Monday, March 6, 2017

3 Roles You'll Play in a Business
Despite living in a world where we are one click away from getting practically any answer along with examples to solving almost any problem, why is it that most people who start a business fail?

Most people who start a business are entrepreneurs who risk capital for profit. The cold truth is, most people who start a business are Technicians.

The assumption is, if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does that technical work. This is far from the truth.

In light of this, most businesses are people dependent rather than systems dependent.

What is a system dependent business? It's basically a business that relies on people with minimum skills to operate the systems and procedures at a high level. As a result, the business won't die just relying on one person.

The Three Roles You'll Play In a Business
  1. The Entrepreneur: The visionary who thinks and plans ahead for the future.
  2. The Manager: Establishes order within the work environment. The goal is to create consistency.
  3. The Technician: The person who carries our and does the technical work. Most business owners were technicians. They excelled at their previous job and often want to pursue their own business.  
From above, you can see the clear distinction between the roles that must be played within a business. One isn't necessarily better than the other. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. The key is to have all three in equal amounts for a business to be successful.

If you're the technician, you need the necessary skills to cut cost.
If you're the manager, you need to effectively train and manage other employees.
If you're the entrepreneur, you need to have the fortitude to know when to take a company in a certain direction, risks.

If you're running a business, you can't remain a technician. You also can't hire people to build the business for you and cross your fingers, hoping they get it right. The key is to focus on what you want the business to eventually become, using Systems. You definitely don't want to be doing everything as your business grows. Granted, you may have to be the designer, marketer, sales person, manager, book keeper and developer at the start. But as your business grows, you need to find the right people for the right job. Only then, will you see the success you want.

If you want more info from The World's #1 Small Business Guru Michael E. Gerber, make sure to grab The E-Myth Revisited. Voted #1 business book by Inc. 500 CEOs.

My name is Romario Villanueva.  Entrepreneur & blogger. I'm a graduate from Rutgers University with several certifications from top schools through Coursera. I love all things business, psychology, and basketball. Feel free to reach out to me on Facebook and LinkedIn

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Social Skills, Some Basketball, & Success
Your ability to have powerful social skills is crucial, whether it's networking, finding people to believe and invest in your vision, or to have someone take you under their wing to show you the ropes. It all comes down to a few principles.
  1. Don't be intimidated. Intimidation brings forth fear. Contrary to popular opinion, all fear isn't bad. You should fear having a bad life. This will inevitably motivate you to do some work if it's in the right balance. When I'm talking about intimidation, I mean the insecurities that can pop up when we first start out something. Our minds quickly wrap around the idea that everyone is assuming we know nothing when starting out. But it's not always the case. Stay cool under pressure. Weakness breathes desperation and the truth is nobody wants to be around someone desperate. If you think about it, we all are going to end up with same fate as someone else so don't let it get to you. We're all in the same path. 
  2. Don't be arrogant. When you're around real powerful people, shit you think impresses them probably won't. You might have a fancy car or expensive clothes. It really means nothing. They might have houses of expensive clothes or fleets of fast and luxurious cars. Stay humble. They may not even have an interest in either. Just stick with how you can contribute to them. How? By showing them what you know. In other words, knowledge & skills
  3. What do you know? The first thing people jump to when discussing social-skills in business is networking. Persuasion also comes to mind. But, before doing these things...if you don't know shit people will figure that out quickly. It's easy to spot. An example of this is the NBA. I love basketball and have been watching it ever since I was 4 years old...Granted the team I root for has been inept for practically a decade (New York Knicks). So one thing you quickly can spot is, who is a good player and who isn't. Who can contribute and who can't. Now we aren't professional scouts or anything, but those who can't play will quickly be out of the league within a year or two. And majority of the time it's obvious even to passive fans of the game. The same applies to every field. This shouldn't scare you. This should make you excited. Why? Regardless of how much money you have or your status, you can almost always learn and know things. Libraries are free. There's Google, YouTube, free blogs, free books, and free online courses. But it takes effort and sacrifice to open a book which is why most people make excuses. 
Above are just some of the takeaways I got from the book. But there are also practical actions you can use, such as being a good listener, remembering people's names, and smiling. All these are wonderful tips, but they have to have substance to be built upon. Definitely pick up a copy of How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie if you haven't already. It's changed millions of lives and it can change yours too.

