“Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…”

I love movies; someday I’d like to write some screenplays, or even produce a movie. Likely, this is among the (too many) things I dream about but will never get around to doing. If only I had 10 lives, or even get by on a few hours sleep each night, then perhaps. But, for now, in fleeting free moments, I’ll just let my mind wander to creating movies that only fit within a certain genre of “feel good” stories about overcoming adversity, leadership, and someone finding their “thing” in life–sometimes through the unlikeliest of people or circumstances.

So today Zoe woke up quoting scenes from Finding Nemo, a great movie, and begged me to watch it with her this morning. And, since it’s what one could classify as a crappy day and am postponing my bike ride–at least until this afternoon when it heats up from 42 to 45 degrees–I decided to sit down and see it again. Royce also joined us. There’s are some great scenes in the movie that make me think a lot about life and business, and I really do think it’s true to form.

So Marlin, Nemo’s dad, is on this quest for his son, and for most that have seen it the story revolves around this entire journey. And what I love about it is that he gets saddled with Dory, who is clumsy, charming, sweet, forgetful, and aloof. Yet he’s dependent on her. And despite Marlin’s hard core all out effort to find Nemo, they keep getting sidetracked–sometimes, usually, via Dory’s delinquencies. And this heavily annoys me. There’s little that I like in the movie about Dory, she’s just…well…annoying and incompetent. And we all have people in our life that we feel like are distractions or keeping us from getting what it is we want (perhaps sometimes it’s us), or where we feel like we’re supposed to be headed. I’m inclined to get really impatient with these people and events, I don’t love the tangents at times. A lot of times.

Finding Nemo, though, was this little reminder that some things are just a force of nature, and they’re going to go. And go, and go. Especially if you keep pushing. There’s an element of destiny to life. There’s also an element of “you’ve got to create it”, but often I think we discount the breaks and detours along the way that help us get to one of the milemarkers in life. And today’s reminder wasthat sometimes the detours and those “distractions” are not only part of the enjoyment of the journey (almost always after the fact), they also in some way help us get there, even when we can’t see it.

And a lot of times, I’m so fixated on getting there, and pushing hard to do it, I don’t.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all day. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

I Finally Found Him…

Back to back blog posts one day after another? I’ve not done that in over a year.

But, this one was too good for me to pass up. And, not a “pat myself on the back type of good,”, but more like a “I can stop kicking myself in the face type of good.” Well, okay. Not really that either. But whatever.

A few weeks ago I wrote about a coat I was supposed to give away when I stumbled upon a car on fire (how, exactly, does one “stumble upon” a car on fire?). That story is here, and it’s about my complete failure to listen to the voice that said “give the guy your coat.”

So as I wrote that day, I haven’t worn it since and was determined to give it away. I’ve carried that coat in the truck of my car since March 4th. Practically driving around the streets of New Jersey Jake and Elwood Blues style with a huge megaphone shouting out for a guy that needs a large coat from Buckle (some of my friends are probably saying, please, the world needs less Buckle clothing to go around–keep your coat hidden away somewhere). Alas, nothing.

At one point, a friend of mine who I love, said “Raz, just keep your coat. I like that coat. Nobody needs your coat.” And, I thought, well if she would’ve said nobody WANTS your coat, now, then she might have a point. Still, I couldn’t shake it. Have. To. Give. It. Away.

Last night I’m walking in the City and I round a corner…and there he is! I knew the instant I saw him, standing on the corner with no warmth. Too bad I didn’t have the coat, I thought to myself, it was back in the car and I was late for dinner. So I kept walking.

Fifty steps later I spun around, ran to the garage and with the privilege of annoying some Central Parking attendants, grabbed the coat from the trunk, and brought it back to…Him.

I wasn’t going to blog about giving my coat away, this is a ridiculously trivial gift, and has more to do with me following the “voices in my head” (the one that said for me to give it away, not the one that screams at me to stop by Dunkin Donuts every two miles on Route 22). And, let’s remember, the only reason I have two blog entries about this is b/c I was selfish, hard of hearing, and logical in the first place.

So I was determined not to write about the follow up to this one. But…

When he put this coat on, his coat, and he wanted his picture taken, well, the smile on his face was worth a million bucks.

And all I had to do was pay a hundred bucks to see it.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all season. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless significant for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Hotel California

Yesterday I was getting in my car after a workout in the gym and as I fired up the car, a song came on that brought back such a vivid set of memories from decades ago.

Growing up, even at the age of 9 or 10, I remember sitting in cars in our driveway. Just to pass the time. I’d daydream, pretend I was driving, and simply hang out. I love cars. And I love music. So when I could borrow the car keys and actually start the car and listen to music once in a while, now, that was the stuff. Until, one day, I started the car in the garage but failed to open the garage door (I was pretty young). That freaked my parents out a bit. But, I’m still here. Perhaps down a few brain cells.

Hotel California was the song I remember listening to at the age of 14, and I decided that was the first song I would listen to when I got my license and could go on that first solo drive. For years I looked forward to that moment, and when the day came, I grabbed my well used remixed tape with Hotel California and jumped into a 1979 Chevy Impala station wagon, my first car. It was a rust bucket, but it was mine (sort of). And it represented my ticket to freedom. And dreaming.

Many miles were covered cruising around Upper Arlington in that Chevy, and I write I can still hear that engine at idle which made a really distinct yet subtle and soft chugging noise at idle. Like a tired, but happy, horse. What made the drives fun were the dreams; I was 16, and had so much to look forward to, with aspirations of playing football (happened) at Ohio State (didn’t happen), of becoming a businessman (happened) and someday a famous one (didn’t happen–yet), and all sorts of related and unrelated thoughts of what my life could someday become.

Years later, I had another ’79 vehicle–but this one was the greatest car ever made in the world (well, perhaps second greatest to a ’91 560 SEL that I totaled in North Dakota which I still lament), a 1979 Mercedes Benz 300SD. It was my dads for years, but by the time I got it she was, well, a really tired, but also really happy, horse. Probably worth not more than the price of four tires–maybe eight–but I loved this car. This time I was a junior in College, and some parts of my life had come together better than I imagined, and others not quite yet. But I still remember the hope and excitement that I had for the future, and my dreams were….well, my dreams. Anything was possible. And some doors were shut, like my OSU football dream, but others were plenty open. Many hours were spent just driving around the countryside of Indiana, and I remember most the long drives where I’d open all all the windows and the sunroof with dusk setting while hurtling down a country highway in the middle of cornfields as dusk settles, the sweet smell of a summer evening. It was fun. Anything was possible.

