A Look Around

change-strategy

It’s been about six months since I started this blog and I’ve been able to keep up with content for the most part. I’ve enjoyed talking about issues and ideas that have really helped me find new insight and motivation for where I’d like to go.

If you haven’t noticed, I have had a bit of a content categorization problem that I’ve finally found the answer to. Let me explain.

The motivation of starting my blog was pretty clear to me from the beginning:

  • Michael Hyatt convinced me in a podcast that by not having a platform for my ideas I was not going to be an effective influencer. The path to scaling influence is through creating a platform. The easiest way to begin building a platform is through a blog
  • I wanted to find a way to find like-minded people who could influence me, and who I could influence
  • I wanted to solidify a lot of what I was learning by writing about it and explaining it

I started out early by writing about a lot of professional topics, then some financial management topics. I saw very quickly that it would not be easy to build a professional oriented platform; the interest wasn’t there. The interest appeared to be there for the more personal oriented topics, so I went in that direction.

Over the past few months, I’ve written more and more about the ideas and experiences that I have found useful to accomplish my goals, and my readership has gone down and down. For example in July the readership numbers spiked at 50 or so sessions per day. At the moment the spike is more like 20 per day when I publish something.

site-metrics

It’s not bad that 20 or so people are reading the blog, but the problem is that a good portion of that are my extended family that I could easily (and more persuasively) share a personal conversation. So it’s clear right now that I need a change in strategy.

I continue to work on deployment both for our hosted and our store products at my company. I’m learning a lot of lessons, both through management and through learning new products. In fact I’ve spent more time learning in the past eight weeks than I had in the past three years combined. I’m really excited about where these ideas will take us, and want to share it with you.

If you’re one of my readers who won’t care about that topic, I want to tell you two things. First, thanks for reading and for sticking with me. Second, I’d love to have lunch with you and talk about these topics further. I have a passion for living life well and think that in order to do that one must get off of the normal path set by us by our culture.

For everyone else, welcome to the new hedge-ops, which asks the question: how can we operate most efficiently with management in technology. I’m looking forward to writing about it.

Mornings

morning routine

On the bad mornings, I begin by rolling over and checking my phone. I cycle through ESPN Dallas, WFAA, CNN, maybe even Drudge Report and look at my feedly feed, personal and work email. The work email in particular, since I work with Czechs who are well into their day, causes me to start thinking about work. My mind races to the world’s problems, the world’s drama, and problems I’ll need to solve in a couple of hours that began a half a world away. [Read more…]

The Ultimate Test of Tolerance

tolerance in marriage

I am fortunate to be married to someone who shares many of my values and passions. For the things we disagree with, though, I have to find a way to not control her and to let her be her own person. This is the ultimate expression of tolerance: she is welcome in my personal space, influences my future, and is free to “ruin” it with her own dreams and values.

The key to making it work is giving her freedom and working hard to connect so values and goals can be shared as much as possible. It won’t always work, but if it does, then it is the start of a lifestyle of this, which opens up so many wonderful relationships in all areas of life.

We like to think of tolerance as something that happens with people who are drastically different than us. With people from other political parties, religions, or backgrounds. I’ve found over the years that tolerance really begins with those who are closest to me: do I try to control them or do I let them freely be themselves? That’s ultimately the question that is asked of all of our relationships. The less we control, the better the relationships are.

Right Fit

goals, investing, investments, mark cuban

My wife and I spent the early part of this week looking into a business opportunity that would help us meet some specific goals over the next few years. We were excited, talking late into the night about the various details of this business opportunity.

Then halfway into our trip we realized it wasn’t going to work. [Read more…]

Assumption of Agreement

political tolerance

We were having a great time with our new friends from California on a gogi-berry farm in New Mexico. The family loves nature like us, and we had great conversations about biking, hiking, living simply, and cooking naturally. At one point the lady told us that they would love to have us back next summer and that they were pleasantly surprised to find out that there were liberals from Dallas.

I was eating dinner at my church on a Wednesday night with other members, and one member starts talking about how evil Wendy Davis is and how Obama has ruined everything. I sat there quietly as the whole table seemed to being railing on how dumb the Democrats were and how the world was going to end because of them.

What’s the common thread? [Read more…]

A Litmus Test for Tolerance

tolerance

About ten years ago, my wife and I were deeply involved in a church that claimed to be evangelistic and desperately wanted to lead people to God. We devoted ourselves to The Cause and poured hours and hours of our labor into its programs. At one point (I kid you not), I was doing the music on Sunday mornings, keeping track of our procedure for keeping and maintaining new members, leading youth group on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, attending another small group Bible study, and taking a graduate level Seminary class. All of this while having a full time job.

Here’s the problem, looking back on it: I wasn’t growing. Why not? [Read more…]

A Proper Understanding of the Opposition

politics

Here’s a fun exercise: first read the first five headlines on http://www.dailykos.com/. Next read the first five headlines on http://www.lucianne.com/. See any patterns?

On DailyKOS you get the feeling that Republicans are heartless idiots with half a brain, and that our world’s problems would be solved if they would just get out of the way of progress.

On Lucianne, you get the feeling that Democrats are heartless idiots with half a brain and that our world’s problems would be solved if they would just get out of the way of progress.

If you’re the typical American, you probably relate to one site and not to another.

I’ve only recently recognized how destructive this is to my life, my thinking, and my relationships. [Read more…]

A European Education

American Schools

Yesterday I was at lunch with a Czech friend of mine talking about education. His daughter just started the first grade and this week they had their initial teacher conferences. The teacher informed him and his wife that the daughter had a hard time focusing.

“Of course she can’t focus; they have her there from 8AM to 3PM. I wouldn’t focus at that age either!” [Read more…]

Focus with the Amazon Kindle

amazon kindle

I’ve been writing about focusing on what matters lately by making good choices with how and what you consume. Some things are just a complete waste of time like the local news. Other things have a good alternative, like reading the Economist instead of going to news sites.

As I wrote last time, though, in this mobile world that isn’t enough. You have to make sure your smartphone is serving you and not enslaving you. And beyond that I’m convinced to lead a life of growth and meaning you need to read. Probably more than you are right now.

So how do we do that? The solutions that come to mind immediately are: on our smartphone, a paper book, or a tablet. I’m going to talk about a better way to read books: through the Amazon Kindle. [Read more…]