TBTM #45: “Soldier Boy’s Reality #10 – 3 Principles of Visibility”

3 things I take with me everyday, that apply in field work and in civilian life back home.

These three ‘Principles of Visibility’ have kept me alive in every possible situation I have experienced since I started doing field work.

1) It’s a two way street. – If you have the asset(s) down range from you, always remember that you are also down range from them.

2) The bush line is only a guide not a rule. Sometimes the skyline is the better option. – A low profile is ideal but staying below the bushline where the bush cuts the horizon is not always possible to maintain nor always practical for achieving the objective. You need to adapt to the situation and keep a realistic view of the objective. Sometimes that means relocation to achieve a different vantage point to complete the objective. This might mean changing elevation, if you cannot achieve the functional vantage from your current station, you might need to move to a higher ground to complete the objective with a top-down vantage.

3) Eyes on you, got your back. – Though it’s important to manage your visibility on the ground, it’s just as important for your command to know where you are at all times. And as much as possible your position should be accessible by your support and you should be aware of all possible points of extract.


10 Things I Learned About Running A Group Of Companies

After consulting one of my mentors I’ve come to accept the feedback that I don’t actually need more partners, or for that matter as many partners as I currently have, what I actually need is just more employees.

1) Establish My Inner Circle – I have my core partners and staff which I should keep because they have my back and act as extensions of my ambitions, and they are essential to specific aspects of my business. What they do might be replaced by someone else but they should be kept because I can trust them.

2) Identify The Fringe – I should cut the fat outside of my core team because some partners function more as collaborators. So they should be clearly established as useful but not essential. These are replacable resources that may be called upon for specific funtions when required.

3) Stuff The Beanbag – I should staff all my companies with full-time employees from the start. And make myself redundant in those operations from the start. I should not have to be involved in the execution of day-to-day business operations. My only role is to set direction, review performance and approve policy. Everything else should be done by the employees.

4) Don’t Be The Easter Bunny – Most people don’t actually want to be their own boss. They just want to be paid regularly for what they do and feel appreciated. I don’t need to offer them shares or profit sharing. All I need to do is treat them well enough for them to feel appreciated and pay them wages that allow them to live comfortably (not necessarily luxuriously) so they feel appreciated and motived to contribute every day they come to work.

5) The Bottom Line Is The Bottom Line – At the end of the day despite the intangible reasons of why I do business and what I intend to spend my money on, the bottom line is that I need to make money. The basic point of a business is to make money that I can spend. If that money doesn’t end up in my bank account it is of no value to me. Sure I could spend it on charity by donating it or hiring more people to work for me, which I where I currently spend what I don’t roll back into the business. However I am not an employee of the company I am an owner of the company, I need to make sure that my investors and I get our returns on investment. There would be no company without the investors or me, employee positions can always be created and filled.

6) Focus On Doing What I Do – I should be focusing on developing and creating ideas for opportunities, and leading people. I should not be stuck in the execution. My value to the company is the opportunities for income I create, which means my ideas and vision. The execution should be done by the employees whose value is in their contribution to the execution of my ideas and vision.

7) Buy Talent And Ability – For any operational function there is someone out there that can be hired to do the job within the wage budget. We just have to find them, hire them and inspire/motivate them tangibly or intangibly to produce the results.

8) Be The Boss – I am not paid to be nice or generous, those are my own personal touches. I am paid to light the fire under people’s asses and be the beacon to the destination, so that they make money for the company.

9) Sales Is Everyone’s Job – Every employee of the company contributes to sales either by being good ambassadors of the company by giving a good impression of the company to everyone they meet or actually bringing in sales for the company. If they don’t contribute to sales in either of those ways then the company does not need to keep them on the payroll.

10) There Are Only Two Ways To Become A Billionaire – The first way to become a billionaire is to make a billion dollars. The other way is to have a billion dolllars. Not many people are capable of doing either, for those people that can it’s just a matter of when.

TBTM #36: “How To Be A Legit Sponsored Pro Athlete”

One of the questions I get asked regularly by younger athletes and parents of kids in my classes is “can anyone really make a living as a sportsman?”.

This question is still being asked despite the fact that professional athletes have been doing it for ages, literally ages, since even before Rome was an empire.

Of course what they’re really saying is “Can I / my kid make it as a pro athlete?”.

There are two ways to answer this, the technical way and the keeping it real way.

The technical answer is “Yes, technically anyone could be a pro athlete if they put in enough work, stick to the programme and did everything it took to get there and stay there.”.

The brutally honest truth keeping it real is “Out of every thousand athletes, maybe 1 would actually be good enough (i.e. have the talent or skill level) to turn pro. Of that maybe 1 in ten would would probably have the discipline to work to compete at a professional level. So the chances are something like 0.001% that anyone can turn pro.”

That doesn’t actually mean that chances are slim for everyone.

If you have the right genetics and/or nurturing there is a better chance of you making it.

If you’re truly serious about having a career as a professional athlete, then you’ll need to be prepared to accept the truth that you will need both enough talent and enough hard work to make it happen.

