January 10, 2019 at 2:50 pm #2462
Bruce Here’s a question for you. On today’s call Sean addressed the subject of our daily motivation and asking questions of ourselves to get ourselves started.
I am interested to know how you see this because I believe this question of personal daily motivation is important for all humanity.
I see this 2 ways. We ask the question from an external need basis ie “I need to earn 100k because of . . .” The other way to ask is from an internal need of “What satisfaction do I have from doing what I do?”
For me the internal satisfaction seems to be a greater motivation. Money is great and gives one options but these may become boring after a short time. Changing lives is a great motivator and the money follows giving us options, however the satisfaction one gets is something visceral and begs to be defined. Your thoughts please.
January 11, 2019 at 10:09 am #2513
Thanks for the opportunity to contribute to this discussion.
Motivation for solopreneurs who work at home in their cave day after day, week after week, is a problem. Part of that is a lack of positive feedback, and another is the absence of interaction with others who understand what you do, and how you do it.
Both of those things will be solved somewhat by this Inner Circle. I suspect that when the Forum has matured substantially, and by that I mean that posts and comments are made almost constantly, that the means will be made available to us to connect directly with those who are on our “wavelength.”
In the meantime, we have to accept full responsibility for motivating ourselves.
To me, the single biggest motivator is to have a compelling reason for doing what you’re doing. And that reason has to be far bigger than you or your family.
I think I discussed in a post, but it’s worth mentioning again.
Most people decide that they want to earn a specific sum of money each year in order to give themselves the freedom to be independent from employed work. If they allow themselves to dream a little, then they might imagine paying off the mortgage early or putting their kids through college.
Both of those aspirations are worthy, but in my opinion, they’re not compelling. That’s because they’re limited to them.
A compelling reason goes way beyond you. For example, I read about a couple recently that adopted seven kids so that they could give them a “forever future.” The couple had no responsibility for these children beforehand, but they decided to take on that responsibility.
Some people decide to build schools in third world nations. Others set up trusts, foundations, or charities that support causes they they strongly believe in.
I would venture to say that in every case, they believed that if they didn’t do it, then no one else would; and so for that reason, they had to do it.
If you have a compelling reason for doing what you do, then when you sit at your computer and don’t feel especially motivated, you’ll do your work anyway, not because of your ambition to be free from employment, but because you feel responsible for the well-being of people in addition to your immediate family that you want to help.
The business, then, becomes a means to an end; not an end in itself.
And when you persuade yourself to take on that kind of responsibility, you’ll never have a motivation problem again.
You may also find these books to be helpful:
The Call by Os Guiness
Finishing Well by Bob Buford
Hope this helps. 🙂
January 11, 2019 at 12:46 pm #2540
I hope you don’t mind me adding to this conversation.
In a nutshell, I agree with Bruce. He explains it from a psychological studied point of view.
For me it’s because I have had the opportunity and the wonderful experience of, of just what you both believe and, what I believe really motivates a person.
It is not money, money is only a tool. It doesn’t hold near the power of the “Internal Satisfaction” that drives one to success.
One thing for sure, you must put yourself in front of opportunity. You have to be always on the front lines of your chosen desires for finding that which you may want to do.
Most people after high school go on to college. Do they all achieve their goals of personal feelings of success afterword.
I beg to think not.
Its probably more like they go and get a good job with a good education and don’t really know why they are doing what they do except to have a good job and they make good money. They’ve been told to do this.
We were told all of our lives growing up, “get good grades in school, go to college and get a degree and you can get a good job and make good money”. That’s all fine and dandy but I have to ask this question.
How do you know what you really want to do until you experience the whole thing in the real world?
Suddenly the money tends to take a back seat to the feeling that there is something missing in one’s life.
That something is the passion that burns inside one who has found that which they are destined by God to do.
In my case it took ten years of searching for just that. I dug deep, I tried many, many different things.
None of them tripped my trigger. None of them made me happy.
Until one day. . .
. . .I was working with this other person and we brought a truck load of turfgrass to the yard. It was like a miracle happened. It was magic.
I knew at that moment that nothing else mattered. I found the gold.
