Hobby Jam

What People Do For Fun

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Author: Michele (page 1 of 2)

Chris Kaiser

Chris Kaiser is a Pennsylvanian Vermonter that comes from a large family with three brothers, two sisters and an army of nieces and nephews.  Spending all of his time split between the woods and a baseball diamond, Chris is an outdoorsman, that has unknowingly been engaged in a hobby since his first home at the age of 24.   After successfully building businesses since the fifth grade, Chris Kaiser now finds himself applying his creative knack and attention to detail to the art of property beautification.   This is not landscaping, but rather a “bigger picture” view of your entire living area.

What is your hobby?

Some call it landscaping, but I call it property beautification.  Why have three different properties, with three different usages, and pay three sets of taxes?

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

When I was 24 I bought my first home and became infatuated with creating interesting paths, hang out areas, gardens and usable appeal.  Instead of a square lawn with a typical garden, I wanted more substance.  A campfire area back near the woods, so it felt like a getaway, a lot of sea grass near the patio so it felt like the beach, an outdoor shower, some trails to walk in my woods.

Tell us what you love about it.

I think I love the creativity and exercise of this hobby the most.  The possibilities of things to create are endless, but they take labor.  Building a camping lean-to back on your property with some cross-country ski trails, including trail signs is so fun!  Utilizing building skills and digging, raking and cutting gives you all the exercise you could possibly want…and its outside.  The finished products for me are not just a bunch of plants and bushes neatly placed around your house for visual value, but rather they are usable finished products for good health, sport, and fun.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Generally, to do any property work, I need a few basics.  A good ax, shovel, pickax, rake, and chainsaw,  With those I can pretty much do anything.   Of course, as you get into this type of hobby you will find yourself wanting more.  A brush mower, fire rake, power screwdriver, hand saw and a hammer will allow you to build anything your heart desires.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I could spend hours in a Tractor Supply or hardware store.  Some people think its just boring hammers and nails, but I look around and get ideas.   Sometimes just seeing a particular bolt or saw gives me like 10 new ideas for an outdoor shower, floating dock for the pond or a new log hut for having coffee on a cold ski afternoon.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I have not really found any.  TV shows tend to do things with an army of people and a healthy amount of money.  I look at property beautification as using what is there.  Simple restructuring or cleaning up areas of your property to use them for something.  Like building a cool bench made out of a tree, specifically placed to watch the sunset for an hour.  Simple things like that.  If you do enough of them, suddenly you have a retreat.

How has this changed your life?

My hobby has allowed for another outlet to my creativity.  Fitness and the outdoors has always been the core of my life, but so has creativity.  When I look at any property whether its 1 acre or 100 acres, I see a blank canvas.  I feel as if the sky is the limit.  So doing property beautification not only increases the value of the property but allows for genuine hard work and an outlet.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

My advice to others trying to do some things to their property is simply draw a map or write it out first.   Sometimes I will draw an entire map of a three year plan, so I am not just spinning my wheels.  If its something you want, then its not wrong.  Meaning doing it your way, that makes you happy is usually the right way.   For things I have never done before, I will research a little on how others have done it, and then mix in my desire.   Again, this is not landscaping.  To me landscaping is just adding eye candy to parts of the house for color and feel.  Property beautification is much much bigger than that.  Its usable, functional and situational.

 

Michael Asimos

Michael Asimos is an entrepreneur who has managed to turn his passion for wine into a highly successful career.  As a native of Portland, OR, he has always demonstrated an exceptional understanding of wines, something that has helped spur his business ventures. Asimos spends a significant amount of time traveling different parts of the world to explore new opportunities and search for exquisite wine varieties for his clients.

The wine expert is also known for his love for jazz music. When he is not focusing on wines, he also likes spending time in travel destinations in Europe and across the Atlantic. This gives him a chance a refresh and take a new look at his ventures. It comes as no surprise that many wine lovers depend on his wine importing and exporting business to discover balanced wines for their own consumption or for sale across the United States.

Given this background, we decided to have a chat with Michael to discuss his professional career, among other things.

What is your hobby?

I have a deep passion for wines and I’m constantly learning about them. Whenever I get a chance, I love sharing everything there is to know about vino!

