Do you know your Social Value?

The true measure of your financial success is your net worth. I calculate my net worth regularly. I track it month over month. I set goals for growing it over the near, mid and long term. It’s a fun game to play. One that pays long term dividends. Literally.

However, your net worth, or financial assets, don’t represent your true value. Lately I have been thinking about another way to measure my worth that is even more meaningful. A way to not simply tally the money I have accumulated. But to measure the value I bring to other people. 

Social Value

Your Social Value is important for several reasons. At the end of your days the only thing that really matters is the impact you have had on other people. But offering a great deal of social value is also a leading indicator of your financial well-being. Because when you help others you are always helping yourself.  And if you are finding yourself poor and alone, chances are you are not offering much social value. And your situation is a result. 

To determine your social value ask yourself this simple question:

How valuable am I to the people I know?

Know Your Social Value

I have been asking myself this question a lot lately. Because I am evaluating how much I contribute to those around me. It is easy to focus on what you are receiving, or what you are accumulating. But I have a sneaking suspicion that when I get to the Peary Gates the entrance criteria might not be financial. Unless Heaven is more like Disney World than we realized.

Evaluate Yourself

There are many ways to add value to others. Here are some of them. Evaluate yourself on the following 20 areas.

  • Give yourself 3 points for each element that you give generously.
  • Give yourself a 1 if you give it occasionally.
  • Give yourself a zero if it is simply not something you offer others.

Here we go.

1. Smiles Do you give away a lot of smiles every day? Could you give more?  This small investment pays big dividends for others who need a smile the most.

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2. Help  Do you offer others help? When people need it do they turn to you? Or do they write you off as a dead end when they are in need?

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3. Entertainment:  Are you entertaining to be around? Do you do and say things that other find interesting, amusing or amazing? Will people put down their mobile device around you because you are likely to serve up something more compelling than a cat in  sweater or a football-to-the-groin video?

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4. Education: Do you teach people what you know? Do you have knowledge to share? 

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5. Wisdom: Do you have valuable experience to share? Have you made mistakes, overcome obstacles and come out smarter, and with better perspective that you are willing to talk about?

6. Encouragement When people are down do you help pick them back up?  When others face great challenges do you become a cheerleader?

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7. Positive Peer Pressure We talk a lot about peer pressure as being negative. But peer pressure comes in 2 flavors. Do you exert positive peer pressure to keep people between the ditches? To help force people to make positive choices or overcome bad habits?

8. Role Model  We all could use a positive role model to serve as an example of what is possible. Are you doing that for others? Or are you more Charles Barkley-ish

9. Humor Laughter is the best medicine. Are you serving up large doses of it, like doctors serve up opioids?

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10. Listening  At the end of the day, most people just want to be heard. Are you known as a listener? As someone others can talk to, even without offering brilliant advice? Often others are not looking for you to solve their problems. They just need to talk to someone who will listen as they try to work out their own challenges. #justnod

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11. Connections Do you have strong connections? Do you know other people with high Social Value scores? The more you know and can tap into, the more value you offer.

12. Action: Are you a person of action? Do you do? Do you throw water on a fire or do you tell someone else there is a fire? Do you help when you see it is needed? Or do you leave it to others?

13. Remembering Names: Do you make a point of remembering names? We’re not real friends until we remember each others’ names. Because you can’t properly greet, contact or introduce another person unless you know their name. And nothing in life is sweeter than the sound of your own name being positively called. Except maybe sweet tea. That stuff is super sweet.

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14. Showing Up: Do you show up when people are in need? When there is an event, activity or funeral do you make a point of being there whenever you can? 

15. Promises: Do you keep yours? Is your word good? Are you trustworthy? Can people count on you to come through when they need you?

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16. Influence: Do you have influence on people, situations and decisions? People who have influence over decisions, other people, and outcomes are valuable to know. Just ask any politician, lobbyist or mobster.

17. Positivity: Do you bring a positive outlook with you? Do you help encourage positivity in others? Seeing things in a positive light and expecting positive results helps you shape the world positively. I am positive about this.

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18. Inclusive: Do you include others? Do you look for ways to bring more people into the fold? Do you make people feel like part of a group, activity or movement? #notbowelmovement 

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19. Introductory: Do you introduce people to each other? Do you help increase connections, create larger, more powerful social groups? Do you see that as part of your responsibility, or do you let others fend for themselves?

