Archive for the 'change' Category

Fortune Cookie

December 18, 2009

My mother went to eat at an asian restaurant a few months ago.  And she brought me home a fortune cookie.  My fortune cookie fortune from September 17, 2009…

Fortune Cookie

My mother was happy to read this!  She wrote the date on the back of the fortune and posted it up on the refrigerator.   We have been patient.  We deserved some good things.  For the past two years, I’ve been trying to bootstrap a business.  I haven’t worked.  I have had virtually no income.  And I have been under a mountain of debt the entire time, half of it following me from a previously failed business (my candy machine business).

It was a wild ride during these three months!!!  A lot of things in my life (and my mother’s) have gone from bad to good during these three months!

1) My mother finally got her inheritance over a year after the death of her sister.  And not a moment too soon, because she had finally run out of her retirement funds, which is totally my fault.

2) Due to #1 happening, I was able to settle over $60K of outstanding debt with my creditors.  I have mixed feelings on this.  On the one hand, I feel responsible for my debt.  All I wanted was for my creditors to give me some time to get on my feet with a new job, or my business to finally generate some income.  They were not very interested in postponing payment any longer than they had already.  So they move the debt into collections and resolve to take a loss on the funds they loaned me.  So, in effect, I am one of the contributors to this economic mess we are in.  Obviously, I am not alone, and my debts pale in comparison to those of others.  Nevertheless, I feel responsible for my debt.

So I worked within the constraints of my creditors to pay off whatever I could.  Granted, I had to rob Peter to pay Paul (I borrowed money from my mother, yet again).  I suppose it’s better than bankruptcy where I would have paid absolutely nothing, except to a bankruptcy attorney.  So I feel better about that at least.

The greatest feeling, though, is to finally be out from under that staggering amount of debt.  And I vow to never abuse my credit again.  I probably won’t be credit worthy for the next seven years anyway.  But as I recently read, it is better to fear debt, then to fear credit worthiness.  =]

3) ScheduleWise keeps picking up customers!  We got our first customer on Thanksgiving day!  Woo Hoo!  The pressure comes off of you when you get your first customer is tremendous.  It’s like you can finally breathe again because your new customer has just validated your sense of purpose.  And with that one, the proverbial floodgates are opening.  We’ve had so much interest since then.  And we have three new customers since!

4) I finally completed my application to the Navy Reserves.  I have always wanted to join the service, and so I finally applied with Navy Intelligence.  I had a great interview this past week, but am keeping my expectations low because the program is very competitive.  If I don’t get in, well, at least I know I put my best foot forward.

5) I have been applying for work for various positions for some time now.  Nothing has panned out.  And I’ve had only one interview with Roper Hospital in Charleston.  Well, thanks to my sister-in-law, Carmen, for putting me in touch with a recruiter, I managed to get an interview with Coca-Cola.  Originally, they considered me over-qualified and didn’t want to interview me, but my recruiter convinced them.  After the interview, they hired me right away (well, within a week)!  And I was supposed to start in mid-January.  But I think the icing on the cake regarding my fortune cookie, was that I started this new job exactly on December 17!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

So good things were definitely in store for me.  I have had almost a complete reversal of fortune.  And as I sit and reflect, I can look at this fortune and say, “Bah humbug!”  But I put so much thought into how wonderful it would be if good things did happen.  And to my surprise, they did!  And it really feels wonderful!

P.S.  Now I know you’re wondering about those lottery numbers!  Yes, I did play them.  And no, I didn’t win.

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Today Is a Phenomenal Day!

June 20, 2009

Everyday should be a phenomenal day… but if that were true, then how would we know what the highs of life are versus the lows?

Anyway, this is a self-serving post.  Self-help if you will.  But others may find it interesting.  That’s why I write it on this blog.  That being said, it’s also my life-tracking device.  Which could lead me down a rathole talking about where the last 9 months of my life have gone since I haven’t posted anything.  Can you say “stream of consciousness”?

Well, today is phenomenal.  By all rights, it should be a mediocre day at best.  I am suffering with every move, twist, and contortion from a bruised rib (or ribs) from a bicycle accident on a mountain trail (nailed the landing, I did!).  I haven’t left the house.  It’s 100-degrees out!  I haven’t eaten much today.  I haven’t had any friend contact… (well, a phone call or two).  And my business is still at the bottom looking up.

