Category

Motivate Others

How Swinging a Hammer and Fetching Beer for Your Dad Are the Foundation of Entrepreneurship

By | Be Honest, Motivate Others, Take Risks

My Dad just butt FaceTimed me. I know it was a butt FaceTime as I am almost positive my Dad does not know how to FaceTime. I am not even sure he knows what it is. Anyway, the missed FaceTime from my Dad made me smile, and got me all nostalgic. I started taking a trip down old memory lane – when my Dad taught me everything I knew. Don’t tell him I said that though. I don’t want him getting a big(ger) head. He will likely get the cliff notes version of this BLOG post from my stepmom anyway.

I grew up in the time of no seatbelts, staying outside until the streetlights came on, wearing sunburns with pride as they represented a good day out in the sun, riding in the back of a pick-up truck all the way to my grandmother’s (like 30 miles and often in the dark), when chores were not optional or paid for and often included “get me a beer from the cooler”, you ate what you were given when you were given it, got ready for school and went to the bus stop on your own (from the age of 5), did your homework yourself, were responsible for your own grades and you didn’t talk back for fear of what was going to happen to you – with death being the best of all potential punishment options. And most importantly, you did not speak or make even the slightest sound during the weather portion of the news each night. Ever. For any reason. No matter what. I am not kidding. I am 44 and still refuse to speak during any weather forecast.

If our bikes were not put away, my Dad would hide them and tell us they had been stolen. If we didn’t put our toys away, they got thrown away – and they were not replaced. If we were told (not asked) to do something, we did it. If my Dad was working on the car, we were working on the car. If my Dad was working on the house, we worked on the house. If my Dad was working in the yard, we worked in the yard. When it came time to drive, we had to know how to change a tire AND the oil (we weren’t cruising down to the Jiffy Lube).

My Dad taught me a ton of life skills. He taught me:

  • How to swing a hammer (TIP: do not miss the nail as it makes a dent in the wood and absolutely do NOT hit the nail crooked as only idiots do that)
  • How to use a drill (uhmm, do not even tell me you stripped the screw – again you may die)
  • How to change a tire (it did not matter if it was snowing or raining or blazing hot with 100% humidity)
  • How to patch a wall (and sand it flush, by hand, and repaint it – this came in handy in my teen years after a few small social gatherings I accidently threw)
  • How to hang drywall (you know in case at age 8 I needed to build my own house)
  • How to shingle the outside of a house up on staging with no safety equipment (imminent death was always a few seconds away at any given time)
  • How to change the oil (and let me tell you, getting oil on the driveway, which was basically a dirt patch and not even paved was not an option you wanted to explore)
  • How to use tools (if you banged your thumb you waited until the project was finished for any type of medical attention which was likely a bag of frozen veggies from the freezer)
  • How to mow the lawn perfectly (if you left an “island” and your rows were not perfect then you were in deep shit)
  • How to sail a boat to Cape Cod (sometimes in gale force winds, 12-15 foot waves, and zero visibility – fear of dying was a regular event)
  • How to clean the bottom of that same 22’ boat (while it was IN the ocean and moving around on a mooring or anchor lol)
  • How to swim (by throwing me off a dock)
  • How to work hard (for 12-15 hours a day – tired and/or sick were not an options in our house)
  • How to earn a living (which did not include all the work you did for free around the house since you lived in it and all)
  • How to write thank-you notes (because being an ungrateful punk would get you a slap)

My Dad wasn’t actually a tradesman. He worked at the same company that manufactured heart and lung equipment for three decades. He wore a tie to work (sometimes with a short sleeved button down, but that is another story). He worked his way up from an entry-level job, to the boss. I remember his office – it was a MESS and had like seven ashtrays and at least two or three of them had cigarettes burning in them at any given time. He got to work on time every day, never left early and I don’t think he ever took a sick day. I was “lucky” enough to work there (as my 2nd or 3rd job as I always seemed to have multiple jobs) and various points filling tubes with some sort of stuff (probably poison) for hours on end. It was the worst, most boring job ever (sorry Dad, but it was terrible) – but my Dad would eat lunch with me sometimes. I pretended I didn’t care if we ate lunch together or not, but I did.

