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Get Over Yourselves, Adults

By | Family | No Comments

Do you remember what it’s like to be a kid? I do, partly because I kind of still am a kid, but that’s a different blog post for another time. I think a lot of adults have forgotten what it’s like to be a kid. I realized that, today, when I received a call from Mr. Macho, the Self-appointed Constable of the Homeowners Association in the subdivision of our temporary home rental. I answered the phone, and he started on a wild tangent, so I quickly told him that I was about five minutes away and would be there in a few minutes. When I arrived I found Mr. Macho, a thirty-year-old man, bowed up and ready to teach a couple of junior high girls a lesson about respect and HOA rules. If you know anything about young teenagers, you know that they absolutely don’t care. At all. After seeing The Constable berating my daughter for an alleged lack of respect, I could tell by her answers and his body language that it was just a simple case of “not remembering what it was like to be a kid”.

I think we, as parents and adults, easily forget about being kids. They have a need to be free and adventurous, driven by a constant curiosity. They need the leeway to just have fun. It’s how they learn and grow. I could tell that “fun” is something the mighty Constable had not experienced in quite some time. In the middle of him reciting the HOA rules and regulations to me, I stopped him and said “It’s a shame that some of us can’t remember what it’s like being a kid trying to have a good time.” But of course he didn’t miss a beat in his verbatim listing of the HOA rules, which he seemed to have completely memorized. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I did what any rule-following adult would do. I told the kids to “come on” and then helped them sneak into the local country club pool, so they could continue their nefarious swimming party, which had now grown to 20+ kids. So the next time you see kids that may be breaking some stupid rule (unless it’s blatantly disrespectful or harmful), think about when you were a kid and just wanted to have fun. Some of us just need to calm down and live a little.

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A Bigger Mindset

By | Business, Family, Investing, Travel | No Comments

As I walked down to Rockefeller Center from our hotel while in Manhattan last week, I realized that I need to have a bigger mindset to propel my family, businesses, and life forward. One of the things I love about New York is that everything is big. Really big. And one of the biggest things that has hindered growth in my family and in our business is our small mindsets. The fact is, we should be progressing every day in our minds. We should be looking at our world-view to see if it meets our vision for our future selves. We should be visualizing our life as bigger, better, and more of impactful. We should be looking at ways to grow and propel our future to a level that we can only imagine. “Our goals should be so bodacious that people look at us funny when we tell them.” [Tweet this!] You will hit the mark you set for yourself. I am going to work on setting my mind to be in a place that I can propel my business, family and personal life into a realm that I think is impossible.

So, for those of you who like lists, here are 3 keys to a bigger mindset:

1. Put yourself in new situations and environments. Think of newness as fuel for your vision. It stimulates your mind and puts it in a constant creative state that allows you to actually visualize bigger things for yourself.
2. Write your vision down. Writing it down gets it out of your head and on paper. This is important for those times when you catch yourself slipping back into your small mindset. Having your commitments written in ink is a helpful way to keep yourself accountable and help you get back on track.
3. Map it out. Create steps to hit your vision. Don’t expect to achieve a goal without clear and defined steps. Otherwise, all of your energy just goes in every direction, which moves you nowhere. Define your next steps, apply linear energy, and watch how it gets you further, faster.

“Dream it up and Chase it down.” [Tweet this!]

So basically you have to dream it up and chase it down. Its so easy to to just be ordinary, but being ordinary just pulls you down. Don’t get discouraged when you seem stuck in a rut or when people speak negatively about your goals. Just use this simple process to set yourself up for a bigger mindset and a better future.

Pace vs. Environment

By | Business, Family, Travel | 2 Comments

Matching the correct pace to the environment is very important, in family, life, and business!

Believe it or not you shouldn’t go “balls to the walls” every moment. Nothing gave me a clearer picture of that than today after leaving London with my family and arriving to the Villages of the Cotswolds. After touring London for a couple of days with my kids, while Abbi was working at an all-day book event, we were wired up. We were used to the big city life of riding the Tube, jumping across roads of speeding cabs, and eating in packed, loud diners.

That all came to a screeching halt upon our arrival to sprawling gardens, sheep grazing, strolling paths, chirping birds.  What would seem to be paradise was almost too much for us to handle. It was too much of a culture shift, and we didn’t know what to do, and we couldn’t figure out how to enjoy it. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve matched the wrong pace with the environment. It takes getting your mind ready to understand the environment you’re about to step into. Had I done my research on where I was going, I could have prepared my mind during the two-hour car ride to transition myself to the calmer atmosphere.

“Bringing the wrong pace to a situation is like a mechanic bringing a wrench when he needs a hammer.”  [Tweet this!]

