Wandering Mage
Time or Results-How do you value people?

I’m lucky-where I work. What time you start or finish work with a client is less important by far than what results come out of that work. The results count and somehow the idea of billing by the hour has been dumped in the trash.

Why is this good? Are we missing a profitable oppurtunity? Could we not gain a little more income by accumulating lots of hourly pound notes?

Of course we could.

If our focus was on squeezing every penny of profit out of a clients own budget. If we wanted to focus on fitting things, cookie cutter style into billable hour templates and making sure jobs fit into those spaces; whether they needed to or not.

However, what if our focus is only on the whole result? What if we said, ok this is the job; therefore this is the cost? In other words, the client already knows upfront both the result AND the price. Where does that leave us?

It leaves us simply spending our time thinking and working on how to make things happen for the client, not worrying about fitting things into billable hours.

In the past you had piece workers, working to the hour, paid by the hour. That is where such structures come from and that is what they are suitable for.

If the people you work with require more creativity, flexibility and problem solving than a piece worker, then you’ll also need more time flexibility. Why should either side be penalised for solving the problem quicker or more slowly?

There is one reason that such billing is attractive-what if the job stretches beyond profitability? Good planning and more importantly a good relationship with your customer is vital. The hour billing gets around needing to talk about these extra hours. You invoice, they pay, job done.

If you don’t bill by the hour, you have the scary job of admitting to your client, “sorry it is taking a lot longer, please can you pay more?”

A good relationship will allow for renegotiation-something you can bring up in the beginning. The “What If” conversation perhaps.

Bottom line? Focus on the results not the hours.

This draft to be reviewed :)

Memory

This is an old article of mine, from 2008. However, I guess I wrote it sober as I still like it; an event unusual enough to prompt a repost.

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Here is a metaphor for you: There is a crowd, in a town, of several million. They stretch into side streets as well as main roads. There is a speaker in a square amongst the crowd-without a megaphone. He shouts out his message and then disappears into the crowd.

The folks closest to him hear the message fairly clearly, however when they pass it on to their more distant neighbours they may miss a couple of things. The more distant folks miss a few more bits as they pass it further on. Eventually the original message doesn’t necessarily make it through the whole crowd. Yet, thousands of people heard a version of that message. The closest people decide to check with each other what they think the message was. If the town crier doesn’t come back, they can’t be 100% sure they’re right but they at least have most of it.

If he does, he can correct them and they pass the corrected message through the crowd.

This could be your memory. The people are communities of brain cells. We constantly reinterpret the information coming from the outside world and we can make up to a million new connections per second. Yet we don’t make exactly a million new facts a memory per second. My suspicion is much of the new connections are like the distant parts of the crowd-irrelevant and trace interpretations.

However the idea of the crowd talking does give a reason why memory is both persistent yet forgetful. If you remember something for years, despite the fact we lose thousands of neurons daily-it’s the crowd passing it on and they are able to agree and reconstruct the information closely enough to be useful.

If you forget, the crowd simply didn’t remember enough of the pieces-perhaps they didn’t hear properly.

- Controlling the Chaos…Good Luck! http://aweber.com/b/POZ4
tomvizzini
Law of Attraction-Myth or Not?

The chocolate teapot theory, there’s one in orbit right now. Isn’t there? I can’t prove it. I can’t disprove it.

The Law of Attraction is like this, I think, impossible to prove either way.

Is there a point in believing in it?

I contend that there is not.

Belief in this Law gives a thin, transparent comfort; an illusion of power and self-determination, whilst robbing the individual of both.

Instead of offering credit for your effort and determination, it takes that from you, replacing it with the myth that all you needed was to wish and hand it out to the universe. A deadly trap of passivity and victimhood. A great get out clause when it doesn’t work? “I wasn’t ready for it.” “It wasn’t the right time yet” and the wonderful self criticism, “I didn’t wish hard enough”.

So to believe in this, you hand off all your credit, power and responsibility for past achievements and anything in the future. In the process, you build in a set of wonderful excuses to not achieve many things you did want.

So combining destroying your own self belief, will and personal power and creating an imaginary version of Sky-Daddy who will do it all for you; as long as you wish for it hard enough, believe hard enough-otherwise known as having faith and wait for the right time.

