The ready proclamation

Ready as in this is my best work. I know it isn’t perfect but if I wait until it is then I will never ship it. So I share it with the people around me and I put my name on it because I am proud of it. I hope it changes the recipient as much as it has changed me. I recognize the change I seek to make doesn’t happen until after I generously give this away. I’m not sure how it will be received but I am going to send it out anyway, knowing that it won’t resonate with everyone just someone.

Ready as in I’m stepping into the void not knowing what is coming next. I’ll have to improvise along the way because there is no map, no step-by-step set of instructions on what to do next. This space is where I do my best work. I can hang in there with this tension longer than everyone else can because I care more. I care enough to see this through.

Ready as in I can’t do this alone. I know that my story, my movement needs to resonate with the people around me, my tribe. I will fail over and over again until it strikes a chord. I’m a scientist because I continue to test and measure, poke the box to see what is inside. I have tremendous faith at the end of my story because I am the one who is writing it.

Ready as in I am no longer making twenty-year plans but twenty-year commitments. Everyone wants to be on the shortest path but there are no short cuts. Me? I am taking the long cut. I recognize that people like us do stuff like this–they push through the dip. I invest in tomorrow today. I push aside what is popular to focus on what is important. I recognize Resistance. It is distracting and trying to subvert me from doing my best work.


Ready as in this is something that I have never done before; I will never be completely ready.



Tide Pod epidemic?: A call to action

The problem with our biases and prejudices is that they are often wrong. We sweep everyone associated in the category into one giant box. And now that someone is labeled, we can point out the flaws to make ourselves feel better.

Regardless of what the digital algorithm spits out on our threads or what we read on the internet or what people tell us or what we think, most teenagers are not eating Tide Pods. The reason being, most teenagers know that Tide Pods are dangerous and contain poison.

39 cases of people eating Tide Pods were reported in 2016. 53 in 2017. So far, 39 cases in 2018. We are less than a month into the year. Yes, that is alarming but not an epidemic. Not enough to paint teenagers as Tide Pod droppers.

Something we have to understand about human behavior: When we see someone jay walking across the street, we now assume it is okay for us to jay walk across the street. Deep down we know it is wrong, but we justify our bad behaviors when we see someone else do it.

If we listen to popular cultural believes, we would have thought the 1960’s were the heyday of drug use. In reality, it was the 1970’s and 80’s that brought on the wave of unprecedented drug use.

The point is: We need more faith in our youth that when the time comes they are going to make decisions that are going to make our mothers proud. Mocking them widens the gap between us. Labels are made up. We can change them. And by doing so, we may open doors for the next generation to do things we never thought we could do.

A beginner’s guide to investing

While Crypto keeps shooting up and down like a roller coaster, rather quietly, the S&P 500 gains over the last year have been astounding. 22% and still going strong!

We might be in for a bear market in 2018. It’s not often we see a seven-year run like this. Yet, after WWII, we saw a 10 year run so you never know.

Here are some rules I use for those who don’t know where to start with their investing:

You have to invest. Drip by drip by drip. Here a little, there a little. You have to find ways to put money away. This is the biggest indicator that tells me how serious someone is about their future.

Understand there are a lot of ways to win. There is no one strategy to win with money. Some portfolios carry more risk, some people don’t have the risk tolerance, some have 30 years until retirement and others have less.

Don’t touch it. Don’t take a loan out on your 401K unless it is a true life or death emergency. I would down size on a house or take a second job before taking a loan out. If you ever leave your job, make sure to use a direct transfer to roll over your retirement. The penalties associated with cashing out early are horrendous.

Don’t invest in anything you don’t understand. Educating yourself on your investments brings more joy and excitement. Living in the dark creates fear. Fear keeps people from investing.

Invest early and often. We all have heard about the magic of compound interest. Einstein called it the Eighth Wonder of the World. Here is a chart that shows the difference if you can get in early.

Ignore the loon noises. If you didn’t invest because of political ideology in 2008, 2012 and 2016–you missed out on some important gains. There is a lot of noise out there on what the market is going to do. The truth is, no one knows. The data, however, shows that over time it does continue to go up. Best to ignore the noise out there, don’t let them scare you away.

Look for tax advantage plans. Understand what the differences are between a 401K (pay taxes on the back) and a Roth IRA (pay taxes up front) and figure out which is a better plan to go with.