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

My passion for wine began many years ago when I was growing up in Oregon. I was exposed to a wide variety of wines and I could not resist but fall in love with the beverage. The passion grew stronger as I got older. This compelled me to invest a lot of time learning about wine. As a result, many people turned to me for advice or information about wine. It became a natural choice for me to start importing and exporting wine.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love that I can find so many opportunities to enjoy my passion right in my own backyard. I get to spend a lot of time exploring opportunities in California, which is a few hours’ drive. I have always been fascinated by the central coast wine country. It is one place that captures my imagination in a phenomenal way. When I visit the area, there is just so much to do that I often forget to relax and enjoy the sights of other parts of California.

Santa Barbara boasts some of the finest Pinot Noirs that can I recommend to anyone. My colleagues always urge me to take a break and visit the local pier, which is magnificent. Some of the restaurants in the area are simply irresistible.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Wine tours are a great way to become familiar with wine! A wine tour, in an area like California, can translate to unforgettable moments for tourists. It boasts striking scenery and features some of the most expansive vineyards.

Local regions like Napa Valley provide sophisticated programs and facilities for touring. The procedures and visiting hours vary between regions and to some extent the vineyards. It is also common for wineries to welcome tourists only by appointment, so plan ahead.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought?

Do lots of wine, flights all over the world and gorgeous stem glasses count? If so, then yes. Definitely!

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

People ask me that all of the time, “Where do you purchase your wine?” My answer would be all over. I enjoy wine from all regions the globe, to high-end priceless bottles to even premium box wine.  What I am drinking depends on what mood I am in, or what I am blessed to be doing at the time.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Yes, absolutely! There are many books, guides and even apps to check out. I recently finished “What to Drink with What You Eat” by Andre Dornenburg and loved it. Many wine enthusiasts swear by it and I must say I am a big fan myself.

How has this changed your life?

To find your real passion in life, and to be able to make a living doing what you love, truly is priceless. I have had the great privilege of traveling the world, meeting lots of people along the way and of course, sampling the best wine you will ever taste. My adventures have been endless and I hope they continue for many years to come.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Have fun with it! Throw a wine party where everyone brings a bottle to try, pick up a guidebook, travel to a wine tasting near you.  There are numerous inexpensive ways to get started and I think that is the best route to begin. If you need additional tools follow me on Twitter and check out my website. I have many articles that will help.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love Jazz! I think it is the most important music genre of all time and spend a lot of time traveling to Jazz festivals. Basically, my perfect day would be listening to Jazz, wine glass in hand.

Thomas Gionis

Thomas Gionis was born on Long Island. He came from a tough home and was raised by his grandparents who he considers to be his role models and rocks. They helped instill strong faith, values, and morals in him and they always taught Tom to respect his fellow man. Today Tom lives in Weston, Ct and still applies everything he learned growing up from his grandparents. His greatest joy in life is helping others in their time of need.

What is your hobby?

My greatest hobby is helping people. I live life paying it forward to others.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?
My grandparents inspired me to do good and help others. I was maybe 18 at the time and I saw this mom and her son who was around 8 years old, he reminded me a lot of myself at that age. They were standing by a soda machine and he was begging her for one but she didn’t have a quarter (that’s how much it was back then) to put in the machine. He was crying and I could tell by the look on her face that she was disappointed but she just didn’t have it. I reached in my pocket, pulled out a quarter and bought the kid a soda. I didn’t realize it at the time but what started as a simple good deed changed my life forever.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love the feeling I get when I help people. It is the best way that I know for anyone to feel good or self-love. It makes one feel like they contributed to something, made a difference in some way.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

No, this is all me. I think that helping out, donating to a cause, dropping food off to a food bank, donating clothes are all wonderful things that people can do. However, for me, this is more personal and I love being able to see how I am helping.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Not for myself, no. I have bought cars for people in need of one, groceries for those who can’t afford it. Some of them don’t even know where these things came from. Keep in mind, I do not need to know these people very well all I need to know is that they are in need.

How has this changed your life?