Nevertheless, I still claim phenomenality.  And it’s all in my personal growth and development today.  I feel like I am making a new step today.  Here are my three reasons…

1) Obvious : All You Need to Know in Business. Period by James Dale.  I picked this up at the library (it’s only 2 years old!).  But it has given me a ton of good ways to think and talk about my business.  And it got me to writing in my business journal, being honest with myself, my aspirations, my track record, etc.  Probably the greatest nugget (and this is truly nothing new, but it helps when you see it again and again)… “You never know how you’re doing unless you STOP to find out.”  I like that.  Today I stopped.

2) “In Defense of Distraction” by Sam Anderson (New York magazine).  This article presents a very interesting opinion on the benefits of overstimulation.  However, the most striking parts of the article were about super-attentive abilities and taking action to stay focused, in charge of our own attention.  Those parts of the article just got me interested in writing today.  In fact, in direct contrast to my stream-of-consciousness approach above, I decided to stay focused on the task of writing these thoughts down.  Right now.  Without delay.  This is always the toughest hurdle to get over for me.  I’ve always been a “I’ll get to it later”-type person.

3) “You never know how you’re doing unless you STOP to find out.” Yes, I’m quoting myself quoting James Dale.  It was a nice day today to do just that.  To take stock of where I am in life.  To understand am I happy.  To question whether I feel challenged.  Fulfilled in my choices.  To know if I see a future with my current choices.  Am I where I thought I’d be.  And then to ask myself what I can do about all those answers.  Should I be working harder?  Or smarter in order to reach those goals?  Should I be changing course?  What are the next challenges I hope to encounter?  You could never hope to know all your own thoughts on this if you don’t take time out to think.

Make your day phenomenal!  Take some time out for you!

Home Body

July 16, 2008

Hey World!

I’ve been spending a lot of time at home since I moved back home last February.  I’ve become a homebody without a doubt.  I’m pretty convinced that I’m happy about it, too.  =]

I keep strange hours… mostly because I’m naturally a night owl, methinks.  I think it’s also because I can work quietly into the night without distraction, and sleep away the morning (also without distraction) without worry about making it into a 9-5 or anything.  I am definitely fortunate in this regard.  Entrepreneurship has its advantages… along with its risks.

I like to eat at home… who doesn’t?!  Luckily, of course, I have my mother who is an outstanding cook.  She lets me work (or whatever) and I show up for meals.  What a deal!  But don’t take this to mean that I’m mooching off of moms.  That is far from the truth.  She is every bit as happy that I am home to keep her company.

I don’t miss going out… and while I do miss my friends, it is definitely a time commitment.  And so I choose to go it alone for the most part.

I don’t have money to burn… for the least of all things has become the most of all things.  And that thing is GAS.  Hell, I don’t even have my own jeep registered or insured right now.  Which brings me to my next point…

I’m working on my business!  And other ideas that keep me up at night.  All of my money and most of my time goes into my business or thinking about my business.  So I’m perfectly willing to spend a good year working from home as I get this thing going.  Then I’ll get back to the guy I used to be when I had a little money to spend, time to kill, and a few friends to do it all with.

Rite of Passage

April 2, 2008

When I was younger, I was fairly athletically gifted.  With four older brothers, I was often challenged at feats of strength of agility.  Usually, I would lose.  After all, my brothers would only challenge me if they thought they would beat me.  As I got better at things, the challenges became fewer.

For instance, I remember almost beating my oldest brother, Gene, at a swimming race once way back when he was a lifeguard.  I also remember Raff, third-in-line, would always challenge me to do these ridiculous one-legged squats.  I could never do them (and I don’t believe I can now either).  The challenges became fewer as I got bigger and stronger, though, but probably more to the point, life got busier.

Tonight, I went to my nephew Martin’s baseball game.  His brother, Giovanni, was watching the game, too, but was a little bored.  So I challenged him to a race.  These boys are no doubt getting stronger and faster as they get older.  Having never had a little brother (just older ones), it’s fun to challenge them to physical stuff.  We do pushups and all kinds of stuff.  And like my older brothers with me, they can’t really compete.

I’ll just come out and say it.  Giovanni beat the pants off me.  I’m no runner, but I could always sprint fairly well.  All I have is a quick first step, good for basketball, but not the other sports I play, and certainly not for any sprinting more than 100 yards.  Giovanni wanted to race to the outfield and back, about 500 feet in total.  I thought I had him as we neared the fence to turn around, but damn if he didn’t just take off and leave me in the dust!

