5 Lessons From Owning & Operating Businesses In The First Year [Part 1] | #Business | #Finance | #Investing | #Growth | #Mindset

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”
– Farrah Gray

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
– Confucius

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
June 23, 2019

The first year in any venture can be a rollercoaster ride, particularly in business.

Such ventures can include incredible highs and torrential lows, but it’s the full length of the journey, what you learn from it and what you ultimately implement that will really set you apart from the of the field.

Based on these ideas, key insights will be discussed in this blog post based on lessons learned from the initial year and change of operating small businesses.  Future blogs covering additional insights will follow thereafter, so keep a look at for those in the near future.

As a preamble offering background to the following insights, the following considerations will be based on the experienced gained from two small business owners, one of them being my close friend Jabai and that of myself.

Hussien Jabbai, who conceptualized this post nigh a week ago in one of our business brainstorming discussions, is CEO and Owner of Jabai Performance, wherein he also focuses on Personal Training, and is also the Founder of the Fire Fighter Training Systems (FTTS Project), which aids in Injury Prevention for First Responders.  Conversely, I myself am CEO and Owner of both a LEGO-parts store on Bricklink named Blocked up, and also the Square One Productions Ebay store.  Both of us have known each other for about six months and have learned a great deal from our business platforms and numerous business conversations.

The advice that follows is a conceptual collation of significant lessons we have learned in our respective businesses in hopes that other business owners may have a foundation to venture from and some idea of what to do, and what not to do.   Examples will follow from either one, or each of our respective fields where applicable.

#1:  Know What You, Your Products & Services Are Worth

A business transaction, is not unlike any other transaction.  Agreements, whether contractual or not, are purely two parties agreeing upon a set of parameters and/or a certain price point.  Not all price points are created equal, however.

To give you an idea, while business A might offer to sell their services to customer B, at say $500 per transaction, that doesn’t mean that this is the ideal price-point for the product or service.  An exact or very similar transaction could take place at the $750-1000 price range between business C and customer D, and if that is true, then selling your services lower than what the regional, national or global average is, is highly detrimental, and could even set your business back when compared to the competition.

Within personal fitness, how much each trainer charges is obviously a personal choice that is coupled with experience, not unlike any other business.  The model that Jabai chooses to employ is one where the services he offers aren’t the highest priced, but certainly aren’t the lowest either.  If he prices his services too low, he’ll just get swamped with customers, his time won’t be as efficient given the value he puts on his time and the experience he has garnered in the field, and he would ultimately undercut himself.  Likewise, if the prices he sets are too high, it will not only narrow down the range of potential customers who can afford his services, but it will also limit the likelihood of garnering repeat customers as well.

Now, in my own personal aside, when launching the LEGO-parts selling business platform I have pursued on Bricklink, I employ a software used Brickstock.  Narrowing down a lot of information into a bite-sized piece, each particular LEGO set has parts lists that can be viewed as the inventory sheet, and each of these parts is sold for a certain price.

Now, the key part here is that each LEGO part is priced at a global average within the Brickstock software, not a regional or national oneThis means that, if you don’t know, and I certainly didn’t know this at the nascent stages of starting the Blocked Up Bricklink store, the your regional (or national) price of most individual parts could be much, much higher than the global average, then you would be leaving significant profits at the table.  Some of the reasons for this price discrepancy are that in Bricklink (1) some buyers do not like purchasing from sellers over-seas because of the additional shipping charges they incur, (2) many Bricklink stores outside of the United States have (surreptitious) hidden fees, and (3) the issue of waiting much longer for parts is highly problematic when many of the LEGO MOCs (My Own Creations) that are designed by independent LEGO creators are on a time table.

These reasons are why many LEGO creators don’t mind paying a higher premium or a much higher price in certain instances for individual parts within their actual region.  However, this isn’t something that’s written about anywhere within the LEGO community that I have noted.  It is definitely something to take note of because if you happen to have a store with tens of thousands of parts, hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of parts, then adding even $0.05 cents per part is netting significant profits over the span of a hundreds of orders, entailing tens of thousands of parts, or more.

I have seen Bricklink Businesses who I wholeheartedly support, and whom I appreciate greatly that have been around for over 10 years and whom I have also learned a LOT from that have done this mistake and still do so, and whose business model stays stagnant or grows only slowly, and definitely not at the rate that it could.  To be fair, I am only talking about stores where people are doing this for a living, and not selling parts as a hobby.

Also of note, I am also not stating that people need to have the highest prices for their parts, nay.  What I am saying is that, if a product is selling for a given price within your region, pricing a hair under that price is something to at least be considered at minimum, since many times these parts would be cheaper than any other store out there anyhow.  Pricing parts any lower than that is financial suicide given that you’re only going to grow slower and not take advantage of the supply and demand price mechanisms that rule economics.  Just as important, carrying out such glaring oversights in my honest opinion are also a colossal time waste given that this time could be allocated to further grow the business or even free up personal time if that is what you seek.

