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The First Time

I’ve never been good with wheels.

I spent the majority of my life playing sports (soccer & skiing) at a competitive level, and before I was about to truly hit the prime peak of becoming pretty fantastic at those sports, my knees told me they’ve had enough. I was about 13 years old when it first happened. I was rollerblading down my driveway when my right knee dislocated and I went face first into the pavement. The pain was unbearable. You could hear me screaming two towns over. I haven’t been back in a pair of skates since.

Except mine were lime green.

In my attempts to get over my fear of wheels and my knee dislocating again, I took on skateboarding. I was shaky and uneasy the entire time. I didn’t ever feel like I was in control of the board and found it difficult to work my way around corners. A few years ago, a friend introduced me to the world of longboarding. I stared in disbelief – it’s a longer board, bigger and nicer wheels, and trucks that look like they can actually move. I watched my friend as he boarded up and down the street with ease and grace.

I immediately thought that it would be easy for me too. I jumped on the board and used my foot to start the momentum – just like a skateboard. I could feel the difference in the board itself – it just seemed to work better underneath my feet. I was in control. It reminded me of a combination of skiing, snowboarding, and surfing all at once and on pavement. The ride was smooth feeling and my heart pumped as I worked up cardio to keep speed. Of course, I made sure to apply the appropriate safety gear, complete with knee pads and brace to stave off another injury and helmet, since my head is a pretty important part of me. I was no stranger to the elements of staying safe when trying a new sport.

Being on the board was exhilarating. I carved up and down the street at a speed I wasn’t sure was even possible. Keeping my feet on the edge allowed for more of an ability to carve and take some nice, big turns and corners (because I was no where ready to take a short-turn just yet). As I grew more comfortable and confident on the board, I was hooked within two hours of riding for the first time.

If I can get on a longboard and be comfortable, I encourage anyone and everyone to give it a try. Not only is it beneficial to your health and can get you to shorter distances faster than walking, it is also a fun recreational experience – as long as you have the right safety gear.

Get out there and longboard!

– Amber Bordun

Why Longboards Will Save Your Company

Save over $1,000 dollars or more per employee, by investing $50 per employee. 

First and foremost, I have been in the longboard business for over a year now and I must say: it’s competitive niche. I’ve tracked over 76 companies involved in the longboard trade. With thousands of options and people are missing the point.

Why Consider Longboards for your Team?

Rarely discussed are the corporate/organization benefits of longboards.

What affect does longboarding have on your business?

1. Health. Companies with longboarders as employees are literally healthier. There’s no other way around the fact that longboarding contributes to health in 2 ways. First, longboarding encourages us to use a less energy intensive form of transportation, that has the dual benefit of providing exercise.

But wait, isn’t walking more cost-effective than longboarding?

Absolutely not. Think about it- wheels versus feet. While it does take some energy to manufacturer, distribute and market longboards, and it takes energy to use them, there is a payback, because of 3 main factors.

Time spent in transportation – This is an easy one. Longboarding is about 6 times faster than walking. You probably walk most everywhere if you live downtown. Count up the trips per day. Estimate the time per trip. Multiply by the amount of days you leave the house. The fact is, if you use public transportation, you typically have 4 independent period of walking.

A 1-destination trip by transit = 4 walks:

Home Transit Hub Destination Transit Hub Home.

Now, that’s assuming you aren’t a student travelling between multiple classes, in which case you’d likely have upwards of 10+ trips per day           . While each trip may only account for a couple minutes or more, your walking adds up.  By longboarding, you reduce the total surface contact with the ground (and total friction), allowing you to go farther with the same amount of energy. On hot days, you spend less time in the sun, because your total trip time is lowered. Not to mention, you catch a breeze, rather than a sunburn.

 →Home Transit Hub  → Destination → Transit Hub Home . If in normally take you 6 minutes to walk, it will take you 1 to longboard. 

The fact that you’re exercising is actually an added bonus. If you currently get your work out fix elsewhere, serious consider combining transit and fitness. It’s a matter of killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.

1.B. Abs. We all want them. There’s a fitness industry with all kinds of products you’ll rarely use or bother to take out of storage. On a longboard, you can literally get places with your abs, using a move called “Pumping” the longboard. Basically, what you do is fix you feet in place, and try to twist the board around an imaginary center point in the middle of the longboard, while moving in a forward trajectory. If you’re twisting around the center point, your front leg will be applying pressure in the opposite direction as you back foot. Keep that in mind when trying to pump. Your aim should be to create a wave around your direction.

