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Musings from the coach

It’s nothing new for companies to rebrand their business and choose a new name. There’s a lot to consider when naming a business, and sometimes the meaning and direction of a company can change. Oftentimes, the names of brands are decided based on the reason behind the company. A name has to resonate with the purpose of the brand, something that will instantly convey the right message to the customers and end-users. Reflecting upon the last few decades, we see that many renowned brands have changed their names, whether to make them simpler, easier to understand, or easier to pronounce. This was the case with the one and only, world-famous Google.

Google was founded by Larry Page and Serge Brin as a search engine in 1996 and was initially called “BackRub”. The idea behind the name BackRub was to help people understand how the search engine ranked websites. BackRub was programmed to check the backlinks of each website as a means to rank it. The search engine also analyzed other sites it linked to, just to understand how important the website was. They figured that the more places that linked to the website, the more important and reliable of a source it must be. The name “BackRub” came from this concept of backlink analysis. The founders held onto the name until 1997. 

Back then, BackRub was operating on Stanford University’s server. It was soon taken down because it was using up too much bandwidth and slowing down the server for other users. Founders Page and Brin worked on this problem, and the solution led to a massive boost in traffic on the search engine. It was then the founders gave a second thought to the name. They realized “BackRub” was too distant a concept behind naming their search engine. Everyday computer users may not necessarily understand the backlink process, making the name somewhat confusing. Page and Brin wanted the name to be something catchy that instantly conveyed meaning to the users.

This eventually led to a brainstorming session at Stanford, and many suggestions came flooding in. One thing Page and Brin knew for sure was that the name had to resonate with the central idea of BackRub: it’s a search engine that will show millions of results for every word the user searches. This helped them narrow down the multitude of possibilities they now had.

Sean Anderson, a graduate student at Stanford, suggested the name “googolplex” during the brainstorming session. It was instantly liked by Page who shortened it to “googol”. Googol is the digit 1 followed by 100 zeroes which would symbolize the search engine’s potential to show numerous results on a single search. 

To make the final move, Anderson searched the name Googol to see if any other websites already had the domain. He made a typo and wrote “Google” instead of Googol. Page loved that name even more and wasted no time registering it. The search engine Google was registered on September 15, 1997, and the rest is history.

A staycation is a break from day-to-day demands. It’s a time purposefully spent on leisure while remaining at home or around your town. Staycations are meant to be a mini-holiday during which you can escape from your everyday routine. They also help you save money from bigger trips, while still providing that vacation feel.

A Tip.

Take a daily vacation! Have you gone on a vacation recently? Well, the answer lies in how much you treasure the good times. Perhaps you understand the importance of a holiday but rarely go on one. The truth is that you aren’t the only one. Many of us tend to focus more on our jobs and livelihood at the expense of unique trips. The outcome is depriving yourself of some important things in life, such as experiencing a vacation.

Surprisingly, some of those who acknowledge a vacation’s importance don’t take them often. They’re probably engrossed in the old-school mentality that vacations should only be taken once or twice a year. But this doesn’t have to be the case when staycations are an option.

You can take numerous vacations in a year and enjoy some of them right at home. Vacation doesn’t necessarily have to be a big trip or a well-planned outing. It’s all about a break from your regular routine to relax the mind, body, and soul.

A staycation can be as simple as turning your phone off for a few hours and enjoying some time unplugged. This will give you a personal space to focus on yourself and the things that matter to you. Self-evaluation is one of the greatest forms of self-rejuvenation and can help you embrace life from the positive side.

Leaving from work early for movie nights, date nights, or evening walks can also be a form of a staycation. You’re simply changing up your day to spice up your tomorrow. If possible, consider taking a whole day off and treat yourself and your family to a spur-of-the-moment day out. You and your loved ones will be energized and always remember that fun day. Benefits galore!

 A Tool.  

Create a separate bank account purely dedicated to staycations. Start making small deposits here and there that won’t eat into your budget. Even if it’s as low as $20 to $50, make your deposits consistent.

