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Needless Suffering

A reminder to all of my friends that what others say and do has nothing to do with you. It’s all about the dream that they live in and the programming that they have agreed to store in their minds and the rules that say this is good or this is bad. Whenever we violate THEIR rules, they want us to suffer, because someone needs to be punished…..right? Imagine if someone was told all of their lives that the sky was green by their parents. That would be an undeniable truth that is stored in their brain. The moment someone says “look at that blue sky”,  their body starts to vibrate and their truth needs to be defended. That’s when all heck breaks loose and everyone starts defending their own version of the truth. This idea expands into religion, politics, morals, etc. There is no wrong or right, it’s only the mind that makes it so.needless-suffering

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99 Books and Moby Dick Ain’t One

Personal MBAIf you are not growing, you’re dying. I have adopted a mindset of relentless growth and self development over the past few years and I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon. Before I realized that regret was futile and a waste of emotion I would constantly regret the absence of a college degree in my life. I was a late bloomer and didn’t much feel like entering college right out of high school. In fact, I barely made it out of high school. Why in the world would I want to go into another institution that wasn’t designed to cater to me and the way that I relate to learning. I will admit that I have always had a thirst for knowledge and could go toe to toe with many experts in whatever field I chose whether it was technology, luthiery, beer brewing, bee keeping, or graphic design. But I always had a nagging sensation like a midget holding onto a mullet that was causing me to continually take steps backward after I made progress. I feel that it was me predicting my failure in advance due to lack of confidence from not having a formal education.

Formal education is the key word here. What makes it so formal? I guess it’s the idea of me sitting down and a teacher spitting out knowledge from books with me reading along and then taking the book home and pouring over the information so it would sink in long enough for me to take a test. Oh! Forgot to mention me spending a very large sum so I would get a participation certificate when it was all said and done.

So after many years I somehow came to my own obvious conclusion that text books were just books (took me many years, i know). So I thought “how about I stop bellyaching about missing out on schooling and start empowering myself by learning these concepts myself”? Let the reading begin! For the past year or so I have substituted listening to music in my car for audiobooks on everything from personal growth and strategy to business concepts, which leads me to my final findings. I have longed for the knowledge that is contained within having a business degree, more specifically an MBA. So I ventured out to find some sort of literary vehicle that would allow me to stand toe to toe with those with a $40,000-$120,000 education and what I found was a whole world of experts that tout the better idea of self learning MBA principles through a (large) series of reading materials.

There is a known author named Josh Kaufman that has compiled a list of 99 books that should give you a good taste of what it is like to have an MBA. “99 Books!” I thought to myself, that is just too much reading. But then I thought again and realized that it was a much better option for me since I could learn at my own pace and do this on my own time while driving from here to there. To make it even easier Kaufman has also released his own book called The Personal MBA which is a compilation of the concepts and strategies that you would learn in a traditional MBA program. I read the book, and liked it. It opened my eyes to what others get to experience with paid schooling. The journey doesn’t end there though since he still recommends reading many other books that delve way deeper into subjects such as how to read financial reports and value creation.

If you would like to stop regretting and start learning I urge you to take a chance and delve into this idea of self educating. You have nothing to lose.

Personal MBA recommended reading list

Buy The Personal MBA on Amazon.com

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The Book Has Landed!

Cruddy Fairies Title

Hello everybody! I’m very happy to announce that my first book is DONE! The Cruddy Fairies is now available in print and on Kindle through Amazon.com. I am very happy with the results and I feel inspired to keep making children’s books. I plan on making more books that will teach deeper concepts of life and self to children. I want to continue holding up the tradition of the late great Shel Silverstein and help kids remember great and valuable stories on through their adult years.

I want to give a big thank you to all of the people that have supported me though the duration of this project, especially my wife Jen who pushed me through when I started dragging. Also want to thank my awesome Illustrator Cap Cheah!  He was awesome from beginning to end  and only made my vision of the project better. #CruddyFairies

 

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Responsibility!

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Just a quick post. A couple of years ago a friend let me borrow the book “How to think like Leonardo DaVinci” By Michael Gelb and it helped start me on my path to personal discovery. After that I became consumed with Leonardo and his attitude and way of life. I was inspired so much that me and my wife decided to give our son Kingston the middle name Leonardo. The dude was massively enlightened in a time where it wasn’t encouraged. This book also led me down the path of self education and allowed me to drop the stigma of not having a formal education. So fast forward a few years later and my brother Don got me the audiobook  “The Spirit of Leonardo: Seven Steps to Self-Realization from History’s Greatest Genius” by the same author, Michael Gelb. This book blew me away and filled in all of the knowledge gaps that were left by the previous book. One thing that stuck with me was the topic of responsibility. Gelb speaks of how Leonardo remained 100% responsible for his words, thoughts, and actions. Keep in mind that he was sponsored by the church and if you did or said anything that wasn’t what the church wanted to you to do, say, or even think you were probably gonna die in a horrible way. Leonardo didn’t really give any poops because this was his life and if he was confronted about it he would not back down or change his stance or opinion.

So that leads me to my final point. The author speaks that Leonardo lived like he had a meter or a gauge on his chest that had a needle pointing to 100% and below it read responsibility. So no matter what he did or said he always took 100% responsibility for it. And that’s how we should live so we can drop the victim mentality whereby we are always subject to outward experiences to control us and give us a reason to not move forward. He even gave an example of a man that said “That’s great and all but my wife left me for no reason…I’m angry about it…and it’s not my fault”. Gelb’s response to it was “You need to tell yourself, I picked the wrong woman”. Until we take full responsibility we will continue to be immobile and continue to blame outside circumstances for our own failures.