My organisation’s purpose of existence is to give athletes the platform to turn pro. I personally don’t believe in grooming anyone for the purpose of becoming just national athletes, because most of national athletes are just amateurs. To turn pro you definitely have to be better than any amateur athlete in your sport, that’s a given. Records mean nothing if they don’t feed your family. Turning pro means you are actually able to make a living just from the sport alone, anything outside of that is a bonus.

Okay, so now here comes the boom, what you need to know about turning pro successfully in 5 points.

How to be a legit sponsored pro athlete?

1) You must be one of the best at what you do at the global level.

2) You must be a professional, in terms of your training discipline and competition performance management. This is what it means by “Train to kill, not train to fight.”.

3) You must be a comedian but not a joker/clown. If you do not understand the difference between the two, you are not a pro athlete yet. You have to be able to entertain with humour relevant to the community and fans in your sport.

4) You must sign a contract that pays you enough to not need a day job. However if you want to keep a day job, that’s all about good schedule management.

5) You must be willing to take public criticism. To be honest, this should be the easiest part because the only members of the public that matter are your fans and the people that buy the products you endorse, treat them right because their purchases pay for your contracts and royalties. Anyone else can say what they want, but they are irrelevant because they don’t help you pay your bills or feed your family.

TBTM #31: Safety First Always Because We Are Pro Adventure Racers Not Amateur Thrill Seekers

Reviewing the equipment list for XPD and the other world series races. Without a doubt the most expensive piece of equipment are the fully fitted MTBs at approximately ($16k-22k each). 


The most important however are the relatively cheapest equipment of the racer’s pack: THE SAFETY EQUIPMENT! The Helmets (Bike & Water) ($70-200), the PFDs ($80-200 each), 2G Mobile Phones (Trusty Nokia) ($25 each) for emergency casevac, the Waterproof Bags to keep the phones dry at all times (Good ol’ Ziploc 1 Ga Freezer Bags) ($5-6 a box), and Mylar Space Blankets ($1-3 each) to fight Hypothermia.

Call AR crazy but we are sensible, the most important gear, SAFETY gear, is the most affordable. AR is a sport where the most important thing is safety. And this is always emphasized in every aspect. Competitors are not allowed to enter professional races if they cannot demonstrate requisite competence in all race discipline skills, water survival skills and adequate fitness levels. It is the culture and the mindset of AR Professionals. 

If you think you want to do it for thrills and adrenaline you are not the right person for AR. AR is for people with drive, determination and discipline that can handle sleep deprivation, and physical and mental stress without losing composure and control. 

AR Competitors must also be skilled in rescue (deep water and wilderness) and lifesaving, because as a team sport you not only work together to keep your team mates safe but also look after fellow racers in other teams. We are a community. 

No racer has died in the tour. Given that racers compete across distances from 300 km to 1000+ km in forests, mountains, deserts, rivers, lakes and oceans. The culture of safety in the AR community is the reason why. 

Inspired by Hemingway: “The World’s Liars”

“The World’s Liars”
9th November 2011

World leaders,
Labelled or so they seem,
Yet behind their leer lies something obscene,
Power of fear,
Fear of the seen,
Fear of the shown,
Fear that they’ve sown,
The reality constructed to justify the sin,
Just one or are there seven?
The press and print,
The telecasters and screen,
All lies,
Our fingertips do zine,
Twenty-four and seven,
They monopolize our eyes,
Our ears.
String our hearts to sympathize,
To the sight of innocents we do.
But our minds,
Our minds are free,
To decide what lies,
Lies beneath the guise,
Of patriotism and faux empathy.
When common sense prevails,
We see what lies,
For the lies they truly are,
And the World Liars for who they be.

Lesson in Corporate Governance & Industry Leadership: Corporate Social Responsibility: “Apple VS Porn”

Hi folks,

I found this article on CNET.com, on Apple CEO Steve Jobs saying “If you want porn, get an android”. It’s an interesting example of how corporate governance can be used to manage the image of a brand.

Apple effectively controls the listing of pornographic products on its iTunes online store. Creating the suggestion that it is taking a moral stand, in that even though pornography can still find it’s way onto iPhones by the user’s own initiative by personal web browsing or pc downloads, by taking control of the one channel of distribution under it’s control (iTunes App store proprietary online store) it would appear to not approve of the use of pornography on iPhones.

Although I do know of a Samsung Galaxy S owner with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) (chronic tendinitis of the wrists and flanges as a result of too much unnatural arching and repetitive stroking hand and finger movements over an extended period of time), the CTS condition was pre-existing so I doubt that the Android platform and it’s openness to all manner of apps was the cause of the CTS.

This reminds us that it is the users’ own horniness that determines what content they access and what they use their battery powered portable “entertainment” devices for.

So even if we know that it is the user not the device that matters, why is it that Apple is taking this moral position?

The answer is because of IMAGE, and image is Apple’s actual product.

By adding this brand value of “Morality”, Apple is enhancing it’s brand marketability to both moral people, and people that want to keep up the appearance of morality.