Soon enough, without even realizing it, you’ll have sufficient money to spend on a staycation. Additionally, it won’t feel like an expense because the money is separate from normal costs. The key is to stay committed. Don’t fail to save, and also don’t be tempted to use the money for other reasons besides your staycation.

If you don’t have staycation ideas, don’t worry! Here are a few: cooking classes, couple massages, museum days, a fancy restaurant, a spa day, check-in to the local pool, or a picnic in the park. The list is endless; just think of the stuff you don’t usually do at home that you’ve always wanted to!

A Quote

Sometimes a break from your routine is the thing you need.” – Unknown

All rags to riches stories are inspiring in many ways. They highlight struggles, unyielding spirit, and handwork that finally paid off.  We often read them in fiction pieces, but to see them unfold in real life can be a blessing. The story of billionaire entrepreneur John Paul DeJoria is one such example. He lived on the streets twice in his life but never lost hope to pursue his dreams. His success is the result of his unstoppable will to achieve and his compassionate heart. 

Born and brought up in a compassionate household, John Paul DeJoria learned to acknowledge others’ pain. At the age of six, he was inspired to donate to the Salvation Army because his mother told him that even a little help can go a long way. With such an empathetic heart, John Paul DeJoria was destined for great things. 

Unfortunately, he became homeless at the young age of 22. He lived on the streets with his two-year-old son to take care of. DeJoria has worked as a salesman selling encyclopedias and shampoo on the street. He had to sacrifice a lot to survive on minimal earnings. These challenges not only came as hurdles to his life but as lessons that made him understand the pain of homelessness. He struggled for years to put his entrepreneurial skills to use and finally had the chance in 1980. He partnered with Paul Mitchell in 1980 to start a haircare brand with a capital of just $700. 

Within a short period, the Paul Mitchell brand became a household name in hair care products. Soon after the company started scaling up, Paul Mitchell passed away. DeJoria took over the company and brought it to new heights, generating an annual revenue of over a billion dollars. 

The success of DeJoria’s first business venture encouraged him to try his luck in a new venture: distilleries. He started the brand Patrón Tequila as his second business. The brand took off, becoming a common name in tequila products. It is the product of Patrón Spirits Company based in Mexico. To ensure the distillery follows a sustainable distilling process, the company uses recycled bottles for the product and uses leftover distilled water as fertilizer. This eco-friendly initiative shot up the sales to more than 2 million cases in a year. 

DeJoria believes in giving back. He never sets wealth as a benchmark to measure his success. He loves to help people in need and actively donates to numerous social causes, especially to eradicate homelessness. DeJoria feels that since he is financially blessed, he can help others in their struggle. Having faced severe challenges in his life, it’s a way for him to give back to life for all that he has achieved so far. 

Being a true philanthropist at heart, DeJoria signed Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s “The Giving Pledge” campaign in 2011 wherein he donated half of his earnings to help underprivileged people. He is also the founder of JP’s Peace Love & Happiness Foundation, an organization that conducts fundraisers to help those in poverty and protect the rights of animals. DeJoria wants to continue his journey for the rest of his life because nothing contents him more than helping those in need.

Every time you experience disappointments, it’s easy to feel pulled down emotionally and mentally. Your thoughts are taken over by negativity, dragging you into a lower state of consciousness, which can be overwhelming. Some disappointments can even make you feel as though you’ll never bounce back.

Imagine bounding into the office on an optimistic Monday morning, thinking you crushed all the deals in the previous week. Unfortunately, your clients unexpectedly changed their minds, sending you back to the drawing board.

Or, you pop open your email only to find countless messages pointing out mistakes you’d made on various assignments. Your calendar was so packed full of tasks, deadlines, and meetings that you weren’t able to keep everything straight. Without an organized calendar, it’s easy to mix things up, leaving you disappointed and stressed out.

A Tip 

It could be a mistake at work or even a personal issue like a break-up that brings you down. A dejected feeling is hanging over you like a rain cloud, and you need to take a minute to center yourself. Carve out some time to reflect on the disappointment and remember the phrase “time heals all wounds.”