Ultimately, all those things he taught me, were priming me to be an entrepreneur. I didn’t know it at the time and he probably didn’t either – although he may claim it was all some well laid-out plan he had. He taught me through actions, behavior and tough lessons. He taught me:

  • Excuses will not get you anywhere in life
  • We have to do a bunch of shit in life we don’t want to – it’s just part of the deal
  • How to be self-sufficient and support myself
  • To take responsibility for my own actions
  • Accountability and follow through are paramount – finish what you start
  • Persistence and resilience – life will knock you in the teeth
  • The importance of a strong work ethic and putting in a day’s work for a day’s pay
  • Manners and respect

My Dad, Big Jim as we call him (he is not big, but he can be loud and has a big personality) was not the most nurturing. He was harsh, definitive, boisterous, opinionated and strict. He was constantly shouting things like:

  • Use your head for something besides a hat rack
  • Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades
  • If you want to cry, I will give you something to cry about
  • I brought you into this world and I can take you out and make another one just like you

And perhaps his most famous saying “proper prior planning prevent piss poor performance” – at five years old, I didn’t even know what those words meant, but I knew the saying. I always thought he made that up. He didn’t. But he liked to say it, a lot. And I am glad he did.

He made his fair share of mistakes. Many things he did (or didn’t do) would get parents today arrested in a heartbeat. His main goal was to make sure my brother and I were halfway decent people and, productive members of society who weren’t entitled assholes. I think he did ok.

The Woof Woof of Word Clouds

By | Have Fun, Invoke Passion, Motivate Others

Word Clouds. We’ve all seen them. Maybe we’ve made (or tried to make) them. But what is the point?

I’ll tell you. Every year, we do a group exercise with SoapBoxSample and icanmakeitbetter where everyone is asked to submit words to describe the coming year. Then we combine them all into a word cloud and give a printed copy to each person to display on their desks (in a fun, colorful frame.) We started doing this back in 2015, as a way to mark the end of not-so-great era. You can read about that first word cloud creation here.

Since then, it’s become a tradition. A blown-up version is posted in my office and in the conference room.

Language is powerful. But visual cues can be even more so. When you combine words with visual elements you can end up with a powerful one-two punch that can help people focus their efforts, become inspired and create a shared experience.

Aside from the personal benefits to the individual, having visual cues in the workplace (like colorful art) can provide a sense of place. Who wants to work in a boring, generic space that looks exactly like every other office? Not me.

What does our art say about us? Maybe it says that employees are so engrossed in their work that they might forget what year it is. But hopefully it conveys a sense of shared values, the concept that we are all working together to achieve something, and the uniformity of duplicate images on each desk conveys that we are all on the same page.

 

Company culture is something that I think about a lot. Creating a single image that every employee has a personal connection to is a powerful tool, and also it looks pretty. And also it’s fun to guess who contributed what word. One of our project managers contributed the phrase “Woof-woof” for this year’s cloud. Guess he’s planning on getting another dog?

What word would you use to describe 2018 so far? Tweet me your words @jax_rosales

Dudley Makes Me Happy

By | Be Genuine, Inspire Ideas, Motivate Others

Why is everyone seemingly so damn miserable all the time? I am starting to lose my patience with those who “suffer” from what seems to be eternal misery. It’s like some crazy martyr way of life people choose to lead. Did you notice the word “choose”? That’s right – I am calling all you serially unhappy folks out. You do have a choice you know. I promise.

