Deals and Negotiations For Peace of Mind

English: Russell Simmons at Emory University

English: Russell Simmons at Emory University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was reading Life and Def by Russell Simmons and something really caught my attention.  At different points throughout the book he mentions different business deals.  It was very obvious that when a contract is negotiated properly the artist involved or the players, owners of small record companies etc. come out doing very well.  Two artists can be doing the exact same thing.  They can both be very famous with a lot of sales, and one can be living prosperously and making good money, while the other is in the poor house, depending on the deal they have made.  A good deal means everything.

I thought about this with my gutter and window business.  We have a lot of customers and business deals going on everyday.  They are all small deals.  A good deal may mean that we charged $20.00 extra to clean a difficult window.  Or it may mean that a difficult gutter job is $240 instead of $160.00  Sometimes it means charging for each window rather than letting a few just be thrown in.  It never means cheating the customer,but it does mean making sure that I charge enough for my crew being out on a job for a certain period of time.

It’s so easy to make a bad deal.  The customer doesn’t want to pay extra for something that takes extra time.  The customer wants to pay my company the same price they pay someone else who does not pay as much attention to detail.  They still want us to do the work, rather than the other company, but they want to pay less.  Sometimes the price may even sound high to me, but I know how long the job will take and how much the crew must make  per hour.  Sometimes $500.00 sounds like a lot to clean moss and stains off a roof but the client is happy to pay the price.

I have found that the key for me is to be true to myself.  Most of the time I do this, but still too often I do not.  Just recently I threw in cleaning a big two-story picture window for a regular customer free of charge while we were out cleaning the gutters.  It may not sound like much but it takes extra time.  I still had a very profitable day, but days later I had an unpleasant dream connected to the experience.  In the dream my company kept doing all this free work and being taken advantage of.  In real life the customer was not trying to take advantage.  I chose  not to charge for the window.  The interesting thing is it did not cost me much, but those $20.00 here and $30.00 there add up.  More important than the money is my peace of mind.  The situation showed up in my dream, reminding me I must be true and showing me that in my heart I was not and did not even realize it.

My next thought was that we not only must make good business deals, but good deals in life.  We must make sure that the deal is good for both us and the other party involved.  This goes for our marriages, friendships etc. If you want peace of mind make good deals.  I was fortunate to be alerted by my unpleasant dream that I was heading down a road that takes away my peace of mind. But just think how many times we get up and don’t feel good or start the day feeling uneasy.  Could it possibly be that we are carrying bad deals with us, not being true to ourselves, and it is secretly effecting our peace?  If so let’s regroup, and make good deals.


Craig Kimbrough

Bridging The Gap Serving and floating (Devotional Service and Heaven Here and Now)


Heaven (Photo credit: adyyflickr)

The Bhagavad-Gita speaks on devotional service as a means of attaining the spiritual goal of experiencing oneness.  Part of the goal is to perform all duties with God in mind, as a means to serving God.  If one can do this, the action is performed without concern for the result of the action as much as concern for doing what God wants.  If the student is able to achieve this, he is in the world but not of the world.  She can live a normal life, enjoy that life, without being worried about what is happening during life.

My teacher Mr. Ambrister told me, “going to heaven is not enough.  You have to bring Heaven back here.”  At one time I thought that bringing Heaven back here meant not only should I enjoy the bliss of meditation, I had to enjoy being here as much as possible. This may be true, but there is another way of looking at it.  It can also mean that we must bring the ways of Heaven back here and allow God to come through.

For example I gave a talk for the Theosophical society years ago.  Afterwards my teacher, Mr. Ambrister, and  I were listening to the tape.   I told Mr. Ambrister how surprised I was.  I told stories that I did not even know that I knew and added all kinds of jokes to make points that I did not know I was going to make.  I literally felt like I floated through the entire experience.  The people loved it and so did I.  The head of the Detroit chapter was shocked she kept telling me “I did not know, you are a master.”  As we listened to the tape the next day, he said “sonny that was not you talking on that tape.  That was God.  The Universe was talking through you.  You were just an instrument.”  I thought about it later and realized that I simply got so caught up in the material, that I became the material.  I had no concerns about anything else.  I was not worried about how it would be received or anything else.  That material I was focused on for the talk was purely spiritual, which was an added bonus.

When we serve with God in mind and we have higher thoughts in mind, God comes through.  And where else is Heaven, but the place where God is.  Even if we keep our focus on God and the incredible mystery of the Universe, without our ego based thoughts, we will find ourselves floating through this world and serving God.  The one thing that sticks in my mind for devotional service and being in Heaven is, for me the key seems to be keeping up my meditations and having God and the magic of the Universe in mind as much as possible.


Craig Kimbrough

My Son Reminds Me How Much I Need My Missions and Adventures


Adventure! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My eighteen year old son Cory asked me what was it like when I first started the business?  He was speaking of my gutter and window cleaning business.  I asked him what made him ask me that question.  He did not really have an answer.  I then began to explain what it was like.

I told him it was incredible.  I felt so excited and alive and free.  I was free to do things my way on my terms and knew I would be treated fairly on the job, because I was running things.  I did have the luxury of not having to work for anyone else and push my business full-time because I was still young and living with my mom.  As a matter of fact, I was determined not to have to work for anyone else any more, and took pride in the idea.  I worked long days and loved every minute of it.  When I was not working I was working to get work, all day long.  When things got slow, I would walk door to door, dressed nicely with a note pad.  I would let potential customers know our company was in the area offering a special this week.  Or I would make cold calls to apartment complexes asking if they had someone maintaining their gutters.  When I got busy from such efforts, I felt unstoppable.  I felt so alive during all of this it was unbelievable.  I was on a mission loving every minute of it.

