Captain Of Your Future

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Give Me Space To Give You Space (So We Can Grow) (2/3/2016)

I looked at the computer and his response, and I froze.  I had said not to make an event with alcohol. I told him that it wasn’t what the group was about. But, that’s exactly what happened. There on the calendar was an event to go drinking that had happened yesterday. And, so I wrote him and asked, “what do you think I should do?”

And here in front of me was his response. Defensive, questioning, and being blatantly against what I had said.

And, so now I have to deal with this situation.  Besides using the group for personal reasons and going against what I had said, now I have to deal with an email… and how to respond?

I looked at the computer and started typing, “I’m sorry but I told you not to make events for the group with alcohol.  I told you not to make events without asking me.  I made it clear that I was in charge.” But, in that moment, I didn’t feel in charge.

I felt that I had lost my power.

And, that’s why I did nothing.

I thought of ten million ways to write back, even started typing, but decided, “cooler heads will prevail.” And, so I closer the computer and called a friend, “are you busy? want to get together.  I just got to get out of the house.

And, I left my house, with things left unsaid.  Feeling angry at being disrespected, betrayed.  And, I know I can’t respond from a place of anger, shouting obscenities or being curse in order to regain control – because what kind of control do you have when you’re angry?

And, also, I wanted him to think about it.  I wanted to see if after thinking about the incident he would write more, or just kind leave the whole situation hanging, and unfinished.

I drove to my friend’s house with this situation going through my mind… “do I remove him from the group? This will probably happen again? Does he know that this is a business?”

I didn’t say anything about the situation during our dinner and afterwards when we watched old X-Files episodes (somehow these old episodes make EVERYTHING better, man).

The next morning, I woke up and saw that there was a new email message in my Gmail from him.

It simply said, “Here’s my phone number”.

Before responding in the moment, let things sink in – give it 24 hours to think about things.

Give the other person a space to grow by giving them space.

I’m all about taking action, but not out of anger – let it cool and let it go.  

I block people on Facebook, I erase comments others leave, and I don’t answer emails out of anger – I don’t do it for me; it’s about giving people room to grow and stopping them from when they are out of control, or not thinking clearly.

Smart People Realize That They’re Not Business Owners, They ARE THE BUSINESS (2/11/2016)

If you follow my personal Facebook page, you’ld see that I just deactivated it. I get tired of caring about people that don’t care about themselves, and needed to recharge by reconnecting in reality.

But, you see it – it doesn’t have to be this way.

The business owners that are killing it these days are not just promoting one image on their Facebook or social media and then an incongruent image on their personal. No, they are the real deal in everything.

I have my business side and I have my personal side – but they are both in alignment with who I am.

I run adventure groups, and I do adventures. It’s both the personal and professional side.

If you follow the Facebook page You’ve Got Hate Mail then you’ll see that the stories there and the stories on my personal page are the same – they’re just written differently because there for a different audience.

But, they are consistent. I really do live this life that I promote.  I really do the things that I write about in books. I really am the whole package of everything that people see – in websites, in social media, in interactions I’m consistent.

I remember living in San Diego working as an engineer and having all these ideas but not being able to pursue them – I felt dead inside. It would take me years and lots of fuck-ups to get to this place, where I actually can start going after these ideas that I have. And, it’s not for show – it’s who I am. And, my personal social media reflects that.  I am using it to leverage – or more accurately give a message to a different audience that knows me more in real life. But, it’s all about the story.

Last week, I went through my personal Facebook page and made some stories public.  The point is that I am telling a story with the way that I live my life and parts of that story fit best in different places; some parts fit on my Fan page, other on my social media, others in person, and others in video. It’s about how to communicate that story that I am living to others, and include the whole picture – because the whole picture is consistent with who I am.

In about a month, I suspect, I’ll break 1,000 people in the adventure groups. That means 1,000 people that know who I am – 1,000 people that will wonder, “What’s the story?”

And, the story is not about selling something – it’s about giving something. Hope. Ideas. Suggestions. Building friendships.

Because, when you start building friendships – you start building a business, a business that is going to last long term.

All day long, I see a constant stream of people saying, “Look at me. Look at me.”

Instead, I want to say, “I can give you this _.” And, you can see that I’m genuine in what I do – it’s public, it’s out in the open, it’s my heart open to you.

And, the thing is that we don’t want fake, plastic, and insincere, we want genuine people, and we want to know the mission. Every hero story includes a mission.

