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.

 

Poker, Writing, And Life – Seeing & Accepting Things As They Are | #Mindfulness | #Life | #Writing | #Poker

“Nothing we see or hear is perfect. But right there in the imperfection is perfect reality.”

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few. ”
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind


BreakwayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
June 19, ,2019

Poker and life share many commonalities, as previously discussed.

That said, in this particular piece, we will also couple writing to it since this also shares many commonalities with the aforementioned, and in the original conceptualization of this write-up, writing and self expression were the main focus.  Given the poker theme that gets addressed in this blog at times, I chose to merge all of these to expand upon the ideas a bit.  Essentially, we are going to explore some of the commonalities that self-expression has with poker, writing, and how that delves into viewing things at face value and accepting things in deeper ways from a subjective level.

One vanguard commonality that poker shares with life (and writing) is the expression of an individual in the way they play their game.  Just like an individual in poker expresses themselves with what they wear, how they speak, how they act, and how they ultimately play, in writing, as in life, it is no different.

In writing, however, the individual uses a different array of tools for self expression.  Writers can employ themes, diction, metaphors, arguments, insights, and much more.  Tempo, imagery and reliability are also things that can create a huge feeling of kinship between the writer and the reader.  All of this allows for thoughts and emotions to be conveyed in countless forms, and for self expression to take place.

In my personal case, I find that when I subject myself to certain emotions conveyed through writing, or even news, and videos, my emotions can get quite affected.  Not always, but enough that I have been cognizant of this for a very long time.

Now, allow me a quick aside that merges into what will follow thereafter.

Throughout the full latitude of my life, I have had certain issues with reading thoughts that people share which are negative (or could be seen as such) in nature.  These types of feelings and thoughts people share that have a certain ‘negative’ vibe to it are merely individuals expressing themselves.  And I say negative loosely, because perhaps a person is simply expressing themselves, and they are misunderstood.  Some people might only want to express thoughts on a darker subject, not with the intent of creating a negative vibe to it, but perhaps in a cathartic way.  And just because a reader (such as myself in this instance) takes it negatively, doesn’t mean the aim of the piece was to create negativity in its intentional nascent conception.

Though this above example talks about reading from my subjective point of view that stems from my willing exposure to those who express themselves in writing, the same can be said for poker and life in my personal case.

Instances where a player berates another at the tables, or a person mistreats another with disrespect and so on, have always bothered me at a deeper level.  And I’m not saying we shouldn’t be affected, only that allowing your emotions to run you over if such is the case with me, isn’t exactly healthy.  One can be bothered significantly by an issue without letting that issue overrun them.

Now, if you think about it, an individual’s ‘self expression, whether it stems through the medium of writing, in poker, or in life,  that expression is simply one side of the polarity of positivity and negativity, albeit, through the gateway of emotions and the mind.

That a negative circumstance or thought (or my misperception of it) bothers me so much says a lot about me on many levels.  Though, what I think it says more than anything is that, even if I have always found such things stressful since my youth, that doesn’t mean I need to let it affect me, if that makes sense.   In other words, while every single person has the freedom to express themselves as they so desire, I also have the freedom to accept that in its totality, and NOT let it affect me, and even learn from it if possible, as I am attempting to do now.

I say this because I’m trying significantly to take a slightly more Zen-like mindful approach to reading certain things in particular, which I usually avoid in general due to it causing stress.

Then a thought struck me: just like I can lockdown my emotions in a game of poker and keep them in check, as well as the stress involved in it, why couldn’t I do that in reading or seeing something that bothers me?  This doesn’t mean I excuse poor treatment of another human being in any way shape or form, if such has taken place.  I am merely stating that I should not allow my emotions to override my logic center, which is something that can easily take place and it’s a social engineering weapon employed often by the mainstream media.

Why do you think the mainstream media nigh always appeals to emotions and nigh never to logic, or even better, a holistic approach?  Ponder that one.

Individuals that are highly emotional are much easier to manipulate than those that have a sound and holistic mindset.  But just like too much emotion can affect a person, too much logic can as well, which is why a delicate balance  has to be struck.

Seeking a delicate balance and a more mindful Zen-like state of being coupled with acceptance of what I s taking place is the approach I have been slowly taking the last few days, and I am appreciating it because one thing I learned a long time ago is that, anything that bothers you says something about you.  Anything that bothers you a lot, says even more about you.  While obviously, this can be positive or negative, the point is that our emotional response to a situation has endless ways in the way it can play out, and being able to come to terms with it is incredible for seeing the world as it IS, rather than how you think (or wish) it could be.

