Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Getting Poor by Working Yourself to Death

    I think that almost all of us have at some time or another felt trapped. In a situation. In a relationship. In an emotion.  It's got a hold on us and we can't seem to break free of it.  There's been plenty said about being in "The Rat Race."  But somehow it never quite gets defined or understood completely.  We're going to try to do that here-- because some people are caught in the Rat Race, even joke about being in it, and yet do not really understand what it is and what it is doing to them and their family's lives.

Getting Nowhere Fast
     So.. are you feeling just a little bit like a guy, caught inside of a wheel, going around and around and never getting anywhere?   Never finding any solution to your problem.   Never finding any peace and contentment and real satisfaction in your life's journey.   I find that I have a degree of compassion for those who are experiencing this feeling, because I've been in the middle of it.  But my compassion wanes when people like this will act as if they are happy in a situation that they continually complain about all of the time.

   Why must we make matters worse than they already are by denying their existence?  People talking about “working for the weekend,” and then when the weekend comes, they talk about “having to go back to work on Monday.”   I suppose some actual enjoyment takes place on weekends for some, but it seems as if everyone is just always complaining about the status quo, but not knowing any way out of it.

   I believe that the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart.  Most people simply do not believe in themselves and their ability to do anything different or unique in their lives.  Their imaginations are not charged to be able to think beyond the box in which they find themselves confined.  Even if they have a dream, they do not have a capacity to plan a particular time or situation in which they will execute an escape into freedom.

   You might say, “Well, this is just the way that it is,” or “Someone has to do it.”  Actor Will Smith once remarked that “Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.”  I love this quote because it symbolizes where MOST people are in their lives : on a one-way road to nowhere.   In this scenario, there are no exits nor scenic routes along the way, only an asphalt highway that leads to misery.

   Quality of life is not necessarily about money.  It's not about possessions.  It's not even ultimately about friends or family.  It's about choices and freedom.   You want the power in your life to be able to decide for yourself what it is you wish and want to do.  And then also have the power or ability to go do it.

Freedom to Choose
  One of my favorite quotes of all time was made by philosopher Henry David Thoreau,  who said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined.”   But what can be accomplished if one does not have or exercise an imagination?  What becomes of individual effort and progress if someone is complacent in their ordinary, commonplace existence?

   Take a few moments of your time to take a long, deep breath, and then quiet yourself long enough to rethink your life's situation.   Are you in the place that you want to be?  Are you trying to trade the quality of 2/3 or 3/4 of your life in exchange for a few years of satisfaction?   Most people are in that Rat Race.  Most of those people don't want to be.

   If you're one of those people, don't put off making a decision that you want a better existence-- no, Life-- for yourself.  Decide that you don't want to leave your life's destiny up to chance.  You want to make a decision TODAY to begin to live life's ultimate purpose for yourself.   What is that purpose?   That's really up to you (and God) to work out.   But as of today, stop letting another person or situation in your life make those decisions for you.

   The famous leader and politician William Jennings Bryan said, “Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.  It is not a thing to be waited for.  It is a thing to be achieved.”

Friday, June 12, 2015

Minimum Age-- Maximum Wage

   I heard a report on TV this morning that 21% of all teenagers now are doing some type of an entrepreneurial business or activity, rather than applying for and working at a normal job.   I was encouraged by this news.  Although 1/5 is not a majority, it is a growing trend.  Most teens settle for minimum wage jobs because their parents and grandparents did the same thing when they were that age.   But there are those who are breaking out of the mold, and venturing out.   Those young people, in my opinion, will have an obvious advantage when entering into any future workplace or career.

Lemonade Stand
Mowing Yards
   Whether it's a lemonade stand, mowing yards, or working a commission job, it's a good thing for a teenager to do something that is "their own thing" rather than working for someone else.  They soon realize that the MORE they do, the MORE they make.  Such is not true for a typical minimum wage job.   Teens often work crazy hours, give up much of their free time, and settle for a meager paycheck.   A few years later, this often translates into working two or three jobs, when the responsibilities of an apartment or family come into the picture.  It can lead to a better job or career, but oftentimes fosters a rut of working paycheck to paycheck, and never achieving freedom or fulfillment.

