Good Book! Read it!

This will be quick, as i don’t have much time today with how hectic work has been the past two weeks. Unfortunately, it does not show any signs of letting up which is also a blessing and a curse!

I stumbled upon a book called Living With a Seal by Jesse Itzler, and it was recommended to me by one of by buddies who actually knows Jesse in some weird way. He said that it is by far one of the funniest reads because of the way the book is written, and if you grew up in the 70’s  or 80’s  due to the mindset of the book, you’ll find it even funnier because of how our parents were. There’s a bunch of stuff that as an adult you can easily look over, and lose sight of. This book was a good reset for me, and likely will be for many other people.

Growing up my parents had a very “militarily” style of parenting, which made me and my brother very strong people. There was never a day of feeling down on yourself, or a day or not making your bed, getting up late, not doing chores, and not being a good person. Point blank, every day you had objectives, and you accomplished them. Period.

No matter if it was washing the dishes, taking the tractor out to cut the fields, or even just cleaning around the house, you had objectives. And you were only told to do them about 2-3 times, until you started catching on. As a pre-teen, if you saw the floors were dirty, you’d better get mopping before mom catches the floors looking like this. If she told you to mop the floors she would critique the shit out of you until those floors were perfect. Much easier to do it before she could complain. This logic applied to everything we did growing up in Georgia far before it was populated with housewives and country clubs.

This book i read literally reiterated all of the things my parents taught me growing up. On days i didn’t need to be up early, i was waking up early to be successful and complete my objectives for the day. Period. (They always got done)

As an adult, now with a family, company, and more relationships than i know what to do with, there comes a time where you ask yourself “What are my daily objectives?”

The things that make you TICK. Figure it out. It’s a hell of a great book, especially if you’re a child born in the 70’s or 80’s.

 

Be careful who you sh*t on!

In all aspects of life you will run into people not just once, but multiple times. Don’t ask why, but generally if you’ve seen someone once, there’s a very high likelihood that you’ll see them again. No matter if personal of professional, you will likely run into the same people later in life.

A great example of this, which is very relevant as of recently for me is a business partner we worked with in Los Angeles a few years back. My company had a large project out in Los Angeles, California with this project team that was comprised of about 5 individuals who were living out there permanently to finish up this start-up project they were working on. When working on these larger projects, you get pretty close to the people you’re working with because they are who you are with literally ALL day. I am not emphasizing when i say all day. You live in the same corporate housing, you eat at the same restaurants, you work on the same job site, it’s literally nuts. Over the 18 months we were on-site my partners and i got very close with the project team out there that we were working with. These guys were from ALL walks of life and all countries.

One thing i forgot to mention was the fact that these guys you are working with, are literally your weekend co-pilots. Lots of times it’s more of a pain in the butt to travel back home Friday after work, just to fly back on Monday morning or Sunday evening. More times than not we would end up staying in Los Angeles to play golf over the weekend and just goof around. We did toooons of dumb shit while out there. It was great.

Once our project was closed out we all shook hands and parted our ways like men do and haven’t spoken since.

(Fast forward 6 years)

My company is working on a project, and we hear our client is going to be bringing in a new internal project team for us to work with. We really don’t think anything of it because it’s a longstanding client of ours, and they’re just shifting chess pieces around essentially. Earlier this week my company was asked to come in for a meeting so we could meet the new project team that would be handling this project for us, and guess who walks through the door?

The same three guys we worked with back in Los Angeles for 18 months! As soon as we saw each other we all busted out laughing and exchanged hugs, laughs, etc. These were three guys that i thought i would NEVER see again in my entire life despite spending close to two years of our lives together. These are guys that literally, not only live on the other side of the country, but two of them live on the other side of the world. The likelihood of us seeing each other again was so slim, i never thought it would happen.

Now, we are working on this dream project with people that we have a GREAT professional and personal relationship with…

Goes to show you…. Almost a decade later… People remember you. They remember the good times. The bad times. They remember everything. Be careful who you shit on, and how you treat people. You never know when God’s going to put someone or something back into your life!

