About pbilodeau01

Born in Berlin, N.H.; bachelor of arts, major in journalism, Northeastern University; master's degree in urban studies, Southern Connecticut State University; was an editor and reporter at New Haven Register, an editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a reporter at The Meriden Record-Journal. Now a freelance writer and editor.


#age #GettingBetterWithAge #HumanBody #athletes #singers
Some things get better with age.

Wine and whiskey immediately come to mind.

The human body usually does not.

If you do physical work, generally, there will come a time when you will no longer be able to.

More often, though, if you do something physical, your body will tell you when it’s time to stop. But the question becomes, will you listen to your body?

Or, will you keep going, thinking that you can still do it, even when you can’t?

Let’s use the examples of athletes and singers. If you are a good athlete, you figure on a career that will last, hopefully, 20 years or so, barring injury.

As an athlete, it’s up to you to notice when your skills are fading. By the way, kudos to the athletes who can still play competitively well beyond their prime. Advances in training, treatments etc., along with some good luck, have kept some athletes hanging in, even doing well, after a couple of decades of competition.

Generally, though, an athlete knows, or should know, when it’s time to retire. Sometimes, those decisions are made for them. But, usually, athletes have enough pride in their games that they do not want to embarrass themselves by playing on too late in life.

Many singers, however, do not know when to stop. Even when it’s clear to the average observer that a singer, who may have been really good decades ago, can no longer sing, as he or she did, they keep singing.

Fans, perhaps those who don’t want these singers out of the picture yet, continue to pay large sums to see these old singers perform, even if the songs don’t sound quite the same as they remember.

As long as people pay, they’ll keep singing. Some of that might be pressure from their advisers and handlers, who still want to keep making money off these singers. But, here’s the question: if you were once a great singer, and you no longer sound the same after 30, 40 or even 50 years, do you have enough pride – certainly you should have enough money, if you’ve had many hits – to stop performing?

Perhaps you should find a tribute performer(s) to carry on your legacy. Sure, the fans won’t pay the same money for tribute performers, but they will sound more like you than you do now.

It must be difficult to have achieved fame and a following, and have to give it up. Both athletes and singers face the same decision at some point.

But, at least for some fans, it can be torture to listen to someone you’ve admired for years not being able to hit the notes he or she once hit easily. It’s also difficult to watch a singer, whose songs you know note for note, cheat his or her way through a concert by substituting lower notes.

If your God-given talent and endless work has made you good at something physical, remember that your body will tell you when it can no longer do what you want. Listen to your body. Avoid embarrassment. Let the younger talent in your trade carry on.



#success #luck #BadLuck #opportunity #effort
Have you ever met someone who is envious of a successful person?

They are so lucky, that person thinks.

Then, they wish they had the same luck.

Not knowing anything about what the person had to do to become successful, they just presume the person was just lucky.

And they, of course, are unlucky for not achieving the same success.

Success, no matter how one defines it, is available to anyone.

The difference between the successful and the unsuccessful is a combination of opportunity – not luck – and effort.

Opportunity is not something that comes by accident. Opportunity is sought. In other words, the luck comes to those who prepare for it by taking an opportunity that is presented to him or her.

Certainly, one has to know an opportunity when he or she sees it. The successful person will always look for an opportunity. The unsuccessful person will usually pass on an opportunity for various reasons including: too much work, too much to invest, they would never do such a thing, they would never consider such a thing etc.

These are excuses, for lack of a better term. If an opportunity is good enough, the successful person will overcome all of those hurdles mentioned above and find a way to get in.

Certainly, not every opportunity is for everyone. But if the desire for success is inside you, you will look at all opportunities until you find the right one for you.

In fact, someone you know, or perhaps someone you don’t know, may present something to you that you may have never considered before. If your desire for success is strong enough, you will check it out anyway.

Those who don’t look for opportunities have reached a stage of contentment with their lives. Whether they are indeed content may be debatable, but they don’t want to do what they would need to do to advance their lives further.

