Back to community

Commuting for work, social nights out and shopping is almost engrained in western culture.

Who does it benefit? It used to be for bigger property or more land or better schools.

Nowadays it’s an add on of the rat race, new properties are smaller, gardens are tighter and prices are higher. But the majority still have to commute for most of their tasks.

Days gone by churches used to be a social hub of the community, in the present day this isn’t really an attractive prospect for many and the community suffers.

Can we change this going forward, will we be working from local work stations or hubs where businesses rent desks in local areas for their employees. Not in the centralised offices of most cities?

A model like this enables much more local businesses to succeed off of the back of a local workforce.

It allows families to spend more time together, for people of different industries and backgrounds to hear about each other’s ideas and make new connections.

It would bring a better sense of community as people can socialise locally with other members of their own community.

Not to mention the added benefits and reduced costs of less cars on the roads and less miles being driven.

Scotland’s youth football strategy

Recently there has been a shift in how the youth academy’s are operated in Scotland, the current elite academy scheme has restricted many clubs youth development programmes, policies and potentially financial models.

I’ve often wondered what it would take to completely change and radicalise the current system for the better. For years I have wondered why youth systems are set up in such a way that requires 12 year olds and their families to drive from Dundee to the central belt for over an hours football. That’s more driving for less football, how does this benefit anyone in the grand scheme of things?

I then heard an interview with Gordon Strachan the former Scotland manager saying the same thing but about touches, his example was a child drives all that way and then gets a limited amount of touches when he/she would be better off staying in there local area playing or training for longer and getting more touches. Compound this over 6 -7 years in youth football and the numbers certainly stack up, Scotland could have players more technically aware and fluid on the ball before they hit 16.

They way in which I see the future would be a framework developed by the SFA with development schools or elite academies, call it what you will, built around the country, the size of these academies would be determined by the local population of kids and they would run multiple teams per age group in each location to allow the kids to play a better chance of success and enable them to play other similar level teams and develop there game further and for longer without he unnecessary travel to other locations in the country.

At the end of every season the top performing teams of every age group would play a tournament against each other in one of the development locations. This allows each area to test their skills against the best from around the country.

From here, it’s important to note that the teams wouldn’t be Dundee, Celtic, Aberdeen or Rangers. As the SFA would be responsible for this they would also then loan draft the kids into the top two leagues at an age where they can benefit from first team football. The option for them to be permanently drafted into a team would come after an initial two year spell of the loan drafting.

For this the clubs in Scotland’s top two leagues would all pay a fee dependant on turnover per annum. Allowing the SFA to reinvest in the training, facilities and staff available.

Just a couple of thoughts to change the game for the better.

Get curious

As simple as it sounds we all loose our childlike curiosity as we get out of school and out into the real world.

If we are stuck in a job that we’re not happy in or find ourselves bored by what we spend your time doing we can practice curiosity to open up new opportunities in life.

Again if we are stuck in a dead end job the best way to get out of that job is to own it, try to learn new things about it, and put in practice every day to allow ourselves to open up to what we might not know.

If we only get one shot at it there is an unbelievable amount of skills, hobbies, crafts and sports we can pick up if we’re curious. We can set ourselves a goal of learning a new skill or sport every quarter. And if we find something we love stuck with it and develop it further.

The same goes for relationships, we can all to easily feel like we know everything about our partners but in all honesty there is an insane amount of things we don’t know about them. Get curious and ask about things that you have never taken the time to ask about beforehand.

Lessons from a strip club

I still remember the night I first walked into a strip club, I was working in a club just up the road at the time and due to it being the summer we had completely ran out of ice. I got the tap on the shoulder, do you want to go down to Seventh Heaven and grab as much ice as you can…say no more, I’m your man!

About 2-3 months passed and I was asked to work on the bar in the same club on the nights that we were closed. Again, I’m your man.

It was weird at first I’ll say that and I was probably the shyest I had ever been in any job I’ve ever had. That didn’t last long though and before long I was in my element.

All in all I spent just under 2 years on 3 separate spells working in this strip club and off course there are funny stories but along the way I had a few great take aways that have stuck with me even until now 15 years later.

1. Real Estate Investing

Before long I got to know most of the girls that worked in the club and with my natural curiosity and nosey buggeredness I was getting schooled on building a portfolio of properties. Buying a reasonably run down property with a 10% deposit at the time, having enough money to renovate this property then remortgaging, releasing the equity that you put in and moving onto the next one. Buy, fix, remortgage repeat.

At this time, I don’t like the exposure but still a great simple insight into the property game.

2. Sudoku

First time I was shown and taught how to play this game was during a shift, the first couple of hours were always completely empty, plenty of time to learn how to do sudoku, Never had a teacher in a G-string before.

3. A dance costs £10-20 but manners cost nothing.

It often amazed me the amount of guys that would come in and literally treat these girls like they were meat, being unbelievably rude, cheeky and down right abusive.