I can’t really describe how it has changed my life except to say that it has made me feel like there is no better deed that I can do than this. Helping people that need help and that who are so grateful is euphoric. I have had people ask me what I wanted in return and when I tell them nothing I am just there to help, sometimes they don’t believe me. I may never see these people again but knowing that I was there to help in some way no matter how big or small, that’s what it is all about.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

This is something you have to really want to do, not something you do for the sake of saying you did good. If you are looking to do this for a pat on the back you are going about it all wrong. Remember, for me, it started with a soda. It doesn’t have to be big but the feeling you get from it will be.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love to run.  I have been an avid runner since the age of 18. About 5 years ago I had to stop because of my knee. I am supposed to get a knee replacement which I am fighting against. I now walk about 2 hours a day.

Lee Trotman

Lee Trotman is a digital marketing and ecommerce expert, and has clients such as Home Depot, Southern California Edison, Amazon, Costco and other Fortune 100 companies as well as smaller manufacturers.  Lee Trotman was raised in New York, Germany, Japan and Korea before coming to Los Angeles.  Lee Trotman learned many things from each of these environments, and along the way acquired a love of playing live music, sports, traveling and working on cars and motorcycles.

What is your hobby?

Traveling is my primary hobby.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I was eight years old and my family moved from New York City to Hanau, Germany.  My first ride on an airplane scared me, but within minutes became second nature.

Tell us what you love about it

I love traveling to new places and living like a local.  My travel is split into two categories: educational and leisure.  Educational travel involves learning about the local culture, history and people.  For example, when I travel to Europe, it’s always educational.  I love local customs, different environments, etc.  When I travel to tropical places, it’s always leisure, and I try to soak up living life like a local as much as I can.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought?

Luggage, snowboards, electronics for whiling away  the hours on a plane, etc.  The most important equipment are noise-canceling earbuds to enable me to fall asleep.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I like shopping at the destination so I can have souvenirs that actually have a purpose.  Each purchase leads to a better traveling experience on another trip.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Plenty of great books, so I highly recommend a Frommer’s guide from AAA.  And any maps of your destination.

How has this changed your life?

Traveling has broadened my perspective on world events.  It’s one thing to read about a country and its personality, but another when you visit.  Some of my world views come from interacting directly with locals, and I take this interaction to heart.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Use the internet to its fullest potential.  In the old days, you had to rely on travel agents and extensive research, but today you can learn from TripAdvisor and Expedia most of what you will need to know about a travel destination.

Rachel Kugel – Founder, The Kugel Law Firm

Rachel Kugel is a lawyer, entrepreneur, and mom living and working in NYC. She runs her own criminal defense law practice while raising two little girls. Originally from Las Vegas, Nevada Rachel headed back to the east coast for college and law school and settled in uptown Manhattan with her family.

What is your hobby?

Lately, my new hobby has been making videos and creating content for my websites, youtube, and media outlets that deliver information about the law that can help people when they need it most.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I am always looking for new ways to reach out to potential clients and people who need me as well as to comment on the legal stories in the news that people care about and that effect the lives of my clients.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love being able to connect directly with people and share my knowledge I also love the opportunity to have cool life experiences that arise from assisting the media and meet really interesting people in my field as well as outside of it.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I am active in many associations of criminal defense and DWI lawyers as well as lots of groups of working women in general who support each other and share experiences.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Most of the videos I do myself I shoot with an iPhone I have invested in a Diva Ring Light because everyone was loving it online.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Online.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Youtube Video Marketing 2 (2016): A Beginners Guide To Video Marketing Domination – How To Create Your Videos for Maximum Effectiveness

How has this changed your life?

I had to really step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there which initially caused me a tremendous amount of fear. By busting through that boundary I’ve been able to increase my business, increase my confidence, and deliver valuable information to people who need it.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Your biggest hurdle will be your own fear of being seen and what others will think of you, when you bust through it you will be able to do anything!

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I am very active in my community particularly in our local school where I spend a lot of time involved with raising money and running a mock trial program for the 8th graders. In terms of entertainment, I am a big Howard Stern show fan.