Yesterday, when I jumped in, it brought back these memories and many more in what felt like a sudden flash. And then it brought me forward. To today. And life. Things I wish I could change. Things still left to do. Mistakes I made. Mistakes I don’t want to make. The life I live (for which I’m really thankful). And the life I wish I lived. Amazing experiences I’ve had. And amazing experiences to come.

Last night at dinner at 21 Club in NYC we were seated right down from what I’ll affectionately describe as “a really old dude.” And I could hear his laughter and saw a spark in his eyes, he was playful, charming, witty (yes, I did have some of my own conversations instead of eavesdropping on his, but was mesmerized by this guy, partly related to the thoughts going through my head from the song). And I kept thinking, all these old people are really just young people…trapped in old people bodies. With their own dreams, aspirations, and goals of greatness. With time ticking.

And it dawned on me, that even though I’m only 37, that’s exactly what I was feeling as well. I’m just at a different phase of it all, with some of my life irreversibly behind me and still some ahead.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all date. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Happy 6th Birthday Buddy

Third letter in the series. My first one is here, and the second one is here.

Dear Levi,

I’m flying home from Dallas the day before your birthday as I start this letter; I was born in Dallas, you know, and it’s a great state to claim as ones birth since I think Texans appreciate this more than any other State. I’m sure by now you’ve met quite a few peeps from all over the world up there, including those from Texas, and yes, kiddo, I know many Texans can be loud, boisterous, and overly proud of their heritage. But they’re also my people. So hang with them, you’ll find they have a lot of heart. But I bet in heaven, it’s probably hard for the Texans to continue to proclaim, “Everything is bigger and better in Texas.” That’d be awkward to be saying that, then turn around and see Jesus standing above you tapping his finger and clearing his throat.

It’s strongly familiar that I write to you as I’m flying and looking outside at 30,000 feet with cumulus clouds spanning miles in the foreground of a soothing blue sky. Some of my best memories growing up were of me and my dad flying around in a little private plane he had, and I adored going to the airstrip with him to wash it, watch him do some mechanical work, or to simply go for a ride on what felt like a magic carpet. With me, you’d have to settle for a commercial flight—I don’t think I’ll ever get my private pilot license at this point (though I started when I was 21 and had enough time and no money; now, the opposite is true). But you’d enjoy flying with me all the same, traipsing through the airport, seeing all the sights.  You’d probably even find going through security as an adventure.

This year, my friend, is the year you’d start playing football. And even though it’s just March, we’d be getting ready now. You’d be so little, engulfed in a dizzying array of pads, protective gear, and a helmet too big that it would be weeble wobbling all over your little head as your little legs churn as you run. We would spend more time getting the gear on and off you, than you would actually spend time playing in a game, but I’d love every minute. I’d have you out in the yard, doing little drills and making you sprint and tackle–as well show you how to catch a football, which despite the teasing you’d hear from my College football buddies, I became moderately good at doing. And I’d probably secretly be hoping that you would grow to be 1″ taller than me, a few 1/10th of a second faster in the 40 yard dash, with a few lbs more muscle mass than I was in high school so you could really compete in the big leagues, at least some strong D1 stuff.

Instead, today, I am listening to Nicki Minaj sing “Moment for Life” which somehow is adding to my sadness, whilst sitting here just hoping you were with me–under any circumstance. And even if you couldn’t play football, we would do other things that you and I would be good at doing. Like making fun of the other kids playing football. 🙂 Sorry, that was wrong, but that thought did enter my mind for a second. No, instead, we’d do the stuff you could do, and we’d find your gift and pursue it wildly. Like we’re trying to do with Zoe; she’s super talented at all things, but she just wants to cook and create stuff. And while I want her to be disciplined, I care more that she finds and develops her gift so the challenge is to try to do both without stifling her. So we cook a lot. 🙂 And Royce has so many gifts, but even the stuff that she’s only “okay” at she is ferociously determined. I’m sure there are a few things that I’d push you to develop if you had the talent, certainly football being one of them. But I’d also dig whatever your natural gifts were–even if it were limited to Croquet and Knitting, though those activities aren’t the best for a hyper-type-A personality. I’d adjust.

I feel better just writing your birthday letter today; yet I’ve also let you down. I know you know, but your book isn’t done. No excuses my friend; it’s been a wild year, but I am still plugging away. Stay patient with me, and I’m sorry I’ve missed my committed date of having it complete—and I won’t promise another date until I know I can honor it. But I’ll keep working on it.

Normally I give you a bit of a family update; this year, it’s a bit too complicated for me to write, and I’m sure you know enough. We’re all good, though it has been far from an easy year.  RoZo and Mom say more than hello. And I know it’s hard for all of them not to be able to see you on this day. Mom thinks about you ALL of the time. 🙂 This afternoon we spent some time in honor of you at the house. RoZo wanted to go and get helium balloons and tie cupcakes to them and send them off to you in heaven. And while a part of me thought this is a charming and magical idea, the pragmatic side of me is contemplating the potential consequences of a cupcake hurtling down towards earth at 50mph. We went with emotion rather than logic today, and off went the cupcake with six balloons. You can guess who picked out the football balloon. RoZo selected the rest. The kids want to send stuff to you so badly, and see you even if just for a minute.

I really miss you. A lot. Perhaps it looks like I’ve gotten on with my life and often forgotten much about you. But it’s not true. My heart aches for you. And I wish you were here, with me, right now. You’d think I were a cool dad, at least for now, finding me entertaining, funny, strong, confident, and dependable. You would look at me and proclaim things like “You’re the best dad in the world!” But as time would go on, and as years pass, you would see me for who I really am. A mix of some good attributes, but plenty of broken ones as well. But for now, I’d be quite perfect in your innocent eyes. Which would be very cool.

Today, I wish I could see those little blue eyes and what I know would be a mischievous smile with lots of cackling and laughter throughout the day–merciless teasing of your big sisters, who are pretty good at dishing it out as well. Little dude, I miss you more than you know. And this very day, my only prayer would be that JC takes you on his knee and somehow reads this letter to you.

There are probably too many snapshots of my life that I’d like you not to see, but today I wish you could see me and my eyes as I wrote this birthday letter to you. Then, with just one look, you’d know just how much I love and miss you.

Happy Birthday, buddy.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doc. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all when. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Car On Fire…

Literally.

