The Daily Struggle (1)

Welcome to the Daily Struggle! Also known as every day that I’m not a billionaire-playboy-philanthropist. This post is really the “bloggy” part of a blog where I tell you about my day that is hopefully relatable. In other words, it’s an exaggerated Facebook post.

So today in the Daily Struggle I found myself getting all prepped for my eventual move out at the end of the month. What I thought would take days or weeks was resolved in minutes. Moving Gas, Electric, Internet, Insurance, and freezing my gym membership took a combined 26 minutes. This whole time I was ready for the goose chase that would have followed all these to-do-list items and yet here I am, a U-Haul away moving to what I think will be a great place to live. I’ve of course enjoyed my time where I’m at now but as they say,

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

I also finished all the course evaluations that professors normally beg for you to do and was able to have my Fraternity membership switched to Alumnus. Which I actually would like to have a mini vent session about.

I’m not one to name names, but I’ll just say this. When I ask for help, I hope you’ll be kind enough to answer my calls. I’ve spent 2 semesters chasing down people just to make sure I would be switched to Alumnus once I graduated.

They answer the phone when I talk about paying for dues, but not much else.

I was recently talking to a friend/brother of mine who is also graduating and mentioned how he had been switched to Alumnus recently. I check my profile and of course mine still said undergrad.  I do what brothers in my Fraternity have always feared… I reached out to nationals.

Do I snitch? Do I rip em a new one? Nah. I don’t waste my time making assholes pay for being assholes. I asked Alumni services to switch me and in a matter of 5 minutes… Done. No more dues. Regrets I have a few but it’s behind me with a life of opportunity beyond me now.

Just goes to show if you want shit done, do it yourself. Relying on others doesn’t give you the results you’re looking for. Even if it is their job, I say take the preemptive strike and learn what you’re capable of doing on your own.

Last but not least… Reginald.

Reginald is the newest addition to my “pack”. He’s a German Shepherd who traces his roots from recent championship bred lines with Czech Republic working lines. The result is this bundle of fur! And at 11 weeks old… Let’s just say Barkley isn’t the only chick magnet anymore..

Just waiting for May 31st before I can move my blog to a self hosted site.. Which hosting site will I chose? Tune in to find out!

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I Just Turned in My Last Test

48/50.

That is the last test score of my Undergrad studies and I am without a doubt breathing a big sigh of relief. Finally the most standard, generalized, and honestly boring part as it relates strictly to studies and my career path is over! No more having to take subjects outside my realm, no more having to hunt down quality professors on RateMyProfessor (which needs to reassess that Chili pepper rating!), and most importantly there’s a whole summer where I’m not worried about the impending doom of a syllabus week!

No more syllabus week. No more syllabus atrociousness. No.

But I am left with the question that all degree earners are left with and often spend years trying to answer… What’s next? Am I supposed to go right back to school? Do I travel abroad like the hundreds of thousands of millions of blog articles suggest to do? Is this the part where I get married, buy a house, and flood Facebook with pictures of my baby?!

Swell ideas really. My advice on this unknown is something of a broad and ambiguous statement. I highly suggest you choose what you want to do.. and go all in. If it’s through traveling that you feel will help you grow the most, do it. Want to start a family? A business? Then take all your time, including “free time”, and shackle yourself to your dreams and goals. Because when you’re finished with college, you’re likely to still be in your younger years. And this presents a golden opportunity that won’t come along again.

When you are in your 20’s you’ll be allowed to mess up without having to feel too much of the ramifications. Maybe you spend all your money on travel, lose all your money building your business, you may end up living in your car for a week. The fact of the matter is this; when you are chasing your dreams you’re likely to slip, trip, stumble, or fall down. It may be just a scrape, it may end up being an ACL tear like myself. I tore mine just from Sprinting and stepping on an uneven bit of AstroTurf… 6 years of tackle football and I was completely healthy. But life comes at you from different angles and presents to you a plethora of different challenges.

And when you’re younger without too many commitments or responsibilities the setbacks will be minimal.

