Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Martial Arts and Business are of the same mindset - Part I

As the face of Infiniti Point shifts I am constantly going back towards things that I've been taught in the past to help me get my bearings in regards to where to go next.

Three lessons that Adam Chan, someone that I am proud to call a teacher and a friend have shared with me that have changed his life are:

1) When is a chair not a chair?
2) Where is the mind?
3) Fight with equal parts fire and water.

An excerpt from his forum reads:
"when is a chair not a chair? "- this one haha cause me to relearn everything that i ever learn
" where's his mind " - this one I am still working with , sensing intent where his focus are and hit where he is not , this one change my closing and trapping approach forever
" balance combative arts with healing" - this one cause me to practice chi gung for 10 years

In regards to lesson #1 - When is a chair not a chair?

From the martial arts aspect, this lesson asks the student to reflect on that simple fact that one doesn't need 100 moves to be a master, but must truly understand the value of but a few movements to be effective. I used to believe that the more "moves" I knew, or the more "reactions" that I knew, the better off I was as I collected many different moves from many martial arts. However this was not the case as eventually too many moves clouded my mind while trying to remember the "proper" way to react to a specific attack. Studied properly, a single punch can be used in lieu of a block or a throw, defense or offense. Taken literally, the same chair that you're sitting on could be used as a weapon, a shield, or simply a ladder for screwing in a light bulb or painting that hard to reach spot on the ceiling.

From the business side, I look at different uses for the same technique, product offering, or strategy within a particular movement. Something where people see a tax benefit, you could also use to create capital which then flows into an investment where the capital grows in equity, but also pays out a dividend to enable cash flow.

Akin to making a punch do more than simply strike an opponent, moving your assets into a proper order also gives it's usefulness a magnification factor that supersedes more than the sum of the parts.

Alongside finding different uses for the same subject, movement, or opportunity - sometimes you have to take a look at the "chair" in question to realize it for what it truly is. Not to be course or rude, but to quote Adam:

Earl, the one thing if anything that you learn from me at the end of this lesson is to have a big, expensive bullshit detector for anything and everything out there that could either work, or not work.

So what I've done in my own field of business is started doing some deeper background checking, calling referrals and listening a LOT more intently so as to not make the same mistakes in the past again in the present. The only true path is listening to the arguments from both my heart, and my head instead of ignoring one or the other and making a proper decision after gathering the facts. With our new direction, I feel as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, but the next move must ring true with the purpose of iPoint.

To Educate
To Serve
To Profit Together

I really think that needs to find its way onto the new ipoint website once it's done...

Stay tuned for Part II - where I'll visit the lesson "Where is the mind?"

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Book list update - My latest Amazon Order

Yay, my latest order from Amazon just got shipped. Of course I had ordered these in January, but better late than never. One of these days I've got to compile my actual reading list to see where I started and where I am heading. Plus it never hurts to re-read some of the classics. In any case, I've got my work cut out for me. I think I'll start with the Breakthrough Rapid Reading book to see if I can actually read any faster than I already do. Until then, I've still got Make your life a masterpiece by Peter Legge to complete. I even won some books at the Vancouver board of Trade event from yesterday, and purchased a few more for my library. Once I get home today, those should be up on the ol' book list as well.

Here's to learning the art of Finance and Business.