As humans, shitty things happen to us, around us, to ones we love, in the world we occupy. No doubt. I am not trying to say that there aren’t 10 million things to be miserable about. I have a solid personal list of my own situations I could choose to focus on and bring me down. Trust me. I am going through some real hell right now in my life. Sometimes I get angry, overwhelmed, sad, frustrated and impatient. But I have learned that it takes a ton (like a shit ton) more energy to be miserable than it does to be happy.

Being miserable is sooooooooo exhausting. It makes everything more difficult than it needs to be, sucks all your energy, kills your immune system, interrupts your sleep and becomes a vicious cycle. I can also pretty much guarantee that unhappiness in the form of self-pity is probably THE MOST DEBILATATING. The good news is 1) you don’t have to live like this and 2) you can decide to get far, far, far away from people who are like this, as they will bring you down with them.

I choose to find joy within some of the most difficult times. Do I have bad days? – hell yeah. Do I wish things were different right now? Yes. Do I wish I lived in good health and pain free? Yes. Do I wish that my loved ones had not moved on to heaven so soon? Yes. Do I wish I had more hours in the day? Yes. Do I wish I didn’t have another surgery coming up? Yes. Do I wish….well, you get the point.

I have learned I have to protect myself from extended misery. How?

  1. Practicing Self-care
  2. Sleeping
  3. Cutting negative people out of my life
  4. Doing more of what makes me happy
  5. Talking to trusted friends/family to help me through difficult times
  6. Telling the truth all the time
  7. Forgiving myself for not being perfect
  8. Doing the things I enjoy as much as possible
  9. Being intentionally present
  10. Laughing – mainly at myself, but my home and office are full of laughter

And let’s not forget, surrounding myself with things I love. Like Dudley! He is my new friend. A reindeer made of logs made by a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old. I named him and talk to him. I paid too much for Dudley, but I like him and he makes me smile. He makes my family smile too, not because they like Dudley, but because they think I am insane and they laugh at me and my relationship with an inanimate wooden reindeer that I paid too much for. Occasionally my husband reads my BLOG so I won’t tell you how much Dudley cost, but seriously, isn’t he cute?

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

By | Create Value, Inspire Ideas, Motivate Others
So many topics capture my attention, from Hot Cheetos to cleaning up dog poop (yes, really). Anything could end up on Telltale Ten. I just write random stuff. Sometimes people read it, and sometimes they don’t.
 
On a rare occasion (like a handful of times in a few years), probably much to the dismay of the higher ups,  I like to get all businessy, and write about things related to my industry – market research specifically. Oh, you didn’t know I was in Market Research?  That’s ok. My family knows that, but have no idea what that means even after twenty years.
 
A recent piece I put together about passive metering was published in the Quirks January edition. If you’re in Market Research, you may have seen it already. If you’re not, you probably have no idea what passive metering is. Basically, it’s a way for researchers to get an in-depth look into what people are doing online. If anyone were to track my online behavior, they would probably be deeply confused by my recent searches. I’d love to see a researcher try to put me into a segment based on my online behavior. I’d more likely end up in an institution instead of a segment.
 
Good thing I’m the researcher, and not the researchee.

Google now processes, on average, over 40,000 search queries every second; this translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. The way people engage with brands and online content is constantly evolving. No single day of digital behavior is the same as another. If I want to learn about the newest fitness gadget, I search it online. By the next day, I may be over fitness and want to know how to convert my home to a “smart” home, so I search it up. Later that same afternoon, I may want a new refrigerator that can build me a shopping list. Or, I may just want to buy something mundane like shampoo (you know the kind that makes my hair that cool silver-purple color) , so I simply look it up on Amazon and click “buy now.” If brands want to stay competitive, they need to able to keep up with radical, fast-paced changes in consumer online behavior.

Brands have a great appetite for understanding how people behave and make decisions online. They need to understand their customer’s purchase influencers beyond demographic and attitudinal data; passive tracking data captures how consumers move across the digital world, allowing brands to keep up by tracking their customer’s digital journeys – in real-time.

