Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Search continues...

So the search continues... my bliss had to wait yesterday because I was in another form of bliss - the bears are not who I thought they were.. they're 3-0 woohooo! who knew??? I thought cutler would have to have his arm amputated by now with the OL mastering the revolving door technique - Omiyale on LT?? I thought it was really the end for cutler! Omiyale sucked at every OL position and then they put him in LT - the most difficult position - and he shines!! WTF?? who knew??

Go BEARS!!!!

Anyway - I haven't posted in the last few days because quite frankly I didn't really know what to write and I've been lazy to think of something to write. I was thinking about it today and I decided to write about the cool stuff I found while searching for my bliss. Most of the things I found are great but it doesn't help my present situation. However, if you find it useful, then I'm glad I'm able to help

Note: This is not in any order of preference or coolness

  1. Google Apps - Google is awesome! Did you know that Google Apps has a free version? So what can it do for you. Well it can do a lot but the most important part is it can give an email server that rivals most enterprise email solutions (gmail) using your own domain. Did I mention this was FREE? Basically, all you have to do is secure your own domain name - e.g. yourowndot.com - from any registrar (www.omnis.com, network solutions, yahoo, godaddy.com, etc). This is very cheap anywhere from $2 to $7 a year. Next is modify some DNS settings (very easy - Google even has a template on how to do it if you dont know how) to prove that you own that domain and voila! You now have your very own internet presence complete with email and your email will be whatevernameyouset@yourowndot.com and start spamming your clients! Did I mention this was FREE? up to 50 users? oh yeah you also get google docs, calendar, chat, etc.... and you can even sync it with your smartphone! Imagine that - on the go email for free! And you can store all your files there too! If you are small business owner and you haven't done this, then I don't know why you wouldn't take advantage of this. What's cool too is if you have google voice - you can now post 1 number and it can ring any number in the world you want. You don't have to be tied to you office phone! You can do this with Skype (like I have) with SkypeIn but Google is free! I have both Skype and Google - for now skype has better features and quality for international calls are hands down better than Google, but again, Google is free and Skype although still cheap, can't beat free.
  2. Skype - when it comes to integrating phones and the internet, Skype rules! Skype is well known for making free calls to other skype users around the world! Quality is awesome! Comparable if not better than landlines and its free! You can call phones too (if you have skypeout) but you have to pay a monthly fee. Its cheap though and you can call anyone in North America for free.  They also have great international rates - you just have to buy skype credits. Its also encrypted - well at least according to skype - we just have to take their word for it - so its more secure than your landline.

    All that is great but have you heard about Skype Extras? Its like an android market (or app store if your iphone user) for skype. It has free stuff and some paid ones too but most are cheap. But what can it do? Well for starters, you can run a call center with it! How's that???? A full blown call center might be a stretch but how about a PBX with an IVR?. You can run your office with it! Pretty May Call Center is the name of the app and its free! You can run a call center with it if you choose to do so! Other PBX functions are available from other apps. Other apps include call recorders, faxing, call lists, etc. You can even do remote support, remote control, presentation, etc ala webex! Most are free but some you have to pay for but they are relatively cheap!
  3. OpenOffice - your entire office suite free! very similar to MS Office - even files are compatible but this one is free
  4. Network Monitoring - Nagios is free! very powerful tool and rivals other commercial network monitoring software but if your're on a budget and would still like to monitor your servers, Nagios is free. Other free software, PRTG, Cacti, OPenNMS - etc! Not so long ago, these type of software costs thousands of dollars (HP openview, Aprisma's Prism, etc). Now, its free
I found other stuff too that is useless to me at the moment but who knows, one day I might need it. If it serves your purpose now, then great! If you have any questions regarding the stuff I mentioned, read the manual, download the software and give it a try... if you get stuck, post a comment and I will try to contact you and give you a hand! Cheers!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Googling for my bliss

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” - Confucius

Well dude that is what I have been trying to do man! I just haven't had any success. I have been trying to look for my MUSE. From what I have read so far, your bliss/passion coincides with your MUSE. In simple terms, your passion, the thing that makes you happy, your bliss, can make you money! So that's what I am trying to do. Problem is, my bliss has been elusive.

