29 December 2016

2016 Season's Greetings & 2017 New Year's Resolve

2017 Holiday Solipsistic Recriminations

Armani peaked lapel, Pendleton camel overcoat,
tie by Ted Baker, D-Bag by yours truly.
Yep, that's me, heading out to a couple of holiday parties this year. Work parties are a great way to stand out from the crowd with just the right pocket square, tie, or classic brogues. Although I'll write all day long about startup projects (like the ones with LegalZoom, JustLuxe.com, etc.), my little family's goings-on here in Malibu canyon/Calabasas/South Central, and about the restaurants we eat at, coffee joints we frequent (hello CoffeeBean where I saw Brad Garrett today, all 8'3'' of him -- good gawd he's tall), and the various celebs we rub shoulders with (just for kicks and giggles, plus the artist uses the materials available to him or her), I'm not one to usually get in front of a camera like some Instagram/Facebook/Twitter neophyte.  But, whatevs.  Still, apologies for the very rare selfie.  (Now, if the Baader-Meinhoff Phenomenon holds water, you'll see pictures of me all over the Internet.)

We end the year 2016 name-dropping -- Sniff! -- had a nice little meeting recently with actor/producer Will Smith jumping in at the end that was about a friend/client's product.  Nicest guy, like, ever.  Could be cool if it gets traction. We'll see. Not even close to being the most important meeting for 2016, but it was cool for my pal-client to be sure. Actually, have a fairly important product/project that involves Quincy Jones that is fairly significant, scalable, and salutary ... if it comes through. Mos def keep you all posted on that one -- I just said "Mos def."

We start 2017 with the infamous line about "a man's got to know his limitations." Thus spoke Zarathustra, er, wait, no, that was Clint Eastwood (who just happens to look like or favor ole Zarathustra now that he's in his 80's!!) who spoke about being self-aware about one's self-imposed boundaries.  When it comes right down to it, success is all about self after all, but not in the solipsistic, navel-gazing sense; it's more about to thy own self be true regarding the self-deluded stylings of a man who is 10 years past chasing young man dreams.  We all need metrics, KPIs and brutally honest and trusted feedback.  I mean if I'm deluding myself, I want to know, you know? I know you know, but let me know if I ever forget to know, wouldja?

Apparently, according my best bud since kindergarten -- going on some 44 years now -- I've not known mine recently, my limitations and my self-delusions.  And, because I keep emptying my pockets, putting my head down and going against the headwinds, and as of the last two years not meeting many of my financial obligations (because this boy has a dream, you see!) because of my latest startup venture, there is little doubt about my being self-deluded according to my pal, as well as my cousin who agrees, both of whom I just adore ... and, I agree, to a certain extent, with both of these fine gents.  And, since this first fella was the pastor who married my ex and me (and both men are called uncle by my boys), and was the man that my ex approached when she knew our marriage was over (for her) and asked him to prep me for the worst to come, his words carry weight with me. Faithful are the wounds of a friend (and cousin), goes the Proverb. Ugh.  Damn them thar proverbs.

The problem is that even though I don't readily accept my limitations (read fears, failures, set-backs, life's unlimited capability to disappoint), especially over the past decade, to my own utter embarrassment, I've accepted less-than-best for myself, and allowed some setbacks to become bigger than they ought to have been, and, well, just rolled around in them, the setbacks, like a dog rolling around on his back on some dead thing in the backyard, like a dead language.  You know how dogs are always doing that with those dead, ancient languages, like, Latin or COBOL.

There are several things to set before us, you and I, Dear Reader. I need to be honest, I am certainly all about "once more into the breach" dear friends, but I fear I soon may be back running a marketing team once again for a corporate entity (my last was 12 reps reporting to me up in Seattle, with a marketing team of five and a million dollar budget) rather than chasing these amazing (allegedly) business ideas, investment dollars (having met with 4 billionaires last 5 years), and fantastic partners to share a vision with (you know who you are) ... and will once again find myself beholden and holdin' onto the corporate teet.  Mmmm, security.

