Keep me focused

The Chemistry of Petroleum

Petroleum is a mixture of hydrocarvons and other organic compounds that together dictate its chemical and physical properties.

Hydrocarbons are molecules composed of hydrogen (H) and Carbon (C) bonded together. They may also contain N, O and S. Some may also contain metals (Known as organometallic compounds).

Each Carbon atom can only bond with a maximum of four hydrogen atoms.

If there are no spare bonds, and change in chemistry involves replacement of one of those bonded atoms, it is known as saturated.

If spare bonds are available, they are less stable than the equivalent saturated compound. This also means the compound will more readily react.

Alkanes (Paraffins)

The smallest molecules up to C4H10 (butane) are gases at standard conditions (1 atm pressure at 25°C).

Liquid compounds at room temperature range from C5H12 (pentane) to C16H34 (Hexadecane).

The two important naturally occuring alkanes that are used In source rock analysis are Pristane (C17H36) and Phytane (C19H40).

Naphthenes (Cyclopalkenes)

In some hydrocarbon compounds the carbon atoms are linked in a ring, reducing the number of sites for bonding with hydrogen atoms.

Most common in petroleum is Naphthenes (most simple is clyclopropane (C3H6), which is a gas. Cyclopentane (C5H10) and cyclohexane (C6H12) are liquids.

keep me focused

A second group of compounds, with the chemical formula CnH2n exist. These, alkenes, form a group of unsaturated hydrocarbons in which some of the carbon atoms have more than one bond. Compounds include ethane (C2H4) and propene (C3H6).

These occur only in small quantities in natural petroleum. Instead, they are used as the starting materials for the manufacture of plastics.


Unsaturated hydrocarbon compounds, such as benzene (C6H6), are called aromatics.

One characteristic is their pleasant odour, in contrast to the Naphthenes, which, if they contain sulphur smell awful.


Complex hydrocarbon compounds, that are relatively enriched in N,S and O are known as Asphaltenes or resins.

They are characterised by high molecular mass and large size, and form some of the heaviest molecules in crude oils.

End Notes

The molecular arrangement of the C and H atoms determines the physical and chemical characyerics o the group, but the size of the molecule dictates whether the compound is gas, liquid or solid at standard conditions (1 ATM at 25°C)

I have skipped a few parts mentioned in Chapter One. This was done because i decided the protocol on what to call the oil field irrelevant. May make a post at a later date, if i feel that it’s necessary.

I am an admitted bookworm who loves to read anything I can get my hands on.  My children are in awe of my library and are always asking me to point out which books are on history, which are on the presidents, which books are the classics and which ones are on real estate.  My oldest is right at the point where a Kindle sounds like a whole lot more fun than an actual book itself.  So far I have not given in and I continue to remind him that one day all of those books will belong to him and his brother and sisters.  That does not impress him!  For now, I have to rely on his reading articles like this one to understand the power or reaching back to the bookshelf when you need inspiration or want to pull a lesson from the past.

Real Estate Does Not Have to Be In The Title

I am o.k. with him not being impressed yet.  It took me a while to catch on to the importance of reading and keeping great books.  I love reading a great book that inspires and drives me to achieve, to create and to grow.  So I am always quick to point out to not only my children, but to others as well, that the title of the book has really nothing to do with the lessons it can teach us.

I am not a huge fan of the real estate investing genre mostly because I find much of the background of the writers to be suspect and thin.  I am also not one to get caught up in glitz and glamor of fad techniques that many book titles espouse.  I have learned my lessons hard as a real estate investor and simply don’t care to read about ‘No Money Down’ techniques or someones explanation of how they made it ‘Rich’ using some obscure method of entities, buybacks, creative financing and purchase options.

Don’t take that wrong.  I am not saying that you cannot find good and valuable information in some of those books and I am not saying that every author that writes real estate titles is selling potions and pipe dreams.  I just find it hard to read how-to-books today when all the inspiration I need is right in front of me.  Never before has it been easier to find success in the real estate investing arena and it has never been easier to fail!

What I am saying is that the title does not have to include the words real estate investing in order for you to learn valuable lessons as an investor.  Here are five books that are on my shelf that sit right in the middle of my real estate investing section so that my kids never get the wrong idea about what to read to be successful.

Make It Big – Frank McKinney

It’s funny that I was adamant this be the first book I list and it includes one of those titles that is often dismissed as a book full of hype.  The book is sub-titled “49 secrets to building a life of extreme success”.  I find myself opening this book three or four times a year and reading back on some of the examples that Frank gives for dealing with adversity in real estate.  You see, he is a real estate developer and has risked everything many times over to separate himself and create a brand with no competition.  The ‘secrets’ Frank writes about are not really secrets at all.  More than anything, they are reminders of great basic principles on topics like how to treat others, how to stand up even when its difficult, how to face consequences and accept responsibility and even how to feed our souls and not just our stomachs.  It is an inspirational book and his dedication to quality and providing a truly exceptional property to his clients is very uplifting and motivating.  It is a great reminder that doing things the right way, not just the easy way, can be very, very rewarding.

Delivering Happiness – Tony Hsieh

If you are in the real estate business and you have not read this book yet, it has to be on your to do list for 2012.  On the back of the cover, there is a list of the top 10 reasons to read this book.  The #6 reason and the #3 reason both, for some reason, continue to stick out to me to this day.  “You want to build a long-term, enduring business and brand” and “You want to build something special”.  Those two reasons were enough for me to read through all 241 pages in one weekend and I was blown away by the adversity that Tony and his team faced as they built Zappos into a powerhouse and legendary customer service company.  I look back on my first reading of this book and realize that much of my drive to over-deliver in my own business came as a result of reading about Tony and his team.

