My Friend, Alaska

Posted in Uncategorized on August 9, 2016 by Bill Soroka

I don't have to go far, but I do have to go

 

Here we go again. Another break up and another trip to reconnect and find myself. I don’t say that with judgment of myself. I’ve allowed some well-needed space for the lessons of my journey. Where I “go” when things go wrong is quite telling. And this time, I’m listening.

The day I got clear that breaking up is what I had to do is the same day I bought my plane ticket to Alaska. The opportunity to visit Fairbanks had been there for months, and for a number of reasons (read excuses), I’ve delayed taking the trip. If I really tell the truth to myself, fear in my relationship is much of the reason I put off the trip. Fear of what he would do when I was gone. Fear of making him uncomfortable by taking a trip without him. Fear of obsessing the entire time I was gone. I have a habit of doing that. Of suspending my hopes and dreams in the interest of other people. Or so I tell myself. These “others” rarely ask me to put my needs aside for theirs. It’s just something I naturally do to an unhealthy level and I don’t care for it anymore. I think that’s why, when life goes awry, I fly. The vagabond road is my calling, and whether it’s a relationship or a business I use to suppress that gypsy spirit, it will inevitably rear it’s beautiful, sun-kissed head and send me on my way. There is no escape from a calling. It always finds you.

So, Alaska and I have become good friends. She’s got a lot to offer, and among them is an energy that acts much like the best kind of drug imaginable. A drug that connects you to your spirit and offers the clarity of mind that most of us crave in our lives. A clarity that often gets jumbled and lost in daily commutes, grocery lists, and drama.

I set a few intentions on the flight up here. Five things I wanted to get clear on, or let go of. And that worked. Without even consciously thinking about my intentions, the inspiration and clarity came. Everything I wanted and more. For that, I will be forever grateful for the trip and hospitality offered by friends in Fairbanks, as well as my new friend, Alaska, herself. Chief among those intentions is the commitment to seeing this beautiful world around us and making every day life an adventure. I don’t have to go far, but I do have to go. As far as the rest of the intentions, my hope is that through the actions of my life, you might catch a glimpse as to what those were someday.

Here are some of the highlights of the trip:

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Danali National Park

There is absolutely no way to put into words how beautiful this place is. We were blessed with a view of Danali Mountain as well. Saw a Moose. Did some hiking. Breathtaking.

 

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First-Ever Small Plane Ride

This has been something I’ve always wanted to experience. Ethan took me up in his own plane and gave me an aerial tour of Fairbanks that included a fly-over of Fort Knox, the largest gold mine in the U.S.

Fly-In remote Lake Adventure

No electricity. No Wifi. No running Water. And no cell phones. This was the highlight fo the trip. Nothing but a shanty for shelter, good friends, and the Alaskan wilderness for two days. This is where I did my best thinking. And, this was my second-ever small plane ride, taking off and landing on the water.

The Cost of Ambition

Posted in The Vulnerable Mention on October 2, 2015 by Bill Soroka

1. Late Nights, Early Mornings2. Lots of Associates, Very Few Friends3. You Will Be Misunderstood4. You Will Be Single, Unless You're Lucky Enough to Find Someone That Understands You5. People Will Want You to Do Well, But

This quote came across my Facebook News Feed this afternoon and really struck a chord with me. Even though I am an optimist, with a generally positive attitude, and I am a guy that tends to plow through life on my way to my dreams with very little talk about “feelings,” and woes, I think about these five points quite often. Why do I think about them a lot? Because they, and the circumstances that spotlight them, show up a lot.

Ambition: a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.

There is something about the word, “ambition,” that turns me off from the start. I think it’s likely from witnessing some stereotypically negative aspects of what can happen when someone is “too ambitious.”  But, if you look at this definition of the word, “a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work,” we’re all ambitious to one degree or another. If you’ve got a dream, any dream at all, you’re ambitious. For me, the deciding factor on just how much action you take toward that dream, is desire. How bad do you want it? What are you willing to do to get it? How much work will you do? This is when the herd starts to thin. Consistent, daily action towards your dream is the critical element that is missing from most people’s lives. Denis Waitley said that 98% of the human population will never achieve their dreams and goals. Why is that? For most, it appears, the cost of ambition is just too high. 