The world, just like individuals, simply are.  And just how I am okay accepting myself for me, as everyone should accept themselves as well, I should be cognizant of others and their thoughts, feelings, and so on.

That need not mean that I need to agree with them, not at all, or give a pass to something that’s downright wrong that goes against what I feel is right.  It’s just that seeing things for what they are is one of those obvious, and yet, not so obvious subtleties life offers.  It’s not unlike the sky, it’s there, but most people don’t pay attention to it.  Not seeing the subtleties in life, is not unlike having a kaleidoscope at hand, and not seeing the countless intricacies that it offers due to its unique perspective.  That’s missing out on a LOT of things one could see, and even learn from if exposed to such.

Is the glass half full or half empty?    To me, that doesn’t matter.

What matters is what is inside, and what you can learn from it.

In this case, my cup has been half full with fear of myriad things, which has historically affected how I see and accept the world for it is, which is why my stress increases proportional to my inability to accept things, and which has undoubtedly has affected my health throughout my life.

But at least I am coming to terms with it.  Hopefully, that’s a big first step in the right direction.

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Author’s Note:

[1] I know I meandered a bit hither and thither, but, there was just a lot I wished to address, and I just took a more instinctual way of constructing my thoughts, rather than a logically structured way in which I aim to follow at times, so if this seems like a lot of spaghetti got launched at the wall in order to seek what sticks, it’s EXACTLY THAT!

[2] I have posted an iteration of this elsewhere in the form of a letter, or perhaps, journal entry might be more precise.  I have opted to share it here, though in a significantly more fleshed out way because I think the topic deserves some serious consideration.

This started simply as me putting my thoughts to paper based on many things I had been thinking about of late, with what is shared being that which I thought most noteworthy.

I find it highly fascinating how many points of views different circumstances can offer.  Not learning from them when you can if you simply make an a proactive effort is leaving life lessons by the wayside.   At least, for me that’s how I feel.

And what’s life about, if not about growth, to a certain extent?

Hope you all have a great evening.

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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.

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Suggested Reading:

Have You Ever Walked On The Moon?
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Consciousness: The Key To Life
The Artist Of Eternity
25 Simplicity Quotes: Simplifying Aspects Of Your Life
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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!
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Emotional Bank Accounts: Gems Gems Gems, Babies Everywhere!
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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
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Simplicity For The Sake Of Health
Imagination Unleashed
The Inherent Power Of Curiosity
Time Management: Eternity & A Day Will Never Be Enough
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Poker FlashBack: Swimming With Sharks, Swimming With Whales
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Mindfulness, Loss & Friendship
The Opening Salvo, The First Minute
The Seeds Of Today, The World Of Tomorrow
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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

#Quote Of The Day | #Desire | #Drive | #Perseverance | #Mindset

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.  Keep this constantly in mind.  Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”
– Napoleon Hill

Note: I wonder whether Hill would see desire as interchangeable with drive or perseverance?  What do you all think?  Still though, amazing quote and analogy.

A World Of Grays | #Family | #Darkness | #Life | #Abuse | #Obstacles | #Perseverance


BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 16, 2019

I am writing the following due to a post on Instagram that was shared a long time ago that had to do with child abuse and so on.  I just finished reading that right now, which is why I am writing this.  That’s the ‘inspiration’ for this, if you could call it that.

I wrote a post long ago on Instagram called “Black Unicorns”, based on a topic that I discussed with a friend of mine many years ago.  The whole point of that piece was it was under the premise for my appreciation for women which became the metaphor for Black Unicorns.  That much was obvious, what wasn’t obvious is what follows.

In my nascent stages of life, my family and I underwent significant and excruciating abuse.  This type of environment obviously tailors who you become, what your fears are, what terrifies you, who you trust, and so on.  The main part of all of this abuse stemmed from my father, which I have alluded to him countless times as being the ‘father of darkness’.  Conversely, I have alluded to my mother as the ‘Mother of light’.  Neither parent was perfect, but I appreciate both, though obviously my Mom by magnitudes more, but it was my father who chose to unleashed cataclysmic pain that no human being, yet alone a child should ever endure.

That dichotomy leads to me often feeling that I live in a world of grays, a subject which once again arose in my mind very recently.  Perhaps I will write about it again, though I am uncertain as to this time.