Crush It – Gary Vaynerchuk

Wow!  That was my reaction the first time I read this book.  It really took me by storm and I literally could not sleep because I was so excited to get back and start building my brand.  Reading Gary’s story helped me to realize that, even though our business were completely different, I loved real estate investing and I loved building relationships with clients.  I was one of the lucky few whom had found exactly what made him happy.  My families business was in position to take off and we had just stumbled across a book that would help illuminate the path to telling the world about who we were and what made us great.  Gary does not pull any punches about being passionate and letting your passion come alive in your traditional and especially in your social media marketing.  This book is so full of tips and tricks, websites and blogs to look to for advice that it pays for itself thousands of times over.  I have a great deal of respect for how Gary took his parents business and helped them build a $60 million empire.

Think & Grow Rich – Napolean Hill

What I find the most inspiring about this book is in the very first few pages.  If you only read the first 10 pages, I promise you will not put this book down and you will have a hard time not being inspired.  How many of us have stopped digging when we were three feet from gold?  How many times have we found ourselves surrounded by nay-sayers and walked from our dreams?  Too many would be the answer for a lot of people.  This book was written many, many years ago and the basic principles that Napolean Hill studied still apply today.  Surround yourself with those you aspire to be like and never quit.  Pretty simple and pretty basic and yet, those two little pearls of wisdom are often the missing ingredients when people fail in any business.  It is no wonder that real estate agents spend so much team getting coached up by their mentors to keep on pushing and to keep on fighting through their first years.  Their mentors know that you can be three feet from gold at any time  and all it takes is a positive attitude and a dedication to do things the right way.  I first read this book when I was 17 years old and It sits front and center today on my bookshelf.

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

I have to give my older brother Kent the credit for pointing this book in my direction in the last couple of years.  He knew that I was on a journey and that often times a journey is time spent on a road looking for what is right in front of us.  So often people are enamored with “something else”.  Real Estate gets a very poor reputation sometimes because so many people believe that if they can just get into real estate investing, their troubles will be over.  After watching three episodes of “Flip Men”, suddenly it seems easy to make money in real estate.  The Alchemist is one of those books that can help put your journey back in perspective and help you figure out exactly WHY real estate may or may not be the answer in the first place.  It is very much a book that can help anyone get laser focused on where they are going and how they will know when they get there.  I am a big fan of The Alchemist because, much like the other books on this list, it is a tool that can help us focus in on how we define success and what actions we can take that will help us hold our heads high.

I am a big believer is education.  Every once in a while I write articles about sites, or resources or even books that I think every investor and business person should read.  I am not sure if there is a better way to really get focused and be sure we are making smart decisions and putting ourselves in position to have long-term success.  We have to continue to educate and learn.  I would love to hear your favorite books that help keep you pointed in the right direction!

I’ve always been a goal oriented person and I get a rush when I’m able to check things off of my to-do list, but in this season of my life, God is holding me accountable and now more than ever, I’m holding myself accountable. Every day I’m faced with a choice: Either Surrender To My Flesh and Feelings OR Keep My Commitments I’ve Made To The Lord and Myself…This is the Struggle.

Yesterday was more than hectic…everyone was off from work and school so the house was bustling. I had a plan and agenda, but things happened throughout the day that threw everything off, so my exercise was pushed back and by the time I looked up, it was almost 8 p.m.  My body was achy, I was hungry, I had a headache and I was straight tired.  I had to have a long talk with myself and these are the things I had to say to ME:

  • “Keep your commitment to God”
  • “Keep your dream before you”
  • “Fight”
  • “Just Push!”
  • “If you don’t keep your commitments, you are delaying your process…”
  • “If you don’t keep your commitments, you are setting yourself up to do it again and again…”
  • “You won’t feel accomplished and satisfied until you exercise and keep your commitment…”
  • “Everytime you let your flesh win, you give IT POWER! Take back your power!!!”

The devil was talking to me too…”you’re tired…you’ve done a lot today…take it easy, IT’s Presidents DAY…a holiday…so rest…you can make it up another day…”

During these times of temptation, I have to talk to God and myself….A Lot!

Here are some quotes that help me to keep my focus:

Terri Savelle Foy

“To whom much is given, much is required… and if you say it backwards…much is required from those who  want much…”

“If you want to change your life, change what you do daily…”

“When a tribe in Asia wanted to yell curses at their enemies, they would say ‘May You Stay In One Place Forever!’”

“When you choose by your Spirit, you choose Life! When you choose by your flesh, you chose death.”

“The Choice we make at the moment of temptation will determine how much God is justified in working on your behalf.”

“The Closer you are to God, the less room evil has to operate in your life…the further you are from God, the more room evil has to operate in the events around you…”

“We need to learn to position ourselves to maximize heaven’s help”

“Unlocking Heaven’s power can be boiled down to one basic question: what is your focus?”

“The result of our choices will be spiritual or earthly– and those choices will determine our destiny.”

“We won’t be able to build a history of private victories without succeeding in the moment of choice. Private victories are the ‘small’ things we do because God told us to do them.”

With all that said, last night, I exercised! I’m taking it one day at a time…I’m fighting a hard fight…. but I’m giving it my best shot…every moment of choice I have to either feed my flesh or spirit… I’m giving it my all to remember what’s at stake…remember my focus…remember God’s Word and remember my goals…and from there…I’ve been choosing. This is how I’ve been conquering my small battles and gaining small victories to get to a greater promise.

Motivation for me has been essential in keeping me focused. Enjoy this video by Terri Savelle Foy “Where’s Your Focus?”

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