Journey

Blame Tony Robbins

Blame Tony Robbins 150 150 JP

There were definitely self-help people before Tony; however, no one has done it as big or been as influential at scale. One of the biggest strategic ideas that has come down from on high is that fear is the greatest motivator. Fear. Drives. Change. Now that isn’t the only method he uses, but his overall guide is there are two forces driving human behavior: pain and pleasure. And that most people will do more to avoid pain (aka focus on fear) than to gain pleasure. I’m only tongue in cheek saying to blame him for this current environment of fear driven propaganda… I’m just saying that he has a large reach and has influenced a lot of people with this method.

Anxiety

Anxiety 150 150 JP

If you have anyone in your life (as I do) who experience high levels of anxiety (disorder) there are certain events that stick with you. The culmination of experiences over the last two decades has made my mind tougher than I could have ever imagined, especially since my father died. It’s also shown me the power of mindset and what you say to yourself is the most important thing. People close to me suffer with anxiety that I could never have imagined growing up and while it may be just an excuse not to deal with root causes and feelings, it doesn’t make the actual actions around it any less severe. Some people make you feel their anxiety without even realizing it.  They have things that they need to do to feel less anxious and then if you don’t do them also, it’s a big deal to them. Maybe you don’t have anyone in your life like that. I do. Of course, that’s not how they see it either, and that’s when the problem comes up. We’re managing.

Covid + History

Covid + History 150 150 JP

We’re on the wrong side of history with this. The New York Times ran an article called The Covid Fable on October 8th. The first sentence was telling of the whole virus vaccine movement. “When we treat Covid as a simple morality play, we can end up making bad predictions.” This is the same thing I think about many of the fear mongering propaganda spewed across the world.

Americans seems to be especially susceptible to this crap. People that think we’re permanently messing up the planet are the same type of negative that want to push Covid fear down your throat. First off, we’re not killing the planet and we’re not killing each other because of climate change. That’s just not the truth from the data. Sorry if that doesn’t sit well with your cognitive bias. That’s just data. Life is getting better on earth for humans. The real threat is more likely to be the Taurid Meteor Stream earth passes through twice a year. Some future October or November is bound to have a significant impact on our entire civilization’s way of life.

But, let’s stay on topic…

Covid has taken a lot of lives around the world. There have been 239 million cases globally, 45 million here in the United States. Out of those cases, 4.87 million deaths globally with nearly 735,000 here at home, currently. We’re actually doing better here (statistically) than around the world; however, it seems like the world has moved on. And even if the rest of the world hasn’t, the dire predictions made over and over since the beginning were so completely horrifically wrong, that it’s time we all did move on.

Here’s a little fact of life.
You’re going to die.

In the case of Covid deaths, yes there are plenty of people dying at young ages, but the average age of people dying from the virus is higher than the average life expectancy. So… what gives here? Fear. People are fucking scared. I’m one of them. Not for me, for my son. I have the vaccine, which is not a vaccine at all it seems. He doesn’t. I understand why Kyrie Irving and Bradley Beal don’t want to take it. They have the privilege to make that decision even if it could be destructive to their livelihood. Most people are now required to take the vaccine or get tested, which if you know anything about government rules, they are not typically rolled back.

Everything the United States has done and continues to do is only pushing us further onto the wrong side of history.  It makes me sad. The Washington Post estimated that daily caseloads in the U.S. could reach 300,000 back in August, higher than ever before and we peaked at closer to 166,000. In The New York Times, an epidemiologist predicted that cases would rise in September because children were going back to school. Cases fell.

It’s time to come to our senses.

Time

Time 150 150 JP

The strange interconnected phenomenon imposing its will on our life every day, as much or more so than gravity. You are going to die. That’s a biological fact like being born either male or female. You can identify as immortal, but… you get the idea. Time can be seen as an enemy or a friend, depending on how you think and accept life’s journey.