Qty      Item                           Price      Shipped  Subtotal
   1     Taxman Is Watching             CDN$  14.56      1  CDN$  14.56
   1     The Paradox of Choice: Why Mo  CDN$  13.83      1  CDN$  13.83
   1     Breakthrough Rapid Reading     CDN$  34.13      1  CDN$  34.13
   1     All the Money in the World: H  CDN$  22.02      1  CDN$  22.02
   1     Doing What Matters: How to Ge  CDN$  22.05      1  CDN$  22.05
   1     The Memory Book: The Classic   CDN$  13.10      1  CDN$  13.10
   1     Smart Couples Finish Rich: 9   CDN$  16.02      1  CDN$  16.02
   1     The Automatic Millionaire: Ca  CDN$  14.56      1  CDN$  14.56
   1     Start Late, Finish Rich: Cana  CDN$  20.76      1  CDN$  20.76
   1     The Automatic Millionaire Hom  CDN$  20.76      1  CDN$  20.76
   1     Rich Dad's Advisors Own Your   CDN$  16.98      1  CDN$  16.98
   1     Rich Dad's Advisors How to Bu  CDN$  15.72      1  CDN$  15.72
   1     Rich Dad's Advisors OPM Other  CDN$  16.98      1  CDN$  16.98
   1     Rich Dad's Advisors The ABC's  CDN$  16.75      1  CDN$  16.75
   1     Napoleon Hills Keys To Succes  CDN$  13.51      1  CDN$  13.51
   1     Hedge Funds For Dummies        CDN$  17.99      1  CDN$  17.99
   1     Investing for Canadians for D  CDN$  17.99      1  CDN$  17.99
   1     Personal Finance For Canadian  CDN$  17.99      1  CDN$  17.99
   1     97 Tips for Canadian Real Est  CDN$  16.19      1  CDN$  16.19
   1     Stock Investing For Canadians  CDN$  17.99      1  CDN$  17.99
   1     The Fundamentals of Hedge Fun  CDN$  68.39      1  CDN$  68.39
   1     What the CEO Wants You to Kno  CDN$  17.61      1  CDN$  17.61
   1     Linus and Lucy: Level 5 - Int  CDN$  3.98      1  CDN$  3.98
   1     Trading For Dummies            CDN$  17.99      1  CDN$  17.99
   1     Reading Financial Reports For  CDN$  16.79      1  CDN$  16.79
   1     Stock Investing For Dummies    CDN$  15.59      1  CDN$  15.59
   1     Investing For Dummies          CDN$  15.59      1  CDN$  15.59
   1     Profitable Growth Is Everyone  CDN$  20.79      1  CDN$  20.79
   1     Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas  CDN$  18.90      1  CDN$  18.90
   1     What Got You Here Won't Get Y  CDN$  18.87      1  CDN$  18.87
   1     Small Giants                   CDN$  13.51      1  CDN$  13.51
   1     The Richest Man in Babylon: N  CDN$  14.65      1  CDN$  14.65

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Initiative - Make your life a masterpiece

I'm currently reading the book: Make your life a masterpiece by Peter Legge
And something that stood out in the first few pages of the book is a quote by Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie once said:

"The world needs more men that have the courage to act on their own initiative. Moreover, men of this type write their own price tag and the world willingly pays it. The world willingly rewards men of initiative."

I think I've been able to harness the ability of initiative, but what I am missing is a proper system with which to exercise the skillsets and knowledge that my mentors have imparted to me. With the fall of my last product vendor, I've been on the lookout for something new to work with where it's possible to continue my goal of helping people reach financial freedom, alongside building a business that helps my community.

It's a little harder to run the initiatives with the once bitten twice shy mentality of a person burnt from our last project, but I'm going to roll the initiative die with another go in Public Company arena. Should that fail - I'll continue with the initiative in real estate to see where that takes me. We'll see how the road opens up. I'll keep things posted up here to track my own progress, but the readings do help keep my chin up.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Inspiration comes from many different places.

There's an article that describes how a mugger's life was changed via kindness that I found on a forum the other day.

It's interesting and inspirational to see that people trying to help others are still rewarded for their troubles and work.

A Victim Treats His Mugger Right
Julio Diaz has a daily routine. Every night, the 31-year-old social worker ends his hour-long subway commute to the Bronx one stop early, just so he can eat at his favorite diner.

But one night last month, as Diaz stepped off the No. 6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.

He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached and pulled out a knife.

"He wants my money, so I just gave him my wallet and told him, 'Here you go,'" Diaz says.

As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, "Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you're going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm."

The would-be robber looked at his would-be victim, "like what's going on here?" Diaz says. "He asked me, 'Why are you doing this?'"

Diaz replied: "If you're willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me ... hey, you're more than welcome.