#2: Always Pay Attention To Your Competitors

Learning is growth, and growth should entail learning.  A significant way individuals can learn in life is by learning from others, and in business this is no different.  And thankfully, one of the best ways to learn is from those that came before you, or those that partake in your business field.

As touched upon lightly in the aforementioned point, some business products/services have established price ranges, while others do not, in which case you would have to figure out what the price range and market is for that given product/service.  In most businesses however, if you look hard enough you can ascertain what prices are optimal for your business, and one of the best and simplest ways to do this is by keeping an eye on similar businesses.

This advice might seem ‘obvious’ at first blush, but it’s something I often see overlooked on Ebay every single day, and that’s not an overstatement.

In addition, other notable things other businesses could do is (1) move prince ranges up or down, which affects your product and profits, (2) have complete control of most of the market, which (a) gives then incredible flexibility in the control of setting the market price, (b) often aiding them in pricing products/services at a much lower price point given that they are in it to flip-products quickly, not unlike a convenience store or even Wal-Mart, which follows a different model than simply pricing products at a specific price point.  And (c) this affects the speed at which your products sell.

#3: Know What Your Lowest Price-Point Is & Don’t Go Below It

From what I have gathered, in many online businesses, sellers will undercut each other relentlessly to the point that they are barely profiting from their products.  In my personal view, this is like willingly choosing minimum-wage when you could make a higher per-hour rate, or per-transaction rate, than that.

As a business owner, this used to bother me because I always felt the need to have the lowest prices with certain products, but that’s not always feasible (or reasonable), and many times it’s downright detrimental to your business model.  In Ebay stores, as well as in Bricklink, there will always be stores with lower prices, but that doesn’t bother me now because prices aren’t the only thing that people rely on, which brings me to the next point.

#4: Know Your Business Model

In business, like in life, it is incredibly important to know your business model in its totality.

Now, in the case of my friend Jabai, he has set his business model with a price point at a happy medium where not only he is satisfied with, but at a point where his customers are as well, which encourages customer loyalty.  I follow a similar mindset with most of the products sold, although not in the exact manner because where Jabai sells a service, I sell thousands of different products/parts between both stores.

Along the same line of thought, could each of us set the price of our products/services much higher than we do so now?  Yes, we certainly could.  Why don’t we?  There are a lot of reasons for these, but we will focus on two of these.

The vanguard reason for this is to have happy customers, which encourages repeated business and customer loyalty.  Secondly, there is a moral point of view in that although we do want to profit from business, we don’t want to fleece people, which is a delicate balance at times in business.  That said, what people considering ‘fleecing’ is entirely subjective, but the majority of people usually agree upon certain price-ranges before something just gets downright expensive.

Due to those reasons, we have each settled on our respective values for our business practices and what we are ultimately satisfied with.  This is ONLY a cursory glance of this notion, and can be gone into further detail later on, but it is mentioned simply to give a bird’s-eye view of the concept.

#5:  Make Sure You Consider A High-Value Or Rare Product/Service – A ‘Strong IP’ (Intellectual Product)

Let’s now consider the notion of having a high-value or rare product/service.

Having a high-value or rare product/service is something to take note of given that not all products and services, although sometimes exact in nature, are similar in the way their execution is carried out when infused into a business model.  As the first example showcased, two businesses can have the exact product, but the initial business values it much lower, thus nets less profit than the latter business.  Adding incredible value and/or rarity to the product/service only increases the profit, or the magnitude of the mistake made within such an example.

Expanding upon the notion of having a high-value or rare product, let us now contemplate what I jokingly call having ‘Strong IPs’ within your business.  The reason I have chosen this jargon specifically is because one of the greatest lessons I have learned from watching Nintendo as a company.

The lesson that I have learned from Nintendo is that they do not devalue their intellectual property (IP), which is the reason why (1) their products net so much profit, and (2) why their products maintain their value over time.

In the last few years, what I have learned is that even if you go back a decade or more, the products created by Nintendo, not only retain their value quite well, but in some instances increase in value with time.  This is one vanguard reason why having a strong IP and knowing what it’s worth is paramount.

Besides, since Nintendo creates the games themselves, they set the global market; the prices that individuals pay for Nintendo video games is nigh always the same across the board, and given how much Nintendo values their IPs, those video games rarely go on sale, thus securing greater profits in the long run.  To be fair, Nintendo also has high standards when publishing video games, whereas some other companies do not, which is why they can’t keep their IPs at such a high price point.  This is why it’s noteworthy to see Nintendo take their craft seriously, because not only do they carefully craft their IPs with careful consideration, but they deliver on the vision of having a high-quality product through and through.

Now, in my personal case, neither do the Bricklink nor Ebay stores have items that are created by me.  What I do offer instead as a smaller subset of the Square One Productions Ebay store are items that are incredibly rare.

Case in point, something I invest heavily in are rare video games and collector’s editions, Playstation 4 Collector’s Editions to be precise. From time to time, a particular game will get a physical Collector’s Edition for a video game that was never produced physically and only produced digitally; given that, the mintage of that item will be somewhere along the lines of 2000-3000 copies.  While that might sound like a lot of copies to some, when one realizes that there are nearly 100 Million potential buyers as PS4 owners, you realize that you have a very rare item.  It gets even more interesting from there though.