20. Initiating: Do you initiate social interactions? Do you call, email or text first? Do you organize events, coffees, beers, lunches, or hangouts? In all social interactions someone needs to make the first move. If you aren’t doing your fair share the relationship will start to feel one sided. Which is simply a less valuable relationship.

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Tally Your Score

  • If you got a 60 you are amazingly valuable to know.
  • If you got a 0 you are worthless to others, like a social Ebenezer Scrooge.
  • If you are closer to 60 than 0 you are doing pretty good.
  • If you are closer to 0 than 60 you have a lot of room for improvement. But you can do it. I know you can.

Key Takeaway

If you are interested in self improvement start with increasing your Social Value. It will have the greatest positive impact on others. And when you positively impact others it will lead to more positive outcomes for you. Offering strong Social Value means that people will be drawn to you, seek you out, and think of you when they are in need. Which means that your Social Value makes you more popular and move valuable than your net worth ever could.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them. 

Want amazing success? Do what long jumpers do.

The long jump is one of my favorite track and field events. Not only is it one of the most entertaining, aside from the 100-meter dash, it is the easiest for a non-participant to relate to.

Real Life Applications

Long jumping may also be one of the most useful skills in track and field. Imagine you are visiting Hawaii on vacation and a crack in the Earth opens up between you and your coconut drink. It would be really useful to be able to jump over the fissure and save your drink. I think that happened to Carl Lewis once.

My Rockstar Jumpers

I was lucky to be a part of the track and field team at the University of Wisconsin. And I had some teammates who were really good at the long jump. Here is a list of the notable Badger long jump marks when I was in school.

  • Sonya Jenson: 19 feet 11 inches
  • Heather Hyland: 20 feet 5 inches
  • Jeremy Fischer: 24 feet 8 inches
  • Maxwell Seales: 25 feet 2 inches
  • Reggie Torian: 26 feet 2 inches.

To fully appreciate how good these marks are simply go out in your yard and see how far you can long jump today.

There are 4 things to love about the long jump.

1. The crowd clap.  The crowd watching a meet will often start clapping in unison to motive a jumper. The claps get faster and faster as they speed down the runway. I wish someone did this for me at work as I filled out my time sheets.

2. The run: It is fun watching a jumper accelerate towards the takeoff board. It’s kind of like the countdown for a rocket launch.

3. The jump itself: There is something primal and childlike about watching a human fly through the air self-propelled. It is pure fun. It reminds me of my adventures as a kid, jumping over creeks and jumping into piles of hay, hay, hay, like Fat Albert.

4. The landing (or what I would have called the sanding): What goes up must come down. Watching the jumper hit the ground again, usually in a spray of sand, is good dirty fun.

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Will Claye is one of the best long jumpers and triple jumpers on the planet. He is coached by my college teammate at the University of Wisconsin, and very close friend, Jeremy ‘Shakes’ Fischer.

The Part Most People Overlook.

My favorite part of the long jump actually happens before any of that. It happens as a part of the competition day preparation that most people pay no attention to at all.

A long  jumper doesn’t just show up at the track, walk onto the runway, and start jumping. Instead, they have to find their starting point. To do that they have to start at the end. They go to the takeoff board, and then work their way back from there to determine where they should actually begin their approach.

Finding The First Step

Some jumpers will stand on the takeoff board itself, with their back to the sandpit, and then run down the track, away from the takeoff point, counting their steps, to find their starting point.

Other jumpers use a tape measure. They set the end of the tape at the takeoff board and unreel it until they get to their preordained measurement. Then they mark that point on the runway as their starting point.

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Former Badger jumper, Jeremy ‘Shakes’ Fischer now teaches athletes to jump at an Olympic level.

Know Where You Want To End

There is magic in that process that everyone can benefit from. Because the long jumper starts at the end of the run, the most critical point in the process, and then figures out, to the inch, where they need to start to hit that point perfectly. In long jumping, if you step past the board your jump is no good. And every millimeter you are short of the board doesn’t count towards your jump. (Notice how I mixed English and metric measurement systems? That because I am bi-numeric. Which is like being bi-lingual, but not with linguals).

My Entrepreneurial Leap

Before I launched my advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry, I did the same thing long jumpers do. I put myself at the launch, imagining in great detail what my flight would look like once I finally jumped. Then I determined all the of the steps I would need to take in order to launch myself properly.

I figured out how much time it would take me to create everything I needed to create. I put a mark down. Then I started running, accelerating towards the launch point the whole time.