Grays, as part of the color spectrum, is something that is synonymous with storms.  Storms are a whole kaleidoscope of grays.  That’s how I’ve often felt in life, and many of the scenarios that took place after only cemented my kinship with the colors gray, silver, platinum, and the like.

More importantly though, I say all this because people that did not know me as a human being made an erroneous assumption about why I wrote that post.  Yes, that post was about women, as I said before, that much was obvious. 

What isn’t so obvious that the pyramid under which that post stands, the pyramid that is the constant support,  the walls that have provided a sanctum for my entire life, the very place where my spirit often rests, the foundation of the very person that I am, is my Mom.  At the top of the pyramid my trust for women, all women, stands, because I haven’t been fucked over as much by women, nigh ever, as I have been screwed over by men, mainly my fatherBut it was my mom who was always the foundation for everything amazing that followedMoreover, most of my best friends over time and still now have been female too, which only further reinforced my trust for women.

I didn’t plan on sharing this as it was on spontaneous feeling, but I share all this because I hope people in the future don’t end up misjudging others, whoever it is, without actually (1) knowing them, (2) knowing how their mind works, (3) knowing what the context is, but most important, (4) knowing what lead to that context. 

It’s easy to see the world in black and whites, but most of the time the world really is a whirlwind of grays; a whirlwind that is never-ceasing because a lot of what happens in life, is entirely subjective.

That is why I always bring everything down to ‘the individual’.

Everything we do, see and experience is entirely through our independent point of views.  These points of views, as I’ve often referenced, tailor every breath that we take, every step that we take, every road we will venture towards, and ultimately, the life that we live.

Perhaps a road will serve as a perfect conclusion for this, for never more will we see grays then on the road of life; the road that is littered with every single circumstance imaginable, all of which lead towards the future.

It’s on that road, the road of life, that we will witness countless storms, storms of every type imaginable, storms that are as wondrous as they are frightening, but storms that, at the end of the day, are paved in grays.

Fortuitously, it is within those grays, those storms that pour endless rain that water travels through and thankfully sprinkles the Earth with.

Water that brings life; water whose very essence is balance; water whose very being is interwoven within the streams of life more than any other element on earth.

And that world of grays up above is what helps it all along.

___________________________________________________________
Suggested Reading:

Have You Ever Walked On The Moon?
Never Underestimate The Power Of Imagination, The Power Of Dropping Seeds
Stranger On The Moon
Wings Are Made To Fly, Seeds Are Made To Grow
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
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: Mutual Funds
Emotional Bank Accounts: Deposits & Withdraws
Emotional Bank Accounts: Gems Gems Gems, Babies Everywhere!
Emotional Bank Accounts: I Call Your 7 Cents & Raise You A Dollar
Poker & Life: Pulling The Friend’s Card
Imagination Unleashed
The Inherent Power Of Curiosity
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?
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?
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

___________________________________________________________
If you find value in this information, feel free to 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.

Never Underestimate The Power Of Imagination, The Power Of Dropping Seeds | #Imagination | #Inspiration | #Motivation | #Positivity | #PositiveVibes

“Imagination is everything.  It is the preview to life’s coming attractions.”
– Albert Einstein

“You have all the reason in the world to achieve your grandest dreams.  Imagination plus innovation equals realization.”
– Denis Waitley

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 16, 2019

Imagination is the gateway to everything that is created.

An individual merely must step through that doorway and begin imagining possibilities, solutions, change; positive change every single individual is capable of displacing.

For instance, just yesterday, someone left a metaphorical seed at my doorstep.  I call the act a ‘seed’ because a seed always holds endless potential.  And just as seeds need water and the right environment to grow and fluoresce, individuals need the right inspiration and the right circumstances to act on imagination.

The seed this person left was promptly used by me and fertilized as such, and voila, I there in chose to act.  This was because (1) the right inspiration came around, and (2) the right circumstance was coupled to that.  If both hadn’t taken place, my decision to create something wouldn’t have happened.

Why does an individual need both inspiration and circumstance to take place?  Because people get inspired all the time, but many times individuals do not act on that inspiration, they merely ruminate upon it at length under endless “what-if’s”.  I used to be incredibly guilty of this.  On the other hand, many people create things quite often, but when they aren’t feeling inspired they are not at the top of their proverbial game, which is why inspiration is so crucial – it acts as fuel for those seeds of imagination.  This could be emblematic of writer’s block – the ability to create something, but not much that ends up being useful.

The fusion of both above concepts is the perfect merger of gasoline and match; the gasoline is the seed in endless potential, and the match is the individual acting within the right circumstance to unleash the endless tsunamis of their bondless potential.  This means everything. 