2. Energy. Healthier employees are more productive because they have more energy. They don’t need to turn to stimulants such as coffee or cola, which drain your body of vitamins. I think the evidence is conclusive – living an active livestyle increase your lifespan. It fights depression. It builds self esteem. These qualities in any individual directly translate to our ability to tackle problems in our work and personal life.

3. Sleep. Employees who longboard to get to work have more time to sleep in. Sleep is a wonder drug. It improve productivity, friendliness, and our ability to cope with difficult situations.

4. Stellar R.O.I. Longboards have an extremly high economic payback (ROI). If you value your time, compare the time you save with the base price of a longboard. I save roughly 300 hours per year, or about $9000 worth of time at $30/hour. Now, that time won’t literally turn into $9000, however, with an extra 300 hours at your disposal, it could turn into a whole lot more. When you factor in the cost of health-care in many regions, this really is a small price to pay for preventative care. Heart surgery, liposuction, and many other therapies are expensive for both the patient, the insurance provider and the company paying the premiums. Preventative care will likely be cheaper by a factor of 50 or more as employees age without exercise.

Productivity Gains: $1,000 – $10,000 per year

Time Gains: 50 – 500+  hours per year

Incentive Gains: (Varies)

Health Gains: ($2,000 – $20,000 over a decade)

Morale Gains: (Intangible)

There are many more benefits to longboarding which you many value in dollars, such as creating a ‘fun’ or ‘youthful’ work culture, attracting new recruits. Longboards are a great way to target specific demographics for lifestyle products.

5. Incentives. Longboards can incentivize your team to hit a sales target, a development target, a fundraising target, or any other explicit goal you want to set. Instead of a gift-card, why not give a product that delivers long-term benefit for the organization and the individual.

6. Personal/Corporate Expression. Longboards, like fashion, give us another medium to express ourselves. Designs are fully customizable. Again, if used as a reward and incentive for your team, this can do wonders to morale. Corporate or organizational branding is simply another potential benefit that won’t cost you much more, especially with your group discount.

7. Event Marketing. Longboards make excellent marketing tools! Do you want your brand reps to reach farther? Do you want them to interact with the public more actively? Longboards can help!

8. Operations. Eliminate bottlenecks! If you’re running a business that depends on a critical supply, sometimes you need to send a runner out to get that input. Reach a farther distance in a shorter period of time.

9. Human Resources. Longboards make great incentives for recruiting your dream team. Non-cash incentives are intrinsically worth more, because the perceived benefit is a multiple of the unit cost to your organization.

10. Email me at tristan.parlette@gmail.com. Tell me a little bit about your organization, and I’d be happy to put together a proposal. As the owner and manager of Longboardable.com, I will put together a proposal for your organization that will SAVE you a WAD of Cash$$$ !

Indredible Tip for Getting Things Done: One simple question that will change your life.

“I wish I knew how I could stop procrastinating!”  One of my intern ninjas said to me. Do you ever wish you got more done?

I used to struggle with procrastination in highschool, but since I founded Plunder Ventures, I’ve had a little extra motivation to nip bad habits in the bud.

In every situation where you’re thinking of taking the easy way out, say by out taking a break, doing an easier (yet meaningless) alternative task, stoping for a while, getting mad or upset, discussing it with friends and family who have no constructive input to offer, or in any other way putting off a task off until the future.

Try to catch yourself making excuses.  Ask yourself the following questions to see if there’s actually a case for procrastinating:

1. Will it take longer to do, or think about?

Longer to think about?JUST DO IT. Putting it off will only make it take longer, so if you really don’t want to do it, but it needs to be done, get it over with and you’ll greatly be better off in the long run.

Longer to do? Ask yourself question 2.

2.  When is the next time you will have the opportunity to do it?

Soon? Maybe you should just get it over with and do something else next time. Or maybe it’s not as important as something else you’re procrastinating that you can’t do so frequently.

In a while? Some things are better done now (IN THE PRESENT), because you might not have another present opportunity to do it again for a long time. In this case, you’d better do it, because next time may not be for a while. And a while, is something that NOBODY has to waste.

I dunno? JUST DO IT. Who knows, this may be your last chance to EVER write that once in a life time idea down.