You could hold out hope from your 1 Bedroom apartment, praying that you’ll go untouched and unnoticed by the rigors of society. But like with any challenge, it’s best to challenge the unknown head on rather than taking a conservative “playing not to lose” approach.

I could (and have) start a business and end up losing some money over the whole set up, only to find that the final product was much of a money fetcher either. The most worry I would have is just cutting down a month’s supply of groceries to get back on budget. But imagine if I try to start a business while having kids and a wife who lean on your for your financial support, your undivided attention, and it all falls apart. How do I explain to my kids that they’ll just have to not eat as much for a month? Do I tell my wife that our family vacation plans are going to have to go on hold?

Are the lights going to go out in the middle of the night because we couldn’t pay for the electric bill?

Don’t try to protect yourself now thinking it’ll be easier to conquer later. Building up your fortress and then trying to expand your kingdom will leave you in a vulnerable spot. Embrace the nomad style of building your horizons and value and the kingdom you build will be exactly to your liking!

And for my concluding thoughts… Taking a year off.

What on Earth does that mean? With all the limited time we have on this planet, you’re going to spend that time “relaxing”?

GET THAT THOUGHT OUT OF YOUR HEAD

There is no such thing as taking a year off. You know who takes a year off? THE DEAD. Heck Billionaires don’t even take that much time off. Because they know more than anyone the value of time. You think they’re going to walk into their companies one day and say, “Man I’m exhausted, I better take a whole year off to get my mind right.” Their companies would go to shit or it wouldn’t be their company for much longer.

Taking a year off from School is fine as long as you fill it with something productive. I’m using my year to build this blog up into a reputable business. I love writing, I love the idea of having no more bosses, and I’ll work my fingers to the bone to make it happen. Bora Bora can wait. I’ll travel when I’VE EARNED IT. I’ll go out to the club when I’VE GOT SOMETHING WORTH CELEBRATING.

Maybe you’re doing this because you don’t feel like you’re seeing your friends enough. Well…

NEWSFLASH

They’ve got lives to live too! When you get older you’ll be lucky to socialize with your friends once a week. But if you’re busy building up your illustrious empire and you happen to have some great friends, once is enough. Get this habit of seeing your friends 10 times a day out of your life because while it’s good to have friends and a social structure, your friends aren’t going to pay YOUR rent. They aren’t going to pay for YOUR business. But they’ll gladly let you pay for THEIR drinks.

Accept this reality. You will only be better at what you do with practice. And practice demands a little bit of alone time. You learn more about yourself when you are alone than in a room full of people. I am sure your friends are awesome people but you need to be able to chose “working on my business background processes” over “going to the club with my friends”.

Choose wisely because you can’t go back later. For me, I’ve given my self a time limit of a year to turn this site into something profitable. The whole, “Quit my job, telling my bosses to suck it, doing what I want when I want, and writing for a living” dream is something worth working towards but it will take time. Therefore, I can’t afford to waste any time in this year I have.

It might seem like a lot of a pressure but pressure makes diamonds.

*Disclaimer

Featured Image was retrieved from (www.Pexels.com). I claim no ownership nor credit for photo and am simply using it as an image for this post as it relates to the writing.

Remember Where You Started When You’re the Boss

We all start somewhere. Usually at the bottom of the Totem pole. It’s not exactly ideal but it grounds us, gives us our base, and helps us establish great work ethic along with a feeling of accomplishment for every indent we pass. It is “the grind” and it should be appreciated and revered as the most important stepping stone to our lives and careers. It should also serve as the most important lesson in humility.

For all the great skills and connections we make at this “entry” level, the amount of insight we gain can sometimes match the amount of stress we compile. Every job comes with it’s own atmosphere of challenges, it’s own set of restrictions. That’s why the most you can work in a week (at least in the U.S.) is 40 hours. Anything more and you’re rewarded with overtime. 40 out of 168 hours, nearly a quarter of your time in a week can be spent at work. Anything that takes up a quarter of your life will surely exhaust you.

But believe me when I say…
You have got to enjoy going to work.
Enjoy conquering the day!
When you’re older, more experienced, and finally in charge… things get a little easier.

