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Learn From Nature

Trees are a marvel.  Each and every year they go through a process of drawing water and nutrients up deep from the ground, and enriching the soil around them by depositing a load of leaves, and sometimes edible nuts and fruit.

They catch the rain and the sunshine around them and capture that energy for later use without modern technology.

What person could stand in one place and get so many things done? Watching and understanding the wisdom of trees has made me aware that wealth can be built in the same fashion.

Maybe it doesn’t start with having material possessions, but if you start with growing your mind beyond what you were taught in school and constantly learn new things, I believe that doors will open.

The journey is not easy, and if you look too far ahead, it can be frustrating that you are not there yet.  I struggle with this all the time.  And yet I have found slow growth to be the key to survival in the upcoming turbulent economic times.


The 5 Step Process


Working at the golf and country club has provided a stable income for my family, however, as an employee without any sort of “write offs” a significant portion of income flies out the door before I even see it.  Over the last 10 years, there has been a steady rise in the amounts shaved off my coins like: Federal Taxes, Canada Pension Plan, UI, and of course Union dues.

This doesn’t even include inflation!

There is a saying out there that picking up one leach isn’t a bad thing, however having 10,000 leaches can kill you.  Rather than get completely discouraged, what can I do to begin to step out of this rat race?

There are approximately 5 Steps that anyone can do to improve this situation.  If you can show up to work on a regular basis, with enough intelligence to read this blog post, then I’m going to assume you can accomplish everything on the following list:

1. Invest In Your Human Capitol
2. Build a Platform.
3. Learn To Curl
4. Volunteer
5. Learn The Infinite Banking Concept

This list is simply a beginning point.  Can you take it further?  Of course — go as far as humanly possible!

Step 1: Invest In Your Human Capitol

If you commute to work, listen to Podcasts that teach how to build on-line businesses. The majority of podcasts are completely free and provide enormous value.

If you are lucky you can listen while on the job or cleaning the house, the bottom line is that nobody has an excuse for not starting their education.  If you want to upset the apple cart of your current position, then adopt the mindset of an entrepreneur while on the job.

My Podcast University

Everyday I listen to a range of Podcasts, and most of my ideas for blog posts are inspired by these great thinkers:

  1. Seth Godin’s Startup School
  2. Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income
  3. Johanna Penn’s The Creative Penn
  4. Mark Dawson’s The Self-Publishing Formula
  5. M.C. Laubscher’s The Cashflow Ninja
  6. Tim Ferriss’ The Tim Ferriss Show
  7. Michael Hyatt’s This Is Your Life
  8. James Altucher’s The James Altucher Show
  9. Robert P. Murphy & L. Carlos Lara The Lara-Murphy Show
  10. Tom Woods’ The Tom Woods Show

These podcasts can help organize your thoughts and teach you how to write, find your passion and learn how to monetize it.

Step 2: Build A Platform

One of the easiest places to start building a platform is a blog.  Write your thoughts down each and every day, no matter how bad you think you write.  Here are 4 guidelines that I  follow:

  1. Pay attention
  2. Take iPhone photos
  3. Take notes
  4. Share Your Story

1. Pay Attention

If you learn how to strike up conversations with the people you meet every day, over time you will acquire many stories.  Think of yourself as a solar panel gathering energy to propel yourself forward.

Be yourself, and ask honest questions and share your own interests.  The key is to take interest and be curious.

Why would you want to expend the extra effort and start a platform?

Everyone has a story or an internal narrative that they listen to.  How do you find these stories?  Ask and listen.  It is really simple.  Interweave your thoughts around the details and voila!

2. Take lots of iPhone Photos

Ever since I started the Barley Nectar Blog my mind has been on fire with new ideas on how to become a better story teller.  Although I am still riding a tractor, or doing mundane jobs, I have finally started to see past the limits of my current employment.

I like the limits imposed by a phone picture because it forces you to learn about distance and light, and most importantly, you can carry everything in your pocket.

If you are looking, photo opportunities will present themselves every day especially if you aren’t in a hurry.  I also like the idea of taking my own pictures to add more depth to the blog, in this way my photography skills will develop alongside my storytelling skills.

3. Take Notes

What is so powerful about a writing a blog?

