Description

Tiny daily acts of creation have an immense compounding power. For Isaac, daily blogging started as a way to break out of a point of dissatisfaction. But the small decision led to a massive changes and directly to the idea for Praxis. In this episode: Succeeding, but feeling dissatisfied. Feeling like something is missing. Taking on a daily blogging challenge. Creating leads to creativity Turning creativity into a discipline Why you should challenge yourself with small daily acts of creation. For a free copy of Forward Tilt: An Almanac for Personal Growth, go to discoverpraxis.com/forwardtilt

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I'm an entrepreneur, thinker, and communicator dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. I'm the founder and CEO of Praxis, an intensive ten-month program combining real world business experience with the best of online education for those who want more than college.

discussions

  • I wasn’t real sure where to put this, but I was curious if there are any Digital Nomads in the Liberty.me community. I’d love to hear your story. What do you do? How did you get started? Where have you been past, present and future?

    Jump to Discussion Post 5 replies
  • I am a beekeeper, and I primarily sell my honey wholesale to stores.  For most of the stores, I deliver cases of honey with no price tags.  I let the store deal with that.   I have one store that insists on being a pain.  They have over 300 suppliers of local products on consignment, and everything is on a computer inventory system.  When I started selling there, I was required to put price tags on with a regular price tag gun, and to also put a 4 digit SKU code on the price tag.  The cashier just enters the 4 digit code into the cash register computer – the customer is charged the correct price, and it also adjusts the inventory and sales records.   The store has a brilliant marketing idea, and they have a great location in a huge shopping center. (50K people a day visit this shopping center.)  And they just opened up a 2nd store at another shopping center that just got built.  But the store has serious management problems.  They have hired too many people because they were friends, instead of hiring workers based upon competency.  As a result, the cashiers are incredibly slow.  I’ve seen them take 5 minutes to ring out customers when it should have taken less than a minute.  (I used to be an assistant manager of a gas station when I was 20, so I know how quickly you can clear a line of customers.)   The owner knows there are problems with checkout times.  They have been encouraging vendors to put bar code price tags on items to help speed up checkout times.  Starting 1/31/16, the bar codes will now be mandatory.   If they didn’t sell so much honey, I would tell them to go pound sand and not sell honey there anymore.  As it is, I made over $600 last month.  (Most of the stores I sell to, buy about $300 a month from me.)   My problem is that I am technologically impaired.  (I grew up without a tv or telephone.)  I still use a flip phone and don’t have a tv.  I don’t have an Ipad or laptop – my computer is a desktop, and desktop computers have served me well for 15 years.  I have the labels for my honey bottles custom printed.  The people at the store tried telling me some gibberish about how to print my own bar code labels, but they might as well have been talking Greek to me.   Does anyone have any experience printing bar code labels?  Or is anyone interested in some work printing some bar code labels for me?  I need 3 different bar codes for the 3 sizes of honey I sell at that store. (12 oz $7.00, 16 oz $9.00, and 32 oz $16.00.)   I would probably only be buying 1000-2000 labels a year. I am currently paying around 14 cents a label for glossy, color labels for my honey bottles.  I only need a basic black and white bar code label that I can stick on my bottles.   The store that sells my honey calls itself a small business incubator.  I considered asking management to ask other vendors if they were interested in printing labels for other vendors (like me) who are technologically impaired, and have absolutely no interest in printing my own labels.   But I thought I would ask you all first, and see if anyone here was interested in some work.  I don’t do bitcoin, but I do PayPal or can mail a check.