We’re driving back from the NYC area to Western Jersey on Saturday late afternoon, just me and, then my RoZo sitting in the back. We’re jamming to some Rihanna, they’re telling endless stories, the sun is out…and we’re wearing shades, we’ve got a full tank of gas and a half a pack of cigarettes.

(okay, those last three are lines from the Blues Brothers)

Up on the right about a quarter of a mile ahead I see a car in flames, and the kids start screaming in the back. Anyways, since this isn’t the point of the story, I’ll speed this part up. Car on fire. Family of four were already out, the mom was convulsing in tears (I wanted to give her a hug, but didn’t). The Dad, a gentle giant who spoke broken english sprinkled w/ Spanish words looked in shock. Car appeared like it was about to explode. Moved them a few hundred yards away. Called 911. Everyone shows up. End of story.

But, as I was leaving, I looked over at the dad, he was shivering in the cold and had this tiny thin little blanket draped over his shoulders. It wasn’t bitter out, but there was a bite. And it was as if a voice said to me…

“Give him your coat.”

To which I replied “Woooooahhhhh! I just bought this coat. Like six weeks ago. And I only have two coats here in NJ, the other stuff is in storage. And it was expensive. I did my thing, this is ridiculous.”

So I walked around the car a few more times, realized the authorities were going to take care of him. Got in the car. Knew I was supposed to give him my jacket. Almost got out to give it to him.

Put the car in drive. Then park. Rethought it again. Back in drive, thinking this is absurd that I don’t need to give a guy my coat that I just bought, who I stopped to help (amongst many many people who just kept driving by). I did my deed, I thought. I did what really mattered.

As I drove off, I kept thinking “I should’ve given him my coat.”

And, nearly one week later, after having thought about this all week, I realize I didn’t do my deed at all. I was supposed to give him the coat off my back. Instead, I was selfish, hard of hearing, and logical.

When I should have been abundant, intuitive, and irrational.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all day. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

A Raz Family Update


So it’s a long ways coming, but anyways here’s our update. It’ll be a quick entry, one because at the end of the day nobody really cares THAT much to know the minutiae about our move, but I still have people who text or email and say “dude, where did you go?”

Where we went: New Jersey. Neeeewwww Jeaaarrssaaaaayyy!

Side note: my daughter, Zoe, recently said to me very sincerely “Dad, now that we’ve been here a little while shouldn’t we start talking like them? Like, shouldn’t I start saying “yooooous” instead of “you”? Ummm, no Zoe. Absolutely not. Please don’t even let those thoughts creep into your head.

So on June 1st I started as CEO of DealOn Media, a VC-backed start-up company that is in the Group Buying space (competitors that you might have heard of include GroupOn and Living Social). Here’s eight months of summary at what we did at DealOn: bootstrapped, built great technology, secured some big partners, didn’t close a few big partners we should have, made some brilliant decisions, made some lousy decisions, built a great team of incredibly-talented-and-highly-committed people (this was really the key success factor), tested and trialed to figure stuff out, figured more stuff out, got some momentum, and along we went until we unexpectedly and very rapidly found ourselves in a position where we started to get approached by a lot of buyers.

And, last week it was announced that we were acquired by ReachLocal. I never expected that we would get acquired within eight months, but we did more things right than not, we got a few breaks, we built and accomplished some pretty cool stuff, and we landed with a very successful publicly held Company that’s full of exceptional talent, passion, and commitment. Things I dig. So my Board and DealOn investors are (very) happy, I’m quite certain all of my employees are happy, and I think the buyers are happy…so, therefore, I’m pretty happy. While it wasn’t all fun and games (though we did have some fun, too), this has been one of the most stretching and adventurous business experiences of my life.

Here are a few links to the announcement:

http://www.screenwerk.com/2011/02/15/reachlocal-buys-dealon/

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/news/2026544/reachlocal-buys-dealon-plans-deals-exchange

http://www.socaltech.com/reachlocal_s_zorik_gordon_on_daily_deals/s-0033998.html

So, I left Olympia the end of May, and Erica and the kiddo’s came out in August. We’re at a temp location in Western NJ, and while we miss the West Coast immensely there are quite a few nice things about being on the East Coast–including being much closer to three of my sisters, Erica’s dad, and a MUCH shorter flight to see my parents (at one point on the West Coast we’d gone years since seeing them, and now we see them every few months).

There are things that I really love about being out here (like, that I’m able to write this from a coffeeshop in Manhattan and adore the energy in this town; I literally think my biochemistry changes when I drive through the tunnel to get into Gotham).

And there are things that I don’t love about being out here (like, working out at the gym w/ the natives in New Jersey. It’s not normal, and it’s an experience I hope you can bypass).

But, all in all, it’s part of the adventure we’ve been on and I’m grateful for every minute. Hour. Day. Okay, at least every week. 🙂  Seriously, I’m very grateful. And I’ve met some incredible people out here who have changed my life in so many ways.

Erica continues to homeschool, in an environment that isn’t that homeschool friendly or resource laden (“okay, now, which cult did you guys say you belong to again?” I promise, peeps, it’s not that weird; but it was way easier in the NW/Olympia where SO MANY people homeschooled); Royce is booting away the soccer ball in between reading books (I LOVE that she wanted her 9th birthday party to be a “bookstore birthday party” where they all got together at Clinton Bookstore to read and share stories out of books. Go Royce Go!). And, Zoe, ahhhh little Zoe. She’s more creative than ever, has turned into an aggressive little basketball player, and completely adores cooking (often but not always with me, and she’s an avid Food Network viewer). Ahhhhh, I miss our Oly kitchen! She could watch cooking shows for hours on end. It’s pretty darned cute, and I think it might be her gift.

Longer than I expected (it always is), the Raz Family update. The adventure continues…

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good heartiness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Okay, here it is…a stroke before midnight, the annual RazFamily Thanksgiving video.

This one is a bit more…casual, and slap-dash, but we’re going to let it go anyways. It really is purely an outtakes version, was hoping for something a bit more sincere and thoughtful but it just didn’t happen that way. And I didn’t get the participation of Erica or Royce/Zoe, but we had so many people at the house it was a bit chaotic and not optimal studio environment. 🙂 So, again, this is outtakes people. Outtakes. Not me in everyday every moment life.

Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving to everybody. And, by the way, when you get a heritage/free range Turkey (like we did) it is a BIT easier to understand how I did what I did, which you’ll see at the end of the video. Too much explaining will ruin the silly surprise.

So there it is, from the RazFam to yours–best to each of you!

-Raz, Erica, Royce, and Zoe

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all when. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

My Trash, My Selfishness

I hate germs.

