Posts Tagged ‘ projects ’

Worth Repeating: Focus

Wow, has it been…nevermind. Yes it has, but I didn’t make any promises to the frequency of blog posts (I think…), so here we go, another blog post. Yeah!

I was talking with a friend tonight (HEY PATRICK!), and we got rolling into some pretty good stuff. It reminded me of some quotes I read, credited to the great Andrew Carnegie:

The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.

Concentrate your energies, your thoughts and your capital. The wise man puts all his eggs in one basket and watches the basket.

Concentration is my motto – first honesty, then industry, then concentration.

Here is the prime condition of success: Concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun on one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it, adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it.

I hope you took the time to read through everything in italics, as there’s some food for thought there. Here’s what I’ve been chewing on:

Currently I’ve been splitting my focus on a few different endeavors:

  1. A new website that I’m not saying much about, but am in the stage where I can’t move forward without investors and their corresponding dollars.
  2. Writing a screenplay that I’m not talking much about because the first draft isn’t done yet.
  3. Sending out query letters to agents and managers for a screenplay my writing partner and I wrote.
  4. Pitching 2 different movies and a TV pilot to anyone who will hear.
  5. Finding enough freelance work to pay the bills and keep me from a $10 job at Costco.

So yeah, spread a little thin I may be.  And it all hit me tonight.

I’d been thinking about this stuff all day, but maybe that right there is the problem, I’d been thinking about all this stuff all day. Is my focus split too much? Too many eggs for not enough baskets?

So I’m having trouble deciding how to move forward from here. Do I keep going full steam on all endeavors at the same time? Or should I focus on bringing one to fruition before moving on to the next project? My deal there is how do I know which one to work on first? Dilemma!

So, while I do feel that focusing more is important, I’m not sure how to implement it. I’m open, nay hoping for comments and your perspective. Hence the blog title…

For those less inclined to comment, would you take a second to vote on a poll?

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Worth Repeating: DIY

DIY: Do It Yourself

In the last month or so I’ve had the opportunity for two big DIY projects, the first a rather big undertaking, considering I have never done more than change a tire, oil, and fill my car with gas. Yes, I worked on my own car, and not just something small either. It was a two-day project with my father-in-law to change out the water pump and timing belt in my ’95 Honda Civic. Now, for some proof:

Now, as you can see I used instructions, but I kind of knew we were in over our heads a little. My father-in-law has some pretty credible experience, but not on my car.

Here’s the really great part: I was quoted $2500 from Honda to fix everything they diagnosed as “wrong” with my car. Considering my car is worth $2000 if its in immaculate condition (which *cough* it isn’t), I wasn’t ready to swallow they’re “professional opinion”. I started researching what real world cost was to fix things like my “broken radiator” (it was fine), “new muffler” (also fine), timing belt, water pump, rear trailing arm bushings, and rear brake pads.

Here’s a breakdown of what I ended up fixing my car for:

Timing belt: $25.00

Water pump: $33.00

Rear brake pads: $20.00

Replacing a cracked section of exhaust pipe: $50.00 (local guy rather than some overpriced place)

Total cost: about $130 compared to $2500, ummm, n o t   t h a t   b a d!

Here’s a perfect example of how DIY provides an opportunity to learn a new skill, some bonding time between two people, and a significant savings by doing the labor yourself.

Here’s another:

I went home to Sacramento for a week to help out my mom who’s been fighting cancer for about 3 1/2 years now. She has non-smokers lung cancer, and is one of the most faithful and wonderful people I know. It’s quite amazing how she has handled such a diagnosis.

The second day I was there she underwent about 6 hours of chemotherapy. She has made friends with almost the whole hospital staff, and has the best spirit about her, given what she is going through:

The next day I was expecting her to be completely bed-ridden, nauseated, and tired. I woke up to find she had already eaten breakfast, having walked to the table and everything. So, what am I here to do? Obviously I can help by cooking and cleani- wait, who are all these people constantly stopping by the house to clean and bring us food?

So, I did what any loving son would do. I decided to build a ramp!

We have a small step in front of the house, along with a few inch lip where the door frame is. After wheeling my mom in and out a few times, I realized it was probably a bit of a burden for my younger brother Kevin and my Dad to have to do that every time they leave the house. The pictures can be seen here, if you’re so inclined:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2319584&id=17819247

It was incredibly rewarding to hear my mom and others say how much it meant to them, and since then how much it has helped.

So there you have it. I’m a huge fan of DIY projects. If you are looking for something you can do on a limited budget, try here.

DIY Projects: Worth Repeating