Pausing to read The 4-Hour Work Week

Church building at cemetery grounds

I ran into a disagreement, a stumbling block, but made a decision.

 

One of my uncles called me out a week ago Wednesday for posting to our Facebook business page at a level above what he felt was my comprehension.  I guess I was insulted, but maybe what he was getting at was true–I decided to make good on the advice and to straighten out what I’m doing on Facebook–https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

Church building at cemetery grounds
Louth United Church, St. Catharines

Being a very small page on Facebook is a hard bargain–to be competitive requires strong content, and there isn’t a lot of money to spend to drive it.

 

So, in the several days, I revisited The 4-Hour Work Week for the third time.

 

It’s a 2007 book by Timothy Ferriss that is a how-to on putting together a life of travel and wealth, particularly in light of opportunities afforded by the Internet.  This is about getting past the need for a fulltime job.

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I realize 2007 is a long time ago, but some advice in the book holds true, and it is an inspiring read if you the reader are reflecting on what you’re doing in the course of your career that might be unsatisfying for you.

 

I was holding down a job the second half of 2007, which is when I was feeling comfortable but uninspired.  4-Hour Work Week author Timothy Ferriss recounts how he never could keep a job, although he is well-known for doing all kinds of amazing activities, including writing the bestselling book that I read again these past two weeks.

 

Admittedly, I am comfortable volunteering at the cemetery which puts a few dollars in my pocket, owing to its continued interest by visitors who have loved ones resting there and who find the tendered grounds a suitable destination for introspection and solace.

 

However, I did again to my delight find 4-Hour Work Week an impassioned read.

 

Ferriss argues for the importance of the spirit of independence.  This is instead of job security, Ferriss arguing that work for the sake of work is a pointless grind and that you would be better traveling across the world.  That, he affirms, is a far better investment of time and resources, than being buried, you could put it, in the demands of what might be eighty hours of work a week.

 

Some of the ideas Ferris had for the book remain relevant, like targeting ads with Google to create product sales to get you out of the gate and in charge.  Ads like those remain a profitable activity for people to make money at when they have a product niche and a matching headspace that’s geared to online sales with the Internet.

 

Ferris refers in his book to Pareto’s Law, the concept that 20% of your efforts achieve 80% of the results you get.  It is a quirky theorem that is popular in self-management circles.  For example, Ferriss thought of ways that 20% of his interactions with clients produced 80% of the sales he needed–and invented methods to bring down the time spent chasing the 20% without sacrificing the 80% payoff.

 

While possibly hard to measure, you could tap into Pareto’s Law in areas of your own life that need expansion, while synchronously cutting back on activities that only mean spinning your wheels.  Ferriss in the book explores how.

 

Ferriss’ ideas include avoiding calls by getting people to email you rather than to call, and to check email only twice a day, at noon and at four.  This gets the most important communications done instead of letting them control too much of your time.  I don’t know if that would actually work in a work setting, but if you have the fervor of Timothy Ferriss, I think it could.

 

Most important, Ferriss finds that a life away from the office should never be about getting back to work.  He believes in automating as much as possible, and you probably already know that automation is a vital time-saving strategy to everybody who’s pressed for time.

 

In the first few chapters, Ferriss recommends a five-day information fast–no more news sites, magazines, or books, and only an hour of television viewing in the evening instead of the several that he says most people watch.  Five days of this with the help of his book and you’re on your way.

 

He also illustrates a Dreamline and points out some ways you can reduce your present list of expenses so that you can readily find the money to tick off some of the items you have on your bucket list.

 

It is a pleasant dream to think of a life like that.

Skitter Photo
Photographer: Skitter Photo

If you need some tips to deal with a job that’s turned out to be soul-crushing, this book is a good source of inspiration.  The writing is both insightful and easy to digest.  What we do with our time is what we are, and a bit of fun and freedom might be the ingredients you need to reconnect with your purpose outside of work.

 

I thought I would write of it here, as I haven’t posted anything in a long time, and I felt like getting back down to it.  I am illustrating this post with a shot I took of my copy of the book and also a photo of Louth United Church, on the cemetery grounds where I work in an operations capacity.

 

And, please, you are more than welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.

10 Guidelines for Charitable Giving Facilitated by the Government

2018-06-17

I have become aware of new information about taking donations on Facebook.  While there was already Facebook features to take financial help through your business page, now you can receive recurring monthly donations thanks to an addition Facebook has recently introduced.

 

I probably shouldn’t have overlooked the existing structure for receiving donations when I published this post.  I meant to say that we don’t presently ask for donations on Facebook, because we are only a small page and we don’t have much of a budget with which to work–I am the SMM, which I do on a casual basis and to the best of my ability.