    Jump to Discussion Post 16 replies
  • In today’s world, is beekeeping an ideal libertarian occupation?   I am a beekeeper.  I have beehives located on other people’s farms, on a handshake agreement with the landowner.  Bees will fly 2 miles in every direction, gathering nectar from lands owned by other people.   Beekeeping (apiculture) is the oldest form of agriculture in the world.  Some of the oldest known laws deal with beekeeping.  Historically, beekeepers owned the hives, and the contents of the hives.  Free-flying individual bees were “God’s bees”, which prevented beekeepers from trespassing onto any of the 5000 acres in that 2 mile radius of the hive, if the beekeeper were pursuing their “escaped livestock”.  (Laws in some countries do permit a beekeeper to pursue a swarm of bees as long as the beekeeper has maintained eyesight of the swarm at all times since it left the hive.)   As a beekeeper, you are an entrepreneur.  The old-time bee books suggest that a beekeeper should consistently be able to get a 35% return on investment (ROI) annually.  It may vary from year to year, but you should be able to average 35% annually.  (Personally, I find 50% to be very achievable.  I have 75 hives, and around $30,000 in bees and equipment, and I have had almost $18,000 in honey sales so far this year.)  It is not uncommon for beekeepers to double their money in a year.   I helped a small commercial beekeeper in 2010 who ran 820 hives for honey production.  He had his best year ever, and we harvested 161,000 pounds of honey.  He sold every drop as cash sales, and accepted no checks.  (I personally witnessed one sale of $40,000 in cash.  It took the buyer a couple weeks for his bank to be able to get him that much cash.)  He sold the honey for $1.65-$2.00 a pound, depending on the quantity purchased. Myself and the beekeeper took care of the hives and pulled honey, and there were 2 other cash labor workers back at the workshop extracting the honey.   I live in Ohio.  In 1904, Ohio passed legislation giving state inspectors the right to inspect all beehives and equipment and all your facilities whenever they wanted.  This legislation was in response to a disease affecting honeybees called foulbrood which slowly killed hives and would spread to other hives.  At the time, the government’s solution was to burn the hive to prevent the spread of foulbrood.  By the 1940’s, there were antibiotics which cured the bees. (Sulfathiazole)  But the government program was already functioning, and it is hard to stop a government program once it has been started.  Residues of sulfathiazole were found in honey, and eventually the use of sulfathiazole was banned, but by that time a safer antibiotic Terramycin was already in use. (Terramycin is still a common livestock antibiotic, and can be purchased without a veterinary prescription.)   Eventually, beekeepers got tired of state inspectors burning their hives when the inspectors claimed to have found foulbrood.  (Inspectors were often beekeepers too, and it was not unknown for inspectors to burn out competitor beekeepers under the guise of controlling foulbrood.)  Some beekeepers ultimately filed a lawsuit against the state, and in 1986, the US Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit ruled that the mandatory inspections were a violation of the 4th Amendment protections of unwarranted searches.  (However, it did still allow inspectors to inspect beehives with the beekeeper’s permission.) http://www.leagle.com/decision/19871988808F2d1180_11791/ALLINDER%20v.%20STATE%20OF%20OHIO   While I am “supposed” to register the locations of my beehives with the state, it is very common for beekeepers not to register their hives.  But should I obey a law, if there is no enforcement of that law?   I personally filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the State of Ohio, in an effort to see how many violations of beekeeping laws there had been.  Since 1904 to date, the State of Ohio is unable to find records of a single prosecution for a violation of ANY beekeeping law.  However, in subsequent FOI requests, I was able to document thousands of instances of violations of law committed by bee inspectors who had failed to follow proper reporting requirements for inspections.   I suspect that most beekeepers who watch a few YouTube videos on bee diseases, may in fact be better educated than the state bee inspectors.   In 2013, I attended Apimondia, an international beekeeping conference, which was held in Ukraine that year.  Ukraine is a terribly corrupt country.  It still remains heavily socialist, and is not at all friendly to small businesses.  Despite such a hostile environment, Ukraine is the number 5 honey producing country in the world. 1.5% of the population are beekeepers.  (If you travel across the rural countryside, it is astonishing how many beehives you see.)   Why is beekeeping so successful in Ukraine?  It is because everyone can afford the cost of a beehive, and you can go from wild lands to harvesting a marketable product with zero opportunities for corrupt government regulators to force you to pay fees and bribes at every step of the way. (Which is how most business ventures in Ukraine are.)  Not only that, you can sell your honey as a street vendor for cash, depriving the government of the opportunity to tax your earnings.   I believe beekeeping is an ideal libertarian occupation or hobby.  You are an entrepreneur.  You get to harvest a crop gathered by bees on lands you do not have to pay to use, nor do you have to pay taxes on those lands.  The government has no way of knowing how many beehives you have, or where they are located, unless you choose to tell them.  You can sell your honey for cash, (I know beekeepers who sell $200,000+ a year in cash sales) and the government has no way of taxing you on your sales, unless you tell the government what your cash sales were.  It is virtually impossible for the government to enforce any beekeeping regulations even if they wanted to.   Legendary investor Jim Rogers tells people they should learn how to be a farmer.  Beekeeping is a form of farming.

    Jump to Discussion Post 44 replies
  • Would love to move my existing blog to Liberty.me. Despite the platform’s rich admin area feature set, the usual WordPress importer is missing from my Liberty.me dashboard. Perhaps this is intentional, but I’d like to suggest a change be considered. It would certainly encourage me to add content here, as I don’t have time/energy to properly maintain two blogs. Adding the WordPress XML Importer plugin would also have the effect of deepening content across Liberty.me as others added their posts here. Thanks in advance for considering this and/or providing any insight into its addition to Liberty.me.

    Jump to Discussion Post 2 replies
  • I’m new to the community, so if I am not following the rules then please forgive me. I went to school in Springfield, Missouri, although I am currently living in the Kansas City area. Recently I was made aware that there was an issue on their ballot to repeal a law providing protections to LGBT individuals from certain acts of discrimination by businesses. I’ll note quickly that I am an anarchist. Had I been living in Springfield, I would not have voted either way. As a libertarian, I tend to think that people should not go to jail (or be taxed or whatever) because of their personal beliefs. However, I personally find certain acts discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation to be distasteful, self-righteous  and hateful. The protections were repealed by a narrow margin. I’ve been following the discussions between Springfield residents on Facebook, and the messaging back and forth between both sides has been utterly hate-filled. Nothing like a general referendum to bring the community together…or not. Anyways, I digress. My question is this. Has anyone out there developed an app that would allow you to tag businesses that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation? If so, please let me know. If not, some app developer on Liberty.me can run with this. Personally, I don’t know anything about app development. This Idea may be totally bogus. I don’t think I’ve been into any business establishment in Springfield that refused to do business with a customer who was gay. But I know there was a long list of businesses who did support the repeal. This kind of thing might help to inform people in their communities about which businesses to avoid.

    Jump to Discussion Post 2 replies