Adopting a passive metering strategy is not without challenges. The challenges range from technology implementation and respondent adoption to understanding of the data. There are oceans of it, and it is totally unstructured. Despite these challenges, more and more clients are diving in and having success finding those nuggets of “data gold” they would never have uncovered with surveys alone. Brands need to start somewhere, and rather than trying to uncover the holy grail of all that Passive Metering can do, simply looking for trends in the data at a high level can deliver those unexpected “aha moments” brands want.

Keep in mind, consumers are complex. Passive Metering is a super effective starting point to understand what people are doing without disrupting or influencing their behavior. However, there is no one simple research formula or methodology that is all-knowing. Blending methodologies has been — and will continue to be– crucial for brands to really understand their customers. The opportunities for connecting digital behavioral data with traditional survey data, 3rd party data or even longitudinal data available through other innovative research approaches such as Insight Communities, translates to in-depth, actionable insights brands need.

We keep hearing Passive Metering is coming as the next “big” thing in research. Truth is, it is already here. It has been here for years. I encourage researchers to stop overcomplicating it. Take the risk of not knowing everything in advance, find great clients to experiment with and dive in. Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know until you know it.

Five Years of FRESH!

By | Be Genuine, Have Fun, Motivate Others

Gangsters, gamblers, and mob wives. Oh my!

Why have a typical work party when you can throw a mob-themed Casino party? SoapBoxSample celebrated it’s 5-year anniversary this year, so we went a little crazy. Especially me. I don’t typically wear a bright green poker suit to company events…or do I?

I learned a lot about my staff. Turns out, Michelle Henik (Senior Project Manager) is actually a card shark, Allison Flowers (Senior Research Director) does a great New Jersey accent and Elinor Gaida (VP, Research & Analytics) leads a double life as a speakeasy flapper girl. Mike Halberstam (ISA Chairman) loves to have his picture taken (like nonstop) and Mike Chavarria (VP of Business Development) and Aaron Cole (Director of Systems and Programming) may have a future Texas Hold Em’ rivalry to settle. The rest may be too scandalous to include in print…

As a side note to SoapBoxers. I felt it best to tell you in a public forum. All those pics you took at the selfie station you thought you were only texting or emailing to yourself? Yea, well I got a full download. A FULL download, I have them ALL. #truestory

Check out some of my favorite photos from the event.

What is All Over Your Hands?

By | Create Value, Invoke Passion, Motivate Others, Take Risks

A Salty Story of Entrepreneurship

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. For like two years, they were the bane of my existence. I had to listen to relentless begging from my kid. All my friends eat them. They aren’t bad for you. I swear I didn’t eat them (despite the distinct hand swipe stain on her uniform pants). Listen. I don’t personally have anything against Hot Cheetos. My kid just happens to be allergic to cow’s milk, so these are super no bueno for her. And that cheezy stuff gets all over your hands which is sort of annoying.

Why am I even talking about Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? Shouldn’t I be talking about Christmas (sorry, Holiday) Carols or seasonal baked goods? Well I re-read the story of Richard Montanez twice in the past week and wanted to share. Many of you may already know it, but too bad. You should hear it again – it is good.

Spoiler alert summary – Richard Montanez, a high school dropout, invented one of the most iconic American snack foods of all time, for Frito-Lay, while he was employed there as a janitor. Montanez called up the CEO with his idea. Yup, the janitor called up the CEO – and was put through! Today Montanez is the Vice President of Multicultural sales for PepsiCo America, and he teaches MBA classes at a college near his home in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

The story has been told before, but my favorite version is from The Hustle, my favorite newsletter. (I plan to keep giving them shout outs until they agree to let me guest blog, or send me a cease and desist letter — whichever comes first.)

Recently, a student asked him how he was teaching without a Ph.D.

“I do have a Ph.D.,” he responded. “I’ve been poor, hungry and determined.”

In case you missed the two hyperlinks to the article posted on The Hustle, you can click here to read it.

