Momentum

Momentum is an interesting thing. By definition, it starts slow and gains power over time. When it reaches full speed, its progress is almost effortless. And while we all love the idea of gaining momentum in our life, business, career or relationships, we sometimes forget that momentum comes with a certain level of risk.

Compare a car and a train. A car can rapidly accelerate, steer, and stop. In the world of passenger vehicles, a car is light weight and fragile. When a car runs into light post, the car suffers more than the light post.

A train is very different from a car. Slow to accelerate and reliant on a defined track, a train needs miles to stop. The king of passenger vehicles, when a train collides with any object the only thing left is a dented train!

The risk of momentum is that it is hard to stop, impossible to steer, and can destroy things in its way. Looking through the lens of passion and commitment, those risks sounds acceptable. But when considering our families, our friends, or our faith, the calculus can change.

I encourage everyone to get on the train, but only when you are ready; when the whole family has purchased tickets; when the tracks take you into the light rather than into the darkness.

Nothing can stand in your way when you are on the ride of your life.

One Life. No Compromises.

Everyday Espionage – Year One!

A year ago this week a 5,000 word book entitled ‘Everyday Espionage: Winning the Workplace‘ was released on Amazon and iBooks. A simple word search for the book on Google yielded blog posts about everyday chores and headlines about espionage, but ‘Everyday Espionage’ didn’t pop up until halfway down page 13.

One year later the book has only sold a few hundred copies…but the ‘Everyday Espionage’ name has solidified itself with search engine credibility! Podcast interviews, newspaper articles, business journal write-ups, and audience reviews have transformed one small idea into an international brand!

While the growth is exciting, the truth is that the success isn’t because of me. It’s because of those who have surrounded me along the way; those who encouraged me, helped me, learned from me and promoted me to audiences I could never reach on my own.

‘Everyday Espionage’ is still in it’s infancy – still learning to crawl. But we all know what happens next…

My sincerest thanks to all of you – those I know and those I have yet to meet.

One Life. No Compromises.

Out There

I just finished recording the first season of my upcoming podcast – ‘The Everyday Espionage Podcast’. I was shocked at how challenging and humbling the journey from episode zero to episode 15 has been!

While I have always enjoyed conversation and sharing knowledge with others, it’s a different animal to be talking to a microphone and shifting your attention between multiple camera angles! Even now, the work is far from over – with hours of post-production editing and audio work yet to be done.

Putting yourself out there – whether on stage, over the air waves or into the internet stream – is uncomfortable. Some will like what you have to share… many will not. But our role is to be courageous enough, adventurous enough, to share and let others judge. The only other option is to be the one judging, which is no adventure at all.

Evolution

Everyone talks about how exciting and wonderful it is to grow your business… but it is also painful, scary, and intimidating. Every positive thought is quickly followed by internal questions like, ‘When am I gonna fail?’; ‘What if people don’t like my next product?’; ‘What if demand is too high, too low?’; ‘What if I look like a fool?’

I had some exciting and terrifying growth this summer that left me swirling in-and-out of self doubt and self confidence. And while I have no idea what the future holds, there is only one way to find out. I have to try. We all have to try. There is no other option worth considering.

I am not comfortable mingling with Tampa’s business elite… yet. I am not certain which of my speaking offerings will flourish or die…yet. And I have no idea how I am going to balance a young family and a local-turned-national business…yet. But I am going to try. And so are you.

One Life. No Compromises.

A Brand Is Born!

July 2018 was a special month for me. My baby girl turned one year old, I finished my MBA, and I completed the inaugural presentation of Everyday Espionage to an audience of over 200 people! While revenue was earmarked for Tampa Bay non-profit partners, the turnout, interest, and humbling support from attendees solidified my resolve that Everyday Espionage had the potential to change the world for the better.

It is with a grateful heart and excited spirit that today I announce the official launch of the Everyday Espionage brand! I am overjoyed that my wife has decided to partner with me to build EE into something bigger and more impactful than I ever could have created alone. My vision, her creativity, and the financial support of dozens of early adopters is the soil where we plant this first seed.

