Legal Profiling


by Dave Miller

Lately we read about profiling in a negative sense.  Police officers are getting a bad rap for doing their job.

Cops concentrate on the most likely suspects, narrowing their focus. The world calls this profiling. If a group of people have a history of crime they watch them closer. The reason they profile is obvious. It works. They do what gets results. Why wouldn’t they? Well, some agency decided it’s discrimination.

As an investor you are not regulated on profiling. Not yet, thankfully. So be discriminatory.

Create a profile of the type of property you a searching for. Base your criteria for the most likely profit making enterprises. Focus on this profile. Don’t waste time and energy on avenues that do not meet your criteria.

In real estate you hear of many ways to make money. National speakers make a lot of money telling you of a hundred different ways to capitalize on real estate deals. They open your mind to new ideas by getting you to think outside the box. This is good. You need to be open-minded. But select a strategy that fits you.

Your goal should be to narrow down your search and methods to a few options that fit your personality. Don’t try to be someone or something you aren’t. If you base your strategy on the results of others only, you are likely to burn out. And probably be unsuccessful.

Nevertheless, I do believe in following the lead of successful people. But do so only after you analyze yourself. Figure out what motivates you. What makes you tick? After you have found your niche, and only then, get the best mentor, with experience in that field, you can find.

Now start profiling. Narrow your search and let it rip.

This applies to not only to real estate. Business and charity are among many other areas of life in which this should be applied.

You will be much more successful once you have found your sweet spot in life.

Find it.

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Choosing Your Partner in the Workplace


by Dave Miller

You can’t choose your family but you can choose who you work with. What are the characteristics to look for in a person before hiring or partnering with?

I am in hiring mode. I need a key employee. What do I look for? Where do I start?

Most people will say “I want a hard worker” and stop at that. Is that all? I’ve heard people described as “hard-working guy”. Am I looking to hire that guy?

Quickly I say I want more than that. But what characteristics am I in search of?

I need to look at my own key values. Most days go by without really thinking about core values. They are just there. So I made a list of values that are pertinent. I’m sure there are more that have immense value and this compiling just scratches the surface. Even if it is not as in-depth as it could be it is a colossal step in the right direction.

  • Competence – The ability to something well even if experience in this field is limited. Does he have aptitude? If he does then it’s just a matter of training him in this specific field.
  • Christian – You are either walking in the light or you are working for the kingdom of darkness. I’ll take light over darkness any day.
  • Honesty, Integrity, Trustworthy – Do I need to explain this one? It would be just plain brainless to trust someone you don’t trust.
  • Empathy – Empathy is not sympathy. Empathy is someone who can hear you, or your customers, out and try to help. It is not a crying bleeding heart.
  • Friendly – Everyone likes a friendly person. Co-workers want to be around a happy person. Customers like a friendly voice on the phone.
  • Open minded – Having an open mind is essential to growing and expanding. Here’s a quote I’ve heard, “Keep your mind open, you’ll be surprise what will drop in”. I want to be open to change and my employees and partners likewise.

I also look at my short-comings. I am looking for someone who is better than me in the areas I am lacking. I believe you should always hire someone better than yourself, if you don’t you will become your own ceiling.

  • Closer – I am the visionary type, big picture thinker, a starter. I love new ideas and can’t get them started fast enough. But then I fall short, I’m not a closer. A person that finds fulfillment in finishing would make a great teammate. My brother-in-law worked for me for 4 years, I was a starter and he the finisher, and we pushed each other. Things got done.
  • Detail oriented – Someone that pays attention to detail. If it’s a long drawn-out detail oriented project I will get bogged down.

They say you become what you surround yourself with. Be careful in your choosing. Be very careful.

For ways to attract people read 12 Ways to Attract a Client. The same rules apply to chosing a partner.

When you choose your friends, don’t be short-changed by choosing personality over character. – W. Somerset Maugham
Published in: on May 18, 2011 at 7:02 am  Comments (1)  
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Stupid Excuses to Avoid Action – Building My Master Plan, Part Two


by Dave Miller

Work sucks. Don’t tell me what to do me. I’m Lazy. These are a few of the excuses I unconsciously use to negate my desires to improve. I know plans are important, they work, and I’m a better person through them, yet I find excuses.

As I think through my Master Plan (for part one click here) I realize I want the result, but not the work. Classic ambivalence. Why is this? What is going on inside?

Many times the desire to plan is squashed by opposing emotions. Summarized here are a few emotions that love obliterating a plan.

  • Disciplinary fears – The love to be wild and free. Uninhibited. We want to be our own man. By making a plan we feel as if our spirit would be tamed with a schedule. Little do we look at the exuberance created by having a well thought out goal in mind.
  • Work sucks – We are stuck in a dead-end job. The desire to excel is lacking when you’re in a job you don’t really enjoy.
  • Nothing is easier to do than something – Since The Fall we are looking for the easy way out. The snooze button allows us to push-off the inevitable a little longer. One must work against one’s sinful nature to overcome the sin of laziness.
  • Feelings – We don’t feel like it. Today’s society wants to base life on how they feel. Everyone is focusing on “How do I feel about that.” If I lived on feelings I would not have gotten out of bed this morning.
  • Inadequate plan – Planning is good but I must also conquer the over-planning syndrome. Action is the key.

