Enter The New Year With No Regrets

39 Days Until 2017Regret is something that I have become intimately acquainted with over the years. One of my earliest memories of regret, loss and sadness happened during the celebration of my sixth birthday.

My parents welcomed my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents on the evening of January 20th, 1975 and my heart filled with excitement. Everyone walking through the front door carried a present in their arms for ME! The presents were placed on the kitchen table next to my Evil Knieval decorated cake and my excitement grew.

evel-knievel-stunt-cycleWhen Your Shirt Catches On Fire

The time came for the singing of happy birthday and the opening of the presents. The lights were turned low and voices sang in my honor. With one big blow I made the flames on the candles disappear. As I would open a present one of my relatives would take it and stack them on the kitchen counter.  Somehow, no one noticed the huge candle burning, which was on the same counter as the presents were being piled.

About halfway through through the unwrapping ritual I opened up a navy blue and yellow shirt. If you are from Michigan (like I am) those colors can only mean one thing and that’s the University of Michigan – Go Blue! That shirt was promptly placed on the growing pile of presents (next to the lit candle) and I moved on to the next gift. As I began unwrapping it the room quickly started to smell like something was burning. Everyone looked to the counter and there was my U of M shirt going up in flames as the candle set it ablaze. My dad grabbed the shirt as it continued to grow into a ball of fire. He threw it out the back door and into a snow bank where it was quickly extinguished.

Crispy Shirts And Breakdowns

As I saw my dad throw my shirt out the door there was sadness and loss that overcame me. I ran to my bedroom, leaving everyone in the dining room, and threw myself onto my bed, crying my eyes out. One of my parents, I don’t remember which, came and comforted me. My breakdown probably only lasted ten minutes but 40 years later, as I write this, the emotion of that moment is still very real.

Was there anything I could have done about my shirt burning to a crisp? No, I wasn’t the one that even put it near the candle. But I still felt regret and loss. I did have the thought, even at that age; ‘what if I had held onto my shirt – it wouldn’t have went up in flames’.

Regret Can Last a Lifetime

My experience with regret and loss at the age of six, in the grand scheme of life was small. But regret is something that I have struggled and wrestled with throughout my life. Things like my parents divorcing when I was twelve to not making the sixth grade basketball team opened the door for regret. As an adult the regret of not speaking up for myself or family in different situations has happened more than once. Decisions I made caused undue stress on my kids that brought on regret. Even throughout my professional career, there have been plenty of situations where I didn’t make the right decision and it led to me carrying more regret than I should.

Three Tools to Deal With Regret

I have by no means totally conquered the beast of regret BUT there are some practices that allow me to properly assess the regret and put it in it’s proper place.

Here are three things I try to practice when regret raises it’s head.

  1. My tendency is to take too much blame, whether or not it is appropriate or not. Because of this I always need to step back from the situation and understand the part I play in what has caused the regret.
  2. I try to look at my situation from a different perspective. What can I learn? How can I help others learn from the situation I experienced? Trying to have a long term vision instead of focusing on the immediate outcome.
  3. If I have done all I can to change a situation, and still don’t see a change, I have to come to a place of peace. I have to get to the place of letting things go. Again, for me and my personality this is one of the most difficult things to do. But, regardless of what does or doesn’t come naturally it’s something I have to strive for.

Put Regret In It’s Place

So, as you approach 2017 don’t hold onto the regrets of 2016. Take responsibility for the things that you need to but don’t take more blame than you should. Put your failures in perspective and learn from them. And come to peace with the things you can’t change.

Enter 2017 with a clean slate and free from regret.

One Last Thing

Earlier this year, I came across this great article on Psychology Today that goes even deeper into the topic of regret. Take a read for even more on the topic of regret right here.



40 Days To Prepare For A Great 2017

40 Days To Prepare For A Great 2017

40 Days!

You are 40 days away from 2017.

How will you end this year?

Will you spend time thinking and preparing to position yourself for a great new year? Even if you didn’t achieve the goals or aspirations you had at the beginning of this year don’t let that hold you back from looking forward with faith and hope.


At the beginning of this year I chose three words that would frame my year; you can read that post here. One of my three words was regret. As I mentioned in that post, regret is a powerful two edged sword. You can let regret overcome you and cause you to be depressed or you can let it fuel you to become better. This year I chose to embrace the word as a positive. Throughout this year I asked myself the question, “If I don’t _(fill in the blank)_ what will I regret?” If I don’t continue to improve my health, what will I regret? If I don’t continue to grow in my professional skills, what will I regret?

