Archives for posts with tag: Business


I don’t know why I always have some skepticism for the bestseller lists, perhaps it’s my natural penchant for going against the grain, so books that have “More than one million copies sold” on their covers don’t really catch my interest that much.  However, being in convalescence, The E-Myth Revisited (Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It) by Michael E. Gerber was lent to me and when I had to stay away from fiddling with my smartphone and chatting with friends, I finished reading this book and I would have to say that it makes a lot of sense.

Perhaps if I hadn’t gone through the failure and subsequent of our small business this year I would not have appreciated the book as much since it seemed to be common sense and sound theory at best but having gone through the actual experience of starting a business and it not working out, I would have to say that the author Michael E Gerber shared nuggets of wisdom which I wish we would have known before even starting the business.  However, we cannot turn back time even if we wish to cry over spilt milk.

It is in this light that I wish to share that anyone who wishes to start a business with their talents and hard-earned money would benefit from reading this book as a primer even before starting out.  The instinctive mistakes many neophyte business owners commit are discussed in the book.  Most of the time when we start a business, we tend to be over-optimistic and let our dreams of success carry us away, and Gerber shares how we can fine tune our perspective and approach towards the business.

A must-read!

(c) Niconica 2015

Let’s try to move away from the stereotypical image of the shrewd and cunning businessman who would not blink at selling this wife and kids for the right price or who would lie, cheat, and steal just to get ahead.  For fellow Star Trek fans, this stereotype would call to mind the Ferengis who have as their revered codex the Rules of Acquisition as a reflection of their ultra-capitalist society.  We are at the age of intense capitalism, yet we must not forget that we are humans before we are capitalists.

As members of the human race, we must not neglect to espouse the qualities which humanity should be proud of and these would be generosity, faith, honesty, resilience, resourcefulness, kindness, compassion and goodness.  These qualities which we would appreciate in a friend, a family member, and/or a spouse, should also be the same qualities which we hold dear in the realm of business.  There seems to be a double standard in business at times where when someone is “too earnest” or “too honest” it becomes a criticism.  It reflects that the values which are seen as pertinent or relevant to the business world are not the same qualities which we might want to find someone whom we would idolize as the epitome of human goodness such as Mother Theresa.

This dichotomy in commendable traits creates a schism in our psychological development as we reach the age of maturity where one must earn a living whether through providing services or products.  While growing up, we are taught through parables and fairy tales about the importance of being good and honest, and yet when we enter the real world, we find that the qualities admired in a business person is aggressiveness and ruthlessness and we find that we might have been mislead and therefore all the cautionary fairy tales warning us of cunning and deceitful character ill-prepare us for entering a capitalist society where opportunism and shrewdness are admired, valued, or at least, become seemingly favourable traits to getting ahead.

There is a disconnect between the values and ethics which are espoused by our religious institutions and spiritual education with the worldly concerns and requirements of thriving and surviving in a complex society.  We then become schizophrenic in trying to both be a good person to our friends and family on a personal level and yet be calculating and cold on the business or career aspect and only very few people, if any, can sustain these unrealistic and incompatible expectations.

We must be aware that it is unfair to preach goodness, kindness, and compassion to our young ones while at the same time expecting them to thrive in a cynical and savvy world without considerable confusion, trauma, and upset.  There needs to be a paradigm shift in what is considered valuable in our society.  It need not be said that the qualities of goodness, kindness, and compassion are immensely preferable in every facet of life–even in business–though they should be balanced by awareness and applied with discretion and caution.  There must be a way of thriving business and society without losing our soul in the process.

(c) Niconica 2013



What makes a good president aside from all the obvious qualities of kindness, empathy, decisiveness, intelligence, wisdom, sense of fairness, justice, and not to mention, good psychological, mental, and spiritual health and morals, is… the mere fact that if he or she had the choice, he or she would actually not want to choose to be president.

In other words, what makes a good leader is someone who actually does not have any ambitions or grand plans or any inclination to exert and wield power over others, except over themselves.

Since these leaders are not wont to campaign for any position of leadership, they emerge during crisis when a leader is crucial for survival and their stepping up has become a necessity, or as a product of the duo of convincing and logical popular demand and the situation that is apt and ripe for acquiescing to the demand.

This is also why good presidents and leaders are few and far in between.

(c) Niconica 2011*

* does not apply to images

**This is in response to the bonus section of topic# 140

Photo by Jurek Durczack

When we were younger, we tend to imagine that becoming romantically interested with someone would resemble what we see in the movies… but then again, that might not be a safe assumption nor a logical basis for believing in a certain behavior since movies merely last for a couple of hours and well… life is fortunately or unfortunately way longer than that.