Congratulations to my nephew!  This is truly a rite of passage.  He may just be the fastest Sessoms (in our family tree), but I wouldn’t count Gene out without his fair shot.

Random Thoughts on Energy

March 9, 2008

About a year or so ago, I was doing some energy evaluation in my household and ran across a neat little entry about the mechanical equivalent of electrical energy…Q:  What does it mean if a light bulb uses 60 watts?

A:  The watt is a unit of power, equivalent to the joule-per-second.  One joule is about the amount of energy it takes to raise a 12 ounce can of soda 1 foot.  A 60-watt lightbulb uses 60 joules-per-second, so the power it consumes could raise a 24-can case of soda 2.5 feet each second.  Most tables are about 2.5 feet above the floor.  Next time you leave a 60-watt lightbulb burning while you’re not in the room, imagine how tired you’d get lifting one case of soda onto a table every second for an hour or two. That’s the mechanical effort required at the generating plant to provide the 60 watts of power you’re wasting.

So the moral of the story is, turn off the lights when you aren’t using them!

Making a quick comparison to other household habits — you don’t leave the refrigerator door open when you aren’t in the kitchen, nor do you leave the water running when you aren’t about to immediately use it.  So why do we care so little about the lights???

Forget Fast Food… FOREVER!

February 21, 2008

Alliteration aside, who would have thought that I could go for weeks without fast food? Especially given that I was probably one of Taco Bell’s most frequent consumers of the Big Stuft Burrito. My last year in Los Angeles proved to be a feeding frenzy of fast food. With two and three jobs, I had no time to cook. Fast food was my only source of, dare I say, nourishment. And if it wasn’t fast, it was frozen.

Thankfully, mostly due to living at home and dear Mamma cooking the meals, I’ve been without fast food for over two weeks now, basically since my return to Atlanta. I like this arrangement. This isn’t to say, though, that I wouldn’t eat some fast food here and there. Au contraire, mon frère. That is until I saw this interesting take on ads vs. reality. While I can’t say that I’m cured, this certainly gives new meaning to Taco Hell.

PS At the bottom of the aforelinked (is that a new word I just created?) site is mention of the 16 ugliest men in Rock n’ Roll. Totally unrelated. But totally worth a look. The comments about Gene Simmons are knee-slappin’ funny!

Breaking the Soda Habit (And I Need Your Help!)

January 7, 2008

So last night I walked into the grocery store with the desire to purchase a little dinner and my normal two or three 2-liter bottles of Diet Mountain Dew, depending on what the special was.

Well, it turns out they were out. This was the second night in a row. Apparently it is either a very popular drink or very poorly stocked. Last night I thought I’d change it up a bit and bought some Pepsi-One, an old favorite of mine affectionately named P1, but I wasn’t so pleased by the “black tongue” it tends to give you.

But tonight was different. I didn’t want P1. I didn’t want Diet Coke, another old faithful. I wanted the Dew. That sweet nectar, full of caffeine and yellow 5 goodness. I stood there puzzled in the aisle literally for five minutes. I knew not what to do. There was Diet Mountain Dew in the coolers up front. But I had come to the grocery store to get the better value in the two-liter bottles. The thought that I kept coming back to, though, was that I needed that drink!

It is the first time that I truly realized just how addicted I am to soda. Yes, I’ve been told. But of course, I felt in control and denied any such claims. Yes, I’ve gone from store to store in search of the elusive elixir at times. And while the thought of addiction crossed my mind, it just couldn’t be true.

But now, at 35 years-old, can say… My name is Mark Sessoms, and I am a soda addict. It might be the bubbles. It might be the sweet taste. It might be the caffeine. But whatever the reason, I know I have to stop.

And with that admission comes the action plan. I don’t intend to never have soda again. But I do intend to quit this dependency cold turkey. And I do ask for your help. Any tidbits of encouragement or advice that you can pass my way would be certainly appreciated.

And so, in a couple of weeks, with a whole lot of determination and good decision-making, I envision that I’ll be happily writing to you again of my release from soda rehab. Wish me luck!

PS  I almost forgot Happy New Year!

PPS  And no, this isn’t a new year’s resolution!  It is an admission of guilt.  =]