My name is Romario Villanueva.  Entrepreneur & blogger. I'm a graduate from Rutgers University with several certifications from top schools through Coursera. I love all things business, psychology, and basketball. Feel free to reach out to me on Facebook and LinkedIn

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Staying in the present and not letting your thoughts get interrupted with the bull

"A person can make himself happy, or miserable, regardless of what is actually happening 'outside,' just by changing the contents of consciousness." Mihaly Csikszentmihalvi

The quote above often hits home for most of us. At some point in our lives, we often question and ask what is this all about? What's the meaning of life?

This leads us to this mistaken notion that more means happiness. 

Have you ever found yourself asking:
"If I was just a millionaire all my problems would be gone and I would finally be happy."
"If I just had that new Lamborghini I would be happy."
"If I just had that huge house I would finally be happy."

But as you might already know, happiness doesn't necessarily work like that. Happiness stems from  changing the contents of our consciousness. 

And that is where we become so enthralled in an activity in which nothing else matters, FLOW. When you're in this state you lose yourself in time and there is no attention for any other problems that may exist. 14hrs may have passed and you realize you haven't checked your phone, email or even eaten. That is Flow. 

What's interesting when it comes to Flow is that there's a fine line between something challenging or easy. If it's easy you will get bored. If it's challenging, you create anxiety. Whether something is challenging or easy is dependent on your skill. The balance though, is where Flow exist. 

If something is a bit challenging, you need to gain the necessary skills. Once you gain the necessary skills, you move on to a greater challenge. And this process repeats and repeats thus created a sort of ecstasy experience.
It's one of the reasons why all of our energy should be wrapped around finding that one thing we absolutely enjoy and are curious about.
Contrary to the social norm, what I said above totally goes against what we were told growing up. In essence, we were practically told to find comfort. We practically live in a world chasing convenience and comfort. But comfort ( no challenge) bring us to an experience of apathy. This means spending hours watching TV or laying in bed for hours running through our FB feed.  

Often your mind might be left to wander thus creating tug and pull between boredom and worrying about every single problem you have. 

The key to an optimal experience is that it is an end in itself. Finding meaningful goals allows us to take ownership of our decisions. We aren't left to react helplessly to stimuli, but our actions and decisions are motivated within. To experience Flow at home, at work, or even with our friends on a regular basis is something we all should aim for.

My name is Romario Villanueva.  Entrepreneur & blogger. I'm a graduate from Rutgers University with several certifications from top schools through Coursera. I love all things business, psychology, and basketball. Feel free to reach out to me on Facebook and LinkedIn

Friday, March 3, 2017

Social Life: Exploring the power of relationships between people

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all thrive on being social creatures. Even our introverted friends need a certain level of interaction.

Fundamentally, our brains are wired to help us function in social settings.

It's one of the major keys that helps our world go around. We interact with friends, co-workers, family, whether we like it or not.

Yet, with something so fundamentally important, I am always left wondering why the information in this book is not taught in schools.

I see far more value in knowing this key component in our life as oppose to the state bird or an isosceles triangle. Don't get me wrong, I love math and some history, but those things should be in the backseat when it comes to the discussion of social.

3 Takeaway Points
  1. We are more social than other animals. What does this mean for us? It allows us to live in relatively large groups. As a result, this requires complex social interactions. One of the reasons why we have larger brains. When we aren't occupied  or engaged in a specific task, we tend to think about our social relationships. Humans are so enthralled in the social world that it's our default thinking setting when we have free time. 
  2. Can words hurt us as much as something physical? Yes, physical and social pain both are found to trigger the same areas of the brain. Regardless of the source, we feel the same pain. If someone punches you in the back of the head...guess what it's going to hurt. It's why when we see a fist coming, we tend to react and try to avoid it. The same goes for social. What is one of the biggest fears people have? It's public speaking and floundering embarrassing yourself. Isn't it crazy that of all things in our world, this is a tremendous fear many have. It's because this fear of feeling pain from social rejection is built in us through our evolution. 
  3.  Is social pleasure as real as physical pleasure? We often hear the benefits of being physically active, the so-called runners high or the dopamine rush after lifting weights that makes you feel like a million bucks. It's obvious these both contribute to our well-being. Just as it's true physically, having a fulfilling social life can tremendously contribute to our well-being. Perhaps, it's one of the reasons we love posting pictures on our social feeds because of the positive social feedback. It's a great motivator and a renewable resource. With that said, give someone a compliment to someone or make an effort to start a small chat. You might make someone's day.
I often see a lot of our youth suppress emotions through drugs or some other harmful ways. We may not want to admit it, but we may be at fault. There are certain stigmas when it comes to social life. But simply understanding the natural process can put everyone at a much better frame of mind. Sometimes that's all it takes to make certain adjustments we want to make. 
My name is Romario Villanueva.  Entrepreneur & blogger. I'm a graduate from Rutgers University with several certifications from top schools through Coursera. I love all things business, psychology, and basketball. Feel free to reach out to me on Facebook and LinkedIn

