Tag Archive | "Malcolm Gladwell;"

How to Suceed in a New Culture


New cultures can improve or destroy your happiness, fulfillment and success.  Moving to a new place like Ecuador can immerse you in a new culture.  Moving from Florida to the Blue Ridge can also immerse you in a new culture.  Moving from a city to a small town immerses you in a new culture.

See why, even if you do not move, you are being immersed in a new culture right now.

First, let me remind you.  Ecuador fresh cut Christmas Roses can only be ordered from now until noon EST this Thursday, December 18.

christmas roses

Red Christmas roses at our house.  Order fresh Ecuador roses for Christmas here.

Let’s get back to changes in cultures right here and now and how such changes can can have a positive or negative impact on our wealth and even health.

Would it seem strange to discover that the best education you could have for success in the USA today might be the one that was taught in the Soviet Union two decades ago?

Have you ever wondered why one of the best books on libertarianism, “Atlas Shrugged” was written by a Russian?

atlas shrugged

Get details on “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand at Amazon.com

A key to success, happiness and prosperity is being in tune with the workings of the culture that surrounds you.

Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, examines these ideas when he looks at why some people succeed and others do not.  He suggests that a great part of success comes from taking advantage of cooperation within the norms of a specific culture.  The book points out for example that cultures that have evolved from shepherds are different than from farmers.  Shepherds constantly need to guard against predators.  Arable farmers on the other hand have a strong requirement to collaborate to plant harvest and store their crops.

 

outliers

Outliers-Story-Success-Malcolm-Gladwell

A New York Times article “Wheat People vs. Rice People – Why Are Some Cultures More Individualistic Than Others?” by T.M. Lurhmann (1) points out that Americans and Europeans have evolved differently from the rest of the world because we more deeply sense of ourselves as individuals.

People in the rest of the world are more likely to understand themselves as interwoven with their culture.  The article points out: “In America, we say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. In Japan, people say that the nail that stands up gets hammered down.

This difference affects how we think and process information. For example, when Americans see a large fish swimming among other fish and seaweed fronds, they remember the big fish first. Japanese viewers remember the background.

In a test at San Francisco International Airport arriving travelers were asked to complete a survey and offered a handful of pens.  Most of the pens were one color but there was also one pen of a different color.  Travelers of European descent more often chose the one pen that stood out.  Asians chose the one more like the others.

These cultural differences can even impact our health.  Feeling bad has a greater negative health affect on Americans and Europeans because we take the blame for our bad feelings.  Those effects are less powerful on Japanese because they are more likely to attribute the feelings to their larger situation and not to blame themselves.

A study published at sciencemag.org entitled “Large-Scale Psychological Differences Within China Explained by Rice Versus Wheat Agriculture” says:
We propose that a history of farming rice makes cultures more interdependent, whereas farming wheat makes cultures more independent, and these agricultural legacies continue to affect people in the modern world.  We tested 1162 Han Chinese participants in six sites and found that rice-growing southern China is more interdependent and holistic-thinking than the wheat-growing north.

The publication also links to  a study published in the journal Science that shows how different mindsets are created by wheat farming and rice farming.  Rice requires standing water, complex irrigation and each farmer’s water use affects others.  Rice farmers needs to work together more than wheat farmers. Wheat takes substantially less coordination and cooperation. Historically, Europeans have grown wheat. Asians have grown rice.

The authors of the study in Science also argue “You do not need to farm rice yourself to inherit rice culture.”

We’ll be happier and more successful if we understand how the cultural impact of our past affects us as we learn how to adapt it to the culture that exists where we move. 

This adaptation is important even when we do not move because the culture in which we live is continually in change.

I am writing a new report  “How to Survive and Prosper in Cynical Cycle”.   The report reveals the link between hidden information of 70 years ago and how it can affect the culture that surrounds us now and into the future.  The report shares how knowing about the link may save our savings and ability to earn and protect our savings and investments in the next two years.

Shortly I’ll be publishing this report at Amazon.com.  Before I take this step, I asked readers to enroll in a focus group and review the first edited draft as part of a group study.   This group was limited to 300 readers has been filled.  I plan to have future focus groups for various projects.  If you would like to be on a waiting list, please enroll here.  There is no cost.

To be added to the waiting list click here.

Gary

Tap into two cultures with languages.

(1) Wheat People vs. Rice People

(2)  www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6184/603

How to Go Viral Part II


The basics of going viral have to be learned by inspiration or by the hour.   How do you gain inspiration?  You put in the hours.

Earning by the hour is not the best way to earn.  The hours we have are limited.  This is why I love writing.  For every hour you spend writing your publication can provide the multiple effect again… and again.

I spent many hours creating the core of our Self Publishing writing to sell online course.   Readers have been buying it for 20 years so my hours have been multiplied hundreds of times.

The initial effort to write and market well, is usually learned through practice by the hour.

Malcolm Gladwell has written four really good books to study for anyone who writes, has a business or invests…. “The Tipping Point”, “Blink” and “Outliers: The Story of Success”.

micro-business-idea

Malcom Gladwell speaking on Ted.

In the Outliers, Gladwell presents a strong argument that if you want to really succeed you have to put in 10,000 hours before your best success will come.

Practice makes perfect.

Gladwell acknowledges the importance of ability, work ethic, luck, a strong support base and even being born in the right year as being important parts of success.

Yet he points out that it is “learning through action” that hones one’s abilities and skills.  This type of learning develops the contacts, insights needed to be a top performer.

Gladwell uses the Beatles’ rise to fame in the 1960s as one example.  The Beatles performed live in Hamburg, Germany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time, shaping their talent, so they were in the right place at the right time sounding like no one else when the rock boom exploded. Those hours that they put in were their making.

Bill Gates is another example.  Outliers shows how Gates gained special access to a high school computer in 1968 at the age of 13, and spent 10,000 hours programming on it placing him in a position to take advantage of the programming boom. He of course has become one of the world’s richest men.

“No one – not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires and not even geniuses – ever makes it alone,” writes Gladwell in “Outliers: The Story of Success”.

Ten Thousand Hours at Work

Take Hugh Howey as an example.   In 2011 while working at a book store, Hugh typed out a short story “Wool” during his lunch breaks.  Soon this publication was earning him over $100,000 a month on Amazon.

Hugh Howey

I am enjoying a lesson in humility with Hugh Howey here.  Hugh writes well.  He plays good chess also.  He politely set the table for this photo with a Fool’s Mate from my side.  (The truth is he cleaned my clock at chess!)

This book of Hugh’s might seem like an instant success but it was not.  Hugh’s story teaches us many lessons about starting small and putting in the hours required to refine the craft of writing.  First, he shows that you do not have to have a degree in literature to succeed in writing.  He dropped out of college and moved from job to job, being a Caribbean yacht captain, doing computer repair, roofing, and finally working in a small Appalachian town as a bookstore clerk.  During all this activity Hugh was writing, writing and writing.

This is inspiration… these earnings and writing what he loves.   His many hours of work tell an even more important tale. Hugh Howey did this and created quite an amazing story you can hear about in his video interview below.

You can turn your back on the rat race and fulfill your dreams through writing.   Many don’t because they feel that writing somehow has something to do with education.  This is not true. So many writers have no literary background at all as this short video with Hugh Howey explains at the end of this note.

Start Small and Grow

writing upsdie down

Picture the ten thousand hour writing apprenticeship like building a pyramid of writing skills from the topside down.  Starting small and growing exponentially.

Good writers are good readers, good listeners,  good observers and editors.  Most of all good writers are good story tellers!

Most of us have been reading books since we began school or before.  We already have that tens of thousands hours.

We may have written ten thousands of hours at school, in letters, emails and such.

Now we need 10,000 hours of observing and converting the observations into written stories.  Then we need to read them to ourselves and listen as well as read the story.

The good news is you can be paid for your apprenticeship.  You do not have to wait ten thousand hours before you sell what you write… just as Hugh Howey did.

Just do not be surprised if your BIG instant success does not come instantly.

The best way to be successful at writing is… read, listen, observe, write, self publish… a lot.

Gary

Seven P Secrets of Self Publishing

When you write, you can work anywhere.   Here I am working poolside in the winter, at our Florida farm.

gary scott

Here I am with our hound Ma, working during the summer at our North Carolina farm.