Still others are not content with their lives, but blame circumstances for their hardship. These folks “know their place” in life, and are envious of others who’ve achieved more. They blame others, or things, for their lack of achievement.

In short, everyone has the ability to be successful. Your education, experience or background may not matter, unless your idea of success involves a bunch of education and experience.

If you have the ambition, and are not the type to blame someone or something for your lack of achievement, there are opportunities out there for the taking.

You just have to be open-minded enough to look for them



#ambition #UnfulfilledAmbition #goals #achievement #HardWork
Harry Chapin’s song “Taxi,” talks about unfulfilled ambition.
Or, it talks about fulfilling ambition in a different, less desirable way.
The Chapin character in the song wanted to be a pilot. Instead, he’s driving a cab.
His passenger, an old friend from childhood he hadn’t seen in years, wanted to be an actress. Instead, she married someone rich and is a homemaker.
The two ended up fulfilling their ambitions, sort of, the song says. She is “acting happy inside her handsome home. “ (If you don’t know the song, she did leave him a nice tip). He’s flying high, on drugs, presumably when he’s not driving a cab, the song says.
The song came out in 1972, but its lessons may apply today.
Do you have a worthy ambition? Are there things in the way of you fulfilling that ambition?
Ambitions come in all shapes and sizes. They also come with many pathways, some difficult or expensive, to get there.
In the Chapin song, the cab rider who wanted to be an actress might have found a difficult path to get there. She may have found stiff competition – how many folks want to act as a career? Given those pathways, one has to admire anyone who slogs through the pathway and becomes successful.
Perhaps the cab rider found true love, or just found a “sugar daddy,” and abandoned the path. Perhaps she tried acting and didn’t break through. The song never says.
The Chapin character would have had a rigorous path to becoming a pilot. Not everyone can do it. The song never says how far he’d gotten toward that goal.
The point is that ambition is all well and good. But if you are unwilling to do what it takes, or you don’t get the breaks you need to become successful, you may not achieve them.
So, what if there was a way to achieve your ambitions, just by your effort alone? What if your ambition involves an extensive and expensive education, that may or may not pay off for you, financially, in the end?
Some such ambitions are certainly noble, and would do the world some good. They just may not personally enrich you.
But there are programs out there that, by investing a few, part-time, off-work hours a week to start, can potentially help you over some financial hurdles.
These programs don’t require specific education, experience or background. They merely require an open mind to check them out (they may or may not be for you), and a willingness to be coached.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
Meanwhile, having an ambition, or a goal, is better than having none at all. Be mindful of the pitfalls of pursuit, but don’t necessarily let those pitfalls deter you.
You shouldn’t have to settle for something less, if you don’t want to. Try not to rationalize settling as achievement.
Some ambitions take longer than others. You may have to redesign ambitions to suit circumstances, but if you really want something, go for it, no matter what it may take.