Most of those 2000-3000 copies will be purchased by collectors.  For example, let’s say that 50% of those collector’s editions are purchased by collectors, and I could make an argument that the number is much higher, but let’s roll with that number for simplicity’s sake.  If such is the case, then you now have only 1000-1500 copies available for purchase, if not much less than that.  (In my daily pricing research on EBay, I would say that the numbers is closer to 5-10% of that, but either way, you have an incredibly rare item, which only makes it that much more valuable.)

An unwritten rule that most resellers take is selling the item for double what you paid for it.  So if you paid $50 for a collector’s edition, selling it for $100 is not uncommon.  Even so, in my opinion, a mistake that some individuals do is pricing these items incredibly low; say at $75 or so.  While that might seem like a 50% profit if you were to take Ebay as an example, such is not the case for EBay keeps 10% of that, so the profit is only $67.50, or is it?  PayPal takes another 3%, which would is $2.25.  Now that ‘profit’ went from $67.50 to $65.25.

If the reseller had sold the item at $100, the Ebay 10% fee would drop the profit to $90, with PayPal taking its 3%, leaving the profit for the item at $87.  Although how each seller sells their item is obviously their choice, there’s an enormous difference between selling a product between $65.25 and $87 after fees.  While an item sold at $75 will net you a % 30.5 profit, an item that sells at $100 will net you 87% profit.  Those kinds of returns will snowball significantly, or at a snail’s pace, depending on which price point you pick and business model you choose to employ.

In the Square One Productions business, 80% of the products or so, perhaps a bit higher, all are priced ‘to-go’ at near the lowest price-point, with the rest of the items having much higher price points, the highest around in fact.  This is because when your item is limited, and cannot be created ever again unless by some unknown circumstance or ‘miracle’ later on, the value of that item is incredibly high [1].  This is why it’s not uncommon for some of the rare video games and collector’s editions that are sold to have a 3x-5x return, and in rare cases higher than that even.

Given all of that, knowing exactly where your product falls on the spectrum of rarity and value will net you significant profits in the long run and only make it easier for your business to succeed, or continue its success.

Final Thoughts

Please keep in mind, none of the above thoughts are shared as end-all-be-all ideas.  These thoughts are shared to offer individuals perspective for those seeking insight when perhaps considering starting their own business, or who know others that have done so or are planning too.

There are a lot of additional ideas that can be discussed, but these initial five were chosen given that they set a sound baseline for the next part of this series.

In business, like in life, there are unlimited options that individuals and business owners can undertake.  What options are chosen and what follows there in isn’t only directly related to the quality of research carried out within your business, but the perseverance and focus applied to each particular idea and/or venture.

The more focused and precise the actions undertaken, the greater the net benefits and profits that will accrue over time, and the more rapidly those benefits will manifest.  And in business, like in life, these benefits are what increase the quality of life, or business, which is why careful consideration should be given to it.

As such, each step that you take should not only be taken with incredible thought and mindfulness, but it should not be taken lightly, either.

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[1] The notion of rare video games, or games minted in limited runs, is not something new, although has garnered a lot of attention the last few years.  In fact, ‘Limited Run’, is the name of the company that I invest the most heavily in and support not only in my business practices, but for my personal endeavors as well.  As a small company that is doing what to keep physical media for game cartridges of video games in an age where most companies are seeking to make everything digital, I appreciate what they do heavily and will continue to support them for the rest of my life.
[2] Some of these examples were only delved into in a cursory manner, and could be expanded upon at length in the future.

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If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com

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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an an author, business owner, CEO, avid book reviewer, inquirer, open-minded skeptic, and writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

 

Passion Project: Book Release – A Kaleidoscope Of Possibilities by Zy Marquiez | #Writing | #Poetry | #Poems | #TheIndividual | #Life | #Obstacles

KOP1
BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
June 10, 2019

Life is fascinating in innumerable ways.

Sometimes, you have certain goals, and everything you try to do to carry out those goals seems to work against you.  Other times, you seem to care not for those goals, and somehow someway everything flows into place like water settling down from a river into an ocean becoming part of something more.

This last week or so, I’ve been deep in thought considering many things in life.  Some thoughts are in respect to personal goals, some are passion projects, some of it regards health, so on and so forth.  Irrespective of that however, I find myself venturing in a thousand directions unable to pick and choose whether to continue tackling things on an instinctual level, or whether to take a laser-like focus approached into a particular goal or project.  Time will tell on that front.

With that in mind, one of the projects that is officially complete, although it has been for nigh two weeks, is the book A Kaleidoscope Of Possibilities which was published on May 29th.

