Sunday, September 11, 2005

Moving Hosts.

Well, after working with Blogger for a while, and with Wordpress for less time, I have come to like WordPress. It gives me a bit more control of what I can do. So, I have decided to create Don's Thoughts II, which this site will be moving to. Over the next few days I will move the content from here to there, and I will no longer be updating this site as of now.

Please change your RSS readers, etc, to the new site!!


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Riddle Me This?

Late at night when the rest of the "night time" world is asleep, I'm typically up and awake. I use this time to code, read, study, or surf the blogs that are out there begging to be read.

There is one "type" of blog that has me totally confused as to why they are even there.

That being those blogs that have a link to another site, and one or two sentences saying something about the link. I just don't understand why they do that? Why don't they just comment on that blog, and use their blog for something else (or not have a blog). I never click on the links, and I never go back to that blog.

Seems like a waste of space and bandwidth.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

In Defense of the Feds vs Katrina

I, too, am saddened by the disaster in New Orleans and other areas effected and affected by the storm that stomped its way through there.

*BUT* jumping on the US Agencies for in-adequate response isn't right either. FEMA, the main agency to respond to these events can not respond, by law, until requested by the Governor of the State(s) involved, and that was slow in coming. These folks "wanted to evaluate the need". Several police agencies, fire, rescue, Army Reserve, National Guard units from around the US attempted to respond and were told by the State Police or Governors that they could not come until other issues were resolved, or that there was no place for them to stay, nor food or water for them. (In ALL cases they were brining their own food, water and sleeping accommodations, disaster response teams KNOW they need to bring this stuff! That's what we get trained in!)

I do have a problem with the LOCAL agencies not being properly prepared and ready for this event. Yes, it is the worse natural event of this type to hit the US (although we have helped other countries with as bad, or almost as bad), but the expectations where there, and they should have had things in hand ready to help out. Nope, no such thing is there.

I also have a problem with the people that did not leave when they knew full well what the impact could have been, which was VERY accurately depicted, two weeks or so in advance. I know that when some of the Reserve Units and National Guard Units were heading out, they offered folks rides out of the area (without possessions, making it harder I know) which were turned down more often than not! Add to that the stealing of everything not locked down, and in many cases even those things locked down, including by the local law enforcement (and on international camera), without qualms of being seen. I have a problem with the rapes that are happening, and the killing. Most of this done by those that stayed behind.

I am in 100% support of rebuilding the area, above sea level, and getting back to life, commerce, etc., I just do not think hammering on the US Agencies is the right thing to do. I do think that, through valid agencies, such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, FEMA, etc, we should support by monetary donation, the recovery of the area. This groups often request money instead of what is called "in kind" donations, so that it can be used in what is needed at the moment. They have agreements with various producers of equipment, supplies, etc., to get it to the affected/effected areas at cost, which uses the same amount of money to buy more product than if you buy and send it yourself.

Sorry for the rant, but let's put blame where it needs to be, if there must be blame. Also, let's put the money where it can do the most good. (Red Cross or Salvation Army for example.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Another book recommendation.

I have the un-natural habit of sleeping from two to three hours a night, so I have a lot of free time to read. (Although I'd probably read often anyway.) I tend to read books on Self Help/Growth, Business Topics, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and some military based ones.

Two days ago had the pleasure of receiving "The Angel Inside", by Chris Widener. (ISBN-0-9726266-1-1)

This book is well written and a quick read at 110 pages (of actual story line). The message, chisel, chip, sand, and polish your inner being and do what you are good at and want to do, instead what others what you to do, is well articulated.

This book will be going on my "must read" list for sure! Check it out and see how it fits your life!! I’m betting it is dead on to where you are currently or have been in the recent past!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Rubber Neckers...

I have over 20 years of Emergency Medicine history. Over the years, I have been known to stop at auto accidents and provide care for those that are hurt, either physically or emotionally.