After years of experience–and believe me, only the bad ones count, since the good ones don’t teach us anything that we would actually remember–we realize that acting based upon fleeting feelings does not have any bearing at all.  Facing the ebb and flow of emotions does have its difficulties and the exercise of self-control becomes relevant.

More often than not, acting on these feelings often do not turn out to be grounded since more often than not… feelings can be deceptive.  How often do we find ourselves snapping out from the grip of “infatuation” and shaking our heads and wondering what we ever saw in “that person” in the first place?

In other words, it does happen that when we may think we really like someone but when it comes to the point of reckoning, we realize that we actually… don’t.  It’s funny but it can be both blessing and a curse that cupid’s so-called arrows seem to be those rubber suction tipped arrows which seems to slip/pop off more often than not.

Don’t get me wrong, it has happened that some of them have been the pointy tipped ones which actually have taken and ripped through the flesh and drew blood… It is with this perspective that the ineffective suction type arrows would seem to be a blessing, however, not without its accompanying frustration.  However, as I get a year older, it makes me wonder whether one actually outgrows cupid’s arrows or whether one does, with time, develop a better immune system against it.

To be sure, there have been a few meaningful encounters with compelling people… however, none that really went beyond the superficial level of conversation.  It might be because logic is highly valued and thankfully, not lost during these encounters… so much so that I retain the good sense of not jeopardizing friendships with messy and often fleeting emotions… yet on the other hand, one wonders what it would be like if logic did not dictate the boundaries.

It would take more than mere attraction to compel me to transform any relationship or interaction into a romantic one due to the more-often-than-not ephemeral nature of romantic attachments.  Meanwhile, it is interesting and both delightful and frustrating to enjoy the ebb and flow of emotions… of attachment and distance.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

So, we’ve finally gotten over ourselves (or perhaps someone else) and reckon that it’s time to look for love. Perhaps, we’ve finally gotten our ducks in a row or got sick of waiting for our ducks to get in a row–or something of the sort.  The point is, we’re sick and tired of waiting around for love, and finally we announce our intent to the universe, “I’m now ready for love!”

The Universe will respond–oh yes it will.  And it will tell us, “Seek and you shall find.” (Or some sort of similar nonsense.) And we start looking–high and low, near and far, here and there… And eventually, we find out that… Love hides in the strangest places!  Oh, yes it does. It will be unexpectedly expected or expectedly unexpected. Nevertheless, it will surprise us… sometimes, we don’t realize it until we are so far in to even get out safely.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

So, we’ve finally gotten our lives together and our plans sorted out.  We’ve got goals and we’re taking the necessary steps to achieve them.  We think we finally know what we are doing and where we are going and how we shall go about it.

Then, loves comes into our life like a 100-pound bowling ball knocking the pins of our best laid plans over.  It’s a strike!

So then the mad scramble begins–we have to start retrieving the pins and putting them back in a row, while trying to figure out how to keep them in a row without being once again toppled over by the wonderful and unexpected gravitas of what we have actually been secretly praying for all along–which is none other than a little something called “L-O-V-E.”

Good luck!

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

This is in response to the Plinky prompt via The Daily Post @ WordPress ( which goes like this: Are you an optimist, a pessimist, or something else?

My response would be:  Both – which amounts to something else.  I am optimistic enough and pessimistic enough and it blends together to constitute something else – a Cynical Idealist or an Idealist Cynic.
Put in simplistic terms, an optimistic sees the glass half full and the pessimist sees the glass half empty.  In my case, I want to see the glass as half full and am determined to do so while at the same time having to acknowledge that the glass can yet stand to be filled even more…
Ahh… the delightfully frustrating ever fluid ambiguity and ambivalence of it all…
(c) Niconica 2011*
*does not apply to image/s

Chocolate and potato chips are not a conventional match – however, just look around at all the odd couples who make it work.

This is definitely something that works – the delectable combination of salty and sweet which simultaneously satisfies our taste buds.

Royce has done it – and finally I’ve managed to get my hands on a box of Royce Chocolate Potato Chips as they have been far too often out of stock at the local Royce stores.

What can I say but – Yum!

(c) Niconica 2011*

*Copyright applies to the text and not the image

Go Green! Use Old Magazines for Gift-wrapping


Go Green! Recycle! Wrap Your Gifts in Old Magazines!



On the subject of new year’s resolutions and grand plans we might have for the year: it might be a good idea to consider our gift wrapping habits and switch from mean to green.

Instead of buying new gift wrapping paper and bags, we might pause and consider the impact that our paper and/or plastic consumption is having on the world and turn our gazes towards the piles of our old magazines and decide to recycle them as gift wrapping paper – they’re glossy and pretty too.

After all, we do want to keep the planet as healthy as possible for a longer time.

(c) Niconica 2011