You can follow Rachel via Facebook, BlogspotLinkedIn

Myriam Borg – Owner, CreateAustralia.com.au

Myriam Borg is an Australian business woman who is based in NSW Australia. She has pioneered the lost money recovery industry, founding what is now a large and dynamic sector assisting every day Australians claim their lost & missing monies and assets. The lost fund industry was estimated at 23.7 billion dollars in October 2016. This figure varies due to monies continuing to be lost on a daily basis as well as funds being refunded back by  Recovery & Refund  consultants.

Myriam is the CEO of Create Australia, a company that has grown & evolved over the past decade and a half, speaking of her company myriam states “as an organization we have had to evolve, change & grow as well as mature in a way as to meet market conditions, it’s been a very exciting process”

What is your hobby?

My current hobby is traveling to places that are off the beaten track, I like researching and then experiencing different cultures, it’s a hobby and a passion. I really relish integrating into the local culture as much as I can when I travel.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I love foreign culture, foreign language, exotic foods, researching specific places, spot, restaurants and activities in different countries – I find it loads of fun, educational and very exciting!

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Yes I am I am part of the international living community and read their newsletter weekly.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Yes the lonely planet series are very good books to read as they focus on local information & are very up to date on the local scene for the country you are reading up on.

How has this changed your life?

It has completely changed my life. It’s made me a much more adventurous person, and a lot more open to life in general. Culture is very interesting to me and travel makes it come alive. It’s very hard to put into words I guess!

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Just do it. Foreign travel and discovery is life changing and really expands your horizons. You will meet very interesting people and most importantly you will experience things you never imagined possible.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Yes fitness, I am a Pilates junky! It is a mind & body discipline and very enjoyable for me.

 

Founder Of The Goldilocks Foundation – Dr. Barry Friedberg, MD

Originally from southeastern Pennsylvania, Dr. Barry Friedberg has worked in freestanding surgery centers between 1986 and 1991. Since then, he has been a pioneering force in office-based anesthesia which began to take increasing importance in the early 1990s, especially for elective cosmetic surgery.

Friedberg created the non-profit Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation to help create the force for change to get brain monitoring for major surgery under anesthesia as a standard of care. He also wrote ‘Getting Over Going Under, 5 things you must know before anesthesia’ to help patients ensure the use of the best available technology to avoid the rare death but all too common post-op brain fog.

What Is Your Hobby?

Trying to make other patients anesthesia experience better than the two dreadful ones I had prior to medical school. At 4, I had a tonsillectomy with open drop ether. It was like being smothered into unconsciousness with a pillow on one’s face. At 19, I had badly impacted third molars (so-called wisdom teeth) with a muscle relaxant that left me unable to breathe in the recovery room. That breathless sensation is not easily forgotten either.

Tell Us What You Love About It

Seeing the face of gratitude and amazement on my patients’ faces when they wake up realizing everything I told them preoperatively was true; namely, 1) you will not be over or under medicated and awaken mostly clear-headed and 2) we will not hurt you on the operating table. Today will not be the greatest day of pain from surgery. In about 12-24 hours your brain will realize it has been tricked during surgery but in that interval healing takes place.

Are There Any Groups You’re A Part Of Or Events That You Attend Related To Your Hobby?

I primarily go where my anesthesia teaching is more valued than by my anesthesia colleagues. That place would be the surgical meetings.

Have You Had To Invest In Equipment? If So, Please Share Some Of The Things You’ve Bought.

In 1978, I bought a Dinamap and separate printer. The DInamap was the tradename for the first commercially available automated blood pressure device. Those two devices provided me real time information during surgery wherein I was spending time pumping blood and fluids into patients whose clinical condition warranted that therapy to survive.

In 1998, I bought an Aspect Medical System bispectral (BIS) index brain monitor to measure patient response to propofol doses to protect patients from ketamine hallucinations. Ketamine allows the patient’s brain to be tricked by denying the brain the input of noxious painful signals like local anesthetic injection or skin incision.

Where Do You Buy Most Of Your Supplies?

I am very fortunate. My anesthesia supplies are purchased by the offices at which I provide anesthesia.

Are There Any Good Books For Beginners?

Beginners will profit by reading ‘Getting Over Going Under, 5 things you must know before anesthesia,’ available as a free download from www.goldilocksfoundation.org

How Has This Changed Your Life?