Purposeful Steps

All of my steps have been purposeful to get me the results I am after. It took me 8 months of planning from the time I decided to launch The Weaponry until I was open for business. 3 years later, The Weaponry is a multi-million dollar business and climbing rapidly. Just like I planned.

Key Takeaway

To achieve great things, start with the end in mind. Then work backwards from there. Because when you know your direction, your steps, and your takeoff point, you’ll go as far as you can possibly go. It’s all in the preparation. So put yourself in the best position to succeed. Start today by focusing on the end first. I’ll be clapping for you the whole way.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this story, please share it with them.

Sometimes the good times are hard.

This is a very good time for me and my business. The Weaponry, my advertising and idea agency, is flush with opportunity. The demand for our work is high. The projects we are working on are exciting and rewarding. We met our revenue goal for the year on December 3rd. And we just issued our team new Fight With Your Brain t-shirts. It feels like we are rolling like Tina Turner. Or John Fogerty.

On The Other Hand

However, good times in business can be really hard. The demands are high. Timelines are short. Bandwidths are narrow. Margins for error are nonexistent. During really good times you aren’t just doing your job. You are also juggling, horse trading and plate spinning.

I’m Leaving On A Jet Plane.

Our December is full of airports, hotel rooms and film shoots. I will be working straight through the weekend. The demand for my team’s skillz, experience and thinking will pack all but the untouchable holidays this December.

It is exactly what I have always wanted.

But it is also hard.

Key Takeaway

It is not just the bad times that are challenging. When you are trying to do something difficult the success often hurts. Which is why so many entrepreneurs settle for more leisurely lifestyle businesses. Where they are not constantly pushing and confronting the pain of growth and greatness.

That Ain’t Me.

I want growth and greatness. And challenge. I want to evolve The Weaponry into a better, bigger, stronger, faster machine. I want to scale and improve as we go. So we can become the perfect agency for clients, employees and partners. I’ve never been afraid of pain or discomfort. So I charge into the day excited for whatever comes my way. I hope the day is ready for me.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

This is what a smart startup looks like.

Entrepreneurship is full of difficult decisions. Especially in the beginning. In fact, the decisions you make about expenditures early on determine whether your organization lives or dies. It sound dramatic. Like a commercial for the business board game Go! Gordon Gekko Go! But it’s the truth.

I have always been financially conservative. I believe leadership’s #1 responsibility is to keep the business alive forever. That’s why I have hired slowly, expanded slowly and invested slowly.

At my advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry, we have bootstrapped everything. Which means that we have paid for everything ourselves. No outside investors. No loans. No crowdfunding. No Ponzi scheme.

We started with the free version of every app and software until we knew it was worthwhile to upgrade. We made our first 3 desks out of countertops and legs we purchased at a used office furniture store. And we commuted to work uphill both ways.

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Yep, I made that desk out of found parts. And it works as well as the most expensive desk you can buy.

 Office Space

When I first launched The Weaponry I waited a year and a half until I decided we could afford an office. In hindsight I feel like I nailed that decision. Because we didn’t over commit in the early months when we were most fragile. We didn’t assume that our rate of growth was predictable or sustainable.

Cautionary Tale

I recently heard about another agency that launched the same time as The Weaponry. It just shuttered one of their 2 offices and laid off all but 1 employee in the other. (By shuttered I mean that they closed it, not that they added fancy, yet extraneous exterior window treatments).

The agency had invested and expanded aggressively. Too aggressively to sustain. Watching them establish beautiful offices with enviable appointments made me jealous. But it also made me concerned for them. Because those investments made them vulnerable. And of all the abilities your business can have, vulnerability is among the least appealing.

Doing It Right

Last month I saw an office that I absolutely loved. It was the office of an early stage human resources company. It had 4 desks in a space half the size of my bedroom. The density of  humanity in that office equated to a very dense return on the investment in the space.

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This is where my friend Amy Fallucca grew her human resources business, Bravent, into a thriving organization before moving it into a large fancy-pants space.

 

Idea of the Day

Calculate how much revenue you earn per square foot of office space. It is a much better way to think about your space than cost per square foot.

Key Takeaway

When considering office space for a small or new business think of the Tiny House movement. Consider the minimum space you need, not the max you can afford. Put the rest of the money you save in the bank as an insurance policy for future downturns and slow periods. Because they are likely to come. And you will be prepared when they do.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this story, please share it with them.

Where were you Saturday night?