#HappyNewYear #NewYear #2022 #COVID19 #coronavirus #FlattenTheCurve
It’s been an interesting year, or two.
Will 2022 be any better?
That’s up to each of us.
COVID-19 may be around longer than we want it to be. In fact, it may never go away entirely.
As we have with seasonal flu and other diseases, we have to learn that precautions may forever be in order. If everyone eligible got vaccinated and boosted, it would go a long way toward mitigation.
If we begin the year with that premise, let’s move on to the promise.
Things are getting better, as unemployment is dropping, and wages, in many cases, are rising.
Here’s the rub: going to work isn’t what it used to be, in many cases.
More customers/clients have become, for lack of a better word, abusive.
If you are on the front lines, you get paid to resolve disputes. But you do not get paid to take abuse. You may have no control over the situation, though some would have you believe you have absolute control to resolve their grievances.
You have to remember that the situation is not your fault, in most cases. While the pandemic and accompanying restrictions have brought out the worst in some, they have brought out the best in others.
Yes, it’s easier to say that when one is not being abused.
Let’s resolve this year to be kinder. Let’s resolve to understand why we might be frustrated, even angry. Let’s resolve that what’s making us frustrated and angry may not be what, or who, is in front of us, and not take out our frustration and anger on that thing or person.
Again, it’s easier said than done, but if we can all give it thought, perhaps we can minimize disturbances.
Remember, too, that not only you, but everyone around you, can be affected by your behavior. The next time you may feel inclined to disrupt an airline flight over, say, a mask, remember it’s not just about you, and your “rights.” And remember that the flight crew is there to keep you, and those around you, safe. You have a part to play in that effort. Play it graciously and cooperatively.
That brings us to what you may want for yourself, and others, in the new year. Is your situation ideal for you?
Do you want to take a different route, or direction, in 2022? Now is a good time to think about that.
Know that there are many programs out there that can improve your situation, financial and otherwise, without having to change what you are doing now.
These programs require no specific education, experience or background. They only require an open mind to check them out, a desire to change your own circumstances and a willingness to help others.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
Meanwhile, whatever you decide to do in 2022, do it with kindness, humility, integrity and generosity.
Remember that what you do will not just affect you. And remember that the person who you think is persecuting you may be there to save you.
Happy New Year!


#homes #investors #InstitutionalInvestors #landlords
Home is where the profit is.
Yes, institutional investors, i.e. pension funds, venture capitalists etc., are buying up individual, single-family homes.
So says an analysis by Zachary B. Wolf for CNN, published on cnn.com Aug. 2, 2021.
Here are the trends, as Wolf sees them: 1) Many people still can’t afford to buy homes, despite low interest rates. 2) The coronavirus pandemic has encouraged, even forced, people to work from home, so they may need more space. 3) Traditional landlords – people who own one or two properties, big property management operations, even Real Estate Investment Trusts are tired of people not paying rent because they lost their jobs in the pandemic.
In short, other people’s peril, and big potential for juicy rent checks, bring out big investors.
Perhaps the advantage here is that the new type of institutional investor doesn’t depend strictly on the income from one rental house to survive. Eventually, they figure, the juicy rent checks will reappear. Meanwhile, other real estate investors are looking for relief.
Perhaps also, since these investors don’t necessarily depend solely on the rent checks, they will eventually bail out of this space by allowing their tenants to purchase the homes they live in. Typical real estate investors generally shy away from those scenarios.
Here’s another thought: The equity building in the property – the housing market for purchase is on fire in most places – would be the new investors’ profit. That may put less pressure on tenants/rents, presuming the tenants eventually get out from under their pandemic hardships. If you are a tenant, it probably doesn’t matter to whom you write your rent check.
However, for tenants, it could matter if something goes wrong with your property. How will these investors handle property management? Might they hire back the property managers from whom they bought the property?
If you’ve ever taken a class, or read a book, on making money by investing in real estate, they tend to suck people in with leverage. In other words, you (the potential investor) can start by putting a small down payment on Property X, and taking a mortgage. The rent covers the mortgage payment and a little profit for you.
As you become more successful, you buy another property the same way. As that property becomes successful, you do it again etc.
All this depends on nothing going wrong. And, when properties need major repairs, does the aspiring rich landlord have the cash to cover them? Then, if you have a pandemic, suddenly, renters can’t pay. The government then stops you from evicting them. They will certainly owe back rent, but how long might it take for you (the landlord) to see that money?
The good news here is there are easier ways to make a good income from other than a W-2 job. You don’t need to buy property, and the headaches that come with it. You don’t need to hope for tenants who will pay faithfully every month, no matter what happens. You don’t need to worry about big repairs etc.
The bonus: you don’t need any specific education, background or experience to take advantage of these many programs. And, you can help your friends do the same in the process.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
Meanwhile, even professional investors see an opportunity in single-family real estate – one house at a time. It’s probably a temporary strategy for them, since they likely don’t need the headaches of property management for the long term.
But, perhaps, they could provide the relief tenants – and many landlords – need in this extraordinary time.
One can only hope for a win-win for all concerned.


