Posted by: guinness222 | July 31, 2010

“Time to re-invent myself again,….another life!”

      As any of my close followers, and folks who’ve shared “pints” with me know, I have a serious mental disorder. Yes, at last I can face up to it and tell you about it,…..soooooo ..here goes.

     Ever since I was a very small child I loved the “total immersion” concept. IF,..and that is the “biggie”, IF I was interested or really captivated of challenged, or thrilled by something I would go in head first, and pursue it with a vengence like you could not imagine. I would read everything written, listen to everything said, prowl a library like a celebrity stalker, and in essence “devour” the subject. With Al Gore’s great discovery of the “Internet” 🙂 , an entirely new avenue, or “feast for the mind” opened up to me. (Now I’m not talking 1999, onward,…but back in 1992, when my buddy sims and I were hacking into the University of New Hampshire’s “Internet” over old 9k modems when it was just an “on campus” Student bulletin Board type device. We were doing it on an old 9″ original Macintosh computers!

      As it began to take off like a rocket I was holding on for dear life and trying to absorb all that there was to absorb. I was involved in “computers” in 1966, in the Navy, in the 70’s, in business, when they were as big as boxcars, lived in special sterile rooms with airlocks and were on elevated floors which circulated the AC to keep them cool, and was covered with miles of wiring. I bought my first computer in 1980, a small business computer by Digital, long since  defunk, one that came with a business I bought, and I’ve been upgrading ever since,…..but I diverse.

       Anyway, my thirst for information and knowledge took me back to college in the 70’s after the Navy, being a “TI” (total immersion) kind of guy even then, I was married, two children already, working a full time job, a part time job, and carrying a full semester study load at college (reminiscent of the cartoon with the guy in a screw vise and it being cranked down on him and the caption being, “Go ahead, give me more,….I can handle it.”

           Somewhere after high school, about the fall of ’62 was the first occurance of my “disorder”, I woke up one morning of my freshman year in college and made the decision that they were going faaarrr to slow for me, so I went to the Deans office and resigned, a week before the end of the semester. Three months later I joined the Navy Reserve, “more input Stephanie” (see the movie “Short Circuit” and you’ll have a great clinical understanding of my “more input required” condition), and six months after that when the Navy Reserve was “going too slow” , I “shipped over and signed up for a four year hitch in the regular Navy,….all the while sucking up every molecule of information on anything I could find anywhere, educational, social, environmental, business, people etc. every topic there was. I saw the good, the bad, and the ugly, and developed an uncanny ability to absorb, assess, and progress. ( Not always on the correct solution, but learning from my mistakes,… I hoped.)

       A seven year pattern began to develop. By the seventh year I would bcome bored, what was once a veritable flood of “new input” would trickle to a “smattering”, I was able to develop businesses from nothing to 90% of it’s potential in less than five years, and the ratio of spending the next twenty trying to crank out a mere 5% more, and being happy, was so unimaginable for me I would begin to try and beat the odds. How? By being riskier, trying new things some never tried, some that had already been tried, and failed by others, but I knew they weren’t me, I had a much better chance of making it work.

              To simplify, this is a form of Russian Roulette with business, only instead of there being only one bullet in the six chambers,… four of them had bullets! (Still love the thrill of the hunt, not the kill, but” the thrill of the hunt”. Often thought that would be a great title for a book if I ever got successful enough to write one.)

       I developed my own “College Curriculum”, for business I started out where business ultimately goes, to the stock market. Spent several years in that industry learning, and gaining input and understanding, then early mainframe computers. (Remember any of these numbers? 80/80 card, 5480 readers, “Punch Board programs”, “jumpers”, 360, 370, DEC20, System 3? Go to the Smithsonian, my name is on all of them.) From there into communications, telephony before the government mandated there could be more than one telephone company. From old rotary dial to touch tone, from “crossbars” to electronic switching systems, from machines that would fill a MacDonalds walk-in refrigerator to units no bigger than a dishwasher that would handle ten times the telephones and traffic, from only “talk” lines to “data” lines, then Voice over data, and what is now VOIP, (Voice over Internet Protocol).

