Nov 11

6 hints you might be the office idiot

A guy stands up and unleashes a string of obscenities.  Everybody in the room watches him with disgust and fascination (as in ‘Is this really happening?’), but mostly disgust.  He rips into a young lady, attacking the way she talks, her competency and her intelligence.  Like a mugging on a busy street, nobody rushes to her defense; hoping somebody else would do it.

When he’s finished, he surveys the room and meets the stares with:

“What?  Someone had to say it.”

The guy was canned shortly after.  But he was there for more than 3 years, free to unleash his rabid brand of terror on the folks who worked for him and the people around him.

True story.

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Nov 11

3 Questions you must ask before investing in your buddy’s startup.

“Dude!  I’ve got a can’t miss opportunity!  I’m coming to you first because we’re bros!  It’s a home run!  When this thing goes public, we’re both going to be driving Maybachs and picking our teeth with unicorn horns!  A giant mutual fund is looking to get in.  They’re going to close the raise soon.  You won’t be able to get in later!”

If you have never encountered this before, you will at some point in your life.

I’m all for private capital raises.  If it were not for private money supporting great ideas, much of what we enjoy today would not exist.

But before you cash out your kid’s education fund and toss it at your buddy, ask these 3 questions…and then go and discuss it with your financial advisor.

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Nov 11

We all suck at something.

When you’re in a job interview and the interviewer asks you, “What are you weak at?”, try not to answer with “I care too much.  I get too involved with the work.  I can’t maintain a work-life balance.  I always put work first…”  (And then you sob a little for effect.)  It’s B.S.  Everybody in the room knows it. 

There’s more bullsh_t served up in job interviews than in any other human interaction in the history of civilization.  But here’s the thing.  I don’t think people are outright lying when they don’t admit to any particular weaknesses.  I just think most people have never looked at him or herself and said “Damn, I really suck at _____”

Here’s what I suck at.

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Nov 11

3 ways to get over yourself immediately

I came across a wonderful quote a couple of years ago.

“You can try to pick up the pieces or you can leave them on the floor and move the____ on.”

Be it in relationships, business or after you’ve bombed the heck out of a crucial presentation, the only thing you have under your immediate control is your ability to determine how you’re going to feel about it.  You can try to reconstruct everything in your head and feel miserable or you can look back on the other times you’ve made a mistake and realize that things never really do turn out as bad as you think.

Here are 3 ways I immediately get over the misery of a poor presentation.

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Nov 11

“Everything’s awesome and nobody’s happy.”

Watch a standup comic.  Watch lots of standup comics.

Even the bad ones are probably better than most when it comes to public speaking.  A professional comedian has got one of the toughest jobs on the planet.  They have to stand up there, fully exposed, and try to make people laugh with nothing more than stories.  People expect them to be funny.  People expect to be entertained.  And even if the comic is funny but not quite as funny as the audience expects, it’s still considered a bomb.

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Nov 11

Occupy what? Did I miss something?

On the eve of the Occupy Movement coming to a screeching halt in Toronto, at least temporarily, I’ve yet to figure out what these folks are protesting about.  Listening to the chatter on talk radio, I get a sense that nobody really knows what this thing is about.  Perhaps I missed the segments which featured the actual organizers.  But the run-of-the-mill supporters who call in seem to be shotgunning their grievances about everything.

I want to pick a side.  But the Occupy guys aren’t pitching a compelling case and the other side doesn’t seem to give a damn.

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Nov 11

Death by a thousand dull cuts

A guy is hacking furiously away at a tree. He’s sweating.  He’s exhausted.  He’s working hard.  But he won’t stop.  His family needs a tree for Christmas and he’s determined to get the best one in the lot.

A lady strolls by and stops to watch.  She notices that the guy’s saw is completely dull.   The teeth are all worn away and even the handle is wobbly.  She taps him on the shoulder.

“Hi there.” she offers politely, “Just thought I’d point out that your saw is really dull.  Maybe you should rest for a moment and sharpen it.  It might make the rest of the cutting easier.”

The guy replies, “Thanks.  But I’ve got no time to sharpen the saw.  I’m too busy cutting this tree.”

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Nov 11

Life is a colossal waste of time…

…if you spend it trying to impress everybody.  One law that will never be proven untrue is ‘No matter how great you think you are doing, there is somebody doing better.’  If you’re making a million a year, there’s somebody making a million a year and giving half to charity.  On the flip-side, two-thirds of humanity are wondering how they can feed their children and not lose another family member to cholera.

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Nov 11

Why you must write down your ideas now

Because that’s the best way to make your thoughts into real things.  Every single thing around you, from the computer you’re using right now, to the chair you’re sitting on, began as somebody’s thought.  Somebody’s idea.  From an idea in someone’s head, to (let’s be honest here) a factory somewhere in South Asia, to you using it right now.  Idea to reality.  Because someone wrote it down.

How many ideas did you let die because you didn’t believe them enough to write them down?

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Nov 11

You know more than DaVinci. 3 reasons you need to take advantage now.

You probably know more about the world than DaVinci, Nobel and Darwin….combined.

So why haven’t you changed the course of humanity yet?

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