Successful Developments: Yours & Mine

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Philosophy even an Atheist Can Agree With

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Developers:


When I was younger, I had an explosive temper. I don't know if it was because I got picked on about being shorter than others my age, or because I had an overbite. Or it could have been because I responded to the other children's taunting me and they got a big thrill about seeing me react.

In over three years' time, braces pulled my teeth back into my mouth. Then at eighteen, my height and body transformed from looking like an early teen to a young adult.

At my May 1976 high school graduation, I stood 5'-2" and weighed 122 pounds. A year later, I stood 5'-8" and weighed 135 pounds. I was growing out of shirts so fast it scared me.

However, I noticed people were treating me differently... nicer. Now don't get me wrong, most of the children did not treat me cruel. I had several groups of friends I associated with that did not pick on me. Sometimes they'd get aggravated when I would talk with children in "other" groups and threaten me with "not being my friend if I was going to continue talking with so-or-so."

I usually replied that my friends were of my choosing and if they did not want to be my friend, that was their choice.

Most all backed down from their challenge and prejudices. In fact I don't remember anyone who chose not to be my friend.

A couple of months ago I came across a quote from someone who made a living by exploiting the physical differences in some of humanity's unique people. But to read his quote, you would never guess his name or his occupation.

Most of you will recognize his name, but I'm curious as to whether you know much more about the man and the many great things he achieved in his life.

"A human soul is not to be trifled with. It may inhabit the body of a Chinaman, a Turk, an Arab or a Hotentot - it is still an immortal spirit!" - name withheld for now

Reading this bit of information reminded me of something I wrote in 1999. It is something I thought about writing when I was old enough to recognize how hypocritical many organized church members were... and the double standard lives they lived.

In all fairness... I was not exempt from living my life the way I had chosen... but it seemed as though my choices (that influenced others) was not potentially harmful.

However, I apologize if I was incorrect in my evaluation. Please forgive my thoughtlessness.

I have a long standing habit of reading. Many of my childhood memories are of me reading about so many subjects, I can't possibly list them in the time I've scheduled to write this article on how I believe we should interact with each other.

For several years I have increased my time writing thoughts and ideas to share with whomever would pick up copies in public places.

Almost every day I've inserted printouts of various writings in newspapers and magazines I've read and left on tables and seats in restaurants and office waiting areas.

Several people have thanked me for sharing my thoughts and have told me they have shared it with others they know at work, church and home. I've met many who have shared their stories about how reading it has brightened their lives.

Here it is for your insight into my philosophy of life... share it with whomever you wish. I can email you a pdf copy if you ask.

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Please share with me and my readers your stories and viewpoints. Your thoughts may help someone you know and/or do not know.

Develop someone's life today... begin with your own and then everyone you love.

Until next time...

Girard Frank Bolton, III.
The Developers Advocate
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Networking on Social Sites - Twitter.com Spotlight

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Developers:

Regardless of who you are... you network every day.

You have your circle of friends, acquaintances, and family members.

When you go to a family gathering, a business party, or a community event... you network.

You see people you haven't seen in some time... you drift from one person to another... to a group of people off in their own corner of the room... to the center of activity of the event.

The Internet provides many places to do the same thing... from the comfort of your own home. You can sit and chat with many people all at the same time... just by watching your fingers dance on the keyboard and intently watching your computer screen for a response to a comment or a question, or an update that you haven't heard about.

Most of you have used or have at least heard of some of the internet web sites that enable you to secretly sit in your bathrobe while you are carrying on the most dignified conversation a person can have with your local congressman, pastor, grocer, boss, employees, coworkers, grandparent or children.

Early in the internet age... there were bulletin boards, discussion groups, newsgroups, etc.... where you could find and/or exchange information with those who utilized these internet resources.

Now there is FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Classmates, Google, and many others. But tonight... I want to tell you about the social networking internet website called Twitter.

I was invited to join by a favorite internet marketing consultant I've been "studying." Or as you would say while on the Twitter web site... "following."

As soon as I signed up for my free membership... I checked it out and found it to be a great resource!

There was no hesitation... in spite of twitter's growing pains... their membership seems to be growing in leaps and bounds. I believe it is expanding so fast that the computer wizards behind the blue curtain are having a hard time keeping the gremlins out of the computer gears.