      Seven years, I had recieved my PhD in “all things business wise” from the College of Hard Knocks. Family was now three children, no more courses left at the “real” college I was attending for six years, (except stenography,….not really my bag, but in hind sight maybe I should have taken it as well!)

      Jumped into a partime night business with a buddy making Lobster Traps, (kind of like on the “Deadliest Catch” TV series only one fifth the size) designed our own manufacturing equipment, cranked out about sixty a week, sold them in 300 lot increments, made a couple bucks, but it all went back into “building a better trap” materials, equipment, etc.

       Went to work in Retail (if you know how a business works, how it is funded, what it takes to make things, how to improve them, how to market them,….well everyting but how do you sell ’em and make the money,…hence retail. What makes folks buy.)

       From retail into distribution,( how to get it to a lot of folks to buy), seven more years. You want to take a break here? I now you’re probably tired from this seven year NASCAR like race against time, but I’m movin’ on……

      From a successful distribution company to the essentials of mankind, a good bar, a nightclub, and restaurant for all good doobies to “chill out” and kick back.  Hence a Country Western Nightclub, a steak ‘n tatters restaurant, and of course my personal favorite, …an Irish Pub. (two notes to self: 1) “Sometimes the pleasure ain’t worth the pain”, and 2) the surest way to make a small fortune in the restaurant business is start with a large one,…fortune that is!)

        ” More input Stephanie” the capacity to learn was being smothered by the quanity of input being pumped out by now. Trust me, it was now like the big BP Gulf Oil Spill, you just can’t slow it down or put a cork in it after a certain point, but that’s ok, I had begun to “chill in my old age” (65). I recognized,..hmmmm let me see,…oh yeah, seven years ago, I could peacefully get into Condominium and Homeowner Association Managment and eventually decrease my quantity of accounts and stress levels and simply augment my Social Security stipend and a $132 monthly pension I have left over from my retail “phase”.

        A Triple Bypass, rehab (cardiac that is), eating “right”, doing 100 miles a month every month, and cutting back to managing one association were a “comfortable level” for me. The Association had a multi-million dollar law suit going on, and that was more then enough to keep me excited. I had them for four years, helped develop evidence, testimony, you name it, and then the President of the Board, and a good friend by now, had to sell off his condo becasue of the sever financial “crunch” we are going through now. He and I ran that whole thing and were bringing them to a conclusion with a trial next April, in which they surely would prevail and get enough money to completely re do all the buildings and make them brand new, the way they should have been for the $2,000,000 for each unit that they cost.

           But long story short the new Board of Directors were all female. (Yeah I do have a problem with female’s in business. “Man” business think, and “Woman” business think, are diametrically opposed in 90% of the cases. Women can’t understand “the numbers”, they think “short term” , and would rather plant pretty flowers around a structurally unsound building than fox the damn building foirst and fore go the flowers. They don’t understand that the investment of $1,500,000 to obtain a payout of $4,000,000 or $5,000,000 makes sense.

        Bottom line, they let my firm, and I go on fifteen minutes notice, hire another woman manager, and after not knowing a damn thing about what it is are prpared to cancel the lawsuit, pay off a million dollar line of credit, somehow get about three million dollars worth of repairs, and all with less than $200,000 in the bank.

       Sorry, that was the anger part of the “reinvention process”, but anyone want to guess how long I’ve been at this?

       You got it, 7 years. So the question of the day is “what next?” With good eating habits, heavy exercise, etc. etc. I should have at least another four more re-inventions left to go. I’ll keep you posted.

      “Life is either an adventure,…or it is nothing.”   –   Helen Keller


Responses

  1. Jeeez, what a kick in the you know what that sounds like. So, what next?

    For me, I’m doing Europe. Got a German girlfriend (she’s a real looker, I love it when the toe & fingernail polish has to match the underwear), Hungarian, Isle of Man (UK), Polish, and am trying to find France and Italy. Keeping me busy. Got no money so that just increases the challenge, you know how women like money, boss. Course no money decreases the lifespan of the relationship in many cases, but c’est la vie.

    As for the big story I’ll send you an email.


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