As an individual, at any moment, at any time, you can inspire yourself to create something wondrous – be it writing, painting, creating music and the like.  But it doesn’t stop there, because your very ability to act on your inspiration and imagination pushes others to test the boundaries of their imagination, wherever they may lead.

All of this is incredible potential that is inherent within every single individual and has an extremely resounding effect that doesn’t get the credit that it deserves.

How many seeds will you drop today?

What forms of seeds will you share?

What type of creations will those encourage?

It’s an interesting proposition to consider, isn’t it?

Every moment is the right moment, just keep dropping those seeds.

For when the right time comes someone will not only appreciate that gesture of kindness, but they will contribute to the cycle of creation that is woven within the very strands of life.

Dropping seeds to help creation itself, to help life move forward?

What a neat concept.

___________________________________________________________
Suggested Reading:

Have You Ever Walked On The Moon?
Stranger On The Moon
Wings Are Made To Fly, Seeds Are Made To Grow
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
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: Mutual Funds
Emotional Bank Accounts: Deposits & Withdraws
Emotional Bank Accounts: Gems Gems Gems, Babies Everywhere!
Emotional Bank Accounts: I Call Your 7 Cents & Raise You A Dollar
Poker & Life: Pulling The Friend’s Card
Imagination Unleashed
The Inherent Power Of Curiosity
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?
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?
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

___________________________________________________________
If you find value in this information, feel free to 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.

Poker Flashback: Swimming With Sharks, Swimming With Whales | #Poker #Life #Mindset

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
– Randy Pausch

“Life, like poker has an element of risk.  It shouldn’t be avoided, it should be faced.”
– Edward Norton


BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 7, 2019

Poker is not only an intriguing game, but it can be breathtaking as well.

Just like life, poker offers a wide array of emotions that whip you through a roller coaster faster than you can keep up.  The main emotion, in my contention, that most run of the mill poker players employ is that of fear.  Having been the staple image of this player myself, I am now (in hindsight) able to share many of the things that I didn’t see at the time which prevented me from growing faster that I could have as a player.  Overcoming fear in poker took time, but for that to take place, I had to jump into the deep end – into the realm of sharks.

Playing with players of superior skills is always a learning experience (or should be!), if players take the time to learn the gems of wisdom available.  If not, it’s merely a waste of time in my opinion, unless you are a recreational player, and even then, they like to learn.  In that deep end where sharks swim, where monsters creep, some of the most heart-rending and gut-wrenching circumstances can take place.

These circumstances will test your will power, your poise, your perseverance, your faith in yourself, your mindset, you gall, and every other emotion you can think of.  The faster you become immune to all negative emotions, the faster you will grow as a player.  In these respects, life is no different.

Holding even an ounce of fear is like holding a snowball that at any point can begin rolling down a hill and turn into a damn avalanche before you know it.  Just like an avalanche can start from the smallest of snowballs, absolute recklessness and devastation can plague the player if they are not wary and of an incredibly sharp and precise mindset.  Overcoming this fear changed my life and allowed me to go from a small-stakes player at the time, to a mid-stakes player.  For a cursory glance of how that took place, a few interconnected stories follow that helped me overcome some of my most pressing issues concerning fear et al.

‘Back in the day’, would be an appropriate opening, making money in poker was much easier than it is now.  The skill level required was far less, and the profits that could be made per hand, per hour, were kind of out-of-control.  That said, high-skill level players have always been around, it’s just that the fields of players were much larger, there was way more fish than in the last few years, and quite a few more whales.  In that sense, the game has evolved with time.  With the rise of the internet, personal coaches, online coaching skill, poker programs that help analyze your game, and other factors, have all contributed to making poker a more analytical game than hitherto considered.

In the last few years, if you didn’t evolve as a player, you weren’t just going to lose given the considerable increase of skillful players, and the player pool as a whole, you were going to get downright eviscerated.  To that end, ‘sink or swim’ would be an incredibly precise adage.  And in the deep end, monsters lie; monsters that will crush you without a second thought; players that will rip your heart out and feed it to your children.  It’s all part of the game, though, and you really can’t take it personal.  That would be an egregious mistake.

When you are on the table, though there might be friends, everyone that plays in that ring of fire is to be treated as the antithesis of your being.  One of these players, one of these whales, was named YL08.