"You know, I just felt maybe he really needs help," Diaz says.

Diaz says he and the teen went into the diner and sat in a booth.

"The manager comes by, the dishwashers come by, the waiters come by to say hi," Diaz says. "The kid was like, 'You know everybody here. Do you own this place?'"

"No, I just eat here a lot," Diaz says he told the teen. "He says, 'But you're even nice to the dishwasher.'"

Diaz replied, "Well, haven't you been taught you should be nice to everybody?"

"Yea, but I didn't think people actually behaved that way," the teen said.

Diaz asked him what he wanted out of life. "He just had almost a sad face," Diaz says.

The teen couldn't answer Diaz — or he didn't want to.

When the bill arrived, Diaz told the teen, "Look, I guess you're going to have to pay for this bill 'cause you have my money and I can't pay for this. So if you give me my wallet back, I'll gladly treat you."

The teen "didn't even think about it" and returned the wallet, Diaz says. "I gave him $20 ... I figure maybe it'll help him. I don't know."

Diaz says he asked for something in return — the teen's knife — "and he gave it to me."

Afterward, when Diaz told his mother what happened, she said, "You're the type of kid that if someone asked you for the time, you gave them your watch."

"I figure, you know, if you treat people right, you can only hope that they treat you right. It's as simple as it gets in this complicated world."

In the martial arts, my teacher has taught me that there are many levels of awareness that people possess in which to practice their art, alongside many levels of skill that are attainable with the proper training and dedication to practice.

  • Level 0 - Bad guy throws punch, you don't even notice, you get hit
  • Level 1 - Bad guy throws punch, you notice, you get hit
  • Level 2 - Bad guy throws punch, you notice, you duck, but get clipped
  • Level 3 - Bad guy throws punch, you notice and get out of the way
  • Level 4 - Bad guy throws punch, you notice, get out of the way, and have time to hit back
  • Level 5 - Bad guy throws punch, you notice, get out of the way, block and counter
  • Level 6 - Bad guy throws punch, you notice, time slows down, you have More time to block and counter.
  • Level 7 - Bad guy throws punch, you notice, time slows down, and you have time to intercept with a direct attack
  • Level 8 - Bad guy is about to throw punch, you notice, hit him first.
  • Level 9 - Bad guy is thinking about throwing punch, you stop him with words but back up your words with proper body structure so that you have TIME to intercept the intent should he continue.
  • Level 10 - Your awareness is strong enough that the bad guy never tries to attack you in the first place.
  • Level 11+ - You're awareness and skillset is strong enough that you convert the would be enemy into a friend and ally. The conflict is over before it starts, and it's as if it never existed.

Some day I'd like to reach the skillset and awareness levels that would allow me to stop fights before they're even thought of. I do still honestly want a method of business that is truly a win-win with mitigated risk for the clients, and a strong upside for everyone. So I'm still in training to find the answers to the financial side of the picture, the martial artist side, and the ability to truly help others in my lifetime.

The problem is that the only way to truly experience a deeper sense of peace, you must understand the exact opposite to find the real meaning. Something else is that any self-made truly successful trader must lose a few accounts to learn the life lessons that allow them to become successful. I believe that failure is an ingredient in the learning process to reach enlightenment. That being said, both failures and successfulness are only temporary, and only the test of time in the end is a fair measure of one's worth. It's not the disasters and successes measured against one another to dictate the value of your persona, but how you handle both sides of winning and losing, and to what degree you're willing to stand up for yourself and others.

Reaching the Infiniti Point is not just a monetary goal, but a life worth goal as well. Something worth striving for. Perfection itself is just an illusion, eternally traded upwards and reinventing itself as time goes on. Therefore in the end, the journey doesn't stop.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Is there anything actually GOOD out there?

I have to admit I'm a little disheartened. Every "investment opportunity" I've come across in the general public that didn't come from a bank, or proper financial institution has failed dismally, ended up as a scam or a fraud, and has hurt me, and people I've referred to these things to help me do due diligence have also been taken.

Hell one of the things I've been involved in even has a DOCUMENTARY being done on it.

