525,600 Minutes on the Highway

525,600 minutes

525,600 moments so dear

525,600 minutes

How do you measure, measure a year?

I can’t believe it’s been 525,600 minutes since I went out on my own. There’s been a lot of ups and downs this past year, to say the least, but it has been incredibly rewarding and empowering while at the same time exhausting.  I find myself reading more than ever before and looking for inspirational quotes on social media or just talking with friends and colleagues.  @GaryVee says you have to “put in the work” and keep hustling and executing to create your legacy.  Nothing can be truer.  Taking on bold initiatives and dreaming big can only be accomplished when you wake up every day and plan, execute and then reflect to find continuously improve.  I do this every day of my life – it’s not easy, but it’s fulfilling. Thinking back to the first days in my new office by myself wondering how was I going to make this all work it all feels like a whirlwind.  Here are some highlights of this year:

  • I have new fantastic clients both supporting with strategic consulting as well as outside General Counsel services;
  • I’ve joined ranks with some of the best lawyers and all around people I’ve ever met at Nicoll, Davis and Spinella LLP
  • I’ve met amazing and inspirational people and networked with them, had great conversations and learned from all of them
  • I’ve taken literally 100s of meetings just because you never know
  • I’ve had failures and learned from every one of them
  • I’ve supported strategic growth of companies and been rewarded with helping people define their goals and find ways to meet those goals
  • I’ve found there are still generous people out there that genuinely want to help others

It’s truly a privilege to work with great people and be trusted to help them. To those of you that have supported me in this journey I want to thank you. I’ll keep learning, keep hustling and keep trying to be relevant on the highway of life and hope you’ll jump in for the ride whether it’s for an exit or two or for the long haul with me. Here’s to the next 525,600 minutes.

Serenity Now! Make Work Trips Work for You!

I read a blog post a couple years ago with the central premise that simply said – if you’re on travel for work, make the best of it.  I took a hard look at myself and my travel schedule that has me all over the continental United States and realized I’ve been to so many cities and places and missed out on so much.

I had traveled to Butte, Montana multiple times – multiple plane rides, car rides across the Continental Divide and not once had I had stopped to see Trophy Rock on the way across the Homestake Pass up the Continental Divide:   http://bit.ly/2f1d0nZ .  It even has a turn off/look-out point built to see it and I never stopped to see it because I was so focused on my business schedule.

I vowed to stop this madness and see the world around me.  It was one of the single greatest decisions I’ve ever made.  To name a few things I’ve accomplished in the past two years I’ve:

  • Spelunkered in Lewis and Clark Caverns twice
  • Hiked to Lake Agnes in Montana and had to cross a beaver dam to get there
  • Hiked the East Ridge above Butte, Montana in rain and light snow
  • Stood in the Texas School Book Depository window envisioning the assassination of JFK
  • Seen the Grand Canyon at sunset
  • Driven the desert from Arizona to Los Angeles along Route 66
  • Danced at Chateau Marmont late night on the Sunset Strip
  • Boated to the Mountain at the Gates in Montana
  • Hiked multiple vantage points on northern Lake Tahoe (see pic above)

Hike a couple miles and breathe some mountain air; it’s clear, it’s cool and it’s crisp.  It’s not like anything back on the East coast.  Find serenity and peace sitting in virtual solitude and silence except the people you’re experiencing such amazing sights with.

I know what you’re thinking; great for you Marc, you’ve seen some cool stuff, what about me?

All I can say is that for me it’s been life changing.  Work trips which I dreaded have become welcome respites of peace and serenity.  I know from the minute I leave my house that there is something amazing to see where I’m traveling and that I’ve planned ahead to be sure I can do it.

So, next time you’re scheduling a trip, look for something to do in the vicinity and take some time for yourself.  You deserve it and you will be thankful for it.

Embrace the Suck

“Embrace the suck and move the f***on, ma’am.”

I was watching Whiskey Tango Fox Trot on a flight back from a non-profit board meeting the other day and this phrase just resonated with me.   Just a few weeks ago I watched A Game of Honor about the Army vs Navy game and they all talked about it as well.

I would never try to compare the “suck” of everyday life and work to what our military personnel go through day in and day out as they defend our country and do the job of making our word a better, safer place.  That suck is a level most of us can only imagine and watch in movies which could never compare to the real life work these brave men and women do every day.

What I would like to do is explore how we can all learn from this simple, not so elegant phrase from our military.

When you face a mundane, boring, sometimes loathsome task in life or at work, you have two choices:  complain about it and be miserable all day or just embrace it and move on knowing it’s part of what you have to do.  If you embrace it and make those tasks into a challenge that you can do them without it bringing you down.

Make a list today of 3 things in your life that you do that you think suck at home or at work. Can you eliminate them?  If you can’t then you need to embrace it and move the f*** on.

I know this is all a bit existential and it’s actually a Buddhist concept but we all deep down know it to be true.  Complaining and avoiding is toxic and draining. It reduces our drive and motivation and spirals our minds down rabbit holes that are hard to climb out of.  Instead, embrace the suck and know you are strong enough to do anything that is in front of you.

Salt of the Earth

Sometimes in our lives we’re lucky enough to get to know people that transcend the norm and truly show themselves to be great. The world lost one of these great people this week. His name was Ray Reider and he epitomized the phrase salt of the earth. A father, a coach, a teacher, a mentor and so much more, Ray lived life grateful for every day he had and it showed.

I was fortunate enough to get know Ray back at Dickinson College through his son Steve, a dear friend of mine. I would sit with Ray and watch some of the purest football you can watch – Division III. I learned more about football and life sitting with him or even just chatting between halves when he would work the sidelines some games than I can express.

Respect, honor and tradition were all things Ray spoke about without ever pushing an agenda; it was just who he was and how he was that made you want to listen. He caused you to look inward to find simplicity in things that seemed so much more complex without his perspective.

I hope you are all lucky enough to meet a Ray Reider in your life even for a fleeting moment. I’ll cherish my moments with him as I know everyone he touched will.

Photo courtesy of Dickinson College Football