   The experience of planning and executing a business brings a new sense of identity and accomplishment.  The thrill of doing something that actually produces your own income causes young people to begin to exercise their minds and hearts toward fulfilling lives. Some even venture out on a summer internship that may involve travel and greater adventures and excitement.   

   I personally applaud these "kids" who, with parents' and friends' encouragement, venture out to START SOMETHING of their own.  May we all give them support in every way that we possibly can.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Realistic Mediocrity

"Being realistic is the most commonly
 traveled road to mediocrity." 
--actor Will Smith

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Don't Short-Change Yourself

   "Potential" is a word that I've heard a lot in my life.  Its definition is "having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future".   Potential can be a very good thing, but it can also be destructive and harmful if left latent for long periods of time.

   The word "potential" comes from the same root that the word "potent" comes.   "Potent" means "having great power, authority, or influence."  If you have potential, that capacity needs to be catapulted into something real.

   I know a lot of people that don't seem to have any talents or abilities whatsoever.  I've learned though that many times, people's skills are suppressed by people and situations in their life, to a point where they no longer believe in themselves or in what they can accomplish.  They begin to stop caring, become lackadaisical about everything, and often recoil into a commonplace existence.

George C. Scott in the "Flim Flam Man"
  "Shortchange" means "to deprive of or give less than something due; cheat".  We usually think of shortchanging as a sort of "flim-flam", when someone else tricks us into taking less than they owe us. Actors George C. Scott ("The Flim Flam Man") and Steve Martin ("Leap of Faith") gave depictions of these types in their film roles.  But sometimes people actually short-change themselves. They begin stop trying to achieve anything in their lives.  They fall way short of their potential or destiny.   They start expecting and accepting less.  It appears they might be happy, but deep within, they know there is something better for themselves.

   We all come to a crossroads at different times in our lives.   All of our stories are unique.   Our paths and timetables are each set on an individual basis.   But we all share the same inner desire to find the right course and pursue it.   If we allow ourselves to want anything less, we are cheating ourselves.

   Stop a moment along life's highway and reevaluate your course.  Are you following the path that brings you joy and fulfillment, or are you somehow stuck in a path that's not of your choosing?  Actually, you did choose it, but you did so out of compulsion or necessity, and not out of a yearning and longing.  Each of us needs to eventually find that right course where we know we belong, and follow it with all of our heart.

   Don't short-change yourself.  It's bad enough when another person succeeds in robbing you of what you are due.   Don't ever let yourself do it.   You owe yourself more.   Check your "pockets."   Do you have all that life owes you.  Or have you settled for less ?   If so, take some time to think about what you need to do to pursue your life's dreams and goals.  And then take your "potential" and mold it into something powerful in your life.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Choices and Freedom

   I went on a hiking trip today with a group that I had joined just a short few months ago.  I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time.  I enjoy walking or hiking, and love the scenic view of a natural park.  About a dozen of us walked around a 365-acre lake today, enjoying the company and the scenery.  It was a lovely experience... one that I hope to enjoy again soon.

  Okay, so "what's the point?", you say.  This is a Business website, isn't it?  I mean, at least it's supposed to be.  It's a place where you can come and learn more about becoming and being an entrepreneur and finding new avenues for a fulfilling career and life.  So... "why are you talking about hiking on your business site?"

  Because... part of planning and living your dreams is to actually begin to enjoy the things that you enjoy.   That may sound redundant to you, but it's not at all.  Well, of course you enjoy the things that you enjoy.  Yeah, but the real question is NOT if or whether you enjoy certain things, but how often do you really have the chance or opportunity to enjoy them?

   Part of the drudgery of life sometimes is always doing things the way you've always done them, and never ever becoming able to make the changes that you need to that will make things any different than they've always been.   Wow- that statement I just made feels really monotonous just typing it or saying it.  Much less-- actually living it!

   The trouble is, so many times we resign ourselves to relinquishing control of our lives over to someone else, or groups of people.  Oftentimes we do not even realize that we are doing it, until we've been doing it for such a long period of time.  Have you ever REALLY believed that you could live the way you REALLY want to live it?   I mean-- REALLY!   Not just talking x's and o's here.. but smack dab down on the field of life, in your everyday life?   If not, then there might just be a problem.