And I can’t stand touching the door handle on the way into a public bathroom, but particularly so on the way out. So like some, I use the paper towel to open up the door handle on my way out. Sometimes–usually–there’s a trash can near the door on the way out. At my office there isn’t one.

And I’d move the trash can from where it was, to a location by the door. Which was just as convenient for those who didn’t use my method, and it would offer a receptacle for those who use the “towel on door” methodology.

But it kept moving back to its old location. Frustrated, I finally would just throw my paper towel down by the door once I opened it up and headed back to my office. Someone else would clean it up at the end of the day, I figured. I didn’t really think it through that blatantly, I just didn’t want to get germinated, and I couldn’t keep moving the trash bin. So I did this “right by the door paper towel toss on the floor” for 2-3 days.

Then one night I was leaving the office around 10pm. I was tired. Frustrated. Annoyed. Work, which overall goes really well and I genuinely am passionate about, had been particularly difficult that day. And I was sluffing out the door muttering to myself something about how hard my job was, the challenges of life in a raw start-up company, how difficult it is to be a CEO, and blah blah blah.

Translation: I was whining to myself.

Which I don’t think I do very often, but it had captured me as I was locking up the door.

And as I’m turning around I hear a little girls voice. I thought I was mistaken, it was after 10pm on a weeknight. But, sure enough, I saw a little girl–maybe 6 or 7 years old–running after her dad down the hallway. Her dad, as it turned out, was the janitor for the building–a hardworking immigrant, always cheerful and exceptionally fastidious. It was obvious as he was just finished cleaning the men’s room. The same one where I’d been casually throwing my door-opening-paper-towel-pieces by the door for a few days.

Suddenly a wave of my absurdity was cast over me. Not just for the extra trash I was leaving for this guy, but for how I was feeling about myself as I leaving the office. Here I was, fortunate in 500 different ways. Whilst making his job more difficult through my selfish little trash deposits. And here he was, I’m sure also in some ways very fortunate, but also going through the challenges of life cleaning buildings on the second shift. With his young daughter in tow.

I then realized, my job is easy. And isn’t particularly admirable.

His job, however. Now, that’s admirable.

I’ll forever remember it.

And I’ll never, again, throw a piece of paper towel by the door.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doc. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all when. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

9/11: Dreaming with a Broken Heart

We spent the weekend of September 11th in New York City a few weeks back (for those still trying to figure it out, I moved out East in June and took a job to run a start-up company, our update in a forthcoming post). I was in the City all day Friday for meetings, one that was supposed to last 90-minutes which continued for eight hours. By the sixth hour of meetings, with no end in sight, I told E and the kids to come into NYC and we’d stay the night. We’d already planned on getting up early to drive in to spend the morning at the 9/11 memorial. By the way, before I dig much deeper, please note all photo credits go to the amazing photographer and writer Jodi Kendall; www.jodikendall.com

We had a great night that evening over Tomoe Sushi during the kick off of “Fashion Week” in Manhattan, and the following morning we awoke early and caught the R subway line down to Rector Street, but not before taking the kids to a typical Manhattan-style coffeecart (“regular” with two sugars for me and E), a kaiser roll with butter, and an everything bagel w/ cream cheese. Kids loved it.

Riding the subway south brought back so many memories; the hotel we stayed at Friday night was, literally, less than 300 yards from my old start-up company in midtown (right by Macy’s, 35th and Broadway). And I used to take that exact subway from our apartment, departing from Rector and jumping off at the 34th street. On this particular day, Saturday,  September 11th 2010, I was doing the reverse commute nine years later, down to the area where we lived during the event.

As the subway clickity clacked from stop to stop the late summer smell of the subway brought back so many memories; a smell of heat and humidity, sweat and metal, urine and basement…Oddly pleasing yet borderline nauseating. Like skunk.

“Rector Street, Rector Street next stop! Brooklyn-bound R-train last stop in Manhattan” barked the conductor, and I wandered ahead with one kid in tow tightly wrapped around my hand, and another kid being corralled by Erica. I can’t remember which kid it was, but I was squeezing her hand so tightly–never forgetting for a minute the time I saw a guy fall into a subway that came all too close to being crushed by an oncoming subway train. As well the time when I was ten years old in Chicago and having a guardian angel change my life as a result of a near-death subway experience. I’ll forever compensate for those experiences by overprotecting our kids in subway stations. It’s now in my DNA. It’s interesting how life’s experience dramatically change you. Sometimes, in ways that you can’t or won’t let yourself change.

As I started to walk out the subway on the gum tattered steps, the morning sunlight rays streaking through the underpits of Manhattan transit as I climbed the steps, I forgot about kids, work, my wife, and my life.

Transcendence, I think is what they call it. The colloquial definition, not the Kant definition.

And I was lifted back to nearly 10-years ago on such a crisp summer morning; this Saturday was no different. I walked over to Broadway, one block south of our old apartment, two blocks north where the World Trade Center used to gallantly stand. And the memories flooded. As did the emotions coming with it.

Sorrow, at the tragedy that happened years ago.

Inspiration, to be able to see and hear again the stories of so many people who were so valiant during such a difficult part of time.

Anger, at not just the events that occurred years ago, but also those who used the day as a platform to espouse personal political belief, like those who maintain a conviction that 9/11 was an “inside job” to the  drama around the mosque as well as proposed burning of the Koran’s (all of which I also have personal opinions about, but the 11th was a day to memorialize those lost–not to use as a platform for  political gain or statement-making).

The sights and sounds so powerful, the air resonated deep with conviction. I’d been downtown since the actual attacks, staying in our apartment a few blocks south of the WTC after 9/11, to our move out of the City a month thereafter, to various visits over the years. But, Saturday, well, Saturday was different.

Trinity Church, made very well known during the events of the day and thereafter, lined with flowers and luminaries memorializing the many who passed.

Feeling the methodical notes played with the breath of human life through the bagpipes singing solemnly in the background as we walked closer to the memorial.

The quiet rustle of people walking by, calmly and contemplatively, with shared glances of an understanding of the sacred ground on which we stood.

Hearing, name after name after name, hours and hours worth of names, read by family and friends for those whose lives were savagely claimed.

Seeing the bright morning sun eclipse through the 9/11 memorial as I stood with both kids and Erica by my side, near my sister Jodi, as I stood with many others and simply cast a gaze upon the worksite of regentrification as well great sorrow.

Watching other Americans, one with a British accent to my left, an Arab-American to my right, a group of Amish Mennonites standing behind me, with every other imaginable nationality in close proximity, all paying tribute to those whose time had past.