This has inspired me to make my own gauge (pictured above) that I can wear publicly as a reminder that I am 100% responsible for everything I say, do, and experience. I will not be a victim.


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Come get your copy of the book!

PG 17 color

The book is pretty much done. I have a complete layout in my hands with all illustrations and text in place. All I have to do now is make the final revisions and then it is off to the next step, whatever that is.  So wish me luck and if you are interested in checking it out add yourself to my mailing list and I will make sure that you get the ebook! The book is approx 3000 words and would be a great bed time story for you to read to your offspring. Word of warning, the word fart is used several times. Later mash potaters!

Subscribe to my mailing list for a FREE copy of The Cruddy Fairies Written By V.S. Hines

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Is the dream coming into fruition?

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Rollin’ like a mutha!

We are half way through the month of September and I am already seeing some great results with my children’s book The Cruddy Fairies. I cannot believe how fast the project is coming together after I made a decision to swallow the failure of hiring an inept artist. Let this be a lesson to not stay on a path because you feel “too invested” in what you have already done. Remember that your time is worth something too and you make no money sitting, waiting, and wishing.

Above you can see one of the first colored illustrations from the artist. This dude is a rock star! Just looking at his work inspires me to come up with more stories for him to illustrate.

To kickstart or not to kickstart?

My wonderful wife raised the question on whether I should kickstart this project to help pay for the publishing. The truth is that no matter how great I feel the book is the chances that it will be a runaway success is pretty limited. But you never know! So I am gonna blow up every channel I can with my story and see what happens. So if I do start a kickstarter campaign I will be posting the details here for nobody to read 🙂  Keep it real homies!

 

 

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Children’s Book Update

Well, like I said before I had issues with my previous illustrator. I don’t know if I just didn’t set up the right expectations or if things got lost in translation. No matter, she gone! Now I have a new dude, straight outta Malaysia. He is the bee’s knees. Doesn’t miss deadlines and is spot on with my vision. I found him through http://www.Guru.com which is a crazy valuable resource for getting your stuff done. Anything from art and illustration to website and app design. I love the system because it allows you to agree on a price and then set up milestones and the freelancer will get paid upon completing the milestones. This makes it very easy to manage. At the rate we are going I am figuring to have the whole book completed in just a month or so. Here are some sketches of the scenes.

PG 19 PG 6 PG 2 - 3

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The Universe is Cheering Us On!

The Universe Is Cheering Me On

Can you feel it? I can, when I surrender to life and let go of everything.

My brother Don is one of the most inspirational and helpful people on the planet, and he has buried fantastic ideas deep into my brain ever since I was 13 or 14. Now I am 38 and my dear sweet brother’s knowledge on the matter of being human and making the best of it has grown exponentially since then.

My brother always says “Be you, and I will keep rooting you on”. On my journey it has inspired me to imagine that everyone else feels the same way. So I decided make this graphic as a visual representation of  what I hear and feel when I close my eyes and take a deep breath.

I am posting this due to the positive response that I have received on the Miracle Morning Facebook page. If you haven’t read the book yet or joined the group. DO IT! Later taters!

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Let’s Get Real

My hopes in starting this site was to generate content and money. But if anyone knows me, they know that I am a messed up frazzled dude looking for my piece of the pie. Well, I’m not going to find my pie trying to be like all of the other “gurus” out there. I am my own man and even though I might have so much to offer in my own way I am still trying to figure some stuff out. So I am dedicating this site to myself, what I am interested in, and my plan for constant and never ending improvement. If you can draw inspiration from it then great. Please join me into my journey of self discovery and watch me get burned on the stove of life while I try to figure this out.

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11 Cool Tools for Startups

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We’ve all heard about the $100 startup. But you need to save that precious cash for things that you just can’t get for free or insanely cheap.

If there was ever a time to get started, it’s now. And there are endless free, cheap, and useful resources online that can help you launch and build your startup.

This is not an end all be all list for getting started and I will probably have a lot more things to add in the future but this is a good starting point.

1. Startup Stash

A curated directory of resources and tools to help you build your startup. This will keep you busy for a while.

2. Shake

Here you can find free legal agreements. You can create, sign and send legally binding agreements in seconds. It’s effective and simple to use.

3. Square Space Logo

Not ultra elaborate but a great tool for creating basic logos instantly. It’s perfect for getting your idea out there and if you wish, you can refine later.

4. The Name App

A free name generator. Search for domains and social profiles for your startup. Helpful when first starting and trying to come up with a strong web presence.

5. Content Idea Generator

This helps you figure out content ideas. Content is the name of the game.

6. Ultimate Stock Photos

Go here for royalty free beautiful stock photos. There is no other way to get this many large and in charge stock images for only $17. I use them in all of my websites and blog posts. I also use them for corporate brochures.

7. Freebbble

For design, there is nothing much better than Dribbble. This site features and awesome collection of free designs from the Dribbble site.

8. Pablo by Buffer

Design eye catching images for your social media posts for free. It’s super quick and easy to use.

9. Type Form

This is the jam! The best place for creating contact forms, questionnaires, and even job applications. Use their free plan and start creating forms and content that suit your brand.

10. SumoMe

Everyone uses SumoMe now to grow traffic. Download it and install it on your site to start building lists, heat maps, popup email boxes, etc.

11. Awesome Screenshot

This sites makes screenshots simple and it allows you to mark up the images as well. The site says it’s “the easiest way to communicate with images.”

 

I hope this list gives you some tools for success. There are many more to use (like Evernote, Trello, etc.) but we will elaborate on those later. Just keep on pushing through and get some shit done.

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