Michael Gilmour's Blog

To find out what I'm thinking and writing about.

My personal comments about life, love and friendships.

Saturday Musings - In a World Gripped By Fear

Saturday Musings - In a World Gripped By Fear

Sadly, when I look at the world today I see that it’s largely been caught up in the hysteria of fear. It’s questions like the following that seem to be plaguing everyones mind as the media pumps out an endless litany of terror.

Who will win the presidential race? Does that person walking down the street carry a gun? What are the implications of Brexit? Will I keep my job? Will my kids love me when they’re older?

Like the USA, Australia is in the middle of a federal election campaign. The two major parties here have finally devolved into, you guessed it, fear campaigns. You can almost feel fear's icy tentacles grip the nation as the attack commercials are shown time and time again on the television. It’s really quite sad.

Being bound by fear of the future and what may happen can be debilitating. One of my favourite science fiction books is Dune by Frank Herbert. In the book there is the following quote:

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

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Rawgi
In these trying times I think our media is the problem reporting all the horrible things going on in the world. Isn't there anywh... Read More
Saturday, 25 June 2016 03:09
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Is Anyone Listening?

Is Anyone Listening?

I don’t know about you but I feel we live in an age where everyone seems to be shouting and very few people are listening. Companies are screaming out their marketing messages and now even some friends have fallen into the trap of effectively yelling via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. What’s happen to the lost art of someone listening and giving you their undivided attention?

Mobile phones are incredibly useful devices but one of the most under-rated features would have to be the off switch. I get so frustrated when I’ve travelled to the other side of the world to meet with someone and they’re constantly glancing at their phone. I may be smiling but inside I’m resisting the temptation to grab their phone and stomp on it.

A few years ago I was having a lunch meeting where it became clear that anyone that called/texted/facebooked the person I was meeting with had priority over me. While they were on their fifth phone call I texted them and it effectively said, “Let me know when you’re available for our lunch meeting.”

If you’re waiting on an important call or message, then just apologise by letting the person in front of you know. Doing this is respectful and plain just good manners.

Sitting above our dinner table at home is a sign which says, “This is a phone free zone”. Both my wife Roselyn and I believe that having dinner without phones isn’t a big ask of our children. When the sign first went up there was some scepticism until one of the kids quickly checked their phone at dinner and just as fast mum whisked their dinner towards the trash can. Luckily for them it didn’t get dumped but they got the message.

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Rawgi
I hear you loud and clear and totally agree. These days people seem more interested in the phone than most anything else. It is th... Read More
Friday, 24 June 2016 01:53
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Saturday Musings - How To Find Happiness

Saturday Musings - How To Find Happiness

Many people feel that life is all about accumulating money, power or girls/guys. They believe that as long as you quest for these three things then they’ll be happy. Sadly, many people who attain the heights of what they believe is the epitome of success discover that happiness is nothing about any of those things at all.

A number of years ago I was at a dinner with a large group of guys at a business function. Each person around the table was trying to outdo the person next to them by telling stories about how great they were. Ultimately, the conversation degenerated into how many girls each of them had conquered and in their eyes this seemed to prove they were “real men”.

I sat quietly eating my dinner until finally someone asked me to tell them my “stories”. I explained to them that I’d been married for nearly three decades, faithful all the time and incredibly happy with my life. I wasn’t judging any of them but just stating a fact from my own life.

There was stunned silence and then almost tentatively a number of them began to ask me how I’d managed to be with the same girl all of my life. Despite the bravado, each of them was yearning for a measure of happiness that they really weren’t finding.

In my experience, if you want to find true lasting happiness in life then you need to be committed to whatever you put your hand to. In the case of my marriage, I’m absolutely committed to Roselyn. What happens when you’re really committed is that all of your own flaws get exposed. You can put a brave mask on with friends and fake it but that façade slips down when you’re relaxed at home.

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Rawgi
I have always thought that one should work hard, be honest and try to help others. In other words , always be the best you can b... Read More
Friday, 24 June 2016 02:16
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When Work Becomes Play

When Work Becomes Play

Many years ago when I first got married I said to Roselyn, “You need to understand something about me…..I’ll only keep on doing what I’m doing if I’m enjoying it.” This doesn’t mean that I’m going to quit working if I have a bad day but it does strike at an important life issue.

We spend a large amount of our time working and I’m amazed by the number of people that hate their job and yet turn up every day. I’m amazed for two reasons. One, they are disciplined enough to keep on doing something they don’t like, two, they are in a position where they have to do it and three, they feel they can’t move onto something else.

Obligations are a scary thing and one of the lessons I’m trying to teach my own children is the financial noose that all those unnecessary things can place around your neck. You don’t really need a fancy car, brand new phone or the very latest computer. Going without is often a really good thing to do as it teaches us patience. Going without often gives us the flexibility to move onto to other things where we really enjoy life and work becomes play.

As many of you have seen, my daughter Sarah, is now working part-time with me. The other day she had a great big smile on her face and she said to me, “Dad, I can’t believe how much I’m enjoying this!”

I replied, “There’s nothing like working hard and having a fun time doing it.” Make sure you drop her a line and say "hi" on the blog here.....just look up Sarah Gilmour.

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Rawgi
I have worked for many years, almost 42 i believe. I have always tried to learn as much as I could so as not to have to depend o... Read More
Monday, 07 March 2016 16:46
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Opporuntities and Oculus Rift

Opporuntities and Oculus Rift

The past couple of weeks have been incredibly busy but in a good sort of way. I sat down with my business partner (David) and we had a page full of great ideas, serious partnership opportunities and a number of realistic possible investments. Faced with this plethora of options is any businesses dream.

As an example, one possible partnership will potentially add 30% to our client’s revenue line at ParkLogic. We’ve already put together a test and it will be interesting to see how it pans out over the next couple of weeks. It’s constantly looking for ideas like the one we’re testing that get me excited about the domain business.

ParkLogic Next is progressing forward and we have a number of clients migrated across to it already. The client interface that we demonstrated at NamesCon was an instant hit but we still have a lot of plans to refine it further. The goal is to place decision making metrics in the hands of clients.

So with all the things that are happening and opportunities available how do you choose the right ones to work on? A lot of it has to assessing both the business impact and potential downside risk. For instance, we were looking over a detailed business plan for a particular venture this past week and spent most of the time assessing the “when to pull the plug” scenario.

It’s great getting caught up in the excitement of a new idea but working out when you’ll cut it lose if everything doesn’t work out is vitally important. I’ve seen many people almost get “pot committed” and feel they have to add more and more cash into something that’s actually failing.

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