Build Something, Make A Difference
Jul 2014 10

When the New York Times Sunday edition claims your company “is also the rare kind that could make a difference in people’s lives” you know you might be onto something.

These are exciting times ahead with the team at StockUp. You can check it out for yourself HERE. Also, we’re hiring and you can see all the positions HERE

Slight Adjustment, Huge Results
Jun 2014 01

I’d been riding pretty hard.  100 miles in the past two weeks. And in between rides, I’d been feeling the burn. And then yesterday I blew out my back tire a couple miles from home.  Anytime I go from riding to walking that quickly, I feel like an infant, unsure of their next step and as though I am moving so slowly.  Instead of being home 10 minutes later, it was more like 45.

My urge to get out and ride this morning was hundred by the blown out flat tire that awaited me. I walked my bike to Ride Brooklyn (best bike shop in the city IMHO) and asked an enthusiastic bike mechanic named Ricky to help me out.  He not only fixed my flat, but he tightened my breaks, cleaned the chain, and pointed out that I was severely underutilizing my bike because of one simple adjustment that he could make for me. He told me that my seat was way too low and that he wanted to raise it up and see if I could feel the different.

Now, he wasn’t the first person this week that had mentioned it. My sister Katie, the bike pro in the family, pointed it out and said I should make the tweak.  So two people I knew knew their stuff both mentioned it, I was game to see what kind of adjustment should be made.

Six whole inches later, my bike seat looked awkwardly tall and almost dwarfed the height of the rest of my bike. I wasn’t so sure that Ricky was overestimating how tall I actually am and that we’d need to scale back the adjustment once I hopped on.  And sure enough, it felt as awkward as it looked. I was hunched much further over to reach the handle bars and sitting on the bike in the shop, I felt like a giant riding a trike. But, Ricky told me to take it out on the road and give it a shot, if we needed to change it we could, but to take it for a spin and lean into the adjustment and see if it wasn’t a welcome fix after the awkwardness subsided.

So I took it for a spin. I headed up the slope of Park Slope and realized I wasn’t struggling near as much as I had been in previous rides. My legs were getting fully extended and I was using the whole rotation of the pedals to power up the hill. My posture was leaned forward and my core was much more engaged.  So I keep riding and before I knew it, I was 10 miles into my afternoon and barely breaking a sweat.

All because of one adjustment that aligned everything else.

It almost seemed to simple.

But there it was. As a result of a blowout requiring me to slow down in order to get back up to speed, I was back in action utilizing all of my potential with much more intention and far more impressive results.  I was aligned with natural ability and height and making my bike do the work for me instead of slouching in my seat and only getting 30% of the power that I could.

Sometimes it just takes a little time and some outside help to understand where you are, what you have, and the higher potential that you could be achieving if everything was aligned.

We’ll be talking about achieving that potential with all the resources, tools, and natural abilities you already have at this month’s Exobase here in New York City. There are still seats available and I’d love to have you be a part of the experience.  (SIGN UP HERE)

 

Exobase – New York City
May 2014 16

I will be leading the New York City Exobase June 14-15,2014. Sign Up HERE or read more below.

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Exosphere, a learning and problem solving community founded in Chile in 2012 by a group of international entrepreneurs, is announcing today the launch of Exobase, an intensive two-day program led by the founding team of Exosphere.

Over the past two years, more than 100 entrepreneurs and life-long learners have taken part in the Exosphere community, primarily through its flagship program, the Exosphere Boot Camp, with the latest class currently underway at the Exosphere campus in Vina del Mar, Chile.  The Boot Camp has proven that many people share the founding team’s conviction that there are two fundamental pains in life that cause most everyday suffering: doing work that is out of alignment with our calling, and broken relationships with other people. With entrepreneurship, we can resolve the former, and in community, we can heal the latter.

Exosphere incubates people, not companies.  Over the past two years, Exosphere has thrown out the playbook on what education means and pioneered an accelerated system to unlearn the lies we’ve all been previously taught to tell ourselves and to bravely choose a road less traveled toward the life we are called to lead that brings our talent and passion to the world through creation, innovation, and business.

Exobase is the evolution of the principles and lessons learned by the founding team and our global community of members and advisors. These successes and failures have been distilled into two days of intense, focused learning. The Exobase experience is coming to a handful of cities across North and South America and Europe in 2014.