KOP2
The poetry book A Kaleidoscope Of Possibilities is incredibly significant to me for countless reasons, not the least of which is because this book is in essence an overarching view into many of the struggles I have personally faced, or have seen others face, along with many other noteworthy issues.  Also, unlike most other poetry books which feature only poems, this one features personal notations through and through of varying length as insights or personal notes.  These can be as short as a couple of lines, or as extensive as a few paragraphs.  All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and might do something similar in the future.

Most of the poems featured in the book have been shared on many social media platforms, whether it was on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., as well as quite a few websites as well.  Some of these poems go back to what was written when I was a teenager, up until early this year.

While most poets that I’ve seen usually wait until their best work is published to start off, I thought I would take a different approach.  I don’t want people only to see ‘the finished product’ of what my writing entails as I wait for more polished pieces.  If that is what you seek, I would suggest waiting for Halcyon Days, or another other book thereafter.

What I want everyone to keep in mind with this particular book, including myself, is how my writing has grown over time, so I can go back and reflect on that.  I simply want people to read that and say, “Hey, I can’ do that too!”  This type of can-do mindset is much easier to impart into others when they see your ‘skill’ in its most basic form, from the ground up.  I say ‘skill’ loosely, for I am only an amateur writer, but no other words come to mind that seem to fit.

Many times, in life, society as a whole sees the finished product of someone.  They see the movie star, the athlete, the Olympian, et al., in their latest form.  What people don’t see is where they came from, how they started, how they struggled and so on.  Autobiographies cover this to a great extent, but that is usually after individuals have considerable experience in particular field, which does a great disservice to people who want to learn from others to the utmost degree.

Excerpt
Excerpt from A Kaleidoscope Of Possibilities.

That said, some of the topics featured within the book that can help with an individual’s growth include love, pain, suffering, fear, abuse, mistakes,  addictions, life lessons, mistakes in poker that translate to life, and much more.  Almost none of the notations in A Kaleidoscope Of Possibilities delve into incredible depth unless absolutely necessary (as can be seen above), given that this is primarily a poetry book, but the insights that are there are included for those seeking deeper rumination of such a full spectrum of subjects.  A handful of the notations really seep into more mindful depths, but in the full totality, there’s a little bit of everything [1].

In other words, the notations in this poetry book, which encompass nearly 3/4th of the substance of the book, are just as important, if not more important than the poems themselves.  This is because the insights that may be drawn from these for me personally, or for others as well, are just as important as the finished product, those being the poems, which is exactly what I was getting at earlier.

Either way, this information is shared so it can serve as a baseline for some of my future works, so I can see, and others as well, where I have come from so others can take a “Can Do” attitude from it if at all possible.

No matter where you are from, what you have gone through, what goals you have or what you wish to ultimately get in life, you always have options, there is always a choice.  These choices encompass the full breadth and scope, the veritable kaleidoscope of possibilities that life offers every single day.

These possibilities that exist every single day, and the choices that may stem from them, are what life is all about.  Good choices, bad choices, it matters not, for individuals will always have choices, whether to start something great, or rectify past mistakes.  What matters most is that we DO have a choice to live a better life, a more meaningful life, a life of possibilities.

That’s what A Kaleidoscope Of Possibilities is all about; it is about gazing into the abyss of life, sifting through the deeper levels of your being and life itself for the significance of every single choice you make, no matter how big or small, and how that couples directly into the lifestream.

You, the individual, are a microcosm of that lifestream, and ultimately significant component of life itself.  And as you make your choices on your path, life itself changes accordingly, your life, as well as those of others, contributing to the larger tapestry of wonder that the world holds.

This tapestry, this timeless art piece called life, is intimately woven within you.  Don’t ever underestimate the power in your ability within this grand tapestry. 

But to contribute to this grand tapestry, your grand tapestry, choices have to be made.  These choices start with you. 

You – The Individual – are the key to the kaleidoscope of possibilities, and will always be.

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Author’s Note:

[1] While that notation might seem obvious at first blush, and even simplistic, much of the advice in self-help books can be seen just as such, and still manages to help millions of people.  Given that, one should never underestimate the power that an insight, not matter how seemingly ‘obvious’ it is, can do to help others on their path.

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Suggested Reading:

Have You Ever Walked On The Moon?
What Do You Find Inspiring
Consciousness: The Key To Life
The Artist Of Eternity
25 Simplicity Quotes: Simplifying Aspects Of Your Life
Conformity Crisis: The War Between Conformists & Nonconformists
Never Underestimate The Power Of Imagination, The Power Of Dropping Seeds
The Artist & The Trance Of Inspiration
Stranger On The Moon
The Spectrum Of Balance
Mining For Inspiration
Wings Are Made To Fly, Seeds Are Made To Grow
Taking That First Step Towards A New Journey
My First Book The Twin Flame, Future Projects & More
Breakaway Individuals Throughout History: The Individuals, The Trailblazers & You
Why A Sound Mindset Is Crucial: The Light Side Of Mindset Vs. The Dark Side Of Mindset
Mindset Mindset Mindset!
A Sound Mindset Amidst The Obstacles Of Life
Mindwaves & Mindfulness
Modern Misteps Meet Mindfulness
Mindfulness & Zoning Out
Mindfulness & Music
Meandering Mindfulness
Mindfulness Musings: Choices Made Out Of Fear & Love
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
How You Deposit A Truckload Of Black Pearls Into An Emotional Bank Account
How Are Your (Emotional) Bank Accounts Doing?
Emotional Bank Accounts: Investing In Yourself
Emotional Bank Accounts: Withdraw Withdraw Withdraw!
Emotional Bank Accounts: Mutual Funds
Emotional Bank Accounts: Trust
Emotional Bank Accounts: Dividends
Emotional Bank Accounts: Large Scale Withdraws
Emotional Bank Accounts: Deposits & Withdraws
Emotional Bank Accounts: Mutual Investments
Emotional Bank Accounts: Interest Rates
Emotional Bank Accounts: Gems Gems Gems, Babies Everywhere!
Emotional Bank Accounts: I Call Your 7 Cents & Raise You A Dollar
Emotional Bank Accounts: Account Closures
Emotional Bank Accounts: Anonymous Donations
Emotional Bank Accounts: Executive Decisions
How You Deposit A Truckload Of Black Pearls Into An Emotional Bank Account
How Are Your (Emotional) Bank Accounts Doing?
Poker & Life: Pulling The Friend’s Card
Poker & Life: Let There Be Range
Poker & Life: The Comfort Card
Poker & Life: Pulling The Mask Card
Simplicity For The Sake Of Health
Imagination Unleashed
The Inherent Power Of Curiosity
Time Management: Eternity & A Day Will Never Be Enough
A 7 Cent Investment Into An Emotional Bank Account To Convert A Hater?
What Do You Find Inspiring?
Poker FlashBack: Swimming With Sharks, Swimming With Whales
Imagination Rises Out Of The Jaws Of Defeat
What’s Your Story?
Infusing Energy Into The Individual
You The Individual Are Author Of Your Own Journey, Of Your Own Destiny
Harry Potter Fans Trash Talk?  Say WHAT?!
Consciously Creating The Road Of Change, The World Of Tomorrow
What Are Your Personal Defaults?
A World Of Grays
Mindfulness, Loss & Friendship
The Opening Salvo, The First Minute
The Seeds Of Today, The World Of Tomorrow
Assumptions Are Mother Of All F@!$ Ups
Piercing Perspectives #1: Taking Things For Granted | Health & Mindset
Piercing Perspectives #2: You The Individual Are Extraordinary
Piercing Perspectives #3: The Divide & Conquer Left Right Paradigm
Piercing Perspectives #4: Poker As A Mirror For Life
The Individual, The Foundation Of Society

Book Review: The Elements Of Style [4th Edition] by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White #SmartReads | #Writing | #Creativity

“If a writer wrote merely for his time, I would have to break my pen and throw it away.”
– Victor Hugo

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
– Lous L’Amour


BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
June 2, 2019

Once  rated “one of the 100 most influential books written in English” by Time magazine in 2011, The Elements Of Style [4th Edition] by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White is a systematic book which employs a no-nonsense approach on enduring principles of sound writing.

Cogent, concise and methodical, The Elements Of Style provides the firm foundation upon which writers can construct or improve their repertoire.

Featuring advice that is as simple as it is timeless, the book’s easy-to-follow approach allows for the incisive individual to become more robust with the principles of writing, while honing their own individual style as well.

Undoubtedly, some of these tenets might be familiar to anyone that has dabbled within writing before.  Even so, many of these tenets are oft-overlooked (at least by me!) and having them around to reference is quite convenient.

For a book that is nigh a century old, it still ‘packs a punch’.  Incidentally, that prior figure of speech, “packs a punch,” for instance, dances along the line of Style Rule #18: Use Figures Of Speech Sparingly.

The reason that last bit is because, perhaps that figure of speech shouldn’t have been used, or perhaps so.  But having read this book, as a writer, I am now consciously thinking of how the use of diction and phrases affect everything.  Ruminating a bit, perhaps, instead of writing that the book still “packs a punch,” I could have written “this book provides a treasure trove of insights for writers.”

Even though the first sentence gets the meaning across, the second one is smoother, and accomplishes the same thing in amenable fashion.    That is merely one example of the possibilities that this book will allow the shrewd writer to undertake once he begins to firmly inculcate its lessons and employ them therein.

Great writing, like a sound structure, can only take place with a firm foundation.  The scaffolding for that will undoubtedly require the insights of this book.  If you know all of them by heart, you’re one step ahead.  If not, then ponder getting this book.  And considering that these days, many people communicate with others through the written word on the Internet, it would be prudent to learn these tenets since they will undoubtedly help those who need to employ them.