Monday, February 13, 2017

Freedom, Productivity and Living The Life You Want

So most of you know or have at least heard of The 4-HourWork week.
It has a bit of a cheesy title, which will rub people in the wrong way. In return, cause many to automatically stripe any merit the book may have.

On the contrary, I think it’s a pretty solid book. 

Are there things this book may contain and claim that can seem impossible? Of course.
Are there things this book may contain and claim that seem possible? Yes.

It’s definitely possible to live the life you want. The issue is for some it may not be as quick as 6 months to a year. We all pretty much have different starting points. It’s just how it is. Time and work make up the difference.

One of the big proponents that The 4-Hour Work week focuses on is the distinction between absolute and relative income. Who is richer, someone making 35k or 160k? 

Most people’s answer is the person making 160k. But, what if the person making 35k is only working 10hrs a week, while the other is working 80hrs a week. Now throw in expenses and demands of cost of living. Not to mention transportation and the value you place on freedom to do what you want when you want.

As you break it down, one is making $62.50 per hour. Meanwhile, the other is making $41.67 per hour.

Things start to get a bit interesting as you look deeper.

This leads us to efficiency. 

Most jobs can be done in way less time than we are assigned to do. This includes the 8 hour work day.

Tim Ferris advocates two frameworks that help increase efficiency and productivity:
·         Pareto 80/20: This basically means that 80% of your results come from 20% of your causes. They key is to hone and focus on the tasks which bring the maximum results.
·         Parkinson’s Law: Work expands to fill the time allocated to it. In other words, if we set loose deadlines to our work, we end up wasting so much time. Extra time is spent on things that make little to not affect on the end result we want to see. 

You can see how combining these two frameworks can sky rocket your productivity. The takeaway? Identify the critical tasks that contribute the most and give them short deadlines.

One way Tim Ferris and many entrepreneurs do this is by outsourcing, which I think is a fantastic idea. You save money and time. You may hear your neighbor or friend brag about not paying someone to do some handy work at home or mow the loan which can take a few hours…often though becomes a day chore…just to save $20-40.

But in the big scheme of things, was it really worth it? Could your time have been spent better on something else? Do you really want your whole day to be about saving $20? 

The point is don’t major in minors.

There is one problem I do have with outsourcing. I totally understand the whole argument on the more higher the reward and the higher risk, but most people tend to outsource things they have no clue about. This ends up in you being taken advantage of or often scammed.

Now I’m not totally pessimistic. There is a way around it: obtain foundational knowledge on what you’re trying to outsource.

I’m not saying be an expert or anything, but at least know enough to speak the language so when you see something odd or a timeline often extended more than usual you can speak up.

The book is filled with more keys on efficiency, ways of how to get out of the 9 to 5 or even go after your dreams. Understanding this “small” but important part can put you ahead of the game. 

If you haven’t already, pick up a copy or two of The 4-Hour Work Week

My name is Romario Villanueva.  Entrepreneur & blogger. I'm a graduate from Rutgers University with several certifications from top schools through Coursera. I love all things business, psychology, and basketball. Feel free to reach out to me on Facebook and LinkedIn

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Life is Competition, Conflict & Adversity

“Nature has not read very carefully the American Declaration of Independence or the French Revolutionary Declaration of the Rights of Man.” Will Durant

There's a constant struggle that is created by nature. Yet, this indifference brings forth evolution.

Is competition the father of all things?
Is adversity the father of all things?
How are the sources of all ideas created?
What does peace bring?

All these questions bring us closer to the answer.

Growing up I was always taught that I should avoid stress. That I should avoid discomfort.
Especially in today's world where having a lack of convenience is looked down upon.

Convenience is the meaning of our culture.

This leads us to the subject of the truth. A lot of people can talk about the truth. But very few engage in the truth when making their decisions.

What does this have to do with convenience and avoiding stress?
Some of us can't face the truth because it hurts. Inconvenience and stress causes us pain.