Learn how to earn everywhere, while living anywhere you choose.  I have been able to earn by writing in Hong Kong, England, the Isle of Man, Dominican republic and Ecuador to name a few of the place I have lived.  Everywhere I have been… too numerous to share here, I have been able to work.  All I need is my laptop.

A pencil and pad even did the job before.  Freedom is just one benefit that you can gain from writing.

Another is income.   Writing has brought me both farms, free and clear… plus a lot more.

Another good example is my friend Hugh Howey.  He was working for $10 an hour in a book store when he self published his novel Wool, typing in a storage room during his lunch breaks.  Soon he was earning over $100,000 a month on Amazon.com.  This helped secure a six-figure book deal from Simon & Schuster, and an option for film by Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner and Alien.

Hugh Howey

Sometimes Hugh and I get together at my  farm and play chess (he beats me badly).

Writers like High are great inspirations.

A couple of years ago Hugh  left Florida, and moved to South Africa.  He had a sailing catamaran built for him and now can sail the world while he continues to write.

Hugh explained it like this: And that’s the miracle of working as a writer: I can do it from anywhere and everywhere. The past few years, I’ve done a lot of writing from airplanes and airports while on business trips abroad.  SAND was entirely written overseas while traveling through seven different countries; I think it’s a better story because of those inspirations. In upcoming years, I may be writing near your home port.

Hugh’s a super star writer and his success could not happen to a more deserving and talented person.  He pours enormous energy into being worthy of his readership.  But you do not have to be a million dollar a year earner or a traveler to benefit from writing.

The good news is… you do not need a huge success to have a rich and fulfilled lifestyle.  Self Publishing can bring you a life that most people only dream of, as a journeyman writer, instead of a super star.

May I hastily add that the path to stardom begins as a journeyman… so the journeyman’s path brings success without stardom… but can also lead to stardom.

What most success stories like Hugh’s rarely explain is the many hours of writing that was devoted before their self published book sales soared.   Hugh, like me and most writers were journeymen first.  Stardom came later.

Here are sevens secrets that can help you become a journeyman writer. 

The secrets are a writer’s armory of tools that allows almost anyone to create successful publications for income, freedom and fulfillment.

Take Merri’s and my publishing business as an example.  

Merri and I are not writing stars.  We are journeymen who have for more than 40 years, year in and year out, earned solid income writing and self publishing dozens of publications about multiple subjects.

Some years that income has been more than solid… over a million dollars.  Yet in terms of stardom, we are hardly known.

In a moment you’ll see why that’s fine for us and probably will be for you too.

First some history.

Merri became involved in self publishing over 40 years ago… first helping a veterinarian publish a book on a very specific market… animal acupuncture. Then she showed a needle point artist how to sell more books to an even more specific audience… “needle point enthusiasts”  about her needle point work to an audience larger than the population of the city she lived in.  This led Merri to eventually become Executive Editor of an award winning magazine in Florida.

My story allowed Merri and me to work and live from Hong Kong to London to Europe to Eastern Europe, then the Caribbean and then Ecuador… making millions in the process of following our adventures… having fun… while helping a large readership adapt to a rapidly changing world.

That’s what self publishing can bring, profit, adventure and fulfillment, a great feeling of worth and wonder.

Self Publishing has created exactly the lifestyle we desire allowing us to span the world and work with meaning and purpose.

Self Publishing has become a new business art form. 

The seven secrets can help you start your own self publishing business now.

Everything in publishing is new and exciting and changing.  Publishing is being recreated by the wonderful power of destructive technology.

Everything is new… except the seven secrets. 

Change in the publishing industry is disturbing many.   We love this evolution due to these seven secrets we call the 7Ps.  The 7 Ps are so fundamental to writing and publishing that new technology enhances rather than reduces their power.

The First P is Passion.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it AND create income with self publishing.  This can be your direct ticket to the kind of fulfillment you’ve always wanted.

Whether you want to travel the world or live as a recluse, work 12 hours a day or not work much at all,  you can set your schedule to succeed, if you’re willing to learn these seven secrets.

You can start part-time with any dream, passion, and budget.  Once you’ve created a product, you’ll enjoy the “multiple effect” of producing profits over and over again.

So the question is… What do you love to do?

What’s Your Passion:  An example is that thirty years ago, a client of Merri’s had a passion to help people who were in pain?  He published a series of pamphlets explaining various chiropractic disorders in very simple terms.  For example: “What Is Whiplash?”

The pamphlets contained solid information, but were simple 5″ x 7″ brochures with drawings and explanations. He sold them with a rack to chiropractors, who put them in their offices for patients to read.  These little self-published items sold year in and year out for decades.

There are thousands of ideas of this sort that can lead to big business.  It’s just a matter of defining and then acting on your passion.

Although I can work when I please and go where I wish, for me the most important reason for being a publisher is the satisfaction it brings. 

I love the projects I take on, so work doesn’t feel like, well… work.

What do you love?  If you love golf, then you can write and sell publications about golf.  Love travel, fishing, dogs, dolls, or art?  Write and sell publications in these fields.

Are you concerned about crime, war, poverty or environmental issues?  You can publish information products that help reduce these concerns.

Would you like to help the world be a more spiritual place?  Publish a newsletter, write a book (or hire someone to write it for you), record a tape… publish something that enlightens people.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it and earn income by publishing for ereaders, print on demand, CDs, lists, bound books, or any format you choose.

Be immersed in your passion and get paid well for it. 

This is why stardom is not the main goal for most writers and self publishers.  Extra income, more freedom and fulfillment are usually more than enough enough.

The seven Ps are:

#1: Passion

#2: Problem

#3: Person

#4: Profitably Priced Product

#5: Prospecting Pathway

#6: Promise

#7: Presentation

The first time I exposed others to the secrets in Self Publishing was in a weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.  We offered the camp for $1,500. 80 delegates enrolled.  People from all walks of life attended—chiropractors, businessmen, investors, doctors, realtors, inventors, airline pilots, engineers, and housewives.

Merri and I were so overwhelmed by the response, we decided to make it available to a larger audience.  We created a written course based on our current self publishing activity called “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.”  Then we recorded the weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.

Thousands have used the course as it has evolved over the decades.

You can receive both the written course and the recorded weekend seminar, in an MP3 file, in a special “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program I am making available to you.  The normal fee is $299 for the written course and $299 for the recorded workshop.   I’ll send you both the course and the recorded workshop and my course “International Business Made EZ (also $299) all for $299.  You save $598.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund .

These courses are not theoretical.  They describe, step-by-step, how Merri and I built a million-dollar international business and how we are running this self publishing business right now.   We use the 7Ps today just as we did four decades ago to create a strong annual income.

This correspondence course is for those who would like their own international self publishing micro business for fun and profit. If you want fun, freedom, extra income and fulfillment with your own full or part time writing or want to build your existing business, by writing to sell you can profit from this course.  The course can help who want their own business or who want to have a business together or a family business.  This is the perfect course for those who can no longer find employment, who are looking for ways to earn abroad and who wish to retire and supplement their income.

Whether you are retired, an investor, chiropractor, doctor, dentist, professional or already own your own business, this offers another way to make money, to turn your passion into profit. We guarantee that we have shared all we know to help you start and run your own international business.  Enjoy and live a life of following your Passion to Profit… through writing.

Here is a special offer. 

We provide two emailed courses  “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell and be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ”.

We include the “Self Fulfilled Writing and Self Publishing Course” because there are two reasons to write, when you have something to say or when you have something to sell.  In this day and age many of us want to do both, make a statement that makes the world a better place and earn something extra in the process. 

Whatever your passion, however you do business, chances are you’ll be writing either to create a product or to sell a product. 

You save more than $598 because you also receive a recorded webinar conducted by our webmaster David Cross (at no extra cost).

David-cross-images tags:"2012-4-20"

David Cross

David has been our webmaster since our website began in the 1990s.  He is Merri’s and my business partner. We could not run our business as we do without him.

Learn the tactics we use in our web business that condenses 27 years of practical experience about search engine optimization, and writing for search engines.

For the last 27 years David has worked with companies large and small – IBM, Agora Publishing, AstraZeneca and many small business owners.  He has worked in 22 countries, and lived in six of them.