What I love about this story is the idea that every employee can make a huge impact on their company no matter their role. I also love finding and hiring people that exhibit traits of GRIT — guts, resilience, initiative and tenacity. And Richard Montanez is a prime example of this. Mental grit is what powers a person through personal tragedy, and IMHO, will get you farther than anything else. (Further reading — The Power of Mental Grit.)

A Micro Dose of Motivation

By | Be Honest, Create Value, Inspire Ideas, Motivate Others

What Motivates You?

As a startup leader, a HUGE part of my job centers around motivation. Convincing a group of super smart (and highly likeable) individuals to come join a startup, isn’t always easy. And once I convince them to join, I have to make sure they want to stay.

Motivate Others is one our Telltale Ten and SoapBox was founded on those ten principles. Motivation is key. But what does that mean? Where does motivation come from? What gets people motivated, what keeps people motivated, and how can we use motivation to accomplish our goals?

I have learned over the years, that motivation is not a one-size-fits-all. It is different for everyone. I feel like I get to know people pretty well, but you don’t know what you don’t know. After a recent TedTalk Tuesday lead by our Director of Systems and Programming, Aaron Cole, I got super excited to learn more about what motivates the staff. He talked about his motivation to complete his goal of running a marathon on all seven continents and shared his experience about running his most recent marathon in the Outback. I was inspired to learn more about what motivates others on my team. Instead of relying on my perceptions, instead I went with the direct approach and I asked my staff to tell me what motivates them. Sometimes the simplest (and most obvious) approach is the best.

What surprised me was that it wasn’t only big things (like feeling accomplished or helping the community) that motivated people, but small things like walking a dog, or hazelnut coffee. For me, I get really excited by an accomplishment as small as using up the last bit of a tube of chap stick (like seriously, do you ever get to the end of a chap stick before you lose it or it melts or your kid or your dog eats it – no right?).

The point I’m trying to make is that motivation can come in big and small packages. Maybe one of the items on this list will be a micro dose of motivation for you this week. Now the next challenge begins for me as a leader. How do I help make sure the staff is experiencing those things that make them happy and motivated?

Aaron Cole
Director of Systems

Food
Run clubs
Competition
Destination Runs

Adriana Hemans
Director of Marketing

Personal growth
Creative expression
Financial independence
Travel

Allison Flowers
Research Director

Making my kids proud
Making others feel good about themselves
Having a can-do mentality 

Andrea Sipos
Project Manager

My family
Animals
Nature

Angela Pack
Senior Account Executive

My child’s happiness
A clean & organized house
Helping in my community

Dan Parcon
VP, Operations

My faith
My child
Making a difference in the world

Elinor Gaida
VP, Research & Analytics

Coffee
Music
Walking a dog
Meeting with friends and family

Jacqueline Rosales
Chief of Operations

Connecting with close friends
Doing something nice for others
Organizing/Cleaning
Laughing

Kevin Moran
Support Specialist

Humor
Keeping promises
Food
Exercise (occasionally)

Michaela Petersen
Project Manager

Bettering myself
Broadening my intelligence
Contributing to the team

Paul Janowitz
CEO, icanmakeitbetter

Family & Travel
Improving the community
Hard work

Sam Ashburner
Project Manager

My new house
Exceeding my own expectations
Hazelnut Coffee

Sandeep Babu
Operations Manager

Travel
Culture
The little things
Finding fullfillment from helping others

Savanna Ayala
Bids & Feasibility Associate

Wine
Laughing
Food
Books
Alone time

Trina Martell
Project Manager

Expanding my knowledge base
Creativity of any kind
Music
Sharing knowledge
Kindness

Take a step back and ask yourself what motivates you. Write it down. Post it where you can see it and when you are feeling a little unmotivated, try one of things on your list to get you out of your funk.

Yay! My Kid is Not a Jerk.