That said, I’m thinking about time right now in terms of what I’m trying to achieve in the next decade from a business perspective. Time is the enemy in some industries. You only have so much time to play professional sports, regardless of how much talent you have. You have much more time to be successful when investing.*

We all have to choose where to spend time, doing what, with who, etc. And that’s where I’m at today. Looking at these goals I have and what it’s going to take time wise is overwhelming unless I can break them down into super short term chunks and figuring out the numbers as I go. One thing is for sure, I don’t have enough time on my own and will need to hire people to help. That’s where I’m at.

*Contrary to what I used to think, you can make a lot of money in a short period of time when the conditions are right, even on a small amount of investment capital. I used to think, compounding money over time at higher than market rates was the best way to do it, but then the last 3 years extended the already bull market run and at some point I changed my mind. What I’ve realized is that by focusing on compounding, you could miss big opportunities.

Happiness, Skill, or Opportunity?

Happiness, Skill, or Opportunity? 150 150 JP

What to focus on? Do what makes you happy; or, do what you’re skilled at; or, work where the opportunities are… those are the biggest questions for young people and old people alike. At least, if I think about my own life, as I get older having worked with business leaders of all ages these are the three categories to think about when looking for work. Work… that old chestnut. That chore you do to acquire capital, money in 2021 terms.

On a side note, what do you think came before money and modern society? I doubt many people think about living standards today, but in the not so distant future, they sucked. Living standards were so fucking horrible just over 100 years ago and that it was the advent of our big oil generation that allowed for all the new shit we have to be ungrateful about, or worse, hold in contempt. Sorry for the language, it’s just annoying when people seemingly think the “capitalist” class is exploiting the working class.

Work, for most people in the civilized world is at will. Meaning, you can leave at anytime because you’re not beholden to the company. The reason capitalism works better than anything else is because every person is generally taking action that is in their own self interests, as human nature demands. Also, it’s hilarious to think that the capitalists (e.g. business owners) don’t also work hard, take on much greater risk, and in most circumstances, eat last. Lest we forget that both terms socialist and capitalist came from the same mad man, Karl Marx. Liberals just co-opted capitalism and turned it into a term for good, in most cases using Marx’s own logic to prove as such.

That said, work is a chore. Humans desire leisure. We’ve been fortunate (at least in the first world) to have capitalists fund ideas allowing us to capture more leisure and greater comforts than ever before in recorded history. Maybe between the time before ancient history was written and the end of dinosaurs there was some super advanced civilization that got off the planet never to be heard from again. Alas, in 2021 AD we are at the height of human civilization and despite all the fucking fear mongering, life is pretty damn good. It’s so good that we have the ability to choose to do what you love and do what makes you happy when that was not even in the conversation just a few decades ago.

So, what’s it going to be? Pursue happiness, follow your skills, or chase opportunities? If these all align, you get people like Michael Jordan or Jay-Z or Picasso or Steve Jobs. That’s the sweet spot; however, if these align most coaching kids little league, you’re probably going to need an income from your other skills. Remember, there are many things that can make you happy and usually the highest level skills are tied to things that you like or used to like; and there are usually opportunities somewhere in the middle.

Want a better life? Watch YouTube.

Want a better life? Watch YouTube. 150 150 JP

The old saying that you’ll never see the sunset traveling east is a strong metaphor to changing life. YouTube has hours upon hours of content that provide excellent strategies and tactics to build skills in any area of your life. I mean, the content is endless. Want to learn anything, YouTube. Want a better life, watch YouTube. Of course, the possibility of endless procrastination also exists. As in life, you have to make choices about what you focus on. At the same time, YouTube helps you out with its algorithm that pushes more and more stuff to the front around the areas/ideas/videos you’ve already been viewing.

This may be unnecessary if you already have an idea or list of things you want to learn. It’s not if you can start being curious in one positive area and let it lead you onward. At the end of the day, big tech may be “shadow banning” content creators or the market may just not want what they’re producing anymore. Maybe society is tired of all the garbage and division and want more puppies and cats, great. Rather the latter. Want to deal with the depression from focusing on all that trash? YouTube it and then take action. Many people know what to do and fail to do it. I’m one of them in certain areas of my life, so no judgement from me. This is a note to self.

