Hey, glad you showed up!

As the tag says, this blog is intended to discuss: 

Business – Life – Money.  

Almost anything can fit.   I hope you choose to participate in the comments.  This place won’t be the same without you!

Me?  Well since you asked…..

I started selling flyswatters door-to-door and picking up empty pop bottles from the side of the road to turn in for the 2-cent deposit.  Hey, gimme a break.  I was eight. 

My first real job was as a soda jerk, although I spent most of my time scrubbing out the big metal ice cream cans.  I was 13 and it paid $1.25 per hour.  A fortune!

From there:  Busboy, dishwasher, order-puller, grocery bagger, stock clerk, produce clerk and gas station pump jockey back in the day when someone pumped your gas, washed your windows and checked your oil  for you (ask your grand parents). 

Mail clerk, ground man for a tree crew, landscaper, ad agency founder, account executive, ad space salesman, investment officer, entrepreneur, consultant, sales trainer, speaker, writer, radio talk show host, publisher and group publisher.  Pretty much in that order although I’ve done some more than once.  And I may have forgotten one or two.

My work has taken me to most states across the country as well as Canada, Germany and England.  One of my few regrets is that I’ve never had the occasion for an international posting.

But I’ve had the good fortune to see a bit of the planet on my own:  Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Wales, England, Greece, Crete, Puerto Rico, Tahiti, Venezuela, Curacao, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Paris, India, Kashmir, Goa, Nepal, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Eleuthera, St. Thomas, St. Martin, Barbados, Antigua, Martinique, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile.  Pretty much in that order although I’ve visited some more than once.  And I may have forgotten one or two.

I’ve traveled to and around those places by plane, train, bus, subway, taxi, hired car, motorcycle, bicycle, rickshaw, hitch-hiking, foot, horse, donkey and elephant.  Not only traveled by elephant, but herded rhinoceros by elephant back  in Nepal.  I love saying that!

My degree in English Literature is from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.  They still send me alumni letters mostly, I think, hoping I’ve become rich and famous.  I’m working on it.

Here’s my favorite cartoon:

The visual is two guys in a corn field.  They are up on racks dressed in shabby clothes.  Straw is coming out from their shirt cuffs and pant legs. 

They are serving as scarecrows.  One is looking over at the other and saying…

“English Major.  How about you?”

 Since June 2011, as I write this, I’ve left what will probably be my last full-time job.  So I guess I’m retired.  Maybe.  Sort of.  For now anyway.  Never say never.

For the immediate future I’ll:

  • Be sitting on a couple of corporate boards.  Small, entrepreneurial companies are what interest me.
  • Working on this blog and, perhaps accepting speaking engagements based on the topics covered here.
  • Voice over.  (let me know if you can help me break into this)
  • Long term travel where we can settle into a place for several months at a time.  Zanzibar, where my wife was born and raised, is the first planned.

A pal of mine once said I had won the family lottery.  He is right.

As of June 19th, 2011 Jane and I will have been married for 29 years.  Our daughter Jessica is in college. 

This Blog, as with everything I do, is dedicated to them.



Oh, and one last thing…..

Disclaimer:  Everything on this blog is only sharing ideas.  You are solely responsible for your own choices.

  1. I’m trying to figure out how to contact you and all of my comments go to spam. Hopefully this one doesn’t. Where is the contact info on your site?

    • jlcollinsnh says:

      Hi Joe….

      Looks like you hit on the magic formula. Sorry getting thru has been tough. I do try to look at the spam folder so the good ones don’t get away. I’ll keep an eye out for yours.

  2. chris says:

    great ideas!! Thanks for your help on this!

  3. chris says:

    HI JL….

    I have a financial question related to a health issue….where would it make sense to post it? ?


    • jlcollinsnh says:

      Hi Chris….

      I don’t think I’ve ever had a health question. You can post it right here, unless the financial aspect relates to another post I’ve written?

      • chris says:

        Well Thank you….

        So my wife recently went into the hospital for a gullbladder surgery. Fortunately she is doing better and we are now experiencing sticker shock for the bill. We have a high deductible health care plan where we pay $650 per month out of pocket for insurance. Our plan has us paying the first $6500. Surprise.. our bill was $6382. I am trying to figure out the best way to pay this off.

        One option would be to pay the bill off monthly. They are offering payments of $212 per month interest free for 30 months.

