Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Nuggets For The Noggin
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, May 28, 2013

There is no doubt in my mind that this Nugget is going to upset more than just a few people who might read it.  It is an “opinion” piece and represents my opinion on the subject.  So as you read it keep this thought in mind.  Just as it is your right to choose to obtain a tattoo it is my right to form an opinion regarding that choice.  Somebody has to say this!

Over the weekend I could not help but notice this extremely attractive young girl.  Without getting very close I could also not help but notice that one arm and one shoulder was completely covered with unidentifiable tattoos.

My first thought was in the form of a question:  WHY?  Why would anyone so attractive feel compelled to mark up her body with what I thought were very unattractive and indistinguishable tattoos that some want to call “art” but not me.

Okay, I’ll admit it; I am getting much older and am very much set in my ways of life.  Nonetheless I fail to understand the onslaught of tattoos in America and probably the world.  I have many questions regarding tattoos.

  • Do people really think tattoos enhance their appearance and if so, to whom?
  • What appears to be an attractive tattoo now, will it appear to be as attractive as you get older? 
  • Why do so many grossly overweight women (more so than overweight men) have tattoos?  Do they think that the tattoo will make them look attractive or that the tattoo will somehow camouflage their obesity? 
  • Do the people who obtain tattoos realize that the craze started and flourished in prisons? 
  •  Do the people who obtain tattoos realize that by having tattoos they may be adversely affecting their ability to be hired for a career position they desire? 
  • Do the people who obtain tattoos realize that they are affiliating themselves with prisoners and/or gang members?

Let me put this into perspective.  If you are in sales, the first sale you make to a probable customer is YOU to THEM.  Does the customer feel comfortable in working with you?  If not, you probably will not make the sale.  In some sales professions the customer may not have a choice in who sells them something but in most cases they do.  When that happens the probable customer simply goes elsewhere to purchase the same product or service.

“But it is important for me to be me” you might say.  That is your absolute right to say and feel that way.  It is also the customer’s right to object to the manor by which you demonstrate that right.  It may convert to a lost sale and ultimately lost income.  So you have to weigh the difference between being you and measuring up to what your probable customer expects and/or desires of you – the sales person.  The choice is truly yours to make so my recommendation would be to choose wisely.

I would suspect that some folks get tattooed because of “conformity”; they want to be like their peers.  Again, which peers do you want to be “like”?  Your friends, prisoners or gang members?  Remember, tattoos in prison and in gangs are the “signs” that prisoners and/or gang members want to advertise.  Is that you intention?  You want to advertise something?  My recommendation to this type of thinking would be to be very careful what you advertise for because you may just get it or something entirely different.

Celebrities and sports figures all have tattoos; why not me?  First, they “all” don’t have them.  Granted a lot do.  Here is what is important, most of these people make enough money to be relatively financially independent and can therefore afford to do what they please.  But even these folks run the risk of having their fan base be turned off by their activities whether it is tattoos, drugs, etc.

Here is a thought to ponder.  I cannot see or experience your wonderful personality and character because the tattoos on your body scream much louder than the kindness in your heart.  People make initial judgments about you and about me based entirely upon their first visual encounter.  Is that the right thing to do?  Of course not but that is a fact of life.  With that said, why would anyone go to such measures as the expense and pain of obtaining what appears to be permanent magic marker artwork on their bodies, artwork that again indicates a relationship to gangs and/or prisoners or to small children who do not know any better.

I don’t think I am alone when I say, I just don’t understand.  What is worse, I can’t think of any logical, with the emphasis on the word logical, argument that someone could put forth that would change my mind.

So with that said, be it right or be it wrong, if you want me to buy something from you or to hire you, it just isn’t going to happen IF I have a choice.  Just as you have a choice to do what you do, I have a choice to do what I do.  Before you decide to mark up your body with tattoos, think about the unintended consequences of doing so both in the present and in the future.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

College Vs. Non-College

Nuggets For The Noggin
A Personal Opinion
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, May 5, 2013

This is a non scientific opinion of college educations based upon my personal experience.

Fact:  I attended Bowling Green State University for 2 years where my major was marketing and advertising but I did NOT graduate.  Why?  In 1967 I sat out a semester and then went back to school.  While back at school I received my Draft Notice (the Draft was still active in 1967), I went into the U. S. Coast Guard and never returned to finish my degree.

Personal observation.  Throughout my elementary school, junior high school and high school education I received okay grades, not great, not poor; just okay.  I graduated from High School with grades good enough to be accepted at universities.  BUT I HAD PROBLEMS that were never addressed in any of my schools I attended.