#ClimateChange #weather #floods #heat

There are fires in places that almost never burn.

There is extremely hot weather setting records in places that don’t usually get hot.

There are floods in places that don’t usually flood.

There’s even cold weather in places that never get cold.

No matter how you cut it, our climate is changing. We have to figure out exactly why, and what we can do to fix it. Science points to fossil fuels and industrialization as a cause. We want to keep being industrious, but we need to find different ways to do it.

If we don’t, peril will persist. Life as we knew it will be gone.

Weather, once unpredictable, is now pretty predictable. Still, no one could see the unexpected weather in many parts of the world. It’s not just the unexpected. Expected, predictable events are becoming worse than predicted.

For example, one can predict wildfires in California. But recent fires have been far more frequent and devastating, and less seasonal, than in the past. (If only we could move water from places that have too much of it, to places that don’t have enough.)

Also, one can predict triple-digit heat in Texas in the summer. But one never expects triple digit heat in Canada, forcing a British Columbia town to burn up.

Think of what triple-digit heat would do if it reached as far north as the Arctic. Even the final round of the Open golf championship in England saw record warmth for that locale (though it was actually a pleasant 80 degrees).

These changes may force people to rethink careers, where they live and how they should prepare for the unknown.

There are some disasters for which there is no possible preparation. But, for many, doing the right thing beforehand can mitigate damage, injury or loss of life.

Most important of all, we must act soon to determine the long-term global actions that will need to occur. As individuals, we can prepare as best we can to save our own lives and possessions. But, as a world, we have to take large-scale measures to mitigate these changes.

Some will sit back and let nature take its course. One does that at his or her peril.

If our actions as humans contributed to these events, our actions as humans can mitigate them.

Just as we can prepare as individuals to protect ourselves and our things, we can also prepare to change things that either aren’t going well in our lives, or are not sustainable in our lives for the long term.

Is what you are doing the thing you want to be doing? Have you thought about what might be if you did something else? Are you looking for something that would change your circumstances potentially exponentially for the better?

There are many programs that can help you do that, even without having to give up – at least for now — what you are already doing. No specific education, background or experience is required. As a bonus, they can be done regardless of the climate you live in.

To check out one of the best such programs, message me.

In summary, prepare for what you can predict. Presume what you predict will be worse than you believe. Throw in some preparedness for things you don’t expect to happen. Engage with the world to mitigate nature’s changes.

Don’t sit back and wait for things to get better. They probably won’t, unless you (and we) act.



#passsion #bills #life
“Passion doesn’t pay bills.”

So says the beginning of a TV ad for Etsy.

This makes one think of childhood, and something everyone’s parents may have said.

You may passionately want to be a rock star, the conversation then proceeds, but not everyone can be a rock star. You have to find something steady that will make you a living.

Play your guitar at home, during your off hours.

While it’s certainly true that not everyone who wants to be a rock star will be. Competition is fierce, and there’s a lot of talent out there. The difference between one who makes it as a rock star and one who doesn’t may involve a lucky break or two, or meeting the right person.

But the conversation with one’s parents almost always seems to devolve into encouraging the child, regardless of age, to settle for something he or she may not want.

We can extrapolate further. How miserable, and regretful, will this child be 40 years later that he or she did not pursue his or her passion?

Very likely, a lifetime of paid bills may be no consolation.

One should have a twofold consideration in the pursuit of life. What do you WANT to do? What do you have to do to get what you want? If you don’t get what you want immediately, what do you do in the meantime? The second part is: What do you do to ensure you have a good life throughout? What plan do you put in place to make that happen? How do I make enough to live well, save well, invest well for the future etc.?

The answer is to be both idealistic and practical. Give yourself some time to pursue your passion. If you fail, put a Plan B in place as you continue to pursue your passion. What you earn in Plan B can buy you time to get to Plan A.