        Second option is to pay them cash of $5105. The opportunity costs of this would be about $1200 over 30 months?

        They may accept less cash?

        I am curious how you would deal with this?

        Thanks for your thoughts in adv.


        • jlcollinsnh says:

          Hi Chris….

          Glad to hear you wife’s doing better.

          Sounds like they are offering a 20% discount if you pay cash:
          $212 x 30 months = $6360
          – $5105 cash
          = $1255 = 19.73%

          looking just at the numbers, I’d pay the $5105 cash.

          But you might also try to negotiate for a lower bill first. The fact that they are willing to take 20% less says a lot about how much padding is in the bill and about how afraid they are of defaults.

          Start with negotiating the bill itself, before discussion of how you’ll pay. It might be as simple as asking:

          “Wow. $6360 is a lot, especially since with our high-deductabel plan we’ll be paying it all out of pocket. What kind of discount can you offer?”

          Then, with whatever discount they offer and you accept:

          “Thanks! That helps a lot. We’ll also pay cash so that comes to ($xxx – 20%)”

          As with all negotiations you want to be friendly.

          Good luck!

  4. David says:

    Jim – you called and I was traveling. Please call me back. Today?
    David B.

  5. Hi James L. Collins from Wilmette! I finally found you because Chris foound Fritz- The Unholy Alliance is reunited! It should be the Chicago Trib Headlines!

  6. Bruce says:

    Dang,Jim! Didn’t know you was a blogger.Feel free to correct my grammar.Might as well put that degree to some use.

    Congrats on your retirement,or whatever it is.I’m not one of those people who thinks that you have to keep working or you die.I don’t get bored easily.I can always find something constructive(or at least amusing)to do.Personally,I could retire right now,and live happily another 40 years without ever thinking I was wasting my life.In fact,quite the opposite.I think work is gonna kill me early,if anything.

    I tried the retirement thing about 15 years ago,when I was in my late 30’s. I had about a years worth of wages saved up,and I figured that I could supplement that playing pool.Some nights I was winning $200.00-$300.00,tax free. I figured if I could do that twice a week,or hell,even 5 times a month,I could make it.

    Funny how you can blow through a years wages in about 6 months when you’re hanging out in poolrooms and bars every night.

    Funny too,how something that used to be easy freewheeling fun,turns into a pressure filled job,when you do it to put food on the table.My game went to shit,losing to people I should have schooled,and I was lucky most nights to get away with just paying my bar tab.

    Anyway,I envy anybody who can break out of the rat race,even for a while.Kudos to you.Rock on, amigo!

    • jlcollinsnh says:

      Hey Bruce…..

      great to see you here and thanks for subscribing! yer grammer be fine far as me can tell.

      I agree, there’s lots to do in life besides work. For the most part I’ve enjoyed my jobs and the only complaint was they took up so much freaking time. :)
      If things work out as I plan, I’ll be ‘working” about 30% of the time now. I have a post or two planned about people I’ve met who’ve been able to make that happen.

      very cool that you took a year off, kinda like a retirement preview. but remind me never to play pool with you for $$

  7. ok…
    where’s your comment on my comment?

    • jlcollinsnh says:

      under your original comment here: https://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/my-short-attention-span/

      you’re gonna have to start reading this blog a lot closer, my friend. I suggest you subscribe now. It’s free and worth twice as much. :)

    • Michael says:

      Is this Jim and Fritz, the comedy team I met in Taos, NM?
      Man, oh man.
      I just had a great flashback of burning sage and glowing lava stones, and crawling from a sweat-lodge onto the cool earth beneath that magical New Mexico moon.
      I thought I’d check an old email address today.
      Sure enough, it led me here.

      Michael(from NY)!

      • Hi Mike – yep, it’s us.
        Good for Jim’s blogger fans to see how the Red Road merges with business, life and money.
        Hopefully, he’ll write about it.
        Jim hasn’t mentioned his FBI connection and a Sundance that we participated in a few years back. Very humorous.
        Only Sundance participant that I know of to dress in a white, buttoned down, dress shirt.
        He was viewed with great skepticism by the participants.
        We worked our fingers to the bone for the ceremony…
        Ask him ’bout the exploding rocks.
        New Mexico Lobo

  8. Bob Gregis says:

    Well you said you would do it and you did. Best of luck as always, and hope you find your illusive inner-self.


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