Take your shot

I’ve been married for 17 years to a fantastic woman because of a note I left on her car almost 20 years ago. Met her on the sidewalk, took a shot and left a note on her car the next day and we’ve been together since then.

Met some of my best friends when I took a shot and tried crossfit with a bad back and bad knees. Now I can’t even imagine my life without Stratum Fitness. I f’ing love my friends there and would do anything for them. We are family now.

Freshman year of college I completely wimped out and gave up a shot to play attack for my college lacrosse team. Felt intimidated by an upperclassman who told me he was going to start over me. I backed down and 25 years later I regret it. I didn’t take my shot and coincidentally my college lax career kinda sucked.

My point to all of this?

In life you’re only going to get a certain amount of life changing shots.

Whether it’s in your career, relationships or whatever, you’re only going to get a finite amount so you better take them.

Life is f’ing short and seems to accelerate the older you get. One minute you’re playing Techmo in the dorms and the next minute you have grey hair and you drive a damn Volvo. (wow, that got heavy fast).

So take your shot, ok?

You’re going to crash and burn on many of them but you know what? Listen close….

WHO GIVES A F*CK??!

You track and count your wins, your failures don’t matter. How many SuperBowls has Tom Brady lost? How many has he won? The correct answer is that you probably remembered he’s got 6 SB wins and maybe had to think to remember his 2 SB losses. As a society we track wins.

Don’t sweat failing and don’t sweat people if they give you shit when you fail.

Take your shots and track your wins.

You will go further in life by taking action then by doing anything else.

Advice for the truly f*cked :)

Sometimes you have to open up your chest and let your heart fall out so here goes:

Just had a nice dinner on the trampoline with the girls (more on that later) and some random thoughts came to mind.

Background- Currently one of my real estate projects is driving me f’ing crazy. I’m working nonstop on it but it’s like wrestling an alligator with ice skates on. Super long story but the issues keep me up at night and make me want to drink Capt & Cokes to oblivion. Actually thats 1995 Jim talking, current me uses crossfit as my drug of choice. Better on the mind, but tough on the hands.

Crazy thing is I know I’m not alone. I know not everyone in their Lulu’s at the coffee shop has their shit together. There’s no way, right? No way I’m the only crazy one with the crazy shit happening.

So I’m writing this for you if you feel overwhelmed in life, stressed beyond belief or just completely confused about what’s happening around you. If you feel truly f’ed up or like a failure in life then this is for you because I’ve been there. Everyone else looks like they’re crushing life and you can’t remember to even have breakfast in the morning. In essence this is for the truly f*cked:)

In no particular order:

  • You’re not alone. Most people are f’ed up. it’s really the truth, you’re probably not doing as bad as other people you know.

  • There is beauty in the struggle if you can find it. if you work at something for months on end and it finally works out, how awesome is that?

  • You can’t control everything and bad shit happens. This one has been TOUGH for me to learn. if something bad happens on a deal that’s out of your control, what can you do? Nothing. This lessons sucks but in my experience it keeps happening until you get it.

  • Bad people exist. People who will try to f*ck you over, lie, cheat & steal. Sucks but it’s a part of life sometimes. Don’t always assume someone is going to do the right thing.

  • Keep your honor. Regardless of shit flying around you, stay true to your values and your honor. Don’t stoop to other people’s levels, stay true to yours. Judge yourself by your actions and your words.

  • Be nice. Simple advice but rings true. Whenever possible be nice. Just like Patrick Swayze said in Roadhouse, “Be Nice.”

  • Look for options. When faced with shitty situations look for options. Then when you think you’re out of options look for more options. Stretch your brain, think crazy and ask others. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought a situation was hopeless and then i talked to someone who gave me 3-5 options I hadn’t considered. Look for options…

  • Eat right/ get sleep/ have sex. Control the 1st one, hope for the 2d and pray for the 3rd:)

  • Get some exercise. Take your biggest problem and turn it into some squats or a grueling AMRAP and beat the f out of it. Not necessarily my most gentle/loving advice but sometimes you listen to yacht rock and sometimes you need 2pac.

  • Don’t be afraid to be afraid. Don’t try to dominate your fears but don’t stress about them either- fear is your body chemistry reacting to a situation, and that’s about it.

  • Understand the difference between not liking something and it harming you. I may not want to email __________________ about ________ tomorrow but regardless of how it goes it’s going to physically harm me. It’s ok to not like something but don’t avoid dealing with it if it can’t cause you harm.

  • This is my last one and it’s hard to put into words but please realize the more f*cked up you are the more heroic you are. It’s easy to be good looking/rich/popular but where’s the challenge in that? I’ll take someone who’s truly f*cked any day of the week.

    If you’re that way, then I applaud you. You have a hero inside you fighting the fights that you need fighting. You aren’t going to win them all and it’s never going to look pretty but who gives a shit? You have a hero inside you and I truly f*cking believe that. And yes I know that sounds mellow dramatic and rah rah but I don’t give a f*ck because its what i truly believe.

    So here’s to you, my friend, my fellow truly f’ed hero. Let’s get rolling, cool?

