Archive for stinkin thinking
I have received some “complaints” about the lack of blogs lately, so to those of you who missed them I apologise .
I have been around but frankly I have just been exhausted. One of the things I have learned about human nature is that no matter how much you try to shift peoples mindsets to help them succeed it is a slow and sometimes fruitless exercise. And I have been suffering on the receiving end of that lately!
Since a former associate of mine turned out to be a criminal and took financial advantage of myself and some of my clients I have had an ongoing barrage of misguided angst directed at me from those who seem unable to get their heads together and pursue the actual culprit. Even though the claims are spurious and a complete waste of time on their part some people seem to have unending energy trying to tie me into an unrelated ratbags behaviour.
So I have been super busy “wasting” my time getting rafts of documents and various other things to supply to various registrars etc. And when you are already over busy it just steals the time I would normally have to be writing blogs.
So the lesson here is manifold and may be useful for you also.
1. Pick your fights carefully. There is no point pursuing a party when your chances of success are absolutely zero. And to assist with Number One make sure you
2. Get good legal advice. A cursory glance by any decent lawyer can instantly tell you whether a matter is worth investing any energy in. I have let countless people off of debts or obligations because as soon as you see how their affairs are structured you know it will come to nothing so don’t waste your money.
3. Value yourself. Do you really want to invest a whole lot of negative energy over a dubious claim for a tiny amount of money?? If you “love yourself” why bother. The Bible has a lot to say about this in terms of mental health, it is better to be wronged than to screw yourself up over stuff. (NOTE: I am not saying gross acts of injustice should be ignored but this comes back to Number One again doesn’t it?)
4. Try to dial down your emotions and think rationally about things. I had some people who I classed as friends who went very weird overnight when my previous business relationship blew up on them. I hadn’t been involved and certainly hadn’t done anything to these people myself. In fact in many, many cases I had known these people for years and assisted them with education, deals and advice, often for free over an extended period. So I was in that sense a “known” quantity.
Yet they found it very easy to believe the most ridiculous lies of others about me and attack me for no reason what so ever. i saw their emotional flame get turned up and their intelligence levels drop to almost zero. From my side I never gave up on the relationships and continued to try and resurrect them where I could. I am extremely happy to say that basically all those people that I cared about are back in relationship with me and many have apologised for their behaviour at the time. And the rest have shown themselves to have never been my friends, even though I thought they were. But my point is that our emotional selves can do huge damage if given free reign and it can be very difficult to back out of some of the things that we say in that moment.
5. Lastly a sad lesson I have learned is this: Do not expect justice to be done, especially in lower courts or dispute tribunals. The disputes process in NZ is unbelievably biased and flawed at every turn. The referees can make any ruling they like. It does not have to follow legal precedent or even legal process. And it is 250% biased toward whichever party is an individual as opposed to a company. I have seen the most ridiculous rulings handed down and there is little right of reply or any recourse. Right now we are fighting an unbelievably petty case that has absolutely no impact on us regardless of the final outcome, other than wasting our time and theirs, but we are so angry at the ridiculous nature of the claim and the referees behaviour that we will get it corrected purely for the sake of my own company’s reputation. But to have to go through appeals and then escalate to counter suits in the courts is going to cost the plaintiff a fortune, all over loose change owed from an unrelated person. We had the same cases in formal court all tossed out because they were clearly directed at the wrong person. Our lawyers just shake their heads at the incompetence of the tribunal decision but there you go , it will happen to you if you are a company and the defendant. So be warned!!
So in spite of it all, Get Going and Stay Safe ~ Dean!!
I have had 2 big lessons this year in business. One is too complex to comment on here, it will be in my next newsletter. But the other one was a promoter of mine in Asia. They appeared to be honest and we got on well. We ran our first event successfully and all was good in the world. A short time later one of my US partners caught this company passing confidential information to a competitor. When confronted they lied to my face until the evidence forced them to stop denial. It transpired that in their greed they were setting up in competition to provide a lower level of service to their clients but make more money for themselves.
They have since gone on to try to set up against us without knowing what they are really doing, all in the name of blind greed. To try and get some traction they have spread defamatory lies about us in their market.
Fortunately our business partners are the best in the business so their smear tactics have failed and if anything we are doing more business through their clients who are coming to us disgusted with this companies behaviour.
Fortunately we had our relationships tied down and our clients results speak for themselves but it has been an interesting and sad experience. Especially for me personally as I ventured into this business to help the owner recover form a dishonest business partner. So to have them be so dishonest to some trying to help them is doubly sad.