Some of my early information on twitter seems to have disappeared, and some of my followers have vanished into a virtual reality never-never-land. Who is to say I'll never see them again?

But in my mind... the benefits outweigh the (temporary) hardships by a ton. I see the site as a great resource. It is a think-tank, a market opinion place, a mentoring resource, an information exchange, and more... all rolled into one web site.

In exchange... most want you to look at what they are working on... regardless of who you are or what type of work you do, or what type of environment you grew up or are in at the moment. They could be tweeting about their next informational product... or seminar... or book.

Sometimes you get the chance to find out stuff that no one else knows about yet... like the earthquake that occurred yesterday in Southern California. I was barely signed in on twitter when I started seeing messages and photos of the event as it was happening... first person stories and information. Today, the Los Angeles Times published an article about twitter and the earthquake.

Your personality shows through in your messages. However, twitter forces you to make your messages short... 140 characters or less... otherwise more than one update is needed. Anyone who knows me can tell you... 140 characters or less is a challenge to me.

It is also a place to gain trust in those who share freely whatever information you are looking for. Or... from your cell phone... instead of sending a text message to each person you know... it is one place you can send a message so any curious family members (or concerned friends) will know what you are doing when you want to share that info.

I asked several twitterville citizens what they thought about twitter and how it is benefiting them. Then I asked the general population of twitterland how twitter is improving their personal, business and social lives.

Many people told me they would provide me a quote, but only two stepped up and followed through with their offers. Some did not get the request at all because of twitter's growing pains. I know I am missing some of my early discussions. It's all good though.

You can see that MichaelDWalker aka http://twitter.com/MichaelDWalker and JeanetteJoy aka http://twitter.com/JeanetteJoy sent me their comments about how useful Twitter is to them. (Click on the ScreenShot images to see what they wrote.)

There are many opportunities during our lives to share our time, talents and skills. We just have to use what we have at the moment to get the most productive results. And there are plenty of ways to get very productive results on twitter. You just have to look... or take the time to find out where to look.

Take for instance... a milestone in my stepping stone to building my internet presence on twitter... achieving 100 followers felt good.

[2/23/2009 Update: I just now took a look and noticed there are 1,084 twitterzens currently following me.]

More than likely, there must have been a reason why I had problems with a computer program on my computer: Last night's scheduled posting of this article was too early for me to have captured my 100 followers achievement for you to see.

My screenshot program mysteriously started working this evening. As you can see for yourself.

I could go on and on about the benefits of twitter, but you need to check it out for yourself.

When you get there... follow me... and my followers... and who I'm following. Just click here or copy and paste http://twitter.com/gfb3 into your URL area and sign up.

Until next time...

Girard Frank Bolton, III.
The Developers Advocate

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Real Estate - What is being said and done about the Situation

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Developers:


The current real estate market and condition of the economy is a hot topic of discussion in most every publication you find.

Everywhere you go, you hear people talking about it... heatedly.

I'm sure you have strong opinions about the situation as well.

It seems as though everyone is pointing fingers at everyone from the government, the stock market, the banking industry, the appraisers, to the people who signed mortgage papers, to the construction workers and material expenses.

Then there is the issue of the natural disasters and the insurance companies who everyone gambled would be there to rescue them, but were greeted with attorneys who were hired with the money you expected to receive to get your life back to normal. (I'll save the insurance issue for a future blog post.)

I'm not going to point any fingers at any one cause of this situation. However, I will point you to a few bits of insight I've found on the internet and add my three cent solution for a partial correction that I have not heard anyone mention.

First off... I read in yesterday's Mobile Press-Register: "Landmark Housing Legislation - Homeowner Rescue Passed by Senate; Bush to Sign it - Some 400,000 people will be enabled to refinance into easier U.S. Backed Loans."

Homeowners are happy about that news... but keep in mind that all of us have paid taxes into the federal government and are paying for this (yet another) bailout in an already strapped economy.

I'm not going to explain the details of what is written in the legal papers in D.C. but you can view the details by entering H.R. 3221 in the "Search Bill Text" box at the Library of Congress web site to read it for yourself.