David’s clients span the globe and represent companies and charities both large and small.  From corporate giants to small, one-woman businesses and everything from finance, healthcare, publishing, technology, real estate, veterinarians, alternative health centers and everything in between.

David is an essential part of our web based business.

Myles Norin, CEO of Agora, Inc.  wrote:  “I have found David’s knowledge and experience unmatched in the industry.  Without David’s expertise and guidance for the past 7 years, we would not be nearly as successful as we are.”

As Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Inc. in Baltimore, MD, he worked closely with Agora’s publishers and marketers and – over a 7-year period – helped to propel Agora’s online revenues from around $20 million to well over $300 million.

David’s webinar will help you gain benefits in your micro business that large internet marketing companies use.  In this practical recorded workshop you will learn valuable skills to help your micro business.

There has never been a time when the opportunity for small businesses abroad has been so outstanding.  Expand your borders now!  Increase your economic security freedom, independence and success.

If you are not fully satisfied that this offers you enormous value simply email us for a full refund within 60 days.  You can keep all three courses as our thanks for giving our courses a try.

You also receive a report  “How to use Relaxed Concentration to Brainstorm Business Ideas” and a recorded workshop “How to Become and Remain Rich With Relaxed Concentration” at no additional cost.

Plus you get more in the program.

You receive the Report, “How to Finance a Small Business Overseas” (no extra fee).

Merri and I have always preferred to start our micro businesses  through cash flow.  However in the early the days of our business I found myself raising extra capital several times.  I have also helped numerous businesses raise money to get started.  This report shares several experiences to give a thumbnail sketch of how to raise money abroad.

In addition you receive regular writing and self publishing updates for a year.  Businesses usually need to evolve.  Merri and I continue to publish and have our independent businesses.  Some basics have remained for decades, but new strategies occur all the time throughout the year.  We’ll be sending along updates that share our most recent experiences as we learn and continue to grow our international micro business from Smalltown USA.

My special offer to you in this “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”, is that you receive:

  • “International Business Made EZ” course
  • “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” course
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3,
  • The report “How to Raise Money Abroad”
  • Report and MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
  • Any updates to any of the courses, workshops, reports or recordings for a year.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund . 

To order International Business Made EZ and the entire “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program for $299.  Click Here.

See success stories from Self Publishers and a few who have attended the “Writer’s Camp” you can hear on MP3.

 

Visit Hugh Howey’s website here.

 

 

Hugh Howey and Gary Scott on Spending Time Writing

All You Need is Love


All you need is love.

There is some very powerful scientific evidence that  supports this well known phrase.  The act of turning your passion to profit is a real medicine that improves health and supports longevity.

There are some great examples of this… such as Yoko Ono.

yoko ono

This photo is from the Guardian.com article Yoko Ono: Happy 80th Birthday.

That Guardian article says:  She should be taking it easy as she enters her 80s. “I will put my feet up when I’m in a coffin,” she said last year, “but until then I will do my best to have a full life.”

A full life means active life as she celebrated her 80th birthday with her son, Sean Lennon, and plan a gig with the Plastic Ono Band in Berlin.  A retrospective of her art has just opened in Frankfurt.

In another interview in Times magazine (see video link below) she was asked:  “Do you think you’ll retire”?  Her reply: I never thought of it. It would be so silly to retire now. Its like my second life is opening up. When I became 70, I thought, Wow, it’s great!  I’d like people to know. especially women.  They’re always thinking, I’m going to be 40!  What am I gong to do?  Well 70 was great. Eighty’s even better.

When asked in another interview about her new album the reply was… “This is the best album I have done in 80 years.

This is a true example of a “Sager”…  a person who gains more from the benefits of experience than spends on the cost of  age… at work.

You can do this to!

Evidence of Love’s Power
In his book the “Outliers” Malcolm Gladwell tells of Roseto, Pennsylvania a town that had created its own tiny, self-sufficient world.

In the 1950s a physician Stewart Wolf had a summer house near Roseto and learned that people from Roseto under the age of sixty-five rarely had heart disease.

Heart attacks were an epidemic in the United States at that time.

Wolf arranged for the entire population of Roseto to be tested and found that almost no one under 55 died of a heart attack, or showed any signs of heart disease. The entire death rate in Roseto, was thirty or thirty-five percent lower than the norm.

They tested dietary practices and found that the diet was terrible. 41 percent of their calories came from fat.  The people did not got up early, do yoga, do special exercise. They smoked heavily and many were struggling with obesity.

Relatives of the Rosetans who were living in other parts of the United States, were tracked down and did not have such good health.

He then looked at the region. No other nearby community had such good health.

Gladwell wrote:  What Wolf slowly realized was that the secret of Roseto wasn’t diet or exercise or genes or the region where Roseto was situated.  They looked at how the Rosetans visited each other, stopping to chat with each other in Italian on the street, or cooking for each other in their backyards. They learned about the extended family clans that underlay the town’s social structure. They saw how many homes had three generations living under one roof, and how much respect grandparents commanded. They went to Mass at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and saw the unifying and calming effect of the church. They counted twenty-two separate civic organizations in a town of just under 2000 people. They picked up on the particular egalitarian ethos of the town, that discouraged the wealthy from flaunting their success and helped the unsuccessful obscure their failures.

In transplanting the paesani culture of southern Italy to the hills of eastern Pennsylvania the Rosetans had created a powerful, protective social structure capable of insulating them from the pressures of the modern world. The Rosetans were healthy because of where they were from, because of the world they had created for themselves in their tiny little town in the hills.

Wolf and Bruhn had to convince the medical establishment to think about health and heart attacks in an entirely new way: they had to get them to realize that you couldn’t understand why someone was healthy if all you did was think about their individual choices or actions in isolation. You had to look beyond the individual. You had to understand what culture they were a part of, and who their friends and families were, and what town in Italy their family came from. You had to appreciate the idea that community — the values of the world we inhabit.

To sum this up, you can be healthier when you belong to a supportive community or family.  Yet the modern world… a global economy, easy transportation and broadband communication provides efficiencies at the loss of geographical family.  Modern life fragments family.  What can we do?

The answer lies in having a mission and immersing yourself with like minded souls.  The same technology that aggravates a geographical nuclear family, supports individuals getting together, working, living and playing… virtually and  physically with like minded souls.

The Action

The way to put this into action is by turning your passion into profit and at the same time creating your own family through purpose, interest and service.

Merri and I discovered this about 25 years ago in Vienna, Austria while we were conducting a course there.  One of our older delegates, had some sort of attack. The first fear was heart trouble. Several delegates took him to the hospital.  Others stayed with him there. I don’t think that delegate was alone for a minute!

What impressed Merri and me was that no one asked the delegates to help this man.

The friendships of delegates sharing many courses had just grown so strong that it was a natural reaction, just as if a family member was ill. Fortunately, it was only travel fatigue.

Our courses have always drawn like-minded souls.  For this reason delegates come back again and again both to learn, and to be with their many friends made at the courses. When like-minded souls get together again and again to discuss a common purpose, magic happens! I can’t explain it in any other way-but it is true.

In a way our meetings are almost like family reunions. Perhaps it is getting together and reflecting on what has been said and what has been happening.  We have even had a couple of marriages (that we were informed of) grow from meetings at our courses and seminars.

Learning with those who are also interested in the world creates thoughts that multiply the value of what we gain.  This is hard to describe but results are most powerful and wonderful!

This is so fulfilling for Merri and me as our biological family are spread around the world, Oregon, Florida, across England and Australia.   To us our friendships in our service are as important as the finances.

Turn your passion to profit. Put your purpose first.   Serve at something you love and figure out how to make the process pay its way. You can never imagine the good you’ll do.

For example one reader sent me a note saying:  “Dear Gary and Merri, Spurs Dreams!
You are changing far more lives than you may realize, and in such positive ways! Let me share some great news that started with the two of you in dear Ecuador.  Just by happenstance, anther delegate and I attending your International Investing Course when daylight savings time was ending.   We both forgot to set our clocks back. We were the only ones that arrived for class an hour early. Over the course of that week, I learned to admire him and thought the friendship might last.  

It has.