Late Nights, Early Mornings

I’ve got a clear picture of where I am going and how I am going to get there. And, just so I never forget, I recite my vision and mission statement at least twice a day. That’s my ‘why’. That’s why I get out of bed at 3:45 in the morning. That’s why I work late too. It’s not always about day-to-day management. My day is centered around activities and routines that are designed to help me BE who I need to BE, in order to BE who I want to BE. When your days look like this, there is sacrifice. You’re going to miss lunch dates, dinner functions, birthday parties, graduations, recitals, cuddle time, dates, and more.

Lots of Associates, Very Few Friends

I have a vast network of absolutely amazing associates, in almost every field imaginable. Then, I picture a round, maze like circle in my mind that starts to hold and manage all my relationships. On the outer circle are associates, vendors, clients, customers, people I meet at parties, etc. Then, as I get closer with people, they start shifting and progressing toward my core, or the inner circle of friendship. When it comes to close friendship though, it’s a very tight circle, made up of very few people. Not only is this part of my personality type, as an introverted, closeted, nerd, but this is kind of how it has to go as a multi-potentialite serial entrepreneur on a mission. Plus, look at the previous topic about the late nights and early mornings. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for socializing. And, when you do socialize, very few people “get” you. I can talk business all day and all night. I LOVE talking shop and dreaming up new ideas. Very few people in a social environment want to do that. And, what’s the fastest way to shut me down? Start talking sports or Kardashians. I want to talk innovation, technology, and lifestyle design.

You Will Be Misunderstood

I used to think it was imperative that people understand where I am coming from and why I do things the way I do. Now, I don’t even worry about it. As ambitious entrepreneurs, we are, and will continue to be, misunderstood, judged, and laughed at. And, along with some of the negative attention, we get the positive attention too. We are admired, envied, and loved by many, as well. The fact is, most people are too afraid to make a move to their dreams, so when you are putting yourself out there, taking a risk and advancing, you’re either going to inspire people or intimidate them. Their fear will either have them attacking you, or their desire to pursue their own dreams will be elevating you (and themselves). I think we live in an exciting time right now, where there is a shift occurring with the masses. More and more people are branching out of the norm and risking it all for their dream life. Lead the charge and be the change!

You Will Be Single, Unless…

First, let me say that I got pretty lucky in this department, and I found a partner that supports the entrepreneurial lifestyle, and all of my crazy, hair-brained ideas. But, that’s not easy to find, and if you do find it, it’s still not easy. The “Hustle” is a roller coaster, both emotionally and financially, and it takes a toll on people and relationships. As entrepreneurs, or as leaders in general, you must have a vision. This vision guides your decisions every day, and sometimes, you’re the only one that can see where you’re going and why. This makes for some pretty interesting friction in a romantic relationship.  When you have so much passion for your vision,  it’s fairly easy to become a bit dictatorial as you bulldoze your way down the road, blazing new paths to success. Shopping for matching towels at Bed, Bad, & Beyond, or having dinner with the in-laws, just don’t seem as important to you as making dreams come true. You’d think your spouse would be just as excited as you are that you’re working so hard to make a grand life happen, even for them. It doesn’t always work that way, and it’s important to remember that it’s YOU they’re in love with and want to spend time with. Not your business. An intimate relationship is a delicate balance with your dreams. When in sync (whatever that is for you), it’s a powerful force and inspiration for good things.  When it’s not, it’s as equally a powerful distraction.

People Will Want You to Do Well, But Never Better Than Them

If I hadn’t actually experienced this multiple times in my life, I would have completely disagreed with it. I tend to think people are more good, than bad. And, while I’ve had some pretty horrific experiences with business partners and collaborators, MOST people have been extremely supportive in my endeavors. Here’s what you run into a lot. You’ll be excited about a new venture, and you’ll be hustling every day towards its success. While the struggle is real, you’ll get lots of support and a cheer squad. People like to help and encourage…until you “make it.” Then, things shift.  In the eyes of many, you’ll be re-categorized as a threat or a challenge-either to their ego, their way of life, or their mind paradigm. Success can bring out the best in people, and the worst, both for those doing it, and those witnessing it.  At their worst, these people are the “haters” that actively work against you, either to your face or behind the scenes, sabotaging all you’re working towards. More common than that though, are the passive “haters.” These are people who are envious, and jealous to the point of anger, and they just start distancing themselves from you. Invites stop coming. Phone calls and text messages don’t get returned. They don’t show up to your events, and they certainly don’t participate or support your endeavor.

