They keep me awake at night, those voices in my head. I hope everyone has them, otherwise I’ve got a problem. They don’t really have a “voice,” I guess, they’re just thoughts, lots of them, and they don’t stop until they turn into dreams, sometimes nightmares. No, I’m not schizophrenic. I don’t have another identity in another world. I don’t talk to myself. I just have random thoughts while I’m trying to fall asleep, about what I need to do tomorrow, or the title of this blog and what it should say, or how to build something. Sometimes, this interchange goes on well into the night until I finally fall asleep.
So I found this Self Assessment Test for Schizophrenia, just in case. You answer the questions, Always, Often, Sometimes, Never. Here Goes…
“Do you or a loved one hear voices that seem to come from somewhere outside of you?” I’m not sure what the “loved one” has to do with it, but I’ll answer “Never” here. They’re all in my head, inside of me.
“Do you or a loved one believe that other people can read your thoughts?” Damn, I guess you’ve got to be truthful for this test to do any good, so I think my mother, my wives, and some of my friends can do this, so I’ll say “Sometimes.”
“Do you or a loved one see things around you that no one else can see?” This isn’t fair. Well, they can visually see them, but do they “see” them the same way as me? Okay, I’ll answer “Sometimes.”
“Do you or a loved one think often that you feel confused and cloudy?” Now I know this isn’t fair. No sir, every day I’m sharp as a tack, sharpest tool in the shed, lights are always on and I’m home.
That’s enough. Self assessments are dangerous anyway. It’s easy to fit a condition to a symptom. And I shouldn’t be making light of a condition that, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 1% of Americans seem to have. A condition where they think people are plotting to harm them, they hear voices others don’t hear, and that people are controlling what they think. According to the NIMH you wouldn’t know, probably, that you were talking to a schizophrenic unless they started telling you what they were thinking.
Anyway, I’m pretty sure the “voices in my head,” my thoughts, are normal. I have a lot going on up there, but the reason I couldn’t go to sleep right away last night, is because I had two cups of coffee before I went to bed, and the night-light from a Kindle case is a pretty bright light if it’s accidentally pointed directly in your face by the person reading in bed. I finally told her she needed to get to sleep.
That’s when I finally fell asleep. The voices silenced, and I woke up somewhat rested, with the title of this blog still in my head. It’s being dictated to me right now…just kidding.
I have a lot of ideas I don’t act on.
How about the graffiti artist who painted the “artwork” at the “Facebook” offices. He decided to take stock instead of cash to spray paint the walls when the company was in its infancy. When the stock goes IPO in the next few days, he’ll be worth over $200 MILLION dollars. I would have taken the cash. That’s how good my decisions are. I mean, he had to be a struggling artist. He wasn’t even a fan of “Facebook”, they say, and believed it wouldn’t last. He had to have needed the money.
There are tons of examples of that kind of thing. Like the first few employees of Lotus 123. They took stock instead of paychecks. When it was officially released in November 1982 they received $1 million in orders. Within several months it had grown so fast that, by the end of 1983, it was the second largest software company behind Microsoft. Those first few employees were instant millionaires.
What really tends to aggravate me is that I was there for Microsoft, and Lotus, and Yahoo, and Google, and Facebook, and I didn’t buy a single share of stock. Will I buy “Facebook” stock? With what? Yeah, I said it, with what? Google hit the street at $85, that was $84 more than I had to invest in 2004. By 2007 it had soared to $600 a share. A thousand Google employees became millionaires overnight. I didn’t work for Google. In fact, in 2004, I was working for a telecommunications company with a stock price of $15. After a merger with a Canadian company in 2007, when Google stock was $600, the company was taken private. Three years later, after what was billed by some experts as the worst IPO in history, the company went public at $12 a share. The merged company’s shares are now trading in the $3 range. I had stock options. Not worth much.
I wish the voices in my head would come up with some good investment decisions. WTF
I do have conversations with the voices sometimes about business ideas. None of them have made me a dollar. I had what I thought was a good one back in 1991. It was a book club for writers. A multi-level marketing idea. A whole new go-to-market strategy for the book-publishing industry.
Here’s how it was going to work. You purchased a book, published by the book club, in which it describes the program and how to get a “Membership Drive Kit” for $149.50. The kit would include 10 books, marketing materials, and ad copy. You sell the 10 books for $19.95. This gives you your investment back and a profit of $50. Those ten people each sign up and sell 10 books each, and those 10 people sell ten books each. That’s your three-tier down-line. Then every month all you do is buy a book from the club and you get 10% percent royalty from everyone in your down-line that also buys a book of the month. The author of the book would get an additional 25% royalty for every book sold. The club would actually publish the books offered in the book of the month. If the three-tier down-line bought a book every month, you would make something like $2,000 every month just for buying a book and you could get your book published and sold through the club with 25% royalties for every book sold.
What this does is eliminate the need to evaluate the manuscript on the basis of marketability. You already have the captive market, the book club. “We could devote sole attention to the idea, content and writing style. Best of all we don’t have to work with literary agents.” That last part was an excerpt from the book I wrote to promote the idea “The Mystery of the Pyramids – Is Multi-Level Marketing Really on the Level.”
The problem with it though, as with all other multi-level marketing programs, is that your potential income decreases exponentially for everyone in your down-line that doesn’t buy a book, drops out of the club, or doesn’t sell their ten books in the beginning. Still think it’s a good idea. If 1,110 people sign up in each down-line, you would have book sales in the millions. Wait, this sounds a lot like a chain letter. I think this might be illegal. You know why chain letters are illegal? Because if they work 100% (which they never do) someone at the end will have no one to send it to who isn’t already involved. I’ll bet the post office would love for a few really good chain letters, by snail mail right now, to help their sagging bottom line. Like that ad I saw the other day on TV by the USPS extolling the benefits of paper statements being sent to the customer. That customers really want them to put in their filing cabinets. But this idea has two very important things that make it NOT a chain letter. You sell something with intrinsic value, the book, and you are limited to a down-line of three tiers. Even though your initial investment is for inventory, you don’t sell the program, the book does.
Anyway, this idea was before any of the mass computer marketing going on now. I sent out 100 direct mail pieces in an attempt to start-up the club, and got not one response. Guess it wasn’t such a good idea after all…or they figured out how much money I was going to make off the sale of the book I wrote to start it all off. Maybe I should look for a literary agent for the manuscript.