Who Do You Really Know?

blog Jun 16, 2011

Have you ever worked with someone for a couple of months then one night have cocktails together and see another side of them that you didn’t expect? Or how about that brother-in-law that one day actually turns out to be cool?

Last week I talked about my friend Frank, who was on America’s Got Talent. A part of me was disappointed that you only got to see one side of him. By the way, did you know that he does a great Woody Allen impression?

I had the unique opportunity of meeting a couple of big celebrities and many sports commentators when I was hanging out with the USC football team. In almost every case, each one had a different personality and human element that the public doesn’t usually get to see.

One of my favorite things on television is when Brian Williams, the anchor of NBC Nightly News, visits Jon Stewart. On the news he might seem like this uptight guy, but when he visits The Daily Show, he is downright funny. Do we really know the people we idolize? Do...

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America’s Got Talent

blog Jun 09, 2011

Last week I went to Vegas with my friends Patrick and Dave. I would love to say that I was there on business, but I was just there to relax and watch the first two games of the NBA finals. Around 10:30 P.M. Wednesday, I received a call from my Dad saying that my friend Frank Miles was on America’s Got Talent. I asked Dave to see if he could find it online and he did. There was Frank, juggling three 500,000 volt stun guns.

Who is Frank Miles and why the heck am I writing about him?

Frank is a motivational speaker; he is also my mentor. He was the first person who said I could speak for a living even though I had a speech impediment. What got me thinking is that most of the time when you see a talented person on television or on a comedy stage, you can’t get the entire picture of what that person is like. I wonder what people thought of Frank when they saw him. Did they think he was a mad man? What did they think his day job was?

Let me tell you. The Frank I know and love...

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The Counter Argument to my Destiny Post

blog Jun 02, 2011

I know it’s probably bad for an author to write a post arguing one of their previous posts, but if I don’t examine this, I might not understand both sides. After all, a good debater can argue both sides seamlessly. My whole hearted belief is that there is a perfect situation out there for anybody who wants it. I can honestly say that I have had a dose of everything I wanted in life. I’ve tasted everything that I wanted to taste. I have had more than a few all-nighters with the boys, I’ve had crazy Vegas trips, I was in love for a year, I had some amazing opportunities as a speaker, I won awards for my writing, and much more than that. I am loved by my parents.

The point is coming, I promise.

There’s a part of me that feels besides my parents, in my life, that many of the events I just described were not constant. They were just a taste. I only had a girlfriend for one year. Starting when I was 27. I never got the challenge to date in my teens, early...

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How Good Is Your Life?

blog May 26, 2011

We all have different criteria by which we judge our lives. For some, it’s how much money they have; for others, it’s how much they go out; for sports fanatics, it’s how well their teams are doing. People need to judge their life on many criteria, not just one. It’s like putting your money into one stock and betting everything on that performance. Judging multiple criteria allows people to grow and help them with hard times. It also helps smooth out the ebb and flow of life.

In my first few years of business, I spent more money than I made. Isn’t the point of business to make money? I knew that I was onto something with my speaking and writing from day one, but it was often difficult to face the fact that I was not making money. Money was not the only criteria I judged my business on.

* Was I growing as a person and a businessman? In my line of work this is very important because if I was not growing as a person, then I could not honestly lecture people...

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A Day in the Life, May 14, 2011

blog May 20, 2011

Last Thursday I had a great day.

One of the things I wanted to do with this blog was to occasionally describe what a “day in the life” is like for me–so, with that in mind, I’d like to bring you back into my world on the day of May 14, 2011. Mind you, it wasn’t a typical day in the least, but it was a very good day.

My roommate Patrick assisted me with my normal morning routine. He helped me take a shower, shave, and got me dressed. This process started around eight o’clock and took an hour. I met Kristi in my office around nine o’clock; we had two conference calls scheduled that day. One with a PR company in Boston, and one with my friend and collaborator Jay Lavender. Both calls were informative, and we concluded that I should self-publish my autobiography. In the middle of my call with Jay, my friend Jason came by to work on the lock of my front door so I could open it up with a remote (unfortunately, the door lock was defective and we...