Sock away a portion of what you earn toward your future, and invest it prudently. Don’t raid that stash for frivolous expenditures.

Perhaps you are the person who has not yet found his or her passion. Perhaps you started with a relatively secure Plan A, and it is treating you OK. You are content. Yet, you want something more.

(Remember, too, that secure Plan A’s are fleeting. They may not last as long as you want them to.)

Or, you may have a passion that is not necessarily paying your bills, but you want to keep pursuing it.

Fortunately, for either of those types of folks, there are programs out there that can help you generate a potentially lucrative income with a strong, part-time effort, while enabling you to help others at the same time. No specific education, experience or background are required – only the willingness to look at something you may never have thought you would do.

To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.

In short, if you have a passion, don’t be afraid to pursue it. Pursue it because you enjoy it. If it pays off financially, consider yourself fortunate. Do something, preferably something you don’t hate, to accommodate your practical needs for as long as you need to. (Hopefully, for as long as you want to.)

Try to live the life you want with few regrets, so you can reach your death bed not wondering what could have been. Not everything you want to happen will happen, but make sure that if things don’t happen, it is not because of something you did, or didn’t do.

Passion may not pay all of your bills, but if they pay some, you would probably have achieved your goals. If they don’t pay any bills, make sure your Plan B does not stop you from pursuing your passion.



#initiative #TakingInitiative #motivation
The only way to get initiative is to take it.

It’s never given.

So writes leadership expert Seth Godin in his blog, dated Oct. 10, 2019.

Those who work for someone else, or, perhaps, those who hire a fitness coach, medical or other professional etc., are content to be told what to do.

In many instances, following an expert’s advice, or doing what your boss tells you, is not only prudent, but desirable.

Other times, especially in a work situation, some people realize that doing this for a long time is not what was meant for them.

Therefore, they take initiative to do something different.

Though Godin in this blog post says initiative is never given, he would probably make an exception for the person who gives himself initiative.

Are you in a situation in which doing what you are doing is not going to satisfy you for the long term?

You know you can do bigger and better things if given the opportunity.

But, opportunities don’t always come naturally, or through happenstance. Sometimes, you have to look for them, and at them.

The good news here is that if you feel stuck doing something unfulfilling in your eyes, and KNOW you can do much more, there are programs out there that may be an answer for you. Here’s where you give yourself the initiative to look at them.

These programs can be done without you giving up what you are doing now – at least for now. By devoting a few, part-time hours a week, at least to start, you can potentially earn an income that could dwarf what you are earning at that unfulfilling job.

No specific education, background or experience is needed. All you need is an open mind, a willingness to work and the gumption to stay with it.

To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.

Sometimes, you have to get away from people ordering you to perform what you see are meaningless tasks. Sometimes, you may need to get away from a job that is wasting your valuable skill and time. Sometimes, you just need to change your life.

If you are waiting for the opportunity to come to you, you may be waiting awhile.

Instead, give yourself initiative. Look for something different. You might even find something you had never thought you would do. But, if your mind is open enough, you’ll check it out anyway. Because, you never know what you might find when you look.

If patience is a virtue, and good things come to those who wait, don’t tell that to those who give themselves initiative.

Yes, they may have patience. They may do what they hate until they find what they love. But they have given themselves the initiative to keep looking. Instead of waiting to see what happens, these folks keep looking to make things happen.

So, give yourself initiative. It may be the greatest gift you could ever receive.