Never? JUST DO IT! This is probably your last chance, so don’t waste time regretting not doing it later (guys, that’s why you kiss the girl when you have the chance to)

3. Will you procrastinate next time too?

This is when you have to get honest with yourself. If yes, maybe you should JUST DO IT ALREADY!!!!

4. No? Why not…? Could I prove it to Tristan? Think back at the last 5 times you were in this situation. Did you put it off then? Do you wish you hadden’t?

There’s a saying- the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is today. Do it.

The same goes with setting a positive habit, kicking a bad one. Convinced that you’re not going to put it off next time? 

5. And why is that any different than this time?

Ah, so there’s something else you have to do…

6. Are you actually going to do it?

If yes… GREAT! Go do it!

If no… GREAT! Go do that other thing you were putting off!

 

7. And if the first 6 didn’t stop you, ask yourself this for one final blow. Wouldn’t you rather be doing some else next time?

Love in Numbers and Everything

I was having a conversation today with a friend of mine regarding his irrational relationship.

I told him that he was in a √2 type of situation. How successful you are in a relationship, has a lot to do with the people who are involved in it.

Numbers have more to do with the so called “soft” sciences than you might think. I’ll get back to √2 in a moment.

How we see ourselves and how we perceive ourselves determines how we determine our own self worth. Self-worth, often referred to as self-esteem, involves all the moments we have with ourselves that influence our perception of whether or not we are good at something or not.

In other words, as an individual, do you feel like a 1? Do you feel like a 10? Do you feel like a 0?

Well, if you feel like a 1, then you’re most like going to behave like a 1. If you feel like a 0, you’re going to act like a 0.

What’s important about numbers, is to remember that they don’t mean anything, unless we are describing something with it. So, when I describe the number of leprechauns in the room, 0 is a disappointing number to hear. A different interpretation occurs when describing sleeping as a 0 type of situation. What’s important to remember though, is that numbers behave the SAME across different mediums, which is why we can use them to describe even abstract concepts.

Now, in figuring out the outcome of the relationship, we may need more information. However, usually we don’t, since our instincts are pretty damn good about these sorts of things.

 

Root 2 is an infinite spiral down into nothingness.

1 + 1 = 2 – Rational Argument, but only when describing the number of people in the relationship. Does very little when looking at the overall costs & benefits of the relationship. In fact- 1 +1 =2 means that both people have decide what they are, and aren’t learning from each other.

5 Trillion ^2 *2 …

When considering the value of the relationship, it’s important to realize that every successful relationship must be designed for mutual self gain in order for both parties to reap the rewards of the relationship, and sustain the motivation to continue the effort involved in maintaining the relationship.

The cells in your body are a prime example of a case where the product of their interaction and inter-connectedness, the entire community becomes more successful. A cell on its own doesn’t do much, but as part of a human being, it can change the world.

Now, because some of those cells are specialized for processing electrical signals, and because some of those cells process signals into patterns call “thoughts” and because other cells can turn those thoughts into words, phrases, and ideas, there are far more combinations than there are cells. The interactions between the nodes in the network, creates and refines the information such that the total interactions can produce outcomes on unimaginable scales.

So ask yourself. Is your relationship existentially rational (1 + 1 = 2) but irrational in attitudes and outcomes?

Do you fall victim to conversations that consume your time and energy that keep you in circles?

Do you constantly search for a situation to resolve itself, but it never does?

If so, you’re in a √2 situation.

The fact that sometimes, things just spiral endlessly into nothingness, and that not all things can be neatly resolved, is evidenced mathematically, and in our day to day lives.

There are worse places to be than √2. At least you’re not in an abusive relationship. Hopefully, your partner is not stealing from you, neglecting you, mouching off you, consuming you, delaying you, distracting you or physically harming you. But you are in a spiral of nothingness, so get out! Now!

Find a partner who can build off your ideas. Find someone who’s close- not necessarily geographically- but in mindset, attitude, objectives – but not too close that you are the same. People who are too similar often end up in √2 situations, because they can’t build of each others ideas with new inputs, become complacent with the same old ideas, and even encourage each others’ weaknesses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Conversation

Hey guys. I found this on StumbleUpon, and it really fascinated me. 5 minutes well spent.