A task list helps you triumph over these emotions that are hindering you. Goals help you to know why the tasks on your to-do list exist. Dreams are in a sense goals without a plan.

“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

The key is to find the proper balance between planning, preparing and action. In too many cases the emphasis is placed on the planning and preparing stages while forgoing the action. Michael Masterson summarized it well from his book “Ready, Fire, Aim”.

The idea, in a nutshell, is this:

  • Action is the most important thing. Careers and projects are killed much more often by the reluctance to act than by acting too soon.
  • Still, some planning and preparation is helpful.
  • Get it roughly right as soon as you can, and then start. You can work out the kinks later.

  Thus, Ready, Fire, Aim.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

The Transition – Building My Master Plan, Part one


by Dave Miller

I sit in the woods in Huntington County, reflecting on the past, enjoying the solitude of the woods.

I think back, pondering. Contemplating a transition. Visualizing and planning for the more future-oriented me.

In the past two months, I have spent almost all my time and energy on the rebuilding of my business after it was destroyed by a fire. Endlessly I worked to get the shop back in production. Doing whatever was needed at the moment. Bending to the tyranny of the urgent. Even though it was imperative that I do so, you can only survive in this atmosphere. A change of thinking must take place or insanity will set in.

My accountant, Mike Stoltzfus said you may allow this to happen. The rushing about in urgency. But it must also stop. “It’s okay to act like this for a while, but set a date for when it will end,” he said.

I took his advice seriously because he knows how to make things come to fruition. He is a real example of what one can do if he pushes himself to the brink. He took 5 years of college in 2 ½ years while working full-time as an accountant. Does the word discipline come to mind? A plan, perhaps? He didn’t accomplish that running on emotion.

One reason to stop the spinning of wheels is for sanity preservation. The other is to gain traction and initiate moving forward. Not only forward but procuring the right direction.

With the help of 5 friends that meet regularly I am putting together a master plan for the next seven years of my life. We are studying The Pledge by Michael Masterson and building from his structure.

The book covers four areas around which to formulate your plan.

  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Self Improvement
  • Social Happiness

The key is to have enduring ambition while maintaining balance.

This plan is not something to take lightly. So, I will spend the next few months building and refining, sorting out the differences between dreams and goals.

Goals are attainable while dreams are not. This makes me remain honest as I keep the realism in place.

Here is a list of values present in goals but absent in dreams

  • Goals are attainable
  • They have a timeline
  • You can break them into action steps
  • They are specific

Start by thinking about the future and who you want to be. How do you want to be perceived by your friends, family, neighbors and peers? Think about it.

Now that you have given it some thought, do they see you in the light you want to be seen in? If not, are you heading in the right direction?

Think about your goals. Write them down. Even if it’s not some master plan. Write down a few things you would like to accomplish today.

Action is the key. (Another article on this next week)

 

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“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” Yogi Berra

Osama bin Laden Dead or Alive? Do We Really Care?


by Dave Miller

Is Osama Dead? How does it change our lives? Or is just a ruse?

In the past months Obama’s ratings have slipped in a downward spiral.  Even the left-wing editorial comics have torn him down.  Bashing their messiah. This is bad news for the President as the elections are just around the corner. The debates start this week. He is desperate to show the world that he is competent leader.  

Last week his birth certificate finally appears.  Is it real? I don’t know and I don’t really care. But I do believe it was brought forth to distract us from other superior issues. I’m guessing it’s real. But it makes no difference in my life. I’m not going to live differently tomorrow because of this. But I do think it’s great when a conceited arrogant person must buckle to the little people.

The polls are still down.

This week we kill Osama bin Laden. Global enemy #1.  How impressive!

For years the experts said Osama bin Laden is dead. He has not been sighted since December 2001. Nine and a half years. His health was failing. The last confirmed video he looks sickly and gestures with his right hand only. His left arm is immobile, suggesting a stroke. His kidneys were failing 10 years ago, requiring dialysis treatments yet he was forced into exile in the mountains where medical care was unavailable. This deteriorating man who once loved the spotlight has not shown his face in almost 10 years.

Yet the government kept him alive in our minds. Every war needs a villain. Every commander wants a victory. Now we have a new villain. Gaddafi. So we can dispose of Osama and still have a war. We can have the cake and eat it, too. Victory and war.

I find it irritatingly amusing that just when the polls need a boost we kill a man who is presumably dead. We raid a compound that we never sighted him in. He gets shot in the face. Then we drop him in the depths of the sea. Never to be seen again.

Quite convenient.

Do I care that Osama is dead? Not really. It doesn’t change how I live. It doesn’t change any business decisions.

What I do care about is the president wasting time on wars, dead villains and pieces of parchment when greater issues are at hand.

Every hour spent on these non-issues eliminate an hour spent in pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

Published in: on May 2, 2011 at 9:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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