Unbeknownst to either of us, this predisposed chance encounter could end up literally helping millions of people.
We created an innovative internet project that would help fund literally thousands schools across America and actually filed for a patent on the system. After returning to North Carolina, I decided I had to be part of this mission. Since we left Ecuador we have worked diligently to develop a national foundation that I believe we will be one of the largest fundraising programs in the country. CNN has shown interest in our story, and we are waiting for the opportune time to launch the story.  I want to thank you and Merri, for you are truly one of my many blessings. Please share our story, one that has not only impacted our lives, but will positively impact those in need across America!”

Attract like minded souls.  All you need is the willingness to serve and love.

Gary

Times magazine interview video

Earning by the Hour


Earning by the hour is not the best way to earn.  The hours we have are limited.  This is why I love writing.  For every hour you spend writing your publication can multiple again… and again.

I spent many hours creating the core of our Self Publishing writing to sell online course.   Readers have been buying it for 20 years so my hours have been multiplied hundreds of times.

Being a writer and/or publisher means you start at the top and work with the things that YOU find interesting. This is great because to be a good writer you need to spend a lot of time writing.

However to write well, we must all learn by the hour.

Fortunately writing allows us to have fun every day!   This is good because to write well requires (like anything) writing a lot.

Gary-Scott-site

The  Dashboard where I start work each morning.   Last Sunday I posted our 4000th message at the www.garyascott.com site

So I was thinking about the hours I had put in.

Of course we have a second website Ecuadorliving.com

ecuador living dashborad

That’s a few more hours.

Malcolm Gladwell has written three MUST read books for anyone who has a business or invests…. “The Tipping Point”, “Blink” and “Outliers: The Story of Success”.

micro-business-idea

Malcom Gladwell speaking on Ted.

In the Outliers, Gladwell presents a strong argument that if you want to really succeed you have to put in 10,000 hours before your best success will come.

He says that practice makes perfect.

Gladwell acknowledges the importance of ability, work ethic, luck, a strong support base and even being born in the right year as being important parts of success.

Yet he points out that it is “learning through action” that hones one’s abilities and skills… and develops the contacts, insights, etc. needed to be a top performer.

Gladwell uses the Beatles’ rise to fame in the 1960s as one example.  The Beatles performed live in Hamburg, Germany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time, shaping their talent, so they were in the right place at the right time sounding like no one else when the rock boom exploded. These hours that they put in were their making.

Bill Gates is another example.  Outliers shows how Gates gained special access to a high school computer in 1968 at the age of 13, and spent 10,000 hours programming on it placing him in a position to take advantage of the programming boom and of course has become one of the world’s richest men.

“No one – not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires and not even geniuses – ever makes it alone,” writes Gladwell in “Outliers: The Story of Success”.

Ten Thousand Hours at Work

chelsea cain

Take Chelsea Cain as an example. She wrote her first thriller Heartsick in 2004, while pregnant with her daughter.  This story was published in 2007, and described into an “instant New York Times Bestseller” putting her into the seven figure income league.

That book made have had instant success, but Cain… a fellow Oregonian of sorts, had been writing for more than ten years… first as a journalism major…  then as creative director at a PR firm.  Then she wrote numerous  humor books in her spare time before composing a weekly column for the small circulation Portland Mercury which led to her working for the same company as my sister where Chelsea wrote a column for the major daily, The Oregonian.

Her instant success was based on more than ten thousand hours of writing!

Start Small and Grow

writing upsdie down

Picture the ten thousand hour writing apprenticeship like building a pyramid of writing skills from the topside down.  Starting small and growing exponentially.

Good writers are good readers, good listeners, good writers, good observers and editors.  Most of all good writers are good story tellers.

Most of us have been reading books since we began school or before.  We have that tens of thousands hours.

We may have written ten thousands of hours at school, in letters, emails and such.

Now we need 10,000 hours of observing and converting the observations into written stories.  Then we need to read them to ourselves and listen as well as read the story.

The good news is you can be paid for your apprenticeship.  You do not have to wait ten thousand hours before you sell what you write… just as Chelsea Cain did.

Just do not be surprised if your BIG instant success does not come instantly.

The best way to be successful at writing is… to read, listen, observe, and write stories from this… a lot.

Gary

Seven P Secrets of Self Publishing

When you write, you can work anywhere.   Here I am working poolside in the winter, at our Florida farm.

gary scott

Here I am with our hound Ma, working during the summer at our North Carolina farm.

Learn how to earn everywhere, while living anywhere you choose.  I have been able to earn by writing in Hong Kong, England, the Isle of Man, Dominican republic and Ecuador to name a few of the place I have lived.  Everywhere I have been… too numerous to share here, I have been able to work.  All I need is my laptop.

A pencil and pad even did the job before.  Freedom is just one benefit that you can gain from writing.

Another is income.   Writing has brought me both farms, free and clear… plus a lot more.

Another good example is my friend Hugh Howey.  He was working for $10 an hour in a book store when he self published his novel Wool, typing in a storage room during his lunch breaks.  Soon he was earning over $100,000 a month on Amazon.com.  This helped secure a six-figure book deal from Simon & Schuster, and an option for film by Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner and Alien.

Hugh Howey

Sometimes Hugh and I get together at my  farm and play chess (he beats me badly).

Writers like High are great inspirations.

A couple of years ago Hugh  left Florida, and moved to South Africa.  He had a sailing catamaran built for him and now can sail the world while he continues to write.

Hugh explained it like this: And that’s the miracle of working as a writer: I can do it from anywhere and everywhere. The past few years, I’ve done a lot of writing from airplanes and airports while on business trips abroad.  SAND was entirely written overseas while traveling through seven different countries; I think it’s a better story because of those inspirations. In upcoming years, I may be writing near your home port.

Hugh’s a super star writer and his success could not happen to a more deserving and talented person.  He pours enormous energy into being worthy of his readership.  But you do not have to be a million dollar a year earner or a traveler to benefit from writing.

The good news is… you do not need a huge success to have a rich and fulfilled lifestyle.  Self Publishing can bring you a life that most people only dream of, as a journeyman writer, instead of a super star.

May I hastily add that the path to stardom begins as a journeyman… so the journeyman’s path brings success without stardom… but can also lead to stardom.

What most success stories like Hugh’s rarely explain is the many hours of writing that was devoted before their self published book sales soared.   Hugh, like me and most writers were journeymen first.  Stardom came later.

Here are sevens secrets that can help you become a journeyman writer. 

The secrets are a writer’s armory of tools that allows almost anyone to create successful publications for income, freedom and fulfillment.

Take Merri’s and my publishing business as an example.  

Merri and I are not writing stars.  We are journeymen who have for more than 40 years, year in and year out, earned solid income writing and self publishing dozens of publications about multiple subjects.

Some years that income has been more than solid… over a million dollars.  Yet in terms of stardom, we are hardly known.

In a moment you’ll see why that’s fine for us and probably will be for you too.

First some history.

Merri became involved in self publishing over 40 years ago… first helping a veterinarian publish a book on a very specific market… animal acupuncture. Then she showed a needle point artist how to sell more books to an even more specific audience… “needle point enthusiasts”  about her needle point work to an audience larger than the population of the city she lived in.  This led Merri to eventually become Executive Editor of an award winning magazine in Florida.

My story allowed Merri and me to work and live from Hong Kong to London to Europe to Eastern Europe, then the Caribbean and then Ecuador… making millions in the process of following our adventures… having fun… while helping a large readership adapt to a rapidly changing world.

That’s what self publishing can bring, profit, adventure and fulfillment, a great feeling of worth and wonder.

Self Publishing has created exactly the lifestyle we desire allowing us to span the world and work with meaning and purpose.

Self Publishing has become a new business art form. 

The seven secrets can help you start your own self publishing business now.

Everything in publishing is new and exciting and changing.  Publishing is being recreated by the wonderful power of destructive technology.

Everything is new… except the seven secrets. 

Change in the publishing industry is disturbing many.   We love this evolution due to these seven secrets we call the 7Ps.  The 7 Ps are so fundamental to writing and publishing that new technology enhances rather than reduces their power.

The First P is Passion.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it AND create income with self publishing.  This can be your direct ticket to the kind of fulfillment you’ve always wanted.

Whether you want to travel the world or live as a recluse, work 12 hours a day or not work much at all,  you can set your schedule to succeed, if you’re willing to learn these seven secrets.