An experience that can’t be articulated or “explained”, but something that, again, has changed the way that I look at the world and our life.

It was, simultaneously, not enough and also too much.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Stuck Here in This Hole

I keep learning so much, the last month is no exception.

Part of it is observation. Part self-reflection. Part experience. And part musical influence.

Tonight via Pandora (no question, the best $30 I’ve spent for the ad-free version, and the free version is fine too) I heard for about the 20th time in my life a Coldplay song that never before caught my ear. It’s a song called Amsterdam, and I always liked the song but never even heard a word of the lyrics.

But tonight, perhaps funded by a melancholy mood, I heard the story from a new perspective. Growing up I remember my dad used to only let me listen to “Sunny 95” in Columbus, Ohio, which was maybe two tones away from classical music. I am sure he never knew that in the late evening hours I listened to the forever-forbidden 97.9WNCI, or even the really rebellious 92X when Suzy Waud was hosting late nights (funny how even 20-years later it comes right back). The reason for the contraband stations was he told me “the words in the songs matter…and some of that ‘acid rock’ isn’t good for your ears or your mind.” (me and my sisters still tease about the ‘acid rock’ comment, but he was probably more right than wrong on this).

Tonight, the words struck me.

And it’s not necessarily because the words resonate with how I’m feeling–but because they’re actually profound, depending upon your interpretation of the story. If you reflect on it, you have felt stuck–massively stuck and perhaps hopeless–at some point in your life. And, having spent the day in Manhattan observing myriads of people, and learning a lot in the past month, it is revealing to me how many people go through the same emotions yet rarely can release the emotions to each other.

To me, it’s a beautiful song about the redemption that friendship and solace can offer during times of headache or heartache; video below from a live event, and the lyrics are listed below the video.

Come on, oh my star is fading
I swerve out of control
If I’d, if I’d only waited
I’d not be stuck here in this hole.

Come here, oh my star is fading
and I swerve out of control
And I swear I waited and waited
I’ve got to get out of this hole.

But time is on your side, it’s on your side now
Not pushing you down and all around
It’s no cause for concern

Come on, oh my star is fading
And I see no chance of release
And I know I’m dead on the surface
But I’m screaming underneath

And time is on your side, it’s on your side now
Not pushing you down and all around
No, It’s no cause for concern

Stuck on the end of this ball and chain
And I’m on my way back down again
Stood on a bridge, tied to the noose
Sick to the stomach


You can say what you mean
but it won’t change a thing
I’m sick of the secrets
Stood on the edge
tied to the noose


She came along and she cut me loose
You came along and you cut me loose
You came along and you cut me loose

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all period. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

A Little Help from My Friends

“Correction does much. But encouragement does more.” -Goethe

I have blogitis again.

The origins of which are complicated, but the clinical presentation is always the same: an absence of compelling blog posts. But from last week up until just an hour ago, three people sparked me to blog right now about, well, what’s compelling me to write. Perhaps the reason it was so touching to me is b/c I’m just struggling to make time for this among all the other priorities.

But then it hit me, from three different people, during the course of last week. And it wasn’t logic. No money involved. No carrot. No guilt. No publicity. It was quite simple. There is just one thing that changed my outlook on my blog, and also my general perspective for my life today:

Encouragement:

I’ve spent too much of my life correcting and not enough encouraging. And I’m not talking about the slapdash stuff that we sometimes deliver people, like an impromptu “hey hey, what’s happening…love that shirt, hair looks great, you’re amazing!” whilst making a wink and a nod and a click click noise coming from your mouth with your fingers pointed at the person like you’re holding two revolvers.

For the record, I have never ever done that. Ever. At least not the winking part.

It costs us nothing. It takes practically no time. Yet we don’t do it very often, we treat it like it’s this scarce resource, when we should be offering it up freely–especially to those who need it. So, there it is. I could add 5,000 words, but I don’t think the reminder would be any more compelling.

Today I’ve got a packed day of activities out in Jersey, which is everything from working with a painter and separate carpet installers to going to the post office to Home Depot to the hot tub store to doing lots of yardwork to shopping at Healthy Habit (touching story about the guy who used to own this, someday blog material) and a myriad of other projects.

And of all the things I have to do today is to give someone else the gift that someone gave me today. Something that might either be as simple as brightening their moment, or changing their outlook on their life. Encouragement.

Special thanks to Robin, Louise, and Dr. Coldcall.
(see Dr, I told you you’d make the blog someday :))

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doc. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all day. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Fedora Wearing Poetry Guy

Amongst the longest of all hiatuses, it’s finally time to resume writing.

Lots has changed in my life in the last few months, though I’ll save my personal update and whereabouts for another blog entry. But as a result it’s put me majorly behind my writing eight-ball. Because I’ve been traveling all day and the night is still young w/ lots to do, yet I’m not going to bed tonight until I get a post uploaded to break my streak, I’m going to post a rather simple one from the weekend.

So Saturday I’m at the Farmers Market in Oly with Erica, it’s a cool kitschy place to go and spend a cold and damp summer morning (ahhhhh, the late summer starts in the NW!) and one of my favorites is to sit outside and listen to some fold band while eating “The Skillet” from Dingy’s along the food market portion (BTW, have them ease up on the meats, load it up w/ veggies, a little light on the cheese–and the thing is amazing!) of the Farmers Market.

Anyways, I’m walking along and I see a guy in the distance standing freely, wearing a Fedora-style hat and a white guitar case by his side. And literally I watch waves of people walk by him, and it’s almost as if there’s a vector that as people are getting closer to him they speed up and walk by much more briskly than they approached him. I was really intrigued as I sat and watched this from 150 feet away, but determined to check it out.

So as I slowly walked towards him, trying to listen to what he was saying to passerby’s, I finally made out the dialogue, which went like this:

Fedora-wearing man: “Do you like Poetry?”

Passerby: No. (whilst proceeding to bundle their small children and walk every more quickly)

This happened maybe ten times as I was watching, and I couldn’t help but chuckle–I was intrigued. But Fedora-man remained unfazed. Completely, unabashedly, and unflappably unfazed.

Then, every approximately 5th to 7th passerby the convo went like this:

Fedora-wearing man: “Do you like Poetry?”

Passerby: Yeah.

Fedora-wearing man: “May I read you a poem I wrote?”

Passerby: No.  (proceeding to walk much more quickly)

Still unfazed, he kept going. So then about every 4th person that answered the affirmative to the question about liking poetry (if you’re keeping track, that’s about every 20-28 no’s) someone would stop and say yes, he could read to them. And he did.

