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Strategies this, Strategies that… it’s driving me nuts!

December 21, 2008 Leave a comment

Hello all,

I hope you are having an excellent weekend. It’s 12:16pm on a lovely Sunday here in sunny Chile. Things have been a little crazy these days around the World with the usual Christmas insanity that  takes everything by storm. I have never liked this and I don’t think I ever will. Sure, I love giving and receiving presents, I love the Christmas spirit… but why do people have to go SO nuts and shop, shop, shop non stop! I mean, how can some people be sooo materialistic. And hypocritical. Many of these people will then complain that they’re in debt and that the crisis is hitting their wallets. That they can’t make it to ends meet, etc etc. Well, who the hell told them to go and shop like crazy!! From my point of view, there are two main factors here:

  • Social pressure
  • Marketing

That’s right. I have knowledge in Marketing because it was one of my main subjects at University. I had several courses on how to do Marketing and how to understand the consumer’s mind, our mind. Now, I always liked Marketing, I thought it was fun and cool… when done the right way. Marketing does not create needs. Marketing creates desires. Our needs have always been there, ever since we lived in caves: eating, drinking, sleeping, communicating, having relationships with others; even entertainment. But what Marketing truly does is to create desires in our minds, which most times make us need things we never needed before. Let’s look at some of the most recent inventions that we can no longer live without: the cell phone, and the internet. Desires are meant to satisfy our needs.

Now, communication has always been a need. As living beings, as social beings, we need to communicate to others. When phones were invented, we only needed to communicate when we were at home, or at work, or near a public phone. It never came to our minds that we would need to communicate from just about EVERYWHERE, right? But when cell phones were created, Marketing made us believe that we needed to be connected ALL the time. And we thought it was awesome! At least, most of us. Now most people simply can’t live without a cell phone, it has become a need. But it started out as a desire. Are you with me here? Ok. So, Marketing is what made you believe that you needed a cell phone. Truth is, you need to communicate, you don’t need a cell phone. And before you never needed to communicate from the supermarket, or your car, or a party, or whilst walking down the street. Right? You managed in other ways. But the cell phone sort of made things easier, right? Think about it. This is where the social part comes in. Many of my friends, for example, refused to have cell phones at the beginning. They were expensive, complicated and made them slaves. But sooner or later, society made them give in and they ended up buying cell phones too. Why? Because their mothers, friends, family, etc. needed to communicate to them no matter where they were, and started pushing pressure on them so they would get a cell phone. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anybody who doesn’t have a cell phone. It’s crazy! I have one too, of course, but sometimes I really just want to throw it away. Sometimes I just don’t want to be found. And I can’t just turn it off, because then people would be scared if they can’t reach me! As I mentioned in one of my previous entries, life is one endless prison. We are prisones to the system, to the people, to our cell phones!! When I go out without my cell phone I feel naked. I really do. And I bet many of you feel the same. Then I just have to go back home and get it.

Now, it’s a similar thing with the internet. I have been using the internet for about 12 years, pretty much when it started to become massive in the mid 90’s. I was so excited! I was going to be able to communicate at a much bigger scale! I would be able to email my family in other countries, and meet people online seemed like such a thrill! Chatting was a big thing! People joining chat rooms and downloading chatting programs… I bet you remember ICQ, don’t you? I had more than one account ;). Then there was IRC, and then MSN messenger and yahoo messenger were created. I started creating accounts everywhere, without realising the consequences. I was becoming an addict, and addictions make us prisoners. Addictions don’t let us be free. I realised that the more profiles and accounts I created, the more of a slave I became, because I had the need to check what was going on on all of them! I had four different email accounts, I was on severa chat rooms, and on several forums. I had two different MSN messenger accounts, and sometimes I’d open both simultaneously, because I had different people on each account. I was aware of the problem, but I couldn’t stop. I remember writing an essay about it for one of my courses at the University. It was about how the internet, instead of giving us freedom, it was turning us into slaves. I was a slave of my multiple accounts that I had all over the net. Luckily, as I grew older (well, I’m 25 and I’m still using many of these), I learnt to control myself and my need to be online all the time. I’m still addicted so many online communities, but now I have some control over it.

So, to wrap it up a little, I’ll tell you what  the title of this entry is really about. If you have read some about me or my entries, you’ll know I am a home business owner. Well, I have a home business and also a full time job. I started my home business because I wanted to stop being a slave. And it looked like the best alternative at that moment. But I’m far from being free and I know that. And it’s perfectly ok. I’m happy about my choices. Time is my most valuable asset right now. Time and my mind. I don’t want to lose or waste either of them. Anyway, being in the Network Marketing industry can become a tad dangerous and is more complicated that it seems. What’s really bugging me is how all these people out there are going about their strategies, and how their strategies are the best thing you will ever learn. The best kept secret. The ultimate thing. It’s driving me mad and making me want to punch some of these people in the face. Many of these people are successful and are making money out of the poor people who buy their products and their trainings. I don’t even understand why they sell all that stuff, if most of them didn’t even create it in the first place. They gathered a bunch of information and put it together in a new and marketed package and sell it as if it were something new. They all claim to have the best strategies, that they have been using these strategies for years and that they work wonderfully for any home based business!. They say they’re sooo easy to use! And that you’d be a fool if you missed it, for the ridiculous price of $37 for something that has a value of thousands!! Ok. Well, I don’t buy it. I don’t buy it because all they’re doing is using lame marketing sales pitches to teach you NOT to sales pitch!! How hypocritical is that?? They tell you not to stalk people and not to pitch your sales. They tell you they have the best strategy ever! But it’s more of the same! And most of those people fail to tell you one thing. No course, no book, no super solution and no awesome strategy out there is going to make you successful unless YOU believe in yourself and create your own. Grab all that knowledge and create NEW knowledge. Yes. You know why? Because if you copy all their strategies you immediately become “another brick in the wall”. You have to get your own approach and your own thing going on. They tell you that they will teach you to stand out and how to be interesting and be noticed by other people and make money! Seriously, WHY?? Why do you need someone to teach you how to be interesting. You don’t need that. They just have experience making people believe that they’re cool. If enough people believe in something it becomes true! Seriously. Just because people think they’re cool. Now, you need to do your own thing. Get books, read stuff, learn new things… but create your own. And that’s what I’m working on right now, and I hope you will do that too.

Thanks for reading, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!

CAROLINA.

Caro in the south of Chile

Caro in the south of Chile

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Sunburn…

November 12, 2008 Leave a comment

I chose the Sunburn theme because it’s the title of one of my favourite songs. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a song by a band called Muse. One of my favourite bands.

I am sort of new in the blogging world, yet not so new in the writing world. I have enjoyed writing thoughts ever since I can remember. I tried to keep a diary several times when I was little, but it wasn’t easy. Still, I enjoyed writing stories for school. We’d usually have these “writing contests” and on more than one occasion I received the first prize. Of course, I was very shy back then, and didn’t quite enjoy being the centre of attention. So, you can imagine how hard it was for me to get up from my seat and go on that little stage they had at the school gym to receive my award. People would applaud and look at me, and all I wanted was to walk away as quickly as possible! With a big smile on my face and a great sense of self-accomplishment in my heart.

Years later, I still find myself as a shy person, but I have overcome most of it. I’m no longer afraid of recognition, yet it’s not something I crave for. I am happy about myself and the person I’ve become. I’m happy to be different from most people my age. Oh… I’m 24 years old by the way. I guess that’s still reasonably young, right? Anyway, as I was telling you, I’m very happy to be alive, most people aren’t grateful to be alive. Not me, not anymore (Yes, I am a SAW fan!). I did have my depressing periods. I remember being a teenager. Now, weren’t those the worst years of our lives? I mean, how many people can say they truly enjoyed being 14 – 16. Man, that sucked. I wasn’t too happy until I turned about 18 or 19. How many of us had a crush on someone who never ever paid attention to us? Except of course, when they had missed a class and perfectly knew that we’d be more than willing to lend them our notes. Oh, how blind were we.

The World is so different after our school years, even after our Uni years. I think those 5 years I spent at the University were the best years of my life. Until then at least. Now I’m in a position where I can say I’m happy to have a steady job, which comes along with a steady income. It does feel great to have some independence. It feels great to be free to make our own financial decisions, to buy whatever we want, whenever we want. But, what’s the price that most of us pay for this freedom? We give up another freedom: living our lives whenever we want to.

Having a job is probably the least freeing experience in the world. Of course, most people will think “Oh, yes. I finally have my own money and I can buy my own apartment, my own car, my own things!!”. But… aren’t we missing something very important here? We are not free anymore to do the things we like!! Life is a neverending prison: you’re born a prisoner of your family and their values. Then we become prisoners of education (I’m very grateful to have received education, I think it’s amazing, don’t misunderstand me here), we have to go to school, do homework, make our parents happy. Then, after those painful 12 years of school, we move on to another prison: University. (you know what else is funny? We have to pay for education! It may be a prison, but it can also be a blessing! ) Again we have to work hard to become what we want to be in life (and that’s saying a lot. How many of you studied something just because there was nothing else you could do? Or just because your parents and family told you to? Raise your hand!). And then, when we are done studying for whatever amount of years our career of choice lasts, we move on to yet another prison, perhaps the longest and hardest to give up: W-O-R-K.

Now… how many of you would give anything to stop working? I know I would. Even though I love my job, I miss not being able to do it whenever I want. There are so many days when I wake up in the morning thinknig “God, I wish I could just skip work today and not having to give any explanations to anybody!”. I know it has happened to me, and perhaps it has happened to you too. No matter what we do, being social beings doesn’t allow us to do whatever we want and whenever we want to. We will always have to explain things to someone, either our friends, family, or the authorities. But what would it feel like if we could narrow down that list? Which brings me to my main goal in my life right now: Financial Freedom.

“Money doesn’t buy happiness.” That statement has some truth to it. But what money does do is buy me the time to do what I love and pay other people to do what I hate doing. – Robert Kiyosaki
How Many of you have heard of Mr. Robert Kiyosaki? I sure have. And he has become a big inspiration to me, amongst other inspirations I have, of course. Anyway, this man didn’t make it big before hitting rock-bottom. He didn’t become rich overnight, but at least he had a goal and he focused and directed all of his activities to reach that goal. Now I’m a firm believer that “when there’s a will, there’s a way” as cliché as it may sound. It’s the truth. We are constantly setting limits to ourselves whenever we claim that “we can’t ” do something. I didn’t only learn this from Mr Kiyosaki, actually I learnt that lesson quite a few years ago. I remember when the books “Conversations with God” made their way towards my hands. I learnt the best lessons I could have ever learnt about life there. And you don’t need to be a believer, just open minded enough.

Right now I’m working to reach financial freedom, but not because of financial freedom itself. I want existential freedom. I want to be free to do the things I want to do. I want to be free to decide when to work and who to work with! I want to be free to take a day off, a week off… how about, a lifetime off. If you share similar goals, I would LOVE to connect with you and keep in touch. The more people working together to reach one goal, the faster the goal can be accomplished.

Anyway, I’m about to reach the end of my very first entry. I look forward to interacting with more smart people around here. And, I love making friends, so please let me get to know you 🙂

All the best.

Carolina.