You can start part-time with any dream, passion, and budget.  Once you’ve created a product, you’ll enjoy the “multiple effect” of producing profits over and over again.

So the question is… What do you love to do?

What’s Your Passion:  An example is that thirty years ago, a client of Merri’s had a passion to help people who were in pain?  He published a series of pamphlets explaining various chiropractic disorders in very simple terms.  For example: “What Is Whiplash?”

The pamphlets contained solid information, but were simple 5″ x 7″ brochures with drawings and explanations. He sold them with a rack to chiropractors, who put them in their offices for patients to read.  These little self-published items sold year in and year out for decades.

There are thousands of ideas of this sort that can lead to big business.  It’s just a matter of defining and then acting on your passion.

Although I can work when I please and go where I wish, for me the most important reason for being a publisher is the satisfaction it brings. 

I love the projects I take on, so work doesn’t feel like, well… work.

What do you love?  If you love golf, then you can write and sell publications about golf.  Love travel, fishing, dogs, dolls, or art?  Write and sell publications in these fields.

Are you concerned about crime, war, poverty or environmental issues?  You can publish information products that help reduce these concerns.

Would you like to help the world be a more spiritual place?  Publish a newsletter, write a book (or hire someone to write it for you), record a tape… publish something that enlightens people.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it and earn income by publishing for ereaders, print on demand, CDs, lists, bound books, or any format you choose.

Be immersed in your passion and get paid well for it. 

This is why stardom is not the main goal for most writers and self publishers.  Extra income, more freedom and fulfillment are usually more than enough enough.

The seven Ps are:

#1: Passion

#2: Problem

#3: Person

#4: Profitably Priced Product

#5: Prospecting Pathway

#6: Promise

#7: Presentation

The first time I exposed others to the secrets in Self Publishing was in a weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.  We offered the camp for $1,500. 80 delegates enrolled.  People from all walks of life attended—chiropractors, businessmen, investors, doctors, realtors, inventors, airline pilots, engineers, and housewives.

Merri and I were so overwhelmed by the response, we decided to make it available to a larger audience.  We created a written course based on our current self publishing activity called “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.”  Then we recorded the weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.

Thousands have used the course as it has evolved over the decades.

You can receive both the written course and the recorded weekend seminar, in an MP3 file, in a special “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program I am making available to you.  The normal fee is $299 for the written course and $299 for the recorded workshop.   I’ll send you both the course and the recorded workshop and my course “International Business Made EZ (also $299) all for $299.  You save $598.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund .

These courses are not theoretical.  They describe, step-by-step, how Merri and I built a million-dollar international business and how we are running this self publishing business right now.   We use the 7Ps today just as we did four decades ago to create a strong annual income.

This correspondence course is for those who would like their own international self publishing micro business for fun and profit. If you want fun, freedom, extra income and fulfillment with your own full or part time writing or want to build your existing business, by writing to sell you can profit from this course.  The course can help who want their own business or who want to have a business together or a family business.  This is the perfect course for those who can no longer find employment, who are looking for ways to earn abroad and who wish to retire and supplement their income.

Whether you are retired, an investor, chiropractor, doctor, dentist, professional or already own your own business, this offers another way to make money, to turn your passion into profit. We guarantee that we have shared all we know to help you start and run your own international business.  Enjoy and live a life of following your Passion to Profit… through writing.

Here is a special offer. 

We provide two emailed courses  “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell and be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ”.

We include the “Self Fulfilled Writing and Self Publishing Course” because there are two reasons to write, when you have something to say or when you have something to sell.  In this day and age many of us want to do both, make a statement that makes the world a better place and earn something extra in the process. 

Whatever your passion, however you do business, chances are you’ll be writing either to create a product or to sell a product. 

You save more than $598 because you also receive a recorded webinar conducted by our webmaster David Cross (at no extra cost).

David-cross-images tags:"2012-4-20"

David Cross

David has been our webmaster since our website began in the 1990s.  He is Merri’s and my business partner. We could not run our business as we do without him.

Learn the tactics we use in our web business that condenses 27 years of practical experience about search engine optimization, and writing for search engines.

For the last 27 years David has worked with companies large and small – IBM, Agora Publishing, AstraZeneca and many small business owners.  He has worked in 22 countries, and lived in six of them.

David’s clients span the globe and represent companies and charities both large and small.  From corporate giants to small, one-woman businesses and everything from finance, healthcare, publishing, technology, real estate, veterinarians, alternative health centers and everything in between.

David is an essential part of our web based business.

Myles Norin, CEO of Agora, Inc.  wrote:  “I have found David’s knowledge and experience unmatched in the industry.  Without David’s expertise and guidance for the past 7 years, we would not be nearly as successful as we are.”

As Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Inc. in Baltimore, MD, he worked closely with Agora’s publishers and marketers and – over a 7-year period – helped to propel Agora’s online revenues from around $20 million to well over $300 million.

David’s webinar will help you gain benefits in your micro business that large internet marketing companies use.  In this practical recorded workshop you will learn valuable skills to help your micro business.

There has never been a time when the opportunity for small businesses abroad has been so outstanding.  Expand your borders now!  Increase your economic security freedom, independence and success.

If you are not fully satisfied that this offers you enormous value simply email us for a full refund within 60 days.  You can keep all three courses as our thanks for giving our courses a try.

You also receive a report  “How to use Relaxed Concentration to Brainstorm Business Ideas” and a recorded workshop “How to Become and Remain Rich With Relaxed Concentration” at no additional cost.

Plus you get more in the program.

You receive the Report, “How to Finance a Small Business Overseas” (no extra fee).

Merri and I have always preferred to start our micro businesses  through cash flow.  However in the early the days of our business I found myself raising extra capital several times.  I have also helped numerous businesses raise money to get started.  This report shares several experiences to give a thumbnail sketch of how to raise money abroad.

In addition you receive regular writing and self publishing updates for a year.  Businesses usually need to evolve.  Merri and I continue to publish and have our independent businesses.  Some basics have remained for decades, but new strategies occur all the time throughout the year.  We’ll be sending along updates that share our most recent experiences as we learn and continue to grow our international micro business from Smalltown USA.

My special offer to you in this “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”, is that you receive:

  • “International Business Made EZ” course
  • “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” course
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3,
  • The report “How to Raise Money Abroad”
  • Report and MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
  • Any updates to any of the courses, workshops, reports or recordings for a year.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund . 

To order International Business Made EZ and the entire “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program for $299.  Click Here.

See success stories from Self Publishers and a few who have attended the “Writer’s Camp” you can hear on MP3.

 

 

Gain Extra Global Income


Many readers can learn how to gain extra global income with a micro business at our upcoming Super thinking + International Investing and Business Seminar.

This can be easy and can also be fun.

Business-Opportunities

Saturday Market at West Jefferson brought this truck load of giant pumpkins and this cute boy enjoying the spirit of the season.

Autumn has arrived in the Blue Ridge and the ways of earning extra income here are currently…

business-opportunity

very colorful.

Ashe County Farmers Market is…

business-opportunity

packed and we enjoy driving in and visiting with our friends, the farming people like…

business-opportunity

Stephen…

business-opportunity

Jeanne and…

business-opportunity

Ann Rose who has gone totally organic… plus the many other wonderful farmers and friend we meet there who are making extra income from their sales.

Everyone’s economic  future is threatened by the prospect of inflation created by massive global government spending.

Now government efforts to avoid a double dip recession are pushing interest rates to all time lows. Investors are avoiding risk.  Thus inflation can ruin the purchasing power of pensions, investments and savings…yet low interest rates and high risk in stock markets makes it hard to protect against the loss.

This is why it is good to gain extra income with a micro business.  Businesses always adjusts against inflation so business earnings can protect purchasing power.

Buying from all the markets in Ecuador and in Smalltown USA  reminds me of how easy it is to come up with business ideas with something like a pumpkin or squash.

For example… once when our son was ill in Ecuador… the shaman cut up a squash and had him sleep with the pieces under his arm.  I am not sure why but it sure worked!  The business idea?  A book of obscure healing ideas from the shamans… or a tour.

The craftsmen of Ecuador make many musical instruments from pumpkins squash and gourds.  The business idea?  Export them.

