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Golden Oldies: The Perfect Attitude

Monday, June 12th, 2017

It’s amazing to me, but looking back over more than a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written.

Golden Oldies are a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time.

Attitude. That illusive quality with the giant impact. It’s the ‘A’ in MAP — mindset, attitude, philosophy — and a large part of the reason you land the job or ‘the one’.

Read other Golden Oldies here.

Have you ever wondered what the perfect attitude is? Not just a top dog or the person out front, but for any entrepreneur who aspires to succeed and, for that matter, every person who lives and breathes.

I recognize it when I see it, know when I’m doing it, and can explain it when I’m coaching, but I’ve never seen it so perfectly boiled down to ten short words—all self-explanatory, nothing to look-up or study or requiring training.

I found those words in a friend’s description of how his daughter lives.

Like 3 year olds, be passionate, humble, impatient, grateful…daily.

Do it and change your life—and your world—guaranteed!

Image credit: LizMarie on flickr

Ryan’s Journal: Fear As A Culture

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bullgator0892/11370960706/This week has been an interesting confluence of events across the world stage.

Uber continues to be in the news, this time they decided to fire the head engineer, Anthony Levandowski, who is at the heart of the lawsuit with Google.

The US is on the verge of leaving the Paris Accord, something that could quite possibly have a generational effect.

Suicide bombs continue to tear apart lives across the globe.

What is at the root of these three things?

I believe it is fear.

They say the coward dies a thousand tiny deaths, but a brave person dies one glorious death.

I can tell you right now these are cowardly acts.

To begin, Uber is in the fight for its life. They are losing money every day with their current model. They are betting big on automation and have come up against Google over perceived theft of proprietary documents.

If they lose this they could be done. When you step back and look at the ride sharing model, it’s needed but it’s not unique. The barriers to entry are low and there is no differentiation of product from one company to the next.

They need to lead the space in automation because it’s the future and is inevitable. Fear has led them to both hire and fire the engineer at the center of it all. Perhaps they believe this will help their case, time will tell.

The US leaving the Paris Accord is monumental. I am not a scientist, but I can say this: I inherently know that pumping carbon emissions into the air is bad. Add to that the science that supports it and you begin to see the need to somehow influence climate change for the better.

Why would a president risk the lives of future generations so that a few energy companies can prosper?

Fear. Fear has gripped the voters in the first place who chose not to better their lives through education, which would enable them to better their lives.

Fear is in the president’s heart as well to think that climate change is not real.

Finally it brings us to terror.

These plots are designed to disrupt and bring fear to the masses. It is sometimes effective and can have lasting implications.

How do we combat fear?

One way is by seizing the courage to move one step forward at a time. Embrace the fear and look st how destructive it can be and then make a move against it.

That could be helping someone that isn’t like yourself. Learning about a new culture. Perhaps even sitting down to talk with someone on a different political aisle then yourself to learn why they believe the way they do.

It starts with believing people have value regardless of position and then embracing them.

Perhaps that’s too simplistic, but I know in my own life it has worked and is scalable.

Image credit: Pati Morris

56 Words That Will Change Your Life

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016


I won’t be around next week, so I thought I’d share 56 words of advice that will change your life in 2017.

  • Spend less than you make;
  • under promise and over deliver;
  • learn to say “I’m sorry” and “I don’t know;”
  • hire people smarter than you and listen to them;
  • never be afraid to ask;
  • treat your customers, your team and everybody in your world the way you want to be treated.

Start in January and do them all all year long.

The results will amaze you.

Image credit: zazzle.com

Golden Oldies: The Secret of Improving

Monday, December 5th, 2016

It’s amazing to me, but looking back over nearly a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written.

Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time.

The year is nearly over, so I thought I’d focus the next few weeks on personal growth.

The principle of I/O as applied to ourselves is frequently overlooked as we search role models, gurus and pundits in efforts to grow and  improve.

Read other Golden Oldies here.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/findyoursearch/5034002771/Personal and professional growth is a major focus for most people—that’s one of the reasons you’re reading this blog.