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Suggested Reading & Watching:

What Is The Difference Between Education & Public Schooling?
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
How A Generation Lost Its Culture – by Professor Patrick Deneen
A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Philosophy 101 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley
What Is Education?  The Elite Curriculum – John Taylor Gatto
Breakaway Guide To Censorship, Disinformation, Logical Fallacies & More
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
History So It Doesn’t Repeat – The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America With Charlotte Iserbyt
Classrooms Of The Heart [Documentary] – John Taylor Gatto
Sumerhill School – A New View On Childhood by A.S. Neil
Social Engineering 101
Dialectical Thinking – Zeno, Socrates, Kant, Marx by Tommi Juhani Hanjijarvi Ph.D.
Underground History Of American Education With John Taylor Gatto
The True Purpose Of Modern Schooling
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Open-Source Method: Genius Education – Examples | John Taylor Gatto
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
Cultural Literacy – What Every American Needs To Know
by E.D. Hirsch Jr.
A Rulebook For Arguments by Anthony Weston
A Workbook For Arguments by David R. Morrow & Anthony Wesson
Drilling Through The Core – Why Common Core Is Bad For American Education by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors

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If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com

___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

#Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell | #SmartReads | #Orwell | #1984


BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
June 1, 2019

Much has been side about the book 1984, the magnum opus of George Orwell, and for good reason.  Not only did 1984 introduce us to Big Brother, but it is a veritable warning that will forever echo the dangers that can take place of a totalitarian society.

Interestingly enough, George Orwell was the pseudonym of Eric Blair, who was an staunch opponent of totalitarianism. We will continue to use Orwell to designate Blair’s work, as that’s what people are most familiar with.

Orwell’s view of a totalitarian society is brought into fruition in this stunning, yet prescient piece of work. Prescient, because as some may already know, we as a society are already within the folds of a corrupt system that is taxing people in every way shape or form and mirroring many of the subtleties that 1984 showcased.

Likewise, the Social Engineering that is taking place is so vast and all-encompassing that most people don’t know about it due to how bad the system has dumbed down a significant portion of society or how this significant decline has taken place. That doesn’t even begin to take into account powerful technologies like entrainment technology, and how propaganda is employed and has been for a long time or even astroturfing.

Of course, most of those who are familiar with Orwell’s 1984, are also familiar with Huxley’s Brave New World. Some people get really caught up on which of these books our current world mirrors most.  In reality, it’s a combination of both books in many ways. Depending on where you liv, and what country, it could be one ‘system’ more than other, or a close merger of both.

What’s quite distressing is the fact that many people don’t even know the extent by which totalitarianism and all other tyrannical systems rule their lives.  As a society, we will never be able to solve large all-encompassing issues if the lot of the populace allows itself to divided by the left-right divide and conquer paradigm as well as be brainwashed into believing that everything the establishment mainstream media says is gospel when much of what the MSM expounds upon is significantly duplicitous.

The populace needs to be more discerning, and this particular book shows where part of society is heading if we don’t begin to change things quickly.

1984 gives us a snippet of what Orwell saw, and its taking place right before our eyes.

Another notable component in the book is the use of ‘Newspeak’, which in its basic form is just using language to socially engineer a less capable person and society; 1984 does wonders in showing how this issue can manifest and how censorship can spawn from that.

Speaking of language, ever notice, that when the mainstream media talks about some really important issues, they often do so quickly, and there is no extensive discussion of the issue. One-liners are used more than most realize, and often the reporters move on to the next story without ever even getting to anything of substance within the current one, and it’s all become normal.  A soundbite reality Du jour! 

This is obviously done on purpose, for the quicker the MSM moves through issues without analyzing them, the less attention individuals will give to it, often forgetting about those issues within minutes with the constant bombardment of other issues, which leaves the viewer at a loss at what to think, if they’re even thinking deeply at all. That is just but one of the ways that language is used to manipulate society, and 1984 is a veritable crash course in this regard.

Orwell also aptly delineates the control of history that can take a place within such a controlled society. In 1984, history literally changes by the day in many notable ways. Although within our official reality things haven’t gotten that bad yet, individuals must be cognizant because ‘Fake News’ has come about, which is merely a different shade of Newspeak.

Please keep in mind that  anything that questions the official narrative is not approached with open-minded skepticism. Ready-made answers are always ready, even when they don’t even make any sense.

Instead, individuals who employ critical thinking and open-minded skepticism are derided, ridiculed, shunned and even lose their jobs at times if they bring anything of substance to the floor. This has happened to countless individuals, and it still happens to this day. Essentially, although history isn’t being ‘changed’ daily, it sure is being carefully manipulated to show the reality that the comptrollers wish us to see, and not what’s really taking place.

There are countless additional issues that Orwell covers, and all very pertinent to our contemporary age. Regardless, what we each learn about these issues is up to us, because we are the ones that allow, or stop what happens in its tracks, not only as individuals, but  ultimately, as a nation.

Each individual has a choice. Do we believe the official party line in every single issue, knowing what their track record in lying is, or do we carry out our own trenchant research to find out what’s what?

Orwell’s 1984 will show us what will happen if we don’t begin to think of ourselves as a nation, and better yet as individuals. That alone is worth the price of the book.