And, because it's the end of the year everyone's making lists (and checking them twice), I figure ole Fats should get in on the craze.  So, here goes.  If a half-way successful business fella, with several king-size (okay, regular type) failures does it for ya, I present 11 random points that will sound oh-so-self-important!

No. 1 -- Double-down on good things, and eliminate the unproductive things. 45 mins each morning on email is too, too much.  That goes for relationships, too. Spend time with friends and business partners who appreciate you rather than hanging out with "the right" (folks you think are cool) people that you probably won't talk to in 18 months (or who can't be bothered to talk to you).

No. 2 -- Take ownership of the "total shite" things you've been putting off. Make them A's or 1's on your to-do list and get them crossed off. The say endorphins kick-in for Type-A personalities who know about getting things done. They literally get off getting things off of their (oft-crushed) lists. Go and do likewise, my fine friend who listens to less-than-successful types making lists of eleven!

No. 3 -- Make the "good-enough now" your freaking arch-nemesis of the "perfect one year from now." Just get sh*t done, bud; perfect it later.  It's called iteration, so iterate as you go, on-the-fly like, brotha.

No. 4 -- As I always tell my reps and my sons and my friends. "Activities drive opportunities!"  Don't wait around for things to come to you (never be an order taker), make it happen (be a chef cookin' things up, not a waiter taking orders)!

No. 5 -- If you don't A-S-K, you don't G-E-T. It's not just a truism, maxim, or promise, its a bloody curse because believe me, someone else is asking out your future wife, getting the money for your project, and landing that dream job.  What?! Tell me I'm wrong, people. Seriously, is a "no" going to kill you?!

No. 6 -- Make a list of the "giant goals" in your life right now.  Those goals you'd love to have accomplished, you know the ones you talk about and your friends go, "oh, sure!" dripping in sarcasm:  Marathons to run. Books to finish/start. Scripts to write/pitch to studios.  Dream houses to build in your future/fave state or country.  Now ... focus on the ONE thing that you cannot imagine LIVING without if you were on your death bed and staring down into your end-of-life bucket list. What isn't there that is truly bumming you out right about now? What would embarrass the hell out of you if your friends/family were there going, "yup, she never was going to accomplish that restoration of the ole McPherson Estate. She was such a dreamer, not a doer."  Screw that noise! Get pissed off. Let shame and anger work their pokey little fingers into your crawl and make you good and uncomfortable and DO something about it.

No. 7 -- Live within your means. Be debt-free. Life is just better when that debt-free goal is indeed your reality, pal o' mine.  I've got like $800k hanging over my fat face, pudgy bald head like some Damocles Sword, and she ain't pretty, and sleep, she ain't sweet with that drama all up in my business.  Trust.

No. 8 --  Tell your kids, parents, friends, and loved ones you love them.  Often.  Hey, Dear Reader, I've only known you since 2009, but ... uh, um, I love ya.  "I don't know if a "ya" counts as an  official "I love you" but I'll take it."  (name that Nancy Meyers movie!)

No. 9 --  Be grateful. I just sent a letter to a friend who did me a major solid, like, ten years ago. Changed my life. Each Thanksgiving I send such letters to folks to remind myself and them what their largess did for me and my family (Ben Stein was one such fellow one fine day in Malibu -- still need to write about that).

No. 10 --  Write a journal. Keep a diary. Make a record of your life and share it with your family. Chronicling your family history or even simply tracing a narrative of your personal life stories can be a gift for the next generation.  I double-dawg dare you.

No. 11 -- When you're about to go out with friends, and then some creepy little voice tempts you to cancel, excuse-make, LIE, or call an (Omaha!) audible like Tom Brady... tell that little soul-sucking creep to piss-off and GO OUT with your friends or family.  Events, happenings, concerts, museums, trips to the local landmark are what memories are made of ... not hugging a piece of the ole sofa on a Saturday morning or Tuesday during must-waste-my-life-tv!  We miss you when you cancel on us. We'll see you out there on the court, at the movies, or at Bible study.

That's all for now.  Let's both of us commit to live life to the fullest for 2017!

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