I’m a licensed Insurance Broker by profession (and a wannabe web designer). I’ve been in the field for quite sometime now. I wanted to do something different so when this opportunity came about (thanks in part to my brother “R”) I just could not pass it up. Working for myself and answering virtually to no one was definitely a dream job come true. The tasks involved to perform the job go hand in hand with my ability to establish rapport with anyone in general (with ease if I may say so, modesty aside). The latter being one of the key strengths of my agency. I can be (I’ve been told) exuberantly persistent without being annoying (charmed them to submission). Although it’s truly having my clients best interest at heart, coupled with honest representations is really the key. The latter resulting in establishing a long-term relationship with majority of my clientage. Also, the opportunity to train for becoming a future District Manager came up. But since I’ve already been in management before (and knowing precisely the “many” responsibilities that comes with the territory) the offer did not really excite me as it should have. But to show my appreciation and to gratify management, I tried it for a while just to see but my heart was not in it so I pass it up. I told them being independent is what I really want, the freedom is important to me. My agency was not big as envisioned by many, but that’s by choice. I live a simple life so I don’t need a lot. And since I am not excessive nor materialistic, there was really no reason for me (as far as I am concerned) to have a big agency (I was making enough). It’s obvious that wanting more and being excessive means pressure to produce more which leads to more stress leading to health problems. By maintaining my over-head at a minimum, I was able to run my biz in cruise control and spend most of my time just servicing my clients and the financial institution they are doing business with. Keeping my agency at a manageable level kept the stressful situations out the door, pressure free most of the time… Keeping my clients happy means I’m happy. Being classified as an “independent” contractor is something I take literally as a matter of fact (though some in the “farm” think otherwise). Hence I run my agency as I see fit ensuring my clients always comes first and more importantly satisfied. Life was and still is comfortable for me and my family. Being contented and keeping things simple I believe is one attribute that makes living congenial. We enjoyed stuff, lots of trip here and there and some. And had there been a need to generate additional income I am fortunate to be in a line of work that could make it happen. It’s really all about lifestyle and again, the more you want, of course the more you have to work. Now that I have experienced both sides of the fence (i.e., being employed and now self-employed), it is time for a change. I’d like to get back to the tradition (of working for someone for constancy), preferably in a supporting role, be productive and use my experiences to assist someone else meet their goals.
Prior to the aforementioned, my line of work was in Information Technology (IT). The last position I held was as Director of M.I.S. (Management Information System). I worked for that awesome company (and awesome owners), Marine Terminals Corporation (MTC) for eighteen (18) wonderful years. MTC (before the acquisition by Ports America, Inc. in 2007), was the largest stevedoring company (staffed by ILWU employees) in the west coast. They provided stevedoring services (i.e., loading and unloading containers and bulk cargoes) to the shipping lines (e.g., U.S. Lines, American President Lines, Maerks Lines, Hanjin, Japan Lines etc.,). The executive office was in the scenic area of San Francisco, the Embarcadero Center, which is also the financial district of the city by the bay. Working for that company (for eighteen years) was truly one of the best experiences of my life (thanks to Tony Silva, John Sullivan, Rick Hencken, Dan Rosales and of course Mr. Redlich and Mr. Horsman for their faith in me and their unwavering support, you guys rock!). Micro-processing then was in its infancy and it was forthcoming. To stay on top of technology, the need to get someone trained was imperative, and with my manager’s suggestion, the company decided to invest in my education and sent me for training at the IBM Center in San Francisco (and later at one of the Hewlett-Packard training facilities in the Silicon Valley). I took classes in computer operations, programming (RPG and COBOL), database management system (Image DMBS) and data communications networking (LAN / WAN). The latter being the most challenging and volatile. I became the go to guy for any computer related stuff (I was the IT support person). I remember being called by one of the department managers as “The Agent Of Change”, befitting at that time and a moniker I still appreciate to this day. Taking on added responsibilities along with the can do anything attitude paved the way for promotions. As a result of hard work, commitment and dedication (along with continuing education), I climbed up the ladder to management level, and ultimately promoted to become the IT head honcho for both the northern and southern California MIS operations. It was definitely one of the highlights of my career. It was challenging and definitely rewarding. My department at one time ballooned to thirty (30) staff (providing software, hardware and data communication support to various departments and clients). A number of those techys carry themselves with self-admiration and in order for me to maintain my sanity and everyone happy, I learned how to massage their big egos. I learned to be proactive, adapt to each character and established a reciprocal relationship. But most importantly acknowledging ones good work, especially in the presence of their peers is something that makes them feel fulfilled.
When I finally decided to leave MTC (to pursue a career in sales and marketing), my interests in technology remained undiminished. And discovering CMS (acronym for Content Management System) later provided the stepping stone for me to get back into IT related stuff. More importantly, it gave me the tools to get on with my long time aspiration of building my own website. Learning CMS and some definitely accelerated the process. I am glad I pursued it and you are staring at the result. I am hoping that the final chapter of my journey will involve getting back to work so I can be productive and be a mentor to someone at the same time. After all the travels and vacations, retirement (I am semi-retired) is boring and definitely not for me. I’d like to be productive and put my experiences to use by helping others attain whatever it is they want to do. Even an entry-level position is good, web-related stuff, performing clerical and/or administrative duties, computer operation are some of the task I can undertake. If someone is willing to teach me, I’d welcome a mentorship in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I’m a quick learner so I’d be happy to learn new things. Cloud Computing and Solar Energy are other fields that look promising. Getting involved with it now (while still in its infancy per se) especially Solar Energy/Green Tech, will provide one with a bright future.
One thing you’ll learn about me is my passion for listening to music. It’s always been a part of my existence. I love listening and it’s all about the beat and the lyrics. If it moves me I’ll be grooving regardless of the genre, hip hop included. Curious? Go to the Z-gallery page and see if you like the tunes .
Another interest of mine are motorcycles (shown in other pages of this website). I just love being on it every time I get the chance, especially to loosen up from a hectic day. I can go on and on, and just ride like the wind. It does not matter if I am riding solo, with my better-half, or in a group with my riding buddies. When I am out riding, I am extremely happy. Being out there in the open, feeling the blow of the wind all over is just total freedom. Of course with this kind of passion comes danger, but then again we can’t live our lives with fear. Besides, what is not dangerous nowadays? If you ride you just have to use common sense, exercise 100% defensive driving and definitely expect the unexpected. You cannot let your guard down when you’re on a motorcycle, you must constantly scan everything around you or else. But more importantly and whether you like it or not, you have to understand what the consequences could be should a mishap occurs (God forbid). So if you ride, respect your motorcycle and scan, scan, scan… Don’t let up.
Something inspirational I’d like to share with R² and M² and to everyone visiting. It’s a short tale (I received from a co-worker sometime ago, author unknown) about “The Parable Of The Pencil”. The five (5) important lessons the pencil maker told the pencil just before putting it in the box:
- Everything you do will always leave a mark.
You can always correct the mistakes you make.
What is important is what is inside you.
(In life), you will undergo painful sharpenings, which will only make you better.
- To be the best pencil, you must allow yourself to be held and guided by the hand that holds you.
We all need to be sharpened. This parable may encourage you to know that you are a special person, with unique talents and abilities.
Only you can fulfill the purpose which you were born to accomplish. Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot be changed. And like the pencil, always remember that the most important part of who you are, is what is inside you.
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