This is part of human nature, There’s no judgement on it, AND there’s also no excuse for it. It’s hard to work on ourselves, to evolve past jealousy and anger, and sit in a constant state of abundance. A state where there is plenty of success for everybody. It’s hard work, and it’s part of the cost of ambition. You’ll learn about yourself and see things you absolutely despise. And then, you change it. The opportunity to change our minds, and our attitudes about how we show up in this world, and how we support one another, is available to every single one of us. The cost of ambitiously pursuing our dreams is enormous. The cost of NOT taking on that pursuit is exponentially more, and the unfortunate reality is, most people won’t realize the regret of this decision until it’s too late.

Do You Want to Be the Anchor or the Sail?

Posted in Deep Thoughts on September 28, 2015 by Bill Soroka

Are You the Anchor or the Sail-

 

Negative Nancy vs. Solution Oriented

In every organization it seems like there is a great divide between the “Negative Nancies” and the solution oriented visionaries. There is always someone on the team compelled to be the one that points out all the short falls, mistakes, and lack around a product or idea. And, on the flip side, you have people sold on the vision and the dream that can kind of flit from obstacle to obstacle, knowing they are stepping-stones to a greater success.

It’s not that the visionaries don’t see the same challenges, short falls, and mistakes. They just choose not to get stuck on those matters. They keep their eye on the prize and trust in the vision, as well as the team they’ve put in place to get there. It’s not easy to shift focus to solutions, but it is simple and it’s all done in your head. Simply ask yourself, “Am I the Anchor or the Sail?” There’s no judgement here, as both the anchor and the sail serve critical functions on a ship. Once you know what role you’re playing, than you can ask, “Do my actions serve the mission?” If the Captain and the crew have ordered full engines ahead and you drop dual anchors because you see a wave in the ocean, than the mission isn’t being served. It’s likely the ego (usually fear-based) being served. It can be a very fine line between the two and it requires nothing more than observation on your part, at first. Once you observe where your motives are based, it can be easier to “get off it” and be the sail your organization needs, or you may be able to more clearly articulate your concerns and how they relate to the entire organization, rather than just to your particular needs or concerns. Looking at the big picture in these situations, not only helps you navigate the obstacles, but also gives you keen insight into what your partners, co-workers, and leadership might be going through as well.

To Post or Not to Post: Balancing Personal Opinion and Public Interpretation in Social Media as Business Owner or Executive

Posted in Showing Up, Uncategorized on September 22, 2015 by Bill Soroka

to post or not to post-

Part of what makes entrepreneurs unique and effective is their bold action, strong opinions, and obsessive passion for their interests. This gumption doesn’t stop with business dealings. It carries over to most areas of their lives; politics, religion and spirituality, sports, science, whatever captures a true entrepreneur’s interest.

By definition, an entrepreneur, in the purest sense,  are those who identify a need—any need—and fill it. It’s a primordial urge, independent of product, service, industry or market (dictionary.com). They fill a need. They help people. When you combine an entrepreneur’s obsessive tendencies with helping others fill a need, there can be a fine line between actually doing some good for those who are open to receiving help, and self-righteous preaching to an audience that could care less, or are just not ready to hear what you have to offer.  All the good intentions in the world, won’t make a difference ii your audience isn’t receptive to your message, style, and form of delivery. We’ve had many great minds, and amazing ideas, that are snuffed out or buried because the timing wasn’t right, or the medium was just plain wrong. Those that carry on with their message, without acknowledging their audience’s obvious lack of participation or enthusiasm are often labeled as heretics or extremists, or just plain crazy.  I know I’ve been made fun of, jabbed at, and even ignored, for some of my beliefs in the power of the “Universe”, Law of Attraction, Motivational Quotes, Affirmations, and the fact that I love to binge-watch Ancient Aliens. People judge and label all the time. We’re human. That’s what we do.