So at first I really thought this bizarre. And maybe it is. I sure as heck didn’t answer the question “Yeah” when he posed to me. But then I started thinking about Juan Mann, I did a post about him a while back that you can read here. But, as I thought about it, I was intrigued. Here’s a guy that loves poetry. Apparently he likes people. And he must even not have too great an aversion to hearing the word “No” repeatedly. Like every minute. Great salesman material. But what he loved was what he was doing.

So, there it is. A quick tribute to:

a) Fedora-wearing-poetry-guy-at-the-Olympia-Farmers-Market.

b) Being able to hear no and keep on keepin’ on.

c) And following your purpose and passion. However oddly structured to guys like me that may seem. 🙂

P.S. And on a very serious note–a belated thanks to all those who have or currently serve this Country to protect our freedom and liberty. I have such reverence for those who have provided our Country, and people like me and my family, such faithful service. I am deeply indebted.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

A Legend Lost

This weekend, as many of you know, a legend passed away.

His name was John Wooden, and while his amazing coaching skills that led to an incredible array of victories for UCLA, more than that he was an amazing human being that has transformed so many peoples lives. So, without any wordiness, I’ll let a few videos do the talking. Thanks, John. You were, and still remain, an inspiration and wealth of wisdom for so many.

And, the below video from TED (such a great resource for knowledge) is a gem. 17-minutes, well worth the time…

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Can You Be Coached?

Last night I had the opportunity to speak/facilitate a small group discussion around Coachability and Listening.

So the guys didn’t need to take notes, I promised I’d circulate the culmination of ideas and discussion points captured as we shared the dialogue. I thought it might be a good blog entry, so decided to simply publish my notes on this blog entry which is somewhat a “Part Two” to the Coachability posting that I wrote weeks back.

So here’s the outline, Coachability Part Two from the Men’s Small Group last night:

Coachability. Who cares, why’s it matter?

It’s upstream to all other wisdom, knowledge, and best practices. If we’re not coachable (learners, teachable, open, listeners, willing to change behavior and improve, etc) then we’re hugely rate limiting our potential–regardless our talent.

The resources used for the dialogue:

“They Call Me Coach” by John Wooden, book of Proverbs (whether you’re religious or not, this is a book filled with wisdom that people from all various faiths could appreciate–at least in part, if not whole), and a YouTube clip from Marshall Goldsmith–not exactly riveting, but it’s five minutes of a great premise and I think he’s right on:

So out of the dialogue, here were some of the best practices and ideas generated that I’m passing on. BTW, one of the key premises to the evening was that we’re not striving for anything profound, if that happened great. But the real objective were a few clear, simple, and actionable items that we could use starting today to take meaningful steps towards improvement:

1. Realize being “Coachable” isn’t innate in most of us. Most of us don’t even like receiving, let alone asking, for sincere coaching. And though you might have all the talent in the world, we won’t come close to fulfilling our potential without the key Coachability factor.  Realize you’ll resist, defend, brush off, or deflect feedback. It is in your nature to want to hear things that will stretch and sharpen you. For most of us. But it can become a part of you with time, patience, and practice.

2. Also realize, the more you ask, the easier it gets to hear the feedback and focus on your improvement areas (or, simply improving those things you’re already naturally talented in). Learn to love feedback. Takes training and discipline. At first it hurts. Then it hurts a bit less. Then a bit less. Then not much at all. Then you start to enjoy it (usually). Pretty soon, it becomes a natural habit that’s easy and conversational.

3. Coachability seems defined beyond just teachability, though synonymous to a degree the Coachability factor incorporates both the willingness to listen/learn as well as change and improve behavior.

4. Make it a point to ask people for feedback at least once a week. If you haven’t done it before, ever (and some in our group hadn’t), find someone you respect, pick something that you really want to get better at, and ask them candidly for a few things you’ve done well and a few things you can improve upon. And when you’re picking people, don’t just pick people who like you or you know will go easy. Get it from a variety of sources, your employees, customers, friends, mentors, kids, spouse (though I know for those of us married it seems like we probably get enough feedback as it is, that seemed to be the humorous consensus of the group yesterday 🙂 ).

5. Find a mentor, someone that can give you unvarnished feedback regularly and that will help you progress along your journey.

6. Speaking of unvarnished feedback, remember how hard it is for the giver to actually provide candid feedback. Either they might fear you, or they might fear a “retaliation”, or they might simply not want to hurt your feelings or get into what could be an awkward dialogue. Make sure you explain you want to improve, and help them peel back the onion. First pass and they might only be sharing with you superficial stuff. To get good feedback, again and again, you can’t retaliate. You can’t resent, you can’t become bitter, you can’t become defensive.

7. Focus on your non-verbal, be open and friendly/warm, calm, relaxed–not all tensed up, arms crossed, scowling and whatnot (which we’ve all done–or at least I have). And with your verbal, don’t get defensive, don’t be annoyed or frustrated

8. Don’t assume all feedback is right on. Try to reflect rather than respond. Sit on the feedback for a day or several days, and really try to assess whether it’s relevant to you. Don’t dismiss it because you don’t like it, dismiss it only if it really is inaccurate.

9. Let’s remember that you can’t please everybody (but don’t use this as an excuse either). Part of your vice is probably your virtue. For example, for me personally I know there are times when I’m too hard charging, or too demanding and have too high expectations. But that’s also part of what is my strength, so for me to eliminate it altogether would be neutering something that’s innately me–and a skill. For me to balance it and know when to emphasize and minimize is what’s important. So remember there’s an ebb and flow, and also that not everybody is right about the feedback you receive. You can’t make everybody happy, and you can’t be doing anything productive in life without some criticism.

10. When you get great feedback, focus on a few core things and them implement, practice, refine, and re-assess.

This is only a small smattering of what we came up with, but I wanted to try to limit it to ten key ideas or principles around the Coachability factor. If you have other ideas or suggestions, please share them as a comment below.

So to the guys that I got to hang with last night (Neal, Bob, Mark, Doug, David, Matther, Don, Chris, Dan, and Alfred) thanks for such a lively discussion and the great ideas you helped to generate on ways we can be more successful at one of the key characteristics most of us lack to varying degrees. Loved the time, the ideas, and inspiration I received from each of you.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all when. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Memories of Morristown

Denise, Raz, and AlyssaRecently I was visiting some family on the East Coast. Every time I’m in the area, I usually stop by the Hospital where my daughter was born–Royce–just about nine years ago.