What’s the point of what you are doing? Does it match what actions you are taking. It’s the person who quit smoking only to light up again – and, my heart breaks because I care and I want them to be successful.

It’s the way that I care about others – but when actions don’t match intent, it sucks to be a bystander.

My life is moving in a linear path – and all signs show that it is genuine, authentic, and caring.

I am not promoting my own personal agenda – I’m just happy to share what my life is like.

After all, I don’t hire businesses, I hire people – and I want to know who you are. Completely.

When You Become The Go-To Person, Then Things Start To GO TO You (2/19/2016)

People think in problems. For example, “I’m hungry. What are my options.” Ok?

So with this in mind – what option are you offering?

Why do people go to you?

Problem leads to options leads to a person going to an option, not necessarily a solution.

Right now, we are looking at this business. We thought originally questions like:

  1. Who are the ideal customer?

  2. How can we form relationships with them?

  3. Who buys the service of a mechanical engineer?

And, it doesn’t really lead to any clear answers – besides options such as architects, business owners, and contractors.

But, another way to look at it – and the way to reframe the question is this:

  1. For whom are we the “go-to” person?

When I need a hair cut then I call my friend and make an appointment. When I am looking for a new phone, I also have a go-to person that I check first.

And, there is the frame around which to build a business. Become the go-to person.

The way that you do this is by doing 1 thing and doing it so well that you become the defacto “it” person for this – like literally the skills pay the bills, so think in skill-based businesses before products.

I am a mechanical engineer but I need to define myself more to become the “it” person – the go-to person for something.

And, this way I don’t need to bombard people with tons of high pressure advertising, promote my business through agressive Facebook ads (that piss people off), or be anything else then my natural self – look at what you are naturally the it person for.

When I wanted to name this blog, there were several people that could have helped, but I knew exactly the person I wanted involved – my go-to copywriter and branding person.

When I want to get website help, I have a go-to person.  This person may have 10 different skills, and be versed in several different things – but it’s not what she has, it’s what she is and that’s the go-to web designer that I like to use.

Look at your credibility.  You get advice all day from people thinking that they know what’s best – but if you don’t believe it, do you listen? If you don’t want their life, then why would you take their advice? If they’re not living the life you want, then they’re not going to be your go-to person for how to live.

No one is expecting the go-to person to do it all – it’s about 1 thing that they are the go-to person for doing.

What if McDonald’s started building cars? Would you trust them at first? Would they be a viable option to consider? Would they instantly become the “it” car manufacturer because they clearly have sold 1 billion plus hamburgers? Clearly, this is a ridiculous example.  But the point is that, they are known for something, and until they establish credibility they can’t use their name to position themselves in another industry, in much the same way that you can’t jump fields, say from web designer to chef, and not expect people to be skeptical until you establish credibility and become the go-to person for this new skill or idea.

You can stop writing for your ideal client and start writing to become the go-to person for a particular skill.

For example, “I’m an engineer that does small commercial projects.” or “I’m your go-to man when you need to get your building approved by the city.” See how the second example says, “I can do something for you that you need.”

It’s not about what benefit you give – it’s ALWAYS about what problem you solve because that’s how people think. We think in problems: What am I going to do tonight? What am I going to eat tonight? What am I going to wear?

And, when you start being a viable option to a person’s problem, you become their go-to person.

And, that’s when people start to go to you.

And, money starts to chase you.

Against Almost All Advice, I Jumped The Line & Made A Home In Mexico (2/26/2016)

In mid 2010, I was at a standstill in my life. I had just recently received my engineering license, and while I had thought that would solve all the problems in my life (and maybe save the whales too), it really hadn’t changed anything.

I was desperate for answers on what to do, I was desperate for questions on what to say, and I was just plain-out desperate for change.

The thought of another 10 years stuck in the middle with you… no just stuck in my life seemed unbearable, and not likely.

In my desperation, I turned to online dating, specifically, my neighbor’s in Mexico – they were close, and what did I have to lose?

I sent a short, “Hola! Como estas?” that night…. the next morning, I got a response.

“Wait, a second… maybe I’m on to something here?”, I thought.

So I sent another email to a different person, and got a response again…

“What’s going on here?”, I thought.

Looking through the profiles on the site (at the time in 2010, there weren’t many), I saw one in English… “HMM.. what’a going on here?”

She replied something like she had family in the United States and had grown up on both sides (Tijuana and San Diego).  She also was really happy, you could tell in her writings.

This began our friendship.

I would start exploring the city slowly – first crossing on foot for a short walk around, then going to the Cultural Center in Tijuana to see what it looked like.