The Kitchen Sink

The Kitchen Sink 150 150 JP

I think in haiku at times. Short lists, not necessarily poetic in nature, unless you think business and financial talk is sexy. The following is a long list of ideas and lists and more ideas and questions that have been the backbone of my thinking on Key Bridge. In the next year, I have a lot of work to do. I took some time off admittedly at the wrong time, but am happy with the direction everything is going now.

Mission
To build a global network of business leaders, privately owned residences, and CXO’s helping allocate capital to build better assets and tackle global challenges that advance the greater good. (ambiguous?)

Keep It Super Simple
One membership fee to join
Annual fees (maybe waived?)
Additional fees based on value added
Hire CXO’s to work with members
Build network of “Residences”

Membership…
1. through Challenges
2. through Invitation
3. open to all…?

Goals…
Advance capitalism
By challenge capitalists
To build better assets
Which drive progress

Ideal scenario?
1. Work off my phone or tablet
2. Work anywhere I can need want
3. Work (mostly) with people I want
4. Allow employees to do the same

Daily Work…
Reach out to business owners
Get their expertise on their industry
Organize the knowledge on KB site
Will they want to share? And why?
Share expertise and experiences.

Ultimate Vision?
1. Own a network of residences worldwide
2. Own a portfolio of market beating equities
3. Help business leaders build better assets
4. Advance capitalism. Support capitalists.

What are the deliverables…
* any benefit that is delivered by us or a third party
* any value added result delivered to the client
* any advice delivered by a third-party
* any product or service provided by a third party
* any capital resource (money, labor, etc.) provided by a third party
* any connection delivered by us to a third party

What we do?
* Curate Analysis, Resources, Connections
* Consult on unlimited business matters
* Find and facilitate opportunities, deal flow
* Help improve quality, value, impact
* Business is just investments and deliverables
* Create initiatives. Build + Manage projects
* Advise leaders, build businesses.
* Bridge gaps between challenge/achievement
* Consult at every level of business development
* Consult from the executive suite to front lines
* Use business analysis to build initiatives for members

What we believe?
1. business is the lifeblood of progress
2. capitalists are the driving force
3. building better assets = progress

Areas of Business
(where we help)

1. Strategy
2. Innovation
3. Operations
4. Organization
5. Technology
6. Narrative (Sales/Marketing)
7. Finance
8. Risk
9. Outliers

Business is…
1. Investments
2. Deliverables
3. Accounting (wa wa)

Framework
* Test, Adjust, Optimize
* Impact, Quality, Value
* Advisor, Agent, Advocate
* Allocate Capital (what we do)

Why us…
1. Action > Analysis
2. Test, Adjust, Optimize (anything)
3. Improve quality of investments
4. Improve value of deliverables
5. Improve impact in marketplace
6. Build better assets
7. Tackle global challenges
8. Advance the greater good
9. Business analysis = better advisory

How to win?
1. Master the fundamentals
2. Adjust to market changes
3. Allocate capital at scale
4. Improve quality, value, impact
5. Test, adjust, optimize everything possible

Test
Test new strategic
ideas and plans

Adjust
Adjust current strategies
for stronger efficacy

Optimize
Optimize the strategies
that work best to scale

Quality
Improve the quality of
strategic investments

Value
Improve the value of
strategic deliverables

Impact
Improve strategic impact
in the marketplace

How we win?
1. Having members that want to and can win (above)
2. Bridge the gaps for accelerated results
3. Allocating member fees to new ideas for progress.
4. DADA: Decision, Action, Data, Analysis (repeat)
5. Partnering with local businesses to protect and grow

