10 Ideas that Rocked My World in 2018

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Maybe I’m just slow, but every once in a while I come across an idea that changes everything for me and I wished I had realized a lot earlier.

This is not a comprehensive list, but here are my TOP 10 from the year 2018 (in no particular order):

1. Ideas have an expiration date and you can wait too long to act on them.

2. You must commit to deserving money to attract it to you.

3. Lack of forgiveness can mess up your life in a subtle, but powerful way.

4. You have to welcome your Imposter Syndrome and get to know it to overcome its hold on you.

5. Today, not tomorrow, you need a side hustle.

6. With great success comes an even greater need to keep your ego in check or your success will be hollow.

7. You are a worse person (e.g., husband, parent, employee, friend) than you realize because it's difficult to see ourselves clearly and you will rarely be told the truth. And when you are, you probably won't be listening. In the rare instances you do listen, it will hurt a lot, but you will grow and become a better person.

8. The pressure we feel to do something or not is not driven by logic, but rather our warring internal programs that seek to avoid pain.

9. The best way to stop doing something is not to stop doing it, but rather to do something else.

10. A good maxim for dealing with managing people, mechanical repairs, and lots of other areas is: “As soft as possible, as firm as it takes.”


Your Move: What lessons do you wish you had learned earlier in life?



How to Network Better

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Have you ever noticed that sometimes your attempts at networking eventually fall flat? They start out with a spark, but at some unforeseen point they just fizzle. If this happens too often you may be discouraged from continuing your networking efforts.

The other day we bought one of those mini table tennis kits on a whim. It comes with a small net, two paddles and a ping pong ball. As a warm up, we decided to see if we could volley the ball back and forth up to 50 consecutive times. The ball could hit the ground, but you could only hit the ball once before the other person's turn.

What I noticed on our journey to 50 is things went a lot better if we kept the ball in the air. You develop a sort of rhythm and start to move a little faster towards your goal. A few days later I noticed an email that a friend had sent me that I hadn’t responded to, yet. It was at least a few weeks old. I felt terrible, but responded to try to pick up where we left off.

The goal of networking is to strengthen your relationship with people in your network. You get there a lot faster if you don’t let the ball drop. While there’s no magic number of days that is always right for getting back to a person, there is a point that is later than idea. That’s like letting the ball hit the ground. It doesn’t end the game, but it does make it take longer to get to your goal.

What can we do to network better?

Better Networking Tips:

  1. Understand that there is a natural rhythm with each different person you are keeping in touch with. For some, more regular contact makes sense and for others, more periodic contact is better.

  2. Regardless of the appropriate amount of time between contacts between you and a given person, there is a period that is too long and breaks the connection. This is not fatal, but weakens the relationship and makes it take longer to reach the same level of strength in the relationship vs. if you had responded earlier.

  3. Keep in mind that everyone has a limited ability to respond. Imagine playing the volleying game, but instead of 1 partner you have 5 or 10 or 100. So don’t take it personally if you don’t always get a response. All you can do is hold up your end for as long as makes sense.

  4. Keep the level of interaction appropriate. A networking contact need not be a novel. As stated in point #3 above, people are keeping in touch with many more people than you. It’s okay to send short, light messages that show your good will and intention to stay connected. None of us can fully engage on every contact and it’s onerous when people expect that too much.

If you use these tips, you will reach your networking goals more often and with less attempts fizzling out prematurely.

Your Move: What has worked best for you in terms of networking?

Connection Parable: The Vile Attack on the Innocent Farmer

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One day a farmer was working hard in his fields and decided to take a short break. He closed his eyes and felt the warm sun on his skin and inhaled the lush smells of the greenery. Suddenly, he was startled out of this serene moment by what sounded like a rock whizzing by his head. And then another. The next one stung him as it slammed right into the side of his head, drawing blood. As he whipped around around in a rage he saw 3 young boys from the village at the edge of the main field all frantically throwing rocks at him.

Imagine you are the farmer.

What do you do?

Do you yell at the boys? Throw rocks back at them? Run away? Try to reason with them? No matter what you do, the rocks keep coming.

Our farmer decides to run at the boys and scare them off. He waits for a lull in the incoming fire and dashes as fast as he can towards the boys. He doesn’t notice it at first, but something unexpected happens. The boys are not lowering their aim to hit him as he approaches. Instead, they continue to hurl rocks, over his head, toward the place where he was standing just a moment ago. Also, when he reaches the edge of the field, the boys aren’t scared of him. Actually, they barely acknowledge him at all other than to point their hands towards the location where he was standing. They seem to be yelling something, but the farmer can’t make out the words as they continue to hurl rocks at the place he used to be.

Finally, the puzzled farmer turns so he is side by side with the boys and facing in the same direction as them. To his surprise, he sees a herd of wild buffalo, approaching from the direction of where he was just standing, heading towards the field the boys are standing in front of. This field feeds the entire village and if it were to be trampled, many villagers could starve.

Imagine you are the farmer?

What do you do?