What have I learned?
1. Never assume someone who is referred to you is to be trusted without testing them first.
2. Never proceed on a trust basis, if it isn’t contracted it doesn’t exist.
3. Don’t return dishonest competitors behaviour with like kind, let your results and your clients defend you.
4. Saddest lesson, you have to keep a watchful eye even on trusted partners.
5. Pray for blessing on your business, leave the judgment to Him
6. Build your business based on what is best for the client, the money will follow.
6. Structure your business to minimise the points where dishonesty can occur.
More lessons in my newsletter this week
Get Going and Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus
One of my favourite journos, Diana Clement, wrote an interesting piece in the Herald today regarding peoples money management skills. She commented on the fact that 35% of people get their advice from family and friends and that often that advice was bad.
Whilst I know this to be true I think there is a bigger problem and that is that most people are relatively clueless about money these days. And so we have to ask ourselves why. To be financially literate and competent seems to require swimming against the tide and yet it shouldn’t have to be should it?
Post depression and post war cultures were very responsible financially because their lives depended on it. Today it seems our lives depend on credit .
So if take a bigger picture view the fact is we and our children are bombarded daily with “education” coming to us through print and TV ads all training us to buy stuff without any understanding of the risk or real cost. I find it reprehensible that all sorts of laws are implemented to attack evil property investors for example but our television can be littered with debt consolidation loans and it’s on $60 a week advertising. I recently saw a slew of adverts offering “no interest for 5 years”. They should be lined up and shot because the majority of those people will end up paying the interest because they don’t understand the principle behind the product, which is that people don’t pay it off on time and end up incurring all the interest anyway.
I talked about this topic a while ago and sadly I will be talking about it till I die as we are not going to change the “system” we have allowed to engulf us unless we reach a point again where money skills are life and death.
What we can do however is take the chances that do present themselves to speak life into people who are struggling, especially if you have walked out of the marketing lies into good money management and financial freedom.
One piece of very surprising good news in Diana’s article is that our consumer spending has dropped form $1:10 spent for every dollar earned to 98 cents spent for every dollar.
Maybe there is hope, or maybe things are really bad out there and people lives are depending on it?
Get Going and Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus
I have had a number of interesting situations in the last week or so that have brought home to me just how badly people are being affected by the last 2 years. Clients and friends are finding themselves on the receiving and delivering end of:
Being ripped off in property deals by normally reputable channels:
Reaching points of despair through money worries without any seeming solution:
Making unreasonable demands and threatening various things to others to try and deal with their frustration over their situation and………..
generally not taking a reasonable or pragmatic view on life.
The change in some people and the shift in peoples behaviour has been enormous and seems to be accelerating over the last month or so as the reality of the worlds problems become clearer.
The problem with this, or I should say my deep concern about it is that is can destroy the person who changes and also damages so many relationships long term.
I watch people devouring each other and ruining friendships over money without any thought of the relationships history and value.
Now don’t get me wrong I am not condoning letting people off things holus bolus, but we only hurt ourselves when we demand our rights in isolation.
For example I have some situations in my own world that I just can’t fix right now. I want to do the right thing, and eventually I will, but the last 18 months have significantly altered my financial position so some things just are impossible at the flick of a switch that were easy to do 2 years ago. Fortunately most people in my world understand we have all been using the Titanic’s deck chairs and the best chance of success is an orderly exit to another boat, not setting fire to the life rafts.
But I see so many people just buried in pain and expressing it in destructive ways.
I don;t have a solution, the world is in a mess, a lot of us have lost a lot of money,a lot of things have and are going wrong in lots of areas and we can’t fix that.
But my prayer is that we can choose to work with and dare I say it, “love” one another enough to work together and put people at least on an equal footing with our rights and needs.
IF we don;t work together as a community we will destroy ourselves, of that I am certain and sadly I see it happening.
Let’s turn this ship around before we hit the iceberg
Stay Inspired and Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus
This week I have been full on with initial consults for my current mentoring client intake. And I get to work with the most amazing people!! Many of us are looking for solutions for our retirement and working in jobs we don’t like so it is exciting to get to assist people in changing that.
The sad thing I notice is just how many people end up in jobs or industries they don’t like. I guess as people we too often allow life to steer us instead of the other way round.
I know for me I ended up in printing because my dad and older brother were. I sometimes think of 5 or 10 years ago and what I was doing then and just can’t believe I did what I was doing.