What do “others” give their members?
curated programming and content
broker interactions, p2p
library of content, archives
mostly fluff built on content
content is mostly fluff as well
some is probably actionable insights
some do shit like projects, placements
meetings are for networking (?)
insights are for actions or influence
projects for initiatives (likely money and influence)
most say they’re impartial… (hmmm)
some (CoreClub) have a physical location
some give experiences: food, travel, events
some are concierges for life management
building relationships with members seems priority
business growth via relationships and information

Framework
Quality, Value, Impact
Test, Adjust, Optimize
Analysis, Resources, Connections
8 areas of business
Unlimited topics

Ideas
Front end, business development resource
Slowly but surely build out and get attention
Make it something people want to work on
No hype. No ads. No commissions. No upsells.
All resource, membership is never mentioned on site…
Build a platform that can be used to sell whatever we want!
Business is the lifeblood of progress. We…
We bridge the gaps… we find and facilitate
Why? Learn, Share, Profit, Progress
Why? Advance capitalism… the greater good.
What? Network of business leaders
What? Better assets = better world
Improve Quality, Value, Impact across key value drivers.
Test, Adjust, Optimize for VAR.
VAR = Value Added Results
Triple A: Advisor, Agent, Advocate
Action > Conversation

How to be different?
Allocate capital better (TAO)
Improve existing orgs (QVI)
Austrian economics
Local > Global … local communities, globally.
Advancing capitalistic ideals
Supporting capitalist endeavors
Curating the world’s knowledge to build better assets
Value Added Results
Tap into expert networks for work with our members
We turn thought leadership into results with members
Smaller network, larger value per member
Employees are CXO’s not directors or consultants
We do not have Chapters, we have Residences
We operate as one membership, not local franchises
We do not hold meetings or events gratuitously

Truths
Very few businesses grow from $1 million to $10+ million in sales, regardless of what they offer. That’s why those companies get most of the money. That’s why people have to / should / must invest in other assets that create steady interest.

All leaders play on the field of capital allocation, that’s where the competition is and include people, info, resources, cash, etc. Success is built by mastering the fundamentals, allocating capital at scale, and adjusting to market changes. Leaders can do this by extracting maximum value from their decisions.

We Can…
We can advise leaders.
We can build businesses.
We can build a marketplace.
We can build a platform.
We can allocate capital.
We can work with businesses
We can work with individuals.
We can advance capitalism.
We can support capitalists.

Allocation Service (if)
You have an idea, problem, etc.
You have a dollar amount budgeted
You hire us to allocate that capital for a fee
You send us the capital OR earmark it
We take that allocation, use it to get a result
Whatever that result is… business related.

Membership Service (if)
You pay the annual fee to be able to put us to work
We take the annual fee and fund certain areas of research
We issue challenges to improve quality, value, impact
We create initiatives that pool member resources
We allocate member capital to their own specific targets
Support members across business endeavors and lifecycles

Directory Services
Annual fee
Unique page
Promote Product / Service / Bio
We build and maintain
Highly curated
Use to tell a story
Apply to list
Provide some additional benefits
First in line for membership??

Longer list of thoughts on community?
Bridge the gaps
Between challenge and achievement
Between trust and transaction
Build better assets
Tackle global issues
Zero equity partner
Unbiased advice
Dedicated resources
Advice on unlimited matters
Resources for any endeavor
Connections to people and deals
Challenges to improve quality, value, impact
Initiatives pooled capital, specific goals
Business development
Carefully selected resources
Zero ads, zero upselling
Insights and ideas, curated
For business leaders
Original thinking, trusted expertise
Whatever it takes
Chief Experience Officers
Blank slate for… (profit and progress)
Results based expertise, deliverables
Source and procure deliverables
Small, medium, large endeavors
Finding and facilitating (fill in the blank)
Deal flow, personal interactions, new opps
Customized to member specific situations
Fully customized deliverables
Pooled capital resources
Improve quality of investments
Improve value of deliverables
Improve impact in the market
Work on key global issues
Test, adjust, and optimize ideas to scale
Achieve better outcomes
Adhere to a core set of principles
Curated deliverables
No fees to promote partners
No ads or sponsors
No affiliate commissions
Goal: global network
Business is the lifeblood of progress
Endless cycle of investments and deliverables
Master the fundamentals
Re-allocate capital at scale
Adjust to market changes
Capital risk and renewal
Zero Equity Partner
Chief Experience Officer
Profit and Progress
Build better assets
Tackle global challenges
weekly email report to all members
weekly email specific to each member
1-3 requests per quarter (no rollovers)
must accept challenges issued to you
we may reject any request we want
extra fees may apply on deliverables
3rd party products/services at cost
dedicated advice, resource, connections