Where were you last night? Were you at home with family or friends?  Were you decorating for Christmas? Watching a holiday movie? Watching football? Or maybe watching a holiday movie about decorating Christmas footballs?

Chances are that whatever you were doing it wasn’t very stressful. Because as Saturdays go, the Saturday night of Thanksgiving weekend is about as relaxing and as far from work as most people get.

Working For the Weekend

Last night I was at work.

Not working from home. Not catching up on emails or sending witty-but-heartfelt holiday notes to clients. I was in the office, downtown Milwaukee, taking care of real business issues.

Why WiFi? Why?

Last Tuesday afternoon the wi-fi at the Milwaukee office of The Weaponry, the advertising and idea agency I launched in 2016, was not properly wi-ing or fi-ing. It made for a frustrating afternoon. Wednesday morning was no better. So I called our internet provider and spent an hour and a half trying to get things fixed. But no dice. And no wi-fi.

The Repair

They internet company (what our forefathers and foremothers used to call the cable company, or the phone company) couldn’t get anyone over to fix our issue last Wednesday. But they could get someone over on Thursday afternoon, right during my Thanksgiving meal. I had to turn that time slot down or I may have been the turkey on the table at the Thanksgiving feast at my house.

I asked what the earliest available appointment was on Monday. They told me they didn’t have a business appointment opening until Thursday, December 5th!

The Internet Era

That just wouldn’t work. We are an incredibly busy business and need to be fully operational Monday morning. In the 2000s, internet access is as core to an advertising agency’s operations as Martinis were in the 1960s, marijuana in the 1970s, cocaine in the 1980s, Prozac and flannel in the 1990s, and coffee in the 2000s.

I asked the internet company’s scheduler, ‘Do you have any openings over the weekend?’ He replied that they had options on Saturday. Because nobody is actually working on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. I was scheduled to be out of town on Saturday, so I asked for the latest possible appointment. Which was actually later than I expected.

Driving back through the woods and over the river.

I rearranged my plans to drive home 3 hours from visiting family in Central Wisconsin. It snowed, sleeted or rained the whole way. I got home and dropped off my family. The Wisconsin vs Minnesota football game was on TV, but I had to DVR it, and avoid social media and texts to avoid spoiling the result. I then drove 30 minutes to the office, by myself, through cold, blowing sheets of rain, on a Saturday night, during a holiday weekend.

And I couldn’t have been happier.

Living The Entrepreneurial Dream

When I became an entrepreneur I signed up to do the hard things. I declared that I would take on anything and everything that needed to be done to make my business work. I had always dreamed of creating my own ad agency. I would work nights, weekends, holidays, or on my birthday to make the business successful.

I Gotta Go

I had to go in on Saturday night. We have 18 clients counting on us to deliver. We have loads of work to create. We have major projects due in December. We have new businesses requesting proposals. The demand for our thinking is high. Like a lumberjack must have a hearty breakfast, we must have robust internet access!

Rick

I met Rick, the Internet Magic Man, in the dark, rainy parking lot in front of my building. We went up to the office together. We were the only humans in the whole building. He got to work on our internet issue. I sat down at my desk and got busy with work due this week.

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Me and Rick, making things right on Saturday night!

Rick Rolling

Within an hour Rick had the problem diagnosed, installed a replacement doohickey (we needed a new modem), and the wi-fi came flooding through my computer. You could practically hear the business roar back to life. All was right with the world. This business that I am responsible for once again had all it needed to make magic happen. And I had another example of the things you have to be prepared to do when you are an entrepreneur.

Key Takeaway

There is nothing better than living into your own dreams. The demands, the time commitment, the menial jobs, and the hoops you jump through are all worth it when you know you are doing what you always wanted to do. When you are living into your vision for your own life a holiday weekend trip into the office is a small price to pay. Because there are things worse than sacrifice. Like not having anything worth sacrificing for.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this story, please share it with them.

15 Things I am thankful for in 2019.

2019 has been great to me. My health is great. My relationships are great. My family is great. My prospects are great. And my go to word is apparently great. As I reflect on all that I am thankful for this is what I found.

15 Things I am Thankful For This Thanksgiving

1. The first laugh of the day.  My friend Diana Keough, whom I share Milwaukee, Ohio, Atlanta and Columbia, Missouri connections with, introduced me to the concept of the first belly laugh of the day. I have since noted the first laugh of the day. It is something I am grateful for every day. And I try not to think too much about my belly.