What kind of problems?  Glad you asked.  I can take you to one very specific incident that occurred in the third grade.  The teacher was discussing space and the planets, specifically Mars.  She made a statement that there was no life on Mars because, and I don’t remember the actual statement, it was either too hot or too cold or there was no oxygen, only carbon dioxide or something like that.  What she said was not important.  What was important and very life changing for me was my response to her statements.  I asked her why and what if!  

I remember asking her that “what if” the people on Mars like it very cold (or very hot) and what if like the plants on earth they took in carbon dioxide and gave off oxygen?   I asked her why she based her instruction on humans like us rather than on what humans might be like on Mars.  She embarrassed me in front of my classmates by suggesting my question and statement was stupid.  Result, I rarely asked another question throughout my formal education.

Now fast forward to the 1990’s where I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Tom Hill of the Eagle Institute http://www.tomhillwebsite.com.  Dr. Hill had been a college professor and one of the subjects he taught related to right-brain and left-brain thinking.  He made the statement that it was obvious, at least to him, that I was a right brain person who grew up in a left brain world especially a left-brain educational system.  I can remember that conversation as if it were yesterday.

What is the difference?  In short, a right brain person is best suited to be a writer, artist, musician, carpenter, etc.  A left brain-person is more suited to be an engineer, mathematician, teacher, etc.  A left-brain person is taught to color within the lines; a right-brain person doesn’t care about the lines.  A right-brain person comes up with great ideas and then relies upon left-brain folks to worry about the details and completing the project.  A right-brain person wants to work on a project and complete it in short period of time.  A left-brain person doesn’t care how long a project takes to complete or even if he or she is the one to complete it.

My third grade teacher’s left-brain response to a right-brain person proved, in my case, to be devastating to my desire to participate in future classes I was taught.  Who wants to go out of his way to be embarrassed?  Certainly not me.  Who wants to have their thoughts and ideas declared stupid?  Certainly not me.  I would go so far to suggest that a lot of students being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) may in fact be more of a right-brain person in a left-brain world.  Think about it.  At the risk of sounding immodest, if you have a creative mind and constantly think outside-the-box, do you feel you “fit in” the current educational system where everything is either black or white, color within the lines, facts are facts thinking?  Doubt it!  I had a difficult time paying attention within a black and white type of educational system.  If ADD had been an issue back in the 50’s and 60’s, I probably would have been diagnosed as having ADD because I could not pay attention for any great length of time.

Throughout all of my formative years, no one ever asked me what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life.  Had they asked, I would have told them I wanted to be a cabinet maker – really.  And based upon what I have said, cabinet making (or wood working) would be a right brain activity.  You start and finish a creative project within a short period of time.  You receive gratification quickly for a creative project completed.  To be a cabinet/furniture maker you would not need a college education.  Sadly I never had the opportunity to work with wood, instead I went to college where for my first two and only years I took courses in every subject EXCEPT marketing and advertising - the field I “thought” I wanted to learn.

As it turned out, I was fortunate that an accidental life-event, purchasing a home, turned out to be such a nightmare.  As a result I vowed that it would never happen to me again so I started taking courses in real estate and eventually obtained my real estate salesman’s license and then my real estate broker’s license.  It was a field that I discovered that I loved.  More importantly I also discovered that I enjoyed teaching so I became a real estate broker who also taught real estate courses for my agents.  My satisfaction was watching agents receive awards in sales and that internally I felt I might have had something to do with their success in the business.  As of this writing I am putting the finishing touches on a book I have written, Real Estate Lagniappe www.RealEstateLagniappe.com

My advice to anyone, young or old, would be to find something you love and then find a way to earn a living doing it.  In short, do what you love; love what you do!  If you think you would love to be a teacher, then become a teacher and that typically would require a college education.  If you think you would love to be a plumber, then become a plumber and that would typically require a more hands-on training in a trade school and/or working as an apprentice with an experience plumber but not a college education.

I find it disturbing to watch high school students be accepted to college and then major in a subject where employment opportunities are extremely limited if not outright impossible to enter.  Then what happens?  You have a college graduate who becomes either unemployed or finds work outside their field of expertise.  Just look around, you will see it for yourself.  I grew up in an atmosphere where suggesting someone NOT attend college was blasphemous; it just wasn’t done.

If I were in charge of education (good thing I am not) I would strongly suggest that there ought to be courses regarding left-brain vs. right-brain thinking.  Students would be placed in educational/career track courses that would enable the student to take advantage of a specific left-brain or right-brain ability.  And then create educational opportunities for each without stigmatizing either track.  By that I can specifically recall how students in the 60’s who elected to take courses such as “shop” type courses were thought less of because of their choices. 

