Look Up, Get Up, And Don’t Ever Get Up

After giving the presentation of my lifetime to a room full of my peers, we gathered around to watch the announcements of the award winners for the entire company.

I had really thought is was my year to take home the big prize.  The GM Of The Year.

I had thought I deserved it.  6 straight years of positive sales growth.  1st in the Division, 2nd over all.  Years of ingenuity and personal growth for not only myself but my entire team.

It would have put the feather in a capped to an amazing year long project of both personal and professional achievements.

As it became abundantly clear that my name was not going to be read, my head filled with disappointment.

I then began to think about Michael Irvin’s Hall of Fame Speech.  And I realized that even though I’m going to be disappointed for a while, I will need to pick myself up, redouble my efforts, and never give up.

 

 sat right here where you are last year and I watched the Class of 2006:  And I said, Wow, that’s what a Hall of Famer is.

Certainly I am not that. I doubted I would ever have the chance to stand before you today. So when I returned home, I spoke with Michael and Elijah . I said, That’s how you do it, son. You do it like they did it. Michael asked, he said, Dad, do you ever think we will be there? And I didn’t know how to answer that. And it returned me to that threshing floor. This time I was voiceless, but my heart cried out. God, why must I go through so many peaks and valleys?

I wanted to stand in front of my boys and say, Do it like your dad, like any proud dad would want to. Why must I go through so much?

At that moment a voice came over me and said, Look up, get up, and don’t ever give up. You tell everyone or anyone that has ever doubted, thought they did not measure up or wanted to quit, you tell them to look up, get up and don’t ever give up.

 

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Writing The First Draft

Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.
–Mark Twain

September is National : Write A Novel Month and while I am not looking write the next “Great Gatsby” or “War and Peace”,  I would still like to publish a book some day.  Not a Novel but a work of Non-Fiction.

But before you can publish a book.  You must first write a book.  Before you can write a book you need to know how to write a book.

I got my little blog here, full of typos and grammatical areas (oops there’s another one…) and that was a nice start.  I’m surprised I’ve carried through with it for the last 8 months.  It’s been a blast.  And I’m certainly going to finish out.  But I wanted to do more.

So this month I am setting out to write the first draft of my first book.  Looking for a least 75,000 words which is the lower end of an average length of a novel.

What is it about?  I can’t say.  And if I was ever lucky enough to publish it, which it’s not that hard anymore thanks to self publishing,  It would definitely be under a pseudonym (fake name).

But in the upcoming years if you see me  inexplicably quit my day job…you will know why.  I’ve hit the NY Times best sellers list and my life in the grind will be over.

Given my schedule, I don’t think I can get the entire first draft done my the end of the month but I’m sure going to give it my best shot.

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Time Out

Lucas is back with his mom for the beginning of school and Maddex is back with his dad this week.  

So marks then end of another summer vacation.  Time for a break from it all.  

Check out this side by side photo of Liam and I.  Separated by 15 months.  Looks how much he has grown.  Maybe we both have. 

August Resolutions :Use A Bullet Journal

If you mind is a busy a mine, the only way to keep all the important imput from going in one ear and out the other is to write it down . 

I write everything down.  Everything.  If I don’t…it’s gone… Only to return at the most inopportune time.  People know this so well  about me that they are constantly reminding me to write things down.  Some do me one better and write it down for me.  

I make lists.  Lists about everything.  To do lists.  Repair lists.  Shopping lists.  Bucket lists. 

The problem is that there was no way I could organize this lists and random notes.  I would lose them and have to start over.  

So I stumbled upon a solution that works for me.  

The Bullet Journal

It’s like a regular notebook but instead of lines it has dots that resemble graph paper for those with artistic ability.  

But the thing that sets it apart is the index.  Because each page is numbered, I can find any note by jotting it down in the index.  

I’m about three weeks in and I love it.  

The Lucky Break

 

Today I take you back to February of 2011.  I was 24 years old, and even though I was a successful District Manager for a Dunkin Donuts Franchise in the suburbs of Rochester, I was enjoying the twenties lifestyle so much, that I had to work two other part-time jobs to support it and that box of a studio apartment that I passed out in.  Once in a while.

I had just found out that I was going to be a father and I hadn’t quite figured out what my next move was.  Like I said, I was working two other part-time jobs.  One being a bar back and cook at a local sports bar,  I was a bit overqualified for that position but I really enjoyed working there and for the couple that owned it.  And the other was a stint on the line at my current full service restaurant company.

I was hired with the company for the first time in late 2004 and though I had transferred and left employment from this company on three separate occasions, I always seemed to wash back on their shores in a moment of need.  Whether it was their need or my need depended on the situation.

