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Last Update: Monday April 6, 2020

Key Idea: Establish An Upward Spiral of Achievement

Bud Crystal could retire but he doesn't want to.  He enjoys stretching to make every job he completes better than the last.

Key Question:


Set growth goals that will make you stretch.

Q:  Why is this so obvious but still hard to do?

A:  We become content. We get in a rut that is very comfortable even though we don't fully enjoy all the parts of our lives. It seems easier to put up with the parts that aren't perfect than it would be to change. This is not the attitude held by Bruce, Bud and Ron. These men see life as a continuous series of problems to solve and they would be disappointed if they didn't have the challenge before them.

Ron said he looks carefully at his financials and sets goals every year to increase his net worth. He also said that his friends tell him he is not happy unless he has his sleeves rolled up and his mind wrapped around a project. Rest assured, you don't have to make millions running your business from home. But if you want to, follow Ron's advice.

Think about it

What do you think? Where are your weak spots? What needs to be strengthened?

Clip from: Home Alone - 17+ Million Sole Proprietors (USA)

In search of an endless summer

Bend, Dallas, San Diego and Santa Fe: In this episode of the show, we take a look at nine people who work and live within the same physical space. It has its own special challenges. 

We seem to be making the circle, back to a pre-industrial lifestyle, but with knowledge tools -- the integration of broadcasting, information (technology), communications, education and publishing -- that challenge us to look deep within ourselves to craft and sculpt our unique gifts to give back to the world.

There are about 17 million sole proprietors in just the USA; they are all unique and most have returned home to work.

Graef Crystal Report

Bud Crystal, Writer

(702) 873-9055

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Office: (702) 873-9055

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Establish An Upward Spiral of Achievement

HATTIE: How do you keep on top of things, how do you know where you are now to set your next level of goals?

RON: Well every year I make up a new financial statement, and in that we go through and put the current values on the properties that we own. Get reappraisals or whatever is necessary to come up with those. And it turns into a kind of a game on how much you can add to the bottom line every year. But, you really have to stay on top of what you've got. Like in Kansas City right now, the leasing market is running about 20% vacant on the commercial side. My product is running like 4% vacant, because I constantly remind my broker what I have vacant. And consequently he stays on top of my stuff.

HATTIE: If you had a 20 year old in that same architecture class that you took, come to you today and say, "Ron, I want to be like you." What would you tell them?

RON: Hard work. Listen to your clients, put in your time, and you should make it.

HATTIE: (To Bud Crystal) You're sitting in a beautiful home on the harbor of San Diego, just about as far away from where a lot of people think big decisions are made in New York City.

BUD: Yeah, I should be in New York, which I was for 24 years. I think the thing that saves me now that I think about it, is the media, because I do talk to them-- I don't see them, but I'm on the phone probably 2 or 3 hours every day talking to various people all around the world.

HATTIE: (To Bruce Camber) So in addition to making television, you're publishing a large amount of support to help the viewer learn more.

BRUCE: Constantly.

HATTIE: So you're really manufacturer and a publisher.

BRUCE: We are. We're manufacturing and publishing.

HATTIE: Now I want to ask the question. How do you do that from a home office?

BRUCE: We have the most incredible infrastructure of computers. We have installed computers and we're installing more computers every day. They're called edge servers. We have our primary computer in Alabama. When we turn on our computers we're directly connected to our main computer and all of our edge servers.

HATTIE: What kind of work goes on on the flat screens behind you right now?

BRUCE: WE actually edit the rough cut of a show. We take the raw footage in and you will sit down with our editor who especially comes flying in from Dallas, who's a very special person. And you'll sit at these computers and actually pull the story together, it's called offline editing. And the three of us will concur on the storyline and the major parts of it. And then John will take it back with him to Dallas and really fine tune it. Make everything beautifully equalized, sound and visual.

HATTIE: Tell me when you got the 'ah-ha,' or the insight or it hit you, I should office at home or I could office at home. When did that happen?

BRUCE: This is a little strange because I think I had a epiphany in 1979 when we were doing a special project at MIT and we began seeing the power, not of the Internet then, but of network computing. Well obviously in 1994 when the internet began to break open, and we started the television show, I began to realize, "My goodness, we can live anywhere, we can be anywhere and we can do anything we want at anytime we want." The Internet was a great awakening for me. It was a wonderful 'ah-ha' because now it was, "Wow, it's no longer just Massachusetts, but you know, I can live anywhere."

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