Bringing the wrong pace to a situation is like a mechanic bringing a wrench when he needs a hammer. Bringing the wrong pace to a presentation can be the end of a hopeful business relationship with a potential client. When I bring the wrong pace to an evening out with my wife, I can determine how the night is going to end! Pace is everything. It can totally make or break a situation in family, personal, or business life.  So the next time you’re getting ready for an adventure, vacation, or business meeting, think about pace. It will make or break you!

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Be Careful with Your Dreams

By | Business, Family, Investing | One Comment

Dreaming is one thing. Executing and making dreams a reality is another.  Most people have the dreaming down, it’s the executing the dream into a physical business or idea that people struggle with.  I’m a dreamer. The one thing I learned very early in my career is that my dreams can frustrate those I am trying to bring in to help me facilitate it. What I have realized is, as a dreamer you have to be very careful who you share your dream with in the early stages. You need to make sure the people you share it with can handle it if it just stays a dream and never becomes a reality.

Also, you have to be cautious of those you ask to help make that dream a reality. Every great task takes people to help accomplish it. I’ve never had a dream where I did not need others to help me accomplish it. Early on, my passion for what I was doing allowed me to have tons of people that wanted to be part of my vision.  The only problem was, I had poor execution and burned a lot of bridges on the ideas that never came to fruition.

So here are a few tips that will help you make your dreams into a reality and not bring frustration to those that want to help make it happen:

  1. Move slowly.
  2. Throughly test your ideas before you bring people in to help you.
  3. Be up front. Make sure you let those know that want to be part of your dream that it’s a dream and may not work out exactly how you communicate it.
  4. Clearly Communicate the level of risk with everyone involved!

Put Yourself in the Selfie

By | Family | No Comments

I realized this week after being on Spring Break with about 22 teens in one condo that I was missing the boat as a parent. After watching every one of these teenagers take a million selfies of themselves, I realized it was time for me to start getting into their selfie. They are so inammered with themselves that I think it creates an attitude of loneliness. I hear from moms and dads, every week, about kids dealing with loneliness. I’ve noticed kids in large groups, sticking their lips out, selfie faces blocking out everyone around them, just so they can take a picture of themselves instead of actually enjoying the people they’re with! So I am putting myself in the selfie! Instead of making fun of my kids for taking selfies, I’m going to let them know I care about the things they do by getting right in there with them! Every time I see them taking one, I’m going to run and get in it!

So here is my challenge to all parents: “Put yourself in the selfie”. [Tweet this!]
Don’t let a week go by that you don’t stick your face next to theirs and poke your lips out, and let them know you’re with them. And when you get in their selfie, hashtag it on Instagram, Twitter, or facebook with #getintheselfie

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Berlin – Traveling with Kids

By | Family, Travel | No Comments

My wife, Abbi, and I travel all over the world for work. We are fortunate enough to explore some of the coolest cities, shop the most unique stores (Abbi), and hunt some of the worlds most remote places (me).

But, of all of our trips together, my favorite trips are during the summer when our kids can join in on the adventure. So when Abbi and I scheduled a trip to Berlin, Germany, at the end of the school year, I knew this was one for the whole family!

With book signings scheduled one after another around Berlin, Abbi was going to spend a lot of time working. Which meant it would be just me and the kids, in a new city, with tons of great things to see. Traveling can be intimidating and stressful with kids—period—let alone without the balancing act my wife and I play. She seems to always know when to follow up my “suck it up” comment with a nurturing one. But, there are a few things I’ve learned along the way to side-step the “train station meltdown” moments.

So, here it is, 5 Ways to Make Travel with Kids Simple for Dads:

1. Don’t try to be the hero.
This isn’t the time to be overly adventurous. Pay for a guide and/or an interpreter who knows transportation routes. Or, best case scenario, hire a driver who also can point out some great options. Choose sit-down restaurants and allow the kids to take a breather between monuments and museums. Be willing to eat at Hard Rock, aka “normal food,” once they’ve experienced some of the culture’s food. If you’re like me, I want to create feature films of our family excursions, but limit the amount of extra equipment you carry.

2. Be aware of emotions.
When mom’s not around, take it from me, yelling “just act like a human” is not the answer to everything. Consider the emotions your kids are experiencing. So when situations arise you need to be sensitive to—especially for your daughters—you’re not caught off guard.

3. Try to understand their perspective.
Although Frederick the Great’s castle is one of the greatest things on the planet for you—your daughters may prefer Cinderella’s castle. Your kids may not thank you for showing them around the museums and historical landmarks, so consider it from their perspective and try to make these sites worth their time.

4. Balance education with some lighthearted fun. 
There is so much to learn in a new city it can become overwhelming for your kids. Balance the intensive educational tours with lighthearted fun—no thinking required!

5. Just make it memorable for your family.
Everyone experiences cities differently, remember this trip isn’t about checking off the must see list from Travel Guide. It’s about experiencing the city with your kids. So, leave some downtime for spontaneous moments to happen. They’ll thank you for it later.

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