In This Together

Over the next 40 days let’s link arms, take specific and intentional actions to end 2016 as strong as we can. And just as important, let’s use these next forty days to get ready for an amazing 2017.

During the next 40 days will you do whatever it takes to leave this year behind with all of it successes and failures? Will you resist getting caught up in regrets from things you didn’t accomplish? Will you take time to remember the good things that happened in 2016?

Through the end of the year I’ll be posting strategies and ideas that will help put us in the best position we can to make 2017 great.

Are you with me?

Let’s roll!




How Bad Do You Want Something New?

If You Want Something New

There are times in life when you have to make decisions, sometimes hard and at other times easy, to let things go. For your sake and the sake of others you have to say goodbye to a variety of things; people, relationships, a job, food or a hundred other things. You absolutely deserve to enjoy life and experience it to it’s fullest and the fact is, to do that, there are things you will have to say no too. You will have to put off things that might bring some quick satisfaction. You will have to do things that others don’t want too.

As Peter Drucker says, “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”

This past week we said goodbye and so long to a van that had been a part of our family for seventeen years. That van had done everything from haul trailer loads of manure to transporting my wife to the hospital to give birth to our fifth baby. It carried our family 700 miles to the wedding of my oldest son. That old van not only had a lot of great memories associated with it but there were a number of bad memories that I’d rather not talk about. Our Old Van

As I thought about dropping off our van at the salvage yard it caused me to think about other things in my life that I have dropped off or need to drop off at the salvage yard of life. There are mindsets, perspectives and beliefs that I have had to let go of and stop doing so that I could go after new things.

A couple of years ago I decided to stop living a very unhealthy life so that I could start living better and a more physically healthy life. I stopped sleeping in so I could exercise early in the morning. I stopped eating garbage all of the time so I could feel better. I stopped focusing on being a fat guy so I could become a more fit guy.

What’s something new you would like to do? To answer that you need to answer the other question of; what do you need to stop doing?

Success Isn’t Convenient: Career Edition

Success Isn't Convenient: Career Edition

This line came to me last week as I was sweating my butt off in the gym which definitely seems like an appropriate place to think something like that. But it’s a truth that applies to every area of our lives. If you want to be successful in anything the path won’t be convenient.

There is no such thing as an overnight success. There is no guarantee that your college degree will land you a job, let alone your dream job making a load of money. The road to a successful career is filled with inconvenience. Whether you are an entrepreneur, executive leader, manager or working in a cube your journey to success won’t be convenient.

You may have to make a geographic move to take a position with another company to advance your career. My career has consisted of several moves that have included four states and five cities. Each time I moved it was inconvenient; it was inconvenient for me and my family. You may have to make the hard choice to leave behind friends and family.  Sometimes, many times, when you grow in your career there are times of loneliness.

Nothing is easy. Nothing ever comes as quickly as you want it too. If you are going to accomplish anything worthwhile you are going to face challenges and you will have to fight.

As you move to a new level in your career you will encounter things you don’t know how to do. You will experience things that will cause you to be anxious and sometimes fearful. You will find yourself in situations, personally and professionally that are inconvenient and uncomfortable.

It’s during the inconvenient moments that the familiar things of your past will tap you on the shoulder and tempt you to return to where you came from. When things become inconvenient you have two choices – embrace the challenge and grow OR back down from the challenge and return to your previous level of success. To move forward you have to overcome the fear of letting go of the past.

Don’t let inconvenience rob you of the next level of your career.

Say NO! to giving up – keep grinding so that tomorrow you won’t have any regrets.



My 3 Words For 2016

IMG_2576Last year I tried the 3 word experiment inspired by the amazing Chris Brogan. If you aren’t familiar with this alternative approach to New Years resolutions check out this post from Brogan where he explains it. In addition to choosing 3 words I took on the challenge of writing 10 ideas each day inspired by the incredible James Altucher.

In 2016 I’m again writing 10 ideas everyday. I’ll also be focusing on becoming 1% better each day. 1% better each day with my health, gaining knowledge, more effective at my job, relationships, awakening dormant dreams and more. Again, this idea came from James Altucher – you can read more about it here.

3 Words

My three words are Grind, Regret and NO! These three words will help guide my 10 ideas each day and provide me with the fuel to become 1% better each day.


Grind is more than action to me – it’s a core value. There is no such thing as an overnight success. There is no such thing as something for nothing. What there is such thing as is people who GRIND are people who succeed. When you put in the work you get results. No pain, no gain is real. When you grind you see and experience results.