As a student of history, I have aspired to become a significant part of anesthesia history. With acknowledgments to both Virchow’s & Cushing’s Triads, I have advanced Friedberg’s Triad:

  • Measure the brain
  • Preempt the pain
  • Emetic drugs abstain

as an answer to the persistent anesthesia problems of over medication, postop pain, and postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV).

More than changing my life, this triad has changed my patients’ lives and the lives of other surgeons’ patients who I will never know. The change that I advocate for anesthesia care is like throwing a pebble into a pond. One never knows where the ripples will carry. Thanks to email, the internet & social media, I’ve already learned about some of those ripples that have reached around the world.

What Advice Do You Have For Others Starting Out With This Hobby?

Know that change is medicine is glacial. All people resist change. Physicians are notoriously resistant to change and anesthesiologists as a subset of physicians, are almost impossible to change. The hope I have for change is the public becoming aware of what the risks of major surgery under anesthesia WITHOUT a brain monitor are (i.e. 30% more drugs than needed with post opp brain fog, and rarely, even death) and knowing what to say when their anesthesiologist responds with ‘we don’t need a brain monitor.’ Prospective patients should answer. ‘With all due respect, it is not your needs I am concerned with. I have to live with the long-term consequences of your short-term anesthetic care.’ I liken this critical need for my anesthesia colleagues to change to that force for change which got fathers into delivery rooms to participate in the births of their children: public knowledge leading to public demand!

Are There Any Other Hobbies You Have?

Being the best husband and dad I can be as well as being the person my dog thinks I am.

Mindstir Media Owner J.J. Hebert

J.J. Hebert is a renowned self-publishing and book marketing expert and also the owner and founder of MindStir Media. Launched in 2009, MindStir Media has published hundreds of books for authors throughout the United States and abroad. J.J. oversees the publication of every Mindstir Media published book and also offers mentoring to Mindstir authors. He’s known in the industry as the “Self-Publishing Guru” and spends a great deal of his time educating aspiring authors through his self-publishing and book marketing blogs as well as social media platforms such as Facebook, where he has built active online communities.

What is your hobby?

I have several, but the most full-blown hobby I have nowadays is probably watching NBA basketball, specifically the Boston Celtics. I watch pretty much every game each season, and there are 82 of them in the regular season, so there is quite a large investment of time there. I was actually at TD Garden a few weeks ago when Isaiah Thomas scored his career-high 52 points and broke several franchise records including most points in a 4th quarter.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I’ve always watched the Celtics as long as I can remember but I didn’t seriously get into it until around the 2007-2008 season when the Celtics acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett and ended up winning the championship. I still believe the Celtics can get back to being a championship level team and that has driven and inspired me to continue watching.

Tell us what you love about it.

With Brad Stevens as its coach, the Celtics are a very fast-paced team and a lot of fun to watch. They are one of the more dynamic scoring teams in the league and they all have a lot of heart. I also get the sense that most of the players on the Celtics are underdogs in a way and they play with a chip on their shoulders, so it’s also fun to watch them in that regard. And basketball in general is a love of mine. Tons of scoring and action all crammed into a 48-minute game.

Are there any groups you are part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I read and take part in several Celtics blogs online. There are many online forums where one can communicate with other like-minded fans. I also try to attend as many games as possible each year. I live in southern New Hampshire, so traveling to TD Garden in Boston is less than an hour.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you bought.

Throughout the years, I have bought truckloads of Celtics apparel and memorabilia. I probably have a Celtics shirt for every day of the week until the end of time. Of course, a slight exaggeration… I also have a basketball signed by the 2008 world champion Celtics team and a plethora of other Celtics related memorabilia. Another investment would definitely be tickets to the games that I attend. They don’t come cheap these days.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I always buy my tickets online. The memorabilia I purchase mainly at a local sports card and memorabilia shop. eBay can also be helpful sometimes when I’m trying to track down a rare item.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Well, as you know I’m a book guy. The company I run, MindStir Media, is a well-known book publishing company on the East Coast. So my knowledge of books is somewhat vast. I would say there are a handful of vital Celtics books that every Celtics fan should read. Couple of my favorites are Rise of a Dynasty as well as The Last Banner.