Surely people will argue that statement with me. But if you present them with 40 hours of entry level work mixed with the accompanying low pay (again, you got to start somewhere), oh hey look they’re already gone. I guess the words “low pay” scared them.

“Everybody wants to be the King.”

So let’s fast forward a little bit shall we? Close your eyes if you have to but imagine several years, even decades, into the future where you’re running your company, at the top of the payroll, or living the life of a successful traveling blogger (my favorite kind of people!). You’ve got the money, the freedom, and your goals are now much bigger. Instead of worrying about the smaller tasks that keep the company running, you’re now wearing the shoes and expensive suits that come with taking care of the bigger picture.

Congratulations, YOU MADE IT!

Now what? Well once upon a time you wanted to be the king. Now you have to work on “staying the King”. Managing day to day operations, helping your company or business grow, providing direction for your subordinates. Life doesn’t get much better.

Annnnnd most importantly… it’s payback time! Remember when your boss treated you like crap? Time to take it out on those unsuspecting interns! Remember how you use to get away with the small stuff? Time to put restrictions in place that’ll prevent others from doing that! IN FACT, it’s time to nail those subordinates of yours to the cross and hand out restriction after restriction. Because everyone knows that a company is only going to be good if you litter the floor with caution tape. Ever watched Orange is The New Black? Remember how, no matter where Pepper turns she seems to break some obscure rule and gets rewarded with a citation for shots? There’s your reward system. There’s no need to implement an actual reward system because your subordinates already make money. You give them the reward of being employed. Next thing you know, they’ll expect you to smile at them and treat them fairly.

Don’t forget… you need to be in total control. No one applies to a new job without your knowing/blessing. You’ll need to get in touch with your companies IT for the potential of monitoring all web traffic. Facebook? Nope. A Blog site? Hell no! Are they talking about me? I NEED TO KNOW NOW! Speaking of monitoring… Cameras. I need a camera at every angle throughout the department. What? Security says 15 cameras for your department is too much? We’ll see how they feel when I tell the Board about their objection.

Ok, Ok. LET’S STOP. As you can see this is ridiculous. This is just plain weird. The only good point on here is to limit social media like Facebook at work. Everything else is boarding on how an actual prison is ran.

I want you imagine a steak. If you’re a vegetarian, imagine cauliflower. Now you’ve got all the seasoning, all the pots and pans, everything you need to make the perfect meal. You place your food in a pot and turn the heat on. Now time passes but the soft/raw food you were just working with has become this beautiful piece of art, ready to serve!

If it’s already cooked to perfection and it’s time to take it out of the pan… would you leave it in longer, turn up the heat, and disregard any warning signs like smoke?
If an employee has gone above and beyond to deliver exceptional work for your company, are you going to prevent them from moving on to a better job, pile a bunch of unnecessary pressure and restrictions on them, and disregard any noticeable signs of burnout?

If you say yes. You have become what you reviled when you were in the same position. You have allowed a deserved promotion or excellent career path to jeopardize you as a leader. You don’t see progress, only revenge. You’re not happy for a growing employee, you resent them and take their move as a personal attack.

You have become easily offended. And you must not allow yourself to sink into this common phase.

Turning it Around

Let’s start with the work environment you create. Some of the most successful companies in the world do not burden their employees with restriction after restriction. With a more open workplace, creativity is allowed to flourish and fluster. Companies like Google have seen their best work created by those who were allowed a touch of freedom. Hell Google is now ran by Sundar Pichai, an incredible genius who we can thank for applications like Google Chrome, Gmail and more. And, of course, it was just Mr. Pichai. He was in charge of the departments that would go on to create these wonderful inventions. If you don’t know much about him, I suggest reading up or viewing Youtube videos to get acquainted. After reviewing him, do you think he was the kind of boss who imposed restriction after restriction? Perhaps he tried to prevent his staff from moving into higher roles? I know! He must have taken ALL of the credit for the companies successes. Larry Page and Sergey Brin had no choice but to make him CEO right? WRONG WRONG WRONG.

