Category Archives: Uncategorized

Advice for Entrepreneurs

Came across an interview with Evan Spiegel, Snap’s CEO, who offered career advice for entrepreneurs.  The main message was to find something you are really good at and excel at it.  Be the absolute best that you can be at because your career will eventually lead you to other opportunities whereby you’ll need to learn new subjects.  Being excellent at one thing will help you to become excellent at other things.  Check out the article at business insider.  It’s a fantastic message.

Always Do The Right Thing

I came across an interesting article about a former Google employee who taught his fellow coworkers mindfulness and emotional intelligence during his 20% “me” time.   At the end of it, the goal was to teach one to pursue his passions that were unrelated to his or her work responsibilities but that would ultimately benefit the company.  His approach was to recruit other big names in the industry and have them speak (on the company’s dime) with a central message of always doing the right thing for Google and the world.  What he didn’t know was whether or not Google would condone the message or not.  In his words:

“The secret of my success in Google is to always do the right thing for Google and the world. And then I sit back and wait for them to fire me. So if they don’t fire me, I’ve done the right thing for Google and the world. If they do fire me, then I’m in the wrong company. So either way I win.”

He went on: “This is one of those situations where I just do the right thing and then, if it doesn’t work out, just ask for forgiveness.”

What is your secret in the workforce?  My view is that one should always do the right thing for the company.  Shoot first and ask questions later…or firing from the hip can be maverick, but sometimes asking for forgiveness later is the quickest way from point A to point B.  I agree that this won’t work for every employee, but there are definitely situations that warrant this.  Be nimble and flexible, and use an agile, well thought out approach for every situation.

google

Methods to Management

I read a recent article about rethinking how you manage that really piqued my interest.  When there are issues to be resolved and decisions to be made in the workplace, it takes a certain level of effort to get the job done.  I’ve been on both sides of the equation here — as an employee who has reported to a superior and as a manager with direct reports.  And because of this, I know that there can be different solutions taken that arrive at the same answer.  However, some solutions may be more or less efficient or effective than others.  Knowing how to effectively communicate, either employee to boss or vice versa, is important here.  The key to resolution is ownership — if one feels they are vested in the project or the issue at hand, they’ll take on responsibility and see the task to completion.  On the flip side, if there are always questions but no proposed solutions, or if one’s solutions are always discounted, there can be no real ownership.   It’s all about the appropriate level of employee empowerment!

employee empowerment

Pachira Acquatica

On my first day of work at a recent job, my Wife had an indoor money tree delivered to my office.  To me, it was a symbol of a new beginning — a new chapter in life.  The tree itself is a Malabar chestnut (Pachira acquatica), and many people believe that it will bring good luck, fortune and prosperity.  Typically, the tree has five trunks that are braided together, and the size of the tree will generally depend on its age and the size of its pot.  If taken care of properly, the tree will often sprout new stems of leaves that unfold into five leave stems.

Below is my tree — received in 2012 (on left) and now 2017 (on right), you can see how much it has grown.

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This tree is important to me and He is very temperamental.  I once put Him outside in the sun for an hour, thinking He would enjoy some sunlight.  When I revisited the tree, I realized each of His leaves that were directly exposed to the sun were burnt to the crisp.  He didn’t like the sun.  I felt so guilty – I know exactly how He felt — the same way I feel after laying out for an hour without sunblock.  It took a week for all of His leaves to fall off, only to sprout new ones over the next month.

We fumigated our house for termites one weekend and left all of our indoor plants with a neighbor.  When we picked Him up a week later, he had clearly been over-watered and was unhappy, by the look of His droopy leaves.

We’ve grown older together.  I now know He only likes indirect light and prefers to drink once a week.  Other than that, we pretty much leave Him alone.  I don’t bother Him and He doesn’t bother me.  But I am thankful for His presence.