While the U.S. citizens are waiting for H.R. 3221 to jump through all the government's legal hoops... there is an organization called "Hope Now" that you can contact when faced with possible foreclosure.

However, if you have already lost your home to a foreclosure... the IRS has decided to get step up to take some of the sting out of your taxes. Just go to the IRS web site and enter Foreclosure Tax Relief in the search box at the top of the page to find out what the IRS can do for you.

Of course, you might be looking at this situation as being an opportunity to increase your real estate holdings and profit from other people's misfortunes.

I'm not going to tell you where you can find opportunities (at least not in this particular blog article)... you can do that task on your own.

And... according to how you present yourself to the people who are losing or have lost their family homes... you may be viewed as anything between a White Knight in Shining Armor to an Evil Demon from the Depths of the Underworld.

Then to make matters worse... (as if that could be perceived)... President Bush was caught on camera during a private fund-raiser on July 18 in Texas talking candidly about the current economic condition.

Most everyone was laughing and joking about the situation and what the President was saying about Wall Street real estate strategies and practices leading up to the economic downturn and adjustment.

Remember when you view this that behind every joke there is a serious fact behind the laughter. Make sure you take a look for yourself and listen to the words President Bush used and the meanings behind them. He actually says quite a bit when you read between the lines and words he chooses.



You can get involved by voicing your concerns in your local newspapers, activity groups, special interest organizations and every on-line resource you have an interest. But before you speak... review the facts. Do not repeat what others are saying, speak your own words.

When you visit the federal government web sites I've listed above... look for the sections that ask for your opinion and involvement. Then take the actions you believe will lead to improving your life and the lives of others you know (and do not know).

Oh... I did mention that I had a suggestion that may help in our economic recovery... it is simple.

As most of us know... the federal government requires banks to maintain a certain percentage of their patrons' cash to remain liquid and are prohibited from using that percent of their holdings in their normal investments.

I say that the banks should be given a sliding scale as to how much money they should be prohibited from investing. Financial institutions with the most defaults should maintain a greater percentage of liquid assets than the financial institutions with the lowest defaults.

I am not an attorney nor am I an accountant, but to me... this seems to have a built in success factor.

Quit playing the blame game and let my readers and me know what you would (or will) do to improve this situation.

One last thing... make sure you base all your financial decisions on logic and not emotions. Make sure you do not agree to a loan that you can not prove is within your budget. Don't take chances on your family's security and comfort.

Until next time...

Consultant Girard Frank Bolton, III.
The Developers Advocate
Advocating the Improvement of Personal, Business and Social Development
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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Spotlight on the San Diego Highwayman

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Developers:

You ever hear the Jeff Foxworthy's story about not being scared when a bunch of rednecks jump out of an old pickup truck and come to your rescue when you find yourself having car problems in a rural area?

Why? (Wait for the punchline)... because that is what they do for fun.

Then there is the song The Chain Of Love by Clay Walker where a stranger helps a woman stranded out in the middle of nowhere and will not take her money. All he tells her is to help someone else who may need her help.

Of course I am reminded of The New Testament story of the Good Samaritan whenever I hear stories like this.

There is a special energized feeling of warmth that flows through my body when I help someone else.

In fact, even when I pass my newspaper to someone else who may benefit from reading it after I've finished it gives me the same feeling. I have no clue as to how many people have benefited from my modest gift.

For the past couple of years, I've inserted different things I've written into the newspapers before I leave them for others to read. Several people have thanked me for my shared information.

But... this post is not about me... it is about sharing your time without expecting anything in return.

There is a man in San Diego who has been doing that almost everyday for about forty-two years.

He was dubbed "The Highwayman" by Charles Kuralt on CBS.

Recently, The Highwayman, whose name is Thomas Weller, has been forced to cut his daily drives to once every three days because of higher gas prices.

You can view the story and video of his efforts to improve the part of the world in which he lives by visiting the story Los Angeles Times published about his heroic accomplishments.

I encourage someone... anyone to contribute gas money for him to return to his daily route to help those of us in need of assistance.

Until next time...