We research, dissect, write, discuss, preach, teach, and study, all with the goal of improving ourselves.

No matter what you seek to learn/improve think of yourself as a computer.


In computing, the term I/O refers to input, whatever is received by the system, and output, that which results from the processing.

Programmers know that the results coming out of the computer won’t be any better than the information given it and this phenomenon is known as “garbage in/garbage out.”

And there you have the secret.

No matter if it’s career-related, relationship-focused, personal-internal or something else, I/O applies to everything in life.

What comes out is a function of what you put in.

Blindly accepting everything offered by even the most brilliant source will result in garbage out at some point.

Learning/improving requires critical thinking on your part—no one person, past, present or future, has all the answers.

You need to evaluate the available information, take a bit from here and a bit from there, apply it to your situation and, like a computer, process it.

The result will be at least slightly different from what you started with, because you’ve added the flavor of your own life experiences, knowledge and MAP to the mix—and that’s good, it shouldn’t be an exact copy.

Because, as Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

Flickr image credit: FindYourSearch

Golden Oldies: All Week Long

Monday, November 21st, 2016

That’s right; all week. I’m taking the week off to get stuff done — some of which should have been done months ago.

Rather than leaving you with nothing to do (that’s a joke), I thought I’d provide a week of past Thanksgiving posts. Some are for fun, but, hopefully, others will prove thought-provoking.

Today’s is called Getting through an F Day.

Read other Golden Oldies here.

forkDid you know Thanksgiving is an F day?

There are five Fs that come immediately to mind, they are fun, family, friends, food and football.

Of those five only one comes close to being guaranteed good and that’s food, but even food isn’t a given. There was the year that my host’s two Siamese cats stole the turkey—dragged it off the platter, dropped it to the floor, dragged it across an Aubusson carpet and were on the way out one door when I entered another.

Football often depends on whether your team wins, although a good game, as opposed to a romp, can make the difference.

Friends are often a better bet than family since you can pick and choose, but that only works if you’re the host. One friend always invited two people he knew would ignite—one year it was an Arab and an Israeli just after the Six Day War. Talk about fireworks, more like bombs.

Then, of course, there is family. Family is family and blood may be thicker than water, but that doesn’t mean putting the family together in one room will always generate sweetness and light—too often there is a large dose of vinegar and sour grapes. It’s said that leopards don’t change their spots and neither do family members. If they are difficult or you can’t stand them 364 days of the years, they won’t change for the 365th day.

Fun depends either on the first four or your ability to take a step back and laugh—at the food, the game, your friends, your family and, most of all, yourself.

Laughter is the balm that soothes a holiday rash; apply liberally and often.

Image credit: auntjojo on flickr

Golden Oldies: Your Energy Banks

Monday, September 19th, 2016

It’s amazing to me, but looking back over more than a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written. Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time. I wrote the following way back on 2006 and believe it applies even more now.

 People spend great effort learning new skills and pushing themselves to grow. They are busier, with more claims on their time; social media and FOMO eat hours and all of them require energy — especially change. Even the people who successfully juggle all this feel no joy; the zest is gone and happiness is a dim memory. Listen to their voice and you can hear that their energy is almost non-existent. Now, as then, I hope this post is of use.

Read other Golden Oldies here.

Do you have an energy budget? You should. Everything you do takes some kind of energy and your energy at any given time is finite.

As with any resource, it’s important to know where you’re spending it, how much you have left, and when you need to make a deposit.

It’s also important to recognize that you can spend energy moving forward or spinning your wheels—the first is an investment with discernible ROI, while the second is a waste.

There are three kinds of energy

  • physical,
  • mental, and
  • psychic (different from mental)

and you draw some of each for any given task. This is especially true when working to change something in your MAP because you need to

  • be awake and alert,
  • think, and
  • actuate, i.e., make the changes real.

Three kinds of energy, but only one bank for each type—not one set for professional use and one for personal.

Since an effort to change is ongoing, you’ll be drawing on your three energy banks at various times and in various amounts. These requirements need to be added to the energy needs for the rest of what you’re doing, both personally and professionally, and prioritized. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t bite off more than you can chew.