History is packed with violence and oppression in the name of good deeds. Just because you feel something is right, and that a specific course of action is best for you, does not mean the rest of your company, your clients, your world- will feel the same. So, when it comes to your personal social media posts, the golden rule is, “Stay Neutral & Positive.” That doesn’t mean you can’t have your opinions. You just have to ask yourself, “will this serve my mission and represents my highest self,” before you make a post about it.  We’re each responsible for the emotional wake and ripple effect of what we say or do. Freedom of speech is not freedom from responsibility. If it’s totally critical to your conscience to voice your opinion on any particular topic, by all means do so. You have to be prepared to accept the ramifications, both negative AND positive, for such action.

We may not like the idea of filtering our thoughts and opinions on the ways of the world. Is it fair? No. But our potential customers, clients, vendors, and collaborators all make decisions based on information they receive. Like it or not, whatever you put out there is impacting buying decisions every single day. When you post, does it serve you?

 

 

My Ultimate Fear

Posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2015 by Bill Soroka

Don't Die with the Music still inside you

In one quote, Dr. Wayne Dyer sums up my ultimate fear- That I may die with the music, or the the potential, still inside me. Not that I fear death so much, as I look forward to that transition, but I still have much I want to accomplish in this world and this life. Sometimes, I feel the end coming too soon, even of that’s 40 years down the road.

That MIGHT be some of the subconscious drive I have to do so much, with so many projects and irons in the fire at once. I want to do it all. And, it terrifies me to think that I may die before I get to experience the world as I wish, or make the contribution and legacy I wish to leave behind.

I suppose that’s why it’s so important to make the most of every day. Legacy is made of many days, strung together, working towards something greater than ourselves. In comparison, Mediocrity, and it’s result, a life lost with the music and potential still unrealized, is also made of many days, strung together. Those daily choices we make really are the difference.

Your World in 20 Years- What Should You be Investing in Now?

Posted in Investing on August 30, 2015 by Bill Soroka

Your World in 20 years (1)

Every morning, I wake up and passionately read my vision/mission statement. It helps prepare my mind for the day ahead, and helps remind me of how I want to show up in the world-who I have to be to accomplish the goals I have. As part of that, I have a list of industries and products that I think will have a great impact on our world of the future. These are areas that I continue to research and get to know so I can invest and position myself to take advantage of a boom. And then, some of them are just cool to me and I want to be a part of them.

I’ve implemented this list into my morning routine just in the last 90 days. I call it my “wheelist” because it gets my wheels turning. It has also demonstrated a real life example of the Law of Attraction in action. Since I remind my brain EVERY morning that I am interested in these topics, these topics continue to pop-up throughout the day in FB articles, e-mail links, news blurbs, and even in casual conversation. This keeps things fresh and easy to research, for sure.

Now, this is not a complete list, and it’s based solely on my interests and opinions, but feel free to use it as you’d like. Or, if you have some ideas of your own, feel free to share them here, or just keep your own list. The important take-away today is- In order to obtain true wealth, you’ve got to learn about investing. And, in order to learn investing, you’ll need some vision. Be as creative and “out there” as you want for your initial list, and then start research. As you learn more, you may see where industries and companies are going and you’ll make some decisions about what’s right for you and what’s not.

Here’s what interests me right now:am_foto_01

Flying Cars

These could happen sooner than you think, but with a long road ahead. Still, worth looking at, plus, I really want one! Click here for a Forbes article on the subject.

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Adventure/Bucketlist Travel Experiences

This is obviously a passion of mine in the first place, but I also think we will be seeing a lot more world exploration in the coming years. Virtual employees and entrepreneurship are on the rise and that is what frees up time and makes money. I also see HUGE potential in creating an adventure brand that unifies a lot of our domestic U.S. experiences, on th elocal level, that encourage people to turn off their TV, get off their couch, and experience the city or state they live in.

3-d-printer

3-D Printing & The Support/Supply Network They Will Require

This will be HUGE! Don’t resist 3-D printing, as this will change the way we do nearly everything! Now, is the time for visionaries in this emerging field. If I had just one area to direct your attention, this would be it-because you can tap into nearly everything else you may be passionate about through this “lens” and make a fortune. There is currently a technological race for the best, and most affordable home/desktop version of these devices. You could very easily be looking at the next Microsoft type market share and growth.

 

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Expanding on the Inventions & Theories of Nikola Tesla

Tesla had a lot of things figured out way before his time and I’ve always been drawn to his work. I am especially attracted to the idea of transmitting electricity wirelessly and for free of charge to the masses.