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May 11, 2001

blog May 11, 2011

There are days in our lives that we will never forget unless we are stricken with Alzheimer’s. I will never forget May 11, 2001. So on the ten year anniversary of that day, I’ve decided to look back and reflect.

It was a day filled with friends, family, and the combination of a dream come true.

Ten years ago today, I graduated from USC. Now, if you told me that I would be graduating from USC three years prior, I would have called you crazy, because up until September of ‘98, I always thought that I could never go to college. It hurt so much. But…I decided to throw logic out the window, caution to the wind, and just do it. I had no idea what to expect. My dad thought I would call him two weeks into my first semester and say, I can’t do this. Both he and I are so happy I didn’t make that call.

I could write pages about that day, but some of you have to get back to work and I respect that. Here are some of the highlights.

- My parents taking me out...

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A Little Amnesia Is Good For The Heart

blog May 05, 2011

A couple of months ago, my friend from college Sami and I went to Utah and Lake Tahoe. I went to Utah to see my mentor and colleague Frank Miles speaks and to hang out with him. We then went to Tahoe to see my best friend Patrick and to ask him if he wanted to move back down to California to help me out in my new house.

It was one of those trips where nothing went right. First, I could not get a handicapped cab for a couple of hours from Utah airport to my hotel. The next morning, I had arranged a cab from the hotel to the venue that Frank was speaking at and the driver never showed up. Luckily, the venue was in walking distance from my hotel. There were more problems when we got to Reno, which I’m not going to get into. By the time we got to the Tahoe hotel, I was physically and emotionally drained.

My life and my disability present many physical and emotional challenges. I don’t know what’s worse the emotional or the physical. I remember telling a friend of mine...

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Book Report: “The Checklist Manifesto”

blog Apr 28, 2011

I like to read books about success.

Last year I read a book, and reread it recently, called The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. The book describes how a simple checklist can dramatically improve productivity.

It seems at times we are so focused on the “big picture” that the details of life get somehow lost. For example, if you are going to the grocery store, you will probably remember the main ingredient in the dish that you are cooking, but a pedestrian item on your list such as milk might get forgotten. This is because you assume of course you have to get milk. A simple list will allow you to not be forced to remember all the little things.

Although forgetting milk is no big deal, there  are often parts of our daily lives that we forget to do. We push aside what we think are non-significant tasks and we don’t perform them as much as we should.

Gawande takes the reader into the ER, where he implemented a checklist before he did surgery. They would check...

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My foray into the world of fiction, Part 2

blog Apr 19, 2011


(Read Part 1 here)

Andrew waited the obligatory 48 hours to call her back. Even though he scrolled down to her name ten times in two days, he felt pathetic. In their short time together, he found out that Karen worked at a PR firm; the conversation was interesting with a sexy undertone.

Up until this point, Andrew had half a dozen girlfriends and a couple of casual female friends. He was ready to stop dating for the sake of dating, he was ready to find a wife. His last two relationships were going nowhere so he called them off.

Lesson: Andrew spent the last few years defining and picturing what he wanted in life.

After a hard day at work dealing with a client who didn’t understand anything about anything, his mind started to wander. He asked himself, what would my day be like if I had someone like Karen to go home to? Would that make everything better? He tried to shake the feeling off but for some reason he couldn’t.

Lesson: Andrew let his emotions take a hold...

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My foray into the world of fiction,

blog Apr 07, 2011

Andrew was a lawyer in his early 30s. He just went partner in his law firm and had spent his 20s in law school and working his way up in his firm. He came from a big Italian family and was ready to settle down. It seemed that he was at a friend’s wedding or a bachelor party almost every other weekend. It was time for him to settle down.

Lesson: Andrew identified exactly what he wanted.

One Friday night in the middle of summer, his friend called him up and said a group of guys were going to a bar downtown. Having a hard week, he waffled about it and wondered if he should go out. After a few texts back and forth, he decided to go. Even though he loves his friends, a primary reason that he went was to meet and flirt with women even though he particularly did not like meeting them at a bar.

Lesson: Andrew knew that in order to fulfill his goals he had to get out there.

He met up with friends around nine for a late dinner. Most of his friends he knew for over 10 years. Some of them...

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