If this doesn’t sound familiar, then perhaps you also never read a bible or other holy book.

The words change, the dance does not.

This is no different from any other Sky-Daddy myth; your God however is simply called the Universe.

Expertise

Learn the rules, learn them well, learn them so deeply that they dissolve into your blood, sink into your bones, imprint your soul; then forget them, allow them to wash away-leeching, evaporating and finally vanishing.

Only then, from the centre of a calm, clear and empty space; begin to create.

This, to me, is the process of becoming a Master.

A process, that perhaps, is never complete.

The enjoyment of pomposity

Pomposity, prolixity, loquacity, eloquence and verbosity are all great fun in writing, a deliberate “up yours” to the egalitarian communism of the idea that all writing must be simple, direct and boring.

Indeed a good dose of pomposity, is like a well-orchestrated moony, first baring one well-rounded lunar cheek, then the other and in a final crowning glory, the dark, hairy centre piece-the ultimate statement of sentiment to the notion of political correctness, both in writing and in thought.

I, for one, am enjoying a good dose of pompous, prolixate, loquacious, eloquent verbosity and enjoy the fact that its very pretentiousness is total anathema to many, many people-who likewise would feel roundly insulted should I bare my rather tremendous rear end, hair and all, towards their deux and ace.

I’m also fully aware that I just invented a word. Can you spot it, between  my verbal arse cheeks?

Ritual or Freestyle Magic?

To my mind, there are two kinds of magic, both depending upon imagination and emotion. These may be described as ritualistic, dependent on place, structure , formula and time-this also being the architecture of religion and cults; then you have the freestyle or naturalist and direct form of magic-simple and independent of the shackles that can bind and limit, shackles such as traditional structure and form.

They both have advantages; they both have drawbacks. The ritualistic allows for repeatable formula, freeing up the intellect for the act, reassuring the emotion by offering the comfort of the familiar form and the social safety that allows a group to perform together. Perhaps this alone, is the reason for its persistence in the world. I include the ritual magic of organised religions here.

The disadvantages however are: closed traditions, little improvisation and adaptation; intent replaced by regulation of form-structure replacing both power and will in purpose, much like a clichéd metaphor-dead and lifeless. Worse, its dependence on time, place, formula and structure, means it no longer has the freedom to move, flow and play with the universe-for that is what magic is for.

Freestyle-direct and free, dependent on nothing more than will, desire, emotion and knowledge; responsive, adaptive, always playing ,always seeking; freestyle magic is the language of the soul, singing into being the reality of the world, offering no certainty of dead rigid structures, instead, offering only the uncertainty and direct communion of and with reality.

Description, passing thoughts

Description, like drawing, requires a clear view of what you are looking at. In common with drawing, there is a necessary distortion of reality to convey what is in front of you ontoa flat surface such as paper or canvas.

When done well, such distortion becomes transparent, giving the mind and eye enough information to percieve the object clearly. When executed to it’s highest form however, such drawing conveys far more.

So it is with description. Just like drawing, there is a time to stop, too much distracts and subtracts from the subject yet too little is insufficient to paint a picture in the mind’s eye.

Another wandering post from me. The idea of going for a morning wander does appeal to me.

The woods would be silent if only the best nightingale sang
A fairy tale from when I was small, I do not remember whos.
The long sentence…

According to many, the short sentence is king.

Boring writing would use sentences that are monotonous. Both in length and tone. Rather like this really.

There are many concepts and ideas that represent seemingly opposite values, that benefit instead from a balanced view, balance itself being a dynamic rather than static state.

Whether it’s the place of silence in music, or just how much nature vs nurture shape us, or indeed how much planning should be done when you wish to write something, there are many things that benefit from a flexible shift along any particular axis of opinion.

This post alone is currently guilty of one such extreme. I didn’t plan and I haven’t yet edited it for clarity, grammer or indeed purpose.

At a later stage -I will edit - simply to see the difference in my writing once I’ve had a day to consider what kind of foolish post I committed to the infinite library that is the web.

Have you noticed the wandering that this particular post is subject to already, in a mere few paragraphs? A good edit should sort that out.

Have a good day!