Archive for May, 2013

I have been a Simon Sinek fan for awhile, ever since his TED Talk (which I blogged about HERE.) And today during lunch, like I do everyday that I don’t have a lunch meeting, I had a Learning Lunch. I usually go to the TED Talks channel, but this time, YouTube suggested another Simon Sinek talk first.

If you only have three minutes, watch the first three minutes when he discusses his purpose in life. But if you want to hear leadership explained in a way that will be immediately implementable in your life, take the 21 minutes to watch the whole thing.

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Born with the gift of gab, raised with an overdeveloped self esteem, Andy Ellwood has built a career around both the art and the science of hustle. He’s currently pushing the envelope and bringing his brand of hustle to Waze, the social GPS company making the lives of 33,000,000 drivers better everyday.

A native of Dallas, TX, he attended Texas A&M and received his degree in Corporate Finance. After achieving national recognition for his work at Northwestern Mutual, Andy spent a number of years in luxury travel sales and excelled as Vice President of Sales for Marquis Jet. Most recently, Andy led Business Development for Gowalla which was acquired by Facebook in December of 2011.

Andy lives in New York and thrives on the city that doesn’t sleep. A sought after speaker and a weekly Forbes contributor on The Art and Science of Hustle, you can also keep track of his adventures on and on Twitter @andyellwood. Even though he doesn’t slow down much, when he does he enjoys black coffee, sporting a pocket square, seeking out breakfast tacos, and doting on his girlfriend Annie.

Senior Pastor Dave Stone of Southeast Christian Church  says that we experience three ‘seasons’ while raising our kids.  The first six years is about discipline.  Setting boundaries and laying the framework for who’s in charge.  The second six years involves training.  Managing expectations and navigating new waters.  The final six years reflects coaching.  I believe that this is where we need to be completely transparent with our kids.  Share our life experiences, our struggles and our solutions.  Coaching is where young people can recognize (and hopefully learn!) the difference between discipline and self discipline.

Growing up, I never had coaching, or training.  I had discipline (and ridicule).  I always knew when I screwed up and how bad it was.  I never knew how to fix it.  My folks didn’t offer real solutions nor did they share life experiences with me that was somehow relative to what I was facing.  I was not prepared for life when I moved out.  Any idea what ensued?  More discipline! It just continued.  Not until I was ready for something different and was able to find some well anchored men to ‘raise’ me, did I began to see what training and coaching were all about.  And I was 23 years old!  Those men changed my life.  They shared everything with me.  One on one!

When Dave Stone was sharing his message with me, about the 3 seasons, it reminded me of the importance of relationships.

Jesus spoke to 5000 people one day and then a (single) woman at the well, the next.  Don’t be so busy chasing crowds that you neglect individuals.

Slow down, participate and engage in relationships (with your kids!).  I’m fortunate that I have several men to mentor and coach.  I have a team of professionals that I coach daily.  It’s exciting.  It’s not nearly as exciting as training my 11 year old and coaching my 17 year old daughters.  We get to bump into walls together, make mistakes together, learn together, grow together and laugh together.  It’s fantastic.  Last night while I was setting up some files for my oldest daughter on her macbook, my wife was coaching her on finances and budgeting.  They spent half an hour or more talking about saving and budgeting.  How many 17 year olds do that?

At the end of the evening, my daughter made mention of self discipline.  Making tough decisions to save, setting goals and attaining them.  While my coaching isn’t finished, I know that we’re well on our way and that my girls will be well equipped when they move away from home.

Want more from Dave Stone?  Follow him on Twitter.

Offline Marketing is steadily growing as our inboxes become flooded with monsoons of messages daily from ad banner storm clouds brought on by using social networks and SEO.

Engage People

Offline Marketing should be a day of puffy clouds, warm sunshine, and cool breezes; a sort-of Hallmark card that you can not only feel but smell— and even taste.  Wright’s created a gum package bearing our brand to use as handouts during a recent local community event.  The gum package not only highlighted our creative team’s warm approach and our full understanding of ‘sticky marketing’ (pun intended!), it also encouraged consumers to engage in conversation with us.  It made them want to ‘stick’ around and not only find out the story behind the gum but also to listen to what we had to say about our services.

So what is ‘sticky marketing’?  It’s a simple concept.  It speaks to how long someone remains engaged with you, your team, and/or your product.  It encourages folks to, as I mentioned before, stick around and stick with you.  It is being engaged, personable, and believable.  Our gum packaging kept us in the minds of prospects and customers.  It helped put a memory to the face by giving them a package and a story to recall in the future.


If sending out a thank you card after a meeting, a sale, or as a general follow up is a glass of cool water on a warm day, handwritten cards afterward are an ice cold beer on a hot Texas day in the summer.  People prefer to feel connected on more than a superficial level.  People prefer a personal touch over a generic sentiment.  In other words, think laser focus rather than a shotgun blast in the dark.

Community Exposure

Sponsoring, supporting, and attending local events is an effective and easy way to quickly build brand confidence and brand recognition.  The more you’re seen out and about in the community, engaged with people and participating in events that are important to them, the more these folks will recognize you and be inclined to do business with you.  No need to adjust this approach to fit your business; one size fits all, from the smallest mom-and-pop start-up to the most gigantic multi-billion dollar mega corporation.  Investing in a community with your time and your support is an easy way to produce large results with minimal capital.  Getting involved with a community tells people that you care about something other than their money.  As much as times change and marketing changes, we all want to feel like we matter; volunteering tells people they are important.  Use those opportunities to advertise your business with a branded t-shirt or other similar gear that you can wear, or pass out branded water bottles for people to drink from.  The vehicle is relatively unimportant; it’s the scenery and the cordial conversation along the way that people remember.

So go offline, and get sticky!  It’s a beautiful day outside…


Gotcha!  I said Screw it.

Have you ever thought, “If only I could change this,” or, “If that hadn’t happened, my life would be awesome!”?  What if you did an about-face and declared your life better BECAUSE of those events?  It’s a paradigm shift that can radically redefine who you are, how you impact others, and what legacy you leave behind.   No pressure there, right?

I firmly believe that everything in my past— every hurt, every heartache, every bad choice— led me to this instant, where I can share with you my experiences— no matter how far south of Perfect they may be.  How am I able to do this?  Simple.  I don’t live with regrets.  I don’t ignore them, but I don’t let them in my house.  Why?  The past no longer dictates who I am today.  Plus, they’re rude houseguests.

Nearly 16 years ago, I decided that I was no longer going to be stuck with regrets, and I certainly wasn’t going to allow myself to be screwed by them.  What’s done is done, so let’s get over it and get on with it.  Today I have the life I have always wanted but never thought I would have.  No longer do I have to settle for mediocrity, and I no longer blame anyone or anything for my life.

The following 8 simple lessons have become the cornerstones of my life-changing revelation.  (You might recognize them; they’re the Beatitudes.)

1.     I’m powerless.

“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor.”

2.     I matter.

“Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

3.     I need to give up control.

“Happy are the meek.”

4.     Confess my faults.

“Happy are the pure in heart.”

5.     Submit to change.

“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires.”

6.     Forgive others and make amends.

“Happy are the merciful.  Happy are the peacemakers.”

7.     Meditate.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”

8.     Yield.

“Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires.

According to Newton’s Law of Physics, a body in motion tends to stay in motion.  I take that to mean that it’s a lot easier to keep doing what works rather than start over because I lacked purpose and consistency.

Are you ready to give up all hope of ever having a better past?  Have you done so already?