Regret is a powerful two edged sword. You can let regret overcome you and cause you to be depressed or you can let it fuel you to become better. Last year I posted an article on LinkedIn about the topic of regret – you can check out it here. This year I’m embracing the word as a positive. I’m looking to the future and asking myself the question, “If I don’t _(fill in the blank)_ what will I regret?” If I don’t continue to improve my health, what will I regret? If I don’t continue to grow in my professional skills, what will I regret? If I don’t GRIND what will I REGRET?


NO! with an exclamation mark – you read it correctly. I’m committing to saying no to more and more things. If it’s not helping become 1% better in any area of my life than I’m saying NO! to it. And trust me, this is a challenge. I’m a guy who loves “shiny objects” and “squirrels”. Before FOMO (fear of missing out) became popular I was/am addicted. So, to try and help me overcome my addiction to FOMO and stay focused on things that will bring real value to my present and future I’m going to say NO! more.

If I say NO! to unimportant things I can GRIND at the important things and have NO REGRETS!

Fear This

This post was inspired by Andy Frisella. Andy is the CEO and founder of Supplement Superstores (and other companies) which has its world headquarters here in my amazing city of St. Louis, Missouri.
As I was I sweating my butFive Things You Should Feart off on the elliptical machine at Golds Gym this past Friday morning I was listening to Andy’s podcast on the things we should and need to fear. Within 15 minutes he plowed through five fears that have always been top of my mind for me when it comes to my life.  Over the past 48 hours I haven’t been able to get these five things off my mind. I catch glimpses of Jerry Maguire writing his mission statement in his hotel room.
There’s no silver bullet here, but there’s definitely a cannon ball that will rock your world if you let it. Let down your guard and allow these five things to sink in. Fear these things and you will live the life you were created to live. Ignore these things and you will settle for much less.

Fear Mediocrity 

Dictionary.com defines mediocre or mediocrity as; only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate: not satisfactory; poor; inferior. Is there any part of your being that wants to be mediocre? Do you want to be a mediocre husband or wife, father or mother, business owner or employee? Absolutely NOT!!
If living an ordinary or moderate quality of life is what you are about you need to spend time reflecting on your life. You were definitely not created to just get by and trudge along until you are six feet under. You were created and purposed for much more than that.

Fear Insignificance

No matter who or what you do, the bottom line is..you are significant. Deep inside each of us is a longing to make a difference, to contribute to our world. Most people want their lives to count for something. A father wants to know that he loved, provided, cared, protected and built a legacy for his children. A mother wants to know that she nurtured, loved, taught and inspired the sons and daughters she was entrusted with. An owner, manager, supervisor and employee wants to know they have given their best to their organization.
When you fear insignificance you are saying you will do whatever it takes to be significant. You will do what it takes to make a positive impact on everyone and everything around you. When you fear being insignificant you will rise early and stay up late doing whatever it takes to live a passionate life of purpose.

Fear Living a Life That Doesn’t Offend Anyone

It’s been said that if you aren’t offending someone that you probably aren’t doing or saying anything important. I don’t subscribe to that totally but I do believe that if we aren’t speaking truthfully with our friends, family, bosses, peers and those who report to us that we aren’t doing the best we can.
I do subscribe to the practice of telling someone that they have booger on their nose if they have one there. If you care about someone, your business or organization you are going to speak up when you see something that should or shouldn’t be there – boogers shouldn’t be there.

Fear Regret

If there is something that I struggle with on a continual basis its this thing of regret. It is absolutely a two-edged sword. From one side it’s living from the perspective of “if only” and from the other side its living from the perspective of being able to let things go.
Regret is a curious thing. It’s something that gets into your soul. Its something that magnifies the things we have or haven’t done or accomplished. And if we are living from the place that we fear it, that we fear regret, then it can be fuel to live a life that isn’t defined by regret.

Fear of Dying Alone

I want a lot of people at my funeral. I do. I don’t just want my wife, kids, grandkids and family members at my funeral, I want the people who feel I have deposited something into their life at my funeral. Seriously, I don’t want people showing up to look at my dead body just because they feel it’s the right thing to do. I want people showing up, looking at my lifeless self and thinking to themselves, “this guy inspired, encouraged, provoked and deposited something into me that changed me.”

Fear Not Fearing What You Should Fear

These aren’t the only things we should fear. I’m sure that as you read this post you started to create your own list of things you should fear. Let fear fuel you to live a life you and others will never forget.