Talk soon..jim

Five Career Power Moves

I started my carer in 1993 selling insurance over the phone at a firm off Wall St. in NYC in 1993. I cold called people out of the phone book for days on end. It sucked.

Since then my career has had glorious highs (selling Sterling RE for $400K in 2006) and insane lows (cratering a wireless startup in 2002). I’ve worked in NYC, LA, SD for Fortune 100 companies to companies with two people sharing a desk.

So I’ve seen some shit.

That in mind I’m going to give you the answers to the test and give you the ultimate list of career power moves for any job, any place in the world. Follow these and you’ll go farther, faster. Disregard these and you’re screwed.

MOVES

Be On Time- This one seems so obvious but I cannot count how often people are late and how adversely it affects their career. Being on time is a matter of priority. Make it a cornerstone of your life to show up prepared and 10 mins early where ever you go. I’ve hired/fired 1000+ people and one of the easiest ways to put someone in the ‘don’t promote’ category is if they’re late . Too easy to get this one right so don’t be late.

At company functions don’t get drunker than your boss- Should be obvious but don’t drink more than your boss ever. Breaking this rule is just stupid and makes you a target so don’t do it. And if you don’t drink at all, even better. I’ve had employees get drunker than me and tell me things they should NEVER tell their boss. Things like:

  • “I’m in love with [other employee]”

  • “I’m addicted to Oxy”

  • “I hate this job” (really, why tell your boss this?)

Always add value- This is really the 1st rule of everything. Always consider how you can add value to the organization you work for. Be the woman/man who’s consistently adding value to the team and enjoy the rewards. Some people are just more valuable than others- be that person.

Don’t kiss ass- Early in my career I worked for Sprint and we used to go to Vegas for meetings with our VP, John B. He was a New York guy, very charming and all the mangers clamored to be around him. He was pretty powerful at Sprint at the time. I was pretty new in my career so I didn’t try to kiss his ass the way everyone did, probably because I didn’t think it would work.

So one night we’re all out after dinner and I’m at the bar getting a Captain & Coke (my drink in the 90s). John comes up to me and out of nowhere and thanks me. i say, ‘What for?” I’ll never forget his words when he says, “You’re the only one who doesn’t kiss my ass and I appreciate it. If someone’s kissing my ass I know I can’t trust them so I appreciate you not following the herd”.

That blew me away. Later in my carer when people would kiss my ass I would think of them as being weak, untrustworthy and definitely not someone I wanted to promote. So don’t kiss ass.

Be decisive- Don’t hem & haw, don’t be wishy-washy. Take the available info you have and make a decision when it’s time to make a decision. sometimes you’ll be wrong but more often than not, action always trumps in-action. Do you best but take action. People who take action win more often than people who do nothing and stand on the sidelines.

There’s probably more I can think of but that’s good for now.

Wait, some more about email:

  • If you’re asking for something in an email, ask at the top and put the detail/background underneath. No one wants to scroll endlessly to find out what you need.

  • No emojis, this isn’t high school. If you can drink legally lose the emojis.

  • Be succinct. If it takes more than 10 sentences then pick up the phone and call.

  • Don’t blast anyone. Email is like DNA evidence at a murder scene so don’t blast anyone, no matter how pissed you are.

the power of momentum

recently had a big win at work. after months of feeling like I was batting my head against the wall and dreading every time my email went ‘ding!’ I finally got some good news.

that good news led to:

  • a mindset of expansiveness, gratitude and prosperous thinking

  • a fun dinner with the family around the kitchen table

  • an awesome hangout with my wife once the kids went to bed

  • a renewed sense of purpose when I was falling asleep

Crazy thing is that the news wasn’t that fantastic, it was ‘good’. What it did though was give me a feeling of hope. A feeling of winning, being a winner.

Sometimes we all just need a quick win to get the momentum rolling.

The key is to keep the momentum rolling as long as you can. don’t get off the ride, don’t stop, keep it f’ing going.

Easier to stay in motion than to get in motion (thank you high school physics class).

find any way you can to build momentum and keep it rolling.

two things to be successful

From the Journal 2019:

Unshakable Faith.

Unbelievable effort.

Those are the two things and only two things that you really need to be successful. Read that in a book recently and it struck me for how simple and easy to follow it is.

Have faith (a shit-ton of it) and work your ass off.

There are more flowery ways to say it but it really comes down to that.

In my life, combining faith and effort has always led to good things. Whether it was back surgery rehab when I was 16 (I knew I’d play lacrosse again no matter what the doctor said) or when I committed to putting 100% of myself (warts and all) into my marriage; faith and effort have always rewarded me.

Life doesn’t have to be complicated.

You don’t need a guru or master plan.

Just work your ass off and have faith in yourself.

if I write it does it matter?

one billion blogs out there so who’s reading this? Maybe it’s just my daughters 30 years from now while they’re in their self-driving cars on their way to Taylor Swift’s album 50 premiere.

Point is, I’m really writing this for me. narcissistic maybe but I kinda don’t care. Getting thoughts on paper for the next book or just because I want to remember what I was thinking today (Sunday August 25, 2019).