This is a brilliant Corporate Social Responsibility marketing strategy by the world’s largest corporation by market capitalisation. Take a moral stand on one aspect of the business and draw more attention to it. Even though, given it is a rather safe position against “categorically objectionable content”, rather than anything with more diverse sensitivities like religion, sexuality or ethnicity.

Shrewd industry leadership by Steve Jobs, he knows that he will be selling to a significant number of hypocrites but he’s smart enough to know that people have common sense enough to know that he’s selling the appearance of morality. And they’re buying it by the billion$.

Enjoy the read. Cheers! 🙂




April 20, 2010 10:19 AM PDT

Steve Jobs: If you want porn, get an Android

by Chris Matyszczyk

Pornography, like disappointment, is a hard thing to avoid.

As both production and access have become easier and cheaper, there seems an endless number of (free) opportunities to discreetly partake of the same scenes over and over again played by different actors with different surgical histories.

However, if the latest e-mail purportedly sent by Apple CEO Steve Jobs to a customer called Matthew Browning is, indeed, genuine, then Apple seems to be reaching for some moral high ground, which may or may not be virtual.

Browning wrote to Jobs because he was concerned that Apple was choosing to become something that I don’t remember seeing on “The Wire”: a moral policeman. Browning worried that Apple’s initial blocking of an app by satirical cartoonist, Mark Fiore, sent a dubious signal. He then went on to discuss Apple’s stance on porn.

According to TechCrunch, he wrote: “I’m all for keeping porn out of kids hands. Heck–I’m all for ensuring that I don’t have to see it unless I want to. But…that’s what parental controls are for. Put these types of apps into categories and allow them to be blocked by their parents should they want to.”

To the untrained eye, ear, and moral compass, this seems like wise logic. However, the Apple CEO reportedly replied: “Fiore’s app will be in the store shortly. That was a mistake. However, we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy and (sic) Android phone.”

It’s a peculiar moral dilemma for cell phone manufacturers, this porn thing. Google’s Android, having hoisted its flag of openness, must sail by it. Perhaps it will, at some future date, decide whether there’s a point at which the doors are excessively ajar. However, late last year, a company with the dubiously cute name of MiKandi was the first to brag about its Androidable porn store and I’ve not noticed reports of people on the streets with placards desperate for the stoning of its CEO.

It’s not hard to consider this a debate about image rather than reality. There is surely nothing to stop you, should you be so inclined, from opening up the Safari browser on your iPhone and surfing for as much porn as your little heart cares to consume.

I’m not suggesting you should, merely that you can. Isn’t the truth that Apple can’t stop porn from appearing on the iPhone, but it can attempt (the Playboy app being just one curious exception) to avoid the perception that the company is directly making money from it?

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20002922-71.html#ixzz1F2VhZtZA

Emanisms: “Relationship Management in the Classroom”

The argument for smaller class sizes has gone on for as long as I can remember. Though it has it’s skeptics, as well.

Personally I think the issue is not as much about the amount of attention a child receives but the value of the attention that child receives from and gives to the teacher.

The issue is that if a class size is too big, the teacher can’t possibly monitor every single personality at once, and so the child can just as easily be distracted by or be a distraction to other students in the class, taking away from the value of the learning interaction during a classroom lecture.

On the other hand if a class size is too small, then the social development aspect of the school experience is compromised.

This brings me to my main point, “Relationship Management in the Classroom” is the key aspect of finding a solution. Classes should be of adequate size to make it possible for teachers to manage relationships with students effectively and yet allow students to have sufficient interaction with a variety of different personalities to learn relationship management themselves.

Relationship management in this sense refers to the channel of communication between student and teacher being clear enough for a feedback loop to be formed so that the needs of the child can be expressed and assessed by their primary care giver in that context the teacher.

It is not realistic to expect a teacher to manage relationships at depth with all students given that teachers teach more than one class group for each subject, that would not be possible with a human being no matter how dedicated to the profession they are.

Hence the level of depth prescribed should be that the child can communicate their needs directly to the teacher and for the teacher to be able to assess the needs of that child accordingly and address the situation appropriately by recommending or referring them to relevant parties for appropriate course of action to be taken if special care is required, in most cases however special care would not be required and it just means that the teacher can give them customised learning help by teaching them certain study skills that would help them learn and absorb information better on their own while paying attention to class lectures.

Note that the key point there is to enable them to engage in learning during classes, this simply means that the teacher can communicate to them during personal address that if they pay attention in class they will benefit educationally for a purpose of interest to them. This can only be done if the student lets the teacher know if they have certain needs, by verbal communication or by the teacher reading them through observation. And to do this the teacher can’t be overloaded with an unmanageable case load of personalities, it is not possible, if a social worker is overloaded if they have 35-40 cases a month, what more a teacher who has to look at twice that number of cases while planning curriculum. Be realistic.

If the conditions are right, meaning the classes are of manageable size and the teacher is given sufficient license to engage in meaningful conversation with the students, the value of this interaction would be far greater than just educational output, it would be beneficial for social development as well. A child given the benefit of engaging in regular dialogue with an educated adult, would give them more confidence in social interaction as an adult and more mature communication capabilities as a result.

Education is an investment in value producing capacity, not an industry of production capacity.