Good Housewife… Bad House-guest!

We have a group of friends that’s pretty out there. Many run and operate very successful businesses, and then others are simply have no desire in life to further develop. My wife and I have a very good relationship with most all of our friends that share the same desires and have the same drive as we do. We are very determined to be successful and make the best life possible for our children. As for the friends that have no desire to further develop, those ones are the issue.

While i was away on a business trip my wife invited one of her girlfriends over who falls into that category of “no desire to further develop”. One of those girls that didn’t go to college, didn’t want to stand up for herself and have strong meaningful relationships, didn’t want to build up her future while she was younger, etc. Now, she is in her mid thirties and has the job of a 23 year old and a boyfriend who is literally one of the nicest guys you would ever meet, but she is such a cluster-fuck she starts a million fights a day with him simply for the fun of it. (Bitch is crazy, right!?)

(Begin rant…. )

So, I arrive home from my business trip and see her car parked in our driveway. Our driveway is huge. We have a 3 car garage, and a driveway where you could park 4 cars in the driveway and still pull all 3 cars into the garage. Don’t worry, she parks right in the middle of the driveway blocking my garage door so i cant pull my car into the garage. This is about the 100th time she has done this, and she consistently does it every time she comes over.

(At this point, i am mildly annoyed….)

I finally find a way to squeeze my car past her, pull into the garage, and i walk inside to see my lovely wife in the kitchen making dinner for our family.

I say hey to her, give her a kiss, say hey to our kids, gets my welcome-home hugs, and put my bag down. Sitting on my sofa in silence is this crazy bitch friend of my wife’s… In silence. Doesn’t turn around to say hello to me, despite she has been at me home all day, eating our food, drinking our liquor, and really just invades our f*cking space! At this point, i still haven’t received a “hello” from her, so i walk upstairs and decompress for about an hour.

Oh, one variable i haven’t told everyone about is the fact that this girl also finds it necessary to bring her f*cking dog over to our house… All the damn time. It’s not just any dog… It’s a dog that is poorly trained, has long nails, and continually farts, shits, and pisses on every square inch of your home. Despite the fact that the dog is like 5 years old. Any dog owner knows that if you have issues with your dog that are disciplinary like this, all of those issues stem from the owner sucking at life.

So, i have not only this “girlfriend” of my wife’s over, but we are also graced with the presence of this animal that desperately needs training. (Not his fault, can’t be mad at the dog)

To add insult to injury and compound the havoc our house guests are costing us, we are now having to deal with having this dog IN our home. Want to know what’s worse than having this dog IN your house though? Putting him outside, because this little f*cker jumps on your doors and scratches the shit out of them. Rips the paint right off the doors, and smear mud all the way up them.

You think that’s it? Oh no… Don’t worry… I come downstairs after my 1 hour “mental health break” and i sit down for dinner… Don’t worry our “house guest” joins us for dinner as well. As i am sitting down for dinner her dog not only pisses on our floor ONCE but TWICE!!! Right next to where i am eating by the way…

So, i say some rude comments i am sure when this happens, and then our house guest finally leaves…  After she has pissed on our floors, scratched our doors, slung mud on our doors, eaten our food, drank our liquor, and blocked my garage door.

In closing i leave you all with this… While i love my wife, she knows she pushed by buttons that day. I love her regardless of her choice of house guest. She is always accommodating and takes pride in making our house, a home for everyone that comes over.

As a house-guest…. If you do dumb shit like i described above, please just drive your car off a f*cking bridge.

Fishing Trip Recommendations! Help!

Our group of friends are all big fishermen. Not big, but we like sitting on a boat while hammered drunk, and then give us a rod with a razor sharp hook on it… We are in heaven. Even better, let us sling that razor sharp hook thru the air while sitting in the middle of a river… Game on.