Something that bothers most emergency crews at an accident, and it definetly rubs me wrong, is rubber neckers. Those folks that slow down, and even stop, regardless if they are on the same side of the accident or not, to look at the event.

This causes problems for one and all, especially the emergency crew!! How does it effect the emergency crew you ask? Well, all the slowing down can slow down further responding units, or even initially responding units. Once the units are on site, the rubber neckers get in the way as a potential distraction and possible mini accidents as people forget to pay attention to what is going on in front of themselves.

So, if you aren't stopping to help (as in right after it happens and before emergency crews show up), keep your eyes on the road, pay attention to what you are doing and get out of the way! Let the emergency crews do their job. Move on and get back to your life, and forget what is going there!

Stay Safe!!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A New Book, "The Virtual Handshake", A MUST Read!

I have had the pleasure of knowing Scott Allen for almost a year now from Ryze. He has recently finished a book, The Virtual Handshake with David Teten.

This book is a must read for anyone that wants to increase their reach in the world, and be heard in the world.  These two guys clearly outline the steps one should take to grow their trusted network and extended network, and they do it in a way that is easy to read and follow.  Add to that, the information is dead on!

You can find more about both of these guys and the book at

TDBell Enterprises, Inc.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

An Aggervation.

I have had three people this past week or two that have told me that they are not with an MLM/Network Marketing company (although they are telling me this on a MLM/Network Marketing discussion board on Ryze), and that they do not sell product, they just refer people... What they are doing is Marketing a business, and selling their parent companies product, plain and simple.

Now Marketing is a process of getting your information out to the public for selling a product/service/person.

Multi Level Marketing/Network Marketing (see Marketing in both names?)is the process of Marketing through friends/family/people you meet and talking about what you like and use (hopefully, I see many MLM/NM people actually NOT using their own products!). This is referal marketing. You present your product to those you meet, you market your product on line, etc.

So, if you work a buisness that has a parent company you receive product from, and that you refer to people, and if those people join up, as an Associate, and you make residual income off of their actions, you are a MLM/NM Marketer. Pretty clearly defined in numerous publications, including by the IRS.

If a person is afraid to say they own and opperate a MLM/NM business, why are they in it? If they are afraid of what people think about the industry, why not educate them on it instead of trying to hide it?

This hiding their affiliation in the industry hurts the industry, which has had a bad rap due to the scams that crop up all the time.

Please folks, be up front with your marketing and processes, don't try to convince someone that you are legit by saying you are not MLM/NM when you are in fact. It hurts the industry, your marketing efforts, and the quality of the Associates you get on your team.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

What is the best way to use LinkedIn?

When I first started using Ryze and LinkedIn my thoughts were to only add or invite people I knew personally to my “Friends” (in Ryze) or “Contacts” (in LinkedIn). That lasted several months then I got caught up on two things:

1. Growing the network faster with people I didn’t know, broadened my list of people I can request information through.
2. Growing the lists with anyone could put me on the list of “well connected” faster.

After a few weeks, and not many thankfully, I realized that my first inclination was probably a better way to go.

So, my goal now is to contact each and every person on both lists I have and begin networking with them and growing that relationship. I am sure that some will not want to do that, and that is cool by me.

I guess for me it is a Quality issue more than a quantity issue.

What are your thoughts on this?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Many Similar Web Stores on the Web, how many are making it work for them?

Over the past couple of years, I have watch a large number of Online stores or malls pop up, most having the same things in them, and often not at all that good of prices. Sometimes the prices are pretty good, until you look at the shipping cost.

What I wonder is, how much money are these stores bringing in for the “owners”? I would think that eBay would do better for the “owner”, assuming they had products in hand they could sell. Yes, the stores are mainly drop shippers, but with so many on the Net, how many are making it?

I can’t see how they are…


Tuesday, August 09, 2005


I read an interesting article on blogging today and how to go about doing it, that article stated two ways, or rather frequency of, to write a blog:

1. Use your blog as a content management system. Write your weekly article, upload it to your blog, then send an email to your list that links to the article on your blog.