 

Perhaps in the future, we could bring onboard someone younger to help with carrying out our operations with the help of Facebook, but at the present I am aware of the mess Facebook has run into owing to its exposed dealings with Cambridge Analytica and what that has done to Facebook’s credibility as a social media platform and to its use for small business.  I want to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt that they will continue to improve their situation and remain effective as a tool for small business.  I am optimistic that it will remain a good idea to publicize our not-for-profit on Facebook.

 

Now is almost certainly not the best time to try to begin raising funds on Facebook, as the bad publicity is undeniable, I feel, but with Giving Tuesday still ahead in November I do want to keep my hand in the game in case the situation changes for the better.  A little more money could certainly serve our needs.  I am more concerned that Facebook will continue to grow to mean that the business page for our not-for-profit remains useful… https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

Updated 2018-08-03

Source

Facebook Fundraising Tools Now Allow Monthly Giving

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Photographer: Rawpixel.com

I am involved with a small not-for-profit.  We operate a cemetery which otherwise has no one to care for it.

 

This blog is nominally tied to it, and also a hobby of mine.  I believe blogging is an opportunity to be involved with others who are similarly inclined to write blog posts.

 

I am the junior member of the nonprofit, and I help with grounds keeping.  I also assist work inside the disbanded church which is on the grounds of the cemetery, and provide some of the cemetery’s presence on the Internet (on Facebook, and also here:  www.maplelawncemetery.org).

2018-06-17
Peter and Linda

The senior operator is Peter.

 

Occasionally other volunteers lend a hand with the maintenance work.  We have had work done by my nephew Mack, by family friends Bill and Gerard, and by my father’s brothers Paul and Dave.

 

We began in 2012, six years after the church closed its doors for the last time.  The not-for-profit is a small cemetery, which means that there aren’t very many funerals, just a few.  We aren’t unlike volunteers, for a few reasons.

 

To write this post, I researched federal Canadian controversies over nonprofits.  LIVE WELL, DO GOOD‘s David McConkey has provided specifics about giving or receiving charitable donations.

What he is saying on his website inspired what I thought to post today about making donations.

 

  1. One of the reasons that we see ourselves a little like volunteers is that, although typically we would accept donations, we are not a registered charity.  In Canada, only donations to registered charities qualify for an income tax credit.  This means that there is less incentive for parties interested in what we do to bestow us with any kind of gift.

 

  1. This isn’t a big problem, as there isn’t a lot of overhead to go with maintaining a cemetery of this size, but it does make campaigns such as November’s annual Giving Tuesday affair somewhat troubled waters.  We can’t return the favor of a donation with a deduction.

 

  1. Statistics Canada has found that almost everyone (ninety-four percent of those fifteen years old and older) makes charitable donations.  Sometimes these can be valuable art items.
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Abstract expressionism
  1. Despite not being able to provide a tax break, I imagine we would consider accepting donations.  If all goes well, I will probably make some noise again about Giving Tuesday come November this year (like last year).

 

  1. I don’t like to spin my wheels, but nothing good comes easy.  Perhaps by repeating an interest in Giving Tuesday, I will start to unlock chains that keep us out of what works about Giving Tuesday.  We’re operating a cemetery, which demands solemn thinking and which is literally a retreat for visitors who miss their loved ones.

 

  1. Statistics Canada has found that donors who plan ahead give more than others.  As we are involved year-round with people choosing their final resting place or the resting place of their loved ones, perhaps this is something we could investigate if we were looking at how to raise funds for the cemetery.  That being said, to date we have not had a problem caring for the church and cemetery, so we are not under any pressure to need to strenuously keep up the maintenance of the place running smoothly.

 

  1. CanadaHelps.org is a registered charity that facilitates online donations.  They work with thousands of charities.  They issue receipts and forward your donation to a charity you specify, less a three percent transaction fee.

 

Source

Charitable Donations: Top Ten Canadian Tax Tips

 

David McConkey found inspiration in the pages of Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, by Bill Clinton.  Three points specifically raised that David McConkey emphasizes are explained below.

 

  1. Most people on Earth live in a democracy.  Bill Clinton emphasizes that involvement in civil society is quite accessible to more people now than ever.

 

  1. Globalization and technology have made the fortunes of powerful millionaires and billionaires, Clinton writes.  These same individuals are frequently prominent philanthropists.

 

  1. The Internet is certainly steadfast in the opportunity to make civil action. Together, small donors can have a huge impact.

 

Source

Review of Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World

 

Although my dad is a senior citizen, I can foresee us working at this until any set point in the future.  I really don’t know at this time how far into the future we should project, but as helping with the cemetery is the best bet I have for autonomy and independence, I will do the best I can to keep working at caring for the cemetery and for the disbanded church.  I also intend to keep an active presence on Facebook, and here on WordPress.