It was in that instant that I suddenly found my passion for doing something that was I knew I wanted to do.
The feeling came from deep inside my soul, a passion with a burning desire.
I had to pinch myself to see if I was real.
Suddenly the money did not matter.
It soon became all the other things that began to happen that did.
Once the grass began going down in the yards it was a most beautiful sight to behold.
Suddenly in subdivisions where nothing had been there but bare earth became filled with streets of houses that all had yards that were fully sodded with “my grass”, my beautiful green green grass.
And the loads of grass flowed and flowed. Like a river of gold. Green gold.
The billing and the business part of it was rudimentary and a necessary part of doing business.
But it was not the pleasurable part. Just saying.
Soon after I had begun, people began asking me for advice about their yards. Advice that I gave as freely as the air we breathe.
I knew that they could never, even if they tried, take away my knowledge. You know the feeling of so many, dont give away too much information. What a joke. When you know what you are doing and love what you do, its up to you to give that knowledge away. Why not. It was only knowledge. (I did not give away the grass).
By giving knowledge away people came to me in droves just to hear me talk and then they would buy.
They would buy their grass from me. I was King. . . I was blessed.
I still am because I know what it feels like to have that passion with a burning desire. The feeling of having a dream that has come true is such an emotionally deep and wonderful feeling.
I could write volumes about my experiences with that business.
My reason for writing this is to help you understand that which you already know. Its not about the money, its about the feeling for the business. The passion with a burning desire that will make you highly successful.
Provide something that people need, want and desire and you will find that you have the key to success. Yours and theirs.
It doesn’t matter what it is that you are providing. Just so long it fulfills a need.
All of us here in the Inner Circle have a golden opportunity to do just this. I know from reading your posts you have the knowledge and the desire.
We all just need to, Do It! Get it done.
In closing I say,
Always – Dream Big, Think Bold, Have Faith, and Take Action!
Great Question Lloyd.
Great Answer Bruce.
Thank you for all your guys do for this Inner Circle and the forum.
January 11, 2019 at 12:58 pm #2541
What happened to the grass business?
January 11, 2019 at 1:42 pm #2544
In the beginning it was lots of fun and lots of work. I was much younger and much spunkier. At 28 years old I had almost infinite energy. It seemed like I could run 24/7.
In the mid 80’s the building industry along with the Savings and Loan debacle the money dried up. No money, no work.
The home building industry is cyclic. Every ten or so years the bubble breaks and it basically goes away.
In 1986 I got involved with something else and stopped doing grass. I still had it in me to do it again once more, so I started again in San Antonio where I was very successful.
I should have sold out in 2006 for a hefty price but I guess I’m too vain.
By 2010 there, once again, even in San Antonio, not a whole lot of business. Remember the great ression of 2008. It was real.
Besides that in 2009 I started looking at this online business and decided in 2010 to just stop doing grass and try my skills at this.
I like this business, I like it a lot, but I haven’t found my way to profitibility.
I do have a passion for working online. I do have a desire to do well.
Being straight forward about it. I have a fear. It may be fear of success.
Once successful in this business you have to really go to work.
But I now have a vast amount of knowledge from technical to the actual knowledge about what it takes to make it work.
I’m most likely one of those who Sean is describing that knows more than he does. I do know about all the aspects that will take this business to the top.
I am afraid that I will not meet up to the standard.
That’s the simple fact of it. I learn, learn and learn.
One problem is I always have a means to making ends meet. But there is more to life than that.
It is for this reason that I am here. I need to participate with you and others here so I can gain confidence and be bold.
As you can see, I do like to write. Hopefully it is constructive and beneficial to those who read what I have to say.
But I’m getting off into the weeds.
The turfgrass is history, that is unless me and the kids can put enough money to buy another farm. Which I will do.
I will however not stop doing this. I am adamant about making this Online Business work.
That is one of the reasons why I am here.
And you, Bruce, are an inspiration to me.
Looking back, I took a Psychology class in High School. I took it on a whim. It was one of my favorite classes and I made an A in that class.
An A in Psycology Band and English.
I can’t say that about any of my other classes.
Any I hope that answeres your question. Probably TMI.