  Like I've said before (see the rest of this website), if you want to work for another boss, or another man, or another-- whatever-- then that's fine.  But the KEY word here is "want".  Is it REALLY what you want?   Or are you just settling for something less than you REALLY want or that you've always wanted.

   You may be noticing the use (or over-use) of the word "REALLY" here.  It's quite intentional.  Why?   Because lots of times, we are not REAL with ourselves.  We are dishonest and fool ourselves into thinking that somehow, everything is the way that it should be, or if not, then at least everything will eventually work out the way that we want it to be.  The trouble is, the only thing that usually changes when we think this way is time.  Yeah, time.  In other words, we eventually take a look back and see that over the past 10, 20, 30, 40 (fill-in-the-blank) years, we've maintained the SAME exact attitude about our lives, and nothing else has ever REALLY changed, except... the date (and our ages)!

   There is no doubt that the worst thing that can be taken away from a man is not a house, not a car, not any other prized possession.  It is his choice or his freedom.  Or we could say:  his freedom to choose.  May God have mercy on those souls whose freedom has been taken away from them, not from their own neglect or folly, but totally without any fault of their own.  There are countries where governments have subjected their citizens to such a life of misery.

   It is a fact that no matter where you find yourself in life, no matter what choices you've made in the past, no matter how difficult or impossible that you feel your situation to be, the one thing (and the most important thing) that you still have available to you is your ability to choose.  You can choose to make today different than yesterday.  You can choose to take a different direction than you've taken in the past.  You can choose to stop following a path that will only lead you down a spiral to misery.

   Most people are in that spiral, and not only don't realize they have a choice, but many times don't even realize that they made the choice to be in that situation.  There are many excuses :  "I don't have an education."   "I'm not smart enough."   "I've always done this and guess I always will."  "I don't know where to start."   "I don't feel comfortable making changes."   The excuses will always be there.  There's always one available.  But do you choose an excuse, or choose an escape?

   Ten years ago, I probably couldn't have gone on a scenic hike on a Friday morning.  But it's not about the hike, or a concert, or a beach trip... or even about the money, or the cash flow.. it's all about your freedom.. to be able to choose.  

   Don't kid yourself.  If you think that working for forty years to get to retirement will help you enjoy life more, you're fooling yourself.   Especially if you're not really enjoying those forty years of your life that it takes to get you to that point.   It makes no sense at all to devote yourself to something for that long a period of time, sacrificing many enjoyments of life (family, friends, travel, etc.), so that you can get to a place where you can perhaps enjoy those things for a few short years.  First of all, there's no guarantee that you will even make it there, or once there, live that long to enjoy it.  Second of all, there's a great chance that the pressures and stress of everyday life will wear on you to such an extent over your lifetime that, by the time you get to retirement age, you may not have the energy or health to really enjoy what you've worked so hard and long to obtain.

   Think about it.  No matter where you are in life, no matter your age, or your situation, you still have a choice.  You still have the freedom to make choices.  You have the freedom to make changes.  Don't sell yourself short in believing otherwise.  This little essay today is not about specifics or details.  I'm not about to tell you -what it is- that you should do, or what you should think.  But one detail is important- don't stand still and make no choice or decision.  Because not to choose... is to choose.  But the lack of making a decision can never be a good choice.  So give your life some thought.  If you're not really where you want to be, you can pull off the exit ramp, and get on a different road, one that will take you in a new and exciting direction.

Friday, June 13, 2014

My Business Logos


  One of the assignments in an Internet class that I'm taking is to take another look at my business materials, including my logos.  I'm posting my logos here for my instructor and classmates to view, and also for me to see all of them together in one place.  I'm going to listen to feedback, and see if I can discern any new ideas for making them better and more applicable.  They are supposed to send a message to everyone who views them about my business and what I'm seeking to do.  It should clearly show and promote my goals and purpose.