2. Write for your blog every day (or every two days at an absolute minimum) to reach the group of people who will visit your blog regularly, but only if you are adding new content regularly. Then, for your weekly newsletter, create a weekly digest of your posts containing a synopsis of each article and a link to the article on your blog.

As you can see here, I tend to the first, but am going to aim to the second option. I think that makes better sense. While I have there three blogs to work my work one my Watkins one and this one, I hope to start finding things to write on each every day that have merit. :)

Truth in advertising.

On thing bothers me a WHOLE lot in this world. That is people or groups or companies that advertise their products/services based on untruth's or blindly, so you don't know who or what you are dealing with. Another part of that is MLM/Network Marketing/Direct Sales companies that state they are NOT MLM/Network Marketing companies, when they know they are. Yes, I know that the industry has a bad rap, and in many cases rightly so. Using these practices makes it even worse though.

These people and companies need to step forward, be honest, say who they are, what their products are, and let US make our mind up if it is something we want/need/will do!

It would also make those of us (me for example) that are happy to be in Network Marketing (for me the company of choice is Watkins) have an easier job of talking with people about the business!


Friday, August 05, 2005

Networking with LinkedIn

Over the past few weeks I have been inviting people to LinkedIn to help them with their job search or business building.

I have watched them accept the invitation and then do nothing with their account afterwords, probably because of the potentially daunting aspect of LinkedIn. So, to help with that task, I decided to post how I feel this site can best be used. (I am sure there are other ways as well, and I would love to hear your comments on how you use LinkedIn here!)

One of the great aspects of LinkedIn is the ability to build a profile on yourself, telling who you worked with company wise, and what you are currently doing, and what you are looking to do, be it job hunt or business hunt. So, the first step is to set up each and every company you have worked for, and what you did for that company. The more detailed you are, the better off you are, as people get to know you better! (I wouldn't go into why you left, etc, just what kind of wokr/etc you did at each job!)

Next, after you have that in, you have the opportunity to check each company for people already on LinkedIn and invite them to connect to your profile as a contact. Go through each company you have worked for, and invite each person you knew, at any level, and invite them into your list!

After you have completed that, go to your email list and add those people as well, reguardless who they are. (If they don't want to join, they won't!)

Now, after you start getting people in your list, go visit their profile, read it over, and what they are looking for out of LinkedIn, if you can help them, help them, if they can help you, talk to them!

You can, in most cases, now see who is LinkedIn to this contact, and go look at their profiles. Get to know the people (NETWORK!!) in your contacts list and in their contacts list!! Networking is one of the fastest ways of building business, finding a job, etc.!

Now, you have your account set up, you have one or more contacts in your profile, and you are looking for work. When you find a company that is looking for YOU (they just don't know it's you yet), go to your LinkedIn page and do a search on that company. If someone in your contacts list knows someone from that company, ask to talk to that person (by clicking on "Make Contact" in their profile). The people inbetween you and the person you want to talk to, should forward on your request.

That request should be along the lines of:

"Hello, I see that XYZ company is hiring for ABC job, and that you (use to or are) work for XYZ. Would you be able to tell me more about the company? (If they left the company, find out why, if they are still there, see if they know who the hiring manager is.)"

Be brief, but get your request in! Once they get back to you, you should have more information about the company and hopefully contact info on who to send a second copy, you should apply through the requested means as well, hopefully that person is
the hiring manager to insure (s)he gets a copy of your great resume!

I have also posted some comments on networking TDBell Enterprises, Inc's BLog, which includes a link to a GREAT book on Networking in general.


Monday, August 01, 2005

Summer is almost over and ...

... I must have blinked missing most of it!! Granted things have been busy for me, but wow, this past three months have flown by for me!!

I have also let slide my time management practices this past three months, which I started back up two days ago. Time management is very important, as it is a key part of life management, so I hope all of you use tools to keep your time in line!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Bi-Directional Communication WORKS!

