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What is time? I posed that question to my father when I was a young boy. His answer has been with me ever since. "Danny," he said..."Time is the rich man's way of telling the poor man when to be at work."

I can't argue with his definition. Of course, he was being simplistic and answering only one aspect of that thing that measures our lives. In fact, it really is the primary measurement of our entire existence. "How old is she?" "How long has he been working here?" "Ahh...what a cutie - and he's grown so quickly in 15 months!" "When did the Earth come into being?" Our questions and statements about time are constant. You've probably checked the time an 
inordinate amount today - just like most people.

We live our lives governed by time. Meetings, deadlines, benchmarks, and other markers of life, are all gauged on, and by, time. But...what REALLY is it in the grander scheme of our everyday lives? How could we measure things without time? 

Time, to me, is just the constant presence of now. That's it. Our time measurements can only happen in the now. As I'm writing this article each moment is a new now. The future only exists in our minds - as does the past. Time is a floating "now" machine. Yeah...I get it. You're gonna say, "Wait a minute - I lived yesterday - I know it for a fact. And...I'm planning for tomorrow because, hopefully, I'll be able to do the things I've posted in my planner." To that I say, "You're absolutely correct!" However, they only happened, or will happen, in a particular now.

When you leave this wonderful spinning globe, will time have any meaning? No. So...time is relative (as Einstein stated). Can it really be wasted. No. Only the efforts you deem necessary and the deadlines you self-imposed are judged, not the time you lived doing (or not doing) them.

With that said, I hope you've enjoyed your time reading this post and perhaps you'll give time a bit more thought. After all...for us it's finite - and now.
 
What gives anything worth? What makes gold, silver, your services, or products, valuable commodities? It's their perceived value. We put a constructed worth on everything we encounter. From relationships to retail products, diamonds to donuts, and homes to horses, each item in our lives is accorded some type of meaning. And...that meaning is often translated into a value system of one type or another.

When businesses and individuals try to create worth they often forget that it's the perceived value that other people see in what they're "selling" that gives it any meaning whatsoever. Who needs a college education? A new car? Some fancier clothes? Or...the latest knowledge about technology? Well...you do, if you think it brings you value.

Here's the rub - if you give value, people will recognize that whatever they're spending - whether that's time or money - is well worth it. And - if you go "above and beyond" the initially stated product or service and provide even more value than the "customer" thought they were going to get...you're on the road to building great relationships and a solid business. 

It's value that the business and individual should look at first, not revenue. Because...if the value is what you say it is (or beyond what you say it is), then - most assuredly, the revenue will come.

Look first at what value you provide and then build your business and/or individual relationships from there.
 
A short talk on analyzing your passions and how to make them productive.
 
"You can't tell a book by its cover," has been a mantra against preconceived ideas and prejudice since I can remember. In the materialist societies of today it's as true as it has ever been...if not more. The "book" may be beautiful on the outside, but once a person begins to read it - a very different truth is revealed.

I remember an acquaintance of mine telling me why he dressed like (in his words) "a bum." He was, in fact, a very wealthy businessman whose company's clientele were in (as he put it) "the worst and most dangerous" parts of the city. He himself would often visit his customers and supervise the work. This millionaire, who looked like a sloppy version of the television character "Columbo," drove to his work in an old car and gave the impression that the next words out of his mouth would be, "Do you have any spare change?"

My encounter with him is as clear today as it was when I met him years and years ago. He was a living example of "The Book, The Cover, The Judgment."

How often do people judge others without any knowledge or insight about them? Far too often. Wars, and the killing they bring, are based upon creating an image of the "enemy" as to judge them as less than human. To cause a person to demonize them, and to make it easier to kill them.

About 10 years ago I was speaking with a real estate agent who relayed a story about a couple who bought a house at the top of their budget. So much so, that they couldn't afford furniture to grace their new abode. The wife insisted upon purchasing the home and the husband acquiesced. The agent confided that the pair of new homeowners were not uncommon. She also said that the people who go out of their way to look prosperous were often the folks who aren't. As another friend of mine likes to say, "Big hat...no cattle." The furnitureless couple were the opposite of my "Columbo" friend.

Where does that leave us? Well...it sets us in a place where we must realize that the person you think is "beneath you" is actually your equal (if not..."above you" - if you care to make a judgmental statement like that). The homeless man or woman may have been the boss of a hundred people before they ran into a stretch of "very bad luck." The beggar (as I mentioned on my facebook page) may, in fact, be a prophet. And the wealthy looking individual may actually be wealthy. But how would we ever know unless we get to speak with them, listen to them, and know them as individuals.

Judging people on their looks, their religion, their nationality, their ethnic group, the color of their skin, or any other criteria one may choose, is about as valid as believing that you can exist without breathing. Remember...you are also the subject of someone's preconception. And - until we realize the fallacies of that thought process, we - as individuals and societies - will be caught in a stunted growth cycle.

So remember...while the cover of "the book" may not be immediately attractive to you - you may find, after investigating further, that you are "blown away" by its contents.



 
We live in a world of comparisons. Each of us is compared to someone else when it comes to our intellect, physical appearance, profession, lifestyle, hobbies, likes and dislikes, religion (or lack thereof), political stance, and the material goods we possess. I guess that's called selection. Yet, our culture has taken it to new levels. Marketing thrives on making us feel insecure, imperfect, and never good enough until we buy the product or service they're peddling. 

I teach marketing (as well as a number of other business subjects - including; ethics and leadership) and start each semester by explaining the rudiments of marketing as I see it: "Getting people to buy what they really don't need, with money they really don't have." Explaining that, to me, sets the course on a realistic path. Knowing that, may help students see things from a broader perspective and, hopefully, add some insights into why this system persists and how to make a difference within it or change it.

Yes...there are some excellent companies that don't exploit the vision of sucking every dime out of consumers pockets, making them feel like a "lesser person" and actually providing the populace with things they really need at a fair price, without taking advantage of their own workers in the process. The trick is to get more of them into our society.

But, of course, there's that thing about imperfection that most companies use to haunt us. You're not attractive enough unless you buy this car, those pants, that electronic device, these makeup products, hair coloring items, teeth whiteners, or that dress. How could you possibly land the woman or man of your dreams with a body like that? Eat this food, drink this drink, take this pill, join this gym, buy this equipment, and you'll find the love of your life in no time flat!

Let's be honest folks...making people feel like they're insecure and imperfect is what, quite often, makes consumers buy the things they really don't need.

Once you realize that you're actually perfect in your "imperfection," you become teflonesque  (not letting marketing and advertising stick to your thought processes). Yes...I know - you must be wondering how I can say these things when I teach it and owned a marketing, advertising, public relations, and management company for almost 15 years. Well, I can, because I know it for a fact. That's what it's all about.

So recognize that in your imperfection, you're perfect...period. Yea...you may wanna slim down (you can always do that by doing pushaways and exercising at home on a regular basis), or buy something that makes you feel good (a book, some music, some new clothes, fine wine, and/or healthy food), but do it through getting other people's thoughts on the items (ok, maybe some occasional advertisements may pique your interest, be informational and useful too).

Once you accept yourself for who you are...marketing, as we know it, becomes the reality that you're being led, used, and manipulated. And - when you know that in your heart, it's very tough for anyone to sell you what you don't need, with money you don't have.

So...think about it. Try being a "non-stick" human. It really can give you a feeling of freedom and a new degree of contentment.