Unfortunately parents think of the end result rather than the beginning.  By that I mean they think in terms of income earned.  If you want to be rich and happy you need to be a doctor; who has not heard that before.  Contrary to that thinking, I know of a great many real estate agents who out earn many in the medical profession.  To become a real estate agent (sales) you do not need a college education.  A degree would not hurt but it is not required.  I know many automobile mechanics who go on to own their own shops and do very well.  Bakers who go on to own their own bakery.  Plumbers, their own business.  The list is endless.  A college education is not required in many professions.  The key is to find that career path that you love and then find a way to make doing what you love into a career.  Then become the best at what you do whatever that field is.

It is really sad to see more and more students incur student loan liabilities or parents pay for a college education only to discover there are no jobs in the careers they supposedly feel they need to enter versus a desire to enter if given a free choice to do so.  Let’s face it, not everyone has the mental acumen or desire to learn the details required in the medical and other very technical professions so why even attempt it.

The BIG life lesson that I have learned over the years is that most people, certainly not you, fail to figure out the value of having what Gary Keller describes in his book, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent as a BIG WHY, http://www.amazon.com/Millionaire-Real-Estate-Agent-Money-Its/dp/0071444041   A Big Why is what you are working towards achieving.  What is it that you want to spend the rest of your life working towards achieving?  Having a lot of money in a portfolio is NOT a Big Why.  What the money will do for you IS the Big Why.  Money in itself will not necessarily make you happy.  What you do with the money may.

I still do not see educators emphasizing the importance of creating really big life goals and then demonstrating to students how to attain those goals.  As a result I see students moving into their adult years with no specific direction.  Even worse, I see students moving into their adult years pursuing goals established by someone other than the student.  How’s that working for everyone?

My advice?  

  • Determine if you are predominantly a right-brain or a left-brain person?
  • Determine what you love to do that matches your inner desires.  If that requires a college education; go for it.  If not, go for that as well!
  • Find a path (education) required to pursue what you love to do (and then do what you love)!
  • Set a BAG - Big Ass Goal (sorry if that offends anyone) but really big goals are more rewarding than little ones.  If you have a choice, and you do, set a really big one.  If you don’t achieve the big one, think of all the little ones you will have achieved along the way!
  • And then - Leave a legacy that you will be proud of!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

And Then It Was Winter!

(Not written by me; author unknown) 

(GYMBEAUX NOTE:  Unfortunately I have no idea who wrote this.  It came to me as an email that people forwarded to each other and there was no author's name on it, pity!)



You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.  It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went.  I know that I lived them all.  I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.

But, here it is, the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise...How did it get here so fast?  Where did the years go and where did my youth go?   I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But, here it is...my friends are retired and getting grey...they move slower and I see an older person now.  Some are in better and some worse shape than I am...but, I see the great change...Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant...but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

And so...now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!!  But, at least I know that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...this I know, that when it's over on this earth...it's not over.  A new adventure will begin!    Yes, I have regrets.  There are things I wish I hadn't done...things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done.  It's all in a lifetime.

So, if you're not in your winter yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. Whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, please do it quickly!   Don't put things off too long!!   Life goes by quickly.   Do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!   You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life...so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!

"Life" is a gift to you.  The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.  Make it a fantastic one.    LIVE IT WELL!    ENJOY TODAY!    DO SOMETHING FUN!    BE HAPPY ! HAVE A GREAT DAY!    Remember "It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver."    LIVE HAPPY IN 2013!    LASTLY, CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:    TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU'VE EVER BEEN,    YET THE YOUNGEST YOU'LL EVER BE.    SO - ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS.

Your kids are becoming you......but your grandchildren are perfect!    Going out is good.. Coming home is better!    You forget names.... But it's OK because other people forgot they even knew you!!!    You realize you're never going to be really good at anything.... Especially golf.    The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don't care to do them anymore.    You sleep better on a lounge chair with theTV blaring than in bed.  It's called "pre-sleep".

You miss the days when everything worked with just an "ON" and "OFF" switch.   You tend to use more 4 letter words ... "what?"..."when?"... ???    Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it's not safe to wear it anywhere.    You notice everything they sell in stores is "sleeveless"?!!!    What used to be freckles are now liver spots.    Everybody whispers.    You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet.... 2 of which you will never wear again.    But Old is good in some things:  Old Songs, Old movies, and best of all, OLD FRIENDS!!

Stay well, "OLD FRIEND!"