As with any bank account you need to make more deposits than withdrawals or you’ll end up like Enron. It’s your responsibility to keep them filled, just as it is to keep money in your bank account if you plan to write checks and gas in your car if you’re driving somewhere—it doesn’t happen by accident.

Moreover, what replenishes your spouse/SO/kids/pets/whatever’s energy won’t necessarily replenish yours (and vice versa).

That means that you need to learn what actions/inactions replenishes each kind of energy for you and then do them.

Golden Oldies: Are You an Original or a Copy?

Monday, February 29th, 2016

It’s amazing to me, but looking back over nearly a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written. Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time. Read other Golden Oldies here.

Are you and original or crowdsourced?

I’ve always been an original, much to my family’s consternation when I was growing up and to friends, bosses and colleagues since.

Being an original isn’t the easy way to go. It’s far more comfortable to be a copy; to follow without question the ideology, religion, parents, friends—anyone or anything that takes away the fear of making the wrong choice.

I don’t remember feeling scared as I careened through my early life taking sometimes crazy risks, but never without doing worst case analysis first.

I even adopted Frank Sinatra’s My Way as my personal theme.


For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows –
And did it my way!

Do you have a theme for your life?

Or do you need to ask your friends?

Keila Banks: Be Indefinable and Inspired

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Who do you see when you look in the mirror?

How do people label you when they see you’re walking down the street, sipping coffee at your favorite place or in your work environment?

What do you see when young, black girls walk by giggling and talking?

Do you see potential? Do you see the next Zukerberg or Obama?

Or do you see tomorrow’s single moms, welfare recipients and drug users?

What would you see if Keila Banks walked by?

Would you see a girl who started blogging at six and taught herself to code at nine?

Or a girl no different from any other?

At the OSCON developer’s conference 13-year-old Keila descrubed herself as “indefinable.”

In a self-confident tone, she inspired the 4,000-strong crowd by telling them she wasn’t going to be limited by how people label her. 

And she encouraged the audience to do the same.

Now let Keila inspire you.

YouTube credit: O’ Reilly

Influence and Facts

Monday, June 8th, 2015


How often are your actions influenced by what someone else says they heard?

I think most of us have a tendency to accept that kind of commentary, especially when other outcomes are unlikely.

The recent experience of Anthony Perosi is a shinning example of just how costly relying on second-hand information can be.

Like millions of others, Perosi plays the NY Lottery.

A few days after the Powerball drawing on March 14, Mr. Perosi, 56, was eating lunch at a restaurant, where someone told him that the 7-Eleven on Page Avenue had sold a Powerball winner.

“I says, ‘I’ve played at Page Avenue 7-Eleven,’ ” Mr. Perosi recalled on Thursday.

“She was like, ‘Forget about it.’ ” She heard a schoolteacher had won. She told Mr. Perosi, “You didn’t win nothing.”

So rather than checking himself he accepted what Sandy had heard as fact.

But his truck breaking down in April gave Perosi the impetus to check himself.

To his total astonishment the winning numbers were his.

His and the IRS, to the tune of 136 million dollars

The lesson here is that the next time you start to accept what someone states as fact, it pays to check for yourself.

Sometimes it pays very well indeed.

Flickr image credit: Mark Morgan

If The Shoe Fits: Marriage and the Startup Social Contract

Friday, January 30th, 2015

A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here

5726760809_bf0bf0f558_mI rarely have time to read my Quora feed, but now and then I see a question that pulls me up short as happened when this question from last fall surfaced.

I am an entrepreneur about to get married. How do I make sure my future wife doesn’t benefit financially from our union?  

My reaction was that his fiancée should run as fast as possible in the other direction, since this guy doesn’t seem to have either the understanding of what marriage is or the maturity to build a successful one. (Most of the responses echoed my reaction.)

Thinking further, I wondered whether this entrepreneur honored what Matt Weeks calls The Startup Social Contract at his company, since he obviously didn’t with his wife-to-be.

Marriage, after all, is the ultimate startup and the risks are even greater when an entrepreneur is involved.

Image credit: HikingArtist

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