Realistic.  It’s a word used by parents, by teachers, by some friends.

It’s a word despised by kids, by dreamers, by entrepreneurs.

We see it as limiting.

They will say “Why dream big?  You are not being realistic.”

Dreams aren’t supposed to be realistic.

I like to think of the saying – aim for the moon because even if you land on the clouds you will be okay.

If you only set your sights on the trees, you may not get hurt from falling from a branch to the ground, but you also won’t get the benefit of the chance that your dream can come true.

Of course there is also balance.

You can’t always have your head in the clouds.

I see rappers aspire to be the next Jay-Z, or the next Drake.

It’s great to have these aspirations.  But it can also set yourself up for failure when you don’t achieve their level of success.  Both of these artists are one in a million success stories.

What should you do?

I think the best thing to do is aspire to be the best you.

In the words of Oscar Wilde – “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”




The Most Powerful Button On The Internet

The most powerful button on the internet is… the share button.

It’s the ultimate co-sign.

Attention is a valuable commodity in this attention deficit culture.

The share button means that someone has taken the time to check out what you are posting.

They have listened to your song.  They have watched your video.  They didn’t just scroll past it.  They didn’t just watch or listen for a second or two and maybe most importantly – they didn’t respond passively.

They want other people to check it out.

When someone shares your post they are saying that it is worth being on their precious timeline.

For you, it means exposure.  It means more eyeballs – attention.

Some people try to “hack” the share button.  They tag you in their posts so that it will show up on your wall.  That can work – I guess.  But it isn’t the same thing.

If it’s a friend or someone that you are a fan of, then maybe you don’t mind that they tagged you.

But most of the time it is annoying.

Not only have they occupied your precious territory without asking for permission, but now you get annoying notifications when people comment on the post.

At first you think people are responding to something you posted.  Nope.  Its about someone else.

Some people ask you to share.  They recognize the value from your organic share.

That’s fair game, but its not as authentic as the genuine share.

Get enough of those, and that is how you go viral.


Show Must Go On

The show was going fine… great even.

Then I noticed more people were looking at the screen than at me.

I turned around and saw that the Powerpoint wasn’t working correctly.  Instead of showing just one slide, it was showing the presenter view – a combination of a few different and upcoming slides on the screen.

I tried to fix it.  I switched displays, I closed the presentation and opened again – didn’t work.  Then I closed the program and tried again.  Still didn’t work.

So I turned it off and went on with the show.

At first I tried to gain my footing.  I’d been knocked off my game.

It had been my first show in a couple of months – my longest break of the year with the school break, so coming back to where I was wasn’t as natural as it normally was.  But I didn’t stumble, I kept the show going and finished strong.

During my freestyle part of the show I made a joke.  The topics were banana, money and cookie monster, before I started I said, “Couldn’t have given me something easy? today is already challenging day.”  The teachers laughed.

I apologized once for the technical difficulties but I didn’t come back to it.  Didn’t dwell on it.  The show must go on.

I thought about it after – I know that teachers could empathize.  I’ve seen countless teachers get stuck trying to get their presentations working correctly.  The kids?  They didn’t care.

At least the music still worked.

And really that’s the thing, when something goes wrong people only notice when you notice it.  If you forget a line most people don’t notice.  They don’t really care.

Some people have their head in the clouds.

It doesn’t matter what you say, or how you do, it matters how you make them feel.

You’re Gonna Die

Heard this gem from Gary Vee when he was on the Jim Rome show.

He was was talking about a question he received from a woman during one of his talks.

The question was something like: “Can you offer me motivation? I’m stuck.”

His answer: “You’re Gonna Die.”

Jarring, but it worked.

It’s something that makes me think of motivational speaking guru Tony Robbins.

He talks about how change comes when you change someones state.  One of the most effective ways to do this is to shock them.  A statement like this is shocking.  But its also true.

When you realize that life is going to end, you drop the trivial, insignificant things and start focusing on the important.

You realize that time is short and that you need to hustle.

You realize that it doesn’t matter what others think or say about you, all that stands in the way of you and your goal is YOU.

We won’t be able to do this forever.


Four Magic Words

Over the last year, I’ve become a Gary Vee fan.

I’ve listened to his audio books and saw him speak in person.

But the one thing that stuck out is his recent appearance on a sports talk show.

He was a featured guest on the Jim Rome show.  One of my favorite shows.

It sounds like an odd pairing, Gary isn’t an athlete or involved in sports.

He’s an entrepreneur.

However, one of his lifetime goals is to own the New York Jets football team.

The host, Jim Rome, hadn’t met Gary before, but he had done his homework.  He asked great questions.

One of my favorite parts of the interview is when he said to Gary: “Can you tell the audience about the four words of advice that you gave to the woman in the crowd?”

Without pause, Gary responded:

“You’re going to die.”

Four powerful words.  Not the ones she was expecting.

But the impact of those words is immediate.

It forces one to stop thinking about the little things.

Oftentimes its the little things that prevent us from taking action on our big goals.

Being reminded that we only have one life creates urgency.

It makes us realize that we should spend less time worrying on what we can’t do, and more time focused on what we can.


Like A Field Goal Kicker

A field goal kicker has one of the most challenging jobs in sports.

It’s not the most physically demanding – far from that.  Their job becomes harder almost because its not physically demanding.  Teammates often resent the kicker.  “They aren’t one of us,” they  say.  It’s a job so much different than running back, quarter back, linebacker or defensive end.

Its also a job that demands a different type of approach and a different type of personality.

Most positions in football are “rah rah.”  Players come out of the tunnel before the game pounding their chest.  After a big play they will jump up in excitement.

Field goal kickers aren’t like that.  They stay at an even keel.  Never too high, never too low.  They have to.

Coming in for a chip shot field goal in the first quarter? Calm.

Even though missing the easy kick could turn the home crowd against them.

Coming in late in the game for the game winner?  Calm.  Have to be.  Approaching it like any other kick.

Kickers are used to dealing with crowds.  Home crowd cheering them on.  Away crowd jeering.

But then there is another wrench.

When the coach calls a time out just before they kick.  Regardless if their kick goes through the uprights and they score, they have to do it again.

They can’t get mad.  Or frustrated.  They just have to line back up in a business like approach and do it again.

As I’m writing this I’m thinking of a kicker that did celebrate after his kick… didn’t turn out too well for Bill Gramatica when he jumped up celebrating.  He ended up tearing his ACL and was gone for the season!

Getting Back To The Routine

I’d been off track.

I hadn’t been going to the gym.  Hadn’t been jogging.  Hadn’t been reading and writing in the morning – a couple of my favorite habits.

But I wasn’t mad at myself.  I know that from time to time I’m going to go off track.

It was the holidays.  Then it was a business trip.

But after shaking off the jet lag, it was Monday morning and I was back.

For me, Monday’s are my anchors.  I know that I can get back on track by starting fresh at the beginning of the week.

So this morning I was up early.  Started reading, then writing.  Even got in my workout.  And it’s not even 9 am.

I’m back.

Well, at least I know I’m on track to getting back.