Or export these pumpkins with intricate carvings… or create classes so people can come learn how to carve like this.

ecuador earning
One Ecuadorian in Otavalo has imported American pie!
ecuador-pie-shop

Wherever you live… in Ecuador…. Smalltown USA…. or anywhere, there are three tips to having extra income with a micro business success that can help you fight inflation and enhance your lifestyle.

Micro Business Tip #1: Get started!

Micro Business Tip #2: Practice by doing.

Micro Business Tip #3: Use the business evolutionary cycle.

We’ll look at ways to get a micro business started in a moment. First let’s talk about the importance practice by doing.

Malcolm Gladwell has written three must read books for anyone who has a business or invests…. “The Tipping Point”, “Blink” and “Outliers: The Story of Success”.

micro-business-idea

Malcom Gladwell speaking on Ted.

In the Outliers, Gladwell presents a strong argument that if you want to really succeed you have to put in 10,000 hours before your best success will come.

He says that practice makes perfect.

Gladwell acknowledges the importance of ability, work ethic, luck, a strong support base and even being born in the right year as being important parts of success.

Yet he points out that it is “learning through action” that hones one’s abilities and skills… and develops the contacts, insights etc. needed to be a top performer.

Gladwell uses the Beatles’ rise to fame in the 1960s as one example.  The Beatles performed live in Hamburg, Germany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time, shaping their talent, so they were in the right place at the right time sounding like no one else when the rock boom exploded. These hours were their making.

Bill Gates is another example.  Outliers shows how Gates gained special access to a high school computer in 1968 at the age of 13, and spent 10,000 hours programming on it placing him in a position to take advantage of the programming boom and of course has become one of the world’s richest men.

“No one – not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires and not even geniuses – ever makes it alone,” writes Gladwell in Outliers: The Story of Success.

The third secret… The Business Evolutionary Cycle makes it possible for a business to continually adapt  to change as it unfolds.  See a link to the cycle below.

The first step… getting started seems to be the hardest part of all.

To begin start small with a smart business plan blended with good marketing supported by technology.

This is what Merri and I do and below I have provided some proof that we really do know what we are talking about as technology exists today.

Merri, our webmaster, David Cross, and I have been frontiering a new business concept that is the step beyond broadband.  We call it “Narrowband.”

Narrowband is about starting small and then staying focused and remaining small (but more and more profitable).   A Narrowband business uses the internet to create and unite a small band of readers with common ideals, needs and interests.

Our goal is to unite our customers with cohesion and authenticity.

Building a small Narrowband business requires three steps:

#1: Attract a steady flow of interested readers.

#2: Use a set pattern of information to weed out readers who really do not have a common need, ideal or interest.

#3: Develop an intimate relationship with the readers that are not weeded out and do have a common need, ideal or interest.

This is reflected in several ways the first being quality of communication.
Here are some reports from out emailing system as of July 29, 2012.  We have two main lists…. www.garyascott.com and www.Ecuadorliving.com that compose 31,926 readers.

Our system aims to assure that we send our daily message only to the readers most likely to benefit from what we share.

This high rating is attained by continually weeding out readers.

Sending away customers? Am I kidding?

I am not.  Bigger is not better and this is no joke.  We are selective about who are readers are and have a number of check points they have to pass through to remain readers. New readers who sign on especially have to pass certain litmus tests to remain on our list.

Now let’s look at the steady growth. Here is our list growth record for 21-12.  Each month the list grows steadily as it has for years.  If growth is too fast in a small business the consequences can spell disaster.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/garyascott/7669255624/in/photostream
The next important point… is how we make these lists grow on a profitable basis.

First, because we do not push and because we are not trying to be huge, we do not have to compete in expensive ways.  We use referrals…. Google rankings and low cost Pay Per Click.
Google Rankings

Here is a list from our home page of the titles of the  last ten messages we have emailed our readers and posted at our site.
micro-business-idea
Let’s see how they rank at Google:

* Phrase for a Google Search:  “Household Toxin Report”
Google ranking #1.
high-google-ranking
* Phrase for a Google Search:  “Wisdom of the Masses”.
Google ranking #11.
micro-business-idea
* Phrase for a Google Search:  “International Investing Update”.
Google ranking #1 and #2.
micro-business-idea
* Phrase for a Google Search:  “October Investment Risk”.
Google ranking #4.
micro-business-idea
* Phrase for a Google Search:  “Micro Business Internet Income.
Google ranking #1 and #2.
micro-internet-idea
* Phrase for a Google Search:  “Ecuador First Class Home for Sale”.
Google ranking #1 and #2.  Plus note on the right hand side of the Google page that our Pay Per Click sponsored ad also kicked in here ($39,000 mountain view). This ad was #1 at the phrase Ecuador Home for sale also.

pay per click success

Seven of the ten titles of my last ten messages ranked in the top 12 at Google.
In other words we know how to make the search engines work on a micro business’s behalf… right now.

We would love to help you get started in your own micro business with the help of the internet in one (or all) of three ways.

First… we offer an emailed course The Tangled Web – How to Have Your Own Internet Business.
See details of this course here.

Second… We offer our International Club  so you can attend all our seminars for a year FREE to learn how to use super thinking and invest and use super thinking to set up your own business.

Third… Over a third of the sessions in our October 5 -6-7 seminar in North Carolina is on how to create your own global business with the help of the internet.  Get course details here.

Whether you use our services or not, a global business that brings extra income can help you overcome the inflation that the current government spending will bring.

Gary

Buying Tickets To Ecuador


Buying Tickets To Ecuador

There are many reasons to buy a ticket to Ecuador… miles of sunny empty beach is one.

ecuador-air tickets

When I took my first flight to Hong Kong 41 years ago, I was 21 years old and few on a cheap ticket that was called a student fare.

While in Hong Kong I met a travel agent. Charlie Kwok was his name and he had an office in the Miramar Hotel, Kowloon, not far from the Star Ferry. Charlie was the master of the low cost air fare and over the next half decade he amazed me with some of his great deals…. Especially for people under age  27.

Next decade in London, John Dragonas, a Greek travel agent continued showing the way to get deals. Back then they had VUSA (Visit USA) where prices were really low.

By then Merri and I had met and she became the maven of amazing air fare deals.

In short I have always enjoy incredibly low costs air fares.  However Merri added another dimension because not all low cost air fares are great.

I recall one flight Honk Kong to Portland Oregon that Charlie Kwok arranged… really cheap, because it was a charter with two empty seats and otherwise full of doctors returning from Thailand. What Charlie forgot to mention was that the actual fare went Hong Kong, Seattle, Minneapolis, San Francisco and then I had a connection back to Portland… adding about 24 hours to the flight!

ecuador-air tickets

There are many reasons to buy a ticket to Ecuador… such as the high Andean lakes.

John in London ignored the human part of travel to get the cost down once as well… a special VUSA fare. Merri and I wanted to fly London, Miami, Chicago, Portland, London.

To get the lowest fare, the actual flight turned out to be London -Denver, Miami- Denver, Chicago-Denver, Portland-Denver, London…or something like that… low fare but not a great deal.

ecuador-air tickets

There are many reasons to buy a ticket to Ecuador… including wonderful colonial architecture.

It was about then that Merri took over finding our fares and she is good…  Let me be humble and say she may be the best. Recently our son visited us from London, Charlotte, London for $17.  That is correct, seventeen dollars.

ecuador-air tickets

There are many reasons to buy a ticket to Ecuador… big cities and…

ecuador-air tickets

quaint villages like… Cotacachi shown here.

Recently one of our articles Ecuador Air Fare Update mentioned a $316 Miami Quito fare that Merri found and explained that readers should visit www.farecompare.com

So many readers asked for help on how to get this fare that I asked Merri to prepare an article on how she does it.

Here it is:

Buying Air Tickets

Gary often asks me to write about how I buy airline tickets and especially those to Ecuador…so this is the first in a series of hints including safety, price, ease…

Well, first of all…it’s a tricky business for sure. And to top it all off, it rarely is quick and easy.  I start out with that in mind and sometimes days later I’m still at it!  But there is a pattern that I always use that helps me sort from the beginning the good, bad and the ugly.