 

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Yep, there’s an App for that

SingleStall is a unique app that I can’t talk about right now because it’s in development. The key here, to keep in mind, is that this was an app I wish already existed for me. After research, i see there are others like me, so I may have a good niche product. Maybe not. But, I am going to throw a little money at it and see what happens.

cosmos1

Re-Inventing the Water Bed

Okay, not really. At least not the way you might remember them. As a people, we are grossly dehydrated. When the body and mind are dehydrated, this hinders your body’s natural defense and ability to function properly. My idea is to either create built-in water filtration systems into bed frames/nightstands, OR create decorative/hidden water dispensers for bedrooms and other areas of the home.

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GLBTQ Retirement Homes

As equality becomes mainstream, I see many GLBTQ niche businesses suffering a bit, like bars and restaurants if they don’t adapt properly. But, I still think there are certain niches that will thrive, and a Gay Shady Pines is one of them. I think this could be a huge network of affiliated retirement communities catering specifically to the GLBTQ community and their needs. (PS-Already bought http://www.GayShadyPines.com)

gold-coins

Real Life Treasure Hunts on a Grand Scale

I’ve always loved the idea of having true treasure hunts where the prize was a real fortune, with no BS. On a philanthropic level, I think it would be fun to offer these for free in various communities throughout the world. Maybe we can even tie a learning experience into it, or offer it as a scholarship or seed money type thing. On a business level though, I think we could charge a fee for the map and clue kit, and hide some treasure for the explorer in all of us.

1018359779The Shower Pen

I don’t know about you, but I get a LOT of my ideas in the shower and it’s frustrating how many I have forgotten over the years because I had no place to write them down the moment I had them. The Shower Pen, in my design, looks a lot like the pen above, but it doesn’t require any ink. You just write on the surface of the shower wall and the marker recongnizes the hand movements and transmits the messages wirelessly to your computer.

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Citizens Preparedness Academy

As part of my commitment to self-reliance, I see a need to for First Responder training, self-defense, fire arm training, survival, and more for the every day citizen. I would like to see this a global franchise to better prepare people for disaster preparedness on all levels.

 

That’s a few of the items I’ve got rolling around in my head. I think from abundance (plenty for everyone), so if you see something that interests or empowers you, please run with that. If you are interested in collaboration, that’s great too. Just e-mail me at BillSoroka@gmail.com

 

How to Give When You Think You Have Nothing Left To Give

Posted in Philanthropy on August 27, 2015 by Bill Soroka

We rise by lifting others

When times are tight, it’s hard to imagine where you’ll come up with rent, much less the cash to donate to the great causes you’re passionate about. But the causes still need, and the universe still requires it’s “tithe”, even when you THINK there is nothing left to give.

Giving can come in more forms than cash though. And, while I still think it’s best to give back a percentage of income you earn, like a standard 10%-20% or more, depending on how you feel about it, with today’s technology, you can find other ways to give when the purse strings are sealed tight.

Other Ways (than money) to Give Back

Volunteer Your Time– This is the obvious one. Volunteering for something your passionate about makes the whole world feel good. Think outside the box here too. You don’t always have to volunteer for organizations. Maybe you pick up teash in your favorite park. Or hand out bottled water to the homeless. No one has to see you do it. This is for you.

Share on Social Media– Even when you’re strapped for cash, with the easy share capability of most social media sites, you can share funding requests, petitions, and other requests on your pages. Be sure to write something about why the cause is important to you as you share it.

Offer Your Services or Products- Are you in marketing? Graphic Design? Coaching? Consider donating your services to an organzation you’re passionate about. If you sell products, consider donating products or offering a percentage of sales revenue to the organization. If you communicate with the leadership, they may become your biggest advocate and help generate even more sales for you. A true win/win!

Be a Connector- Even when you’re tapped out and absolutely not in a position to offer any of the above, you can be a connector between the organization or cause and other people that ARE in a position to help. Make introductions or talk about the causes you’re passionate about to help generate interest.

There are lots of ways to give and the key is to find a way to do so, no matter what. The impact on the organization and community may be obvious, but the impact to you is much greater. It feels good to give and it changes your energy, your attitude, your thoughts, and your life. It also opens you up to receiving a whole lot of good from the world around you. Good things come to those who give!