But unlike most whales, YL wasn’t just a whale that wouldn’t fight back, he was Moby Dick, the great white whale, capable of destroying you by the very nature of their being.  I say ‘their’ because we did not know whether this player was a man or woman.  It doesn’t matter though, they were a poker player, and in poker, men and women can be just equally skilled; the only reason women do not get more notoriety is because, like many other games, poker is a male dominated game due simply to sheer numbers.  There are incredible women that play the game though, such as Annie Duke, Liv Boeree, Annette Obrestad, who was in fact rising through the ranks at a incredible rate back in those days, Vanessa Selbst, Jennifer Harmon, and many more.

That said, YL wasn’t just a player.  Players come and go, like the wind.  YL was an experience.  This person came out of nowhere and embedded himself into the midstakes of poker, on the website Full Tilt, and became widely known, even though that person fit the definition of a ‘whale’.  Their imagination was off the scale.  Nothing was off the table.  At any time, anywhere, for any reason, YL would do anything.  And in a game where players love predictability, he was the antithesis of that.  YL had an imagination that was so off the scale, the closest person one could probably compare him to was Durrrr, who was a high stakes player of the same type of mindset.

Tom Dwan (Durrrr), as well as Phil Ivey, Patrick Antonious, the owner of Cirque Du Soleil (yes, the owner), all played the highest stakes at the time, which was between a $50,000 and $100,000 buy in.  That game was out of control.  There were many half-a-million pots, and a few million-dollar pots during those times.

For us peons playing for chump change in comparison, a smaller version of what was taking place.  We down on the bottom of the totem pole were playing for $200-Buy Ins in this particular game.  Talk about orders of magnitude!  Even so, just because the buy-ins were $200, didn’t mean a lot of money wasn’t on the line.  Those were the biggest midstakes games I ever played, which is why I had to evolve incredibly quickly or I was going to become a statistic, merely another person that took a shot and fell by the wayside.

In fact, the games YL was involved in, were so intense, with so much money moving, that it wasn’t uncommon for there to be hundreds of people in line just to take a shot.  For comparison, the average $200NL might have had a handful of people in line, maybe.   Now for the kicker: when YL sat down, he sat down for a long, long, long time, sometimes a day and a half if my memory serves me right.  But YL sitting down didn’t mean anything unless he had a bankroll, and that he had in spades.

By the time the game was in full swing, with many hours logged, It wasn’t uncommon for there to be $5,000 to $10,000 on the table between everyone, with the lion’s share usually between 2-3 big stacks, YL at times being one of them.  That was in fact very common.  At times, the amount of money was closer to $10,000-$20,000 on the table, depending on how many people player with large bankrolls played besides YL.

The story doesn’t start with me, ironically, it begins with my roommate, which was also playing poker for a living at the time.  He was the superior player at the time, being a notch or two ahead of me.  The only thing I had on him was my ability to spot whales from a mile away.  We both balanced each other out in that sense.  I learned an incredible amount about poker from him and I wouldn’t be writing this if it wasn’t for him having helped me out and so on.  Now for the story.

My roommate was the first one to sit with YL, and to make a long story short, he won somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000 that night.  The second time he played I don’t recall how it went though.  I believe he won another $1,000 or so, maybe more.  Most of his sessions were wins though.  He just had the luck of the draw and sat down with YL the first two times.  Each of us would be checking constantly searching for YL’s screen name, given that YL was the walking definition of a lottery machine, and when he paid out, he paid out bigLife changing big.  The next couple of times I found YL first, I took a crack at YL, and I really wasn’t ready for what happened.

Like Dorothy, I felt like I was swept up by a tornado from the instance I sat down at those tables.  Not only did I have to contend with facing YL, which was like facing Darth Vader on steroids, but also with whoever else sat down, usually being a shark.  Those games had lots of sharks.  The amount of aggression I faced was unprecedented, and for a timid player who was playing way too tight trying to make the right play when in fact I was making the wrong play, it left a lot to be desired.  That first game I lost $500.  The game after that, I adapted slightly, but still, it was a loss.

The losses weren’t the relevant part here, it was my playmy mindset.  My mindset was that of something akin to a newborn shark that hadn’t swam with other sharks, and although shark in mind, wasn’t shark at heart, not until you become a predator yourself.  And for that, you need to begin becoming a shark.  That, or just become a statistic.  And there was no way on earth that I was going to do that.  Come hell or high water, I was going to stick it through no matter what came.  That’s when everything changed.