Revamping Plunder Ventures

Hey all,

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged here. For information about PlunderVentures.com, please contact tristan.parlette@gmail.com, or visit Tristan’s personal blog at ideasplusbusiness.com.

Thanks!

Plunder Ventures is now hiring!

I’m pleased to annonce another round of successful intern interviews for Plunder Ventures! If you are still interested in interviewing for any of our available intern positions, please email me your resumé/cover letter/portfolio and I’d be happy to interview you sometime in the next few weeks.

As Plunder Ventures grows, (and we are growing quite rapidly), we will need a constant supply of skills and talent. So keep up the good work, and send your applications to: tristan.parlette@gmail.com

Check out our recruitment packages online via the following links:

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B8ahbFpdOpAuY2Y4N2Y1MzMtNjllOS00ZDA4LWE4MWYtNmQzYmZhMDI4Zjdl

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B8ahbFpdOpAuOGZkMGQ5NDktZmEyOS00M2I5LTkwODItNzhiOWE3YmI5Yzdm

We will be hiring 100+ positions in sales, marketing and other deparments over the course of 2012. In the case that we are all sucked into a giant black hole, due to events predicted centuries ago by Oompa-Loompas, all positions will be suspended. 

Merry holidays! 😉

Entrepreneurship, in Balancing 5 Acts.

I’ve noticed an interesting quality about entrepreneurs, which is their ability to operate and control many different areas of focus, rather than specializing in one discipline. Unlike large companies, entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury of specializing personnel to specific disciplines. Rather, entrepreneurs must focus on a vast multitude of different skill areas. This diversity of knowledge, and practise (tasks, activities, projects) has profound implications. Entrepreneurs who master the following acts, will guide their firms to riches and dreams to reality.Balancing Acts in Entrepreneurship

Act 1. Entrepreneurs need to be able to operate at least a moderate skill within each discipline. While some disciplines are harder than others, the more complex and inherently difficult that discipline is to learn the more valuable it is. Entrepreneurs who posses and acquire valuable skills naturally become more successful. In a pinch, they can sell their skills. If they invest their skills in their enterprise, they stand to reap the full value of that skill, not simply the market value of the skill’s labour. While it is true that inherently valuable skills will save entrepreneurs from  having to purchase those skills from others, the real benefit comes from reaping the rewards of adapting the skill towards a valuable purpose withing the business. This act alone does not guarantee success. Being too specialized means entrepreneurs run the risk of missing an important link, say, sales, or marketing, or distribution, which defeats the whole point.

Act 2. Successful entrepreneurs will devote time to the most valuable and meaningful activities, and delegate low-value activities to others. Any worker who earns the fruits of their labour independently, rather than as a staffer with a fixed wage in a company, inherently needs to invest time in order to reap the benefits of those investment.

Act 3. Entrepreneurs, and sales Why do people use coupons? They don't value their time very high.people (employee-entrepreneur hybrids)  understand the value of their time,  become highly conscious of it, and are motivated to conserve time. These self-employed individuals will invest time in planning. They may even invest time in inventing solutions that save them even more time (cough! longboard. Cough cough…)

Act 4. Successful entrepreneurs willKnowledge Marketing invest time reviewing the raw data, compiling that information and making an informed decision about the direction they take their business. They will invest their time in exploring the market, exploring relationships, networking, investigating opportunities and listening to proposals.

Act 5. A. Entrepreneurs will learn from others, emulate the success of others by  applying the same principles and lessons, listening to the wisdom of others, especially unique, obscure and isolated ideas that are not mainstream. They will combine ideas or expand on them. They will tinker, copy, create, draw, imagine, vision and ideate. Do you have a problem? Generating ideas about how to solve it (i.e brainstorming) is the fastest and most effective way to improving your situation. But this works if, and only if Act 5. B. is accomplished.

5. B. Successful entrepreneurs are actively doing something right now. Not vaguely sometime in the future. Not later, tomorrow or sometime. They are planning and acting on their goals actively, every day, every month of every year. It’s that simple. Work on your ideas. Get what you want. Act Now.

What happens when you get what you want? Let’s just say this is a never-ending story, because after all, success is relative.

Candian English Dictionary Firefox Add-On

Candian English Dictionary Firefox Add-On

Our first storm…

Perhaps, you’ve been reading my blog for a while or you’ve heard me drunkenly ramble on about my business ideas and plans. You may recall a business I described called PlunderSome.