Consultant Girard Frank Bolton, III.
The Developers Advocate
Advocating Personal, Business and Social Development
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Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch (10/23/1960 - 7/25/2008)

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Developers:

Most people view the subject of death in a very solemn manner.

Fortunately for us, Randy Pausch gave us a different attitude about how we should view life and death.

For those who do not know, Randy Pausch was a Carnegie Mellon Professor for many years.

He gave his last lecture on 9/18/2007 in a filled to capacity McConomy Auditorium at the University.

On July 25, 2008, he passed into eternity a happy soul.

I have few words to say about this bright and shining soul who inspired and lifted the hearts of countless people.

For those who know me, I am seldom at a loss for words, but I am now.

I have a deep respect for Randy Pausch and what he shared during his lifetime.

I am at a loss for words only because many people have already said more than I could ever express.

So, to keep this short (difficult for me) I refer you to a video of his last lecture and some links to read what others have said about this great soul who touched and influenced the development of many individuals' lives.

Randy Pausch's last lecture:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo

ABC news:

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Story?id=4614281&page=1

Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Pausch

Please leave your condolences by using the comments feature found at the end of this article.

It is my hope for each and every soul to experience the standing ovation he received before and after his speech.

We should all have the same attitude as the one Randy Paush stated during the standing ovation before giving his "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" speech: "Make me earn it."

And may we all be blessed enough to hear others shout out in reply: "You did!"

Consultant Girard Frank Bolton, III.
Advocate for Improving Personal, Business and Social Development
http://www.MySpace.com/TheDevelopersAdvocate
follow me to http://twitter.com/gfb3
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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Business Development - Brainstorming

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Developers:

Sorry about the break in telling you about my secret interview with Mr. B... I've been distracted.

I have met some very talented models who want me to help them start a new niche business.

There is not much I am able to share, but as soon as the time is right... I'll tell you all I am allowed to discuss with you.

I can tell you that we're in the middle of our initial brainstorming sessions and have already started collecting information we need to create our business plan.

However there is another business venture I can tell you about.

For the past several years, I have been drinking coffee with a gentleman who wants me to help him get more work.

He is a sign painter. He is also an artist. But that is not the work he wants me to help grow.

He is a Ray Charles Impersonator. He has shown me his collection of programs, letters, newspaper articles, photos and a VCR recording of him singing "America the Beautiful" as Ray Charles at the opening of a Mobile Mardi Gras Ball.

He performs locally here in the Mobile area and along the Gulf Coast on a regular basis. His clients have also flown him to places like Columbia, SC and Homewood, IL to sing as Ray Charles.

Anyway, we're in the process of taking his scrap book collection and converting it into his promotional material. Along with some more stuff and a little creative writing after interviewing him again.

I can't wait to tell you where his web site is. However, in the meantime... when you want a Ray Charles Impersonator at any of your personal, business, or social events... I can introduce you to him.

Don't worry, I'll be publishing more of Mr. B's Revealing Secret Interview soon.

But before I go... about that survey and contest I mentioned in my last post. I've had several people bring up an important point. So to clear the air... I'm only interested in percentages of the two columns... not the actual dollar amounts. That's too personal... and not needed to prove Mr. B's point.

Give me some ideas of what I should give as a prize for the person who has improved the most in their "need v.s. want" spending habits?

Consultant Girard Frank Bolton, III.
Advocating Personal, Business and Social Development
http://www.MySpace.com/TheDevelopersAdvocate
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Revealing Secret Interviews - Part Two

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Developers:

Yesterday I mentioned some secret interviews I've collected over some time.

Today, I'm sorry to say I only have time to share only one more bit of my interview with Mr. B.

I promise you will not be disappointed in what Mr. B shares with us today.

As I mentioned yesterday, Mr. B gives us more in a short statement than some people I've listened to all day long.

You'll see what I mean when you read what I'm sharing with you today.

gfb3
It seems as though everyone is experiencing some type of financial difficulty that is keeping them from starting any new projects. Do you have any advice to my readers about overcoming financial difficulties?
Mr. B.
True economy consists in always making the income exceed the out-go.

A penny here and a dollar there, placed at interest, goes on accumulating, and in this way the desired result is attained. It requires some training, perhaps, to accomplish this economy, but when once used to it, you will find there is more satisfaction in rational saving than in irrational spending.