Now we turn our sights to the coming months. Everyday Espionage is booked for another presentation in Fall 2018, we have partnered with a Podcast production company to launch a branded podcast in Winter 2018, and we are finalizing 1-day and 3-day immersive training experiences built around EE concepts.

I do not know what the future holds but I have perfect faith in the journey! To those who have taken up the EE brand with us already, Thank You! To those who have yet to discover EE, we look forward to meeting you. And to the rest, we are happy to introduce you to an alternate path…

One Life. No Compromises.

Spies Next Door

As a husband, I know how amazing my wife is. Every bit of good in me is amplified by her. But many people never get to see her courage, intelligence, or humor as she supports me quietly from the sidelines.

My wife has always been the silent sentinel, working diligently behind the scenes to support and protect the people she loves the most. She was the consummate intelligence professional when I met her, and she is no less humble today than she was then. She is the hero I always wanted to be.

So imagine my joy when NBC invited her to speak on National Television. They called us the ‘Spies Next Door’, and asked us to share a bit of a our story; how we met, how we fell in love. And as the cameras panned on her, and as the questions came, she used every second of her spotlight to highlighting others.

I am thankful to get to be a lifelong student to this woman. Our family, and all Americans, are lucky to have her.

I love you, Jihi.

Tampa Bay Times Release

I was humbled and honored today to be featured by the Tampa Bay Times, a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper.

When Features reporter Christopher Spata reached out to me, I did not understand why he found my story to be so compelling. Over the course of the week, as Christopher engaged me, my family, my friends, and my coworkers, he helped me realize that my story – the only history I’ve ever known – was one that could bring joy and comfort into the hearts of readers around the country. He taught me that we are often unable to recognize the impact our story can have on others. I am thankful to Christopher for having the talent and vision to teach me something new.

It was an awesome adventure to dig through my history, and even fall in love with my story, as Christopher and I sorted through records and contact lists. We connected some dots and failed to connect others that CIA had successfully erased from history. In the end, we had fun and hopefully you will enjoy the read.

The Tampa Bay Times is on a mission was to find truth, build community, and capture history in the making. I believe my mission runs in parallel, building a future better than the past we will one day leave behind.

One Life. No Compromises.

The Live Drop

I am humbled and excited to be featured on the first episode of the new Podcast by Actor Mark Valley, ‘The Live Drop’! I could not be more supportive of this podcast and Mark’s goal to educate, entertain and spotlight the topic of espionage from cold war to current day.

Today’s world creates a need and appetite for all people to understand espionage, its history, and its implications for the future. And while the topic can be intense and dark, Mark’s personality somehow keeps things light, relevant, and interesting. For those looking for a fresh look on a compelling topic, Mark delivers with style!

Thank you, Mark, for all that you are doing…
Listen to “Episode ZERO” on Spreaker.

One Life. No Compromises.

Winner’s Circle

Not everybody knows this, but I regularly compete in public speaking competitions. Aside from admitting that I’m a total nerd, I am unabashedly proud of the selfless, inspiring, and faithful friends I’ve made competing the last two years.

I was fortunate to take first place again this year in the District 48 Toastmasters International Evaluation Contest, keeping my championship title for two years in a row. And while many people congratulated me and sang praises about my performance, I know that my role in the victory was small. The real heroes of the night were those who supported my journey, those who coached me selflessly, and those who challenged themselves to compete along side me.

The winner’s circle is often mistaken as the place where champions get recognized. In fact, it is the place where victors recognize how blessed they are to have a circle of winners around them.

Building Better Networks

It was a privilege to share my Networking workshop with Civic and Business leaders at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center yesterday!

Networking often feels more like a burden than an opportunity. I see frustration and fatigue on the faces of those who attend my talk as they walk in the door. Elevator pitches, role plays, referral minimums and monthly fees are draining – we all know it!

But something changes in those same faces as I challenge them to make Networking a relational event instead of a transactional event. Suddenly, the burden dissipates and people realize there is a better way. Common bonds will always out-perform Business Cards; peers will out-last pitches; and relationships will out-live referrals.

My sincere thanks to the City of Dunedin and the Dunedin Kiwanis Club for letting me bring my message to their community!