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A Lot of Victory is Just Walking Around

I like to kill two, three, four birds with one stone whenever I can. Produce and learn at the same time, consume and produce, learn and relax, connect with people and learn, learn/connect/relax/produce, etc. Every day I try to exercise and learn at the same time by listening to some smart audio while I walk, jog, or run. I like to do small projects with friends and acquaintances - it's a great way to connect with someone, get to know each other more, learn/knowledge exchange new skills, and maybe make some money in the process.

Mixing "walking around" into other time and paying attention goes a long way towards getting smarter. Sometimes when I want to think, I go walk or jog around a neighborhood I don't know. I figure if I pay attention, I can learn the layout of the neighborhood, what kind of people live there, what kind of businesses are there, what kind of businesses aren't there that could be.

I went for a three mile walk near Sheung Wan in Hong Kong yesterday. I walked through an area with lots of mechanics and other mech/craft shops. I kept walking, and as I climbed up some hills, I came suddenly into a really upscale neighborhood and the cars started looking nicer - I saw particularly quite a few BMW's. So I think - hmm, there's a lot of mechanics two miles away, but I'm not seeing a garage up here. I know in nice neighborhoods people will pay as much as a 2x premium to get their car serviced without driving far. (I made the mistake of going to "Bel Air Auto Care" once when I lived in Bel Air last year - yeah, 2x what it should have cost for some work). But that's a good deal for some people whose time is very precious to them, they'd rather get premium auto service fast than drive a couple miles to save a couple bucks.

So I start thinking, if I spoke Cantonese, was local to Hong Kong, and had money to invest, would it make sense to look for some space two miles up the hill in Sheung Wan in the nice neighborhood? I was impressed with the mechanics walking through - generally looked pretty skilled and hard working. In one shop there was a boy, maybe 8 years old, reading a book while his dad worked. So I think - these are smart, hard working people. If you could get a lease at the right price, you know there's already talented mechanics nearby you could hire with a pay increase. Could your auto shop make enough money to cover the lease and expenses? I think locking up a long term lease in Sheung Wan would be worth some money in and of itself, so if the business was slightly profitable you'd have a good thing going.

It was like a scavenger hunt trying to find good coffee when I was in Cambodia a few months ago. I thought to myself - hey, here's an opportunity to build a chain of cafes, starting in Siem Riep and Phnomh Penh. You could brand/gear it up like the coffee chains that tourists like - Starbucks, Pacific Coffee, Coffee Bean, etc. If you went a step further and branded it the right way, you could also make it the kind of place that's an experience to go to, that would be a fun activity for even a relatively poor Cambodian family to aspire to go every so often. I was thinking I'd call it the "Western Coffee Company", and brand it like the Old West a little bit. Wooden saloon type vibe, little brick mixed in, Old West-inspired dress, and maybe live guitar or fiddle once a day or once a week. It could be an aspirational, entertainment place for local Khmer people while serving tourists heading to Angkor Wat and exploring Cambodia. And again, that land's only going to go up in value. Someone's going to build or expand a coffee chain into Cambodia and make a mint.

Early On a Sunday Morning

On Where Pianos Roam

Ha!!  I love daylight savings time!!!  WooooooHooooooo! It's a sunny morning here in Nashville.  I just played a really fun show at Loudhouse Coffee last night out in Greenbrier, TN.  Good times, my friends.  Good times. So, now, I go full steam ahead with my album release.  This is truly a long time coming.  I have SO MUCH WORK TO DO!!!  I swear.  As soon as I can afford it, I'm going to hire a personal assistant. On another note, I've been thinking a lot lately about the concept of "attention".  I've come across numerous people in my life who seem to thrive on it.  There are some who want attention constantly, and then there are others who want nothing to do with it.  I think I'm somewhere in the middle.  If I am out and about just doing normal things and hanging out with friends, I am generally pretty low-key and prefer it that way.  But put me on a stage to PERFORM, and it's a whole other story.  For the amount of time I get to play my music in front of an audience, that's my time to be an all-out badasss!!!  When I step off the stage, it's back to low-key Gordon.  I don't think it's healthy or practical to want attention all of the time but to each his/her own.  I guess. The thing that concerns me is that constantly getting attention deprives other people of having the chance to shine.  Everyone.  Everyone should have a little spotlight on themselves once in a while.   It validates and affirms you in ways that are truly cathartic and comforting.   Constant attention-grabbing often translates into a lack of consideration for others.  Sometimes, and I hate to say it, it can be a sign of immaturity.  (I honestly don't like to use this "i" word because it has such a bad rap.  I think a little immaturity is par for the course for anyone.  It's part of life.  Some people just are immature, and that's just how it is.) I love watching others bask in their own spotlight--especially if they worked hard and earned it.  Every chance I get to lift someone else up, particularly if they deserve it, I most definitely do so.  Attention is a delicious delicacy that should be shared by all.  Everyone wins when everyone shares. Life is too precious not to. Have a flower. There's all kinds of stuff this week. You'll see .  .  .  . -gordon

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