Without knowing where else to look, I Googled it. I found this site http://zenhabits.net/the-short-but-powerful-guide-to-finding-your-passion/. Going through the list, I found some problems

  1. What are you good at? - Well this is a loaded question man! There's a lot of ins, outs, what have you's. Anyway, what am I good at? What kind of question is that? How do you know if you are good in anything? I mean I am good in a lot of things, but I can't consider myself an expert in anything! What I really excel is in doing nothing. 
  2. What excites you? another loaded and vague question. I don't know - going to the lebowskifest excites me. I like to do a lot of things and what excites me depends entirely on whatever it is I am doing so how do I decide what excites me? I am fucked!
  3. What do you read about? - mostly crap. I do read stuff on how to find your passion/bliss. I want a passive income so I read about that - how does that translate to finding my bliss?
  4. Learn, ask take notes? not OK. I dont have a list. so step 4 is not applicable and so are the rest of the steps that follow
Back to work! Fuck!

How I did it!

Well if you are wondering how I was able to afford my trip, its very simple. I was (still am) paying for 2 condos and a car at the time. I was already renting one condo. 3 days before my trip, a friend rented the condo I was staying in. That worked out well too. As for the car, I left it in my parents. Obviously, the rent money was not enough but it helped. As for the rest, I emptied my retirement account. I have no regrets and would do it again if given the chance but i understand that it might not be for everyone. Here's how I justified it

Bullet points that really struck me while reading the 4 hour workweek
  • Saving for retirement is a fools errand mini-retirement is the way to go - I always had a feeling that 401ks, IRAs will be well short by the time i reached retirement age but i played the game. It was attractive to contribute as much as you can because not only does your employer match it, it saved you on taxes. Its practically free money! I finally decided to do the math.What I found was that even in the best circumstances, it don't work! I would probably end up working to make ends meet by that time.  Even if I that nest egg grows to a million which is wishful thinking at best, 35 years from now, how much is a million really worth? that is if they don't increase the retirement age! The math simply don't work and since annual tax deferral is capped, even if you contribute the max, there is no way this will work for you! Suze Ormon says that your employer contribution is practically free money!! Baloney! it is not free as it robs you of the most important asset you have - TIME! other than the tax incentives, I don't see any benefits to it!

    On an even sadder note social security will probably not be there either! Life is too short to wait and suffer a miserable existence!
  • You can live like a king and it don't cost that much - This is the best part and I can attest to this. I experienced this first hand! Book says if you are willing to travel, you can make your money more valuable. Make the exchange rates work for you!
  • You can always come back - I am back and found a new job. I get paid less but I work less and I enjoy it more. When I calculate relative income vs. absolute income, the difference is not that much after all. I am more relaxed and to me, that is worth more. To be quite honest, I didnt want to come back.  I wanted to get out there more but I have to pay my bills. Ill be back out there - its just a matter of time.
  • Be Happy - its not about the money! we all heard that expression money does not buy happiness and i found that to be true first hand. I have seen people in extreme poverty, yet they still have a very positive outlook in life. That was weird for me at first. These people had no idea if they were going to eat that day yet they are happy with their families and friends! Then I remember miserable and stressed co-workers (i was once myself) - talk about fucked up priorities!! No Worries! Be Happy! 
  • Ownership vs. Experience - experience is really what you want. This was a hard concept for me to understand at first. While in the Philippines, I stayed in a 3 story house with 6 rooms in a gated community (with security guards and all) with a maid and an on-call driver. Owning the house was not what I want because it would tie me down. Renting it made much more sense and its more affordable. I experienced living like a king without much of the expenses of being a king! Experience vs. Ownership!
So I did it! What's weird is that somehow, someway, I know I am going to make it. I truly believe that somehow, I will find my MUSE. I can't quite explain it, maybe its wishful thinking, maybe it's not - I really don't know but I truly believe that I am going to make this work! I just wish that it to be sooner than later!

"fity"cent would say "GET RICH OR DIE TRYING" mine would be "LIVE RICH OR DIE TRYING"!