January 11, 2019 at 1:45 pm #2545
The more you tell me, the easier it is to get to know you. 🙂
January 11, 2019 at 1:55 pm #2548
January 11, 2019 at 2:01 pm #2549
There is so much more to tell.
I have lived a very full and colorful life.
I am a free bird.
Have been forever.
Since a young child in South Western Colorado living on an 80 acre farm.
where my father was a highly successful Urainum prospector out in the wild, wild west.
I was a boy with few restrictions living in a very remote community in the wide open spaces.
Most will never know or understand the freedom from civilization.
January 11, 2019 at 2:32 pm #2554
I went to Jr High and High School in CO. 😉
January 11, 2019 at 2:05 pm #2550
Thanks for the acknowledgement.
I’m not sure this should stay on this thread but it is working for me.
The better we get to know one another the easier it will to interact.
I too, love it.
I must say too, Bruce has a way of drawing background out of people.
Bruce, do you have a couch in your office?
January 11, 2019 at 2:31 pm #2553
I do indeed have a couch, but there’s a bicycle in front of it.
Also, I’m not that kind of psychologist. 😉
January 11, 2019 at 3:29 pm #2563
I had to leave my cozy corner in Starbucks.
Just got back home.
Thought I’d ask about the couch. You are very good.
I went to high school in Grand Junction.
January 11, 2019 at 4:18 pm #2565
I work from home mostly. 😉
January 11, 2019 at 4:56 pm #2570
You guys ROCK!! Thanks for your contribution and some great insight to get to know each other.
You did answer the question Bruce and I agree with you but I wanted to give it the “shrink test” lol, I hope that’s not offensive in your culture, it isn’t here in New Zealand.
The fire of our passion, which burns in our belly, can only be extinguished when we are put into a pine box and when I talk to young people I share my story about career choice.
As a child, I grew up doing the dishes with my mother every night. During these sessions, we talked deeply about many subjects. I started when at school, training to be a Draughtsman/Architect because I was gifted at drawing and featured in our countries drawing exams.
When I went for my interview I discovered I would be sitting behind a desk for 40 yrs and I immediately left the interview!!
My heritage was from farming and even though we lived in a city I was drawn to it as a career. I then went on to get qualified at an Agricultural University for 1 reason, so I could get a loan to buy a farm.
Interesting development, when I bought my farm one of the guys from our class handled the case to approve it!
Anyway, back to the story, on one of my holidays back home Mum and I were doing dishes again and I mentioned changing courses and switching to do sociology. Immediately my awesome mother said NO WAY!! She then said I would bring all the problems from the office home and I would always be preoccupied and I would be a terrible husband to be married to and a grumpy father and I would be the cause of an unhappy family.
I stayed Farming!!
Soon after my conversion to Christianity God called me to the ministry and my original fire in my belly to help people, had a gallon of petrol thrown on it. I had learned a few things by then and Mum commented to me at one of our dishes dates, how well suited I was for the job that wasn’t a job. When I was struggling with my own issues a feeling down I would pray and ask God to send me a person who had a problem and 10 minutes later the phone would ring!!
I love the verse in Jn 4 when Peter was taking the pie order and he got to Jesus and Jesus said “I have meat to eat which you know not of, to do the will of my Father”
That sums up the call and fire in the belly of this group and is our WHY and our “meat to eat”!
Thank you all for your ongoing encouragements we glean from “between the lines”
January 11, 2019 at 5:06 pm #2572
I’m not a shrink, Lloyd. 😉 My PhD is in Organizational Psychology. That’s the branch of psychology that studies people at work, which is perfect for this Forum.
Shrinks are either psychiatrists – medical doctors who specialize in mental health – or clinical psychologist.
There are a lot of other kinds of psychologists as well, each with a different specialty.
Forensic psychologists study criminals. Neuropsychologists study the physiology of the brain, and how it affects behavior. Then there’s educational and child psychologist, which probably need no explanation.
I have a couch, and you can come lay down on it, but I won’t ask you about your home life. 😉
January 11, 2019 at 6:14 pm #2574
Thanks for your background info.
A farmer eh. I made my mad money as a kid working on farms. I started driving tractors at 7.