How has this changed your life?

I think it’s always important to get involved in something bigger than yourself. Boston Celtics have a huge fan base and a bit of a cult following. Being a Boston Celtics fan has definitely enriched my life.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Definitely do your research. Learn about the history of the Boston Celtics. They have won 17 world championships and are the most winningest franchise in sports history. Understanding the history will allow you to enjoy the present game that much more.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

As the owner and president of MindStir Media, I do a lot of reading. Most of it is a lot of fun and I do consider it a hobby as I do a lot of reading outside of business hours. My favorite author is probably J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series. She played a pivotal role in inspiring me to write a book of my own. I also thoroughly enjoy movies and TV shows.

David Shenkenberg

David Shenkenberg lives in West Bloomfield, Michigan, surrounded by trees and near several lakes. The local scenery includes walking trails and bike paths. Frequently, David sees birds outside his window, including blue jays, finches and woodpeckers. Deer are a common sight, as are rabbits.

The temperate climate of West Bloomfield is a wonderful place to grow plants, whether in the backyard or on a farm. Although David Shenkenberg often buys locally grown produce, such as apples and salad greens, he gets the most joy from what he can grow himself.

The natural surroundings and the garden are wonderful places to escape from the daily grind for a while.

What is your hobby?

I love gardening. I particularly enjoy growing herbs such as basil and mint because they can be used in cooking. I also like to grow Echinacea (coneflower) because it can be used to treat colds.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

My interest in gardening began at a young age. I used to work in the garden with my dad. I pulled weeds, trimmed bushes and trees, planted new bushes and trees, and watered and mowed the lawn. As an adult, I am inspired to pass on my love of gardening to my own children.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love to watch my hard work planting seeds or small plants turn into beautiful mature bushes or trees. I love to see the results of my efforts literally bear fruit.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Although gardening clubs do exist in my area, I mostly share my love of gardening with family and friends. I bring them over to see my plants, and I admire their gardens as well. I also share my harvest, and they often do the same because several of my friends enjoy gardening as well.

My township has a community garden that I am thinking about using in the future. It might be a fun way to share my love of gardening with others.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Sure. I have bought everything under the sun. Some basics for gardeners include a lawn mower, a shovel, a rake, a trowel (a small shovel used for digging), and soil. You also want to have a good sprinkler system, especially if it gets dry where you live. Just remember that plants usually need three things: light, water and soil. In the summers, at the height of the growth season, plants usually need fertilizer. I also have experimented with hydroponics. In the case of hydroponics, plants do not need soil; they actually grow in water, although you need to provide the nutrients in the water that would normally be found in soil.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I do most of my shopping at my local Meijer store. Meijer is a Midwestern big box store headquartered in Michigan. It is a lot like Walmart and Target. I prefer shopping at Meijer because it is based in my home state. For specialty items, I go to my local nursery, English Gardens. I also have purchased Aerogarden hydroponics kits direct from the seller: www.aerogarden.com.

Are there any good books for beginners?

One good book is, Better Homes and Gardens Gardening Made Simple: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Gardening. I also like the website, Dave’s Garden: davesgarden.com, although I disclaim that I am not the Dave who made the website. You also can learn a lot from family and friends who garden, and I suggest that you consult your local nursery because it often will have knowledgeable staff who can help you with advice for growing plants in your area.

How has this changed your life?

For me, gardening is a peaceful, Zen-like activity. All the worries and cares that I face in the real world just melt away when I am focused on nature. Gardening is a 100% healthy way to relax.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Start simple. Do not try to grow really difficult plants like orchids right off the bat. Ask your local nursery which plants grow the best in your area. Consider your lifestyle. Are you often home enough that you will be able to water your plants frequently, or do you need to grow something that does not need to be watered often like a cactus or rosemary? Do you have pets? Consider growing plants that they might want to eat, or consider fencing that will allow you to grow your plants without your pets messing with them.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I also enjoy fishkeeping. I currently have an aquarium with a Sarasa Comet goldfish. The fish has grown quite large, and has lived about four years now under my care. Supposedly, goldfish can live more than 30 years in captivity. However, most people just buy a fish bowl, and the goldfish die right away. Goldfish are like any other fish in that they need to be raised in a clean tank with good filtration.