I also told my son that, not only did I feel more alive, but I felt like I was living this adventure that far too many people were missing out on.  I also believe that not only was it exciting for me, but also for those who were around me at the time.  In the back of my mind I even felt like the way I was so wrapped up in the business actually made me different and more attractive to the girls I was dating.  As I talked about these things to my son, I could not help but think about how we all need a mission.  And if one ends, it is time for a new one.

Now don’t get me wrong, there have been many struggles along the way.  I first had a landscape business when I was about eighteen or nineteen.  I failed at least three times and went for a period where I owed many people money.  I got back up and started right back up every time.  I learned a lot from my mistakes and made changes along the way.  Years later I had friends tell me that they admired how I had the guts to start back up over and over.  Now I am fortunate that this same business that some said I was crazy to try to live off of, is taking good care of my family.  That mission is somewhat complete, but I have others on the horizon.  I am thankful to Cory for reminding me how I must be just as obsessed and wrapped up in my new endeavors, if I am truly going to be alive.  I believe that we all need a mission.  Something we are willing to struggle for.  Something that makes us excited to get into the day.   At least I do.  How about you? Tell me what you think.


Craig Kimbrough

A Poem From A Positive Friend (Janet Marshall)

Janet E Marshall says:

I write poems about sprituality. Here is one for you:

THOUGHTS by Liza Fox (pen name for Janet Marshall

What am I thinking?
I really don’t know.
My thoughts, like the hours,
They come and they go.
Sometimes a happy thought,
Sometimes a sad.
Maybe a good thought,
maybe a bad.
And there, in between each thought
Is a space,
A space full of peace,
A space full of grace.
A subtle awareness
Of what comes between,
A space, then a thought,
Then a space once again.
As I follow my breath,
In and out, out and in,
I am deeply aware
Of the stillness within.

On Ruling Your Kingdom

Heraldic Royal Crown of Spain Català: Corona R...

Heraldic Royal Crown of Spain Català: Corona Reial Heràldic d’Espanya Español: Representación heráldica de la Corona Real Española (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is your world out-of-order?  Do you want it back in order?  Then the logical answer would be to do what you have to do in order to get things the way they need to be.  But what if you are not the problem?  What if the people around you are out-of-order?  What do you do then?  What if it is your husband or wife, employer or employees, your children, friends and relatives?

First, I would say to take a very careful examination and make sure it is not you that is the problem.  Make sure that you are doing all you can and giving all you can in your world.  First make sure you are in order.  If you are doing all you can, and these other people are still the problem then believe it or not, you are still the problem.  You have to learn how to rule your kingdom. Your world and the people in it are all part of your kingdom.  They are reflections of the way you run or don’t run your world.

You have to learn how to kindly, in a spirit of love, let these people in your world know how you are to be treated and what is expected in your interactions with them.  For me it means stepping up my meditations, because this is not my nature to rule this way.  My nature is to expect people to know what is the right thing.  When they do not do it, I try to let it go this time, after all they know better.  They keep on doing what  I see as the wrong thing towards me or my kingdom that I am responsible for. I get more and more angry until I act out.  This is my nature, but I have learned how to move beyond my nature, and so can you.

First you must realize and remind yourself that your world is your kingdom and you are the king or queen.  Next you must know that the king or queen must not only rule but serve.  As a matter of fact you rule so you can better serve those who you are meant to serve.  Next you must remember that even those who are not acting in the correct manner are your friend, doing the best they know how.  They are acting out of feelings that you know nothing about.  Then move forward in a spirit of love and all of this in mind  and confidently in a relaxed manner address the situation.  If you walk in like this, the results will be mind-blowing.  You don’t even have to know what to say or how to act, just walk in with the full intent described.  The Universe will handle the details.  The words or right actions will come to you.   The outcome will be astonishing and you won’t believe how good and peaceful you felt through the process.

Once again it helps to meditate prior to this process.  It can be in the lotus position or a sitting down meditation, or it can be simply repeating your mantra just prior addressing the situation.  For more on meditation and mantras click on the free meditation link above.



Hitting Rock Bottom Can Be A Most Positive Place

Think positive

Think positive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hitting rock bottom, What does that mean?  For me it means I refuse to go any lower than this.  For me it means, I am willing to do whatever it takes to get up from here.  The most interesting thing is that rock bottom has its own particular look for each one of the lucky people who find themselves in that place.  Did I say lucky people?  What is so fortunate about hitting a place that you never wanted to hit?  The good thing is if it is truly rock bottom that means you have finally been hit so hard that you will do something about it and make the change.  You will finally make the change that God and The Universe has been trying to get you to make.

What is the change that needs to be made?  Once again for each person it will be different.  For one person that change can be to get into a drug rehab center.  For another that change can be to go back to school.  That change could be to be a more loving person.  That change can be to meditate more often.  The change can be to finally give all you have towards your dream.  It can be to enjoy life the way it is right now and see where that takes you.  It can be to connect with and see God in your world.

The point is life is about growth and change.  Sometimes for the big changes we have to get hit hard.  We have to feel the pain of not being where we should be.  Pain is a good thing sometimes.  As I heard it said before, without pain we could leave our hand on a hot stove and not know when to take it off until it is too late.  Pay attention and get moving.  Even if your life is great right now.  There is a potential life waiting that is even greater.