Now, when it comes to my career.  I always have seemed to be in the right place at the right time.  “God protects fools and drunks” Anthony Bourdain once said.  And this occasion was no exception

 

Shortly after returning to life on the line that January, I remember how pissed off I was when I was scheduled against my availability to work the garde manger station on random Sunday afternoon.  That’s just a fancy term used to make a salad preparer sound more important, which these days depending on your restaurants concept can be very important.

Sunday afternoons were not in my availability and I sure as hell hadn’t worked that salad station in years.  Hell, I didn’t have a clue what half the preparations were.   But I showed up for the shift without complaint like the good soldier I was.   And there he was.

The “he” I’m referring to was none other that the Monopoly Man himself, the Regional Director.  He indeed bore a striking resemblance to Rich Uncle Pennybags from the famous board game and today he was going to change my life.

He and I locked eyes immediately.  Did the GM schedule me on this shift on purpose so that I would be here when he was here?  If so…well played sir.  I had worked with this RD before in many different restaurant locations and we had a great history, but I hadn’t seen him since I had left to gain management experience with another company.

And after hearing about what I had been up to lately and my son on the way, he inquired if I would be interested in getting into full service management.

The rest is history.  I few rides east,7795fdea050dd0849fbdf50e7bd76fc8--luck-of-the-irish-irish-luck to Syracuse in the winter for interviews and assessments, my POS Lincoln barely making the journey, and it was a done deal.  I relocated to Syracuse in March for Manager Training and my climb up the corporate ladder had begun.

Slow Down In August

Once the weather turned in early April, I was eager to come out of hibernation and spend the warm months out of my house and exploring as much as could. 

By Mid July it was too much of a good thing and I found myself burnt out by the constant rounding around and pressure to find a new place to go.  

So this month I’m focusing on balancing out my life even more.   I will focus on only traveling two or three days a week as opposed to  five to six days.  

Instead I’m focusing on working on the house, slowing it down, and relaxing.  

Tonight…I’m hanging out by the new Lakeview Amphitheatre with a cold 🍺.  

July Resolution Recap

1.  Tell people what you want :

I decided to be mindful of making sure that the people in my life understand my expectations.  Whether it be my employees, kids, even my own wife.

I realized that I can’t get mad at them if I haven’t clearly defined what I would like them to do or not do.

Does it always work? No, but at least I am doing my part so that when I unleash my wrath they won’t be surprised. 🙂  But most of the time,  I am pleasantly surprised to find that all I needed to do was to ask.

2. Put into rotation:

Back in January, I set out to clear out all my clutter in all areas of my life.  Now we are over half way through the year.

What hasn’t been used since it was organized?

Use it or lose it.  All old gadgets or gizmos sitting on the shelf have 5 months to be used or out they go.

I fired up the old 🎹 keyboard a few times this month.  Maybe a good future Resolutions.

3. Stop giving a fuck:

AKA stop stressing about all the things you have to do and the little time you have to do them.   One day at a time

Stop worrying about other people’s perception.  It probably my most difficult resolution to date.  And something I failed constantly at.

 

4.  Cut portion sizes in half.

Successful sometimes.  Nearly impossible in others.  But I have been actively training my body to consume smaller portion sizes.

I have been able to go from a large iced coffee to a medium.  A Footlong to a 6 inch.  And a Pizza to a Flatbread.  Fried to Grilled.

I found that the key is to not let myself get too hungry.  When the “hangry” (anger due to hunger) comes out I feel like I need to eat everything because I will never eat again.

5.  Seek out Deals :

Had a lot of fun this month.  And as you know.  Fun equals expensive.  So I used many different avenues to have fun and not pay out the ass.

Read more here.

6. Tackle Procrastination ;

Just a massive to do list each day that starts with me doing the “worst first”

Covered my struggle with procrastination  in greater detail here. 

7.  Craft my Ultimate Bucket List;

Whenever I had an idea for something that I wanted to do before I died, I would write it in a little note-book.  I have over 100 things on my list.

I will save that for a rainy day.

 

8.  Practice the Art of Small Talk ;

I may be too  introverted to engage in small talk with a total stranger or have too much of a restless mind to remember little tidbits of information like where you vacationed last summer or what your wife does for a living, but I understand the importance of small talk in networking and building relationships

I read “The Fine Art of Small Talk” be Debra Fine, twice.  And I put it into  practice.  Asked the Dentist who long he has been in his current location,  asked my  guests how their oldest was doing in college, entertained my staff when they told me about their wild weekend.

I’m no expert.  At the very least.  They know I care.

 

Conclusion :  July was very busy fun as well as exhaustingsummer.  One more month of Summer and then like the seasons, the project will change again.

Thanks for reading so far.