I now get to do what I love and all it took was a thought and then a decision for things to be different. Everything else flowed from that one thought: “There must be a better way”
Once I decided that there was a better way, all I had to do was find it!
So what about you today. Are you really happy? I hope you are but if you aren’t you can start the process of change with a thought.
Thinking about this may be a new experience for you but if you want more of God/life/money/passion/time/fill in the blank, you will have to decide that you’re going to have it before anything will change.
There’s a sobering thought for a Friday
Stay Inspired and Stay safe ~ Dean Letfus
The Ethical Investor
Maybe it’s just me but I find some supposedly helpful cliché’s to be anything but, well helpful.
For example we are often taught that there is no “I” in team. Now I understand the concept of course is that teams need to work together and the good of the whole is more important than the needs of the one, (bring on the Borg ).
However the truth is that this is patent nonsense IMHO.
A good team must be made up of individuals with a strong sense of both calling and self, in other words “I”, or the team is doomed to failure. In fact I would go so far as to say that the reason some normally top sports teams are not performing very well is that they have a high percentage of young new players who are trying to live out the mantra of selflessness and failing.
It is the “characters” and big personalities that invariably inspire and capture the hearts of great teams.
We have sold our young business and sports people a lie by telling them they must put the team first. Sadly we have even worse started to indoctrinate an entire generation with 100% proof Cr*p like “It’s not whether you win or lose but participating is what it’s all about”.
That might work in some left wing bubble but those kids are in for a total thrashing if they ever step foot in the real world of competitive sport, business or relationships.
Where did we get this silly idea about having a self and having needs being bad??
Great teams, businesses and relationships become great when the individuals in it are getting their own personal needs met and therefore they can choose to co-operate for a greater good but it is always in the context of “This serves me personally first”
You can be sure than any All Black who first dons a jersey takes picture of himself and feels ten foot tall because he has made it as a player. The media sound bites are all about the great team but get them behind closed doors and it is all about them. And why shouldn’t it be!! They have achieved the pinnacle of rugby playing greatness on their own. It wasn’t their team’s ability that got them into the All Blacks and it certainly won’t be the team’s ability that will keep them there. If that was the case they’d all be sacked currently.
No it was their individual ability, often when playing for a bad team that got them noticed wasn’t it?
So as you go out to work with your team today remember this: YOU are important to your team because of what YOU bring to it. Denying yourself makes you less effective as a team member and in fact you must get your personal needs met to be able to contribute fully to any team.
There is an “I” in team, every team is full of them!
Stay Inspired and Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus @ www.MassiveAction.tv
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I was about to publish my planned blog for today when I read this article and I was so gobsmacked I just had to talk about it.
Other than the more obvious and extreme things like gangs, child slavery etc. this comment on bling is surely the saddest thing I’ve ever read about how shallow our society has become.
Maybe I’m over reacting but when intelligent people take this sort of thing seriously it shows me we have officially lost the war on common sense and real values.
This is listed under “Major Business News”
Culture of Bling Clangs to Earth as the Recession Melts Rappers’ Ice
“After years of starring in rap-music lyrics and videos, “bling” is losing its ring.
The recession is cramping the style of hip-hop artists and wannabes — many of whom are finding it difficult to afford the diamond-encrusted pendants and heavy gold chains they have long used to project an aura of outsized wealth.
In an attempt to keep up appearances, celebrity jewelers say rappers are asking them to make medallions with less-precious stones and metals. Some even whisper that the artists have begun requesting cubic zirconia, the synthetic diamond stand-in and QVC staple.
Hip-hop luminaries with the cash to keep it real are appalled. Bling aficionados fret that the art of “ice” is being watered down.
Rapper 50 Cent has relished the chance to accuse his musical adversaries of not glittering like gold. During a radio interview, the artist, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, taunted rapper Rick Ross for wearing faux and rented jewelry. “Everything that you see has to absolutely be fake,” said Mr. Jackson. Rick Ross, whose real name is William Leonard Roberts II, has denied the claims. Mr. Jackson didn’t return requests for comment.
“A lot of these rappers simply don’t have the money for real stuff anymore,” says Jason Arasheben, who crafts custom jewelry for wealthy clientele, including Saudi royals and Hollywood movie stars, at his California boutique called Jason of Beverly Hills. “It’s to the point where they are wearing imitation jewelry, and that’s ridiculous.”