I’ve been on and off them ever since. I still operate one and it pays pretty good I might add.
Not long after I moved to San Antonio I bought a 40 acre place about 15 miles east of down town SA. Near A sleepy little town called “China Grove”. Any of you ever heard of China Grove? I’d be interested if you have. There’s a story behind it.
My wife and I are still here.
It’s a lot of work keeping the place up but it has its advantages. From my house you can’t see a neighbors house. Nearest one is through the trees 500-600 feet away. Solitude.
Just saying Lloyd, we have something in common. That I find rather fascinating.
And yes, we have all been drawn together for a reason, a purpose. Let us use it to our advantage.
Anyone else want to enter this thread? I’d love to hear some of your life’s stories.
Bruce, where in Colorado did you go to school? I still have family and friends there.
January 11, 2019 at 6:35 pm #2577
I ended up milking cows for 15 yrs then sold it when I went into the ministry. We moved into town where my son and I built a log house together. We homeschooled our 5 children so we had some great family time.
My son now milks 800 cows and produces A2 milk through a 40 bail rotary shed which has automatic cup removers and milking only takes an hour and a half for 1 person, such is automation!
God took me out of the local church ministry and told me my church will be “without walls” and this platform is part of the fulfillment of that promise.
Maybe this thread should be in the Introduce yourself section.
January 12, 2019 at 7:52 am #2588
We lived in Northglenn (104th Ave, north of Denver), and I went to Jr High and High School there. I also went to UNC for a couple of years.
January 11, 2019 at 7:29 pm #2584
Great thread, guys!
My background in a few quick paragraphs (that’s a challenge in itself):
I joined the Army straight out high school. It was all I had wanted to do since I was 14. Ten days after graduation, I was at basic training. I loved it. I thrived. By 22, I was in charge of 32 man squad and responsible for a $600 radar / missile system. Went to the NCO Academy and was the first person in the history of the 8th US Army NCO Academy to receive a 100% rating with no demerits for the entire course. This sent me to the NCO of the quarter board for my unit. I won there; won at battalion then won brigade. I went to I Corps and won that as well. Then, I went to the I Corps NCO of the year competition and won that. This sent me to the 8th US Army NCO of the year competition. During all of these boards, I had to give a 3-5 minute presentation. I gave the presentation using “state of the art” equipment at the time – a slide projector! Never had an issue…until the finals. One of my slides “jammed.” Not a big jam (I tapped the projector and it reset itself). But I was docked 1 pt each by the 3 judge panel. I placed 2nd overall, missing 1st place by 1 point (you can do the math so see where I would have placed).
After this, I applied for Drill Sergeant School and became a DI for 3 years. I loved this job! I could yell and make life miserable for folks – and was getting paid to do so!
As I approached the end of my 3 year stint on Drill Sergeant status, I decided if I was going to say at this for the next 12 years, I should go for the “big bucks” and apply for Officer Candidate School. (I was already an E-6 Staff Sergeant at the time). I was accepted and, while at OCS, came out on the E-7 list. I was commissioned as a 2LT in the Cavalry.
My prior NCO experienced served me well. One area I was weak in was education. I had “pieced together” an associates degree in “general studies” over 8 years. Which should not have been a problem, for my goal of making Captain would have allowed me enough time in service before competing for Major to retire.
The promotion process at the time was 2 selection board, six months apart, the 3rd year of your commission. I knew I would not make the first list because I would be competing agains West Point and ROTC graduates. But the second list was a pretty much “give me” (unless you get caught with the General’s daughter or something as equally stupid).
Well, as I waited for the results of the first board, I was at work one day and told to go see the Commander. I figured the results had just been released. The plan was, if I did not make it, to file a 6 month extension (almost automatic approval) and make the second board.
The Commander told me I had not made the list. I told him, “No problem, Sir. I’ll have the extension paperwork filed this afternoon.” That is when the bottom fell out out of my life…
He said the Secretary of the Army had determined they needed to cut the active duty work force (this was the late 1980’s prior to the 1st Gulf War). He said the Secretary of Army had issued an Executive Order cancelling the 2nd promotion board for that year. I was told to report to Personnel and pick up my clearance papers. I had 2 weeks notice that the career I had lived for, sacrificed for and loved – was over.