By | Create Value, Inspire Ideas, Invoke Passion, Motivate Others

So back in April, I wrote a BLOG called “Lessons From a Ten Year Old” about my seemingly unreasonable happiness over my daughter Antonella’s journey of turning a No into a Yes. Through hard work, pure determination, and relentless desire she earned a spot on the Hyht Gymnastics Pre-Team. In case you didn’t read it (you should), here’s the recap. Her coach gave her the good news that she finally made pre-team, but in the same breath she also told her, “I only want kids who work hard. If you stop working hard, you will be removed from the pre-team. If you keep working hard, you may actually make it from pre-team to team. Your work is just starting.”

Your work is just starting. Super powerful words. How a ten year old will act on those words is a total crap shoot. Ella had worked her a$$ off to get to her goal and it was just the beginning. Her commitment up until that point simply prepared her for the next phase of hard work. It was just one obstacle of many. In my last BLOG on this topic, I wrote about how happy I was that she didn’t make the pre-team on the first go around. And I meant it. I still mean it. Once she made the pre-team I was CERTAIN she was not going to like it. It meant more practice, which meant more drills, more working out and worst of all (for Ella) running sprints.

Well I was wrong. She embraced the challenge. Not without complaint, but she kept at it. She got her Dad to build her a beam and taught herself the Level 3 Team USA Gymnastics Beam routine from YouTube – she wasn’t even on the team. She had a list of skills she had to learn, and slowly kept knocking them off the list. The worst one was the back handspring. That damn back handspring. She practiced for months and months and just couldn’t get over the fear. She couldn’t, correction, wouldn’t do it. We endured months of “Will you spot me?” day after day. Her Dad and I were sure she would never get it. Some days I wanted to say, “No, I will not spot you again – just give it up. You won’t get it. Let’s just go inside.” You probably think I am a total douche, but seriously, try doing the same thing, day after day, watching a kid just flail around. It is not fun. And God bless her nanny. I bet she spotted that kid 1000 times – at minimum. But she kept at it.

She saved up her money sold stuff on Etsy and Poshmark and finally earned enough money to buy a tumbling trampoline. Yes, she is a working actor earning a nice paycheck. But she doesn’t get to spend that money – sorry kid. You will thank me some day when we didn’t let you blow all the dough. She even talked her Nana into having a yard sale in the dead of the summer in the heat. It was 110 degrees that day. But she had some money to make! She is a very persuasive young lady. And guess what? It took several months, but she finally earned the $500 to buy the trampoline.
She practices on that thing until it gets dark. “Wait, just one more. Can you watch?” Armed with her mat, her homemade beam, and her tumbling trampoline, she has just kept on keeping on. And guess what? She got that back handspring, and a dozen or so other skills. One by one. She would come home after practice each day and tell me if she earned gym bucks for a new skill. Some days she would bust through the door screaming “I got my back hip circle today” or whatever it was and other times she would say she had more work to do.

Yesterday she turned eleven years old. Today she went to practice despite being convinced she has a broken toe (she is the one convinced not us or we would actually take her to a doctor – we aren’t total a$$hole parents). Her coach pulled her aside before class started and told her she made the team. Ella had NO idea she was going to get that news. No idea at all. She was just showing up, with her broken toe, to practice.

As her parent, my belly gets all squirmy with excitement thinking how it must have felt in her little heart when she got that news. How proud she must have felt, and how badly she wanted to run home and tell us. As a business leader, I find this type of unrelenting focus, unceasing drive and bullish tenacity to overcome something outside of your comfort zone, is what it takes to be great. And look at that, I may have just defined greatness (Why Tony the Tiger is My Idol).

Live a Strong Sideline Game

By | Be Honest, Have Fun, Motivate Others

This past weekend, my husband Marco road in the Tehachapi GranFondo event. The event is ranked as the #1 GranFondo in California and #13 in the nation. For those of you who don’t know what a GranFondo is, it’s a long-distance road cycling event. The courses at this particular one range from 18 to 104 miles. In short, it’s an event for road biking maniacs.

