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meet the muse

My muse, it’s about what I know and what I think , and the inspired ramblings of an Australian individual and my ongoing adventures. I am from Melbourne Australia ,I am an accountant, I like to express my self and I have recently found writing it down helps. I am  a person who often ponders my experiences and now I also write of it, I am a man an interesting person that if you stick around long enough will no doubt discover and I hope you do, the fact that you are reading this is a great start and I thank you this is rorybaust @now.

and these are my muses  ; I will write of many interests including the internet , technology, politics, television, transport as well as a myriad of other awesome stuff, I will attempt to incorporate as much as I can into this muse but with the intent to always be interesting but since you are here, this is a more detailed explanation of what got me here.

I would like to introduce my self, I am Rory and this is just a little bit of who I am and what I can be, I have spent the greater part of the last 20 years gainfully employed in various roles at numerous organisations as an accountant. I graduated from Monash University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and I suppose logically pursed jobs in this discipline alone. I have immensely enjoyed my many roles and I believe that I added significantly to the culture and efficiency of all the organisations that I have worked for. However after 20 plus years  pursing this single career path, I decided that it was time for a change and in March 2009 I resigned from my then role as a Finance Manger for a medium-sized company, to pursue other options. This was to be a break, not a holiday but the beginning of something more.

I had decided and was inspired to take a sabbatical from work and explore some of the many other interests in my life, things that I may have ignored or at the very least paid scant time and attention to. There was no plan, there was no set path, and yes this was to be a mystery that warranted to be explored without a guide map.

I was fortunate to have two resources available to me which allowed for this indulgence. The first being the support of my lovely wife Fleur and secondly and probably just as importantly I had some independent savings to support this.

It has now been just on fifteen months since I took this radical step and a fifteen month break from the workforce leaves a huge gap in your resume. If this break had been a job then a mere description in the resume would have sufficed, but a gap of this length needs some explaining and so I have decided that to address that with this letter. I will detail what I have achieved and done this past year or so, what I have learned and why this makes me a worthy candidate for your organisation. I trust you enjoy reading about this special time in my life and what I achieved out of it as much as I did living it.

Here is my story

I learnt to project manage a renovation project. I live in a Californian Bungalow in a leafy Melbourne suburb, our house was built-in the late 1930’s and is a comfortable 4 bedroom home just perfect for my wife and my needs. It had undergone a renovation in the early 80’s but still retained its original 30’s  bathroom, needed some restumping, some work to the front porch and a full repaint inside and out. OK it was in need of quite a lot of  work, but we had our priorities and the mortgage had always came first, but now having just paid off the mortgage the time was ripe to address these issues.

I have watched some renovation TV shows on The Lifestyle Channel and the “How To” Channel, so I was already well aware that this was going to be a challenge. The wife and I drew up a plan of what we were going to do our self’s, the tasks we would contract others to do and a budget with a contingency fund in case of the unknown. We used the internet, word of mouth, and advice from hardware retailers to source out the right contractor for each job. We then asked for quotes and decided the right company or person for each job. I coordinated with the tradespeople and organised the time that the work would be done, I ensured the work was done to our specifications and I paid the contractors when we were satisfied on the completed work . We had set ourselves clear goals and budgets and we achieved all the desired outcomes on budget within the set timeframe because of our planning and our adherence to it. There were of course some setbacks but because of our ability to keep control of these we were easily able to resolve problems and ensure that issues were rectified,the contingency fund meant that we always kept within our budget.

I learnt the value of social media. I love computers, I was first introduced to them when I was at high school, back then they were large clunky mainframes that we as kids did cool things with punch cards and streams and streams of computer paper.  I remember at University having to work on a mainframe with a command line interface and that how wonderful these computers were. I remember the first time I ever saw a PC running “Lotus 123” I think it was then that fell in love. I saw the introduction of the internet into Australia, as I had the dial up bulletin networks before it, I embraced it all, this was a wonderful time to be alive.

So having said that, I believe myself to be quite internet savvy, and I set my self a goal to become a part of social media as a participant, but more importantly to learn what drives it, what potential does it have, how business can use it and what is happening with it. There are over 500 million people on Facebook, 100 million on Twitter not to mention the countless other social media platforms there are out there. I wanted to know why people use it and how people are using it. For me the easiest and most informative way to do this was to give social media a go for my self.  So what did I learn?  It is evolving, it is a lot more than just pumping out a message, there are agendas savoury and the not to savoury. The answer is however a lot more subjective and context depends on what you want out of it, for me I learnt many valuable lessons, however like our society, social media is an evolving platform, obviously there are leaders and followers the tricky part is if you’re not a leader then who to follow. I know it’s a powerful medium it’s uses are very diverse, it may or not have potential for your business, you need to tell we more before I can answer any more questions.