As obvious as it sounds if one of the girls got knocked back 3-4 times in a row it would completely knock their confidence and self esteem.

A dance costs £10-£20 but manners cost nothing, do the right thing.

The evolution of Sunday’s

It was once the day of the sabbath. It started that way as a child, probably more play than nothing. Lying on my dads back watching scotsport.

It then all of a sudden became the day before going back to school which took away the weekend vibe it should have had because of the early to bed part.

Then it was the dread of having to go back to school the next day.

Then it was the day off, the real lie in day with nothing to do.

Then it was date night.

Soon it became Sunday Session.

Then just a day.

Not long after it became one of the busy days in the restaurant.

Then is was RDO Sundays (registered day off) every fortnight either in recovery mode or up and back on it.

Back to chilled Sundays.

For the past year it’s been DIY day, with a mammoth list of to do’s.

Where happiness lies

Coasting is good, coasting is pretty easy.

Coasting will make you happy for a period, normally until you are no longer in a position of strength to affect positive change on a situation.

Real happiness, the kind that can bring a smile or a feeling of celebration at the most random times, comes from doing the hard graft.

Taking the lead when you haven’t done, taking charge of a new project or writing that book is where happiness lies.

The hard graft feeds our purpose and purpose changes everything.

The craziness of lone driving

I’m sitting at a bus stop right now and the last 20 cars in the cue (that reaches easily a mile long) have had only had one person in them.

This mile long traffic jam probably consists of only 100 people that are happy to sit in one lane as the other has been given to buses, taxis and cyclists.

About 6 weeks ago this used to be me, sitting in a traffic jam all the way to work and sitting in one most of the way home. It’s bonkers, pure and simple.

I’m now sitting on a comfy leather seat upstairs on the number 6, we’re flying by jeeps, fords and even a hummer all with one person in them. There’s even a brand new Porsche crawling along in first gear.

It’s easy to make excuses about why we need the car but really we don’t, we’re pumping so much crap into the environment without a care in the world. We can say that we try to be environmentally friendly but if we’re honest it’s nonsense.

I was roughly £50 a week in fuel, about the same per month on road tax and a bit more on insurance. Not counting any maintenance to keep the heavy guzzling machine on the road. Now I’m £44 a month and I can go anywhere in the city,

We need to have a long hard look at ourselves and do some things differently. Car sharing could be a good place to start, getting the bus would be better and getting the train would be even better. Bring on the Tesla buses that’s where we need to be.

Bitcoin – what the hell?

The source of many conversations these days. Bitcoin has been going crazy for the past few months, since it’s creation it has pretty much doubled every year until 2017. At the time of writing it’s at $11,200, I spoke with my sister about it only a few weeks ago and it was roughly half of that.

There are many opinions on it and not surprisingly plenty critics from the traditional banking world but given the security and lack of input from governments out-with regulators it has many positives.

You can’t use it for micro transactions, you can’t buy a can of Diet Coke or a holiday with it. You could say that you can’t really use gold to buy either of the above too though.

To me it kind of feels like the gold rush days or the early days when they struck oil. Where normal people could go out and make something happen. The difference being that there is no other use for a cryptocurrency, but I suppose that is the exact same with any currency. It doesn’t really exist apart from in our heads, that’s probably the only place it needs to exist.

The world is changing so fast in so many different ways, most of which is our perceptions of what is actually possible. It’s unseen and completely unknown, it’s risky but it’s exciting. Do we want to deny it or do we want to just buy a ticket, or as many as we can afford to lose and jump on this rollercoaster where we can’t see through the tunnel.

It seems like a bubble, but how long do bubbles usually last? Is there still time? Or are we at the cliff with a blindfold?

A blog a day everyday

The gauntlet has been thrown down.

I’m going to write one blog post every single day, come rain, hail or shine.

There won’t be any overall theme, it will be made up of whatever is going on in my head at that given time.

I can’t promise it will be entertaining but at least for me I can come back in a fortnight and look at what I deemed as a worthy thought at the time.

Making, just making!

It’s the easiest thing to just consume in this day and age. There is a market for near enough everything.

We no longer need to be at home or have a chunky laptop to consume TV programs. We can walk into any shop and there is an im entire aisle solely for sweets.

Too much indulgence in sweet things and filling every moment of spare time watching Netflix in the house, YouTube on the bus, and Instagram on the toilet can easily lead to an unhappy existence where we can’t even come close to competing with the manufactured lifestyles we consume.

Far better to produce, get building, make something. Make something happen, whether it be in your personal life or your professional career.

Make a new bond with a stranger.

Make a shed in the garden to allow you to make more things.

Make your wife, husband, partner the sole focus of your next week.

Make up a new blog.

Make a website.

Make a podcast.

Make a short film.