2. Laughing until I cry.  This is one of my favorite experiences in life. I have done it twice in the past 2 weeks. One of the times was when I found out that the number one song in America when my co-worker Sarah was conceived was Boys 2 Men’s smash hit, I’ll make love to you. (Thanks Paul and Debbie) You can find your own conception song here.

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Laughing until you cry is better that pumpkin pie.

 

3. Travel. Travel is my favorite. It opens the mind, enhances creativity and empathy. And it creates life long memories. Or at least until the dementia sets in. My family and I did some really fun travel this year. Including a road trip that took us from Wisconsin to San Antonio, where I wanted to start a pie shop called Pie Alamo. We went to the Pacific Northwest. We visited British Columbia. Which I would have named Canadian Columbia, but nobody asked me.

4. Randomly seeing people I know far from home. I love running into people I know randomly. It makes the world feel smaller and full of surprises. This year I ran into friends totally randomly and unplanned in Seattle (Andy Bosley), Fort Worth (The Smith Family of Mequon), at basketball tournaments (college teammates Bobby Smith and Bobby Myers), at a hotel in Chicago (PJ Cannon) and at Ikea (Terry Schmitt).

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My college teammate Andy Bosley ran himself into me in Seattle. We live a mile apart in Mequon, Wisconsin.
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I saw my freshman year college roommate, Terry Schmitt, for the first time in 25 years at an Ikea.

5. Great new books.  I love to read and learn. I am thankful to authors who write great books. And I am thankful to discover those books. This year I have added some really great reads to my library.

 

6. Seeing my two oldest friends in the world.  My first memories in life were when I lived on a farm near the shore in Lincroft, New Jersey. My bestest friend was Steve Withycombe. I saw Steve in Seattle this summer for the first time since 2002.

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Me and Steve have known each other since we were about 3 years old.

My actual oldest, oldest friend in the world, is Andy Shirk who lives in Dallas. I thought we met on our own in Columbus, Ohio in 2010. However, soon after we met our parents dropped the bomb on us that we actually have known each other since I was born. Our parents lived in the same apartment complex at the time in Mansfield, Ohio, back in the 1970s. And they had pictures to prove it. I saw Andy and his hilarious wife, Megan in Dallas this spring. I am super thankful to have friendships that have lasted over 40 years.

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Me and Andy on the day I was baptized. I was practicing my swim strokes because I thought there would be more water.

7. The Weaponry The advertising and idea agency that I started in 2016 continues to be one of the greatest chapters in my life. I love our team of Adam (Henry), Kristyn (K-Lil), Kevin (Lower Kayse), Sarah (Ice), Simon (The Harper), Jeanne (Genie), Calla (Super) and Sally (Eggs). Plus our like-family-members Diana, Sue, Gary, Julie, Monica, Tony, John and Todd.

All Rights Reserved

 

8. Clients It’s awfully hard to play advertising agency if you don’t have clients. I am a volcano of thankful lava for everyone who has trusted us enough to work with us in 2019.

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Nicole Hallada has been an amazing client and advocate of The Weaponry since the beginning. Here we are in 97 degree heat, 100 feet over Louisville, in a bucket.

 

9. My Family  I am endlessly thankful for my wife Dawn and kids Ava, Johann and Magnus. I am at truly at home any place where the 5 of us are all together.

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But wait, there’s more!

My parents, Robert and Jill, and my sisters Heather, Alison, Donielle and their families are amazing, and I got to see everyone this year.

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We are family.

But it doesn’t stop there!

My Mom is one of 9 kids (The Spraus) and my dad is one of 12 (The Albrechts). And I am extremely thankful to have so much family to call my own. Heck, I am even thankful that my Grandma Albrecht passed aways this year at 99 years old, because it gave my family a great reason to get together, and let’s face it, she was really old.

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My Dad, far left and his siblings and parents.
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This pic is of me and my Albrecht cousins (3 are missing) after my Grandma Judy’s funeral service, which tells you everything you need to know about my family.

10. My friends  I am lucky to have wonderful friends from many different chapters of my life. I am thankful for how they have all added to my story. Here are just some of my special friend groups.

  • High School friends (Hanover High School, Hanover, New Hampshire)
  • Vermont and New Hampshire Friends
  • New Jersey friends
  • College friends and roommates from the University of Wisconsin
  • College track teammates
  • W-Club members
  • Milwaukee friends
  • Atlanta friends
  • Columbus Friends
  • Work Friends
  • People I met on airplanes
  • Quebec Friends
  • Dionne and Friends

 

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College Roommates
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Childhood Friend Greg Rozycki
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College Track Teammates and Families
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Atlanta Neighbors

11. Enthusiasm  I am extremely thankful that I have as much enthusiasm for life and its mysteries, adventures and challenges as I ever have. Sometimes I think I have too much. And so does Dawn.