We are looking at putting together a fishing trip for a few guys (4-5) of us and escape with clients for a few days without the wives. It’s a good opportunity for us to blend our businesses as well as allow our client bases to learn about each other from people that they’ve never met before. It’s kind of like asking someone that drives the Lexus what they think after a few years of driving it, opposed to asking the car salesman.

We have always made it a point to go up to North Georgia to a place called Cannon Falls Lodge, as well as a few other private properties on the rivers up there to go fly fishing. However, we are now on the quest for something bigger and better.

We are looking to head out to do some fishing out west so we can catch the BIG rainbows, but everyone we talk to has very strong opinions about where THEY like to go… Does anyone have any relevant suggestions about where to go? There have been no consistencies in the feedback we have been getting.

Why do employees leave? 

My business partners and I have seen lots of companies succeed and have been strategically involved in their success which is something we live for. Unfortunately, we also see more companies fail. The largest reason companies fail is the fact that the companies cannot retain their start up talent. (The employees that make the business tick)

So, why do these people leave? Keep reading.

Companies overwork people. Nothing burns good employees out more than working them like slaves. They have lives too. Remember most employees work to live.

If you must increase how much work your talented employees are doing, you’d better increase their company status as well. Who is responsible for the company’s success?

Companies don’t recognize contributions and reward good performance. The mentality of “you’re lucky to be working here” doesn’t work anymore. Sorry to say but we are not in a recession employers.

They hire and promote the wrong people. Your employees know when you hire the wrong people and they see through the bullshit. I have seen employees threaten to leave the company, and the companies turn around and give them a raise and promotion to avoid any market back lash from a PR standpoint.

They don’t let people pursue their passions. The convenient glass ceiling. Fuck that. You need to provide your employees with a development path and a career. Not a job!

Be a good boss. Ask yourself if you’re treating your employees how they should be. Disconnect from your ego, status, and your corner office and actually listen.

Un-Friend People. Do it.

Nasty-D and I were talking about this the other day, and from both of our perspectives, it is quite accurate. Nasty-D is a few years younger than me, but we both grew up in the same part of town, with the same types of people.

Look at the people in your high school and college that were addicted to each other. I’m sure for everyone there’s that one group of bitchy stick up the ass idiots in your life. This applies to men and women, doesn’t matter trust me.

Look at those people now, in your late twenties and early thirties.. They don’t look so hot anymore do they? They likely have the same group of friends, thrive for that same interaction, with the same people, doing the same things, making the same salary, making the same decisions, with the same consequences and outcomes. Sounds thrilling doesn’t it? Not so much.

I spent my time in high school as well as college distancing myself from these people for the sole fact that i had one goal in mind, to live a financially independent life and not have my wants of today negatively impact my wants of next year. I sacrificed a few years of partying in college, for decades of freedom. That also meant un-friending some of those people that simply brought me down in life. I look back and i do miss some of the dumb things i used to do, but would i give up all this that i have now, for some stupid stuff 15 years ago? Not so much. A phase of your life should determine the rest of your life.

Nasty-D was the same way. Graduated high school early, graduated college early, and is now working his ass off making TONS of money doing something he loves. All because he sacrificed all of the social bullshit in high school and college, to succeed later in life.

Don’t lose sight of your goals and what you REALLY want out of life.

Don’t get bit! The future is young!

Others (specifically individuals in their 40’s and older) are getting bit by this bug a lot lately and it’s pretty consistent across all industries and markets. No matter financial, government, technology, or even entertainment, this is consistent.

There are always a few people who judge books by their covers right out of the gate (old farts). Generally, this is the older generation that looks down on the 30-somethings because “we just don’t know” and “lack experience”, which I find to be the biggest crock of shit ever as myself am a 30-something who paid my own way thru college, works long hours, takes pride in my relationships, and treats the world with respect. I busted my ass and was dirt poor before I made it to where I am today, so that old fart attitude can f*ck off. 