Don’t pay for your Broker’s annual Disneyland trip. This is my biggest pet peeve of the industry. In my opinion, for the average investor Brokers offer little value for what you could already manage on your own. However, real advise is worth something–a onetime fee. Brokers do not have to earn an annual percentage of your nest egg over the next 50 years. The reality is Brokers cannot beat the market year after year. So look for a Fiduciary, someone who by law has to look out for your financial interest. They are hard to find but could be worth it if you are nervous about getting started.

Diversify. I’m a huge fan of Index Funds. These lightly managed funds offer low expense ratios and allow me to invest in thousands of different companies all over the world.

Total your net worth. The affluent focus on one number and that is their total net worth. That means adding up everything from your savings, home, retirement, vehicle…all your assets minus your liabilities. Keep track of this number.

Understand your level of risk tolerance. The longer you have until retirement, the more risk you should be able to take on.

Match everything. If your job offers a match with any investment you make, do it. This is no brainer. It is free money. Don’t leave it on the table.

Save 15% of your take home pay. And if you can’t do that save what you can when you can, even if that means eating black beans and rice for a while.

Consider having retirement savings withdrawn before you receive your paycheck. Take the temptations away. Learn to live on less than you make.

Your annual returns should at least average 9%. The stock market has averaged 9% over the last century. I’m always surprised to talk to friends and hear about their returns hanging around 2% year after year. In lean years, that could be fantastic but in the last decade we are having that hasn’t cut it. Remember, down the road 2% won’t even cover inflation.

Don’t eat the marshmallow. The last three years before you retire are likely where you will see your biggest returns. Be patient.

Knowing when you’re in the dip

There are two things we need to understand about marathon runners:

  1. No one signs up for a marathon not expecting to get tired.
  2. Every marathon runner hits a wall. That moment when your body shuts down and you want nothing more than to quit.

The question then becomes, where are you going to put the tired?

No project is worth doing, no book is worth writing, no movement is worth starting that doesn’t have a moment where you ask yourself, “Is it worth it?”

That’s the moment–when you get to decide what kind of person you’re going to be: People like us do stuff like this or be like everyone else and quit.

120 hour rule

This is good rule I use to form any new habit.

I have no science to back this up but one hour a day for four months has been sufficient to change most behaviors.

If you want to go faster, work two hours a day for two month.

Bravery is…

Standing up when you’re afraid.

Speaking up for the voiceless.

Standing out of a crowd.

Shipping your best work, even when you are not ready.

Laboring when no one is watching.

A posture: People like us do stuff like this.

Believing in a vision, a dream or movement.

Shunning non-believers.

Pushing through the dip.

Finding a place to put the tired.

Facing Resistance.

Leaning in.

Responding to stress.

Making change happen.


Listening, really listening.

Making things better for someone (not everyone).

Being vulnerable.

Exploring edges, going somewhere you have never gone before.



And most of all…

Showing up, every day.


Snap judgments can be a useful tool in saving time. The problem is they are based on irrational behavior and biases to protect our world view.

If you are going to insist someone is wrong, eventually, you have to do the reading.

Audiobooks, YouTube videos are fine. But reading, the physical act of picking up a book, marking pages, writing notes, folding corners, totally engaging yourself in the material, working through problems to reach a better understanding is what is needed to make our gut decisions better.

Judging books by their cover is simply not enough in this golden era of access to information.


Widening vs shortening the gap

It is unlikely to change someone’s mind by dividing lines, focusing on our differences and pointing out why someone is wrong.

However, closing the gap, identifying what common threads we share, making the leap attainable will help enroll others to join your movement.

Never run out of things to write about again

Patricia Ryan Madson has an exercise that can be useful for anyone working on any creative endeavours:

Imagine a box with a lid on it. Put this box in your hand. Now open it.

What do you see?

There is always something to find in the box.

The best tool for anyone creating art is the belief in things we can’t see.

Pro wrestling is fake

Once you see that it is fake, everything about pro wrestling looks different. You see the pulled punches, the spatter blood packs, manipulated props, smoke and fire…

It’s all for our entertainment.

There are lots of things in our world that are fake. They distract us from seeing the world as it really is.

Once you see these truths, you can’t unsee it.