After suffering injuries from a car accident that prevented me from continuing to run road and obstacle course races, my husband and I took up road biking. It is an addictive, expensive and super uncomfortable sport – not for those who aren’t willing to suffer a little discomfort “down there”.

After years of chasing me around the country, waking up at the crack of dawn to see me start a race, and then standing around waiting for me to finish, Marco and I embarked on this new journey together. He instantly fell in love. Like he loves it. For me, it was something I could pull off with my injuries and still be competitive, still get the high from tackling a long distance, and still get pumped up about at an event.

The very best thing about it (and Marco may have a very different opinion on this since he is way better than me and I am pretty sure I hold him back) is that it is something we were finally doing together. Training together, riding together, racing together. Now, only Ella, my daughter, was stuck getting up at the crack of dawn and waiting around for hours (I mean hours) for us to finish. And I am ok with that as she is a preteen and pretty bratty on occasion, so it is like secret parent payback mixed in with a little inspiration – good parenting if you ask me.

Anyway, let me get to the point. Tehachapi is our favorite event of the year. It is seriously awesome. It is well organized, there are pro riders there, the course is amazing and crossing the finish line is a true experience thanks to the announcer and cheerleaders. And this year, I couldn’t do it. I just was not physically well enough to pull it off. I wasn’t even able to do the “fun” ride which is 18 miles. I was out – sidelines for me this year.

Despite being sad, resentful and at times totally pissed off that I was not able to do it, my job was to be encouraging, supportive and my husband’s #1 fan. No. Matter. How. I. Felt. This was now about being the best cheerleader I could be. Not about me – all about him. It meant:

  • Making sure he had all his gear and nutrition for the ride
  • Waking up suuuppper early and not being an asshole about it
  • Hauling my butt to the start line with Ella – it was 45 degrees and partly dark
  • Watching the hundreds of cyclists gather and keeping a smile despite feeling total bummed
  • Taking 6 zillion photos of his journey and updating every stage on social media
  • Driving to the rest stop to see him pull in after the 20 mile mark to help him reset
  • Waiting for FIVE hours for him to finish (OMG – I have been doing this shit for years and it is NOT fun. I can’t believe how many times Marco waited for me – granted, running is usually way shorter but still….)
  • Ensuring he had an easy way to get showered and fed within an hour of finishing
  • Not making it about me and being an ass (did I mention not being an ass?)

So here’s the deal. Sometimes you need to be on the sidelines supporting others. Whether it is in your job, your relationship or friendship, just do it. Go out and help someone, support someone. Make someone else feel good. At the finish line, I didn’t have to work at all to be soooo pumped up and excited for him. I genuinely was! I felt so much excitement and inner happiness for his accomplishment. It is amazing how turning your attention outwards to someone else is a surefire way to get off your own pity pot and be useful. And the admission price? Your time and a positive attitude. That’s it.

The Road Show Rolls On

By | Have Fun, Invoke Passion, Motivate Others

This week at SoapBoxSample we held an all-hands meeting where we talked about the things that keep us motivated — through the stress, through the long hours, and through the demanding projects. One of my biggest motivators has always been working out. Almost any type of physical activity helps me focus, centers me, and just makes me feel good. But why should I have all the fun? I like to encourage (some would say force) my staff to get outdoors and do the same. This week Matt Thurston, the COO of icanmakeitbetter (our insight community platform) flew in from Austin to spend some time with the Van Nuys office. I encouraged (it was optional I swear) Matt and our Senior Account Executive Anthony Bean to head up to Runyon Canyon at the end of the day to check out the best view that Los Angeles has to offer. Seeing them conquer that hill make me think it was time to revisit one of my favorite blog posts — Work Out Road Show. Yes, it is possible to stay in shape when you travel for work. And sometimes the best way to see the sights is while you’re sweaty and out of breath and being harassed by a small blonde drill sergeant who looks like Amy Poehler.