Almost everyone said, “Don’t go! You’re going to end up killed! You’re going to end up murdered and your body dissolved in an acid bath! I have a friend… I know someone… I have a horror story.”

And, I did listen to the advice, at first. I ended up standing my friend up at the beach because I listened to the advice.

Until, one day, I stopped listening to the advice and I just started to take action.

I would leave my job later that year to go “find my happiness” in South America.

I would cross the United States while in the throes of a Crohn’s flare-up (think of someone stabbing you in the stomache and you’re on the right track).

I would cash in my retirement and use the money to rent a room in the mountains of Alpine outside San Diego.

I would sell my car and use the money to rent a small studio apartment in Tijuana near the border crossing at Otay.

I would find my happiness.

I would write and try different ideas to see what actually worked – this would make my first book.

I would take my years of writing and recording music and make a symphony – that I would get the courage to publish in 2014.

I would buy a bike and start exploring the parks of Tijuana, the small stands of food, and meet people.

I would find my home – that I had longed for.

And, in the midst of all this, I would also find me.

Because when you stop listening to advice, you start to form your own opinions, create your own experiences, and make your own life.

Because beyond listening to advice is listening to your heart.

The heart is what you should listen to more.

Because, beyond living life as others want you to, is the life that you want to live.

And, if one day, you do cross too – I’ll meet you on the other side.

And, maybe we’ll grab lunch, or go to a park, or have a bike ride, or do nothing and be perfectly content that way.

And, if you have a longing for something different, don’t look for it in the opinions and advice of others – look for the answers and courage to take action inside.

Because, life beyond advice is beautiful today.

What If The Pain We Feel From The Disappeared Is Common To Us All? (3/1/2016)

I have a friend here, in Tijuana; she’s maybe my first friend here that I made.

The past year we would get together for coffee once, maybe twice, a week.  We would talk about life, love, plans for the future, dreams, unfulfilled dreams, and what was going on at the local Cultural Center.

Then, one day she disappeared, I thought.

She deactivated her Facebook around the same time I broke my phone and lost access to my contact list.

I tried sending her a couple emails, but never got a response – just silence.

One day last year, we had been on a walk and had passed by her office; she had given me an impromptu tour of where she worked.  So, I knew where she worked, and I knew I could just stop by to say hi.

But, I didn’t.  Months went by and I never got a response to the emails – she never reactivated her Facebook (or, I thought blocked me, maybe??)

Just, after everything, one day, it was all gone – was she ok? She’s not posting anything new on Instagram! That’s definetely a cause for concern, right??

Today, I was going about my day, as somewhat usual, and driving home, I pass her office building.  For the past several months, I’ve passed her building as it’s on the way from downtown to my house and I’ve wondered, “Is she ok? Did I do something wrong? Why doesn’t she respond to her emails? She must hate me? She must want space?” Today, I decided to say hi.

After accidentally walking into the wrong office (very embarrassing when your Spanish isn’t good and you’re trying to explain, “whoops! Wrong office!”), I remembered her office and went up to the front door.

I gently tapped on the door – while a million thoughts went through my head on how this was going to play out?

She poked her head through the window and a smile formed on her face.

She opened the door, “You disappeared!

I said, “No, YOU disappeared!

And, I am left to wonder – who else is waiting on me to say hi? Who else is wondering about me?

What if the world is simply people waiting for someone they miss to say hi?

What if our “busyness” is simply numbing the pain of those people in our lives that we miss disappearing?

I remember talking to a childhood friend years later when we both were grown up.  She confided that growing up she would wait by the phone for my to call her.  I would do the same – I waited for HER to call me. And, in all those years, neither one of us took the step to call the other.  We both just waited – we both were waiting for the other to take that step to simply say, “Hi”.

And, now I wonder, who from my life is gone – Facebook may give the illusion of connection, but if I don’t take the initiative to say, “Hi”, it can feel like waiting?

Are we all living a life in wait?

Are we all passing by buildings full of people that we miss as we go about our day – Are we the disappeared from the lives of those people who care about us?

And, it’s in these days, who else is waiting for me? Who else wants to say hi?

Maybe these addictions of being busy are simply ways to numb the pain of lost attachments?

What if we started to say, “Hi!”, to people we miss? Maybe they are waiting for us to take the step?

Maybe, they are suffering, just like us, because we all feel the pain of the disappeared.

Everything can change, today, by starting on THAT.

You're going to get 24 hours today

How will you use it?