Michael W Asimos

Currently residing in Miami and a cigar enthusiast by trade, Michael W Asimos has been to destinations true cigar officianados will be jealous of.

Michael W. Asimos has a love of many things aside from cigars. He also loves great jazz music, as well as traveling to new places. Combining together his love for both excellent cigars and also discovering new things through travel, he has successfully created his business, which is now thriving.

As a child, Michael was always drawn to science and history and he strongly believed that the former has a great influence on the latter. When he travels, he prefers places with long histories and deep-rooted cultures. These unique destinations not only allow him to satiate his love for history and culture but also educate himself more about cigars.

First Job

He also loves music and music is one of the things, which relieve stress, aside from traveling, and spending time with loved ones. So, it is not surprising that this first job was in a record store. Being able to work in a record shop allowed him to fully involve himself in something which he has very passionate about.

Some of his colleagues in the record store worked to earn money and worked to put food on the table and he considers himself very lucky that he was working not just for the money but he was working for something, which gave him genuine pleasure and happiness. However, he is quick to admit that the salary also helped.

One of the most important lessons he has ever learned while working in the record store is to love what you do and to find a job, which you love. Having such a job means you will wake up each day with passion to go after your goals and do your very best. It also means not having to constantly look at the clock to check if it is time to call it a day, leave work and repeat the same mundane things on the very next day.

Being miserable is not the wisest way to spend your life and he told himself that he will never do such a thing. Passion in what he is doing is what led Michael to pursue his love for cigars and create a business around it. Putting up the business was a risk but it was a risk, which he was willing to take, if only for his love of smoking fine cigars.

Putting Up a Business

The first day in the business was nerve wracking and he admits to being very nervous and questioning his decision to invest his hard-earned money in such a business. Well, he has come such a long way since then as his business today is thriving and expanding. He is very happy to have grown his business from the ground up with his dedication, passion, positive attitude and willingness to learn and take risks.

When you have a business, you have to be always hungry and thirsty. You must always keep yourself motivated as this helps keep the business strong and ahead of the competition. So how does Michael Asimos keep himself motivated? Well, travel keeps him motivated. Going to new places and meeting new people keeps him on his toes. Traveling to numerous fine cigar growers all over the world; seeing how they are made; and discovering the best practices in cigar rolling reinvigorate his senses, his love for life and his love for business.

Unlike traditional businessmen, he is keen to try new things and even has a style, which many people refer to as unorthodox. He is always on the lookout for new ideas and new business practices, which can make the business grow and prosper.

Achievements

If there is something, which Michael W Asimos is most proud of, it is putting up his own business when so many people told him that he shouldn’t and raising it from the ground up when there were so many doubters and naysayers. Starting the business was not a smooth ride. He has had his share of bumps on the road but he has persevered through it and is now reaping the fruits of his sacrifice.

Seeing his business very successful right now gives him great joy and satisfaction. He has proven wrong the people who doubted him and who even thought of him as crazy when he started his business.

If there were one thing he could tell his younger self, it would be to not be afraid to take risks. If you are willing to work to achieve your dreams and if you have done your research, it will pay off in the end and you will get your just rewards. So many entrepreneurs nowadays do not even get the opportunity to start their own businesses because a lot of people close to them tell them that they shouldn’t and tell them that just isn’t worth it. Living in fear is no way to live your life. Be ready when opportunity comes and grab it.

Life Lessons

Life has given Michael W Asimos a lot of lessons, which he will forever keep in mind and maybe even impart to young people who would like to pursue their passions and chase their dreams. You can only play safe for so long. The world is out there waiting to be discovered and you owe it yourself to get out, explore, learn and contribute to the world and its people.

It does not matter what your passion is. It can be writing, social work, finance or photography. As long as you have the passion and the heart, you will be able to achieve your goals. However, this does not mean that you should just throw caution to the wind. You also have to study the industry which you want to start a business in so you do not end up throwing away what you have worked so hard for. There is a fine line between being determined and being stubborn and it is important that you know the difference between the two.