I learnt to cook: I always had the basic skills required to cook and I had a few favourite dishes that I used to cook, but you hardly call it a passion, more a survival skill. It should also be said that I took on the role of sole food preparation person in my house on the cessation of paid employment; this was one of my new roles. So it’s not really that surprising that I did take to the cooking with a lot greater vigour than I had previously. I enjoy experimenting and trying new dishes. I have learnt the art of following a recipe; this was not a skill that I had before. I learnt the art of timing; allowing all ingredients of a great dish to seamlessly come together. I have learnt the art of patience; as I have waited for dishes to slowly cook and I have learnt the joy that cooking and food bring to so many,

I learnt the value of friends and family: During this break from employment I was fortunately enough able to go on a holiday to Queensland with my mum and to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of my eldest brothers wedding in Los Vegas.

The wedding anniversaries was particularly moving for me as my brother’s wife had just been given the all clear in her fight with cancer and so it was opportunity for us all too again connect in a world unlike any other. I also was able to catch up with a friend from Adelaide at a Titanic Exhibition held in Melbourne that had coincidently was also being held at the Luxor Casino that I stayed at while in Los Vegas. This was important because this is a friend that I made on Facebook so I had never met him before in the person. The Queensland trip was also especially good, I got to spend a full week with my mum and really connect again something I don’t thing I do enough. I also caught up with my sister whom lives in Brisbane and with her husband and family. This had been my first visit to Queensland in over 25 years a place that I had visited with my dad and family countless times before but had not been near since dad had passed away. Going back had a profound affect on me and I somehow resolved issues I was not ever aware that I had. I obviously had many other moments with friends and family but are these moments that I most fondly remember during this period and they further shaped me.

I learnt how to publish on the internet: I decided that I wanted to start a blog; this is not something that I ever really thought that I would do. I feel somewhat self-conscious about my writing, I am neither a journalist nor a writer, I however have very strong ideas and opinions and I wanted to share them. I felt alive, inspired and challenged. The first attempt began in July of last year, I had always been quite a keen contributor to comments on many of the news and technology sites that I frequented while on the internet and that I had just recently become involved with Twitter and had become aware of the many blogs that exist online. This kind of clicked with me and I thought that this would allow me the freedom to express my idea’s, I wrote a couple of articles found a blogging platform and launched “The Bee’s Bonnet”. I was initially thrilled and had the site rated at blogged, and expected to see the readers flood in, it did not happen and I lost interest and the project just died. Part of the problem I feel is that I had chosen the wrong platform, I really did not know what I wanted the site to be, I had no planned measure of success, and I was not ready to deal with rejection and that’s what it felt like. I did not really give up, I just changed focus and started to evaluate the things that went wrong and like the renovation and the cooking created a new recipe for success and followed it. I launched “What I know What I think” 3 months ago and this time a better platform that allowed me greater analytical data to gauge success of my goals, I started slowly and experimented with different themes, worked on improving my writing skills and finally relaunched with a new look and feel “@ Now” on Monday of this week. I feel that I have achieved a lot in a quite shot period of time, I have set realistic gaols and allocated the amount of resources that I feel is necessary for the outcomes that I want. I think I have learnt a lot of valuable skills in the process. I am however not delusional enough to think I know it all, I know have limitations knowing them is an important lesson to learn in everything we do.

I saw a disaster: I was witness to the worst oil spill and possibly manmade environment disaster with the explosion of the BP oil platform Deep Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico and the political fallout this continues to cause worldwide. I saw how the focus can turn from containing a an oil spill to containing the PR spin, to the blame game to everything else but the root cause of the problem and no I am talking about BP, but the disaster that our reliance of fossil fuels have driven us to take such high risks to human life and that of the ecosystem of countless marine and bird life. I am as much a part of the problem as anyone else but at least I have given up driving an automobile regularly, although I still have a driving license I have chosen to be carless and use the vast public transport network I am lucky enough to have available to me. This accident /incident have brought home to me our need to embrace change that reduces our reliance on non renewable energy and that all individuals and entities need to not only embrace it but demand it.

I saw triumph: When Jessica Watson finished her round the world solo circumnavigation I felt triumph for her, she had as 16-year-old achieved a fantastic personal feat. I felt that it sent such a positive message to all Australians that your dreams are achievable but also for such a person of so few years experience it showed other young people that they too can be a force to be reckoned with. I had felt the despair when she almost failed on the first leg to NSW, I saw bravery and courage when she left Sydney and when she returned I felt proud that my country had embraced her and all the spirit that people like that give us back.

@ Now My farther died at the terribly young age of 53, a victim of cancer, his death has had a profound impact on me and how I see the world. His death was over 17 years ago, but his impact on me  is enduring. One of my motivations for taking the last fifteen months off from paid employment was to ensure that I would not miss out like my father had on an opportunity to explore life any way the day takes you, not free of responsibility and obligations but freedom that to experience it is to have lived. I feel I have achieved a lot and I am proud of that, I think I can offer a potential employee a great deal more.

So why should you hire me? I personally think that I offer an energetic, resourceful personal that is willing to learn and embrace opportunities, I think that I have a lot more to offer than just accounting skills and really am hoping too not so much move away from accounting but more so harness the many skills that I have in other areas of endeavour.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. lynnbiederstadt permalink
    August 19, 2010 3:35 am

    Delighted to read your blog. Pleased to follow the journey. Cheers!

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