Several weeks ago I posted about a very good friend that had severed communications when I had attempted to open better lines of communication came back and opened those lines herself and we are once again talking and this time with much better bi-directional communcations!!

Goes to show that if BOTH sides talk, and say what they need to say, things work out.

But it DOES take bi-directional communications!

I am very happy to have this young lady back as a friend again, and hope we continue to talk and share with each other.

Now to get communications opened up again with my other friend.....

Saturday, July 23, 2005



I have always been infatuated with tigers. I have done a lot of research on these majestic animals, and have followed their plight for years, and have seen as many as I can in museums and other locations throughout the world. In my research I have found a group that is doing pretty good things in support of tigers. This group is:

Please check them out and do what you can if you are interested in tigers as well!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Personal BLogs of Executives...

Earlier today I had someone tell me that I shouldn't have a personal blog where I ramble on since I was an Executive and had been looking for Executive level jobs.

I still have to ask WHY NOT? Yes, many companies go out and search to see what is being said by and about someone before they hire a person. But I also think that company SHOULD know what a person thinks and does in life. Sorta Full Disclosure!

Now, I do nothing that I am ashamed of, and I follow strong and ethical business and life practices. I have been pretty successful in life, and I have helped many others be successful in life.

Should a person have a personal BLog if they are an Executive?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

TDBell Enterprises, Inc.

My company now has a blog, located and ran on our own site. This site, Don's Thoughts, will remain, but will be exclusively my own thoughts and less tied to business. (Which means it will probably be updated more often, as I was somewhat reluctant to post here, as I was not sure how to post, business, or personal...)

Have fun, and enjoy!

Monday, July 04, 2005

A friend's BLog

I have a long time friend who recently put up a BLog. I think you will find this BLog pretty deep and thought provoking as she progresses with it.

Now I've known Celisha for a few years, but I've never actually met her in person, it has all be on line. We've talked hours and hours over the years. She is a very smart person who is always searching for more knowledge and always growing. She loves birds and quiet time!

Have Fun C!

Friday, July 01, 2005


I have always enjoyed art. I have a lady friend, by the name of Annie, that is a great painter and I have a painting of hers which is valued pretty high.

I recently became an art investor by joining a company called International Galleries, Inc (or IGI). This company has a limited number of remakes on some very good paintings, and they have exclusive rights to the paintings! Some of the originals are worth over 1M each!!

Check my art Gallery out:

Friday, June 17, 2005

Engagement Rings..

When a couple get's engaged, the man typically buys an engagement ring and presents it to the lady.

If the lady breaks up with the man should the lady give the ring back to the man?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Communications is very important in any type of relationship, but it personal or business. The process of communicating needs to be bi-directional and very open for that relationship to be successful.

I have had three different relationships recently end because of lack of bi-directional communications. One was a business one where I wasn't communicating correctly, nor was my partner. This one was OK with me to end, sorta, but looking back, I should have communicated better and forced the issue of communication.

The second one has me more on edge and upset. This relationship was a personal one, and one that I kept very clear and open communcations going from my side, but the other person was not, even though she said she would. It appears there were issues on the table, but she wasn't able to talk about them and ended the relationship out of the blue after a long hard day at work for me. No pre-amble, just bam, it's over, move on! I have attempted to talk to her about the issues, knowing the relationship was over, but so that I could understand where things went wrong and fix that inside of me, or watch for it in a personal relationship, but no go. She won't talk, she dodges any attempt to communicate. At the begining of our relationship and through out the relationship I stressed the importance of talking over issues and being up front with them. She agreed up front, but didn't follow through with her words...

The third one is with a friend that lives in another state. We had spoty communications, often one sided over the past three years, and I thought good friends. When I opened up more and let her know some things I thought were wrong in my life and hers, she cursed me out and ran off. Again, lack of proper communications on both sides, but...