A tip that can help accomplish this is to optimize your calendar. While it may not seem like a calendar can help with a disappointment or mistake that has already happened, you’d be surprised! Organizing your tasks can help organize your mind, helping you avoid future mistakes as well as setting a future reminder that things are going to get better.

A Tool 

Are you using your calendar app to the fullest? There’s a huge amount of capabilities, especially for Google Calendar, that can make your life so much easier. Color coding tasks, setting reminders, and sharing your calendar with friends, family, and coworkers are just a few ways you can utilize your calendar.

If you’re experiencing a disappointment in life, open your calendar, and set a reminder for one month or more from that day. On the reminder, write a note like “How do you feel about the disappointment you experienced a few weeks back?” Just by typing it out, you may realize that in a matter of weeks, the negative experience will have dulled its impact on you. When the reminder pops up later, you probably won’t be feeling as upset anymore, and perhaps you’ll have completely moved on from the incident.

Color coding is also another way to use your calendar effectively. You can use a color-coding system to help rank which tasks are the highest priority, or which category they fit into. You can choose one color for events, one for work tasks, and one for important reminders. Having this go-to organization method is a great way to get your day started rather than staring at a generic to-do list.

The calendar on your phone will also help you keep tabs with family and friends. Sharing your calendar with each other ensures that you’ll be included in all the special events going on with the people you treasure most. You can easily check when a baseball game, birthday party, or movie night is taking place. It’ll also make it easy to see when your friends are free, making it easy to plan a coffee date.

A Quote 

“Do not be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of “- Charles Richard.

“If you dare nothing, you will gain nothing when the day is over.” These wise words rang true in the mind of Fred Smith during the early days of his company, FedEx. Fred Smith, the founder and current CEO of FedEx, made a bold decision to save the company by gambling its last $5,000 and luckily turning it into $27,000. This was after he was denied a crucial business loan forcing him to go to great lengths to keep the company afloat. The money was essential to covering the company’s fuel bill, which would help FedEx stay alive for just one more week.

In 1971, Fred got the idea to start Federal Express, or FedEx, after realizing how difficult it was to send and receive airfreight in one or two days. While attending Yale University, he wrote a paper that laid out the logistical challenges that pioneering companies in the IT world face. He sought to create a shipment company that would focus on urgent shipments, thus changing the industry forever. He received a “C” on his paper from his business professor. Undaunted Fred decided to pursue his business idea.

Fred raised around $94 million to start the company, $4 million of which was his own money. Federal Express started on a decent run, but things began getting shaky three years down the line. The fast-rising fuel cost caused high operational costs, and the company was on the expressway towards bankruptcy. They had incurred an estimated loss of about $1 million in a month. The major challenge was that no one was willing to lend Federal Express additional loans.

The company only had a total of $5,000, which wasn’t nearly sufficient to keep things running. The planes needed fuel, and this amount could not cover it. Fred approached General Dynamics for a loan, but the loan was declined. This left the company at its lowest point, threatening to paralyze its operations completely.

That’s when Fred made a bold decision. Instead of flying home, dejected and almost out of business, he headed to a Las Vegas casino. Fred took the remaining $5,000 and gambled on blackjack, winning $24,000. FedEx now had enough to cover the fuel costs and keep the planes flying for a few more days. When questioned about what was going through his mind all that time, he responded by stating, “What difference does it make? Without the funds for fuel companies, we could not have flown anyway.”

This marked the beginning of a new era in the company’s history. As it turned out, FedEx only needed a few days to get things back in control. Fred was quickly able to raise a total of $11 million, which was sufficient to keep FedEx afloat.

In 1976, the company made $3.6 million, which was their first-ever profit. By 1981, FedEx profits went up to an estimated $40 million. Federal Express was renamed FedEx in 1994.

Today, FedEx is a multi-billion corporation that has revolutionized business practices globally with speed and reliability. Its net worth is estimated to be $25 to $35 billion. This is first-hand proof that success does come to those who dare to act.

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