Oh, she will be a mighty fine ship.

Andrei Calinescu and I cofounded the vision and the partnership. We both agreed to give it a go. However, building that a ship capable of getting us to that vision proved extremely difficult.

PlunderSome is the founding inspiration behind Plunder Ventures. Six months in. I can’t believe it’s been half a year since I embarked on my journey to build PlunderSome, the worlds best *ucking toystore. (Another working slogan was “Cool. Shit.”). Today, while our man-power is down, decision making is up, and a new course is being plotted under a new model.

Plunder Ventures is a business that brings awesome products to Canadians. That will always been the defining value behind the company. Less crap, and better stuff for everyone. We wanted to create a place where you didn’t wonder “hmm, is this shit I’m buying going to be good?” Plunder Ventures’ is founded on the principle that it ALL has to be good, no matter what the price point.

In the beginning, we went to go about filling that toystore. It took time, but once we compiled our toys, we quickly realized that the business wasn’t going to get anywhere without a plan, and that arranging deals needs a process. So the two partners went about creating a business plan.

Each plan crumbled under the pressures of time, prompting the next plan. While writing so many incomplete plans have been a costly time expense, the cost of switching is worth every second, even considering the business model is now on its 3rd reconstruction. All of those changes in ‘plans’ offered valuable lessons from the past, and important implications for the future.

Lessons such as creating a task-management structure, and defining processes to evaluate performance is improving how Plunder Ventures’ guides work towards the direction of the founder’s goals.

Reality checks, however harsh, cannot be construed as failures. They are triumphs, since an accurate depiction of reality, free from our own self-delusions is something that most of us rarely achieve.

True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing, Socrates, the Greek philosopher in Athens (469 BC – 399 BC) once said. Over 1,500 years later and his words hold true. He is of course right, but what’s so frustrating is that there’s just so much you can know, if you look. And the more you look, the more you know.

The world, at your fingertips. The web, your most valuable tool, and your biggest distraction. There had to be a more efficient process for dealing with mountains of data. I speak not only the data that was flooding into our minds from the articles and documents and audiobooks, but the accumulated data and information mountain- equivalent to a 1000 businesses of yester-year piled up on my desktop and the towers knowledge that we could climb, if only we had the time and the mechanism. TMI- a term most often reserved for older people talking about their sex lives- is a problem we were having day in and day out as documents, research and unstructured data drowned our productivity and hinder our ability to inch closer towards the prize.

And there was one- a solution that is. Strangely enough, it was a skill that I found deep in the bowels of the internet- a remote island of knowledge that many others, but certainly the vast minority, of all people had learned. This would fuel a vast change in the technology used in Plunder Ventures’ market research engine, and bring the future a lot closer, a lot faster.

Over time, I became obsessive, fussing over every little detail, spending hours and hours plotting away with the business. I neglected the practicality of many things. My plans were scattered about my life, large and unrefined, and largely impractical in the short term. But they were grand all-right.

My partner helped ground me. Bring me back to reality, the right now that we all need to be aware of too. What can be done immediately, and what needs to be done first are important steps, instead of figuring out the whole ocean.

I have spent many a day ploughing through words to meet the hefty business plan requirements that have so far taken months and months away from productive labour. It’s a plan that has felt like it is never going to end, not for a while anyways.

I know it’s not over, and I’m coming to the realization that planning is never going to go away and that ‘completing’ a business plan is only competing a story told to those you want to inspire behind your business with compelling arguments and financial proof.

Today, Plunder Ventures is alive and well, after receiving some recent “structural” upgrades.

Plunder Ventures Inc., a corporation, is the new business and vessal designed to take Plunder Ventures to that next level. Plunder Ventures Inc. is taking over all ownership of Plunder Ventures’ partnership’s dealings. The new company, will continue to pursue its vision, and navigate a course though the marketplace.

The plan is not complete, but it’s getting there. Things are getting clearer by the day, and I am convinced of what Plunder Ventures is destined to become. One by one, I will upgrade every piece of this ship, automating manual processes, partnering with other companies, investing in relationships, and developing offerings.

Oh, and my other goal is to recruit 100 sales people by the spring. You heard me. Stay tuned.

I sometimes look back in time, and think to myself “If I only knew then when I know now!” For Plunder Ventures, this saying holds resoundingly true.