Why is it hard for people to communicate? I enjoy the practice and try to with everyone I come in contact with, but many people run from it!!??

Watkins Products!!

Monday, May 23, 2005

People in Life.

This past weekend someone I loved, but never showed my love for, very much passed away. That person was my last living Grandparent. He had a very good 90 years of life, that ended badly with Leukemia. Due to various issues in my life I was not able to be there with him in the end, but I was never really there for him during my life, so what's new... But he was there for me all the time in my life. There wasn't a day in my life that I did not think of Grandpa and what he could do with his face, what he had done with his life, and how caring he was to me when I was around. I wish I had been there more for him. His funeral is this Friday, and I will be there to carry him to his final resting place. Aho Grandpa, happy hunting (and fishing) in the Happy Hunting Grounds I know you are going to!

Another person, that I never meet, but who was someone very special to a lady I care for very much, passed away this weekend as well. Aho Aunt of Polly! She greives hard for you!

Monday, April 18, 2005


A company hires you at a rate of X, assigns you P&L responsibilty, and makes you in charge of a the division. Five weeks later you go to corporate HQ for training and the VERY first thing they tell you is that your position is now going away, you can decide between being a receptionist or a tech. And Oh, by the way, you are going to take a 36% pay cut.

1. WHY would they even hire you to begin with when they KNEW this was happening within the next three months?
2. How many do they expect to NOT leave with a 36% (on average) pay cut, and a major down grade of title and position? (There are 400 or so such people that are so effected.)

Would you stay if this was you? What are your thoughts on something like this happening?

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Spring is HERE!!

Well, we are moving into the time of year I love the most, minus the rain anyway, and that is Spring. I like the temp most of the time, and I love the new growing things outside, the return of the birds and other animals, and the over all re-birth of the year. (Not much into rain though, hate being wet unless I'm scuba diving or swimming.)

Summer is my second favorite time of year, as that means the beach is there with at least semi warm water!! I love walking on the beach and swimming in the ocean, under the waves or on the waves!! (Although I don't surf....)

Time to grab my school books and head to the beach I think!! (Although today is too busy for that...)

Don't forgot your Watkins Products!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Busy Few Weeks..

It has been a busy few weeks for me. A lot of changes happening in my life and lot of busyness. Haven't studied like I should have been and haven't done a lot of things I should be doing. Time to get back on track.

I have re-enforced that people don't listen and don't follow up on what they say they will do. (Myself as well at times....) I'm working on that from my standpoint, but I wish others would work on it as well.

I have found that coaching others on process or direction doesn't always (seldom it seems) pay off the first time. They go off on their own, doing it their way, and then they often crash and have to start over, if they start over with the way they were coached by someone that has "been there, done that", they tend to get it right the second time. Why can't people learn from other peoples mistakes? Why do they want to learn of them their own? Yes, a person needs to make their own mistakes as well, but if it is a major project (such as getting your company funded), why not follow the "expert"?

Oh well...

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Busy Times...

Well, as I get my butt back in gear and working on my course work, things are getting busy around me. The company I co-own/work Venture Strategies, Inc. (Blog)is busy trying to get new clients, meaning I'm busy trying to get new clients, we are working existing clients (and there is a lot of work involved in what we do), and we're working on our own plan (adjusting it to new thoughts). I am going to be giving a speech in April to a group of Space/Satellite Executives, so I have to get on top of the topic at hand (I know a good portion of what I’m going to say, but I need to get exact figures, etc….). In my PhD program, I’m on a topic I’m not overly good on (Marketing), so I need to spend even more time at the desk on the books. My sister, with whom I live(d) with, is selling her house and moving back in with our parents (a good move, and many reasons behind it), so I need to get all my stuff out and that is taking time to boot. Where I am now living needs help in cleaning out the garage to make room for all my junk. (I’m going to go through all of my stuff and trash as much as I can, I need to stop dragging this stuff all over the US…) I very much want to get my Watkins (and the blog) business off to the next level (which is where I start making good money instead of some money), so I need to spend more time there. I’m RIGHT at the point where if I add about 5 more hours to that job a week, I’ll be right at the point where I don’t have to work for anyone else in about three months. Just getting that 5 more hours is proving interesting though.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The next class has begun!

