Science and Perspective.


August 2015

Free, reasonable, expensive

I work with all sorts of people and I have friends in innumerable fields. What I have noticed is they are all plagued by the same dilemma. Charging their worth for their services and products. Firstly, there are categories that these businesses fall into (In my humble opinion) IMHO.
1: nearly Impossible to find specialty items and services that one person or group has cornered the market on. Androsia, Cat island hand made fish pots, or tuning the organ in Christ Church Cathedra, heart surgery of course. These may be essential to your work or survival and so have a high premium.
2: Then you have ubiquitous products or easily performed services, than can technically be made or performed by anyone. People pay for these because they have more money than time or an over abundance of pride or self importance. These are often not very important.
3: a wide range falls in the middle, maybe you know where to find it when you need it and can do without it normally. Tire shops, general mechanics, yard cleaning.

This is where I see the problem.
Firstly, people seldom know or cannot articulate their true costs. How much did your equipment cost? How is it being worn by each product? How much is your building rent…by the square foot…per shelf?

Secondly, people do not know their market. Who is buying your product? Will they keep buying it…from you? Are you the only supplier? Is there anything special about your product?

Most importantly, people have unrealistic financial goals. If you charge more than people can afford, building your future on pay checks that may never arrive, the end game is high liabilities and accounts receivable that will never be collected…Duh. If you charge too little, hoping to serve the entire community, you will not survive as a provider.

Basically, make your books. Know the cost of your next project (cell phone time, fuel, computer time, new equipment purchases). Work a month. See how many hours you work and how much you make (time is the only true comparable measure), but factor in your other costs. Compare this to your financial goals. Are you really making enough to be successful and sustainable? If not, can you cut costs? Be more efficient? Are you just in a bad market?
Next month adjust your marketing to see if it is your market that needs tweaking. This is possibly the easiest. For example a photographer without a website and Facebook page is not going to survive these days imho. Go for it. Do well.

Ancilleno Davis, AA. BSc. M.Sc.


Epic dream Monday August 24 2015

It is 5 am on August 24 and I got up because I had the craziest #epicdream ever.
It starts with me at home in the Bahamas speaking to Alma on the phone. I was a teacher at SAC. I was talking to alma on the phone since she was visiting her family in Mexico. The news came on to tell us about the end of days style storm that was coming down. The Bahamas was not expected to survive. I told Alma it was going to be fine while I was packing my jump bag. I remember packing my TB drive with our wedding photos on it because I knew I would eventually find computer parts and be able to make power. She was safe in Mexico (still pregnant) and had Sokka and Neji with her. In my mind I just had to get to them. No biggie.
I told her bye and then saw Nikki and Bovair packing and basically throwing things around. Nikki was stuffing a bag and told me she would be driving. I went cold and told her “No. I drive Ponchito and she or Bovair could drive the other car.” Jamison came out of his room smoking a really large cigarette with his guns in hand, though he was wearing tights whiteys and a tshirt. We all stopped to look at him, because we knew we were going to get the Jamies first. Apparently we knew mommy was handling her stuff and would catch up with us wherever. Bovair was going to sort out the boat. After Jamison walked, by I went into my childhood bedroom that I shared with Bovair (the bunk bed was back) and pulled open a red Jansport backpack like the green one I had as a kid. Zip up hoodies, cargo pants, my first aid kit and a tarp went in. Here I realized I had five months to get to Alma to see the baby born and cried and screamed a little.

Then I went out front and asked Nikki and Bovair to get the fruit they could with the seeds I packed the veggies. I asked Bovair to pack my maps and atlases since he used them while I was away. The water was rising outside the house. Jamison walked back past us with his swords. Nikki asked what we were going to do. I told her. The Bahamas was done so we have to find higher ground. We could start by island hopping, Alma was in the mountains of Mexico so we should be able to survive there. When we left the house we ran into my dad who was walking ahead of a long line of traffic he apparently paid off his caretaker and took a car to come to us. He had sixteen dollars in his hand because he had bought a 4 dollar Guinness which had cured him of his stroke. He brought Kim (Favo Rite) Nixon with him and asked how mommy was. Here I start realizing it was a dream and decided it was quite epic and i started to slip out.

1: I ate a six inch sandwich with olives, bell peppers, onions and two types of cheese about ten minutes before going to bed.
2: Jamison Jiminiz Davis is one of the most hardcore individuals I know. After mommy, but he caught a live cockroach in his bare hand while it was flying and did not stop talking, spill his drink or drop his cigarette once. True story.
3: My brother Bovair is an acting sub lieutenant in the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. 4:My dad had a massive stroke the day I cam to the U.S. for my PhD.
5: I often lucid dream and when I have a dream it is often pretty long and detailed. This is the edited version.
6: Alma is pregnant and no matter what, I will get to her, our baby and Sokka and Neji.

Hope you enjoyed this peak into my mind. Back to bed for me. Leno 8/24/2015 5:46 AM EST. Oxford OH.

Goodbye Jamaica

Well, it is time to go. The last week in Jamaica has been amazing. #BirdsCarib2015 regional meeting was fun and hectic. Now it is time to go home and take a break. We met lots of new and old friends and now it is time to continue the work. Good bye to the Blue mountains, the island of endemic birds and our BirdsCaribbean family. See you all in CUBA in two years!

Ancilleno Davis, M.Sc.

The joys of napping

After a week away in a strange bed, thousands of miles from the ones you love, nothing beats a nap wherever you can find it. I just woke up on the plane and thought I would share this photo from Ingrid Flores of me sleeping on the bus in Jamaica, coming back from birding at Hope Gardens. The gardens are really beautiful. If you can, go and see them.

Ancilleno Davis, M.Sc.

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