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Suggested Reading & Watching:

Lessons From Orwell’s 1984
What Is The Difference Between Education & Public Schooling?
The Catastrophic Decline Of Public Education: 21 Facts About Why Public Schooling Performs So Poorly
What Our List Of Most Banned Books Says About Our Society’s Fears
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
How A Generation Lost Its Culture – by Professor Patrick Deneen
The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse
A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Philosophy 101 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley
What Is Education?  The Elite Curriculum – John Taylor Gatto
Breakaway Guide To Censorship, Disinformation, Logical Fallacies & More
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
History So It Doesn’t Repeat – The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America With Charlotte Iserbyt
Classrooms Of The Heart [Documentary] – John Taylor Gatto
Sumerhill School – A New View On Childhood by A.S. Neil
Social Engineering 101
Dialectical Thinking – Zeno, Socrates, Kant, Marx by Tommi Juhani Hanjijarvi Ph.D.
Underground History Of American Education With John Taylor Gatto
The True Purpose Of Modern Schooling
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Open-Source Method: Genius Education – Examples | John Taylor Gatto
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
Cultural Literacy – What Every American Needs To Know
by E.D. Hirsch Jr.
A Rulebook For Arguments by Anthony Weston
A Workbook For Arguments by David R. Morrow & Anthony Wesson
Drilling Through The Core – Why Common Core Is Bad For American Education by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors

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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

The Emergence of Orwellian Newspeak and the Death of Free Speech

Source: Rutherford.Org
John W. Whitehead
June 29, 2017

“If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it…. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change.” ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

How do you change the way people think? You start by changing the words they use.

In totalitarian regimes—a.k.a. police states—where conformity and compliance are enforced at the end of a loaded gun, the government dictates what words can and cannot be used. In countries where the police state hides behind a benevolent mask and disguises itself as tolerance, the citizens censor themselves, policing their words and thoughts to conform to the dictates of the mass mind.

Even when the motives behind this rigidly calibrated reorientation of societal language appear well-intentioned—discouraging racism, condemning violence, denouncing discrimination and hatred—inevitably, the end result is the same: intolerance, indoctrination and infantilism.

It’s political correctness disguised as tolerance, civility and love, but what it really amounts to is the chilling of free speech and the demonizing of viewpoints that run counter to the cultural elite.

As a society, we’ve become fearfully polite, careful to avoid offense, and largely unwilling to be labeled intolerant, hateful, closed-minded or any of the other toxic labels that carry a badge of shame today. The result is a nation where no one says what they really think anymore, at least if it runs counter to the prevailing views. Intolerance is the new scarlet letter of our day, a badge to be worn in shame and humiliation, deserving of society’s fear, loathing and utter banishment from society.

For those “haters” who dare to voice a different opinion, retribution is swift: they will be shamed, shouted down, silenced, censored, fired, cast out and generally relegated to the dust heap of ignorant, mean-spirited bullies who are guilty of various “word crimes.”

We have entered a new age where, as commentator Mark Steyn notes, “we have to tiptoe around on ever thinner eggshells” and “the forces of ‘tolerance’ are intolerant of anything less than full-blown celebratory approval.”

In such a climate of intolerance, there can be no freedom speech, expression or thought.

Yet what the forces of political correctness fail to realize is that they owe a debt to the so-called “haters” who have kept the First Amendment robust. From swastika-wearing Neo-Nazis marching through Skokie, Illinois, and underaged cross burners to “God hates fags” protesters assembled near military funerals, those who have inadvertently done the most to preserve the right to freedom of speech for all have espoused views that were downright unpopular, if not hateful.

Until recently, the U.S. Supreme Court has reiterated that the First Amendment prevents the government from proscribing speech, or even expressive conduct, because it disapproves of the ideas expressed. However, that long-vaunted, Court-enforced tolerance for “intolerant” speech has now given way to a paradigm in which the government can discriminate freely against First Amendment activity that takes place within a government forum. Justifying such discrimination as “government speech,” the Court ruled that the Texas Dept. of Motor Vehicles could refuse to issue specialty license plate designs featuring a Confederate battle flag. Why? Because it was deemed offensive.

The Court’s ruling came on the heels of a shooting in which a 21-year-old white gunman killed nine African-Americans during a Wednesday night Bible study at a church in Charleston, N.C. The two events, coupled with the fact that gunman Dylann Roof was reportedly pictured on several social media sites with a Confederate flag, have resulted in an emotionally charged stampede to sanitize the nation’s public places of anything that smacks of racism, starting with the Confederate flag and ballooning into a list that includes the removal of various Civil War monuments.

These tactics are nothing new. This nation, birthed from puritanical roots, has always struggled to balance its love of liberty with its moralistic need to censor books, music, art, language, symbols etc. As author Ray Bradbury notes, “There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.”

Indeed, thanks to the rise of political correctness, the population of book burners, censors, and judges has greatly expanded over the years so that they run the gamut from left-leaning to right-leaning and everything in between. By eliminating words, phrases and symbols from public discourse, the powers-that-be are sowing hate, distrust and paranoia. In this way, by bottling up dissent, they are creating a pressure cooker of stifled misery that will eventually blow.