CXO’s
Chief Experience Officers = allocating capital, finding and facilitating opportunities, and act as general point of contact for member requests. There are always gaps in every organization. We help bridge them.

Capital Allocation
Capital allocation = curated advice, resources, connections placed toward and an end goal… tested, adjusted, optimized for best results possible.

What…
Are we pooling capital? Are we providing a service? Are we providing an experience? What’s the simplest of all? An open space. A blank slate. A marketplace? A platform? Consulting?

Outcomes
Revenue Stability
Revenue Growth
Profit Growth
Margin Expansion
Book Value Growth
CapEx Control
Talent Development
Brand Development
eCommerce
Website Utilization
Social Engagement
Customer Service
Benchmarking
Sustainability
Logistics and Distribution
Quality Control
Benefits Planning
Executive Wealth Planning
Supply Chain Management
Financial Reporting
Capital Introductions
M+A
Innovation
Research
Systems (Policies, Procedures, Process)
Accounting Systems
Budgeting
Cost Control
Legal Compliance
Risk Management
Relationship Management (i.e. Community)
Core Vision and Direction
Startup Support
S&M
Organizational Transformation

Where My Head’s At

Where My Head’s At 150 150 JP

For many years now, Key Bridge has been more or less an idea, concept, and project (hobby if I’m brutally honest) in planning mode. Maybe it was fear holding me back or my tendency to pick apart every business turned on my own that prevented this from coming to fruition sooner. The idea now is to build a global network of business owners, entrepreneurs, and executives who are dedicated to building better assets, tackling global challenges, and advancing the greater good. Where I think Key Bridge can add the most value is through a deep understanding of what drives business and financial success, and the necessity of having an unbiased, almost clinical, approach to the actions and decisions required to achieve it.

We started strong in 2014 and I was fortunate to have other people with me. Many have gone on to run million dollar businesses. Today is all that matters though and after a long pandemic break, I’m starting to build again. This post is dedicated to all the notes taken from the last few years. It’s a kitchen a sink of my mind and the meeting of the minds with over a dozen other people through the years. Thanks Alex, Scott, Matt, Janice, Daniel, Greg, Sandy, Allegra, Kinsey, Mary, Ed, Joe, Mo, and any of the others who I forgot.

At first, the idea was to provide business leaders with a membership and consult with them through a multitude of organizational challenges. This generally meant working on a few standard areas and helping allocate capital for business development outcomes. BizDev is still a catch all for growth, just for some businesses that means efficiency via better processes and policies and training instead of just revenue generation, but at the end of the day no sales no profit no business.

I thought Key Bridge could offer a few novel things within a flat fee structure plus charge incentive fees based on value added results. The trouble with this thought was creating a tribe mentality. Not that tribes are bad, they crop up in every company, industry, locality. It was more about time spent within the tribe we’d create. See the dilemma of consulting work is that success is dependent on the business as much as it is your own efforts.

A consultant could be Lebron James of the industry, if the client doesn’t have the capital or the ability or fortitude to do what it takes, it won’t work. Success has three parts: mastering the fundamentals, allocating capital at scale, and adjusting with market changes. The biggest thing that separates leading organizations and everyone else is the ability to pouring capital into trying new ideas and then scaling what works faster than others. News ideas breeds novelty and the market adores novelty. Also, ideas aren’t the job of the top leaders of the business, it’s their job to allocate capital.