Exobase will introduce the experience of the entrepreneurial mindset, intentional community, and self-reliance, as it relates to life-long learning and personal growth. Participants in Exobase will gain new perspective on their current career trajectory, understand what skills and ideas will be most valuable for their future endeavors, and be exposed to the real-life  lessons from others who drew a line in the sand and took action on creating the life they wanted.

There are only 50 seats available for the New York City Exobase, so sign up now!

The Comfort Of Possibility
May 2014 01

When I walked into the office on a Monday morning and looked at my funnel of future deals, I felt really good. Like “get another cup of coffee and chat about the weekend with the receptionist” good. I had over 50 open deals. 50! Far more open deals than anyone else in the office and I walked with corresponding swagger.

Now, fast forward three weeks. I’d only closed two of those deals.   All of that possibility had only materialized into results twice.

That comfort and glut of potential had robbed me of the urgency of converting possibilities into results.

Turned out I’d believed my own hype and that blankie of possibility was robbing me blind.

So I got rid of 30 deals in three days. I asked the honest question: “Is this actually a deal, or does it just look like it could be at some point down the road?” I called and turned the screws on the prospects I thought were open deals and directly asked for the business. I applied enough pressure to learn if they were just being nice or actually seriously considering my proposal.

You know all of the possibilities that the world has presented to you? All of the things that lie ahead of you and all the amazing things that you believe you’ll do with your life? Rubbish. You probably won’t do them. You probably won’t put in the work to close the deal. You probably won’t lean into the pain long enough to break through. You might, but, let’s be honest, you probably won’t.  You’re used to getting participation trophies for trying and that is how we’ve been trained to look at results. “We gave it our best shot.”

There is a very real chance that this amazing feeling of having all that potential, all those possibilities ahead of you is the reward that will be enough for you.  That feeling is intoxicating and is so much easier than actually realizing your potential.

But a feeling is all it is.  And for some, that will be enough.

But, for others, that feeling will be demon they wrestle for years, for decades to come.

The demon that says, “you don’t have what it takes to actually do those things, do you?”

The demon that says, “think about how much you’d have to give up to even try, just to TRY, when you know you’ll probably fail!”

The demon that says, “your possibilities are your reward, those results are for people with more talent than you.”

But those demons don’t know how to deal with the soul willing to risk comfort for the chance at capturing potential.   While they may grow louder as you take that first step, they’re quieted by the second. And silenced by the third.

It is only in action that our possibilities are worth acknowledging. It is only in daring that our potential has any worth.  And it is a choice that we must learn to make every single day.

So here’s to you and to the possibilities that lie before you.

But most of all, here’s those brave enough to see those possibilities become your reality.

Emerging Encouraged
Apr 2014 18

“We believe at a certain point, if we can retain enough of the talent that we’ve uncovered, we can build a community that makes Silicon Valley and New York less of a default.”  This quote, and many others like it, seemed to be a theme in the conversations I had last night at the kick off party for the Hello Tomorrow conference I am speaking at here in Paris later today. I spoke with entrepreneurs and investors from here in France as well as those from Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, and Israel and they all seemed to have a similar sentiment. Each one of them, while aware of the attraction and pull of the larger tech hubs in Europe like London or Berlin, or ultimately San Francisco, believe that the geographical centralized nature of technology is on its way to the history books.

My good friend and partner in Exopshere, Skinner Layne, wrote a wonderful piece on this them earlier this week: Burst It – Not The Bubble You Think.  “A hundred new entrepreneurship nodes would do far more good for the world than three new Silicon Valleys.” We are seeing this play its out at Exosphere in Chile and in the communities that our Bootcamp members return to.

The barrier to entry to build a web based company is so much lower now than it used to be. This is both good and bad. The bad being that there are a lot of really bad ideas that are seeing the light of day because they no longer need the approval of any outside source before they are launched. The good being that no one needs the approval of anyone else to begin working on the idea you believe is the next big thing. And the same goes with the communities of entrepreneurship and innovation that are popping up around the world.

Each of these communities is unique to its location and the resources that are already in place. Some are being informally incubated around a system of universities and others are being pushed forward by the alumni of a technology company long since relevant. Some are built on the backs of entrepreneurs that left and made a name for themselves in a bigger hub but have returned to bring their experience, and in some case, investment dollars, back to their home town.

There will never be another Silicon Valley, and that is a great thing. But there can be “Silicon-Everywhere” and that is an even better thing.