Ok, now I'm on a series of Marketing subjects that I'm working on for my PhD. Good timing for it too. With my new company, I've been running into marketing issues that I've not had to do before, before people came to me, now I'm having to go out and find clients... Totally new to me, but the class is opening my mind up a lot on it!!!

When I finish this I have Economics (ALMOST as bad as Stats to me...)....

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Not what I wanted...

Well, took my final in my Statistics Class this week. Got a 91 on it, out of 100, which brought my grade average down to a 95. Not happy with that. Wanted to have a GPA of at least 98. Starting off with a GPA of 95 is a bad start.... (First class.)

Now on to a Marketing Class. Need more info in this area for my own business ( and, and learning new things is always good.

Including the marketing class, only 7 more classes before this becomes all research and dissertation.

Speaking of dissertation, any recommendations? Needs to be on a business topic, and somewhat focused on that topic....

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Studying for the PhD...

Well the Holiday season got me off of kilter when it came to studying for my classes!! I was weeks ahead of schedule, and now others in the program are caught up and in a couple of cases probably ahead of me!!

Today I start back to studying HARD CORE!!

Friday, January 14, 2005


Have you ever had a time where it is hard to center and get things going the way you want them too? How do you go about centering?

In my case, I sit down on Mother Earth and clear my mind looking up at Father Sky and watch the world slowly turn. As I sit there, I clear my mind of thoughts, and as a thought comes along, notice it, then let it go.

The activities of the past week have had me doing that often.

I'm now focused and centered, thanks to Father Sky and Mother Earth!

Peace be with you!

Monday, January 10, 2005

People again....

It never ceases to amaze me how people in business act. If you have a verbal contract, not the best thing to do it seems, especially with an Attorney, to do something at a flat rate, not based on funding results, reguardless of time actually spent, and the contract is consumated by receiving 2/3s of fee somewhat up front, you would expect to get the remaining fee when your part of the work was done. You would not expect to be told by your client that you will receive the remaining portion of the fee (and the end result was to work for half price IF paid in full!!) when the funding happened. Totally changes the agreement, and without my input up front!!

I hope ethics and such get strong here in the States again...

Saturday, January 08, 2005


It has been my dream of many years to spend a year in the mountains with a couple of horses, a dog and myself, moving through the mountains learning about nature and life from that vantage point. Over the years I've gotten close to doing it, but the time is always in the dead of winter when it comes to my forefront. As in now. I'd very much like to start my Journey, but I would much rather start it when the weather is nice. I'll be there when it get's bad, but I want to know the lay of the land by then, and have a routine set up before the weather hits....

Add to that, I've meet someone that means a lot to me, and going away for a year could (and would) bugger that up. Guess that means my dreams are set aside again for a few more years....

Equipment wise, I am VERY close to where I want to be. I have almost every aspect of what I need, except for the second horse and the gear for a horse...

Friday, January 07, 2005

RSS/Atom Feeds/Syndicators?

Well, today I'm starting my research on getting my three blogs (,, and syndicated and out so others can find it.

If you are reading this, what is the best way to do this? Lots of info out there, time to put on my PhD hat and parse it all out.........

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Too Busy?

Well, business is booming for me, and I have a lot of things to do at work right now. It is a good feeling though!! I'm getting closer and closer to wanting to only sleep two or three hours (I'm up to four or five this past few months, after beeing at two to three for over 20 years) a night.

The projects I'm working on have been fun, stimulating (mentally), and just what I want to be doing!!

It's a good feeling all around!!

Now to find time to get back to the PhD studies and get that back on track after the break I took over the holidays!!