These concepts were gained by spending 20 years, 40,000+ hours analyzing and forecasting publicly and privately held companies for high net worth investors. I started Key Bridge on the back of this education to help build better assets for smaller organizations by “bridging” the gaps along the way from the front lines to the executive suite. The gaps are everywhere and need to be rather customized to the role, size, function, industry, etc. I think there are usually multiple good solutions to achieve better results and make more money across every aspect. That’s where the art of business comes in.

Where I thought we could add value…
increase long term stability and value extraction
learn and implement the best practices of large firms
expand time through delegating and prioritizing
sustainable revenue and profit growth (with inflation)
develop and execute a social engagement strategy
create a core narrative, adjust marketing plan
hire, train, and retain the right talent
improve customer service, experience
plan for ownership transition or exit / sale
remain relevant, stay ahead of industry trends
cooperatively lobby governments
cooperatively reduce costs with suppliers
benefits and executive wealth planning
ensure appropriate legal compliance measures
develop custom business strategies and tactics
help make better capital allocation decisions
create plans, policies, and procedures to handle every operational aspect
and so many other ideas that arise by working together….

Business is complex and humans are complicated, so keeping it super simple is as much an oxymoron as it is mandate. Praxeology, the study of human behavior in economic terms helps make things as simple as possible, because despite the rise of machines, businesses are still created by and for the benefit of people. I believe that business is the lifeblood of progress. People start businesses, success turns to profit, and profit is allocated to growth and progress.

Why is there a profit? The uninitiated would conjecture its because of worker exploitation. Where it actually comes from is serving the customer, which is generally an end consumer. A business needs profit to survive, and it’s only in the intelligent re-allocation of the profit where growth is possible. There are plenty of businesses that don’t grow, most of them in fact. More importantly, you are the driving force regardless of where you fit in the value chain. Namely, because anyone that spends their time, money, or resources for the potential of greater economic rewards is a capitalist in my book.

Capitalists benefit society twice: first by bringing useful goods to market and then by giving back through consumption, investments, charity, and taxes. Almost every nation enjoys the fruits of this minority, yet they are, at times, the group that receives the most anger directed toward them. Whatever is thought of the social system called capitalism, history has shown it to be the best path to freedom and prosperity for all of us, not just the few with the power. The problem is conflating real  capitalism, which is built on limited government, individual rights, privately owned property, and open market competition for socialism with capitalists involvement. I digress…

You’re in an ultra competitive market and times are changing rapidly. My goal (at least in the beginning) with Key Bridge is to become a zero equity partner with small business owners (like yours) to help them get full value from their venture and because of the framework we use, and our services are less expensive for similar or better results. To borrow a statement: we help leaders and future leaders across industries work smarter and faster by providing provocative insights, actionable strategies, and practical tools to support capital allocation decisions.

Along the lines of membership based consulting was an idea for advisory blocks, topics spanning the core areas of business (e.g. strategy, operations, etc.) and the deeper parts within them (e.g. advertising, planning, product development) all of which add up to better business development. The idea at first was to partition them out as matter specific micro-engagements with 30 day cycles. The thought was that there are eight core pillars, nine if you include “outliers,” that a business is built upon. This foundation has many different parts that can be challenging to every business, but not at the same time.

The question I started with was “how can Key Bridge be a global advisor to as many businesses as possible?” The answer: almost impossible. The amount of talent and structure we’d have to create seemed daunting, especially if the idea was to charge $500 per matter per cycle. Sure, we’d be able to build some big time billings with some members, but most would be one offs here and there. That would be fine if we could get a team of experts to work with us or hire a ton of people with generalized knowledge. I was thinking SeekingAlpha contributors working as consultants.

The next question was how many matters would they have to take on to incentivize them to be good to great? For instance, if the average consultant makes around $100 an hour, the monthly benefits package would need to be roughly $20,000 to retain “average” consultants. Working with us would mean mostly dealing with businesses in the local region of the consultant and simple math told us that 50 matters a month would be sufficient after a 20% cut. Then it comes down to time constraints and member priorities.

