Monthly Archives: February 2015

Leonard Nimoy: Live Long And Prosper

Leonard NimoyLeonard Nimoy: Live Long And Prosper

Leonard Nimoy passed away this morning. You may think of him as Mr. Spock from the Star Trek series, but I knew him in a very different way. Long ago, circa 1985, I was living in an apartment building in the Sherman Oaks section of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. Nimoy had purchased the building just a few months earlier so that his parents would come out from the east coast to live in California. They had lived in Boston for many years and he wanted them closer to him and to his children, Adam and Julie. His children were my age and accompanied their father to visit their grandparents regularly. He had completely remodeled two of the apartments to create a much larger unit for his parents, Max and Dora. They were already quite elderly and spoke mostly Yiddish and Russian, so I seldom saw or heard them during the year I lived there.

But my relationship with Leonard went much deeper. One Sunday afternoon he came out to the pool area and asked me if I could explain to him how I used the laundry area. Not understanding what he meant, we walked over to the area where the washers and dryers were and I told him how they worked. He laughed, and told me that he understood that part, but wanted to know the details of how the tenants were using this area, and what could be done to improve it. I knew that his parents did not use the laundry room, so I inquired as to why he was doing this.

He then explained to me in great detail the responsibility he felt came along with owning an apartment building. He wanted each of us to feel welcomed and comfortable, no matter how long we chose to live there. I told him that sounded very logical, like something Spock would say, and we both had a good laugh about that.

During the next several months he and I discussed many things, including his marriage, which was coming to an end. He and Sandra, who passed away in 2011, had been married for more than thirty years, had raised two children, and were now friends and roommates. He longed for more, but that relationship was not to be revived. He asked me what I thought about this and I told him that he deserved to be happy and to find someone new to love. I also told him that it had been my experience that you must wait one full year between relationships if they are to be given any chance at success.

A year or so later they divorced, amicably, and a year later he met Susan. They married a year or so after that and were still together at the time of his death, just hours ago as of this writing (February 27, 2015). This is the first time I have ever shared this story with another living soul, out of respect to him and his family.

I’m not yet sure what lessons are to be learned from Leonard Nimoy’s life, but I am sure I will be giving it lots of thought in the days and weeks to come. For now, I leave you with his last public words, posted on Twitter just a few days ago – ‘A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP’. Live long and prosper, Leonard, and thank you for touching my life.

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Entrepreneurship: Owning Your Future

entrepreneurship-owning-your-futureEntrepreneurship: Owning Your Future

The idea of entrepreneurship, owning your own future in the purest way, is best learned from an early age. It is my firm belief that teaching young people about business and entrepreneurship is crucial to their success in later life, no matter which path they choose to follow in the future. I started babysitting and mowing lawns at age twelve, and also did odd jobs for neighbors and family friends. While in college I did photography for aspiring actors and models and also offered a tutoring service for students needing help with science and mathematics courses. In my own family these days we encourage the children to start a business online and to sell both digital products like eBooks and a variety of physical products on Amazon.

If there is a down side to entrepreneurship and building solid business skills for youngsters, I have not yet observed or experienced it. Instead, it is a wonderful experience to watch and guide the young people in your life towards logical decision making and opportunities to earn income while serving and interacting with others. Lessons learned in youth will stay with them for the remainder of their lives, enriching and validating their other life experiences.

The key to success with this is to sit down as a family and talk about your goals, both short term and for the future. Ask a variety of questions, including why it’s important to start your own business, how the income derived from these ventures will be allocated, and who will be helping with the various tasks and activities required of a business.

Doing this as an online venture will eliminate much of the expense, and also allow for faster returns when it comes to earning income. Most young people have an excellent grasp of technology and will take to this type of business rapidly and enthusiastically.

Once you’ve made the decision to move forward, make a list of what your business will do to serve others and bring in income as well. This is exactly what I am recommending:

  • Choose a niche to work in, making sure that someone involved has both an interest in and experience within that topic
  • Decide which types of products you will create (digital) or source (physical), and where they will be sold in the marketplace
  • Schedule time every week to work on the new business, with each person involved knowing exactly what their role will be
  • Hold family business meetings once a week to discuss the progress and to address any issues or concerns that have come up

Having the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship from a young age is an extremely valuable one. Even if your child chooses to go into a field that is not conducive to owning their own business, they will forever benefit from the structure, discipline, and results obtained through this experience. The skills involved here will also be helpful with writing, mathematics, and social interactions, both now and in the future.

Be sure to bring in other experts as you move forward with this venture. Friends, neighbors, and family members will all have experiences, knowledge, and expertise to share with you and your child. There is always an area of your life or your business where you will benefit from what others are currently doing. Realizing that it takes a village to start and run a small business is a concept that will help all of you to grow in a variety of ways.

I sincerely hope you choose to work with a young person and explore the world of small business ownership and entrepreneurship during 2015. Remember that entrepreneurship, owning your future is not a new idea, but a much needed one in today’s world. It will definitely change the way both you and they view the adult working world and may open the doors for additional opportunities in the future.

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