But if the truth can lead to new ideas and growth then, one could argue that conflict isn't so bad. That conflict should actually be sought after.

Now many would point to war and politics as a source of negative conflict. And there might be some truth to that. But that is highly controversial and I would like to steer away from subjects that take it to the extreme where death is often a result.

The more important thing that we should focus on is things that pertain to your daily life.

Is having conflict in your life a good thing?

One can say there is no growth in peace. Competition, that friction, moves us towards new inventions and new ideas. Think about it. If you're fired and lose your job, you're often forced to apply yourself in obtaining a new job or even creating one. And often, you would have to gain new skills. Not having a job creates the conflict. Not having the money creates the stress which brings forth gaining new skills due to competition.

You may say you don't want to live in a world with conflict. Well to be frank, you can either learn the easy way or the hard way. Because as Will Durant said, nature doesn't guarantee us happiness or fairness. Regardless of what we feel either you conform to mother nature's rules or feel nature's wrath.

Most people view being fired or rejected as good or bad. Why can't it just be? Looking at the consistent pattern of the great minds today, they have this approach. They embrace conflict. They embrace the truth. They embrace life.

All of this makes you wonder what the meaning of life is. Throughout history the constant is conflict. Of course, conflict and competition causes us stress. But without it, we aren't compelled to act upon any given action and improve. You can say many of us are living life backwards...chasing a mirage of  being in a state of bliss. Peace isn't living...

My name is Romario Villanueva.  Entrepreneur & blogger. I'm a graduate from Rutgers University with several certifications from top schools through Coursera. I love all things business, psychology, and basketball. Feel free to reach out to me on Facebook and LinkedIn

Friday, January 13, 2017

Laziness, willpower, and the weak link in your life.
You can't only rely on will power.

The bigger the change, the more it will sap self-control.


It causes exhaustion of mental muscles which are needed to focus, inhibit impulses and persist when facing frustration or failure. In essence, you are exhausting muscles needed for change.

Change is hard not because you are lazy, but because you are wearing yourself out.

So it's important you respect the signs your body tells you.

We aren't super human.

So don't try to be.

Putting yourself in a position to win and succeed is obviously the best choice.

But many of us take on simultaneous goals where we get tired and run out of fuel because we are running on willpower.

With that in mind, when you have something hard to do, do it first. Before you know it, it's almost done.

Ironically, most advice given is to do the simple thing first and save the hardest for last.

Whether it's getting in shape, reading more or writing a book, decide what is the most important thing to you.

Focus on that.

And don't try to simultaneously read a book a day, exercise 3hrs a day and write a book.

Instead, experiment with focusing on one thing.

Get up at 4am and workout.


Get up at 4am and read. 


Get up at 4am and write.

Your brain is recharged and you will knock it out first thing after waking up.

Why? This stops mental exhaustion.

When focusing on the most important thing to you at the moment in your life, you will eliminate decision paralysis. You won't freeze up trying to decide which to do.

Now this doesn't mean you get to neglect the other goals you have set. But you will do less of it. In other words, you're not completely ignoring any important aspect of your life. You're just giving priority on what is most important so you won't rely just on willpower when it gets tough.

For example, lets say you're reading 3 books a week and you're almost done writing your own book. However, you haven't put a lot of focus on your body. Your physical health seems to be lacking. So focus on the weak link. Decide to put massive efforts into that area and do less of the other stuff.

It's basically adapting to how your life currently is. You can still do the other things, but your big burst is done focusing on that one thing.

This isn't any wish washy opinion. There is actual science behind it. There were studies done on willpower.

When people were placed in a room with mouth watering cookies as oppose to broccoli, studies showed people in the room with cookies were more likely to spend money. Why? Your mental energy to fight off temptation drains your willpower and leaves you vulnerable other things you are trying to save money.

Many people believe cliches such as you have to be tough and try to do it all. 

But really it's not only character traits that define a successful change.

Of course, it's part of it, but not the complete story. You have to put yourself in a position to win and not always try to be heroic.

Don't beat yourself up.

Focus on the weak link in your life and put majority of your energy on that.

What's your biggest weak link now?

My name is Romario Villanueva.  Entrepreneur & blogger. I'm a graduate from Rutgers University with several certifications from top schools through Coursera. I love all things business, psychology, and basketball. Feel free to reach out to me on Facebook and LinkedIn