Japanese Konmari Method to Live Free of Clutter

We moved to this house with one U-Haul truck and now I feel that we’ll need 5 of those trucks to move out. I can’t understand even where all the stuff came from! Time to purge.

Recently I came across Konmari method from Marie Kondo in Japan. She liked to clean her house since childhood and she made millions doing just that and teaching others! Can you imagine making a successful living from something so simple?

Marie Kondo’s idea is simple – if this item doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it.  I used this method and it is so much simpler to think that way rather than “will I use it someday?”

This experience also made me pay more attention to the quality of the clothing I’v got in my wardrobe and the fit. I noticed, for example, that one of the shirts had crooked seams. Another shirt was ripped along the seams and I don’t even know why I had it.

One thing Marie says is not to do clean up little by little, but let’s say group all the shirts and make a decision looking at your entire collection rather than part.

Here are six basic rules of cleaning up:

#1. Commit to it, it will take quite a lot of time.

#2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle. Writing it down or finding photo examples help.

#3. Finish discarding unwanted items before getting storage bins for what’s left to keep.

#4. Sort by category, not per room. It’s best to gather all of the same items at once to see what you need and what you don’t from that selection.

#5. Follow the right order.  There is a sequence from Marie, she recommends to start with clothing, then documents, and only later with sentimental things like photos.

#6. Does it spark joy? If not, don’t keep it.

Do you need a good reason to get started? Decluttering will reduce your stress levels. A study at UCLA found that your cortisol spikes when you see clutter. Multi-tasking overloads our brain, clutter overloads the senses.

 

Psychology of your home: what does your room say about you?

Lately I haven’t been feeling happy about my home. I thought to search a little deeper and see what it may say about what’s going on in my life in general.  Turns out that Sam Gosling, Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas actually made this a research topic and published some results.

If you look around your home, you’ll see that everything there says something about you. What’s in order and what isn’t, for example, may say something about your priorities. It is shaped by your choices.

People use their home to display their identity, for example, by setting out books they want to read or photos of their travels and family.

Each room may reflect how we want to feel there. Let’s say, romance in the bedroom and relaxation in the living room, or motivation and creativity at the office desk.

A room may show some traces of one’s behavior and elements of their personality. For example, orderly DVDs, messy cupboard, etc.  Let’s say a desk cluttered with empty coffee cups and energy drinks reveals a life lacking in balance.

 

 

What happened to the stock generation game by Mavrodi?

I was listening to the interview with Sergey Mavrodi, a Russian entrepreneur, or criminal, depends on who you ask.

He created one of his money schemes in 1998, it was a virtual stock market game called “Stock Generation”. It was registered offshore, somewhere in the Caribbean, with a proper gaming licence.

There were tens of millions of users, but only 3 users disliked something and complained. That triggered a court case in Boston, which Mavrodi won, but then lost at the appeal stage of the case.  He was accused of fraud.

 

 

How to explain to a teenager why it is important to study?

I’ve got a teenage relative visiting. She doesn’t want to study. If I ask her about it, she says “I don’t need it”. OK, so according to her she doesn’t need foreign languages, doesn’t need to know geography of her own country, doesn’t need to read books assigned by her school curriculum, doesn’t need to know about nutrition and health… Can someone help me to explain to a 15 year old girl why it is important to study? The best thing I can come up with is “no study means no money”, but I don’t know what else to really say here. I always enjoyed studying, so I really can’t relate.

Time Management for Stay at Home Entrepreneur Moms

Being a mom means a lot to me, but it also takes up a lot of my time. I can’t work day and night like I once did before. Yes, I have less time.

However, I still want to keep up my business and I cringe when I see my competitors aggressively marketing while I am barely capable of handling client’s requests.

Lately I’ve been catching myself thinking something along the lines of “if I’d have more time, I’d be making more sales and thus more money”… but then I realize that without money I am not going to have that time. It’s a vicious cycle.

It took me a long time just to gather up some courage and hire a baby sitter. I had so many fears around the subject of trusting someone else with my child and also thoughts of how much it will cost me in the long run. Once I hired her, I realized that it is not as scary as I imagined and it costs me more if my work doesn’t get done.

I think I eliminated a bunch of time wasters like television and personal use of social media, but I still find that let’s say for past few recent trips I only managed to pack my suitcase 20 minutes before my departure to the airport.

We work best when we can give a task our full and undivided attention. Brian Tracy says that people should schedule chunks of uninterrupted time. How is it possible when a small child demands supervision and constant care?

Multitasking is a thief of time because it scatters your attention.  Choosing not to scatter it means that you may have to decline a phone call, not to answer someone’s e-mail right away, and so on. It’s not easy and people may take it as an offense, just saying from experience here.

