Creating Fans

blog May 30, 2013

As I embark into another leg of my professional career, I am taking into great consideration who I want to work with. I am looking at different business models including who I want to work and market with.

I came to the conclusion that I want to work with individuals I am a fan of, and not just people I happen to like on Facebook. I’m talking about people who blow me away and fascinate me.

On the other hand, I am trying to get my message out. Instead of forcing my message on people, my goal is to make them fans. Instead of ramming my message down their throats, I try to be more organic with my blog.

Great companies are trying to create fans. Perhaps the greatest example of this is Apple. Apple is one of the best in creating lifetime fans. They focus first on making really cool products. My sister Sanaz became a fan by first buying an iPad, then an iPhone, then when she needed to buy a computer, she bought a MacBook because she wanted everything to integrate. I have four Sony...

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Perfect

blog May 16, 2013

I have been working on my autobiography for a couple of years on and off, and plan to publish it later this year. As a writer, I want to tweak it over and over again and make it perfect. I learned that it will never be perfect and I will never be one hundred percent satisfied with it. That brings me to the next point: the publication date. I am excited to have a baby, and it will be easy for me to keep pushing it back, waiting for the baby to be three months, then six months, then a year, then—oh, I have to wait for his wedding. There is never going to be a perfect time.

I believe that perfection is the enemy of greatness.

I have been wanting to get back on the stage to speak and last year was a cathartic search of what I wanted my speaking career to look like. One issue that I had was making sure the people who would be my on-stage facilitators would be there for me. I’m talking to two great friends of mine who both said yeah, let’s do this. Despite this, I was...

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Good to Great

blog May 02, 2013

I am in the middle of reading the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. He describes a meeting with a POW of the Vietnam War named Jim Stockdale. Stockdale described how only the optimists were defeated, because they would say to themselves, “We’re going to get out by Christmas!” Then nothing. Then they would say, “We’re going to get out by Easter!” Then nothing. Eventually, they would be defeated.

In my last post, I wrote how I’m going to get upset when I can’t interact with my child the way I want to. Despite this, I’m going to have a good time. I contend that this attitude is going to soften the blow when I cannot do something.

In every sense of the word, I’m a dreamer, and I was crazy enough to think my dreams could come true. After I have a dream, I have to bring my dream into reality. There are times when I think about walking, hopping in the car, or just taking a backpacking tour across Europe. I understand that there...

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Fatherhood

blog Apr 11, 2013

One of the first pieces of furniture I bought is a big ottoman that sits in the middle of my living room near my big screen TV. For the first couple of months that I lived in my house, I imagined maybe some day my future wife would put our baby on the ottoman and I would get on my knees and just stare. I don’t know why, but every week or so, that was the thought. And now…in July, it will happen. My wife Leslie will put baby Andrew on the ottoman and daddy is going to play with him. On the other hand, I’ve always thought that it will tear me up when I’m not able to do certain things with my child…with Andrew. I was at a barbeque on Saturday and watched a friend of mine pick up his newborn. I’m trying not to let my negative emotion affect me, but how could it not? There has always been a dichotomy about what’s reality and what I see every day. I see a baby in their mother’s lap, I see a little girl getting ice cream with her dad, I...

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Right in the Thick of Things

blog Mar 28, 2013

This year has been amazing, to say the least. My wife is pregnant with our son Andrew, I’m starting a new business venture, and I’m happy. For years I’ve been stuck, but now I am right where I want to be. Right in the thick of things. I have two great friends from USC who are like brothers. I received the news that their wives are pregnant. I’ve known these guys for over a decade. In the past, whenever I heard of any engagement, pregnancy, or some big news, I always thought that there was a possibility that it would never happen for me. However, again, now I am right in the thick of things. Last Sunday I watched my baby sister Sanaz marry my new brother-in-law Nathan. Instead of feeling left behind, I had the privilege of walking my wife down the aisle as a groomsman. As a brother, and as a man, I could not feel prouder. My life as a disabled person has been filled with ups and downs, wondering if I’m going to live a good life. And now…my life is...