My roommate took the time to point out many of the flaws I showed in those first two games, which I thought were big at the time, but were in fact INCREDIBLE MASSIVE.  They were so glaring in hindsight, that I wish I would have changed my mindset quicker.  It wasn’t that I wasn’t bankrolled at the time, I was.  I had already been playing for a couple of years and was doing well.  The issue was that it was like entering another dimension.  It’s like waking up, expecting to see the sun outside, and before you know it, you’re seeing dragons.  Dragons everywhere.  And they’re lighting everting on fire.  You want to wake up, but you can’t, you’re stuck.    The only way to get through, the only way to survive, is to begin slaying dragons, and fast, or get burned to a crisp while running like a coward.

Realizing this, my evolution came around in drastic fashion.  In life, like in poker, nothing changes you like being pinned against the wall with no other options but to change.  That type of mindset shift changes everything.  It’s downright priceless.  It turns you from feeling like a snowman in a blast furnace, to feeling like you are piloting your own veritable death star.  At that point, everything changes, life changes.  Even if poker is done, you as a person change.

Life offers very similar circumstances, but of varying flavors.  Each of those flavors is a circumstance which will test us, sometimes repeatedly, until we change, shift, or adapt.  And each of those options contains a lesson, or quite a few.

Irrespective of that, some lessons are best learned slowly; and some lessons, like putting your hand on a stove, must be learned on the spot.  And nothing burns more incredibly than getting your ego pulverized, like mine did during those early games.  Thankfully, I was able to evolve as a player, as a person, and began winning at a win rate that was unprecedented in many ways.  Though admittedly, I was incredibly selective as well, as I always was, except I didn’t mind swimming with sharks.

And like Captain Ahab, I, like others, found my great white whale.

But unlike Captain Ahab, I wasn’t going to let the great white whale, Moby Dick, destroy me.  Because my mindset wouldn’t allow me, not anymore.  And YL went on to destroy many players, absolutely wiping out countless bankrolls during his reign.  It was the stuff of legends.

But the best part about it?

When you change as an individual, when you change deep down inside in ways you never thought possible, your perspective changes, your mindset evolves, your life changes, forever.

And there’s just no price you can put on the freedom, and the range that such a shift in mentality, such a shift in mindset gives you.  I consider myself fortunate and grateful for even having the opportunity.  Half a century ago, such opportunities did not exist.  Now, opportunities in poker and in life, litter the landscape like candy on Halloween, all there for the taking.

Just as one door closes, another door opens.  The beauty in life is that life always provides opportunities, and in those opportunities, you the individual can change, or you can remain stagnant; you can push yourself to the limits of your imagination and beyond, or you can remain comfortable; you can sink, or you can swim.

And when you open your own doors, whatever doors those may be, and begin slaying dragons left and right, begin chopping up sharks into fillet, not only will your mindset change, but your whole being.  In fact, you will no longer have to worry about sharks.  You will not have to worry about anything. 

Instead, the sharks will have to worry about you.

___________________________________________________________
Author’s Note:

Believe it or not, this is the short elevator version of this overarching story, if you can believe that.  It could probably easily be 10 times longer and still barely scratch the surface.  There are just too many elements to make note of, too many games that were played, and circumstances that were fluid to account for all of them in their totality.  My aim in this write up was about striking a balance with all elements considered.  I realize this story is a bit verbose, but I wanted it to cover as much as possible, without going too overboard, though I feel in a sense that perhaps I did.  Context is everything, and I wanted to make sure the context was there to add depth to how certain circumstances can maybe seem insurmountable, and yet, never be so, as long as you don’t give up and your mindset holds on, no matter how hard it may be.

I’m not going to pretend that all circumstances in life are the same, they are not, not even close.  But there’s usually possibilities to be explored, though sometimes it takes incredible outside-of-the-box type of thinking.  Or better, a there-is-no-box type of mindset.

___________________________________________________________
Suggested Reading:

How You Deposit A Truckload Of Black Pearls Into An Emotional Bank Account
How Are Your (Emotional) Bank Accounts Doing?
Emotional Bank Accounts: Gems Gems Gems, Babies Everywhere!
Imagination Unleashed
A 7 Cent Investment Into An Emotional Bank Account To Convert A Hater?
What Do You Find Inspiring?
Imagination Rises Out Of The Jaws Of Defeat
What’s Your Story?
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
Wings Are Made To Fly, Seeds Are Made To Grow
What Are Your Personal Defaults?
Have You Ever Walked On The Moon?
The Opening Salvo, The First Minute
The Seeds Of Today, The World Of Tomorrow
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

___________________________________________________________
If you find value in this information, feel free to 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.