 

Bill Clinton’s book helped inspire David McConkey’s thoughts on income tax credits and how to take advantage of them.  I invite you to visit us on Facebook.  You may also ask any question you might have of me here on WordPress, over on Quora, or on Twitter.

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Photographer: Ylanite Koppens

If you have a question which I might possibly be able to answer for you, I would be glad to help.  I appreciate that you took the time to visit and I hope that you had a terrific Father’s Day this June.

 

To visually illustrate this post, I have included a couple of shots taken myself, and in addition a stock photo intended to better illustrate some of the information, without being verbose.  Thank you for bearing with me.

About Gifts That Created Joy

The WordPress community provides a daily prompt to get bloggers thinking about what they can write and post. There is also a weekly photo challenge, accompanying the daily prompts, a weekly essay that invites photographers to put a new photo for others interested in the daily prompts to see.

This week’s essay, written by Ben Huberman, has the title “smile.” Ben says to illustrate a moment of joy.

For my birthday this year, the day of March I celebrate my birthday, my parents got me a nice new camera to supplant the one I was shooting with for years, often photos to show what we were doing at the not-for-profit for which I help provide operations. Even though it is already April, I am still learning how to shoot with the new camera, building on the knowledge I already had with the point-and-shoot model that was quite a few years old, several years anyway. I am finding out I am not as good a photographer as I thought, but I hope to improve– https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

A friend reminded me of times past when she showed me photos on her phone of a gentleman who was a good friend to me when he was alive, a man in his sixties named John. In the last several months of his life, we were close and he did me a few favors by getting me things for my home that I needed.

He was proud he was good at “finding” things if you asked him, and he knew for example that the Salvation Army thrift store discarded items which they didn’t feel they could sell to anyone and that he could grab the odd item of value that they didn’t see the value in. And he knew that sometimes neighbors in the complex would put out items for the garbage, which occasionally still had value in them for the purpose of reuse.

I do a lot of my work on a Windows 10 PC, but I never had speakers for it until the day John brought me a pair of computer speakers that positively thrilled me, speakers that both reminded me of the past when I was younger and more exuberant, and in the age of Windows 10, speakers, that gave me the ability to play music with Spotify, for example. It was the best of two worlds.

Of course, I smiled–I took a photo today of John’s gift to get me thinking music. You can see the speakers–and I don’t think the fact that they’re an older model means they’re “rusty.”

They sound nice. I’m not an audiophile, but music helps with a bum mood.

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You can’t say the gear’s rusty yet

You can see a lamp, as well, which true to form John got for me the same way, picking it up when it was headed for discard. John was real and he was cool and he knew how he could help me out.

I shouldn’t overlook my parents’ help, either–the first photo I took with the new camera, when I was still literally learning how to turn it on, was a photo of another lamp, which lights my way to this day, and my favourite chair, and believe it or not, it was John who outfitted me with both of these.

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A reading chair

Of course I miss John and everything he contributed, which was as about life lessons as about material goods. There is an adage that people come into our life for a day, a season or a lifetime, and if you see life in those terms you can enjoy gains that simply wouldn’t have been there if you never trusted.

What Alger Wrote about Silence

2018-01-19

By the time he died in 1899, Horatio Alger Jr. was the author of about a hundred volumes.  His popularity had dwindled, although his writing received favorable comments and a resurgence following his death.  Walter Sherwood’s Probation says, “There are times when silence is golden, and one of those times is at hand.”1

All of Alger’s novels rework the same plot:  a boy struggles to escape poverty.2 It’s not the age of silence. If one has any luck, he has a voice, with which to speak.

The Internet intertwines individual voices, and at times the roar is as one and other times it is dissident.

Humility’s not always to our advantage. When the human voice is silenced, it is the sound of silence, but not nearly as golden a silence as the failing Horatio Alger Jr. posited.

Don’t be inhibited by what is unkind luck and, therefore, misfortune.

Never hesitate when the iron is hot to be forward with this venture, and have a heart and be true. Feel welcome with your words.

Defy the repeal of net neutrality. When curating this the week of the fifteenth of January, 2018, from a post I did September 20, 2016, 20+ states were intent on suing for continuing net neutrality.

Do not let the US ISPs decide the future of the Internet. It is much better a level playing field. Small business can anticipate better odds of success if net neutrality is restored intact.

The weekly WordPress photo challenge Silence was presented Wednesday by Cheri Lucas Rowlands.

2018-01-19
Equipment to render information from noise and silence

If you’re of the mind to “like” this post or “follow” my blog, that’s great. You’re welcome to comment as well.

Works Cited:

1 dictionary.sensagent.com/horatio%20alger%20jr/en-en/
2 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Alger