The encouragement of freedom was well balanced by his demands. He expected great things from his staff but never made it a one sided affair. No great manager works for themselves. They know that by having the foundation, the entry level workers, at their best then the business will benefit greatly. When you pressure the subordinates with tales of, “do it for the company, the company is always watching, the company will feel the reprucussions, etc.” you do more damage and create more rifts than you could ever hope to repair.

Encourage them to be their very best. Implement the idea of working for each other. They shouldn’t have to feel that one small mistake hurts the company because IT FUCKING DOESN’T. But do you know what does hurt a company? A jaded employee. A burned-out employee. A disgruntled employee. Which all leads to a shortage of employees. “I heard <Redacted> was hiring!” “Oh TRUST me.. I use to work there, emphasis on use to..”

Does a sports team play for their coach? Are they simply trying to aid in his legacy? As the Legendary Bill Walsh once said, “Players don’t play for a coach, or for an owner. They’re not trying to win one for the skipper. Players play for each other, for their brothers beside them.”
When you’re out on that field you only have your teammates to help you. As much as a Coach, or an Owner, or even the entire city want to join you on the field of play they can’t. So play for the guys that are going to be in your huddle.

As the coach/manager, encourage this cohesiveness and lend a hand when appropriate. Micromanaging is a fancy word for “harassing”. You harass someone until they finally submit to your rules. They aren’t learning how to do something the right way, they are merely doing it your way so that you’ll leave them alone.

Encourage your employees to explore their career path and when the time calls, support their moves. You should not hoard your employees like they are “things”, like they’re your possessions. Be as involved as the employee is comfortable with. Some employees have a greater amount of pride and of doing things like applying for a new job on their own. They shouldn’t be forced to share their intention the moment they wish to act on it. They certainly shouldn’t be pressured by fellow employees to tell you because of the fear that you’ll ruin their chances. If this is the atmosphere you have created, you are no longer a manager. You are a “bad guy”, an obstacle in their path. People don’t take obstacles head on, they avoid them like the plague and do their best to go around them.

At the end of the day, want the best for your employees. Everything is temporary in our world. Be the best leader you can be, encourage your subordinates to be the best they can be. Have feelings of delight for your employees whether it’s something small like helping out a customer or wanting to move into a manager position like yourself. When you pave the way to success and create an atmosphere where people can feel like what they’re doing is important without dropping the world on their shoulders, creativity and success take center stage.

A company whose stock stands (as of today) at $954 a share and has been voted #1 place to work for 6 years in a row, Google understands the balance.*

So now it’s up to you to find yours.

*This post is not a paid endorsement by Google, I just enjoy using their company as a basis of understanding work place productivity.

*Disclaimer

Featured Image was retrieved from (www.Pexels.com). I claim no ownership nor credit for photo and am simply using it as an image for this post as it relates to the writing.

7 Words For Everyone Who Has Ever Doubted You

The other night I was at the gym. Restarting my fitness journey for the fourth, THE FOURTH, time this year. I tried to switch things up and listen to one of those YouTube videos with motivational music and speeches playing. Keep things fresh right?

I felt good listening to it because a lot of the speakers were people who could help a Jellyfish grow a spine, let alone get me through this workout. There was a point in the video where this young voice spoke and because of recent events… it really hit me. It was a rejection letter, one with zero filter, and it pointed out all the flaws in the applicant and while the language of the letter seemed to be directed at an actor/dancer for some esteemed school… It hit me hard. Because of my recent failures, INCLUDING JUST THIS PAST WEEK, I found myself having to just duck my head down and actually let out a little bit of pain.

Disclaimer… I did not cry. The gym was empty. I totally could have had a good man cry. I can’t really bring myself to do so anymore.

But it made me think of the doubt I’ve gotten. Look below and you’ll see some phrases that I’m sure you’re familiar with..

“You can’t do it.”

“You’re not tall enough, you’re not fast enough, you’re not smart enough.”

“We thank you for your application, but we have decided to go in a different direction.”

“He’ll never make it, he’s not committed enough.”

“The final tally, 33 votes THEM, 3 votes YOU.”