Malcolm Gladwell’s newest book, “The Outliers, The Story of Success” clearly states that most people are really good at something, really successful after about 10,000 hours.  Well, for sure I have my 10,000 hours in on travel and tickets.  For over 4 years, Gary and I crossed the Atlantic commuting from our home in London to our home in Naples, Fl every three weeks.  It was always different, always a surprise and very often extremely challenging to buy tickets for Gary’s mom, our 5 children to all our destinations all over the world ON A REGULAR BASIS.  We had homes in London, Gloustershire, Naples, North Carolina, the north coast of the Dominican Republic and…oh, it makes my head spin just thinking about it!

Needless to say, just by the sheer act of plotting, planning and finally buying, I’ve learned a lot…earned my 10,000 hours over the last 25 + years of international traveling.

However, all the rules have now changed…it’s often hard to know which way to jump…some people book for instance a conference and tell me to confirm quickly so they can buy “that cheap ticket” that is 6 months out!  Whoa, I reply…that’s pretty risky…sometimes you can now buy a ticket at a week out for the same price or better than a month out.

Airlines are constantly shifting and changing and hedging their bets…so let’s look at a few things that we can count on.

#1. The internet makes it a lot easier than we’ve had it before.  There is plenty of data and solid information that we can gather from 100s of sources instantly.

#2.  The internet also makes it a lot harder than we’ve ever had it before BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY CHOICES!  We have more information so it is essential that we use this information wisely.

Here are a few ground rules that I am currently using that are working now.

1.    Don’t buy months out.

2.    Sit down with those who are traveling and have a general chat on days/possibilities/flexibilities that might be possible.  Right now, for instance, I am buying for Ecuador.  Gary and I will get a month’s calendar, list our IDEAL flight days and then see which ways we COULD be flexible.

3.    For the past year, it is cheaper (yes, cheaper) in most cases to fly from an outlying airport than direct.  I know a lot of people for instance who drive from let’s say Birmingham, Ala to Atlanta and then fly direct from Atlanta to everywhere.  Don’t do this.  CHECK YOUR POSSIBILITIES.

For example, Gary and I fly mainly from NC to Portland, NC to Quito, NC to London and NC to Copenhagen.  Well, we can fly from Charlotte, Greensboro (Triad) or from a nearby TRI Cities TN tiny airport.  I check out each of these easily and quickly to get a handle on the whole picture.  I don’t just assume that one is cheaper or more expensive, etc.

For instance for years, Charlotte has been very expensive to fly into our area than all the others, and suddenly last fall, it all shifted…now it’s the cheapest.  Well, it could be the aggressiveness of USAir after its near collapse that has caused them to price the lowest since it is their hub and therefore Delta, etc. have followed suit.

When flying from Florida, I look at Tampa (our favorite), Orlando, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, etc.  Takes only a second and sometimes you can really find an el cheapo winner!

4.    Decide whether you are a frequent flyer who needs to accumulate miles or if you are just an occasional flyer.  We for instance are frequent flyers and use Atlanta as our hub to go to our common destinations…Portland, London, Quito, Copenhagen are our patterns.  Sometimes we fly from NC and sometimes from FL (according to the season)…but ALL of these flights are non-stop from Atlanta via Delta.  So, instead of looking at all airlines/all flights, I really just watch Delta.  We accumulate a lot of miles, use them for free tickets for our children and/or for upgrades.  My advice for frequent flyers is pick an airline and stick with it!  This gets the most bang for your buck…although sometimes I pay more for this, in the long run it works out well and suits us.

If you are lucky enough to be an infrequent flyer, then just look for the best deal!

5.    Frequent flyers can gain a lot from loyalty…although not everything as recently we found out on an emergency trip to Portland!  But usually, we can get what WE determine is important. (not that this might be your choice in the line of fire.)

What is important to us is not just the price but the Duration of the Flight…very, very important you might say!  I’ll pay a bit more to fly a total of 7 hours instead of a lot less to fly the same route with a totally of 11 hours or maybe 23 hours!

Another thing that is important to us is that we can upgrade.  We have logged so many miles and usually have to get off an airplane and go straight to work that over the years we have decided that if we can go first or business class (more or that later) we should.  We feel better if we are not cramped in and let’s face it (although we don’t drink alcohol and don’t eat on planes) there are some good perks.  Very important to us is that there is simply more oxygen up front than there is in the back…so we arrive in better shape than if we were tucked in on the last row.

Other things important to us is that we have a place where we can be quiet and not listen to a dozen cell phone conversations and 7 different TV stations.  We aren’t used to this type of confusion and noise and so we want to have the use of special rooms that airlines provide (Delta’s Crown Rooms) that allow quiet areas.  Often we travel with our service dog, and she too is allowed in these rooms.  We just rest and wait there.  IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

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Merri even makes sure that we have seats so we see the sunset at night and sunrise in the morning.

But on the other hand, we don’t want to pay for this privilege which can cost big change.

How do we achieve this?  Well, each airline has its own gimmicks, but Delta allows a cardholder of AMEX Sky Miles Reserve (which can cost anywhere from $295 up) to have free access with his/her companions to all Sky Mile Crown rooms at no cost.  You can now have a simple Gold AMEX Sky Miles card (sometimes without a fee) that allows more or less the same privileges.  We find excellent light food (that is fresh) and peace and quiet there.  We also find their quiet desk of agents that will do just about anything to make life pleasant (changing flights/redoing tickets/finding lost luggage, etc.). They will even wake you if you fall asleep in your comfy chair.  That same card allows us to have a free Concierge booking service (that means they will REALLY try everything to help you) as well as double miles for most of our travel…and (and this is a big one) the right to Pay with Miles.

And what is Pay with Miles?  Well, let’s discuss that under Award Ticketing later in this series.

Merri

Click here for Part Two on Buying Tickets to Ecuador

Join an upcoming Ecuador seminar or North Carolina Super Spanish course.

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There are many reasons to buy a ticket to Ecuador… like the wonderful people.  This is a dancer entertaining delegates at one of our recent Ecuador tours.

Ecuador & Longevity #3


Ecuador & Longevity #3

Some Ecuador valleys are famous for longevity because where you live has an important impact on how long you live.

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Vilcabamba an Ecuador valley of longevity is beautiful and…

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these remote Ecuador valleys can offer healthy lifestyles.

How you live, regardless of where you are, has an even more important impact on longevity.

The two previous messages at this site, Ecuador & Longevity and Ecuador & Longevity #2 look at several secrets to long life and good sun health.

The most important thing I have learned about health, wealth, longevity and fulfillment is to turn your passion to profit.

Many people are so miserable at work that they would happily abandon their jobs if they had enough money to feel rich.

In reality, money is not richness or wealth. This requires a state of mind instead. One way to develop this everlasting wealth is to create a PIEC experience.

PIEC is an acronym for “Personal Income Earning Corridor.”  This is the personal concept Merri and I use.

Traditionally people get jobs to create income. They work to live and support their lifestyle while attempting to spend less than they earn. Maybe the savings will bring, some time in the future, a lifestyle of doing something enjoyable without work.

PIEC investors reverse the priorities. Instead of working for money to save and invest. They focus their prime effort on doing something they enjoy right now. Then they learn how to enjoy the effort in some profitable way. They learn to create “Avenues of Abundance” that combine lifestyle with the necessary task of accumulating wealth.

For example, if a PIEC investor loves golf; instead of working six days a week, 50 weeks a year just to golf on Sundays and during short vacations, instead he’ll create a business in some aspect of the golfing trade.

In another example, a client of mine, who loved animals became a vet. But he learned that the vet’s lifestyle was not one he enjoyed. He wanted to travel and move around, which is difficult for a professional who needs to stay at his office and build a practice. So he built a business that prepares special animal foods for race horses. Now he travels globally visiting horse breeders and makes much more money as well.

PIEC investors combine money with time, energy and desires. They generate income doing something desired. Desire and fulfillment become at least as, if not more, important as the money.

Doing What You Love!

The reason PIEC investing works well is that when we love to do something, we do it better, for longer and with greater enthusiasm.

These are wealth building attributes that cannot fail. Yet PIEC investing does not mean we should suddenly abandon our jobs and try becoming golf pros, when we have never been able to break 100. Smart PIECS often require a gradual approach.

When  you make the decision to do what you love, keep physical activity in mind.