I could have gone back on enlisted status (and should have. With the ramp of the Mid-East war, I would have been activated back on Commissioned status and may even have made Major) – but to do so at that time would have meant a 40% pay cut for my family.
I called Department of the Army and asked to receive my E-7 promotion then. I was told no. I would have to put in the two years “time in grade” then go before the next promotion board for E-7 (and that I would almost certainly make it, since I had already been a Platoon Leader). I asked to be put on Drill Sergeant status. I was told “no” – that I would have to report to my unit and apply through there.
SO, I just got out…
That started a long, bitter twelve year battle. I sold life insurance to help pay the bills. Found I was pretty good at sales. In two years, I had my own agency with 9 agents, 2 full time staff and 3 part time staff. Within 2 more years, we were the #2 producing agency in the nation for the company I was with. The best part was, the agents had a “stock ownership” deal in the Underwriting Company for this company. The plan was, within 7 years, to take the Underwriting company public. With every policy I sold, I earned stock points. With every policy my agents sold, I earned stock points. This was going to be my retirement…
Then, the home office company was sold and became a “holding company” for the new owners (i.e. they would suck all the profits out and place all the expenses into that company for write off’s). They tried to get us to go with a “new company” – but had cancelled the “stock ownership” aspect. Again, my dreams were shattered.
This sent me on a downward spiral. I became an alcoholic. I bounced from job to job. It was not a good time in my life…
One GOOD Thing that happened, is I was Born Again! That gave me “Hope.” I then went to Bible school in Fort Worth, Texas and became Ordained. I moved to Maryland in 2001 (part of “starting over” in life). I had applied to a Police Academy and had to wait…for almost two years…before I was finally accepted. During that time, we opened a church – but once I became a cop, we merged with a friend of mine who had church (I could not adequately, in my opinion, do both. Plus, I realized that “being a pastor” was not my calling)!
I loved being a cop. Almost as much as I loved the military! I was quickly identified as “future leader” because of my prior leadership experience (and my age – I was 45 when I went to the Academy). Once I made Corporal, I was sent to Johns Hopkins University Police Executive Leadership Program to obtain my Masters Degree (I had pieced together my Bachelor Degree using my VA during the those years prior to moving to Maryland). I was sent as a Corporal, although this school was supposed to be for Sergeant and above.
During all of this – I loved running. While in the Army, I would run, on average 10-12 miles per day (just for fun). I had won many, many awards for running. I had no problem with the Police Academy because I was a runner and in shape. I ran the 2006 Baltimore Marathon in October. Took off a few months to recover and then stared training again in January 2007 for the next Marathon.
On May 12, 2007, while working an accident scene on the highway in the middle of huge rain storm, I ended up getting injured as well. Over the next three years, I had several surgeries and then it was decided I would not recover enough to continue with being a cop. So on June 1, 2011 – I was forced to retire.
As this was approaching, I was praying about what to do… While recovering from a surgery, I was sitting at a computer and it came to me, “Start a 30 minute, online radio program.” Today, it is called a podcast. I had no idea back then. Since then, that podcast has evolved into an online Christian Radio station, “Evangelism Radio.” This station has been rated #1 in the world by Shoutcast.com on many occasions. We have listeners in over 160 nations and have over 50 broadcasters, from all the various denominations and from large, well known and established ministries to local churches.
I stared my podcast “Kingdom Cross Roads Podcast” as a way to promote the broadcasters on my radio station. This has now evolved into almost a daily, interview based podcast. I interview authors, musicians, business owners, non-profit managers, as well as pastors, etc. We are now almost at 450 episodes with almost 28K downloads and we are just entering our third year.
I started looking at online marketing as a way to supplement my retirement income. I’ve been looking at this for the last 4-5 years. I’ve probably spend close to $8,000 during that time (if not more) and have not made but a few meager dollars every now and then.
When this opportunity came to be part of Sean’s “Inner Circle” – I knew “my time had come.” I decided to go all in. I’ve accomplished MORE in these last 3-4 months than the entire 4-5 years prior to this!
