Monthly Archives: March 2010

Lessons From Defensive Driving 5

10 March 2010, by A. Cedilla

Here at last is the final part of our series, Lessons from Defensive Driving. I hope you enjoyed the ride.

Rule #50: Connect Your Mind To Your Eyes
Have you ever had one of those days when you suddenly jerk awake in your office chair and realize you had no idea how you got there? Try as you might, the commute is a blank. Scary, isn’t it? Where WERE you during the drive?

Autopilot has its good and bad points — the deciding factor of whether it is good or bad is awareness.

See what you’re looking at. Think, don’t just watch.

For example, when you find that you’re low on gas, gas stations pop up in the forefront of your consciousness. You won’t be able to help it. You’ll be on the alert for gas stations at every corner — and then you might forget you need to get some milk.

See what you want, but don’t lose sight of what’s happening. That’s how accidents can happen.

“One of the most important aspects of defensive driving is recognizing impending hazards BEFORE they become a problem for you. Early recognition allows the time you need to avoid trouble.”

The root of the work recognition comes from cognate – to know. Knowledge, in it’s most basic sense, IS awareness.
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Lessons From Defensive Driving 4

08 March 2010, by A. Cedilla

Thought the series was finished last week, didn’t you? Well, we do have one more part to go after this, and then it’ll be done. In the meantime, I strongly encourage you to continue reading uncle Bob’s 70 Rules for Defensive Driving as well. You never know, the life you save can be your own.

Rule #31: Avoid Head-On Collisions
I’ve underlined the key words from certain sentences in this rule:

  • Anticipate those places and situations where a head-on collision is possible.”
  • Pay attention and look far down the road. If you aren’t distracted, you’re likely to see the vehicle coming long before he’s a problem.”

Anticipate, pay attention, look far ahead. Filter out the distractions. It’s about taking control by merging your planning skills with the power of your imagination, supporting that by experience, and fueling everything with a dash of fear to keep you alert.

Think ahead. Prepare. By practicing your decision-making skills in non-stressful situations, you can refine them and enforce good habits that will support you in harsher times, or even save you under pressure. This is where imagination and fear can help you the most — instead of fearing the worst, go ahead and imagine the worst-case scenarios — and prepare for them as well.

Rule #38: Don’t Prevent Others from Passing
There’s enough business out there on the internet to help support your small enterprise, especially if you’ve already found your niche. You don’t have to resort to mud-slinging, underhanded or unethical practices just to get yours.

On the internet, you ARE your reputation, and gossip –once out– lives forever. Act with integrity, focus your energy on quality products or services, and them promote the heck out of them. Besides, your competitors today may be your partners tomorrow. You never know, you know?
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Lessons From Defensive Driving 3

05 March 2010, by A. Cedilla

Here I am again with another batch of Uncle Bob’s safer-driving tips, as applied to your own business. Enjoy!

Rule #25: Maintain Your Tires
Really, you have to click the link first to understand the framework for this. It’s also very good advice.

When you’re in business for yourself, you work to save money, as well as make it. Don’t believe me? Think about it.

Whether you’re just starting out, or maybe taking over, you need to keep your overhead down to keep some money in the cash box. Sometimes, you have to operate on a shoe-string for quite a long while, treading water, before you get to see any profit.

(Note: For excellent advice on getting by with little money for your business, go download Seth Godin’s manifesto, The Bootstrapper’s Bible, at ChangeThis.)
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Lessons From Defensive Driving 2

03 March 2010, by A. Cedilla

Here are more lessons I got from Uncle Bob’s safer-driving tips.

Rule #17: Know Your Blind Spots
More commonly touted as, “Know what you don’t know,” knowing that you have blind spots — don’t worry, everyone has them– is only the first step.

Blind spots happen when you’re too close to the situation to see things clearly. They also pop up in situations you don’t want to deal with. The results? You get — stop me if you’ve heard this one before — blind-sided.

So, how to deal?

Awareness is important, and a willingness to listen to viewpoints other than your own. You can start dealing with your blind spots by asking someone you trust and whose opinion you respect (and hopefully is also diplomatic) to point them out to you. Ideally, this should be done in a calm, neutral setting. As in rule number 14, nobody likes being ambushed, even if in this case you ask for it.
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Lessons From Defensive Driving

01 March 2010, by A. Cedilla

After I stumbled on Bob Saller’s “70 Rules of Defensive Driving” on Roadtrip America, I was hit by a totally random thunderbolt of inspiration, and immediately thought of how to apply some of them in running a business.

Note: Here’s just my free and on-the-fly interpretation, I picked the rules that rung a bell. Visit the site yourself to see all 70 of Uncle Bob’s life-saving rules for the road, and to get the real background, click on the links below to see the actual rule I’m referring to.


Rule #10: Drive Precisely
Precise is neat, exact, meticulous. Being precise means executing an action according to something, fitting something — a plan, a destination, a specific goal. Precise is the opposite of sloppy.

If you’ve suffered the embarrassment of having a half-baked job come back to haunt you, you’d know how things like expediency may sneak you through, but taking short-cuts avoids the lessons, the mastery you could have earned, e.g. learning to do it right the first few times vs. doing fast to get it done in one go.

Rule #11: Chill Out
Relax, de-stress, literally take a load off and put your feet up (Sitting all day is bad for your health) or pound the pavement (Exercise helps. A lot). Stop clenching, it’s bad for your teeth. And your blood pressure.

Take a deep breath, then a few more. It’s attitude. It’s the journey, not the destination. It’s you, choosing to be in control, not you allowing your emotions to rule the roost.
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