As many know, she was born very premature. I’ll skip the details of the story, I’m sure in accumulation or specifically I have a post in here somewhere that details it.

Anyways, lots of long hours in the NICU. Looooong and stressful hours. And as long as they were for us, for the staff there–particularly the nurses–it was a day after after day. Probably without a lot of gratefulness. Likely without tons feedback. And, all too often, seeing a wrenching end to a life just begun that affects families in deep and emotional ways difficult to explain.

So Royce, our oldest, was a perfect product of Morristown Hospital (lots of things contributed, Providence, the Doc’s, modern technology, lots of prayers, and as I’m addressing today, particularly the nurses). So anytime I’m in the area, which is about once a year, I drop off a note thanking whoever from the staff that’s on at that particular time, and generally something like an Ice Cream cake since there’s a Friendly’s right down the street.

Too often I forget about the people who have difficult and often thankless jobs, so maybe this annual pilgrimage to Morristown was my reminder to myself to do a better job of this, as well as to provide a really sincere thanks to some people who transformed our life.

Sometimes I get wrapped up in thinking that for us to make an impact we have to do something exceptional. And, while there are many great illustrations of people doing just that–I think I can find far more from people who do the simple things, consistently, with a lot of heart, and persistence towards excellence.

In my 8+ years of doing these thank-you-drop-by’s, I’ve never once ran into our two Primary nurses from Royce’s stay at the NICU–they just never happened to be on when I was stopping by in the past.

Until this last visit. It was so cool but on my last visit BOTH of her Primary nurses were on duty, Alyssa and Denise were both there that Sunday afternoon when I was making my annual stop. And it brought back a flood of memories to see them both, and a few other emotions. I got some great time with them both, and was reminded about the simple acts of service that can make such a big difference in peoples lives. For us, the big thing was helping ensure some precarious months in the NICU by paying such great attention to Royce. But beyond that, there was a whole level of emotional support they provided as well.

So, today, a shout out of thanks to all the people out there in jobs that don’t get the gratitude that you deserve. Because whether you saved a life, changed a life, or changed a diaper (for someone young or old), you deserve some appreciation–and a reminder, that the stuff you do, even the routine and mundane, can be a game changer for someone else.

You just don’t always know who, or when.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all date. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

The Harlem Children’s Zone

Sometimes you hear people talk about “playing politics”, make sure not to “step on anybody’s toes” or “be sure not to rock the boat”; perhaps you’ve been told to “watch your back” or just “tone it down and take the time.”

But sometimes that’s the worse advice you can ever give…or take.

The following is an amazing 60-minutes clip, and a few things struck me about Geoffrey Canada and The Harlem Children’s Zone.

1. He’s probably stepped on a few toes and rocked a few boats to do what he’s done–and is currently doing.

2. He’s passionate and fiercely determined. I’ll be 90% of his graduating class couldn’t have done what he has done; and it’s because so much of the equation is incorporated of BOTH the skills as well as the will. The enthusiasm. The unbridled passion. The relentless commitment. He’s got it. And I admire it. Watch his eyes as he talks, and you can see the fire that exists within him for a cause he so firmly believes in. In fact, he reminds me of someone else that I know–Bessie Gardner, the former Principal of Ruleville Elementary Schools and is one of the outposts for our Serve First program, who is still immensely involved in the school system and the community.

It was among the most invigorating clips I’ve seen in a while. And I think you’ll agree. Skills. But skills coupled with unbridled commitment and passion. That’s unstoppable, I would bet on this guy any day. Any day.


Watch CBS News Videos Online

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doc. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all season. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Keep on Keepin’ On–From Jerry.

Football and Perseverance

I’m in a blogging rut. Big time. It’s been like two postings in about three weeks. Writing this is an important part of my life, for reasons I don’t fully understand. Successful writing requires consistency. And, right now, my consistency sucks (learned that word reading a Harvard Biz School publication).

It’s not that I don’t have things I’d like to write about.

Topics abound, including…The great experience of Royce making my day by selecting a certain jersey number…A wonderful lesson in leadership that I learned from a cab driver…Another testimonial to tenacity and hard work from a guy who just opened a restaurant…Some observations about motive and parenting–as well as first impressions–I personally experienced while volunteering for the Children’s Museum recently…Even a personal letdown about a goal I had for October (running) that got derailed due to an injury.

So the problem isn’t lack of topics. Yeah, time is an issue. But I choose to make the time for things that are important to me. So, all of us always feel like time as an issue–but if you REALLY want to do something, you’ll find the time to make it happen. Everyone is tight on time.

It’s this motivation issue that I am certain is the key to so many peoples successes and others “failures” (who am I to call someone’s life or shortcoming a failure, apart from my own?). It’s not even that it’s THAT difficult (most things in life aren’t), it’s just that it’s hard to keep going sometimes. It’s easier to diagnose this problem on a smaller scale, like blogging, than something much more substantial.

Yet, I think the drivers and attributes are largely the same for success large and small. For the most part, how someone does everything is how they do anything.

It’s easy to do something when you’re motivated. But even when you have the drive, invariably there comes a period of apathy. Even AFTER you have selected something you’re passionate about.

That period is the magic maker for all of us.

The problem for most of us, is that there are sufficient times we’re not motivated to keep on keepin’ on. It’s why I’m so impressed with people who accomplish successful levels of leadership or difficult activities, such as leadership positions in Direct Selling Companies, or Exec’s in certain companies, marathon or triathlon runners, people who have lost a lot of weight, and on and on. It’s not so much the accomplishment that’s so impressive, it’s the hours and hours and hours of preparation, training, commitment, discipline, and getting after it–especially when you don’t feel like it–that I find so impressive. It’s unusual that people can achieve these things without finding some motivation, sometimes within but often through others. And as I write, one name keeps coming to mind about a man who had such an impact on me years ago.

Jerry Helvey.

He worked at Anderson Unviersity when I played football there. I’m not even sure what he did officially. He seemed to do a little bit of everything–coaching, equipment, field maintenance, teaching.

Unofficially, however, I remember exactly what he did: He kept us going.

Encouraged us. Pushed and carried us. Moved us forward. Sometimes using humor, sometimes sincerity, and sometimes toughness. But he always did the same thing. He kept us moving on towards the goal. Take the next step, take the next step, take the next step.