I just launched my “Podcast Training Program” (because for the last 18 months, I have been helping several people start their own podcasts and I have been answering questions from many people on podcasting. And almost all of the questions are about the same things. So my “lightning fast mind” figured out, there just may be a way to turn that into a business)!
Last year, I decided to use my Leadership background and training to help small to medium sized businesses and ministries to establish or improve their Leadership Teams. Last year, I spoke at a Veteran’s Conference in DC and two small business training sessions as well. My goal for this year is 15 conferences.
OK – sorry it took so long. This is actually the first time I have shared this much of my background with anyone other than close friends and family. It kind of feels “refreshing” in a way…
I think it is because I have made the decision that this is going to work…and that I will do whatever it takes to make it work. And that you cannot drive forward by looking out the rear view window. Use the past to build the future…
Thanks for allowing me to share…
Visit my website here: Robert Thibodeau
Leadership & Team Building Expert & Coach; Radio Host; Podcaster; Podcast Training Coach; Public Speaker
"When trying something new - just say "YES" and figure it out along the way!" Robert Thibodeau
January 12, 2019 at 7:53 am #2589
Wow, Bob. What a saga!
January 12, 2019 at 10:10 am #2594
Thank you for sharing a bit of your background. What a history.
As this group grows it is becoming more and more fascinating. We are warming up to one another.
Sharing a little part of how we arrived here is an indicator.
I too believe that this time it is going to work. I am going to work. I feel inspired.
Hearing your life’s stories, the ones like yours Bob, and Lloyd’s and Bruce’s and all the others I have read mixed throughout this forum are an inspiration.
Thanks again y’all this is going to be fun.
January 15, 2019 at 2:25 pm #2742
Some great stories there, guys, filled with determination and grit. Here’s my two cents.
Like you, Charles and Lloyd, I have a farming background. My father owned a 140 acre farm in County Derry in Northern Ireland that has been in the family hands since my great grandfather bought it for my grandfather in 1903. As with you Charles I was driving tractors from an early age. My father had 9 children (four boys and five girls) and being the eldest I was the first one roped in to work at whatever was being done on the farm, whether it was ploughing and planting or harvesting potatoes, oats, barley, grass seed or hay or milking cows. In the early days we also had pigs and hens and occasional ducks.
Things were not as mechanized then and milking cows was not something I enjoyed. In those days it took over two hours to milk 28 cows with rudimentary milking machines, and of course you had to do that twice a day. I did however enjoy working out in the fields and it was not abnormal in the harvest season for my father and myself to be still out after 1:00 am saving crops from the inclement weather.
The highlight of the year was always the annual potato gathering. Again there wasn’t the mechanization that is available now and potatoes had to be picked off the ground by hand after being propelled from the drills by a tractor drawn potato spinner. Due to the operation being labour intensive many of my almost 60 first cousins were enlisted to help and after the work was done for the day we enjoyed great comradery with some terrific games of soccer and table tennis. Many years later we all still recall with pleasure the enjoyment that was had.
While I had an interest in farming I had an even greater interest in creating things or fixing farm machinery. This resulted in my undertaking a BSc in Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s University in Belfast, about 40 miles from my birth place. This was during the early part of the troubles in Northern Ireland. Lectures were punctuated by my attending various civil rights marches which were often broken up by army land rovers charging through the middle scattering the protesters, and the inevitable arrest of the leaders of the marches.
On one occasion we barricaded the students’ union in order to protect a politician who had been taking part in a debate there about free speech. He had come up from the Republic of Ireland to participate in the debate but police and special branch attempted to arrest him as he left, having first let down the tyres of his car. That night was filled with uncertainty as the army battered at the barricaded doors with rifle butts and truncheons but eventually with the help of the television cameras and the eyes of the world, it was agreed that he would be permitted to return to the Republic of Ireland. A decoy was sent initially at about 4:00 in the morning after which the politician departed without hindrance.