It’s the younger generations forward thinking that is transforming the business world. It is the younger generations that are molding the tech industry. It is the younger generations that are sustaining these companies revenue streams by means of their forward thinking and aggressive sales tactics. 

This post comes from having to sit in a meeting with a businessman from Korea with his son sitting next to him. His son invented a particular technology all of the big technology companies are trying to buy and replicate. (You’ve seen it. Trust me. These big tech companies just don’t own the rights to it)

On the other side of the table was the most ignorant American businessman who said to the Korean dad and his genius inventor son, and I quote “we appreciate your dedication to your pet project but let the big boys take it from here”.

As someone who should not even have an opinion in this, I am sitting there thinking… If you’re such a big boy, why the hell didn’t you invent this?! You’re practically having to bribe a 16 year old KID and his dad for rights to his invention?! And you’re not the only one who wants to buy this damn thing… Long story short the cocky American businessman didn’t get the sale closed. 

I am sure this polite Korean man who was simply there to protect his son will be going to sell their invention to some other tech company. (Guaranteed actually)

Don’t be an ass and judge a book by its cover assuming you’re the one driving the boat, just because you’re older than whoever you’re talking to. Remember, that fancy iPhone and all of the convenient technologies you use were all invented by those younger ones that are shaping the future of industry and technology. 

Oh by the way… the Korean business man (kid’s dad) was late 30’s and they flew in on their G5 the night before our meeting with their attorneys.

Mr. American businessman (who was well into his 60’s) drove his Kia Sorento home that evening after losing the sale.

Try talking WITH someone!

Try talking with someone. Really, with someone. Not just at them, and have them reply with their thoughts, after you have spewed our your bullshit.

You hear all of these conversations all day around the office, and some people are better at digesting the force feeding of information than others. Most of the time when people start to feel like they’re being force fed this information, they buckle up and put up their communication walls. Then opposed to communicating, the “conversation” turns into a ping-pong match of bullshit and passive aggressive comments.

There are certain individuals in business you KNOW you have to communicate with certain ways in order to push through the sale, to progress the conversation, and so on. Those personalities are relevant in our personal lives as well, and if we are more mindful of them we will likely be better off.

Even if the other person is total bag of dicks that lacks all inherent human logic, have them talk it out and see where they’re coming from. Chances are you’ll let them talk themselves out of their bullshit web of beliefs, or you’ll find a new way of looking at things!

What. The. F*ck! This is business!

Overall, I personally try to be a very fair person. It’s not a matter of what’s right or wrong, but what’s fair in life that generally makes people the most happy. Most of the time that’s a compromise between the two. Similar to the verbiage that there’s two sides to every story, and then there’s what’s in the middle.

Long story short(er), over the past few months Hakim (CEO / Pres) of a large company have been talking to better understand what’s happening in the market place with our business verticals we are chasing and how we can be more effective and be better stewards of our employees.

In our markets (financial) in particular compensation packages have become so aggressive for individuals that you can literally take your annual salary and multiply it by 3 at the end of the year because of how much revenue you will generate. This allows the companies to make absolute sh*t tons of good revenue (and profit) and also allows the employees to live like kings! The owner’s take their fair share, dont get me wrong.. But at the end of the day it is a win-win for everyone involved.

As of late, Hakim has been getting nailed because he sees almost no value in paying his employees like this to allow them to be successful and life a comfortable life. Ultimately, there is a “sweet spot” in his business market that really caps out their employees. Not that you COULDN’T make more money, but why would you try harder and bust ass for longer hours is the compensation only allowed you to come out with “X” or a certain variation of “X”. Literally, his employees sit there and manage what they sell and bring to the table so that they hit their “sweet spot” and nothing more, because it makes no sense to. If you make 100K more, you’re going to get nailed on taxes on the other side, and then your incentive package get’s tighter.

Our firm does not operate like this, nor do we believe in capping anyone performance wise. Technically, there isn’t a cap at Hakim’s place, but where’s the incentive to bring more business to the table when the ROI (return on investment) is shit once you hit a certain point?