#CollegeEducation #colleges #education #investments
“If you are sending (your child) here (prestigious college) to get a job, you are sending them to the wrong place.”
That’s the likely response you would get from the admissions director of a prestigious college if you questioned him or her about a return on your investment, according to Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Downey discussed the return on investment for a college degree in a column published Nov. 16, 2021.
Meanwhile, that same day, cnn.com published an analysis by Ronald Brownstein, a CNN political analyst, that concludes that the infrastructure bill approved in Washington that same week is heavily weighted to create jobs for blue-collar, non-college-educated workers.
What should we make of all this? First, college is not for everyone. Most advisers tell young people that college is the key to getting a good job.
But as Downey’s column points out, it largely depends what a student majors in that will determine his or her post-graduation job prospects, and likely salary.
So, especially if you are planning to go into debt to go to college, think long and hard. Some college majors, mostly in the science, technology, engineering and math fields, may be worth it.
Others, particularly in the liberal arts, may not – presuming you are expecting a dollar return on that investment.
But, if you just want an education, and money is not going to be a concern, then college could be a great learning experience and, perhaps, a fun four years.
If you are not suited to college, and are more suited to a trade, there will be a need for plumbers, electricians, carpenters etc., for the foreseeable future.
If neither of these paths suits you, there are a number of programs out there that could give you a potentially lucrative income, without having specific education, experience or background.
These programs, too, may not be for everyone. But if you have ambition, an open mind and are willing to be coached, they may be a very good alternative.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
Education of any sort is never a bad thing. The more one learns, the more one can grow.
But college is expensive and time-consuming. Four years in college is four years of earning little, if anything. You have to see the payoff – not necessarily financial – at the end.
Remember, too, as Downey points out, in general, the more education you have, the more you are likely to earn, vs. the person with less education.
But getting back a lifetime of great earnings in exchange for going through college may not necessarily happen.
Therefore, careful choice is required. You have to know who you are, and who you want to be, to make such a choice.
The same path does not lead everyone to the same destination. Learn where you not only want to go, but also what best would suit you.
There is a path for everyone. Your path may not be the same as your friend’s. You have to find your own way.


#AvailableJobs #workers #employment #coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve
A record 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in September 2021.
So reports Anneken Tappe for CNN Business. Her article appeared on cnn.com Nov. 12, 2021.
She wrote that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 10.4 million job openings that month, because of a worker shortage. The number of openings dropped slightly from the 10.6 million openings in August 2021, the article says.
Meanwhile, employers hired 6.5 million people, while they lost, including those who left voluntarily, 6.2 million, the article says.
Earlier, the Associated Press had reported that employers largely were still looking for workers who had previous experience in the work for which they were applying. Speculation had been that workers were applying for jobs which were totally different from the jobs they had held – perhaps paying a lot more money.
The AP article also hinted that employers believe eventually they will regain the leverage in the job market that workers have now.
Still, if you are a worker and your job disappeared during the pandemic, but may be slowly coming back, you have to ask yourself: is the job worth going back to?
As the cooler fall and winter weather creeps in, are you worried that your kids’ school(s) will close for a period because the virus spreads anew?
If your kids had to do school remotely, could you work at the same time? These questions tell us that the virus has not left us, and, perhaps, won’t for a good bit of time – if at all.
Complicating one’s decision to return to a job is the lack of day-care options, or the lack of places a parent could drop off a child to go to school remotely while they work.
Another factor: have you, as a worker, considered all possible job options? You may actually find an employer, desperate for help, willing to train you to do something different. Perhaps that something different would allow you to work remotely, if you had to.
If you are an employer, have you considered offering better pay, training and work/life flexibility to attract more, or better, workers? Are you willing to invest more to keep the good people you have from leaving?
This push-pull of the current labor market is one reason, along with supply-chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, that prices on just about everything are rising.
Despite short-term pain your wallet may feel, if workers ultimately attain workplace leverage and get more pay and better benefits, everyone – yes, employers, too – will benefit.
Of course, if you are not sure what you should do next, but are willing to explore different alternatives, there are programs out there that may intrigue you.
They require no specific education, experience or background. They allow you flexibility to work from home as needed. They merely require an open mind to check them out, and the ability to be coached. You can even do them part time as you work a regular job.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
This labor market is difficult for employers and employees. It’s one of those transition periods from which good things can result. We just have to be patient in the short term.
Also, the more eligible people get vaccinated, the sooner we can keep the pandemic at bay.
So, what will be your next move?