I advise you to take a few sheets of paper and form them into a book and mark down every item of expenditure. Post it every day or week in two columns, one headed "necessaries" or even "comforts", and the other headed "luxuries", and you will find that the later column will be double, treble, and frequently ten times greater than the former.
See what I mean?

I'm not going to tell you what I found out when I took his advice... and I'm tight with my money.

Sorry I don't have time to share more today, but I'll be back tomorrow to share more of Mr. B's Revealing Secret Interview.

And... I'll be posting a survey to find out how your necessaries/luxuries percentages end up at the end of the week.

A year from now, I'll post another survey to find out how much has changed over a year's time.

It'll be fun!

I'll turn it into a contest and give away prizes next year.

Mark your calendar!

Consultant Girard Frank Bolton, III.
Advocating Personal, Business and Social Development
http://www.MySpace.com/TheDevelopersAdvocate
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Revealing Secret Interviews Hiding Out in the Open

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Developers -

I find inspiration for new projects "Hiding Out in the Open" most every day.

It is important to me to scan the newspapers and internet news and other web site resources several times a day.

One source of inspiration is one of my best kept secrets... but I will not reveal all my sources.

I might tell you some of my secrets by mistake or by purposely hiding them out in the open for all to see.

However, I will share with you a series of secret interviews I've collected.

The first interview in my series of "Revealing Secret Interviews" is a man most people have heard of but do not really know much about him or his business ideals.

He is a source of wisdom that most have not paid that much attention to recently.

This man made his fame and fortune by investing in real estate, auctions, books, retail, etc... and now is able to share his words with you and me so we may achieve each development goal we set for ourselves.

He has twenty items that he says you must hold high in your mind to succeed.

I'll start revealing portions of his secret interview with you tomorrow.

More of his words will follow.

For today... I'll share one of his answers:

gfb3
What do you think it takes to succeed?

Mr. B.
Those who really desire to attain an independence, have only to set their minds upon it, and adopt the proper means, as they do in regard to any other object which they wish to accomplish, and the thing is easily done.
Mr. B's answer is short and simple, but cuts straight to the point. If you wish for something and you take the appropriate actions, you will achieve your goal. Idea - Plan - Act!

Notice that he used the word "independence" to signify "success". How true!

Until next time... Frank
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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Introduction to The Developers Advocate - GFB3

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Developers of the World:

My primary business is providing consulting services to real estate developers and the professionals they work with.

My databases of resources allow my clients to same time and money.

I have worked with Architects, Engineers and Contractors since 1976.

During that time, I have worked my way up from being a Boy-Friday to Production, Operations, Sales, Marketing, Middle Management, Top Management, to being on the Board of Directors of several corporations, all in addition to owning my own business.

I have a natural talent for organization... and advise my clients in reducing their costs through time proven methods in scheduling, making sure all costs are included in written estimates, timely responses to requests for quotes, and other factors that make a difference when calculating the bottom line and the bottom dollar.

Some people just need a pat on the back to reassure them that they are doing a good job.

Others need a bit more than that.

In addition, I find that the sales and marketing methods used by contractors, architects and engineers are not always the most effective for those very talented people.

I look at what a client is currently doing and advise them as to how I would change their processes to make their business more successful.

Learning by reading is a very powerful tool in building a business.

But I have found that the clients needing the most assistance are the ones that read the least.

I refuse to work with anyone who expects me to agree with them just because they are paying my rates.

Check out my Amazon.com book reviews... they relay to you my honest opinions... just as cut-to-the-chase as my consulting services.

The only difference is my consulting services are the only opinions I give that earn me a living.

I am a workaholic. However, I enjoy family, swimming, reading (of course), architecture, engineering, the arts, drawing, music, writing, photography, playing chess, very little television, and good people. I like to surround myself with people actively improving themselves... and help those who want to improve their situation.

Now that you have taken the time to meet me... tell me about you and what you are developing today.

- They say I'm a Southern Gentleman... You know me as "The Developers Advocate" - Consultant - Girard Frank Bolton, III., Mobile, AL

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Frank is gfb3serv at Early-To-Rise
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