However with all of the obstacles and problems in the way of reaching my goals of financial freedom, I still believe that there must be something out there - an opportunity that beats the odds and creates a place where ordinary people can create a vehicle for financial freedom in this world.

Something that I would like to do is to create a coalition of the willing. A group of individuals who will put their skills to the test to assist in creating a system to help find and vet investment opportunities for ourselves to better our own financial IQ, knowledge base and in turn produce a group of savvy and successful investors.

Having said that, I am changing the face of Infiniti Point Strategies for those of you who have tried to check on the website as of late - you've found an "under construction" page for the last little while. We're getting closer to creating the new system - but this time we're focusing even DEEPER on the educational aspects, bringing in successful guest speakers, finding the courses and knowledge to better improve your financial IQ, and perhaps finding joint venture partners along the way to make the world a better place for everyone. My dream still exists to catch that Infiniti Point - and with perseverance, focus, and a little luck - we'll create the stars from which we wish upon.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Infiniti Point Strategies: Closing Doors sometimes leads to more opportunities

I just read an interesting article on how removing options actually makes life a whole lot simpler. Closing Doors

Decisions Decisions... from a leadership perspective, you're better off making a decision and sticking to it to show that you actually have an opinion, and that you're actually choosing a direction rather than wandering around aimlessly. Irregardless of the rationale that went behind the decision itself, people would more likely follow someone who believed they were sure - rather than someone trying to hold open ALL of the doors.

From a personal networking side, it's not a question of whether or not you are allowing a door to close or not. You just have to keep all of the doors slightly ajar, and failing that, you just have to remember where the doors are, and which door does what. For in this arena, a door is never closed unless you've completely burned the bridge.

Lastly from a marketing perspective, you will ALWAYS make more sales with more than a single choice, as now your clients see some sort of selection, but there is a barrier that once you cross over into TOO MANY choices, people will simply stop purchasing things because they now need time to think about it more, and with too many decisions and distractions in life already - if it slips their mind, you've lost the opportunity.

I think I'm working way too much these days...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Infiniti Point Book Review: The Lazy Investor by Derek Foster

I'm taking a step back and beginning to read a lot about the new sector that I want to investigate - which is the stock market. Even with the hiccups along the road and the roadblocks that slow us down from reaching our financial goals, I still believe that there is a way for people to escape the rat race and reach financial independence on their own terms without working until you're 60+. You learn to ride a bicycle by falling and getting back on again.

I was just recently invited to a seminar at the Vancouver Convention Centre, and although it was full of people, the presentations themselves were uninteresting to me. The business itself looks like it adds up, but I think I need some further investigation to decide whether or not it works from the numbers side of things. Luckily enough there just happened to be a Financial Forum just down the hall which caught my attention.

A book that stood out from the rest at the Coles bookstand titled: "The Lazy Investor" looked interesting, and the tagline start with $50 and no Investment Knowledge looked appealing. From the title - it sounded like it fit in with my mission to help others and myself along the way to the Infiniti Point.

In short - this book taught me about DRIP programs - or Dividend Reinvestment Plans. It's a method where you purchase stocks that pay dividends and then reinvest the dividends to buy more shares of the same stocks, which in turn pay more dividends and increase the amount of cashflow. With the dividend payouts and the equity gains in the stocks being purchased, the gains are slow and steady but also give you a near "recession-proof" system as long as the companies that you purchase the stock in don't go under.

In my own opinion - the pros and cons of this are straightforward.

The structure of the program is sound - however it sounds more of like a "PLAN B" structure to the real estate, investment banking and other systems I'm learning - but hey, everyone needs some sort of backup plan to make things work out. In comparison to the other options of subscribing to a commission based, trailer dependent financial planning company or bank rife with fees (no offense to those in the industry, but I just like doing my own homework) I believe that this would be an excellent passive route for spare investment funds.

Once I open up my first few DRIP accounts - I'll blog their results as part of my online portfolio.

Thanks for reading and Happy Investing!
Earl Flormata