Remain Relevant

How to Always Be Needed

I was recently using recording software and the designers made the digital features look like the old analog ones—with knobs and sliders. It made me feel relevant because I took what I knew and it allowed me to do it better with new technology.

It’s easy to feel left behind by the latest and greatest of everything. It’s always been this way—things change—but it happens sooner, faster, and more often now.

So how do we stay relevant in an ever-changing world?
Just keep up on the areas of change that most impact you and your career.
Partner with people in the know and exchange your experience for their know how.
Go the other way and find people who still prefer the old way and offer them your goods or services.

Remain Relevant

It’s Not What You Think


Many parents believe they are running a family. Many bosses believe they are running a business. Many Principals believe they are running a school. None of them are 100% correct.

The truth is each one is running a training company. Maybe the best example is the family as a training company. The best parents are instructors, motivators, and most of all, good examples to their kids.

It’s Not What You Think

Be True To You


It’s no secret I have been a huge fan of the band Rush since 1977. I’m not the only one. The band inspires that kind of long term loyalty from fans worldwide. Why is that, and what can we learn from it?

The number one reason is they are unapologetic about their unique sound. The critics have always bashed the band, which won them more fans who also saw themselves as outside the mainstream.

Even when record sales were slow (and they were almost dropped by their label after their third album) they stuck to their guns and went on the road to win over fans with their inspiring live shows and musicianship.

What fans love is the honesty in Rush’s music—and their humility in spite of immense success. They do what they do best and attract others who appreciate them for not selling out–except every seat, every night.

Be true to you. The next article exemplifies how I made a minor shift after I was sick and spent the day listening to my entire Rush collection of music. I was inspired to live my truth and trusted that people will get it.

Be True To You

Give Them What They Want?


After 27 years as a professional speaker and trainer I’ve accumulated a long list of topics I can and speak on. When I recently looked at the list I realized most of the presentations were created based on what the meeting planner requested. Give ‘em what they want, right?

Taking my cue from Rush (see previous post) I decided to add in three new topics to the list that I want to speak on; “The Gift of Gab,” “Powerful Powerpoint,” and a program about overcoming fear, “Walk on the Wild Side”. Lo and behold I have already landed engagements for all three.

Yes, we must adapt and give people what they need (and will pay for) to get what we want. However, looking for people who need what we want to offer is often better because we’re passionate about it and likely proficient as well.

Give Them What They Want?

If Only I Had Listened To My Mentor

Our first meeting was on a cloudy June morning at the Stratford Inn on 15th Street in Del Mar. This was in 1991. My soon-to-be mentor was recently retired at the age of 66 and had decided he wanted to pass on what he had learned. Since I was only 26, I was eager to hear what he had to say.

I was surprised when a small, bald man walked up and reached out his wrinkled hand and said, “Hi, I’m Joe and I’m here to help.” We ordered coffee and sat outside at small table and Joe just listened to me as I rambled on about what I had done in my life. He appeared unimpressed.

As an overachiever, I’d already written three books, founded a chain of retail stores, and appeared in the media numerous times before I was 25. I was proud of my accomplishments. Little did I know, Joe was a well respected CEO of a Fortune 500 company and worth over $500 million dollars. Yet Joe sat still sipping his coffee and listening to me with a nod here or there.

When I was finished bragging about myself he spoke, “I’m not hear to talk about your past, I want to know about what you want to do in the future.” 

I explained what I wanted to accomplish in five years and how I thought I could get there by taking a series of small steps. That’s when he said, “You sound like a singles hitter. What you need to do is swing for the fences. You need to hit home runs.”

Today I know we are both big baseball fans, but back then I was questioning his baseball acumen and the analogy as well. What did he mean, swing for the fences? That could mean a series of strikeouts and no success. No, a series of singles would be better. Safer. So I thanked him for his time and went about working my plan of stringing together singles.

As we fast forward to today, Joe is still alive (and we are still friends) and I am 53 years-old. Joe attended my wedding (he flew to Maui to be there) and is now friends with my entire family (he lives two doors down from my mom). Whenever I see him he always asks how things are and I always say the same thing, “Things are good.”

I did exactly what I said I would, I had a solid (and long) career of singles (small successes), but I never did achieve massive success (that home run Joe talked about). I’ve never told Joe this, but I should. He was right.

I wish I could say, “Joe, things are great. Unbelievable. Stupendous.” Simply, that is not the case. Joe must have seen something in me I didn’t see in myself. I should have listened to him and swung for the fences—I could have hit a grand slam instead of series of singles.

Having a mentor tell you what to do is hugely helpful . . . if you heed the advice. The mentor’s role is to share their insights and ideas. It is up to the person being mentored to act on this advice.

If Only I Had Listened To My Mentor

A Novel Idea

Thanks to readers of this blog, my new novel is now done. I asked for feedback on the cover and received a great response—and used the design most readers preferred. I also had two readers of this blog offer to edit the manuscript. Thank you all.

The Splendid Splinter is now available from Amazon in paperback.

The Splendid Splinter
Available From Amazon:
$10.00 / 130 Pages

A Novel Idea

Your Life as a Book

Have you ever thought of your life as a book or movie? Maybe you should. It’s a chance to look back and celebrate all that was good and look ahead to create what you want.

What brings out the best in you? What would you like to improve upon?

What is something you did that you were afraid to, but did it anyway? What would you try if you knew you could not fail?

Travel Guide
Where was your favorite vacation destination? Where have you always wanted to go?

Children’s Book
What is your happiest childhood memory? What can you do now to be that happy again?

Who is the love of your life? What makes them special?

Career / Business
What was a smart career or business move you made? What is your dream job? What type of business would you start if you could?

Who have you always admired? Why? What would they do if they were in your shoes right now?

When were you in your best shape? How did you do it? What would you like to look and feel like in the future?

What was one of your soundest investments? How much would you like to earn or have saved up?

Memoir / Autobiography
Write out the highlights of your life so far, and the ones to come.

Your Life as a Book