Following my degree I worked for 7 years in maintenance engineering and project management with Courtaulds Ltd. in a chemical textile plant near Belfast until it closed about 1981. During that time I enlisted for a couple of years with the naval reserve. We trained a few nights a week and spent weekends and the occasional two week periods at sea aboard mine sweepers. I enjoyed shooting and was part of the naval reserve team attending the competitions at Bisley in England. I never did get my sea legs however. Mine sweepers are shallow flat bottomed boats designed to avoid coming into contact with mines tethered below the water so they are very prone to rocking and causing sea sickness.
My seven years in textiles was followed by a similar term spent in Saudi Arabia working for the Arabian American Oil Company on loan to the Saudi Consolidated Electric Company, again in maintenance and project management and later in quality assurance and technical support.
During my time there I trained in martial arts and developed an interest in photography since we had access to a darkroom. I later created my own dark room at home which became redundant with the advent of digital photography. Funny enough I have hardly looked at photography since it became easier, although I would like to.
I married during that time and brought my first wife out to live with me in Saudi. However, three years later, two months after the birth of my first child we came back to Northern Ireland because where we were living was not a suitable environment for my wife and baby, especially since women in Saudi were not permitted to drive at that time.
For the next three and a half years, living again in Belfast, I worked as procurement manager for an engineering firm “Howden Sirocco Ltd” who made large fans and heat exchangers for power plants, cement plants, the Channel Tunnel, etc. However their fortunes started to go downhill and I left when salary cuts were implemented a couple of years before they eventually closed.
While looking for my next post, I was approached by a marketing company who were interested in having a urinal water saving device designed. This device would flush urinals only when they had been used. At that time water flushed continuously in urinals at high cost. Since electronics was a hobby, I set about designing the device. However I was not certain that the device would not infringe existing patents and told them so and the project was dropped. Later numerous similar devices appeared on the market with minimal attention being given to the patents, so I might well have proceeded with impunity.
The marketing company then suggested the design of a device to inform farmers, businesses, schools, etc. when they had a water leak. Again I set to designing and created a product range I called the “Aquasense Water Management System” to perform this task. Unfortunately by the time the design was completed the marketing company had folded. This propelled me into starting my own company to manufacture and market the device and other associated devices. I did this for a number of years but it was early days and there wasn’t at that time the same concern about wasted water as there is now, and the cost of installation quoted by plumbers was often as much or more than the cost of my device, so I eventually stopped selling the system to concentrate on designing products for others, punctuated by spells in various management roles for a local electronics company that specialized in printed circuit board assembly and lithium battery manufacture.
Shortly after I commenced my own business my first wife died and I returned to the home farm where I renovated an old barn to act as my manufacturing facilities. Later, when I stopped manufacturing I made additional changes to the building and converted it to a home for myself and my second wife and family and I have been living there ever since.
Since electronics was not my original specialization, I undertook a Masters of Science degree in Electronics and Signal Processing, so that I could speak with more authority in the electronics field. I have continued with electronics to the present day although I am currently winding down, spurred on by the opportunities available in Internet Marketing.
I provided web hosting from 2004 and in 2005 I set up a website associated with training people in Internet Marketing, a much less complex business then than now. I remember once getting approximately 2250 subscribers from a single giveaway event, something that would be quite unheard of nowadays. I believe the event was named “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and it was run by the late Mark Hendricks. While the web hosting continued since that time with highs and lows due to offline work, I am only now setting up again to provide coaching and training in IM.
January 15, 2019 at 3:29 pm #2750
Joe what an interesting story! What I am seeing here is all of us have a book inside of us and if we thought about it each of us could write a 200 pager. It’s always so intriguing reading about someones life experiences. Geographically the internet has bought us close and it feels like you are just around the corner. We must have coffee together one day to celebrate our success in this hub.
January 15, 2019 at 3:17 pm #2745
Wow, Joe! What an interesting background!
You’ve definitely done a lot with your life. Many blessings to you in your new venture with this group!
Visit my website here: Robert Thibodeau
Leadership & Team Building Expert & Coach; Radio Host; Podcaster; Podcast Training Coach; Public Speaker
"When trying something new - just say "YES" and figure it out along the way!" Robert Thibodeau
January 15, 2019 at 7:14 pm #2976
A cup of coffee sounds good, Lloyd. Thanks for the blessings, Bob.
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