Archive for ‘Alternative Graduate Program’

June 6, 2013

Book Review – Catcher in the Rye

Book 2 of 50 in the Alternative Graduate Program – Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

What does it have to do with becoming a Mogul?

This book is not really about becoming a Mogul. However, it does show a side of what a mogul parent could do to a child. The main character in this novel, Mr Caulfield, is notably depressed and taking destructive actions in his personal life that will impact his future life. He seems to have endless amounts of money and no real sense of direction. One big concern for my upcoming child is that we end up with a spoiled brat who like Mr. Caulfield, has no sense of reality when it comes to the future. I know people may view this book very differently than I and if you do please do not feel like my opinions have anything to do with yours.

What did I learn from it?

I learned that the death of a sibling can be very troubling for a young person. My take is that he is troubled by the death of his younger brother and hasn’t really come to terms with it. I personally remember the year after my grandmother died, in 2006, feeling lost and uncertain about the next steps in life. It really shook me up. It was sudden and we were close. I made MANY decisions that year that have impacted the rest of my life. I met my spouse that year, we moved to San Francisco, I quit my stable job at Harrah’s in search of doing something that would really make a difference in the world. But much of that year was clouded by an ever-present sadness. So I could relate to him on a level that I never had been able to in the previous years that I tried to read it.

Should others read it?

I have to admit this is probably the 10th time I have tried to get through this book. I have a rule that if by page 50 I am not into it I can freely put it down and I have NEVER made it to page 50 before. Many things about the authors tone and language negatively  impact me, but since it somehow became a classic I figured there was gold in it somewhere and I was able to find it. I am glad I read it. I would not recommend it to others simply because there are so many other great books out there.

May 30, 2013

Book Review – The Art of Non Conformity

Book 1 of 50 in the Alternative Graduate Program – The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

What does it have to do with becoming a Mogul?

This was a great book about becoming someone who is free to roam the world and not feel guilty about it. It challenged many of my thoughts about materialism and doing things the “right” way.  I currently live in San Diego and there is a lot of pressure to buy $100 jeans, $80,000 cars and live in a $1 million dollar house as a way to prove that you are someone or that you have “made it.” I know other places in the world are under this same type of pressure. And after reading this book I just felt free to love my Honda Fit that gets 38 miles to the gallon. I felt free to move into $1 million dollar multi-unit, where my husband, soon to be baby and I will share a 2/2 unit and have others pay for our mortgage. This will give me freedom to travel around, explore and be with my baby as it grows. Yes, I will be one of those mothers with the baby on a plane. That for me is “Making it.” Or becoming a Mogul.

What did I learn from it?

I learned that being an entrepreneur is less risky than having a full time job. And throughout our life we are trained to believe that security is created through clocking in and out and having someone tell you what to do. After reading this book I believe being an entrepreneur will give me more stability than any other job ever will. By the time most people are 25 they are thousands to hundreds of thousands in debt. Their only option is to work to pay it off and it seems like the best way to do that is to have someone say, “I will pay you $50,000 a year to do this job.” And that seems like the best way to get out of the debt, and then they say, “I will pay you $75,000 a year to do this job” and you think, “Well maybe its time to get a new car.” Then you have more debt. And then you need new clothes for the new job and maybe even a new house. And it goes on and on until you are 50 and praying for retirement.

I have set up life to not have debt. My husband and I have very little; no credit card debt, one car paid off, the other on it’s way and the only kind of property I will buy is property that is going to produce income. Period.

Should others read it?

You should only read it if you are willing to open your mind and really give up that your $150 sunglasses or $50,000 car is not a dream worth living for. And he doesn’t say you can’t want things like that. You totally can. But he really emphasizes the point that life is about living your purpose, not buying your purpose.
He also talks about the difference between a good business and bad business, the main points are that a good business provides regular cash flow, no time trading, and is location independent. All of these things are what I am personally looking for in a business, but again I don’t think that everyone is.

May 9, 2013

AGP – Kiva and Round the world trip

Okay all I took a step in the alternative graduate program and created an account on Kiva.org and donated money to support 3 different projects. These will also influence where I go on my trip around the world.

The first 3 so far are:

  • Aijan in Krygyzstan – She is a farmer raising cattle and other crops.
  • Leoniza in the Phillippines – She is a store owner.
  • Carolyne in Kenya – She sells souvenirs in Kenya.

As you can see I am developing a theme, women entrepreneurs. I know, a shocking thing for me to do. But it was easy to find people that I was passionate about supporting and I feel good about the money that I lent.

I talked to my husband about my plan to do an around the world trip and he was instantly on board. He wants to go, too. So as I do more research on that I will post it so we are all on the same page. But when I told him these three countries he was excited and unsure, which I think is the whole point of this trip. 🙂 I am viewing this particular around the world trip as an educational experience in entrepreneurship and life rather than a luxury vacation or really a vacation at all. I am sure we will sneak in plenty of time to relax, and maybe scuba dive somewhere exotic. The main purpose of the trip, though, will be educational in nature.