idea a chance because it might be the great idea and/or the best inspiration if we let it. To simplify the world around us, here is the way I begin:

  1. Find the Problem – Sickness
  2. Label the Outcome You Want – Healthiness
  3. Write / Walk / Write – Medicines / Homeopathic / Exercise
  4. Chose & Try – Medicines don’t work (problem) / Trying Homeopathic
  5. Allow Failure
  6. Find Solutions & Ideas

These are six steps to a million ideas and solutions. The truth is, many of the ideas you and I come up with wont work but you won’t know unless you try (even this idea wont work unless you try the theory out).

When someone usually labels a problem there are a million solutions that a team will come up with and for the most part, everyone thinks that it is their idea or the highway. The problem is that we need to capture every idea since everyone has their own expertise and pull these common themes and successful ideas together.

After the problem has been stated and the outcome has been found. The only way to go after this outcome is to write as many ideas down as I can, go for a walk with another person who has the same mindset, come back and write again. I will do this over and over again till I come up with something I semi like. The final solution/idea usually takes the form of a few of the unsatisfying ideas I didn’t care fore earlier on.

That’s where the ‘chose and try’ strategy comes to play. We have to choose what we are going to try and go after it full heartedly and without any reservation. And always remember, it is okay to fail. Allowing failure is sometimes the best advice I was ever given but a hard one to come by.

My goal, and hopefully not to my failure, in life is to creatively execute ideas and I know for a fact that I will have a thousand failed ideas before one successful. But sooner then later we will find solutions and new ideas that will manifest in a great way. I like my odds, do you like yours?

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