Posts

WITHOUT CAPTION

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  The long empty roads of the high desert captured me. I stopped and got out of my car. The quiet and warmth of the desert wrapped around me. No words, thoughts or captions were needed. Different from the day to day life I had, where everything seemed to require a comment, a decision, point of view, or action.  Maybe this is why photographer Thomas Boivin produced a book of just photos titled “Belleville” This after years of producing photography books with narratives and captions, he arrived at a point recognizing that great photographs spoke for themselves. Ones that captured the heart of life.  I look these days for more of these special places, where I can pause and appreciate the richness of life just as it is.

REACHING OUT

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  Reaching out to meet new people can be challenging even in normal times. Today, the hurdles are greater. Technology and other factors have lessened our face to face social contacts. The irony of todays life is the value gained by short interactions with people is snuffed out by the aversion to strangers. David Sax just wrote about this in the opinion section of The NY Times entitled “Why Strangers are so Good for Us.” COVID, CRIME, POLITICAL DIVISIONS and many more things have deepened the inclination to avoid personal contact with others, let alone strangers. Technology is also a culprit, making it possible to go through an entire day without interfacing with another human being. Examples abound from the fast food kiosk to being able to silence the Uber driver by hitting the no interaction button. It all causes us to withdraw and interact less.  There are many social costs to all this. A certain loss of the richness of life, as David Sax describes it. On the business side, the costs

THE ART OF YOU

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  “Art is not what we see on the wall, it is what we make of our lives.” This quote from the Nomad series is so true. We get so hung up on the 1,2 and 3’s of life, that we sometimes forget to nourish the whole. Life is not all about career, family, the money we have stacked up, or the rewards on the wall. It’s how we move through the world. How we are regarded by others, how we treat others, how we view the breath of life before us, and how deep our passion goes. The question is have we learned to enjoy life fully. There is no one formula for this, that’s the art of it. Over time and sometimes because of circumstances this concept becomes evident to us. We are comforted by the niches we have carved out in life. It is only when we are out in the world unhinged that we discover the true value of becoming as complete a person as possible. People, especially in new situations, care less about the work you do and more about the person you are. Our family is more than just our relatives, it

CLOSED SHOP 170

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 Most of the time, you just pass closed shops and the miscellaneous of street wandering. Sometimes though, you catch a reflection, a pattern, mark or color that makes you pause. A learned blessing it is to be wise enough to stop, reflect, imagine or just enjoy for a moment...

LEFTOVERS

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  We had been through so many mergers in 24 months that we lost count of them. Every morning when we came in, we looked at the name over the reception desk trying to find some foundation to things. There were just nine of us left from the original staff of 40 people. Those let go were replaced with rookies and a current crop of new management. Branded with the macro vision of our new owners, often separated laughingly from the market place we worked in. Where did they get their research anyway?  We began to call ourselves the leftovers. There were reasons why we were still there. Most of the time, it was the book of business we had, that somehow remained loyal through all the changes or some specialized knowledge not easily replaced. It was not because they loved us. In fact, we were kept far away from the inner circle of where the big next moves were made. The new rookies sent out like bots to capture that vision. Quickly replaced if they did not. It was almost like they did not

THE OTHER MARKET

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  There’s another market for opportunity out there. One often overlooked. It’s a market where consumer units are a mix between people trying to stay in the middle class or striving to reach it. Where a segment uses a culture of improvised self sufficiency and government support just to make it. The Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks our economy into five income brackets. Much of the target for products and services is the two top brackets, consumers making more than $96 thousand. Disposable income fuels a slew of luxury items in hot competition with each other. However, these two brackets only represent 30% of the 132 million consumer units in the United States. Surprisingly, the three lower brackets representing 92 million consumer units combined almost equal the spending of the top two. No wonder it has attracted business models like the dollar stores. This other market often falls outside the traditional profit thinking of many. Part of the reason is the breadth and diversity of the

WHIMSICAL THINGS

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  The next you may be no further than the pencil on your desk. It’s important to move the edges of our experience. To think and create whimsical things. More difficult with age, because of the burden our our legacy experiences. The marks and strides may not be of any importance or impact. Sometimes though, it turns into art, special things that inspire. Artists like Cy Twombly and Joan Miro were masters of turning random marks, swirls and squiggles into beautiful things to ponder. It’s all about getting beyond the self you have known, testing the bounds that hold you in place. Whether it be in art or business, it is where great performances can be found…