Improving Your Argument

Ever been on the wrong side of an argument?  Well if you’re like most people, the answer is yes.  Don’t get upset or emotional as it will only make matters worse. Identify the weakness or gap in your argument and figure out how to make it better so you’ll end up on the right side next time!  Losing is tough and is never fun, but when you do lose, try to spin a positive out of it.  If you do that, then you haven’t really lost because you’ve just learned from your mistake.

“Don’t raise your voice.  Improve your argument.”

-Harvey Specter, Suits

 

don't raise your voice

Busy Offseason for the Niners

The San Francisco 49ers have had a busy off season.  After finishing 2-14 (with their only 2 wins coming against the LA Rams), the 49ers fired head coach Chip Kelly after only one season.  They also fired General Manager Trent Baalke.  A tumultuous season indeed, especially after watching then-backup QB Colin Kaepernick sit during the national anthem, motivated by alleged oppression against black people and other non-white races.  Because of their terrible record, the 49ers secured themselves the #2 pick in the draft.  It remains to be seen if they will select a QB or not (i.e. Mitch Trubisky*, QB, North Carolina; or Deshaun Watson*, QB, Clemson).  The 49ers also poached the offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, from the Atlanta Falcons and made him the 4th new head coach for the Niners in the last 4 years!  At the same time, they also hired new General Manager, John Lynch.  

Lynch

Following are some of the key pickups so far this free agent offseason:

Veteran additions

–QB Brian Hoyer (UFA, Chicago) 2 years/$12M, $4M signing bonus. 2017 cap: $5.5M

–QB Matt Barkley (UFA, Chicago) 2 years, $4M, $500,000 signing bonus. 2017 cap: $1.95M

–FB Kyle Juszczyk (UFA, Baltimore) 4 years, $21M, $5M signing bonus. 2017 cap: $3.4M

–WR Pierre Garçon (UFA, Washington) 5 years/$47.5M, $12M signing bonus. 2017 cap: $6.425M

–WR Marquise Goodwin (UFA, Buffalo) 2 years/$6M, $2.5M signing bonus. 2017 cap: $3.25M

–WR Aldrick Robinson (UFA, Atlanta) 2 years/$4M, $300,000 signing bonus. 2017 cap: $1.7M

–TE Logan Paulsen (UFA, Chicago) 1 year, $1M, $125,000 signing bonus: 2017 cap: $1M

–K Robbie Gould (UFA, N.Y. Giants) 2 years/$4M, $500,000 signing bonus. 2017 cap: $1.75M

–LB Malcolm Smith (UFA, Oakland) 5 years/$26.5M, $11.5M fully guaranteed. 2017 cap: $3.684M

–LB Brock Coyle (non-tendered RFA, Seattle) 2 years

–DB Don Jones (UFA, Houston) 2 years

–DT Earl Mitchell (UFA, cut by Miami): 4 years/$16 million, $5.5 million in first year. 2017 cap: $2.9M

–CB K’Waun Williams (UFA, cut by Cleveland): 1 year/$690,000, $75,000 signing bonus. 2017 cap: $690,000

 

 

A New Beginning

This weekend was the grand opening of Shepherd’s new sanctuary in Porter Ranch and I have to admit that the facility is awesome! Only He could have provided this and it is through Him and his presence that the House of the Lord shines.  Truly we are blessed for his sacrifice and his provision, as well as for the wonderful and beautiful building that He has built.  Today we “lift up Jesus” and pray for not only our friends and family, but for those less fortunate throughout the world.  May those that are sad and depressed, unhappy and lonely, hungry or sad share a feeling of hope today and in 2017 and onward, and that they may have an opportunity to meet and know You.  Only through You can our sins be forgiven and that we may live an eternal life.  Seek and attain the peace you’ve always dreamed of because it is real, and it will never be real unless you give up control.

Shepherd Church Grand Opening
Shepherd Church Grand Opening

The Year Behind Us

As calendar year 2016 comes to an end, I’d like to look back at what happened during the year.  In the following points, I’ll select one important event from each month of the year.  So many things happened, but I’ll only choose one from each month.  What event(s) was the most interesting or significant of the year?

