So, why be James Bond, anyway?

lifestyleThis blog serves as a place for me to share my learning with you. It focuses on how to be a better person, how to enjoy yourself, and how to get the adventure you want in your life. The truth is, all of this starts with you. You are the one who has the power to change everything about you. Although many people focus on James Bond as being the kind of person who owns expensive suits and takes luxurious vacations, he is a murderer, and a person rather plagued by his thoughts. Our goal is to life like Bond, rather than become Bond. I hope you find my content interesting and choose to follow the blog as it will be updated regularly with information that is helpful and useful for self-improvement, and spans wisdom more than the movies or books could attain.

Why Evernote is your pal.

James Bond always has a plan before he leaves town, and he’s always got the intel he needs to survive. Unfortunately, MI6 hasn’t accepted your application yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the services of two administrators and a floor full of interns whenever you need it! Here is why you should use evernote.

  1. Have photographic memory. Wouldn’t it be great if every time you got an important document, you could just scan it and keep it somewhere? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could remember which receipt will tell you when you purchased that laser gun when you need to check its warranty? Well, Evernote has fantastic OCR capabilities in its arsenal; this means that anything that even resembles text is searchable. Now you can shred that license to kill, knowing you’ll have a copy on hand.
  2. Always have what you need on hand. Did you just meet with a super villain and did he just detail his plans to you? Wouldn’t it be great if when you walked to MI6 you could automatically send the recording to them even though the guards stole your phone? The advantage of your phone having the power of the cloud means that your voice recordings, photographs, images, notes and anything you create in evernote is synced between your phone, computer and tablet as well as being accessible by any computer with a browser.
  3. Encrypt your intel. That’s right; Evernote’s got that fancy encryption to keep your secrets safe.
  4. Save your contacts. Did you just meet that beautiful lady at a cocktail party, and lose her business card? No more! You just take a snap with your phone, it imports into your contacts and can connect you on LinkedIn and send her your contact information. Smooth, I know.
  5. Present your ideas in the elevator. Did M not really believe your report that there’s danger abroad? Use presentation mode to turn your messy notes into a followable presentation for a quick elevator pitch on your phone, tablet or computer.

I know that you’re just an independent consultant working on your own, but really, James, don’t forget, this is an opportunity too good to refuse.

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James Bond’s Every Day Carry

Every Day Carry

This is my take on Paul Kyriazi’s recommendations in his book How to Live the James Bond Lifestyle, in which he gives a basic description of what your Every Day Carry should be when living the James Bond lifestyle. Here are his suggestions, in order, plus one more:

1. A new money clip

Mine is a magnetic money clip, and there are a few advantages to this. Paul is right, having your money be accessible is prevents you from fumbling through your wallet and reduces the lag it would require for you to pay for something. It also frees your money, so that it is easier to see how much you have, as well as making it easier to purchase things quickly. Many people believe that cash is no longer an important part of their lifestyle, but it is still an incredible tool. There’s no transaction fee associated with this fiat currency: all you have to do is hand someone the cash and they have a liquid asset. Many people don’t think about the legal ramifications of purchasing with a card. When you hand someone your credit card, you are essentially creating an account receivable, in which the vendor will receive your payment at a later date, giving you your purchase on good faith. Cash is still king, and it still talks!

Here are some tips I have about money clips:

  • Buy once, be happy.
    Don’t purchase a money clip you won’t be happy with. You might think that this thing is small, but it is one of the things that you will carry forever.
  • Keep large bills out of sight.
    This tool gives you the transparency to see your cash assets, but that can be a dangerous tool for your enemies, such as your father-in-law, or the pickpocket eyeing his next victim. It’s nice to know you have a lot of money, but there’s also a cool-factor to keeping some money hidden. On the same token, you might not want to leave only singles on the outside unless you really are out of money.
  • Remember that what you are putting out will come back.
    You’re smart and you work hard, right? Why are so many people worried about spending the small fees that make the large differences in life, yet quick to use money they don’t have to purchase the big purchases that can drown them in debt? Your money will come back, if you work for it and find the right places to find it. This isn’t the American dream we’re talking about – you are going to find the economic opportunities you need to replenish your money. Small amounts of money can fix little repairs on your vehicle, provide personal service, tip excellent service and ensure access to places you wouldn’t have otherwise gone. Keep that money ready to spend wisely, and don’t become anxious – this is life energy, but you will be certain that the Net Present Value of your small purchases will be positive.
  • If you buy a magnetic one, be careful.
    Magnets are cool, and no doubt this money clip is fairly cool, but a lot of electronics built in the last 4 years use magnetic interfaces. Make sure that you keep your money clip in a separate pocket from your credit cards, and make sure that you keep it away from your iPad or hard drives.
  • Keep that thing out of your pants pocket!
    Keep it buried in an inside jacket pocket or somewhere where you can easily access it, and keep it away from your wallet. Paul suggests that you should keep a C-Note in your wallet. This makes you feel your personal wealth and security (which you will only need if you are insecure), but it is more importantly an insurance policy. If someone comes up and mugs you, give them your money clip and leave, knowing that your wallet is safe and sound, with your ID cards safe, and a C-Note left to spend. Or, alternatively, give them your wallet and electronics, and keep the money clip a secret. Either way, you need an escape plan. This is a nice insurance policy, assuming that your attacker is not very thorough.

2. A New Wallet

I really think you should carry whatever you want in your wallet. But, you should carry as little as you can. This one is nice: it has room for my iPhone, six cards and a C-Note. Your phone is important, since it is the coolest thing Q-Branch in Cupertino or Mountain View has to offer: it serves as your main point of communication, your flashlight, your budgeting tool and calculator. It’s important that you never lose and never break this tool, as well as keep it charged. We live in an age where this tool could be the make-or-break part of your business, and if you don’t have it available to use, it won’t serve you.

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Cards are difficult, since one can have a propensity to have too many, but here’s a suggestion of what I would suggest keeping in yours:

  • Your Identification (driver’s license, university ID, etc.); James Bond always has his identification ready to explain who he is.
  • A debit card to your “operating” expense account (more on this in a later blog on personal budgeting).
  • A credit card that assures a nice line of credit for those times when you need it. (Paul suggests having more than one when you travel, so keep that in mind.)
  • A health benefit card / flex benefit health card
  • AAA Road Service Cards are critical. Don’t leave this one in your glove box. If you are stranded while in your partner’s car, AAA will still come to get you. Be sure to go for a higher plan if you ever plan to drive more than 10 miles a day on a regular basis. It just takes one time for you to use this card for you to understand why it is so important.

3. A New Watch

Your watch is not a tool for impressing others because it is ostentatious, but rather it is a tool for impressing others by keeping your word.

That phone from Q-Branch is cool, but sometimes it loses power, and often, it’s buried in your pocket. You need to know the time at all times; being early is being on time, and being on time is being late. If you’re late, well, you might as well never show up. Bond has used a series of mechanical and a series of Quartz watches. The truth is, you really shouldn’t own an expensive watch like Bond does, unless you can allocate it in your budget. Your watch is not a tool for impressing others because it is ostentatious, but rather it is a tool for impressing others by keeping your word.

imageYour watch should be dependable and good looking. I’ve owned both mechanical and Quartz watches, and although I truly love my mechanical watches, You need to own at least one, rather cheap, semi-stylish Quartz watch, like the one here on the left. I don’t really care what you choose for it to look like, but you need dependability. There are many times where there is a tendency not to put on an automatic watch because it has run down on power from not being worn this weekend, or being inaccurate. Don’t let this stop you from wearing a watch. It’s an important productivity tool.

Finally: Your Keys

You carry your keys everywhere with you. They open doors, start cars and keep things safe. They are a tool that is important to you. Keep as few keys as you can on your ring as possible. These are heavy, and they will weigh you down. Keep as few keycards on your ring as possible. It’s okay to be frugal, but you do not need every card at every time. There are smartphone apps for that as well!

These things are all important parts of you because you carry them with you, across mountains and deserts, or just into the office. They need to function every time you need them, as any time they slip up, it costs you time, which might starve you of opportunities. It’s also not an acceptable excuse that these things need to be expensive. The truth is, as you grow older, material possessions in life will lose their appeal as objects to own for the sake of owning. The real value they give are the utility they give you, and the opportunities they bring to you. It’s important to start here, as Paul says, because many people are completely overwhelmed by things they carry around every day, yet likely have forgotten about.