I wish there were a little secret to success that made it all easy; certainly, there are so many things that involve personal development that can make you a better person, more effective, more efficient. And no question there are better ways to get things done, or some things that are innately impossible that hard work won’t simply solve. But with most goals and objectives you’ll never go against “the law of the farm”, which basically resonates with the reality that hard work and moving forward is the magic maker to the harvest.

I’m sitting here in Seattle working on the laptop at Stumptown and all around me I see people facing choices, and it’s those choices and activities that will help determine their destiny. Particularly during the down periods.

And as I write here, 2,000 miles from my alma mater, and 15-years later, I can still hear his booming voice as he would run through our team while we warmed up during football season, his bellowing voice would call out as if he were saying it to just me “Keep on keepin’ on men. Keep on keepin’ on.”

And, I think I’ll do just that.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all when. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Risky Hires: Wall Street Journal Circa 1997

Wall Street Journal

I saved this article for 12 years, and who knows how much longer I’ll hang onto it. But I remember my dad giving this to me, or rather snail mailing it to me (I was probably just starting my job at Lilly). We all had inboxes growing up, from a very young age.

In fact, at birth we were all assigned a designation for inboxes. I was R3. It has to do with birth order. My Dad was R1. Mom R2. You get it? A little odd, even quirky…Perhaps. But fun. In a quirky way, of course. But it set us forth on a lifelong course of reading and study, in some ways.

Anyways, my Dad sent me (again, R3 for those who aren’t quite yet following along) this great article over a decade ago. I loved it, because it represented redemption.

And second chances.

Which represent stories that I love, because no matter who you are, what you’ve accomplished, or who you know the fact remains that we’ve all needed a second chance here or there. As you’ve heard me say before, it’s one of the amazing things that I love about the Direct Selling industry, but there are many other applications to this throughout life as well.

So, here it is: A story of second chances. From many years ago. From a Company that took a really unconventional approach, and won big. Not just in results, but in the redemption it provided to people who were without, for a period of time, any hope at all.

When Ruth Tinney started looking for a job last December, she didn’t have much of a résumé: The 30-year-old mother of two had no recent employment at all and had been on the welfare rolls for about three years.
Nonetheless, Microboard Processing Inc., an electronics assembler in Seymour, Conn., offered Ms. Tinney a two-week employment trial. Now she has a regular assembly-line job at MPI, and she recently got her first raise.
Close to 30 percent of MPI’s new hires could be considered high-risk employees, from former welfare recipients with little job experience to felons and former drug addicts, says Marilyn A. Burke, the company’s production manager. Chief Executive Craig T. Hoekenga says MPI makes sure that at least 10 percent of its new hires every year are in these categories.

Click here to read the full story.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all season. What is the most significant data you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good heartiness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Authenticity…From a Kid

 

img_0116_22

Thursday night I was at dinner with my family; it was a gorgeous evening crisp and clean air quickly cooling by the nightfall from a warm and sunny day. Just one of those great casual evenings consisting of hangout-with-the-family time.

Royce, my seven-year old daughter, was really being quite loving with me. She kept holding my hand and looking at me, and wanting to cuddle. And, she’s my “red personality” (see www.colorcode.com) daughter who is an intense driver and go-g0-go, so this was a little unusual for her. Soon to be six-year old Zoe (who is “Blue”; intimacy, relationships, time, details) is usually the one that wants to cozy up.

Then, springing from some a quiet moment, an interesting dialogue occurred. And it went, verbatim, just like this.

Royce: “Dad, sometimes I don’t think I could marry anyone, ever.”

Me: “What do you mean, Royce? I expect you’ll get married someday! And I’m sure the guy will be amazing!”

Royce: “Well, it’s just that I love you so much, and you’re the best Dad in the world, and I can’t imagine anyone better than you! Seriously, you are the best Dad I’ve ever met. Ever! I don’t think I can ever find someone as good as you that I love so much.”

Me: “Royce, that’s is probably one of the sweetest things anybody has ever said to me, you really think I’m a great Dad?”

Royce: “Of course! You’re the best!”

Me: Thanks Royce…But, really, and I feel kinda bad about this, there are times when I don’t feel like such a good Dad to you and Zoe.”

(side note: I’m completely expecting Royce to fully refute my feelings of inadequacy as a Dad, so in retrospect I’m not sure this was quite a genuine response from me–if anything, I was probably looking for a little validation!).

So Royce continues without even a hesitation…

Royce: “Well, that’s because there are times you aren’t such a good Dad. But that’s okay, I love you no matter what and still think you’re the best Dad out there!”

And that was, perhaps, one of the most authentic, transparent, and unconditional moments of love that I’ve felt from another human being in my entire life.

I say it to my kids all the time that “I love you, no matter what”, but to hear it in the context of a very real assessment of my imperfections (because the truth was that day I wasn’t being a very lovable Dad!) made tonight’s moment something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

Royce, thanks for a such an authentic experience about what it REALLY means to love someone…no matter what.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all date. What is the most significant data you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Diversification

athome_image

Here’s a great article about diversification…But not the traditional kind. It’s not like buying small, mid, and large cap stocks and seeing them all decline. Or Int’l and domestic funds and seeing them tank too. Or even diversifying into Real Estate and watching that crater. 🙂  

Side note: don’t sweat too much those who have been diversified but are “down”, it’ll come back up and it doesn’t negate the critical diversification and dollar-cost averaging principles that ultimately work best over the long haul. 

Anyways, this is a VERY different kind of diversification. It’s income diversification, and it’s pretty darned difficult to do in a traditional business. Expert trainer Tim Sales says that poor people buy “stuff””, middle class people buy “liabilities”, and rich people buy “assets”, though he uses a bit of a different definition than the traditional accounting ones (“stuff” is the junk you keep around your house, “liabilities” are things that cost you money, and “assets” are things that make you money.). 

Below, you’ll read about how rich people all across North America are investing in assets that are available to millions of people across North America, regardless of income, background, or experience. Pretty amazing. 

Not long ago, Craig Lapp made his living driving a truck that helped carve Southern California’s soil into new developments. But then housing sales slumped, and in November 2007 Lapp’s construction company let him go.While he searched for another job, Lapp began working alongside his wife, Lynne, in a business based in their Temecula home, selling nutritional supplements made by the direct-sales company Isagenix. Nearly two years later and with no construction job in sight, Lapp says a one-time sideline has become the couple’s bread and butter.  

“It’s paying our mortgage, our car payments … putting food on the table,” says Lapp, 55, who adds that he and his wife are earning a six-figure income. “It was our ‘Plan B’ that turned into our ‘Plan A.’ “

Click here to read the entire story.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all day. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good heartiness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.