January 28 – The World Health Organization announces an outbreak of the Zika virus.

February 7 – North Korea launches a long-range rocket into space, violating multiple UN treaties and prompting condemnation from around the world.

March 22 – Three coordinated bombings in BrusselsBelgium kill at least 32 and injure at least 250. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claims responsibility for the attacks.

April 2 – Clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani military in Nagorno-Karabakh kill at least 193 people, which becomes the heaviest breach of the 1994 ceasefire.

May 19 – EgyptAir Flight 804 crashes with 66 people on board over the Mediterranean en route from Paris to Cairo.

June 23 – The United Kingdom votes in a referendum to leave the European Union.

July 4 – NASA‘s Juno spacecraft enters orbit around Jupiter and begins a 20-month survey of the planet.

August 521 – The 2016 Summer Olympics are held in Rio de JaneiroBrazil.

September 28 – International investigators conclude that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a Buk missile that came from an area controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

October 13 – The Maldives announces its decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth of Nations.

November 9 – Donald Trump Is Elected President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment

December 19 – Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, is assassinated in Ankara.

Well, the choice was easy for me.  What is your choice?

Doing Your Part

The best part of the holidays is the family coming together to create a fantastic meal.  Several members of the immediate family came to town to celebrate Thanksgiving and it is awesome when everybody does their part to contribute to the holiday dinner.  The combination of prepared dishes made from different hands is enjoyment for all and whether one’s contribution is from setting the table, prepping the meat for grilling, chopping veggies for sauteing, baking desserts or washing dishes, there is something for everyone to do.  My contribution this year was the preparation of an autumn cocktail to serve before and during dinner.  The two cocktails were as follows:

Smoky Harvest Apple Cider Margaritas

 

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The Smoky Harvest Apple Cider Margaritas were definitely a hit.  It was the perfect seasonal cocktail.  I didn’t use the mezcal tequila but rather silver tequila (patron) that I already had on hand.  Unfortunately, Von’s only had a $45 bottle of mezcal and I didn’t want to spend the money on it since the recipe said that you could still make a fantastic drink without it.  That said, we missed out on some “smokiness” but that didn’t ruin the drink at all.  Everyone asked for “seconds” so I obliged and provided a round 2 to the crew.  I’ve been asked to make this for Christmas as well so I sure will.

 

Cranberry Chai Sangria

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This one took a bit of prep time to cut up all the fruit and infuse the cranberry juice with chai tea.  I also made the mistake of packing too much fruit into my pitcher so it made it difficult to mix the drink.  I was able to improvise a bit and prepared a “shaken not stirred” cocktail.  Although this one required more prep time and labor, it came in 2nd place to the apple cider margaritas.  I think the crowd was a bit full by the time this drink was served.

The secret with these cocktails is the ice cubes.  Using larger ice cubes vs. the standard freezer cubes helps prevent water dilution and maintains the integrity of the cocktail.

What a great holiday dinner it was and I look forward to many more with family and continuing to “do my part”.  Cheers.

 

Purpose

The definition of “purpose” is as follows:  The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.  Have you ever thought about what your purpose is in life?  This is something many people never really think about until they get older.  When I was younger, I didn’t care what my purpose was.  I just wanted to grow up, have fun, respect my parents, love my neighbor, find a hobby and play some sports.  Somewhere along the line, I decided to go to college, get an education and a job, because I realized that I needed to earn a few bucks to pay the bills.  Apparently, I wasn’t going to live at home forever.  I also found a girl, got married, had 2 kids and bought a house.  I went to church and found the Lord, but it was just something of a routine.  It seemed to me that I was just living here on earth, but really wasn’t serving any purpose.   But it wasn’t until recent years when I started thinking that there actually might be a real purpose for me being here.  I still have no idea what that might be or where life may lead me, but there has got to be something else.  There has to be another reason for my existence. It sure feels like God has something in store for me in the near future.  I will let you know what that is once I find it.

purpose