“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary


I never wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. In fact, I never wanted to climb anything.

Still, I couldn’t say no again. Dr. Al Sears is a good friend and an important client. And I’d been demurring on all sorts of hiking and climbing invitations from him for about two years. Besides, since the event was eight months in the future, it was hardly more than a note on my calendar. It wasn’t real. It was subject to cancellation. What did I know about Kilimanjaro?

But even then, I never had any illusions that I would actually like it.

There is a lot to talk about here – including the fact that within 48 hours of accepting Al’s invitation, I had invited two other people to come with us. One was a colleague. Another was a high-school chum.

Why did I bring two more people to the party?

For one thing, it allowed us to have a climbing group of our own. We could plan our own itinerary. We could have our own cabins. But mostly, I felt that by bringing together three people whom I liked and admired we could all have an experience that was more than just a climb. And I was right. Our group of four becomes fast friends – and I think that friendship will endure, because the deepest friendships are always forged in misery.

More about that misery a little later…

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Boost Your Productivity by Cloning Yourself

In some way or at some time every business is limited by the limitations of the man who started it.

For many businesses the problem is that the entrepreneur feels that he has to micromanage everything, even when he knows the business has grown too big for him to do it. By making it necessary for all decisions to continue to go through him, he creates a constant bottleneck.

Other businesses are stalled because they are built around the talent or skill of the top man. These businesses stop growing when the boss can’t do any more than he is already doing.

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A Successful Developer’s Words of Wisdom

The following essay by Steve Sjuggerud illustrates an important truth about entrepreneurship. Contrary to popular belief, successful entrepreneurs (as opposed to those who make money and then go broke) are not usually risk takers. Quite the opposite, they weigh risks and rewards and don’t move forward unless they can comfortably live with the downsides.

By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud

The life story of Bob Mayer is titled Without Risk, There’s No Reward: Tales, trials and truisms from the amazing life of a pioneering southern California developer.

I met Bob last week, while staying at a hotel he built… the fantastic Hyatt at the Huntington Beach Waterfront. It turns out Bob is a subscriber of mine. He’s also a gifted storyteller and a successful entrepreneur.

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Why People in Need Should Be Treated Like Children

The following is an interview that was published November 2, 2011 in The Palm Beach Letter. The subject: charity.

Ellen: In the office the other day, I heard Tom say, “Mark doesn’t believe in charity.” Is that true?

Mark: If I ever said I don’t believe in charity, I misspoke. I believe in charity. But I also believe that charity can be dangerous.

Ellen: Dangerous? How?

Mark: Charity has the potential to create dependency, destroy initiative, and promote entitlement. If you give a beggar a five-dollar bill every day for nine days, then give him one dollar on the tenth day… chances are, he’ll ask, “Where’s my other four dollars?”

Ellen: That’s pretty cynical.

Mark: I don’t think so. Cultural economists tell us that human populations tend to do what they get rewarded for doing. When you provide unwed mothers or unemployed workers or homeless people with substantial financial subsidies, you are, in effect, rewarding them for such behaviors. You are creating an ever-expanding culture of people who feel entitled to stay pregnant, jobless, and homeless – and be paid for it.

Ellen: You seem to have a dim view of human nature.

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Miss Kentucky

Note: This is the new Miss Kentucky. The picture that will stay with her for the rest of her life: Make-up and hair style ………………. $500 New dress for the show ………………$700 Giant stuffed bear ………………………. $300                               Not knowing how to hold the bear with a microphone in her hand …..Priceless!

The Minotaur in His Labyrinth

By High Talk and Rumors

The Minotaur in His Labyrinth
Roberto Montenegro
1885 – 1968

Many of Roberto Montenegro’s early paintings include an item of fantasy, but his later works exhibited total Surrealism, often with literary references. In this 1967 oil painting on canvas, El Minotauro en su Laberinto, the head of a red bull rests in the window of a theatrical setting of sturdy walls. The red moon shines full with an illuminating surround. The red cape and sword lie on the blood-red ground. A labyrinth icon displays on one wall.

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Descartes and Spinoza

          Descartes was a clever fool who did great damage to the understanding of the human experience. I am talking about his distinction between mind and body. Spinoza’s view – that the two are the same – was correct. Neurobiologists understand this. But most of the population does not.

Zen Wisdom in 10 Lessons

  (Collected from friends) 1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone. 2. It’s always darkest before dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it. 4. Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else. 6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet. 7. If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments. 8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you criticize him, you’re already …

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