Huts and Stuff – The Valentines Day Post

Many years ago I was part of the IPO team for an emerging tech business.

After a long but successful raise, I was invited to the closing celebration which was held on the west coast.

I spent the entire 6 hour flight, devouring lobster and ice cream sundaes, and in deep conversation with the newly public – and well capitalized – company’s chairman.

I was just barely 30 years old with so much to learn – not only about business but about life.

At the time, I was still single and finding it increasingly more difficult to find someone I really clicked with.

Maybe it was because I was still not sure what I was even looking for.

I guess I figured I would know it when I found it.

Or when it found me.

In any event, the chairman gave me advice that I will never forget. He said that if you want to find true love, “look beneath all the stuff.”

He had all the stuff that money could buy, and had just been through a very nasty divorce.

He said that he knew his marriage was over when he began mentally removing every item they owned – one by one – and asking himself would he still be happy?

When he mentally removed their last possession, he realized that it was the stuff, not the person making him happy.

He said he just wanted someone whom he can live in a hut with – without stuff.

Every date I went on since that conversation (and my G*d were there many), I would try to envision myself living in a hut with that person – penniless and gray.

Most guys I couldn’t even fathom surviving living in a palace with.

And then I found Greg – the guy who could one day make stuffless hut dwelling fun.

And just think, without a dishwasher and washer / dryer, there’d be nothing to even fight about.

Happy Valentines Day to the guy who keeps me laughing.


Stay Hungry

Some starve.

Others englut.

I always try to stay a little hungry – literally as well as metaphorically.

I believe that if you leave the table before becoming stuffed, you maintain a better physique.

And if you work as if you’re on your last dime, you’ll be more productive.

Satiation is really only one bite away from inertia.

And fulfillment is often just one small step away from boredom.

Just because you can engorge yourself, it doesn’t mean that you should.

Staying somewhat hungry – no matter how much you’re able to amass – is truly the best way to remain appreciative and motivated at the same time.


Lessons From Dr. Evil

There is nothing worse than immoral people pretending to be righteous.

Just be who you are.

If you are evil, own it.

Flaunt it, even.

Just stop hiding it.

It is for this reason that it is easier to respect Dr. Evil than most politicians.

Dr. Evil doesn’t pretend to be a good guy.

He doesn’t hold himself out there as a saviour of mankind while he’s lining his pockets.

No. He’s an honest crook. When he says that he is going to hold the world hostage for one million dollars, you know what he does?

He holds the world hostage for one million dollars.

He parades his evil on his sleeve.

Hell, it’s his damn name.

I think that the world be a better place if everyone bore their true colors in their name.

Imagine all of the time and aggravation that would be saved by not investing with Mr. Fraudster; hiring Ms. Kleptomaniac; obtaining legal advice from Counsel Unscrupulous; or seeking medical treatment from Dr. Malpractice.

Just imagine.


Mrs. Albright



Toss the Notes

You know that kid who kept the training wheels on her bicycle for a bit too long?

That was me.

Although I could ride without them and even though they slowed me down, I liked knowing they were there.

Decades later, not much had changed.

I still have a hard time letting go of safety nets.

I gave four presentations in the last two weeks.

Like always, I showed up with my notes in tow.

Although I can present without them, and even though they can be somewhat distracting, I like knowing that my notes are there.

Unfortunately, knowing that they’re there only forces me to rely on them even more.

All was upended two weeks ago when a projector connection setting prevented me from using power point in presentation mode – where all my notes were held.

I had no choice but to ride without the training wheels.

So I did.

Because I wasn’t able to lean on my crutches notes, I had to rely on my knowledge.

So, instead of pretending not to be reading presenting, I simply spoke.

It was so much more personable.

And engaging.

And, personally, quite liberating.

The experience made me realize how foolish I’d been depending on something I never really needed in the first place.

So I tossed my notes – for good.

In fact, I discarded all crutches, training wheels and security blankets.

Better to fail with responsibility than sail with dependency.