On Living in the Atomic Age…Struggling with Fear

Fear is the absolute worst sensation I have known as a human. As a child, fear caused me to seek out my parents who could comfort and calm me down. As an adult the whole ‘mommy’ thing doesn’t work anymore….so then what?

The more you have, the more you can lose. I am not speaking of material things here…but family, friends, and even ‘your country’. Fear as an adult has a few affects:

  • I hate everything that causes that sensation…if thats people, if thats a car crash (greatest fear for my wife), choking on a chicken nugget (I have a 14 month old)….I go extremely primal and want to rid myself of the ‘that’…I drive, I dice chicken nuggets so damn small it looks like rice when I am down with it, and I keep those people out of my life.
  • We shutdown…basically live in a padded cell called your house, town, county, or country….I am not going anywhere, trying anything, going to public places that could draw out a looney toon, etc. “No way in hell is that going to happen to me!”

The below essay (visualized) helps bring me back to what is truly important. This essay, along with other straight gold, can be found in a collection of essays called Present Concerns by CS Lewis.

GoodRead: Limited By the Best You’ve Personally Seen

One of the challenges of being an entrepreneur is that you’re expected to be functionally OK in a wide range of areas — sales, marketing, services, support, operations, engineering, etc. Only, entrepreneurs are typically great at one thing and not good at the other stuff, especially if it doesn’t interest them. Now, this gets even more…

from David Cummings on Startups http://ift.tt/1P16oSw

What I have learned buying a house

Buying a house is a big deal. Next to marriage, kids, and job it might be the next in line regarding big life events that determine the course of history for you and your family.

Buying a house exclaims many things, perhaps none more than: ‘Of all places I could live (in the US and even the world), I choose these coordinates! It is here where we will make memories, sow, reap, and dwell’. I could go on philosophically here…I won’t….rather, I want to share some practical things I am learning that can be broken down into a few categories.

My context:

  • Young 30’s + Wife + 10 month old child (4 months old when we moved)
  • I bought a townhouse when I was 25 (in 2006, worst time ever) in Alpharetta, GA. Lived with some dear friends for years to help me afford the place.
  • I have been at my job almost 10 years and have enjoyed a consistent, lively career thus far
    • I say the above because it comes into play on the finance side of things
  • Zero debt outside of my home…no cars, college, or crud that I am stuck paying off.
  • I am not in the 1%….meaning I am not making crazy money. Yes I make good money…so coming from that ‘opportunistic perspective’ is a privilege and I realize that.

Continue reading “What I have learned buying a house”

Best Practices – What Makes Them ‘Best’?

Sweet painting!
Not much to do with the post, but great art.

Remember being lectured by your mom or dad on the theme of peer pressure? ‘If everyone jumped off a cliff would you?” It’s a rhetorical question until you become a young professional, and then for some reason it flips…you are supposed to do what everyone does and its called a ‘best practice’. While I can’t explore all these dynamics at present, I can touch on the ‘just made up’ breakdown of the types of best practices that help me determine when to shut off my ears and go back to reading blogs on my phone.

  1. Gravity Best Practices – Some ‘best practices’ really are just good ideas/conclusions…like gravity. This is not a bad thing and I am grateful for wise people distilling down these ideas for non-experts like myself. However, gravity best practices go south fast when someone writes an article or does a keynote in the vein of ‘leadership’ and you could swear they are just reading those inspirational corporate posters from the 80’s.
  2. Lemming Best Practices – It’s hard to go against the crowd. If I opened a new restaurant, I would hire people to stand outside for the first month or so. Ideas often gain traction because of consensus rather than merit. Many, many ideas fall into this category. A non-exhaustive quick list includes: pet rocks, allowing 38million+ people into CA (water!), prohibition, and running an iPhone update the day it comes out. It’s important to not follow the crowd at times…we all know this, apply #1 type of best practice here.
  3. Hallmark Best Practices – Lots of best practices are like ‘Hallmark Holidays’, where someone is making money off of them becoming popular practices. These are the kinds to be leery of and perhaps the most common in business circles. A’la  self-proclaimed expert from Florida at the Inuit (eskimo, not a PC term) convention in Barrow, Alaska claiming there is a better way to make ice.

Unplugging this Holiday + Stop Getting More Dumb


I recently broke out some of my old musings. While thumbing through these old journals and blogs, I had an extremely humbling thought – I was more intelligent back then. This is extremely discouraging. As a ‘rising professional’, I pride myself on: getting better at what I do, learning from my mistakes, gaining mastery over my domain, etc. I have always assumed this would mean that my intelligence, along with my ability to reason, would grow with my career or life advancement. However, this is very far from the truth. A case could even be made that as one narrows down on a trade/skill, they grow increasingly unaware of everything outside of that domain, thus they are “more dumb” in other areas of life.

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Are you a thief? I am. I stole a bunch of coffee.

When pulling into Starbucks this evening it hit me – I am a thief!

For years I have gotten to know many a barista as I have averaged about 1.65 coffee shops a day since college. With this has come ‘free coffee’. Free because thats how it was offered to me…but was it? Was it their coffee? Or…was it their shareholders coffee? Or their bosses coffee?

95% of the time it wasn’t theirs and I accepted it. I am a thief.

Continue reading “Are you a thief? I am. I stole a bunch of coffee.”

Book Review: Zero To One

What would it be like to have coffee with Peter Thiel (the author + founder of Paypal), John Maynard Keynes, and ‘insert cliche philosopher name here’?

That’s what this book feels like, and it’s a beautiful recipe for a delightful and thought-provoking read. It deviates from your normal book on entrepreneurship (thankfully) and challenges assumptions that many (Roy) take for granted.

Continue reading “Book Review: Zero To One”