Fact is that some people and businesses require more attention than others. That’s why we ditched this plan for the flat rate per quarter idea since companies set quarter over quarter goals generally and some strategies take time to implement. At $5,000 per quarter, each of our consultants (we call them CXO’s as in chief experience officers) would need to handle just 12 members and could easily double that as we grew. And, there’s the rub. $5k per quarter is $20k per year, which is equivalent to 33 weeks at DC minimum wage rates. Small businesses may not be able to afford that or want to pay that, especially as the idea was to add incentive fees on value added results… like if we brought in a big deal or found a huge budget discrepancy.

Then, the question was “how and where can we outsource deliverables?” This led to about a year working on affiliations and partnerships, many of which never panned out. All in all, it’s been difficult to work out the right structure for deliverables at the cost we need it. Sure, we can join GLG or BNI or use Freelancer, Fiverr, UpWork (which we do) but we wanted an internal database of suppliers, and that takes time. Sure anyone can access the 10+ million freelancers out there, I just didn’t want to be running negative balances in the process.

So… that’s where my heads at.

Regrets

Regrets 150 150 JP

You gotta learn to live with regrets. Even the people at the top of the life (to the outside world anyway) have to make choices between actions, feelings, etc. I think Tony Robbins is known for saying energy flows to what you’re focusing on. That’s why you shouldn’t have a plan B or side hustle. If anything, it should be a hustle with many streams of revenue, but still just one hustle. That new show Ordinary Joe is a story about regrets. I don’t even watch it to know. It’s a story that shows three different lives of one guy.

People find the multiverse very romantic to think about. You know, the idea that in some parallel universe you are living out your dream life. Hate to break it to you, there’s no dream life. There’s just this life, even if there is another you in another universe in the grand simulation, the way things are set up, time moves forward. There is no rewinding the clock on the day or your life for that matter. That means, you have to make decisions that sacrifice one outcome for another. Want to pursue a career in one field means not being able to do it in another.

I’ve had a hard time with this. In 2001, I went into finance convinced I wanted to be a stockbroker and manage money. I went head first and was mildly successful compared to other things I could have done. I didn’t see the forest for the trees though and made some very bad decisions. In 2008, I was convinced that I had my dream job. At the time, my dad had built an incredible energy efficiency product and we had started to set up contracts with big companies like UPS, FedEx, Frito-Lay, Pepsi, and other Fortune 1000 manufacturers. We were looking to book over 7-figures in the first year, then he died. Heart attack. In a parallel universe, he would have gone to the doctor and checked out all his body systems annually. Now my whole family has to learn to live with that regret.

Point is, life is nothing more than a series of decisions and some you’ll regret. You have to make them though. This was a note to self.

Accept the Crying

Accept the Crying 150 150 JP

As a new father this is the one aspect that has been the most crucial to learn. My son is a great sleeper. Has been since he was 2 months old. I know I know, I’m lucky. My wife and I did a lot to make this possible. From getting a good nightly routine to feeding him most of his calories during the day to having a good wake, eat, sleep window schedule during the day to the technology we employ. Sound machines are a must. Black out curtains, yup. His own room, check. Also, keeping him awake until its nap time is key. He sleeps 12 hours a night with a slight dream feeding (20 minutes) that he rarely wakes up for and never impedes his sleep.

Crying still happens. That’s where having his own room works out so well. If that’s not possible, yikes… that’s hard. We’re fortunate that he has his own room AND it’s on the top floor of the house so we can be downstairs and just let him cry without feeling the need to jump up every time to get him. We’ve accepted the fact he’s going to be fussy sometimes. That doesn’t mean we just let him cry himself to sleep – that is not a good habit either. However, we give him enough time alone to sort it out, and he does. Even if he’s frantically crying (usually because he’s overtired) he conks out within 5 minutes, typically in much less time.

All that to say, accept the crying.