James Altucher gave me the idea that blogs can be stapled together into chapters into a book.  If a blog post gets traffic, then that shows that the market is responding to your work and it’s a signal that there might be more traction in that area.

Once the project is complete, with the right marketing, thousands of people could potentially read your work from across the globe, while you sleep.  Invest in the asset once, and then it will work for the rest of your life.

4. Share Your Story With Everyone

Build a list of readers to for your platform.  All this means is that it never hurts to tell folks that you are writing a blog and ask them if you can add them to your mailing list.

Don’t be shy.

Although it may take a few years to develop a following, I say it feels great to see that someone has graciously taken the time to read your work.  If you never build a list, no matter how good you are, it will be difficult if not impossible to find your work.  

Step 3: Learn To Curl

Why curling?  It’s a solution that works for a wide range of personality types, and athletic abilities.  In other words, you can be in the worst shape of your life and still begin curling.

They will take you.

Now, this step does have some associated costs, but, the benefits far outweigh the expenses.  Set aside for a moment what you think you know or how you feel about the idea of belonging to a country club.

Whether you agree or not, many of the members of this type of organization are deeply involved in the community through other organizations like Rotary, or The Chamber of Commerce.

It’s a great way to introduce a sense of play into your life if you are having trouble unwinding from the serious aspect of life.  It’s also the best way to get a casual audience with a CEO, that I can think of.

If you are looking for an effective way to meet influential people of your community join the curling section of a country club.

This might not be the goal, but you will also realize that you will meet some of the most caring and friendly people that give back to their community.

Do you live in a tropical climate?  No worries.  Contact Rock Solid Productions, they will hook you up with an artificial rink, and help you start your own club!

Do you want to learn how to curl?  I run through how to get started in a post here.  You can also contact me on Twitter @barleynectar for details or email me at

Step 4: Volunteer

Volunteers are a valued members of the community. They work hard and many people depend on them. The St. Catharines Golf and Country Club is no different. My first great example of volunteering comes through helping with a Charity Tournament called The Big Orange Bonspiel.

Assisting with any type of event at a curling club brings you into contact with many types of people, and allows you to learn new skills you could pack on a resume.

On the tails of seeing these types of events run, in 2017 I decided to volunteer for the Scott Tournament of Hearts #2017STOH.  I didn’t expect to be asked to be a vice-chair of the host committee, but by stepping forward and volunteering, I met an untold amount of people.

The experience was both rich and terrifying. The best thing?  It was free.  It cost me time and sweat equity, which most of us have in abundance.  The ROI forced me to learn new skills and opened my eyes to see how a large operation runs from the perspective of the influencers.

The bottom line is that it also was the prime motivator to start this blog.  I don’t believe I would be rolling the way I am today without the experience of #2017STOH under my belt.

Step 5: Learn The Infinite Banking Concept

Learning to manage your money well is a skill everyone must learn.  Nobody can do your pushups for you in this department.  Think of all the skills listed in the previous parts of this blog as the potential seeds of a business.

Every business starts as the tiniest fragment of imagination and evolves from there.  Just as your potential increases, so must your ability to manage the financial resources evolve with the unfolding success.

I am no expert but I want to learn.

There is a little-known law out there that says, (loosely translated) “a project’s expenses always run equal to the money available for them. Or the time a project will take is equal to the time set aside for it.”

The bottom line is that an entrepreneur must learn how to control his or her expenses, spend less than they earn and invest the difference in cash-flowing assets that they understand.  Robert Kiyosaki recommends adopting a wealthy mindset of asking, “How can I afford this?” Rather than the poor mindset of, “I can’t afford it.”

Another powerful method I have learned that addresses financial intelligence is The Infinite Banking Concept.  Where did I learn this?  Listening to podcasts of course!

Nelson Nash wrote a book many years ago entitled, “Becoming Your Own Bank.” The concept uses a whole life dividend paying insurance policy to solve the need for FINANCE, (which is more imminent) than the typical need for the DEATH CERTIFICATE.

This doesn’t mean you don’t need life insurance!

The bottom line is like all other areas in your life, learn to be more resilient, and grow past the confines of your current situation.  If you enjoy where you are, then all of these skills learn above can only compliment and enrich your life.



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