Far too often companies look at their employees like commodities that can be replaced, that are “lucky to have a job”, and so on. That is a relevant way to look at employees if you are working at McDonalds and you’re the master of the frying station but likely, even the person at McDonalds wants to advance into a career path. When you have employees bringing in clients ranging from 250K – 10M, you really need to lose that mentality as a business owner / operator of the company. THAT is the kind of mentality that drives employees away and ultimately retards the growth path of a companies potential revenue stream. Businesses have momentum in their revenue cycles, and you need to be able to capitalize on those, and allow your employees to capitalize on those.

If you are in the position to instill a positive growth mentality weather is be professionally or personally, do it. Nobody every grew a company by letting incentives fall behind, or be treating the employees this way. Weather you think you are or not, i suggest you disconnect from you position for a day, and put yourself in the shoes of those who actually make your business or operation tick. You sit in an office and “watch the books”… Not to be a d*ck, but there’s 23 year old business majors that can ” watch the books” fresh out of college with how these kids are coming out of school now. Are YOU the one developing the business, developing the relationships, sacrificing your life, your family, your time, for the well being and common goal of building the company?

If you’re the one that’s “watching the books”, likely not…

Look at it like this… The CEO of an Airline walks into the room like a cocky asshole, and tells the Pilot who is about to fly the plane, “This is MY Airline”… What’s the Pilot’s response going to be? “Well, then fly YOUR OWN f*cking plane”….

Don’t be told to fly your own f*cking plane. Disconnect and listen.

Remember, this is business. For everyone.

Be kind! Especially to your pilot!

This morning me and one of my business partners are leaving for a day trip. We both pull up to the FBO (airport) at about the same time and we wait inside while they fuel up our jet. We are very blessed and are lucky enough to fly private for our business trips usually.

As we are waiting inside the terminal like a normal passenger, then this arrogant prick walks in the door… He looks like the kind of guy that would be offering you lotion or perfume samples at a kiosk in the mall. Leaves his car running at the entrance of the terminal, walks straight through the terminal, out the back door, and on to another jet that is waiting on the tarmac. The kind of guy that when he walks you immediately hear a techno beat in your mind because he is always suspiciously walking to some beat. Total D-bag.

My business partner and I laugh out loud along with the entire internal staff of the FBO. Everyone is dying laughing and we are all sharing the same sentiments with each other about his actions.

Four pilots walk out of some back room and walk into the waiting area and call our names. The other two pilots are for Mr. Free Lotion Samples. The other two pilots ask where he is, and the front desk lady goes…

“He’s out in that jet parked on the side of the tarmac. The one that’s broken down from last night.”

Pilot’s reply “How did he get in there?!”

Everyone in the terminal now bursts into laughter and tell the two other pilots the story about him and how we walked in and how he treated the staff.

Pilot’s reply “Well, f*ck him. He can wait. Hell, that’s not even the jet we are taking! That ones in for repair! When he comes back inside and checks in, we will help him!”

Twenty minutes passes and we head out to OUR jet, take off, and are on our merry way. On our trips we generally all try to talk to the pilots and converse a bit. They’re people too, so we like to learn about them. We keep a good steady conversation going with these guys for about 45 minutes, and then this!

The co-pilot looks over and goes “Remember that asshole from the FBO?”

All ears perk up… He tells us that this guy finally got out of the jet after a tug came and pulled the aircraft over to the repair shop for service. He missed his ACTUAL flight. The two pilots that were still at the FBO, took his lack of check in as a no show, and they jumped on another flight to charter!

This goes to show you. No matter who you are. How higher and mighty you might be. Treat others with respect! It doesn’t matter if you’re the guy driving the fuel truck, the tug driver, the pilot, the receptionist, or the valet. Treat others with respect.

We are all in this together, and your entitled bullshit attitude will only backfire on you. 

Be humble and be kind!

As for the passenger from hell… Go back to offering free lotion samples at the mall. Shitty things happen to shitty people.