“Stop trying because you will never be good enough!”

DOUBT has always played a role in our lives. Whenever you have tried to do something that requires a lot of effort, a lot of work, and a lot of time you will or have undoubtedly heard a lot of people tell you that you couldn’t do it. Why? There’s many reasons why.

Your friends will tell you that those people are “haters”. That they’re just jealous.

Your parents will tell you that those people have failed and don’t want to see someone else outdo them.

But you. After you hear it so much. So much indifference. So much hate. So much doubt… it all starts to trickle into your mind as truth. Because if it wasn’t true, why would so many people tell you otherwise?

There is no doubt that this world is full of people who are jealous of others who have made it. When someone wants to be the next Tom Brady, we immediately disregard it. When someone decides they want to travel for a living, we call them crazy. When someone from a poor rural area proclaims that he’ll be as rich as Mark Cuban, we laugh and jokingly support them… not really support them. We say “you can do it” to their face while thinking up an uncountable amount of reasons they can’t. While we have all been doubted before, we each must admit…

We have doubted someone as well. You can argue that you haven’t. But somewhere in your life you were faced with a choice to support someone or shoot down their dreams… you chose the latter. And it seemed small. Doubting someone takes no effort at all. When Evander Holyfield said he’d beat Mike Tyson, everyone said the same thing, “Holyfield’s a real nice guy but my money’s on Tyson… by round 3.”

Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard, arguable one of the most prestigious schools in our country, and was called crazy for this. Walt Disney was fired early in his career because he, “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” There were 198 different football players, and 6 different quarterbacks in that 198, that were drafted in the 2000 NFL draft before Tom Brady.

And today Bill Gates is richer than all of humanity. Walt Disney has left a legacy as a theme park innovator and entertainment mogul. And Tom Brady just got his fifth Super Bowl Ring. In summary, doubt is supposed to wake you up and make you better.

With school ending, I have felt a wave of doubt creep in myself. I’ve had people doubt my intentions for no reason. I’ve been turned away from jobs and internship opportunities, I’ve left my bodybuilding and fitness life plummet, and don’t get me started on this blog… despite having just gotten my 2000th view since restarting.

I made the horrible mistake of doubters and unfriendly faces affect my psyche. Maybe it’s from being burned out from chasing my UnderGrad degree. Likely it’s from seeing so many successful people rise from nothing, and I feel like I should be there at their level.

I know I shouldn’t. But I see people get rich, famous, accepted into lofty career, and I sit here with plans-a-plenty.

We all get down. And when we’re down, that’s when we feed the doubt.

But that also set the stage for the comeback. Down 25 points going into the 3rd quarter. Bloodied nose and quivering legs while taking a beating from Iron Mike. $200,000 in debt with an investors meeting in 10 days.

These moments of pressure are what build diamonds! You’ve got the crowd dismissing you, bettors with their tongue-in-cheek looks on their faces, and they don’t have a clue that you’re about to turn things around.

You’ll be the fittest, the richest, most successful son-of-a-gun around but most importantly… you’ll be the happiest. And when you see those who casted doubt at your feet, said you couldn’t do it, or wanted you to quit. You will hold in your angry, you will bite your tongue if you have to. But if you just have to say something to them… say this.

You made a mistake, but that’s okay.

And then quickly walk off like a badass while the moment is fresh in their mind.

Why not say more? Let’s be honest. If you were face to face with someone who said you couldn’t do something and then you went and did it, you’d take off what ever filter you have installed in your mind and let loose a book of your fury. But you don’t need that, they won’t care, and it’s a waste of energy.

They made a mistake doubting your efforts. They should have supported or at least gotten out of the road. But your way of going through life isn’t aimed at making them better, it’s making yourself better that should be your target.

To end this post, I leave you now with Michael Irvin’s famous “Look up, Get up” portion of his Hall of Fame Speech. Not a Cowboys fan but had I been alive when this man was playing I think things might be different.

 

*Disclaimer

Featured Image was retrieved from (www.Pexels.com). I claim no ownership nor credit for photo and am simply using it as an image for this post as it relates to the writing.