 

12.  Faith  This has been a wonderful year of faith for me and my family. My daughter Ava and son Johann took their first communion this year. Ava is in Confirmation class. Dawn and I have taught Sunday School and generally feel both the joy of giving and receiving in our church community.

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13. Entrepreneurs  I am extremely grateful for all the entrepreneurs who have supported and advised me. Entrepreneurship can be isolating or it can be uniting. I am thankful to be united with so many talented, experienced and sharing entrepreneurs. I belong to a great CEO roundtable group through the Metro Milwaukee Area Chamber (MMAC). And I have a strong tribe of entrepreneurs who I lean on regularly (Richards, Hilimire, Bandy, Florsheim, Salamone, Wong). And I am always open to adding more.

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Dan Richards is one of my best friends in the world. We grew up together in Norwich, Vermont. His company, Global Rescue, became The Weaponry’s first client. And he has been an important advisor to me on business ever since.

 

14. A Comfortable Home As the weather has turned colder, and the winter wind and snow have arrived in Wisconsin, I am extremely thankful for a warm and comfortable home. As Maslow’s knows, a comfortable home enables you to enjoy more joy in life.

15. Blog Readers Thank you to all of you who take time out of your busy day to read my blog. I appreciate your time, likes, comments and shares more than you will ever know.

Key Takeaway

There is a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The people in your life, laughter, knowledge and magical accidents are amazing gifts. If you have those things you can count yourself among the richest people on Earth. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Why requests to pick my brain hurt my head.

When I was a kid I collected baseball and football cards. Today I collect something far more valuable: knowledge. I add to my collection every day by reading, listening to audio books and podcasts, and talking to experts. I tap into my inner Oprah, and ask questions to try to expand my knowledge, my abilities and effectiveness. Which is why every night I go to bed a little wiser than I was when I woke up.

Pass It On

To return the favor to all those who have shared with me, I try to share what I know with others. That’s why I write this blog. It’s why I guest lecture to college students and why I try to make myself available to those who want to meet with me one-on-one, like Hall & Oates.

Johnny Requests

Because I have openly demonstrated a willingness to talk about the things I know, I get a steady stream of requests to discuss a wide variety of topics. I am happy to share what I know. However, there is one question I really dislike being asked when people want me to share my knowledge with them.

‘Can I pick your brain?’

Newsflash

No one wants to have their brain picked. The idea of brain picking conjures a variety of unpleasant images in my head, of my head. I see graphic depictions of ice picks to the cranium. And vultures picking at my lobes of squishy gray matter. I imagine someone picking my nose and really, really getting up there.

Brain picking makes me think of picking at zits and picking scabs. In other words, asking to pick my brain is not an intellectually enticing pick up line.

Reframe In The Membrane

Brain picking is really focused on the person trying to extract value. Not the person offering the value. Which makes it sound like a selfish request. So let’s not use this phrase anymore.

Pick Your Pick-Your-Brain Substitute.

The next time you want to pick up on someone else’s knowledge try one of the following pick up lines:

  • I would love to learn more about __________. And I don’t know anyone who knows more about it than you.
  • I would love to hear your philosophy on _________.
  • You are the smartest person I know when it comes to _______. Can I ask you some questions?
  • You are the Queen/King of ____________ and I would like to be your subject, of this subject.
  • If I bought you a Butterfinger would you drop some of your knowledge on me?
  • I am extremely impressed by how much you know about __________. Would you consider acting like Sonny, and share?
  • I want to learn how you _______________ because no one does it better. (Baby, your the best.)

Note: you are suppose to replace the ________ with the topic you want to discuss. So don’t actually say, ‘I would love to learn about line from you.’ Unless you want to learn about line dancing.

Key Takeaway

Think about what you are saying before you ask someone if you can pick their brain. There are much better ways to ask those you admire to share their knowledge, guidance and perspective. Including asking someone to share their valuable knowledge, guidance and perspective. Be empathetic. Put yourself in their shoes. Flatter, praise and respect those you would like to learn from. You will be sure to create a mutually beneficial exchange that leaves all brains better than ever. And potentially better than Ezra.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.