For instance, the word “Christmas” is now taboo in the public schools, as is the word “gun.” Even childish drawings of soldiers result in detention or suspension under rigid zero tolerance policies. On college campuses, trigger warnings are being used to alert students to any material they might read, see or hear that might upset them, while free speech zones restrict anyone wishing to communicate a particular viewpoint to a specially designated area on campus. Things have gotten so bad that comedians such as Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld refuse to perform stand-up routines to college crowds anymore.

Clearly, the country is undergoing a nervous breakdown, and the news media is helping to push us to the brink of insanity by bombarding us with wall-to-wall news coverage and news cycles that change every few days.

In this way, it’s difficult to think or debate, let alone stay focused on one thing—namely, holding the government accountable to abiding by the rule of law—and the powers-that-be understand this.

As I document in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, regularly scheduled trivia and/or distractions keep the citizenry tuned into the various breaking news headlines and entertainment spectacles and tuned out to the government’s steady encroachments on our freedoms. These sleight-of-hand distractions and diversions are how you control a population, either inadvertently or intentionally, advancing a political agenda agenda without much opposition from the citizenry.

Professor Jacques Ellul studied this phenomenon of overwhelming news, short memories and the use of propaganda to advance hidden agendas. “One thought drives away another; old facts are chased by new ones,” wrote Ellul.

Under these conditions there can be no thought. And, in fact, modern man does not think about current problems; he feels them. He reacts, but he does not understand them any more than he takes responsibility for them. He is even less capable of spotting any inconsistency between successive facts; man’s capacity to forget is unlimited. This is one of the most important and useful points for the propagandists, who can always be sure that a particular propaganda theme, statement, or event will be forgotten within a few weeks.

Already, the outrage over the Charleston shooting and racism are fading from the news headlines, yet the determination to censor the Confederate symbol remains. Before long, we will censor it from our thoughts, sanitize it from our history books, and eradicate it from our monuments without even recalling why. The question, of course, is what’s next on the list to be banned?

It was for the sake of preserving individuality and independence that James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, fought for a First Amendment that protected the “minority” against the majority, ensuring that even in the face of overwhelming pressure, a minority of one—even one who espouses distasteful viewpoints—would still have the right to speak freely, pray freely, assemble freely, challenge the government freely, and broadcast his views in the press freely.

This freedom for those in the unpopular minority constitutes the ultimate tolerance in a free society. Conversely, when we fail to abide by Madison’s dictates about greater tolerance for all viewpoints, no matter how distasteful, the end result is always the same: an indoctrinated, infantilized citizenry that marches in lockstep with the governmental regime.

Some of this past century’s greatest dystopian literature shows what happens when the populace is transformed into mindless automatons. In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, reading is banned and books are burned in order to suppress dissenting ideas, while televised entertainment is used to anesthetize the populace and render them easily pacified, distracted and controlled.

In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, serious literature, scientific thinking and experimentation are banned as subversive, while critical thinking is discouraged through the use of conditioning, social taboos and inferior education. Likewise, expressions of individuality, independence and morality are viewed as vulgar and abnormal.

And in George Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother does away with all undesirable and unnecessary words and meanings, even going so far as to routinely rewrite history and punish “thoughtcrimes.” In this dystopian vision of the future, the Thought Police serve as the eyes and ears of Big Brother, while the Ministry of Peace deals with war and defense, the Ministry of Plenty deals with economic affairs (rationing and starvation), the Ministry of Love deals with law and order (torture and brainwashing), and the Ministry of Truth deals with news, entertainment, education and art (propaganda). The mottos of Oceania: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

All three—Bradbury, Huxley and Orwell—had an uncanny knack for realizing the future, yet it is Orwell who best understood the power of language to manipulate the masses. Orwell’s Big Brother relied on Newspeak to eliminate undesirable words, strip such words as remained of unorthodox meanings and make independent, non-government-approved thought altogether unnecessary. To give a single example, as psychologist Erich Fromm illustrates in his afterword to 1984:

The word free still existed in Newspeak, but it could only be used in such statements as “This dog is free from lice” or “This field is free from weeds.” It could not be used in its old sense of “politically free” or “intellectually free,” since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed as concepts….

Where we stand now is at the juncture of OldSpeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is “safe” and “accepted” by the majority is permitted). The power elite has made their intentions clear: they will pursue and prosecute any and all words, thoughts and expressions that challenge their authority.

This is the final link in the police state chain.

Having been reduced to a cowering citizenry—mute in the face of elected officials who refuse to represent us, helpless in the face of police brutality, powerless in the face of militarized tactics and technology that treat us like enemy combatants on a battlefield, and naked in the face of government surveillance that sees and hears all—we have nowhere left to go. Our backs are to the walls. From this point on, we have only two options: go down fighting, or capitulate and betray our loved ones, our friends and our selves by insisting that, as a brainwashed Winston Smith does at the end of Orwell’s 1984, yes, 2+2 does equal 5.

Read More at: Rutherford.Org