For example, as a writer and lecturer, I was never fully satisfied sitting behind a desk or standing on a podium all day long, even though I was making over a million bucks a year. I’m the physical, outdoors type and yearned for exercise and the wilds of the deep woods. “What good’s the money if this isn’t fun or fulfilling?” I often asked myself.

Rather than quit writing and teaching, I looked for ways to combine these professions with the outdoor life.

Through research I learned that many like myself yearn to be in the primitive outdoors. We bought an isolated farm high in the Blue Ridge Mountains and an Andean plantation high in Ecuador where we live and work.

Being in the mountains allows me to combine my writing with physical walks in the woods and the outdoor physical work that a farm requires.

For example to help our Land of the Sun foundation carry out its work in the Andes we often visit the upper villages. Here we are with a work party.

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This work requires us to do a lot of this.

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Uphill from our home down there…

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next to the Cathedral… requires plenty of walking…. uphill.

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A PIEC lifestyle allows you to incorporate healthy habits into your wealth building process.  Take exercise for example.

Malcolm Gladwell points out in his book “Outliers, The Story of Success” that for work to be fulfilling it must offer:

#1: Meaning

#2: Autonomy

#3: Complexity

#4: A relation between effort and reward.

If physical labor can be incorporated into this mix… so much the better.

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Western expats playing tennis at Club Hacienda El Atillo, Resort & Spa in Vilcabamba may not have the same longevity as…

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these potato farmers we met on one of our Andean hikes uphill.

In Ecuador valleys of longevity there is no such thing as  exercise as we know it in the Western World.   Long lived people do not discipline themselves to pack up everyday and go to a gym.  Their days are filled with meaningful activity, like climbing  slopes to harvest food.  They do not have formal exercise, but rather a life full of activity that creates meaningful reward.

On our Blue Ridge farm… improving the land brings financial as well as physical rewards. Turning this…

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to this…

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requires a lot of this.

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Taking this…

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and making…

ecuador-longevity this, needs…

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plenty of this.

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The physical activity feels good… is good (in moderation) for the body and is enhanced by the financial rewards of seeing the land’s value increased…. plus the joy of the beauty and seeing our friends enjoy the land.

Our crops require…

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hauling bags of dirt…. seed… hoeing, digging and brings rewards like this…

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Wonderful flower displays…. seeds to eat, plant and sell.

If a lifestyle has so little activity that it requires regular trips to the gym to maintain physical integrity, the only real reward from the exercise is the ability to do well in the gym… or to survive unexpected activity.  Often the exercises are related to pain rather than pleasure.  This diminishes the effort.

Activity that requires physical labor and brings “other” rewards is more effective.  The other reward creates meaning.

For example, when I am in Ecuador taking photos is meaningful to me, compliments my writing and creates physical exercise.

Most days I try to walk up a mountain.

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Plus having meaningful work enhances our importance to the world and this is of extreme importance because in Ecuador’s longevity valleys,  aging is seen as a merit.   People are given more respect and valued more as they grow older.

It is said that the Vilcabamba residents look forward to getting older, to become more mature as a person…. so they can share their experience and wisdom with the community.

How you live, regardless of where you are, has important impact on longevity and living your life to its PIEC.  This can add years to your life and enhance your health and wealth. Keep life simple by enjoying your PIEC system.

Gary

Learn more secrets of longevity and PIEC Living on our Ecuador Shamanic Mingo Tour.

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Learn how to have a PIEC business with exports on our Ecuador Export Tour.

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Summer Autumn & Winter 2009 Courses and Tours

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Learn more about our trip into the Llanganatis Valley here

Cotacachi Sidewalks


Cotacachi sidewalks tell a tale about this town.

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When a town is in trouble its sidewalks crumble.   Cotacachi sidewalks in reverse are getting better… much better… each and every day

This is a sign.    The book, “Tipping Point”, by Malcolm Gladwell looks at how simple signs like this can help us predict markets and can show us that there is opportunity in Cotacachi.

One of the points in Gladwell’s  book is that it is little things that causes a social-economic events to tip.  For example the book explains the “Broken Window Theory ” that says that if a window is broken and left un repaired, people walking by will conclude that no one cares and no one is in charge. Soon more windows will be broken and the sense of anarchy will spread from the building on the street on which it faces, sending a signal that anything goes. In short crime is contagious. As are bull and bear markets, stock values, etc.

The police in New York used this theory in reverse. By aggressively attacking simple crimes such as vandalism and putting graffiti on trains, and subway fare-beating, major crime fell dramatically. The point is epidemics can be started or stopped by tinkering with the smallest details of the environment. Throw two or three small changes into any environment, be it economic, social or biological and you move towards a tipping point… good or bad.

We can use this knowledge to spot small things now that will make big differences in economics later… like Cotacachi sidewalks that are getting better all around the town.

We can see that these sidewalks are a harbor of safety for small children early morn or at night.

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We see that they are clean… and cleaned every day.

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They are improving all the time.  There is a continual prgram to upgrade the sidewalks…

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and streets.

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Cotacachi sidewalks reflect the native culture here. These ae not ordinary sidewalks. These ancinets symbols put in the sidewalks reflect the history of the indigenous community.

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These patterns are symbols of the sun…

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and the concepts of universal existence.

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These are sacred sysmbols… speaking to us everywhere in town… to…

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of who and what we really are.

This is the Mayor’s house and his sidewalk.

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This is the Cotacachi sidewalk ancient in its moss and green that…

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Leads to the wonderful La Mirage Spa where…

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The sidewalks house frescos.

These are the Cotacachi sidewalks out sdie our hotel Meson de las Flores and they have…

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a most interesting tale to tell about Cotacachi.

Meson, (here is the hotel and Cotacachi Museum next door) is on…

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Calle Sucre… one of the…

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main Cotacachi streets hosting the Cathedral…

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and a popular tourist restaurant.

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This street is prospering… we are continually full… the restaurat and shops there booming.

The Mayor has declared this a no bus… no truck… small car only street.

He is putting new sidewalks in to attract foot traffic and…

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flower planters… plus

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plus round sidewalk extension to…

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limit traffic.   There is opposition and people have been destroying some of the flower planters…

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hoping to impeded this progess.

I doubt that they will.

The towns vision stated at www.cotacachi.gov.ec is to transform Cotacachi into a Canton Model characterized by the democratic and active participation of the different organized social sectors, whose planned work and intelligence allow to set the bases to reach the social, economic, cultural, and environmental development, consolidating the feelings of the “cotacacheñidad” and their identity of a multiethnic and pluricultural town.

The sites says: We want to share with all the citizens of Ecuador, multiethnical, and pluricultural world our important experience of participative democracy. The same one that the mestizo, black, and indigenous towns of the Cotacachi canton are building. Since August 10, 1996, it has marked in the country a great difference between the representative democracy and the participative democracy.

The road traveled in the organizational, legal, and political environment has allowed us to advance in the social, cultural, economic and environmental aspect. We have advanced significantly in the human and spiritual environment.
We are facing with responsibility and future vision the problems historically manipulated by the traditional politicians. This process has the recognition of the cotacacheans and the national and international community.

The ideas, dreams, proposals, and projects unite us to the true cotacacheans. They allow us to walk, to fight for the new participative democracy, to build the peace, and to obtain the development with dignity. Making Cotacachi participative, productive, decentralized, and a solidary canton.

Your visit to this Web Site and especially to our Multiethnical and Pluricultural Municipality will remain in our memory forever.

How nice… ideas, dreams, proposals, and projects that unite allow the people to us to walk, and fight for the new participative democracy, that builds  peace, and and development with dignity.

I am all for this and one thing I know as the people of Cotacachi walk and fight for this they’ll be walking on wonderful Cotacachi sidewalks.

They are pretty low tech… but how important… these sidewalks… our pathways of going to and fro.  We do not give them much attention… until they crumble or are not there. Then we’ll miss them. So take heed… Cotacachi sidewalks are good and getting better all the time!    That makes this a nice place to be.

Gary

Join us at a course our tour in 2009 in Ecuador, North Carolina or Florida.

Merri, our webmaster and I have created a new course on how to build a web business with a webmaster.  Here is a special offer on this new course.

You can enroll in this special course for $299. However if you sign up for three courses in any one month.

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two

Future 2009 courses

May 29-31  JGAM Multi Currency investment Seminar Naples Florida

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour