In All Thy Getting, Get Thee Profit First

Profit from these words

I am tremendously surprised that I haven’t reported on this book before. I have been using the method for over a year now, strike that, two years nearly, and Profit First has been the single most important financial book I’ve read as a serial small business owner.

Profit First Book Review / Summary - Mike Michalowicz ...
Quick Read, and Blammo! Changed Business.

When I was young, I learned the concept of tithing. While I wasn’t very fond of the idea of paying a portion of my income to the local church I attended as a young man, looking back I am exceptionally grateful that my parents and church leaders encouraged me to do so. Those small contributions, widow’s mites by sum, helped my community keep the local church doors open and afloat. More importantly, however, I learned a principle about money that could only be described in the useful idiom made famous by Benjamin Franklin, “A place for everything, everything in its place.

Applying the principle of tithing to my own life, which I have for many years now, even after having left the church, I have grown a considerable foundation of wealth the likes of which would have never been possible without the idea of setting up to “the lord” the best you have. That allocation I have so dutifully sown with all my personal income has grown to a healthy spring of wealth.

But when it came to business, this principle seemed to have been missed by me. Everything that was going out of the business was everything that was going into the business. My business seemed to call for that as though it were the only way to stay afloat. And yet, each day I felt as though me and my business were headed for the hard rocks of financial ruin.

That’s just about the time I discovered Profit First on the front desk at the office late one night as I was pacing up and down the halls, stressed about how I was going to make all the bills work. I’d made more money than I had to date, that wasn’t the problem, and yet there was seemingly no more money for me at the end of the day. That’s when I saw those words, “Transform your business from a cash-eating monster to a money-making machine.” Those words shone like a light house in the thick fog of financial affairs I had made for myself. I picked up that book and read the whole thing in less than an hour.

The idea was so simple, the process so easy, and the implementation so quick that the effects were felt immediately (read: that night). In that single night, I corrected my financial future in a way I hadn’t thought possible at the time. A year later I had achieved a sense of financial security in my business that is hard to describe to my fellow associates who don’t implement these cash-flow ideas.

Now two years later, the fact that the Profit First Method worked on my business was no fluke. Later I applied these ideas to other businesses I took part in, and Mike’s ideas changed those businesses too (read: my friends and family’s lives). It took some time to help others understand that this palliative would fix what was ailing our businesses. Often it took them completely throwing in the towel before they’d let me steer. And to the surprise of friends and family, the idea that there is a “place for everything,” resulted in them achieving a level of wealth that they never had before.

In the end, all that it took to have greater security in our lives was a little faith towards an age old practice, setting up the best before the lord: a tithe.

What are your thoughts on cash-flow management? Comment below.

Ideally, A Body Will Show One’s Character

Recently a friend of mine shared a video with me after having heard about my recent post about Digital Minimalism. She was curious to know my thoughts about it. I will leave my thoughts below; I will leave the video here, too.

Hard Work Is the Laboratory

Many years ago I lived on a farm, which was surrounded by ranch-lands and farmsteads. This modest farm was many miles from any near-by town. Most of my friends were many miles away, too. So getting to any kind of derision was never a simple thing. I reflected on all of this after visiting my old neighborhood over the weekend. As luck would have it, I was fortunate enough to visit with some of my old neighbors.

One such neighbor, the wife of my childhood mentor, who passed a few years ago, bemoaned that there has not been a better sprinkler mover since those years where I walked the fields. “You simply can’t get kids to walk the fields and move sprinklers anymore, Alix,” she decried. “Not even for two hours a day at twice minimum wage! It gets in the way of their screen time.”

You simply can’t get kids to walk… It gets in the way of their screen time.

Mrs. Warr

I shook my head in agreement of disapproval and told her that I’d still be moving them were I in the neighborhood. Truthfully, I would walk those fields for the rest of my life if I could. The peace and imagination, the stories I would conjure to the clouds, all of it would take a person’s breath away if they only knew what depth of solace I felt moving those hand-lines as a young man. And that was only in the fields.

Breathing Is a Skill

When I wasn’t punching cows, bucking bales of hay, or trucking hand-lines through the fields, I was headlong under-water breathing to the rhythm of my swim coach’s instruction. “1,2,3,4,5, breath… 1,2,3,4,5, breath…” I would hear his words sound in my head like a sonar as I’d stroke my way through his grueling workouts. I can still hear those fate-filled words he said to me as I told him how hard it was to breath that pattern.

“Alix,” he said holding his clipboard to his chest and pinching the wings of his nose, “you don’t need more air in your lungs, you need to be more efficient with the air you already have.”

You don’t need more air in your lungs, you need to be more efficient with the air you already have.

Coach Roberts

While I didn’t agree with him at the time, I have since come around to learn what he meant – all you need to do is listen to the way people breath in a waiting room, or on a date, to know that people lack control over their breath. And lacking control over breath is to lack control over one of our most fundamental bodily functions. I’ve often thought to ask, just as an unofficial social experiment, the mouth breathers and loud nose breathers of the world if they felt like their life was a little out of control. My suspicion is that they would say yes.

What We Do Is Our Character

To round this off. I may not have the character I once had as a youth: A young man who walked ranch fields and meditated my mortality underwater. I do, however, have enough sense in me to know that it was over-coming difficulties and trials in those arenas of youth that I often find my self joyous and in awe at the wellspring of happiness I’d experienced as a young man. What’s more, in fact, is that I often go back to those wellsprings when faced with new struggles. Much like the one I face now – the soul crushing comforts of modernity. And from these wellsprings there is a weapon, an Excalibur of sorts, that I have come to trust with all my heart, an incredible weapon I was given as a young man that I hope to share with you now: who we are is not what we do, what we do is who we are. This the essence of character.

Who we are is not what we do, what we do is who we are. This the essence of character

Alixander Court

I’d love if you would comment below and let me know what you do and the character it makes of you.

Digital Minimalism is Not A Digital Detox, It Is a DTR

Digital Minimalism is a DTR

.__ …. ._ _ …. ._ _ …. __. .. _.. .__ … .. .._ __. …. _

Samuel Morse Quoting Numbers 23:23 “What hath God wrought?”

In many ways, how Newport ended his book is an apt way to do so. Yes, the all too poignant words of Samuel Morse, inventor of the telegraph and the morse code, as he demonstrated the telegraph to the United States Supreme Court, are maddeningly accurate now staring down the end of the first quarter of the 21st century: WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT?

For those of you who don’t know, I have read Cal’s work before. This, Digital Minimalism, is my second report on Cal’s work. I’ll admit that finishing this book has been as transformative as it comes when taken into light of the plague that has infected our species. No, I’m not talking about The Mind Virus of Pornography. I’m talking about connectivity.

I noticed something in the LaGuardia Airport Terminal on my way home from a recent vacation to the Liberty States: New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Delaware. It only took a brief glance waiting in the terminal to see how sick our species has become since the advent of the smart phone in 2007. Sick with what you ask? Sick with distraction. In a very short time, these devices, powered with social media apps of today and the moneys being pumped into our attention economy, have entirely robbed our species of our most precious resources: our time, attention and care for others.

Take a thirty-day break

Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism

If you don’t believe me, then take up a challenge proposed by Cal Newport: “Take A Thirty-Day Break

Now if this sounds obscene or impossible to you, consider that you may very well need to take a deep and difficult look at the relationship you have with your devices. If you are anything like me, then you will see this thirty day challenge as the reason you have been waiting for to get out. And shoot, you might even stop everything (including enjoying this post) and take on the challenge right now.

This is not a detox. I told you that from the get go. A detox implies that you will go back to doing what makes you sick. This is a transformation. You will never be the same after you have re-assessed your relationship with your devices. And if this is your first DTR (determining the relationship), you are likely in for a real awaking. But don’t worry, Digital Minimalism will equip you with the foundations and practices you will need to over come the challenge (literally, those are parts one and two of his book).

I am sure what you will likely find in those thirty days, just as I have, are things that you have missed that you weren’t even aware of. How about the joys of solitude? Or what about the power of face-to-face conversation, with someone you care about? And what about the rewarding experience of taking part in your community; a real, in-the-flesh, community of people who share common values with you? If you are scoffing here that you can get all that from airplane mode, messaging a friend, or posting to one of your preferred groups… you are probably sick.

“Turn on, tune in, drop out”

Timothy Leary

If you don’t understand what I mean by sick, and you don’t understand what sickness I am talking about, than you most certainly can not be a part of the cure.

If this is your first time hearing this, then may it awaken you to the truth of what is going on all around us every moment…

Are you ready?


Here it is…

The all-consuming, attention-whoring, power of modern connectivity fueled by social media, general purpose mobile computing machines, and the trillions of dollars that tech giants have invested to keep you “turn[ed] on, tune[ed] in, drop[ped] out” of your life are what are currently holding you back and keeping you sick.

Undo what man hath wrought

Alixander Court referencing Digital Minimalism

To be free of the attention sickness, and to reclaim your life from the unintended slavery that the digital era has imposed on us as a species – power off your screens, go get Digital Minimalism at a book store near you, and undue what man hath wrought.

I’d love to know your comments below about what think about what man hath wrought.