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Celebrating Anomalies

blog Mar 14, 2013

There are stories about random encounters that lead to great success…

The writer who gets discovered while having a conversation in a Coffee Shop.

The model discovered while strolling the streets of Paris, while on vacation from Montana.

The media loves these stories because they bring out the random extraordinary moments in life.

When determining your own path to success, these stories can be inspiring, but shouldn’t be focused on. What isn’t celebrated in the media is good old fashioned hard work. We don’t hear stories about the business owner who spends twenty years to build a business. This is the ordinary, not the exception.

People look at LeBron James with his great physical strength and think to themselves that they’ll never get there. The fact is that LeBron could be considered a freak of nature and, yes, he works hard, but what would he do without his size and physical strength?

In 1974, this guy went home and met a nineteen year old...

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Happiness & Loose Ends

blog Feb 28, 2013

Happiness

Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post about happiness and I want to expand on that with a couple of thoughts.

I still contend that one of the biggest impediments to achieving success is the fact that it’s sometimes a lot simpler to make ourselves happy in the short term. Unfortunately, that short term happiness hurts us in the long run. When I say short term, I mean things like getting a drink with friends or buying an overpriced item in the window when you know you can’t afford it.  By doing this, you are asking the rest of your life to compensate for your indiscretions.

I have also been thinking about what successful people do. The more I think about it, the more I realize one of the things they do is they have a list of things that they need to accomplish, and they tackle this same list over and over again. Their list might be revised from time to time, but they pretty much stick to it. I didn’t realize this until now.

I am really focusing on my list....

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A Choice to be Happy

blog Feb 14, 2013

I have been thinking a lot about happiness and to tell you the truth, I’ve been happy all my life…but not this happy. For about a month I’ve been thinking about happiness and my conclusion is it’s easy to be happy in the short-run, but if you want to be happy in the long-run, it’s work.

Why?

????

Usually what makes you happy in the short-run hurts you in the long-run. Putting that yummy, scrumptious chocolately mmm-mmm good cookie in your mouth makes you happy. Charging one thousand dollars on your credit card makes you happy. In the long-run, however, it only puts added stress in your life.

In no way, shape, or form am I depriving myself of what I love. I love to shop, I love to eat great foods, I love to go to Vegas, but right now I am focused on being happy in the long-run. Not putting a Band-Aid on my feelings.

The Hard Part

It’s difficult to let go of your old habits and your old Band-Aids, and it’s easy to feel better right now. My...

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Wow!

blog Jan 31, 2013

On New Year’s Day I came home from dinner in Santa Monica, got into bed early, and was disappointed by yet again another Lakers loss.

With a minute to go in the game, I hit  the DVR button on my remote and started scrolling down, noticing that there was  a recorded episode of 60 minutes. I hit play and all of a sudden I saw a story that really hit me in the heart. I saw that doctors came up with a robotic arm that can help the disabled. I watched the story and was flooded with emotion about the possibilities for my life.

The story went on to show a woman who had virtually no movement below the neck control an arm with nothing more than her thoughts. At the end of the story, a doctor working on this project said the magic words. “This will help cerebral palsy.”

Wow.

I was never the person who constantly longed for a cure or even to get better. My focus has been always to work within the confines of my disability to make my life incredible, but seeing that...

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It’s Time

blog Jan 17, 2013

Last year was one of the best years of my life. I got married, I found out I’m going to be a father in July, I traveled, I grew as a writer, and I’m about to finish my second book. There is one more thing that I have to do: get my work out into the world.

Right now, my books are sitting on my iMac and on Kristi’s Macbook Pro. I love what I did last year, but it’s time to put everything in gear. Although I love my position in life right now, there have been two fears keeping me back. The first was that I had not achieved the success I originally envisioned for myself and my company. There were incredible pockets of success, but I could never gain the momentum that I wanted. The second fear was whenever I imagined something for my life, I imagined it as a non-disabled man and there was always a let down.  Even getting married I could not whisk Leslie off to a B&B up the coast.

Over the last three years, so many of my dreams have come true. And it has...

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