One of my German friends has her username everywhere as “I Am 4 Time”. She is a very organized woman, always on time, generating passive income and finding lots of time to spend with family. One thing I notice about her is that she has a firm schedule. You can hear something from her like “I can help you with your errand, but keep in mind that I need to leave by 12.” She’s got a balance of being friendly and helpful, but also firm.

In an article I read it says that people who struggle with time management and productivity often have great bubbly personalities and lots of friends. It’s a paradox in a sense. I want to manage my time well so I can spend more of it with friends… but then this means that if I spend a lot of time with friends, I’ll have issues with time and productivity. Does it?

I see how easy it is to get sucked into first going for a short visit, then staying longer, then running into another friend… and the whole evening is gone with no time to complete your scheduled tasks. Social media is the worst in that case. I go to see what other people are posting and 10 minutes later I realize that I am reading about what horrible shoes people wore at a red carpet event – totally not what I would imagine doing.

My key to so far to dealing with motherhood and managing my business is to schedule my work and request my spouse or a baby sitter to take over caring for the child. While I work, I have a NOT TO DO list. I will not chat with friends, peel potatoes, wash the sink, etc.

 

How much is your time worth?

We never have enough time. But think about it, Donald Trump has the same amount of time as a janitor, yet he uses it differently. Also, there is a difference. Trump is an entrepreneur, a janitor is an hourly paid employee. People have different working styles, different outlooks, and this is what lands them in completely opposite places

The value of my time

I asked myself one morning, “what is my time worth?”, and I found that question extremely hard to answer.

Time is a finite resource, we should treat it as a precious commodity, the same way we treat money. But determining the precise value it holds in our lives is not easy.

Just where would I start to put a number on it? Shall I think about how much I pay the baby sitter and double it? Or should I remember my last hourly paid job and go for whatever amount I made per hour after taxes? Is the value of my time based on my income?

Values are the core source of making decisions in your life. 

Starbucks at Safeway takes a nose dive – dirty, unsanitary, and indifferent.

Starbucks in Calgary… wouldn’t it be just like any other Starbucks in the world? That would make sense to me, since it’s a regulated chain with a high end image. No wonder they can afford to charge $5 for a drink.

Perhaps either today I am a bitter bitch, or perhaps for real my expectations for Starbucks have fallen lower than the side curb. I figured to spend some time working in a Starbucks at a Calgary Safeway grocery store, but to my surprise the staff totally disregarded my request to clean up a little. Overflowing garbage can, litter on the floor, so on. Well, she did wipe the counter before I filmed this video, but that’s about it.

I always looked up to Starbucks as a great example of a business model. In my university they even taught it as a case study for our entrepreneurship course. But now I am looking at this beat up, run down place and wondering if the brand grew too big to care.

Maybe Starbucks will say that this facility is maintained by Safeway, and not by them. But in this case I feel that if Safeway cannot live up to their level of cleanliness, then they should not be at that particular store.

I am packing up my stuff and going home to my Nespresso machine! Starbucks, goodbye. Nespresso, what else?

 

Karatbars International – Is it a Scam? (IMS & Associates, Offshore Credit Cards, Gold)

Today some girl I barely know called me all bubbly, saying something like “I just found out about a wonderful business, I don’t even understand it myself, but it is so profitable that there are not enough chairs to seat all the attendees.”

Whenever someone says that it is wonderful, but they are reluctant to explain anything because someone else can explain it better, a red flag goes off for me. In my opinion a beautiful business idea should be simple enough to get across without a big presentation.

I doubt I’ll even attend that presentation, but I can tell you right away that there is something strange going on. Any reputable credit card provider has a polished website, but these guys seem to have it quite mediocre, with little formatting mishaps here and there and Wikipedia is indicated as a source for some information. Even the video looks somehow familiar since all of those images are taken from stock photo sites.

I found the following online from the AMF Bureau:

Montréal – On April 17, 2014, at the request of the Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”), the Bureau de décision et de révision (“Bureau”) issued prohibition orders relating to certain activities of Karatbars International Gmbh (“Karatbars”), Robert La Rivière, Michel Desroches and Anthoni Snopek involving Karatbars’ affiliate and referral program.

More specifically, the Bureau has prohibited them from directly or indirectly trading in securities under any form of investment covered by the Securities Act issued by Karatbars, whether via the Internet or otherwise. It has also prohibited them from acting as a securities adviser. The Bureau is concerned that, without these orders, the respondents will continue to solicit investors.”

As you see, the company is already in trouble in Quebec and I imagine that other provinces will catch on to this soon too. This is just another pyramid scheme according to the critics and some information provided is actually false (ex. Prosegur does not store gold on their behalf).

Sport, Technology, and Business.