Mr. Arasheben designed the colossus of hip-hop jewels three years ago for rapper Lil Jon: an enormous gold necklace that spells out “CRUNK AIN’T DEAD” with 3,756 round-cut white diamonds (Crunk is a southern rap subgenre that Lil Jon — real name, Jonathan Mortimer Smith — has struggled to keep alive). The neck-straining piece, which weighs more than five pounds, was recognized in 2007 by Guinness World Records as the largest diamond pendant on Earth.
‘Big, Chintzy Junk’
He also fashioned a pendant in the image of headphones bedecked in black and white diamonds a few years ago for rapper Biz Markie, whose whimsical jewelry hailed from a less self-conscious era in rap. The rapper — whose real name is Marcel Theo Hall — says he is saddened to see newer rappers favor big, chintzy junk over smaller jewels that illuminate personality.
“When I was wearing a big rope, it was a symbol that I was one of the elite,” says Mr. Hall, whose 1990 hit “Just a Friend” is enjoying a renaissance on iTunes after being featured in a Heineken beer television ad. “These kids think size matters, but they be lyin’. It just makes them look silly.”
Both Mr. Smith and Mr. Hall had planned to sell their pieces for charity last fall in an auction titled “Hip Hop’s Crown Jewels.” But in a sign of bling’s fading shine, Phillips de Pury & Co. postponed the auction to March and then canceled it altogether due partly to insufficient interest from buyers.
From the dawn of rap music three decades ago, hip-hop artists have festooned themselves with gaudy ornaments to signify that they have risen above humble origins to become ghetto royalty.
English-American trailblazer Slick Rick sported a diamond-studded eye patch, portraying himself as the “Black Liberace,” while the three members of Queens, N.Y.-based Run-D.M.C. rocked gold rope chains that seemed thick enough to hold a real anchor.
To be sure, phony or inferior ice has been around as long as rappers’ traditional standard gear of two-turntables-and-a-microphone. But with Internet piracy cutting into musicians’ record sales and the recession shrinking attendance for live shows, jewelers say the ersatz stuff has never been more widespread.
“Times are hard, ain’t nobody rocking it like that anymore,” says rapper and record executive Bryan “Birdman” Williams, who co-founded Cash Money Records in New Orleans in the early 1990s with his brother, Ronald “Slim” Williams. The independent label has sold more than 45 million albums.
The founders of the record label claim that its most famous artist, Lil Wayne, coined the term “bling” during a recording session to give a sound to blinding opulence. The word entered popular usage after the hit “Bling Bling” by then Cash Money artist B.G. and was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2003.
“People think these big pieces are blindin’ but they be like D-quality diamonds, and when you try and sell them you learn they ain’t worth a thing,” says Slim Williams. “You can’t be doing it like we did it no more.”
In humid Houston, a Southern rap capital renowned as a mecca of ice, jeweler Johnny Dang says he is adapting to the changing climate by giving customers the less-expensive jewelry they want.
“The look is still big, it is still bling, but people are going with smaller diamonds and lower-karat gold,” trading down from 18- and 14-karat alloys to 12k, which is only 50% gold, or less, says Mr. Dang. A Vietnamese immigrant, he started out at flea markets and now has a shop in the tony Galleria mall next to Neiman Marcus.
To survive, Mr. Dang is relying more often on machine-made versions of his jewelry that can cut the cost of a $10,000 handcrafted pendant in half.
Mr. Dang’s “grillz” sales also have fallen off 60% in the recession. He and his business partner, the rapper Paul Wall, helped popularize the bejeweled dental retainers earlier this decade, when diamond-laced varieties molded with platinum were selling for tens of thousands of dollars.
Melting Down Grillz
Now the recession has so damped the extravagance that a Web site called sellyourgoldteeth.com is doing brisk business buying grillz for meltdown value. “It’s a sign of the times,” says Mark Porcello of Porcello Estate Buyers, which runs the site.
Hip-hop artists aren’t eager to admit to thrift, and numerous rappers rumored to be trading down declined to talk about the trend.
“You gotta understand, it is every rapper’s fear to be exposed as a fraud,” said Gregory Lewis of Brooklyn, who posts conversations with artists on the Internet under the alias “Doggie Diamonds, the interview king.” “If you admit you wear fake jewelry, it is over for you. It’s like bragging you drive a Lamborghini when you really drive a Toyota.”
Like this is really tragic isn’t it. These poor multi millionaires who promote treating women like prostitutes, drugs, killing each other and obscenity and profanity can’t afford to buy pendants worth millions of dollars or own 20 cars? Life is so unfair.
Beam us up Scotty, there is no intelligent life down here.
Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus @ www.MassiveAction.tv