I just look for something unique and different when I'm thinking about a logo or banner.  This idea for "The Bob Page" logo came to me just out of the uniqueness of my name, it is a Palindrome, meaning it's the same forwards and backwards, and there's the "O" in the middle of my name, with two identical "B's" on each side.  I thought it would be clever to use the "O" as a picture frame for my image.  The ultimate would be to have a slide show of pics, revolving from one to another, inside of the "O" frame.  I believe that I'm aware how to do that, only haven't had the time to explore it yet.  I'm not even sure it would work in Blogger.  =)

The idea of "GuiTarHeel" probably came about because I am a UNC Tar Heel basketball fan.  Of course, although "Tar Heel" is a university and sports moniker, it is also the official nickname for our state : the Tar Heel state. Not that the basketball connection actually directly caused the name or logo, but because of the relation between "gui-tar" and "tar-heel".  They shared a common word or syllable between them, so I chose to capitalize on that by combining them into a new word : "gui-tar-heel."  I like it, and it's also become an online login name and identity for me at various sites, including my own blog.  I believe it's distinct, unique, and different from most business names that I've seen used in the past.  I also think that the name clearly and cleverly states what I do, and also where I do it.  Using the NC map as a background also enhances the look and builds upon the theme.

   "NovelTees" is a name that I came up with about 5-10 years ago whenever I started this online tee shirt at Zazzle.   I wanted a word that ended in "ty" or "ties" so that I could change the spelling and make it applicable to selling tee shirts.  "Novelty" is defined as "the quality of being new, original, or unusual."   This was exactly what I was shooting for, both in a business, my products, and a name.   The whole business idea came about through casual conversations while just hanging out with some close friends.  We would always humor one another by saying clever things or making puns.  One day, one of them said, "That would really be good on a tee shirt."  A bell sorta went off in my head.  The idea germinated inside my head for awhile, lying dormant until that same friend gave me the encouragement to start the actual process of designing and selling the shirts.  The logo itself is fairly simplistic.  I wish that I had a better concept or idea;  perhaps a better one will come along at some point.  But for now, this logo incorporates an upside-down tee shirt, implying something a little different or unique.  It may not make any real sense, except it's meant to project a thought of uniqueness or difference.  Many of me tee shirt slogans are off-the-wall humor. [for example, a picture of Rodin's "The Thinker", (which is a nude guy) with the caption "I wonder where I left my underwear".. or a pic of a little boy peeing, with the caption "I stayed up all night studying for my urine test".. there are many, many more examples.. go check out my site to see them all!]   So-- the overall theme of a lot of my shirts also coincides with the concept of being unique or different.

  "Night Light" began in the 1980's when a "friend-of-a-friend" was just starting to venture out to make a career out of a hobby of playing guitar and performing original songs.  This singer/songwriter had been working as a maintenance man on a golf course, and as he rode around on a riding mower, he would hum tunes in his head and come up with songs.  He was also teaching guitar lessons to local students.  Somehow, I got involved in helping him promote and develop his performing career.  We started out playing at local churches and events, then I booked him at some regional festivals and colleges.  In the mid-80's, we took off on a two-week tour through the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida.  I also booked a short trip to Tennessee and Kentucky.  

  [In the late 80's, he formed a 4-5 piece band, and was able to make connections with a festival promoter in Myrtle Beach, who booked him and his band as the festival warmup band, playing on stage with some nationally known artists and performers. He has since worked with international Christian ministries such as YWAM (Youth With a Mission), Last Days, and now develops guitar and music teaching materials for Hal Leonard Publishing and has a monthly column in Worship Musician Magazine.]

  During this time period, I added a few other artists (booking as many as a dozen artists) in various fields, such as bluegrass, gospel, jazz, and speakers/comedians.  I continued doing booking and promotion into the early 90's.  Sometime in the mid-90's, I let it go for some reason, and it has been dormant for the last 20 years.  I am now beginning to plan to revitalize this musical venture again, and hope to develop a website to implement concert booking and promotion services.

  The name "Night Light" just came to me, but later I discovered that it probably came from a Scripture (Bible) passage in 2 Corinthians 4:6 : "For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ."  My ultimate logo will also have a skyline as a background, and may change in other minor ways, but will always have the "light bulb" as the major theme or icon.   Here's another version of the logo.. I don't particularly like this skyline, I'd like a more realistic and bold one.